January 22, 2021

Dear Students,

As we ease into the semester, I hope you are adjusting to your new classes, new schedule, and perhaps, new learning environments. Finding your rhythm and routine may take a little time. Be kind to yourself, and know that Student Affairs has resources and staff available to support you in finding balance, no matter where or how you are taking classes.

Promoting balance and supporting your holistic wellness is a primary focus for this spring. Using the dimensions of wellness as a frame, we are creating new programs and initiatives to enhance the student experience and opportunities to help you make connections.

One of these initiatives is called Gator Recharge Days. Centered on creating a robust offering of large-scale, physically distant events and activities, our hope is that our Gator Recharge Days will allow you to take a well-deserved and much-needed break to renew your energy mid-semester. We have encouraged deans and faculty members, where possible, to limit academic courses, exams, or labs on those days. Please mark your calendars for Thursday, February 25 and Wednesday, March 24, and more information on activities and events scheduled during those days will be coming soon!

On Monday, you will receive an email that includes information regarding educational and skill-building opportunities focused on cultural engagement and wellness. In alignment with President Fuchs’ June 2020 communication, and as we take Another Step Toward Positive Change Against Racism, a new training course on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion will be available for all students as within the coming weeks.

Another vital component to holistic wellness is financial wellness. Learning to have control over your finances and set financial goals is a critical life skill as you navigate your college career and beyond. Student Financial Aid and Scholarships will be hosting Financial Wellness Week January 25-29, and they will offer a plethora of events and workshops focused on creating budgets, money management, financial planning and protection.

Gators, I would also like to share that as our campus continues to mourn the loss of two beloved students in the last month due to tragic traffic accidents, the Gainesville Police Department (GPD) announced yesterday the launching of an enhanced traffic enforcement program named Gator STEP (Special Traffic Enforcement Program). This program will be part of a larger community-wide effort as GPD works alongside the City of Gainesville, University of Florida, and state entities to educate and bolster the safety of our university and larger Gainesville community. We are grateful to the many of you who have reached out to share your thoughts and vision for how we continue to make changes, and we will keep you engaged as conversations and initiatives expand.

I hope you all have a restful weekend, and I look forward to seeing you throughout the semester, both virtually and around campus.

Be safe and be well, Gators.

Dr. D’Andra Mull
Vice President for Student Affairs

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