What Campus Life Looks Like in the Fall | Vice President for Student Affairs (2024)

July 2, 2020

Dear Longhorns,

As you read in a message on Monday from Interim President Jay Hartzell, we are gearing up to safely reopen campus for Fall 2020, where we will “Protect Texas Together.” This framework will help us adapt to the rapid changes with the surge of COVID-19 in Austin, since we share the responsibility for protecting not only ourselves, but all members of our Longhorn family. At a media briefing on Monday, I conveyed that the success of the fall semester relies on student behavior, and I trust that our students will make good choices. Some people were shocked by my reaction. But I believe all of you are deeply committed to taking care of each other, and the faculty and staff who are making the reopening of campus a reality. And if you truly care about each other, and me, you will wear a mask.

Despite the challenges we are all facing, I am optimistic about the future and excited to welcome you back! Whether you are joining us to learn on or away from campus, we want you to feel safe and supported during the fall semester. The university will offer many ways to build community through student life activities, support services and programs, both in person and virtually. We encourage you to stay connected and engaged during the fall semester, while prioritizing your physical health and mental well-being. The university will continually monitor its progress and adjust plans as needed in response to changes in the public health environment.

Your Health and Well-Being

The university has created a plan to keep our Longhorn family healthy on campus. Residence halls, student health centers, and dining and other facilities are being modified to comply with health and safety protocols, and plan to be fully sanitized and operational when students move in on Aug. 20. We have provided personal protective equipment (PPE) for our staff working in our facilities to wear, and will continue to do so. Hand hygiene products and cleaning stations will be readily available across campus.

When you arrive on campus, the university will require you to:

  • Wear a cloth mask indoors, with the exception of when you are eating in a campus dining facility, or are alone or with your roommate in your on-campus residence hall room. Masks outdoors are strongly encouraged.
    • Avoid touching your face and cloth mask.
    • Carry your own cloth masks (wear one, carry a spare), alcohol-based hand sanitizer and surface wipes.
  • Keep your hands clean: sneeze and cough into your elbow; open doors without your hands, if possible.
  • Wash your hands well and often.
  • Keep six feet of distance between yourself and friends, faculty, staff and others whenever possible.

We encourage you to meet up with others either outdoors or in larger common areas (not private rooms), following mask and social distancing guidelines, or to meet up online.

Daily symptom screening with the university’s Protect Texas Together app (available in mid-August) will be expected for all students, faculty and staff. For select campus buildings and units, in-person temperature screening will be required; more information will be available in August. Visitors will be expected to complete a symptom screening to participate in campus meetings or other activities; visitors will not be allowed in the residence halls.

University Health Services (UHS) will continue to offer COVID-19 screening in the newly-established Designated Respiratory Clinic for symptomatic individuals and those with known exposure. They will also do Proactive Community Testing of well individuals with no known exposure. UHS is also offering COVID-19 antibody testing, and will offer vaccine administration when a vaccine becomes available.

If you get sick, stay home and call the UHS Nurse Advice Line at 512-475-6877. Please program your phone with this number before you arrive to campus—it can be used 24/7, 365 days a year. You should also contact Student Emergency Services (SES), who can help meet your basic needs and provide absence notifications for class. If you test positive or have been identified as high risk because of exposure, you will be expected to self-isolate or quarantine, as directed by health care professionals. If you can’t self-isolate or quarantine safely in your residence, UHS and SES will help you access isolation spaces through Austin Public Health at a local hotel at no cost. Medical personnel staff this facility. Individuals will be provided with three meals a day, a late-night snack, unlimited water and free internet.

When we reopen, UHS will also conduct contact tracing for UT students who have tested positive for COVID-19. Contact tracing helps slow the spread of COVID-19 by identifying individuals who have been in close contact with those who test positive, getting them testing and, when necessary, self-quarantining. The university will keep confidential all information voluntarily shared with contact tracers, and use it only for public health purposes.

Students needing ADA accommodations (such as wearing a mask) should contact Services for Students with Disabilities. Students with special circ*mstances (non-ADA), including COVID-19 symptoms, should go to SES and complete the absence notification request form.

We will encourage compliance by increasing awareness and fostering a culture of cooperation. On a case-by-case basis, for those who put the community at risk with their behavior, corrective and disciplinary action may be taken in accordance with the university’s guidelines for faculty, staff and students.

The Counseling and Mental Health Center (CMHC) will provide its full array of services to students beginning Fall 2020, and continue telehealth services. They will extend virtual hours and offer evening appointments to students in the fall. CMHC and other facilities are converting rooms for students to use for private teletherapy appointments without having to worry about roommates or family members overhearing their confidential conversations.

UHS, which has continued to care for students since campus closed, will resume all services on campus this fall. UHS will scale on-campus staffing based on social distancing and the ability to provide safe patient care and a safe work environment for staff. Telehealth will continue to be offered as long as insurance carriers continue to reimburse for this service. UHS completed a pilot program of extended hours during the latter part of the spring semester, which is being considered for the fall (currently on hold due to reduced summer staffing).

Longhorn Wellness Center services will be offered virtually, including student organization meetings and trainings, and awareness events. Both in-person and virtual workshops will be offered, with an emphasis on sharing resources and tools that are most relevant to students right now. Students can join Canvas modules that include topics about student well-being, and access information about staying well while staying home.

Living and Dining

All university-owned residence halls plan to open Aug. 20. We have a new process to Mooov-In safely over a period of several days, with extended hours to honor social distancing. We ask students and families to wear a cloth mask during Mooov-In, and follow all signage and staff directions. Please limit the number of accompanying helpers to no more than two or your immediate family members. Helpers will be asked to stay in their car within East Campus Garage while the student picks up their room key.

We are slating most rooms in our residence halls as double occupancy, in addition to a number of single occupancy rooms, with residents following the Guidance for Living in University Residence Halls. After Mooov-In, visitors will not be allowed in the residence halls. Residents will be required to wear cloth masks in common spaces, but not when they are alone or with their roommates in their own rooms, or when eating at an on-campus dining facility. Our staff are cleaning and disinfecting facilities daily, performing enhanced, routine cleaning of common areas, and wearing PPE.

UHD is also preparing community-building and individual opportunities to make sure students in our residence halls feel connected, including assigning a resident assistant to each resident to help them find ways to build community.

University Apartments are operating as usual, and students are being asked to follow university guidelines for personal care and social distancing, including in elevators, laundry rooms, restrooms, lounges and other common areas.

We are also modifying dining options, including ordering, delivery and seating, to follow health behavior guidelines and limit unnecessary interactions. Preparations are underway to reopen dining facilities, including those in the residence halls, for the fall semester. Possibilities include offering to-go meals served by staff, with no self-serve option at multiple locations. During peak periods, additional locations may be opened for packaged hot meal pick-up to reduce the number of diners at any one location. We are looking into increasing outside seating and potentially adding space in the halls for dining, as well as extending evening operating hours at some dining locations. Our staff are cleaning and disinfecting facilities daily, performing enhanced, routine cleaning of common areas, and wearing PPE. Dining halls will accept credit cards and funds on UT IDs such as Bevo Pay, Dine In Dollars and the resident meal plan. We are also exploring mobile apps for placing orders and pick-up.

For more information about university-owned housing and residence hall dining, please click here for up-to-date information and answers to frequently asked questions.

Campus Life and Engagement

Student-focused buildings and spaces, including dining facilities, Recreational Sports facilities, the Student Services Building, the Texas Union and the William C. Powers, Jr. Student Activity Center, are expected to be open, with social distancing and masking requirements in place, when residence halls open to students on Aug. 20. Facility teams are beginning to implement enhanced sanitization and disinfection protocols. They will also modify furniture arrangements and adjust population capacities to follow the university’s social distancing requirements.

We want students, whether learning on or away from campus, to experience campus life and all of its benefits. The university is working on guidelines to ensure that we safely resume in-person events, meetings, student-facing transactions and student gatherings this fall. We will provide student engagement activities fully or partially online, on campus and/or in outdoor spaces. This includes meetings of student organizations, recreational sports activities and other student gatherings of various sizes. The university will institute contactless check-in for UT events and student life activities when those resume, in accordance with university events guidelines. These guidelines will be available when you arrive in August.

All student life activities will be closely monitored to follow the health and wellness guidelines, policies and procedures, to enhance the campus experience. Department support services, programs and engagement efforts will be added, removed or adapted, in response to safety protocols and direction from university leadership.

Also, look for Longhorn Connection to launch this summer. This online student portal will deliver innovative options to connect students through activities and events. Another creative outlet is Longhorn Lockbox, a portal that is now available where you can share your stories during these stressful times through poetry, lyrics, prose, music, videos, podcasts, etc.

The Office of the Dean of Students will provide a wide variety of student life activities and support services, in person and remotely. The Leadership and Ethics Institute will offer CoachUT, LEAP, open workshops and Workshops on Demand virtually. ProjectLEAD will begin in the fall semester and will remain an in-person experience to the fullest extent possible.

Sorority and Fraternity Life will continue to offer its services virtually, including programming and regular council and chapter meetings with staff. Student Emergency Services and Student Veteran Services will meet with students over the phone/online as much as possible. There may be situations when a student walks into the office in distress, or there is heightened safety concern, in which an in-person meeting will be appropriate.

Student Conduct and Academic Integrity will hold all meetings and hearings on Zoom. Title IX Training and Investigations will also schedule all meetings on Zoom. A private courtesy computer and phone will be available should a student not have equipment available and need to reach Title IX Training and Investigations.

Students who are interested in programs from New Student Services, such as Longhorn TIES (initiative to help students on the autism spectrum) and Off-Campus Living Resources (resources to help students who live off-campus), can find updated information linked from the homepage here.

University Unions’ Events + Entertainment (E+E), the largest event-planning organization on campus, is developing a variety of social, educational and cultural programs, both virtually and in-person, for the fall.

The Multicultural Engagement Center will provide leadership development opportunities, peer-facilitated social justice and education trainings, and support services to student organizations and its six student agencies. The Gender and Sexuality Center will also continue to support women and the LGBTQIA+ communities through education, outreach and advocacy.

Recreational Sports plans a phased reopening for the fall semester, with some modifications regarding how you experience facilities, programs and services, in order to practice physical distancing, minimize contact, and allow for enhanced cleaning protocols. Staff will implement contactless check-in and virtual customer service options. In addition to operational modifications, there will also be a number of things that we ask you to do as you gear up to return to work out, play and participate in Recreational Sports, to help keep yourself and others safe. Virtual programming options will continue for those who are unable to participate in-person or on-campus.

If you are an incoming first-year or transfer student who was unable to participate in an online orientation session in June or July, please sign up for August Orientation. If you are a new freshman or transfer student, I encourage you to join your official “Class of . . .” Facebook group to get to know other Longhorns before the fall semester. Make plans to participate in Longhorn Welcome. This series of events welcomes new Longhorns to campus and takes place Aug. 18-28. The majority of the events will be virtual, and the details of the events will be sent to students in early August and posted at longhornwelcome.utexas.edu.


Providing our students a safe, supportive and high-quality learning experience is of the utmost importance. Students may choose to conduct their semester online, in-person or as a hybrid of the two. Not all classes will be available online, so you will need to assess how various choices will best support your path toward graduation. For general information about what learning will look like for you in the fall, please click here. I also encourage you to contact your college or school for more information, as well as the Texas One Stop (registration, financial aid, CARES Act) and Keep Learning (tools and resources for online learning) websites.

Staying Up-to-date on Changes

As I mentioned, many student life activities, support services and programs will be held both in-person and virtually this fall. Since the status of COVID-19 is quickly evolving, many situations may rapidly change, including virtual and in-person events, activities and appointments. I encourage you to email, call or check relevant websites in advance, as some staff members may not always be physically present, facilities may be closed, or activities cancelled.

Please regularly check the university’s Protect Texas Together website, which provides specific and up-to-date guidance for students, and answers many frequently asked questions. You can also email us with questions.

I will provide you more updates in the future. Again, I am very excited to welcome you back this fall no matter where you will be living and learning – and please enjoy the rest of your summer.

Stay safe, stay healthy and Hook ‘em!

