VP of student affairs Hoffmann Harding, Associate Provost Carlson: Welcome Back

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, graduate, and professional students,

We are delighted to welcome many students back to campus in the coming days as we prepare for the start of classes on Feb. 3. You bring our campus to life with your energy and talent, and we are eager to begin another semester with you.

We realize this semester will not be easy as we continue to work to keep one another healthy, respond to broader challenges of an ongoing global pandemic, combat systemic racism, and seek ways to heal the deep division in our country. We admire your resilience and encourage our community to model civility, foster equity and inclusion, and support one another.

As a follow up to last week’s messages about surveillance testing and the Campus Compact, this letter contains several updates relevant to other aspects of campus life. 

Gathering Together

  • Two new temporary facilities, South Lodge and North Lodge, will augment Duncan Student Center and LaFortune Student Center. Please watch for details over the next two weeks. We hope these Quad Lodges will be comfortable places to connect with one another during the colder months of February and March until the Library and South Lawn spaces return in April.
  • Details about dining on campus are available here. Students can dine in North and South Dining Halls, in designated heated dining tents, in their residence hall rooms, or in designated areas of Hesburgh Library, McCourtney Hall, and the Rasmus Club (8th floor) of the Duncan Student Center. 
  • The guest policy has been expanded for undergraduate residence halls. Beginning Feb. 3, at the conclusion of pre-matriculation testing, students who do not live in the same residence hall may socialize 24 hours a day in designated 24-hour common spaces in each hall and also attend all hall Masses. Masks, occupancy, and distancing guidelines must be observed at all times. Students from the same hall may continue to visit one another’s rooms as outlined last semester. Additionally, if students are interested in living with fewer roommates this spring, please contact the Office of Residential Life for available options.
  • The Student Activities Office (SAO) updated its club and organization guidelines and protocols. While the current Executive Order from the Governor of the State of Indiana provides capacity limits for in-person events outside of classes or religious services, student groups can continue to plan programs both virtually and in person. SAO and other University programming departments will also offer regular opportunities for student engagement.  
  • Sadly, consistent with the University’s travel and visitor policies, the Junior Parents Weekend (JPW) celebration will now occur virtually on March 6 and 7. The JPW Committee is working hard to make this event memorable and will share additional information with the Junior class soon.  

Attending to Health and Well-Being

  • We are delighted that a subscription to the Calm app will be available to all Notre Dame students, faculty, and staff. This suggestion arose from students, and it was made possible thanks to generous benefactors from the University’s Undergraduate Experience Advisory Council and the Graduate Studies & Research Council. Please watch for details on signing up next week.
  • Six undergraduate residence halls (Carroll, Cavanaugh, Keough, Knott, Pasquerilla West, and Walsh) will serve as the first pilot communities for a 5 year, $2.5 MM Lilly Endowment grant designed to strengthen our campus culture of well-being, resilience, and restoration.  
  • Please remember that the University Counseling Center (UCC) offers drop-in hours every day to enable students to see a counselor without waiting for a scheduled appointment. In addition to the services offered by the UCC and University Health Services, Fighting Irish Care is a new service launched last semester to provide expanded 24/7 access to mental and medical telehealth care. 
  • The McDonald Center for Student Well-Being (McWell) will continue to assess the wellness needs of all students regularly and share findings with students, faculty, and staff. The first survey is open now through Saturday, Feb. 6. Students who complete the survey can enter into a drawing to receive $100, $25, or $10 in Domer Dollars.

While we all long for a return to a more normal campus experience, we are committed to providing you with opportunities to connect and flourish. Thank you for your contributions to keeping our community healthy and making this semester successful.

In Notre Dame,

Erin Hoffmann Harding
Vice President for Student Affairs

Laura Carlson
Vice President, Associate Provost and Dean of the Graduate School