In A Nutshell: August 27, 2021

August 27, 2021

Dear Partners in Student Success: 

It is official! Our Buckeyes are moved in, Welcome Week is coming to a close, classes have started and the autumn semester is underway. As we start the new academic year, below are some updates and information I hope you find helpful as we get our students off to a Scarlet and Great start: 

Student Support 

Safety Resources

Safety has many different meanings, from physical security to a sense of belonging. Across Ohio State, there are departments and offices committed to supporting the safety of all Buckeyes with resources available that enhance safety and well-being on- and off-campus. Resources include home safety devices, the Lyft Ride Smart program and more. To see the safety resources available, visit the Department of Public Safety's website.

On-demand Support 

The Office of Student Life understands how important it is for students to get help when they need it. With all the resources available at Ohio State, there is something students can do to promote positive mental health and well-being every day, 24/7. For a list of resources, including Buckeye PAL, Wellness Coaching, SilverCloud and more, visit the Student Life website

Recovery Month 

Recovery Month, led by the Student Life Student Wellness Center, is a month-long celebration in September of the transformative power that recovery can have on the lives of people, families and communities. Recovery Month highlights the achievements of individuals who have reclaimed their lives in long-term recovery from mental and/or substance use disorders and promotes the message that recovery in all its forms is possible. Events and programs are open to all students, staff and faculty. For more information, visit the Student Wellness Center website

Unrecognized Groups 
For more than 140 years, Sorority and Fraternity Life (SFL) has been an integral part of the student experience at The Ohio State University. Due to violations of the Code of Student Conduct for very serious safety concerns, Ohio State has revoked the recognition status of several social fraternities and student groups in recent years. Students are strongly encouraged to review the disciplinary history of the social Greek-lettered and student organizations they wish to join and make informed decisions. Students are strongly discouraged from joining or attending the events of unrecognized student groups. For more information on unrecognized groups and to reach out to the SFL team, visit the SFL website.

Student Engagement 

Latinx Heritage Month 

Every September, the Student Life Multicultural Center (MCC) sponsors a month-long series of events in observance of the annual, national highlighting of Latinx contributions to the world. The month-long series is full of programs, presentations and events that celebrate Latinx cultures, ethnicity and pride. For more information and to join the celebration, visit the MCC website

Career and Internship Week 

The inaugural Career and Internship Week will take place September 20-24, 2021. All students of all levels, majors and degree programs are welcome to join for a week filled with career development and networking. The Fall Career and Internship Fair will be happening as part of Career and Internship Week on Handshake, Wednesday, September 22 from 12 to 4 p.m. Visit the Buckeye Careers website for more information.

Rec Sports Offerings 

Living a life in motion is critical for student success inside and outside the classroom. Student Life Rec Sports has a full list of group fitness classes and special fitness programs to get students moving throughout the semester. Students can try something new and join Rec Sports for special event classes, workshops and incentive programs, including: 

  • Kettlebell Resistance Training 
  • Progressive Overload Training 
  • Restore and Recover Yoga 
  • TRX Training 

For more information, visit the Rec Sports website.

COVID-19 Updates 

Testing Updates 

We appreciate everyone’s partnership in supporting students in completing their pre-arrival and arrival COVID-19 testing. Now that the semester is underway, the new COVID-19 testing cadence will begin.  

Currently, all unvaccinated students on the Columbus campus and those in university housing on the regional campuses will be required to test weekly. We will continue to monitor the impacts of variants of concern and may need to adjust the testing requirements for vaccinated students as new information is available. Once House Bill 244 goes into effect on October 14, we will establish a new testing strategy that is currently being developed.

Quarantine and Isolation Housing 

Given that broad access is available to vaccines, on-campus quarantine and isolation housing is extremely limited this year and cannot be guaranteed at any time. All students should have individual plans for isolation and quarantine housing in the event they are exposed or have a positive COVID-19 test. Anyone who has symptoms, tests positive or is assigned to quarantine due to exposure must not navigate campus or participate in any campus activity, including attending class or taking part in co-curricular experiences, on- or off-campus. 

COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement

Earlier this week, Ohio State announced a requirement for every student, faculty and staff member to be vaccinated against COVID-19. The deadline for all campus community members to have at least a first dose is Friday, October 15, 2021. For people receiving a two-dose vaccine, the second dose must be received by November 15, 2021. Read more on the COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement Page.

Administrative Updates 

Student Life Reactivation Game Plan 

The Office of Student Life has shared its Reactivation Game Plan, a planning document that guides our Autumn 2021 reactivation strategy, reinforcing and complementing the university’s overall operational decisions. Student Life’s strategy aligns with university decisions and follows federal, state and local guidance. The document is intended to be organic and evolving, and will be updated as additional decisions or guidance is provided. To view the document, visit the Student Life website

As always, thank you for your partnership and support of our students. 

Melissa S. Shivers, PhD 
Senior Vice President for Student Life 
The Ohio State University