Soncia Reagins-Lilly

Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students

What Campus Life Looks Like in the Fall | Vice President for Student Affairs (2024)


What does a Vice President of student affairs do? ›

Provides supervision and counsel regarding student activities, the Student Government Association, and related functions. Lead the operational planning, budget, assessment, and continuous improvement processes for Student Services.

What role should student affairs have on a college campus? ›

The role of student affairs in higher education is to: Engage students with education: Students are encouraged to relate their experiences to their education. Doing so allows them to draw deeper connections, feel attached to the material, and begin to understand other perspectives.

What is one major issue facing student affairs and higher education today? ›

The topics that do: student mental health, cited by 94 percent, and student well-being, by 91 percent. All other issues lagged well behind. This is from the first-ever Inside Higher Ed survey of student affairs leaders, conducted by Gallup.

Who is the Vice President of student affairs at American University? ›

Sarah Baldassaro Interim VP Student Affairs and Inclusive Excellence President, Office of the. Sarah G. Baldassaro is the Chief of Staff and Counselor to the President of American University.In this role, Sarah works closely with President Burwell and the leadership team on university prioritie…

What are the qualities of a Vice President of academic affairs? ›

Required • Master's Degree in field related to Academic Affairs from an accredited college or university. Management experience at least at the Dean's level; Research, planning, organizational, and motivational skills; Facilitation skills. Community college management experience.

How do you become a Vice President of a college? ›

A master's degree in education, public affairs or business administration is sufficient for most executive VP positions, but a Ph. D. is typically required for more senior executive positions at academic institutions.

What is the goal of student affairs? ›

Student Affairs Goals

Support students' health, well-being, academic and personal success. Create and implement programs that foster student engagement, learning and development. Initiate and advance campus and community partnerships for effective, seamless student services and experiences.

What are the values of a student affairs professional? ›

Values evident across the history of student affairs work include an acceptance and appreciation of individual differences; lifelong learning; education for effective citizenship; student responsibility; ongoing assessment of learning and performance (students' and our own); pluralism and multiculturalism; ethical and ...

How do you explain student affairs? ›

Student affairs is the department or division of services for student success. This group of smaller departments are in charge of supporting the academic and personal development of students at school. Departments included under student affairs may include academic advising, admissions, career services and counselling.

What is the most common problem among students? ›

Common Issues
  • Social anxiety, general anxiety, test anxiety, or panic attacks.
  • Family expectations or problems.
  • Depression, lack of energy or motivation, hopelessness, being overwhelmed, low self-esteem, homesickness, loneliness.
  • Relationship difficulties (emotional and physical aspects of intimate relationships)

What are the challenges of college presidents? ›

The many challenges of the presidency — enrollment and retention concerns, financial and political pressures, and staff shortages, to name a few — are a list that “never shrinks,” according to one college president. “It just expands, and your work is to figure out how to prioritize.”

Who is the VP of student affairs at Roosevelt University? ›

Corey M. Williams will serve as the next associate provost for student affairs and dean of students. He will start at Roosevelt University on March 1.

Who is the VP of student affairs at Manhattan College? ›

Richard Satterlee | Manhattan College.

Who is VP student affairs Georgetown? ›

Elly Daugherty joined Georgetown as vice president of student affairs on January 10, 2023.

What are 3 responsibilities of the Vice President? ›

In addition to serving as presiding officer, the vice president has the sole power to break a tie vote in the Senate and formally presides over the receiving and counting of electoral ballots cast in presidential elections.

What is your role as Vice President in school clubs? ›

The Vice President should be the President's “right hand person” and should maintain continuous contact with the President. The Vice President must be up-to-date on all student organization communication and events.

What is the job description for Assistant Vice President of academic Affairs? ›

Provide administrative oversight for the Adult Education and Continuing Education and Business Services departments, to include review of annual grant applications, budget review, and supervision of the Directors of Adult Education and Continuing Education and Business Services.

Does vice president look good for college? ›

Nothing can make your college application appear more desirable in the eyes of college admissions officers than stating you were the vice president, secretary, or treasurer. But if your goal is to make the biggest impact possible, you may consider being the president of the club.

How many years of experience do you need to be a vice president? ›

Most industries require Vice Presidents have between five and 10 years of relevant work experience, including in managerial or supervisory roles. Industry-specific certifications showing knowledge and demonstrating competency can help candidates stand out as they pursue a career as a Vice President.

