Update For Panther Families From Chief Student Affairs Officer Kelly Haag

Update For Panther Families From Chief Student Affairs Officer Kelly Haag

I’d like to thank you and your students for your ongoing flexibility, feedback, and commitment to safe COVID-related behaviors. Though the Fall 2020 semester was not what any of us would have wanted, our overall campus positivity rates have remained low, allowing students to continue to engage in their coursework and campus activities—modified though they may be.

As winter approaches and the pandemic challenges persist, with nearly nine months’ experience providing student engagement, programming, and support in both virtual and in-person modes, I want to assure you that UWM’s commitment to your student’s safety and campus experience is unwavering.

I know some families may be considering what the spring may look like for their students, and each student’s path is unique. You may be hearing from your student “there’s nothing to do except classes,” and especially if your student is a freshman, you may not know how common a refrain that is—pandemic or not!

While the modality has changed, there is almost as much going on in virtual and in-person spaces as pre-pandemic. Student involvement in student leadership, student organizations, recreational activities, and service-learning opportunities has remained high—and in some cases, the virtual spaces have engaged students that may not have otherwise participated. UWM’s students are remarkably resilient and invested in their success, and so I encourage you to encourage your students to stay the course at UWM and reach out to us if they’re struggling. We know some students may be feeling alone, but they are not. Below is a list of resources that can assist. All they need to do is reach out, we are here to support them.

  1. YOU@UWM provides student success and well-being information while highlighting available campus resources through a web-based platform that is available 24/7. YOU@UWM is a space to check in, set goals, and explore UWM resources and services so you can be proactive with your health and well-being and make the most of your college experience.
  2. Students living in University Housing have access to Resident Assistants and full-time staff who can connect them to programs and leadership opportunities.
  3. Students should connect with their Academic Advisor for course and major assistance. Online learning can provide additional challenges. The Student Success Center has tutors and mentors available to help.
  4. University Counseling Services are available virtually. Winter can already be a difficult time for people and this year may be even more challenging. Family members should encourage students to seek help through ongoing counseling services or a Let’s Talk check-in.
  5. Financial Aid can provide support around changing financial circumstances. There are grants available for students who are struggling.
  6. The Career Planning and Resource Center continues to host job fairs, share on and off-campus employment opportunities and has both in-person and virtual internship options.
  7. Upcoming events like “Panther Pause” can be found on the Student Involvement events calendar and students always have access to the Virtual Student Union through their Canvas account.

Story posted Dec. 4, 2020