Statement on End of In-Person Semester Experience

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FROM: The Fifth Senate of the Vassar Student Association (VSA)

TO: Students, Vassar College

As the governing body of the students, the VSA works to support, represent, advocate on behalf of, and address the needs of the student body. As we near the end of the in-person learning this semester, we recognize that this transition poses a unique challenge to students during an already tumultuous time. Many students have expressed concerns surrounding the impact mental health has on their learning experience, and we wish to reaffirm our support for students as we begin this transition to a remote experience.

We acknowledge that these past few weeks have been emotionally exhausting and that the transition to a remote semester may exacerbate these feelings. It is especially important to recognize that many students may be returning to unsafe living situations or environments that may not be conducive to learning. Additionally, it is important to acknowledge that we are a residential college and our learning centers around this experience. Learning at home drastically changes that learning experience. We must also recognize that many students have participated in this semester remotely, and this new shift will also be an adjustment for them.

You may have seen an email from the Dean of Studies providing guidance for remote learning earlier this week. While we appreciate the support that the Dean of Studies Office offers, it is also important to note that not all students are returning to favorable living and learning environments. For instance, if you are unable to keep your camera on, please know that is okay. If you are unable to attend your synchronous sessions, know that is okay. If you feel comfortable expressing your circumstances, please communicate them with your professors. 

Finally, as we make the transition to online learning, we are aware that the same resources will not be available to students. Your mental health is very important to us, and should you ever find yourself in need of emotional support, we encourage you to reach out to the Counseling Service

The VSA reaffirms their commitment to celebrating diversity.  Please know that amidst this uncertainty as we transition to remote learning, the VSA is a voice for all students and is here to support the student body and advocate on behalf of your needs. Please reach out to the Chair of Academics, Susannah Karron at vsaacademics@vassar.edu should you need additional guidance or support.

Sincerely, 

The Fifth Senate of the Vassar Student Association