Throughout the summer Student Government’s Academic Affairs Committee has been working to gauge students’ concerns and apprehensions as we transition into an unprecedented remote semester. In a remote learning environment, online classrooms become one of the most stable and accessible spaces for students to interact with one another. As a result, we would like to reaffirm the need for expanded access to faculty and other academic resources this semester.

The path towards expanded resources is twofold; it requires both faculty and students to step up. As we near the beginning of this fall semester, we would like to empower students to feel comfortable asking for accommodations from faculty, and ask faculty to be flexible and empathetic of their students’ circumstances and challenges.

Administrators and faculty have been working very hard to ensure that our remote learning experience is as normal as possible. Provost Meier and Dean Dubischar have affirmed the importance of expanded office hours, accommodations for students learning from different time zones, and access to academic support. These concerns have been at the forefront of the College’s COVID-19 academic planning. As members of Student Government we want to emphasize to the faculty the importance of expanded availability and support for our classmates in multiple time zones. 

To our fellow students, remember that faculty and administrators cannot always know that students are facing challenges until we approach them and make them aware of our struggles. Therefore, we need to use our voices to advocate for our academic needs. If you are ever having problems accessing resources this semester, there is an easy protocol that each of us can follow to find solutions. First, start a dialogue with the faculty instructor and explain your circumstances. If that does not work, reach out to their department head. And if neither resolve your problem, reach out to a dean or the provost. Or if you’re more comfortable reaching out to fellow students, you can contact Student Government. The Academic Affairs Committee is working on expanding our outreach to students and is always open to conveying your concerns to administrators.

While this information may seem obvious, throughout the semester it is easy to forget that our problems are valid and deserve to be resolved. It is easy to become burned out. But your educational experience is paramount, and we ask that students and faculty work together to ensure new stressors aren’t added to an already complicated semester. 

Luisa Gunn ’21
Director of the Academic Affairs Committee, Student Government
Student Government:

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