In A Nutshell: March 19, 2021

March 19, 2021

Dear Partners in Student Success:

As has become so commonplace over the past year of the pandemic, our week has been filled with high points, such as the announcement of in-person commencement and continued progress toward the vaccination of our community members, and unexplainable sadness like the killings in Atlanta earlier in the week. As our community continues to process both the good and the bad, it becomes increasingly important for us to come together in support of our students. Below are a few updates I hope you find helpful:

COVID-19 Updates 

Student Life Autumn Planning Teams 

As the university has launched the Reactivation Task Force, the Office of Student Life also started our autumn 2021 planning efforts. Similar to our de-densification and autumn 2020 planning strategy, we have once again launched a series of teams who will collaboratively ensure that all facets of the student experience are considered and planned for. Our work groups include: 

  • Community Engagement and Safety 
  • Facilities 
  • Housing/Residence Life/Quarantine and Isolation Housing 
  • Inclusive Considerations 
  • Programs and Activities 
  • Student Support 
  • Testing 

Instructional Break Recommendations 

Ohio State’s next instructional break days will be on Wednesday, March 31 and Thursday, April 1. It is important for students to take this time to rejuvenate and set their sights on the last few weeks of the semester. In doing so, it is critical that all campus community members continue Safe and Healthy behaviors no matter how they spend their time, and especially if they are travelling to locations that have relaxed their COVID-19 recommendations. Over the next week we will be reminding the campus community of the importance of finishing the semester strong, safe and healthy.

Student Engagement

Celebrate Day of Giving 
On March 22, the university will celebrate the annual Day of Giving. While we traditionally focus on connecting with our alumni, donors and friends, Day of Giving is also a great opportunity to engage students in a conversation about the impact of philanthropy at Ohio State. Alumni are more likely to give back to their college if they were educated and engaged in philanthropy before graduation. How we talk about giving with our students shapes their sense of responsibility and efficacy to make a difference in our Ohio State community. Ideas for students to get involved and give back are available on the Student Philanthropy website.

Save the Date: Spring Into Service 
In addition to giving back during the annual Day of Giving, students can join Student Life’s Pay It Forward cohort for their Spring Into Service opportunities. Spring Into Service is typically a large day of service event that focuses on environmental sustainability. This year the focus remains the same, but the program will be held on multiple days throughout the week of April 12. More information about the event will be available soon. To stay up to date, visit the Student Activities website.

Student Leadership Advocates Workshops 
Student Leadership Advocates (SLA) is a peer leadership cohort supported by the Office of Student Life Student Activities. SLA supports the Ohio State community in leadership development, primarily through providing facilitation for leadership development workshops and retreats. They offer more than 20 different leadership development topic workshops and would love to work with your areas on creating and growing strong leaders. More information is available on the Student Activities website.

Voter Friendly Campus 
Ohio State has been designated a Voter Friendly Campus for the 2021-22 academic year, thanks to efforts by Student Life’s OSU Votes cohort. The Initiative, led by Campus Vote Project and NASPA, singled out “Your institution’s efforts, despite great challenges presented by COVID-19, to break down barriers and empower students with the information and tools they need to participate in the political process led to historic youth voter turnout and opened the door to lifelong civic engagement for your students.”

Student Support 

Financial Coaching for Graduating Students 

Scarlet and Gray Financial, The Ohio State University’s peer financial education program, is now offering financial coaching appointments for graduating students. Students have the opportunity to meet with a highly trained peer coach to receive personalized education on their unique situation, including a plan to pay back student loans, begin investing for retirement and budget for the next step in their journey. Appointments will be available from early March to Mid-April. You can refer students to the registration page on the Student Wellness Center website.

Recovery Ally Training  
Student Life’s Collegiate Recovery Community, in partnership with the Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Drug Misuse Prevention and Recovery, is offering Recovery is Spoken Here virtual training on several days this semester. The aim of this ally training is to foster an environment where students in or seeking recovery feel accepted by their peers, are encouraged to share about their recovery, feel comfortable asking for help and are celebrated by the Ohio State community. The next session is Wednesday, March 31, from 9-11 a.m. The training will also be conducted on April 15 and May 10. You can register online or request a training for your unit or department.

As always, thank you for your partnership and your dedication to creating an extraordinary student experience here at Ohio State…wherever in the world our students may be.

Melissa S. Shivers, PhD
Senior Vice President for Student Life