August 13, 2020

Campus Climate-supporting our students message from Cathy Akens, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs.

Dear Colleagues,

Our work in supporting students toward their academic, professional, and personal goals has always been important – and this year it will be even more valuable as we welcome our students back in a challenging time. They will come to the classroom facing racial equity issues framed by a continued uncertainty around the COVID-19 pandemic, which will continue to impact their mental health, as it has affected us all. Many students will be eager to talk about these important issues.

I want to remind you of some resources we have and offer our help from Student Affairs.  I encourage you to make space for students to share in conversations with each other in the classroom. Our Office of Intercultural Engagement, along with other campus partners, offers several resources for learning and discussion opportunities. Please contact us if we can be of assistance to the work you are doing in your classes this fall. As a reminder:

Kaleidoscope programs are facilitated by undergraduate students who receive training to facilitate challenging dialogues regarding themes such as differences among people, perspective taking, and inequities in classroom settings.

Spartans In Dialogue is an interactive dialogue experience designed to build relationships across differences and explore topics related to racial identity, race relations, and intersectionality.

The CommUNITY Dialogue Series is a campus-wide monthly opportunity for UNCG students to build relationships across differences while discussing hot topics related to diversity and inclusion affecting our UNCG community.

UTLC resources (A valuable university support-includes inclusive teaching strategies, inclusive pedagogy, and decolonizing curriculum).

While we navigate the new normal of Fall 2020, it is important that we also continue to encourage our students to be actively involved in civic activities and community service. The Office of Leadership and Civic Engagement has coordinated with multiple community partners to facilitate safe opportunities for students to engage in meaningful service. The Spartan Day of Service (August) and MLK Day of Service (January) are two traditional events that offer on and off campus opportunities for students to connect to the greater Greensboro community. For a list of service opportunities, please refer to the OLCE databases.

Multiple voter education opportunities will be available to prepare students for the November elections. Students can find updated information on the OLCE Voting Info website and Instagram pages. Student organizations also participate in civic engagement by sponsoring service projects and voter registration drives. All events are posted in SpartanConnect. Please encourage students to frequently check SpartanConnect to find opportunities for campus participation.

The staff in the Office of Leadership and Civic Engagement are available to speak to classes regarding active citizenship related to civic and political engagement.

We remain a committed partner in our students’ success. The Dean of Students Office is your one-stop-shop for support. Their staff can support students in distress, provide assistance for students who are housing and food insecure, and also navigate concerning behavior. The Office of Student Rights & Responsibilities is here to support you if you suspect academic integrity.

Our Counseling Center provides a number of virtual resources including one-on-one counseling sessions, group sessions, and crisis intervention. In partnership with the Counseling Center, our Division has created a new website specifically for Faculty and Staff to garner resources to support our students this fall. Within this website, you will find information about what our students are currently experiencing, how to recognize and support students in distress, how to promote mental health, and taking care of yourself.

The Division of Student Affairs is here to support you, and our students. Please reach out if we can be of assistance.


Cathy Akens
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs