Feelings of depression and isolation continue to impact members the University of Utah community and people around the globe. As the COVID-19 pandemic reaches the one-year mark, it is vital for our community to remain diligent, #CheckOnYourUCrew and build or expand your existing crew.
“If you have not heard from a friend, coworker or classmate for an extended period, please reach out to them,” said Bryan Hubain, associate vice president, Student Diversity & Inclusion and chair for the Basic Needs Collective. “This COVID anniversary has impacted everyone to varying degrees and we need our U community to come together like never before. Members of our community experiencing loneliness and isolation may not see this story, but we want them to know that we are and they are seen. We encourage you to expand your U Crew to help those who feel they can’t reach out.”
Hubain says throughout the past year, they know that those most in need of support may have retreated from social media, work meetings or functions, and even stopped attending classes.
This month, all members of the U community are urged to call, text, direct message and/or email your U crew. Spread the word by sharing a photo, video or other messages of encouragement on social media using #CheckOnYourUCrew.
Check on classmates you haven’t seen attending classes. Reach out and see if that person is okay.
Check on your fraternity and sorority brothers and sisters. Ask how you can support them as the Spring 2021 semester comes to an end.
Check on a coworker that may be quieter than is usual. Maybe they need to chat with someone who understands the stresses they may be under.
Share and take advantage of the following resources.
The Basic Needs Collective
The Basic Needs Collective is a newly launched campus service for all students. The BNC has brought representatives together from 13 partner offices from across campus. Students with any question at all will find the BNC is a one-stop-shop to get the answers they need.
Contacting: Office of the Dean of Students, University Counseling Center, Women’s Resource Center, Student Success Advocates, Center for Student Wellness, Financial Wellness Center, TRIO, Career & Professional Development Center, University Union, College of Health, Veteran’s Support Center and the LGBT Resource Center, has never been easier with this two question form. Submit the form to see the resources relevant to YOUR needs.
Build your crew
Students, be bold and expand your circle of friends, family and loved ones to encompass more of your fellow classmates. Join a Zoom call with a student group—find a full list here—or grab virtual coffee with a Student Success Advocate. University of Utah students, staff and faculty have come up with countless ways to remain socially connected while we remaining physically distant.
Parents, faculty and staff be brave. Hubain says it can seem daunting or “not your place” to ask questions that can be perceived as too personal. “But trust your gut and reach out anyway. You never know how much that can mean to someone,” said Hubain.
Pre-COVID, if you used to take walking or lunch breaks with office mates, pick those habits back up. Block those times out on your calendar with each other or the group and take a walk together while on a mobile device. Turning the camera on or off is up to you but invest the time in reconnecting.
And reinstate those lunch breaks over Zoom. Agree that it’s okay to have the camera on while eating…you would have been doing that anyway if you were eating in person, right?
And finally, if you or anyone you know in the University of Utah community are experiencing—or have experienced—domestic or interpersonal violence resources are available at the Utah Domestic Violence Coalition and the University Center for Student Wellness.
If you think isolation has been caused by discrimination or sexual harassment, contact the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (OEO/AA) at 801-581-8365. Racist and bias incidents can be reported to the Racist & Bias Incident Response Team.