Dear Arts & Science undergraduate students,
The countdown continues — congratulations, you made it to the final week of term!
I hope that you took some time away from your studies this weekend to renew and recharge. I enjoyed a long and ‘physically-distanced’ bike ride and also played a game of Scrabble with my family.
As I start this week, I feel refreshed and even more committed to providing all of you with the best experience I can during the last week of the term. If you are looking for a timely and creative outlet in the coming days, check out the wonderful activity book that’s been created by one of your fellow students, Patricia Huang – what talent she has! All proceeds will go to Sunnybrook Hospital for COVID-19 research until April 13, 2020. You can access the book here, and please know that I’m not highlighting it because of item #6 :).
On a more serious note, both the Dean’s Office and ASSU continue to hear from students about financial challenges. Let me take this opportunity to remind you of the Emergency Undergraduate Grant. This grant program is intended to assist current part-time and full-time undergraduate domestic and international students impacted by COVID-19 with immediate short-term financial relief because of unexpected expenses.
Finally, if you were completing the last week of term under normal circumstances, you’d likely be studying with friends and classmates, whether in the Sid Smith Commons, your colleges, the libraries, or other favourite and familiar spaces on campus. Without these normal encounters, and with our days lacking their usual structures and settings, you may be experiencing some motivational challenges. You are not alone, as this article from Times Higher Education suggests; it also offers some advice for overcoming the situation. I encourage you all to reach out to a friend or classmate and chat about your study plans for the week. In fact, make it a daily habit to check in with each other. It’s as much for your wellness as theirs and is a small and real way to contribute to the greater good.
Melanie A. Woodin
Dean, Faculty of Arts & Science
University of Toronto