Can you become a VP without a degree? ›

Yes, you can become a VP without a degree.

Only 2-3% of vice presidents of successful companies have only a high school degree or GED. The vice president oversees a large range of activities and should have a proven track record in management to qualify for the job.

What are the five goals of a student? ›

Examples of 10 educational goals
  • Think positive to stay focused. Positive thinking can make it easier for you to focus on tasks that need to be done and learn new information. ...
  • Stay resilient. ...
  • Make time to read. ...
  • Manage your time. ...
  • Find time to relax. ...
  • Strive for excellence. ...
  • Build a strong network. ...
  • Build good study habits.
Feb 3, 2023

What are some examples of goals in life as a student? ›

Some of these might include: Taking a class in a new subject or joining a new club or sport. Meeting new people to broaden your friend circle and learning how to interact with a more diverse group. Finding a part-time job to build your skills and make a little extra money.

What are the ethical principles of student affairs? ›

Ethical Guiding Principles

Act with integrity and honesty as student affairs educators. Communicate relevant and appropriate information while protecting confidentiality and privacy. Deliver quality and excellence in our work with students. Improve our competencies through continuous learning and skill development.

What skills should I put on my student affairs resume? ›

Hard skills for these roles may include the ability to perform crisis interventions, project management and staff management. Soft skills that may be useful can include interpersonal communication, organization, problem-solving and critical thinking.

What are the principles of student affairs good practice? ›

Good practice in student affairs builds supportive and inclusive communities. (See Inventory 7.) Student learning occurs best in communities that value diversity, promote social responsibility, encourage discussion and debate, recognize accomplishments, and foster a sense of belonging among their members.

What are the five professional values? ›

  • Team working.
  • Honesty.
  • Respect.
  • Confidentiality.
  • Communication and presentation.

What does it mean to be a student affairs professional? ›

The field known as student affairs in higher education is made up of professionals dedicated to supporting the academic and personal development of individuals attending college or university. Other common names for this sector include student services, student success or student personnel.

What are the most important issues student affairs professionals need to address and prepare for in higher education? ›

In 2019, NASPA approved a task force to study the issues most critical to the future of student affairs, including affordability, mental health, demographic changes and college completion rates among students of color.

What is the difference between academic affairs and student affairs? ›

Student and Academic affairs are both essential services in running college campuses. Student Affairs specifically deals with the overall well-being and personal development of students and is generally non-academic. On the other hand, Academic Affairs focuses on its namesake: academics on campus.

What are 5 challenges students face today? ›

Some of the most common areas where students face challenges include:
  • Academics.
  • Accessibility.
  • Finances.
  • Living environments.
  • Mental health and wellness.
  • Relationship difficulties.
Apr 26, 2023

How do you handle behavior issues in your class? ›

Here are some tips on how to handle challenging student behavior and get back to class.
  1. Get to the Root of the Matter. ...
  2. Reach Out to Colleagues for Support. ...
  3. Remember to Remain Calm. ...
  4. Have a Plan and Stick to It. ...
  5. Involve Administration When Necessary. ...
  6. Document, Document, Document.

How do you solve students problems? ›

Principles for teaching problem solving
  1. Model a useful problem-solving method. Problem solving can be difficult and sometimes tedious. ...
  2. Teach within a specific context. ...
  3. Help students understand the problem. ...
  4. Take enough time. ...
  5. Ask questions and make suggestions. ...
  6. Link errors to misconceptions.

What makes a good college president? ›

Presidents who communicate easily, enjoy informal banter with students and colleagues, and are thoughtful in their engagement with populations new to higher education are creating a climate of good will, transparency, and accessibility.

How do you become a successful college president? ›

Skills Needed to Become a University President

Strategic leadership: College presidents need to be able to understand and articulate a vision but also develop and implement policies to realize that vision. They need to be skilled in organizational leadership, change management, and operational management.

What does a student president do in college? ›

The​ Student Body President (SBP)​ represents student opinion and serves as the primary student voice to the administration. The SBP ultimately is responsible for establishing a guiding vision for the work of the Student Government Board.

