RECAST | Reaffirming Our Values: Community Activities & Student Support Services
From: Saliba, Therese <SalibaT@evergreen.edu>
Sent: Monday, May 11, 2020 9:11 AM
Dear Greener Community,
Our deep gratitude to students, staff and faculty for promoting public health AND remaining true to Evergreen’s innovative spirit! Your caring and creative energy has propelled us past mid-spring quarter, with vibrant virtual learning and working communities that support our mission and values.
In these difficult times, we seek to amplify Evergreen’s values of inclusivity, belonging, and respect. We stand against the racism, xenophobia and stigma fueled by this crisis, and the scapegoating particularly of Asian Americans and immigrants. We aim to support all students and community members, recognizing that those who have disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 include tribal nations, communities of color, people with disabilities, and individuals experiencing poverty, unemployment, or housing and food insecurity.
Through amazing collaborative efforts across the college, Evergreen has taken a number of steps to provide services and supports to our students, and to educate our community on the differential impacts of the pandemic and emergent movements for community support, solidarity, and resilience. Below are just some of those services and activities.
Learning, Activities, and Wellness
· Evergreen’s Pandemic Academy offers weekly programs by Evergreen faculty and guest speakers addressing the impacts of structural inequities—race, class, gender, sexuality, ability, etc.—and inspiring examples of community organizing, mutual aid, and resilience. Many academic programs are providing local to global analysis of the pandemic, its resultant economic hardships, and the possibilities for environmental and social change.
· Our student journalists are also writing about these issues in the Cooper Point Journal.
· The Longhouse is commissioning instructional indigenous arts videos to connect health and wellness with Native arts and cultures: see https://sites.evergreen.edu/longhousenews/wp-content/uploads/sites/356/2020/05/Longhouse-Video-Tutorial-Submission-App-2020_MAC.pdf
· This year’s Evergreen-Tacoma Spring Community Fair will feature student research projects, staff and faculty work in their virtual Mimms/Hardiman Lyceum Hall. From May 16-23, the global public and community members will visit the fair and interact with these engaging and empowering projects.
· Student Wellness Services continues to be open Monday through Friday with remote services for Medical, Mental Health and Office of Sexual Violence Prevention. Remote support groups and workshops include Graduation Anxiety, Cultivating Self Compassion, an LGBTQ+ drop-in support group, Self-Care During Covid, and Relationships While Social Distancing. More information can be found at https://www.evergreen.edu/health/health-education-groups.
Student & Community Support Services
· Emergency Gift Aid. Thanks to the generosity of donors, alumni, and the reallocation of college funds, over $130,000 in gift emergency aid has been distributed to Evergreen students. These emergency funds continue to be replenished and are available for any basic living or educational needs. If you are a student in need, please see https://www.evergreen.edu/financialaid/emergency-resources.
· Cares Act Funds. Nearly 1,700 eligible students received $500 to $750 in CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act relief funds last week. A FAFSA or WASFA is required to determine eligibility and can still be submitted. More information and instructions on submitting a FAFSA or WASFA is here https://www.evergreen.edu/covid19/cares-act-funds. Although international and undocumented students were excluded from the CARES Act, they are receiving equivalent awards through the Evergreen Foundation.
· Food Aid. The Thurston County Food Bank emergency community distribution site at Evergreen opened May 5, and served over 90 individuals and households at Evergreen and the wider community! The next Food Bank Pop-Up is May 19, 10 am – 3 pm in Parking Lot C with drive up and walk up options. Vegan boxes also available. The GSU is organizing food delivery for those in need; please contact email@example.com
· Technology support. Faculty attended “Keep Teaching” Institutes over spring break to enable a rapid shift to remote teaching, and students attended “Keep Learning” Institutes in weeks one and two, all designed with equity and student success at the center. Also, 506 students have answered our Technology Needs Survey; we reached out individually to every student who surfaced a need and provided contact info to connect them with resources. We purchased mobile Assistive Technology tools for our students with Access needs, and provided specialized software access to graduate students. If you need a Chromebook or Assistive Technologies, or need help troubleshooting on your internet connection, please create a help ticket at help.evergreen.edu
· Wifi hotspots now available state-wide. A map of over 400 public wifi hotspots can be found at www.driveinwifi.wa.gov. Click on each of the dots/locations on the map to find out information about whether or not there is a password, and times that service is available. The closest hotspots to Evergreen are at the local Timberland Libraries- Olympia, Lacey and Tumwater; spots are also available in Shelton and outer rural areas.
· Library support is also provided with equity in mind. More than 200 Chromebooks have been distributed to students in Olympia and Tacoma. If an assigned text is published in ebook format, we purchased it in that format, making most titles available before the start of classes. The scholarly publishing world has made many electronic resources freely available at this time, and these are collected for your use at http://libguides.evergreen.edu/electronic-resources. We expanded our reference chat service, we offer library workshops via Zoom, and we continue to purchase ebooks and film streaming by request to meet classroom and research needs. For library questions, write firstname.lastname@example.org
· QuaSR and the Writing Center offer tutoring in math, science, and writing. Both centers approach tutoring with an equity mindset. For more information, visit their websites at https://www.evergreen.edu/mathcenter and https://www.evergreen.edu/writingcenter
At Evergreen, we aim to ensure all members of our community are supported, protected and respected through the challenges of this pandemic.
· If you have general questions/concerns about college services or life needs during spring quarter please write email@example.com
· If you are experiencing discrimination, whether related to the health emergency or not, please report that at: https://www.evergreen.edu/equalopportunity/non-discrimination.
· Students with academic concerns or seeking referrals to other resources please write Academic Advising (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Wishing you health, community care, and engaged learning as we press on to June and Evergreen’s virtual graduation!
Interim VP of Inclusive Excellence & Student Success
VP of Indigenous Arts & Education
Chief Enrollment Officer
Therese Saliba, Ph.D.
Interim VP of Inclusive Excellence & Student Success
The Evergreen State College | Olympia, WA 98505