The COVID-19 pandemic is presenting a vast range of challenges to our nation and the world. In addition to a public health crisis, University of Utah leaders understand that home may not be a safe or healthy environment for many.
“We know many students are feeling isolated as they are now ‘social distancing’ themselves from friends, families and social networks who are their communities of trust,” said Mary Ann Villarreal, vice president for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. “Some of our LGBTQ+ students face different levels of acceptance in their families and homes; our trans students may have to hide their identities; our DACA students live in heightened fear and risk losing resources. Many of our students, especially our rural and American Indian students, are experiencing greater disconnection due to technological issues that impact their academic experience. In addition, domestic violence is rising.”
“As we come together as a campus with our health professionals and researchers leading the charge to stop the spread of this virus, we must also work daily to reach everyone; to pull them into the center of our community and ensure that they have access and opportunity to utilize all of our resources.”
In an effort to bring awareness to those who may feel alone during this time, the Office for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion is launching the “Check on your U Crew” campaign.
“We are asking our U community to join us in reaching out to classmates, colleagues and friends during this incredibly difficult time and not only see how they’re doing but let them know about all the resources still available to them through the university,” said Villarreal.
How to get involved
- Reach out to members of your “U Crew” to see how they are doing and if they need anything.
- Encourage them to reach out to campus resources including the Center for Ethnic Student Affairs (CESA), LGBT Resource Center, Black Cultural Center, American Indian Resource Center, Student Success Advocates, University Counseling Center (UCC), Feed U Pantry or Financial Aid. Other resources for students can be found here.
- Invite them to attend one of the many virtual connectivity sessions hosted by the U including:
- UCC’s “Coping with Chaos”
- LGBT Resource Center’s “QueerCare” or “Fabulous Fridays”
- CESA’s “Stress Support Groups”
Information on virtual meetups hosted by EDI centers can be found here.
Any members of the University of Utah community who have experienced domestic/interpersonal violence are encouraged to contact the Utah Domestic Violence Coalition or the University Center for Student Wellness. Racist and bias incidents can be reported via the Office for Inclusive Excellence form here.
Morgan Aguilarcommunications specialist, University of Utah Communications