What is the single biggest issue facing education today? ›

1. Access to quality education: One of the biggest challenges facing education in 2023 is access to quality education. This is especially true for underprivileged communities. 2.

What is the biggest challenge facing education today? ›

What are the Biggest Challenges of Online Education Today?
  • Lack of Motivation in Students.
  • Infrastructural Problems.
  • Digital Literacy and Technical Issues.
  • Lack of In-person Interaction.
  • Lack of EdTech and Online Learning Options for Special Needs of Students.
  • Course Structure and Quality.
5 days ago

What is the biggest problem of education today? ›

The biggest problem facing education today is the lack of innovation and mobility in higher education.

Who is the VP of student affairs at UCLA? ›

Nicole Green, Ph. D.

Who is the VP of student affairs at Cornell University? ›

Dr. Ryan Lombardi serves as the Vice President for Student and Campus Life at Cornell University.

Who is the VP of student affairs at University of Denver? ›

Todd Adams

He has built successful student-centered operations at two of the finest institutions in the country, and his vision and compassion for students is widely recognized and respected across the student affairs field.

What is vice president for Student Affairs? ›

The Vice President for Student Affairs is responsible for supervising the following; Dean of Students; Student Government Association; the Director of Student Wellness and Support Services; and the Director of Residential Living.

Who is the VP of Student Affairs at Northeastern University? ›

Madeleine Estabrook - Senior Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs - Northeastern University | LinkedIn.

Who is the VP of Student Affairs at Weber State University? ›

WSU announces vice president of new Student Access & Success division. OGDEN, Utah — Weber State University's Board of Trustees Executive Committee has approved the selection of Jessica Oyler as the inaugural vice president of Student Access & Success.

Who is the VP of Student Affairs at Bradley University? ›

Nathan Thomas, B.S., M.B.A.

Who is the VP of Student Affairs Penn State? ›

Andrea Dowhower - AVP for Student Affairs - Penn State University | LinkedIn.

Who is the VP of Student Affairs at Kings College? ›

Anitra Yusinski-McShea - Vice President For Student Affairs - King's College | LinkedIn.

What is the role of Vice President in a high school club? ›

The role of the club vice president can be summarized in one word: service. The vice president serves the president, other club officers, committees and the general membership. He or she is also expected to learn the duties of the president in order to fill in or take over as necessary.

What does a Vice President of public affairs do? ›

Reporting to the CEO, the Vice President of Public Affairs is responsible for providing strategic leadership in driving a comprehensive public affairs agenda across the organization, including leading and oversight of the advocacy and communications teams; ensuring alignment of communications, policy, advocacy, and ...

What is the role of Vice President for external affairs? ›

The VP, external affairs is a key leadership position reporting directly to the president and CEO and will lead initiatives that build and execute brand, strengthen marketing and communications, foster strategic partnerships, and expand relationships with policy makers, industry leaders, and other influencers and ...

How would you describe the role of the vice president of a club? ›

The main duty of the vice president is to assist the president and other club officers in completing their duties. It is also the vice president's job to effectively contribute to the club's operations. To do this effectively, you must be involved with the work and understand the policies of the club.

Does being vice president of a club look good for college? ›

NO club officer position has a huge impact on college admissions. Being a President or VP or Treasurer of a club is good thing in general but pales in impact compared to showing impactful leadership roles.

Can there be 2 vice presidents in a club? ›

In other organizations (e.g., trade unions, societies, clubs) one or multiple vice presidents are elected by the members of the organization.

What are 3 responsibilities of the vice president? ›

In addition to serving as presiding officer, the vice president has the sole power to break a tie vote in the Senate and formally presides over the receiving and counting of electoral ballots cast in presidential elections.

What role is after the vice president? ›

Current order of succession
1Vice PresidentDemocratic
2Speaker of the House of RepresentativesRepublican
3President pro tempore of the SenateDemocratic
4Secretary of StateDemocratic
14 more rows

What is the External Affairs of a school? ›

The purpose of the External Affairs (EA) Committee is to monitor the local, state, and national governments for legislation and other actions that may impact graduate students, professional students, postdoctoral scholars, or higher education, in general.


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