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Campus update for March 31, 2020

March 31, 2020

Dear students,

Montse Ricossa '19 is telling your story. And it is a positive one: Here's some of her report on KWQC-TV:

"... Our excitement has dwindled a little bit, but I am still hopeful that the end of the semester will be A-okay." — junior Molly Bastida

"It’s been definitely something to get used to. My headspace has gotten a lot better recently." — junior Siena Oliveri, quarantined at home after returning from Ireland

"We recognize this isn't the situation you signed up for, but we’re all in this together and we’ll get through this together." — Dr. Matt Fockler

Today's updates:

• The (virtual) Last Lecture and Senior Toast is on! Seniors, plan to get together with your 537 classmates at 7 p.m. on May 7. Stay tuned for a link and details.

Use this form to vote for your top three professors, nominate a Class of 2020 representative, AND confirm your address so we can mail your champagne flute. (Sorry, can't mail the champagne.)

Voting ends April 14, and you must confirm your address by April 20.

• The staff of Student Counseling Services wants you to know you can still connect with them. You can make an appointment for a virtual session, among many other options

• Drop-in tutoring and review sessions are available through the Learning Commons. Here's a list of times, dates and how to sign up.

• 2020 summer programs abroad have been canceled. Dr. Pedro Bidegaray, director of International Programs and Off Campus Programs, said there is an increasing realization that efforts to control the virus will not provide an immediate solution to the increasing number of infections around the world.

Program leaders will contact their students about postponements or reimbursement of fees. If the cancellation impacts your graduation requirements, academic advisors will help find alternatives.

• Look for a message from the Registrar about important deadlines that are coming up. Or see the Registration Dates, Policies and Procedures page.

• Campus Rec invites you to get into National Collegiate Trivia Night! Colleges across the country are hosting trivia nights on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. CST. See the Twitch Channel Recwithoutborders. Prizes to the top five finishers, and drawings.

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Today's podcast: The Other Side of Quaran-term by the Observer.

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Stay connected and keep laughing

From Wendy Hilton-Morrow, provost and dean

"Laughter is the best medicine." As early as the 1300s, medical professionals recognized the health benefits of laughter. Laughter can strengthen social connections, boost our immune systems, reduce our stress levels, and even alleviate pain.

But, most of us don’t need to read medical journals to figure that out. All it takes is experiencing a good old-fashioned belly laugh, the kind that makes it hard to catch your breath and leaves you wiping tears from your face. Heck, even a small chuckle can make you feel better.

During this time of COVID-19, let us remember to laugh. With three children at home, my go-to for laughs are the Facebook memes on homeschooling. My favorite? "Homeschooling is going great: Two students were suspended for fighting, one student in detention for talking back and one teacher fired for drinking tequila on the job."

Now, that’s funny! And, that’s also a much-needed break from the uncertainty, the challenges, and the real grief our world is experiencing right now.

So, go ahead and laugh. Not only is it OK to do so, it’s important to do. In fact, it’s just what the doctor ordered.

Please send comments, questions or suggestions to