June 19, 2020

Dear Students and Families,

We’ve reached the end of Summer A session! A huge and heartfelt congratulations to all our students who have earned their degrees with the conclusion of this semester. I hope your next chapter is filled with joy and success, and that you always pursue your passions in an effort to embrace life-long learning. As you go forth, know the Gator Nation is everywhere. I encourage you to stay connected through our Alumni Association and find ways to make an impact on the community where you live.

Preparations for fall are moving forward and as such, we have submitted our UF plan for consideration to the Board of Governor and will hear feedback by June 23. Key elements of the plan include academic program delivery, policies and procedures for promoting a healthier campus, and events and student life. It is also important to share that more than 15,000 faculty and staff have already completed the screening process and have returned to campus through UF Health Screen, Test & Protect initiative.

We are diligently working forward to welcome our students back to campus in a thoughtful and health-conscious manner. Holistically, the UF community continues to demonstrate unified commitment to care for one another throughout challenging times by wearing required face coverings on campus in all facilities, while also practicing physical distancing and adopting healthy habits that will help us to flatten the curve. We are all in this together, Gators—and we it will take all of us, caring about each other, to create a campus community that allows us to stay engaged and active, while never setting aside the need for safe practices and habits.

Lastly, in a letter sent yesterday to our entire campus community, President Fuchs outlined the University of Florida’s efforts to address racism and inequity. Many of the action steps mentioned in the letter warrant additional details, planning, and engagement, and I look forward to sharing more with you as additional information becomes available.

Be safe, be well, and as always – Go Gators!

Dr. D’Andra Mull
Vice President for Student Affairs


CORE is Open for Outdoor Gear Rental
In an effort to get our Gators back outside, CORE is offering drive-through outdoor gear rental to UF students, faculty, and staff. Outdoor gear rental is available only by reservation at this time. Please call (352) 294-1040 or visit https://recsports.ufl.edu/outdoor-recreation/outdoor-gear-rental/ for more information regarding our hours, pricing, and package deals.

New Herbert Wertheim Laboratory building still on schedule
The new Herbert Wertheim Laboratory for Engineering Excellence is ready to go for this summer’s opening. This will be one of UF’s flagship buildings: an 84,000 square foot state-of-the-art research and educational environment. Learn more about this student focused facility at https://www.eng.ufl.edu/about/transformation/

Gator Dining Services wins National Award for Sustainability
UF Gator Dining Services (GDS) has received the Silver Award for Procurement Practices in Sustainability from the National Association of College and University Food Services (NACUFS). The Sustainability Awards recognize and honor member institutions each year that have demonstrated outstanding leadership in the promotion and implementation of environmental sustainability, specifically as it relates to campus dining operations.

By sourcing food within Florida, GDS contributes to decreased food miles, preservation of green spaces and responsible growing practices, positively benefiting the surrounding environment. To increase awareness of local offerings on campus, GDS features “Fresh from Florida” products in a recipe every Friday, showcasing the producer and how many miles away from campus the product is grown. The goal of these initiatives is to increase the amount of food purchased from local Florida vendors.

For additional information on the University of Florida’s dining initiatives, visit the Gator Dining Services page.

Listen to the latest episode of Unstoppable Minds
In episode five of the UF-created podcast, Unstoppable Minds, Shannon Boye, associate professor of pediatrics, talks about her journey in academia and what led her to try gene therapy in the fight against a mutation causing babies to be born blind. Start listening here.

Financial Support for Students
The University of Florida has been allocated funds from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). The CARES Act established and funded the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) to provide emergency financial aid grants. These critical funds will help eligible UF students cover expenses related to unanticipated travel, additional technology requirements, or other needs related to an emergency situation. Graduate assistants (this includes medical and veterinary residents), post-doctoral fellows and associates must apply as employees via the Faculty and Staff Aid-a-Gator program. UF Online, International, and DACA students are not eligible to receive CARES Act funding, but emergency funding for these students may be available through the UF Aid-a-Gator program.

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