Welcome to the 2020 fall semester from VCU Student Affairs

Dear VCU students,

Whether you are joining us on campus or online, welcome to VCU for the fall 2020 semester. There is no doubt that this year will look different than years past. But one thing that hasn’t changed is our unwavering commitment to your success. 

I encourage you to watch this brief video and below are some points of possible interest and resources related to our return to campus, opportunities for involvement and the safety of our VCU community.

Return to learning

  • A reminder that before classes begin, students must complete the Return to Campus Student Training training found in Blackboard. Students are also responsible each day to complete a brief daily health check and more information can be found on the testing and screening website.
  • Once students complete their training, they can put their knowledge to test as they navigate through a day on campus in a “Choose your own adventure” style quiz. Visit the Division of Student Affair blog to begin.
  • Visit our “Staying safe in off-campus experiences” webpage to see some of the steps we are taking as well as some general guidelines for how we can all do our part to help keep VCU and our communities healthy. Students participating in an off-campus experience this semester should also indicate that they have read and are aware of the Health and Safety Protocols for off-campus experiences.
  • A New Start, which can be accessed via Blackboard, is an eLearning course for all students designed to help you engage the challenges and opportunities of the 2020-21 academic year. We must be prepared to recognize and acknowledge individual differences and existing inequities, while engaging others and practicing self-care. 
  • Visit the Keep on Learning website with resources to help students succeed this semester and visit the Keep on Being Well website with reminders to help students be and stay well.

Opportunities for involvement

  • We appreciate the involvement of many of our students in the local community through volunteer work, service learning, advocacy and engaging in healthy behaviors that promote wellness helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Although a small portion of our students live on campus, we appreciate the civic engagement and involvement of all our students, not only in our university community, but the larger communities in which they live, work, and enjoy. This also includes students studying remotely at home. 
  • The Division of Student Affairs is looking for students to serve on the Senior Vice Provost’s Advisory Council to provide feedback and advice. Apply online using this form.
  • The REAL Council seeks founding members and leaders for a new Student Advisory Board. Apply online using this form.
  • Weeks of Welcome will begin on Aug. 16 and run through Sept. 12 and is an excellent opportunity for your involvement and participation. There will be more than 100 events for students to get acquainted or re-acquainted with the VCU campus, to make and renew connections and to explore different parts of campus.
  • The Division of Student Affairs offers many resources to support your success and ways to get involved. Visit our offices in person, online or through the new VCU Insider section of the VCU Mobile app available Monday, Aug. 17 to learn more about how we can help you. 

Safety

  • Expressive activity: The university is committed to fostering a climate which encourages civil and spirited discourse through classes, events, and the public forum. Our hope is that you engage in conversations with others who share similar and dissimilar perspectives. This diversity of viewpoint and opinion is a tremendous asset to our community. Please review the Reservation and Use of Space Policy for more information. 
  • Sexual misconduct/violence and sex/gender based harassment: VCU is committed to providing an environment free from sexual misconduct, assault, harassment or any sex/gender discrimination that may violate Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and other state and federal laws. To make a report and for additional information, please visit the Title IX website.
  • Threat assessment and violence prevention: Virginia Commonwealth University is committed to providing faculty, staff, and students with an environment that is safe, secure and free from threats, intimidation and violence. All members of the VCU community are encouraged to become familiar with the Threat Assessment and Violence Prevention Policy. This policy details the procedure and process for reporting threats and violence. 
  • VCU Police: In our day-to-day lives, creating and maintaining a safe campus environment at VCU is everyone’s responsibility. Police encourage students to be aware of their surroundings at all times and to report any suspicious behavior to police immediately. It is important that each of us develop sound personal safety habits. Safety resources are always available on the VCU Police website.

Please always feel free to contact me in person, by phone, or by email. I am always interested in your success and how we might support you in reaching your goals.

Best wishes for a great semester,

Regards,

Charles Klink, Ph.D.
Senior Vice Provost
Division of Student Affairs