Division of Student Affairs Blog

News and information beyond the classroom

Dear VCU Students,

It is my honor to welcome you to VCU for the Fall 2023 Semester. We are delighted to have you as part of our RAMily and look forward to engaging with you this semester. I am excited to share some important resources related to advocacy, well-being, involvement, and safety in this message.

Advocacy and Well-Being
Our team in the Division of Student Affairs cares deeply about your well-being. We offer innovative programs and services designed with student input to help you thrive at VCU. This fall we are launching a brand new office to assist you when facing difficult situations. The Office of Student Advocacy will help you find support and solutions to the challenges you may encounter by assisting you with understanding and navigating university policies, providing emergency support, and answering general questions. Look for additional information about their services in the coming weeks.

Taking care of yourself is vital to your ability to succeed at VCU. University Counseling Services (UCS) offers comprehensive in-person clinical counseling services, recovery support, and outreach to all students. Additionally, VCU students have access to free virtual care services through TimelyCare so that you can obtain mental health support and health coaching whenever you need it. University Student Health Services offers primary care services, a low cost pharmacy, and their talented group of physicians and health care professionals are here to assist you when you need medical care.

Involvement Opportunities
It is important to us all that you feel like you belong at VCU. One of the best ways to form lifelong friendships and connections at VCU is to get involved on campus. VCU is home to nearly 500 Registered Student Organizations. The best way to learn more about student organizations and things to do on campus is through RamsConnect. You can learn more about all of our student organizations over the next few weeks at our Weeks of Welcome events that continue through September 10.

Every Wednesday at VCU we wear black and gold! Thanks to all who attended our Black and Gold Wednesday kick-off event at the compass. Stay tuned for future Black and Gold Wednesday events.

The Vice President of Student Affairs Advisory Council is a unique collaborative effort between students and administrators where you can directly be involved in the VCU decision-making process so we can best serve you. We also offer opportunities to gain transformative leadership skills that will help you throughout your life. Some examples include getting involved with our Student Government Association, becoming a contributor for the Commonwealth Times, or getting involved in our leadership development programs offered through the Office of Student Leadership and Engaged Learning

Student Behavior Expectations
As you look to get involved on campus, it is important to understand your rights and responsibilities. I encourage you to review the Code of Student Conduct, the Registered Student Organization (RSO) Conduct Report and to familiarize yourself with Hazing Prevention and Discipline Policy and our VCU Hazing Prevention resources. Additionally, AlcoholEdu is required for all new VCU first-year and transfer students to complete during Orientation. If you haven’t already, please log in to AlcoholEdu using your VCU credentials and complete the program before Friday, September 1, 2023. 

It is also important to know that 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

Contributing positively to the university and greater Richmond community is an integral part of being a VCU Ram. As members of our VCU and Richmond community, it is important to practice civility and to be considerate of those living around you. 

Your safety at VCU is important to us and we want you to play an active role in keeping yourself safe. The VCU Police encourage students to be aware of their surroundings at all times and to report any suspicious behavior immediately. All members of the VCU community are encouraged to become familiar with the Threat Assessment and Violence Prevention Policy. VCU Police reminds students that officers are available to help all members of the VCU community; if you need assistance, please call (804) VCU-1234 / (804) 828-1234 to reach VCUPD directly at any time, day or night. Students can also download the free LiveSafe app.

Thank you for taking the time to read my welcome message. I hope that you have an outstanding Fall semester. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or need assistance.  

Best wishes and GO RAMS!!

Aaron J. Hart, Ed.D.
Vice President
Division of Student Affairs

Categories Fall 2023 - Spring 2024