In a Nutshell: April 2, 2021

April 2, 2021

Dear Partners in Student Success:

Moving into April, I’m reminded that even though I have been at Ohio State for more than a year, I’ve still never experienced a traditional spring semester as a Buckeye. I know this sense of loss is even more real and impactful for students, both those who have never had the experience and those whose last two years have been significantly different than before. As we finish out the semester and look forward with hope, it’s a good time to check in with students, encourage them to finish strong and celebrate the many accomplishments they have achieved this year. Below are some updates and information I hope you find helpful:

COVID-19 Updates 

Twice Weekly Testing
As President Johnson shared earlier this week, the COVID-19 testing operation at Jesse Owens North will be seeing many more visitors starting next week (Monday, April 5), as students will move to twice weekly testing. The requirement includes Columbus campus students who live on-campus, attend in-person classes, visit campus for any reason or interact with other students and campus community members. The goal is to prevent another rapid increase in the number of cases so that we can successfully complete the semester.

Testing Questions
With the announcement of twice weekly testing and the availability of vaccines to Ohioans ages 16 and older, students have had a few new testing questions, and may be asking staff and faculty members for help. See below for some frequently asked questions and answers: 

  • If I’ve been fully vaccinated, do I still need to test? 
    • Yes, those who have received the vaccine are required to continue weekly testing. The vaccination protects you from significant illness from COVID-19 but it’s not clear, yet, whether it also protects against infection. We also don’t know whether people who have been vaccinated can still transmit the virus. 
  • If I receive the vaccine and test the next day, will I receive a false positive? 
    • No, neither the recently authorized and recommended vaccines nor the other COVID-19 vaccines currently in clinical trials in the United States can cause you to test positive on viral tests, which are used to see if you have a current infection.   
  • What does it mean to test twice weekly? 
    • Students should schedule and complete two tests each week leaving 1-2 days between each test. Examples of the recommended testing timeline includes testing Monday and Wednesday, Tuesday and Thursday, Wednesday and Friday or Thursday and Saturday. The testing window runs Monday-Saturday each week.

Students who have specific questions about testing, exemptions or other related questions can email shs-covidtesting@osu.edu

Student Engagement 

Celebrate Earth Month 
During April, Ohio State will join organizations across the world to celebrate Earth Month. Earth Month is inspired by Earth Day, which started 51 years ago by college students across the country to bring attention to the environment's deteriorating conditions. Ohio State celebrates a whole month by hosting events to inspire change in the way we care for our natural environments. For more information, visit the Green Buckeyes website.

Graduate Student Appreciation Week
Next Monday begins Graduate Student Appreciation Week, so please take the time to thank the graduate students with whom you work – you can even use the Kudos feature found on the Kindness at Ohio State website. Student Life has 50 Graduate Administrative Associates (GAAs) working in many of our departments, and each is integral to our operation. Many are part of the Higher Education Student Affairs (HESA) program in the College of Education and Human Ecology. Student Life has a strong partnership with the program that dates back more than 70 years, and together we are developing the next generation of leaders in our profession.

Leadership Awards Virtual Celebration  
The Student Life Leadership Awards annually celebrates members of the Ohio State community who demonstrate exceptional skills in leadership, activism, community engagement and Creating the Extraordinary Student Experience. The 2021 Leadership Awards celebration will take place virtually on Friday, April 9, at 4 p.m. on the Student Life Facebook page, and we invite all members of the Ohio State community to tune in and celebrate students, faculty and staff. For more information, visit the Student Activities website

Student Support

Sexual Assault Awareness Month
Sexual Assault Awareness Month is a university-wide collaboration to raise awareness about sexual violence and educate individuals and the Ohio State community on how to prevent it. The programming will run through April 22 with events focusing on empowering the community to prevent violence, supporting the healing process and advocating for survivors. Sexual Assault Awareness Month is open to all students, staff and faculty. For more information, visit the Student Wellness Center website.

Suicide Prevention Program’s Out of the Darkness Campus Walk
The Ohio State University Suicide Prevention Program (OSUSPP) is partnering with The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) Ohio Chapter to host this year’s spring virtual Out of the Darkness Campus Walk on Friday, April 9. The walk is a journey of remembrance, hope, healing and support. All students, faculty, staff and community members are invited to participate. To register for the walk and learn more, visit the AFSP website.

Engaged Scholar Grant
The Council of Graduate Students (CGS), in partnership with the Office of Outreach and Engagement, Office of Student Life, Office of Research and Ohio State University Extension, is offering the Engaged Scholar Grant for graduate and professional students. The grant incentivizes graduate and professional students to undertake community-engaged research or community-engaged projects, in collaboration with a community partner, that address a specific need or problem within the community (in-state, out-of-state, and international). Graduate and professional students may apply for grants ranging from $500 to $1,500. For more information, please visit the CGS website.

I hope you enjoy the weekend. And as always, thank you for partnering with us to create the extraordinary student experience at this amazing institution.