VP Hoffmann Harding to Undergraduate Students: Winter Break Update

Note: Dated communications are archived here for reference, but may not reflect the most up-to-date information available.

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Dear undergraduate students,

I hope your final exams and exit testing have gone as smoothly and successfully as possible. Congratulations on completing this most unusual of semesters, and thank you for the many ways you adjusted due to the pandemic.  

I write today with a variety of updates relevant to Winter Break in December and January. Please read this email carefully, as it contains important information about student resources and policy updates between the fall and spring semesters.

Daily Health Check

Beginning Monday, Nov. 23, undergraduate students do not need to complete the daily health check and will no longer receive reminders to do so. The daily health check will resume prior to the start of the spring semester. During Winter Break, COVID-19 tests will no longer be generated automatically based on symptoms entered into the daily health check. 

Medical Resources and COVID-19 Testing

  • University Health Services (UHS) will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday during Winter Break, with the exception of University holidays. Visits are by appointment only, so please call 574-631-7497 to schedule an appointment. 
  • UHS will also be able to refer students with symptoms for diagnostic COVID-19 tests during operating hours. The University Testing Site will be open at specified hours from Monday through Saturday, with the exception of University holidays. Undergraduate students will not be called for surveillance testing unless they are approved for University provided housing during Winter Break. 
  • We encourage you to use Fighting Irish Care for 24/7 telehealth access to licensed providers who can diagnose non-emergent medical conditions and prescribe medications via phone or secure video visits.

Mental Health Resources

  • You can reach the University Counseling Center (UCC) at 574-631-7336 to make an appointment from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday during Winter Break, with the exception of University holidays. On weekdays, student drop-in hours will be available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Students have 24/7 access to call the UCC Helpline (574-631-TALK) to speak with a counselor by phone. 
  • Students may also utilize the 24/7 TalkNow feature through Fighting Irish Care to hold a video or phone conversation with a counselor about stress, anxiety, or immediate concerns. 

Faith Engagement

Campus Ministry will continue to engage with students about their faith and communicate opportunities for celebrating the holy seasons of Advent and Christmas through its e-newsletter. Subscribe here.   

Career and Professional Development

Undergraduate students with activated Handshake accounts will continue to receive a weekly e-newsletter from the Center for Career Development. This newsletter includes employer opportunities, events and workshops, and a variety of Winter Session opportunities. Students not currently registered on Handshake can sign up here to receive the newsletter. 

Campus Operating Hours

The University’s offices will be open and available to students on weekdays during Winter Break. Please note that staff in many offices may be working remotely, so please call or email first even if you live in the local area. The University is officially closed between Dec. 24 and Jan. 3, though some staff and offices may also be closed Nov. 25-27, Dec. 21-23, and Jan. 4-5. 

Several University facilities will operate with modified hours over Winter Break. 

  • LaFortune Student Center hours of operation
  • Duncan Student Center hours of operation.
  • Some retail dining outlets inside the LaFortune and Duncan Student Centers will be open. Food orders from these outlets may be placed in advance through the Grubhub app and are available for pick up.
  • The Smith Center for Recreational Sports on the third floor of Duncan Student Center is also open by reservation only throughout Winter Break. View hours and schedule your reservation here. To engage your fitness virtually, consider accessing free on-demand fitness classes through Wellbeats until Dec. 31. 

Student Programming

The Student Activities Office (SAO) contacted student club and organization leaders earlier this week regarding student group programming through Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021. Virtual undergraduate student group programming may resume on Wednesday, Jan. 6, and in-person programming and activities for student groups is expected to resume for the spring semester on Wednesday, Feb. 3.

McWell Survey Results

Students provided valuable information through the two campus-wide surveys conducted this semester by the McDonald Center for Student Well-Being (McWell). A summary of these results is available here. We will continue to conduct additional brief surveys in the months ahead in order to best serve you. 

Winter Break Policies

Apart from the earlier noted changes to the daily health check and surveillance testing, Notre Dame’s health and safety protocols remain in place and must be followed whenever you come to campus. Please wear a mask at all times, practice physical distancing, and wash your hands regularly. The University has also updated its travel, visitor, and gathering policies for Winter Break. As articulated in Du Lac, the University reserves the right to address off­-campus violations by current students, especially if the conduct involved has a negative impact on the local community. Informal gatherings in the local area should remain limited to 10 students or fewer with everyone wearing masks and practicing physical distancing. 

Ending the Semester

We have all needed to adapt to complete this semester together, and I know it has not been easy. Thank you for all you have done this fall, especially for the many changes you have adopted to keep our community as healthy as possible. I am proud of your resiliency in the face of challenges.

Travel safely home for the holidays, find time to rest and renew, and please know of my prayers for you and your loved ones. I look forward to welcoming you back to campus for the spring semester.

In Notre Dame,

Erin Hoffmann Harding
Vice President for Student Affairs