June 5, 2020

Dear Students and Families,

We are now in June, and it is already proving to be a time of critical dialogue and planning in many spaces.

This month, we commemorate the LGBTQ+ community’s fight for rights and pursuit of equality. At its core, Pride is built on a legacy of marginalized people advocating for the inherent value of their lives in a society which didn’t recognize it. With the vital and on-going national dialogue centered on justice and respect, I encourage our students to take active ownership to educate themselves to make positive changes.

With so much happening, please know staff in Student Affairs are here for you. If you find yourself in need of support or impacted by current events and wish to connect with a counselor, please contact the Counseling and Wellness Center. If you are looking for ways to get involved in combating hate or want to learn more, suggestions can be found at https://multicultural.ufl.edu/resources/action/.

Progress toward re-opening for fall semester: In alignment with the Florida Board of Governors’ broad blueprint for reopening the state’s public universities, UF has developed a draft plan, which can be viewed here, and outlines how UF will strive to create a safer, healthier campus environment and continue its research and education missions using screening and testing, enhanced protective measures, comprehensive communications and other protective tools.

The UF Board of Trustees discussed the draft plan during its meeting this week and it will be submitted to the Board of Governors. The strategy is expected to continue to evolve as circumstances surrounding COVID-19 evolve globally and locally.

Please know your feedback is welcome and appreciated as we create a frame that supports our journey forward. If you have input, please send your comments to reopen@ufl.edu.

I know many of you are ready to get back to campus. And we are excited to welcome you back! As you move through the summer and build the blueprint plans for your student organization this fall, I would love the opportunity to connect with you. Whether it is attending a virtual general body meeting or meeting with your executive board to learn more about your organization’s goals, I hope to engage more with you over the coming months. If you would like to extend an invitation, please send me a message at dmull@ufsa.ufl.edu.

Sending you my best, Gators.

Dr. D’Andra Mull
Vice President for Student Affairs


Southwest Recreation Center to Re-Open Monday
Southwest Recreation Center will be re-opening Monday, June 8. While activities are still limited in accordance with public health guidelines, students will have access to the weight room and cardio equipment. Learn more at https://recsports.ufl.edu/

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.

Discover curriculum and research relating to Black cultures, histories and experiences
With the help of the UF Libraries, you can explore books that help you understand experiences beyond your own. The lists captured by UF African American Studies Librarian Stephanie Birch include works on Black History & Political Activism, Black Lives Matter and Intersectionality. Visit the UF Libraries website to learn more.

UF student-athletes to start returning to campus
The University Athletic Association announced Friday that Florida’s student-athletes will start to return to campus on June 8. University of Florida Athletic Director Scott Stricklin said the school’s return-to-campus plan emphasizes student-athlete safety above any other factor.

“Our sports-medicine team has worked closely with the experts at UF Health, including the infectious disease staff, to make sure we’re taking every precaution necessary when we bring our athletes back,” Stricklin said. “The only way we would bring them back is if we felt we could do so in the safest manner based on the data that has been developed..”

Read the full Florida Gator article here.

Have you updated Zoom on your devices?
On May 30, all Zoom clients and Zoom Rooms were required to be updated to version 5.0 or greater to join any meetings, as new encryption will be fully enabled for all meetings.

If you haven’t already done so, be sure to update your devices today. More information is available on the Zoom website.

Glasses fogging up while wearing a mask?
Wearing a mask has become the new normal, but how do you keep your glasses from fogging up while wearing one? This NPR post offers some good advice on steps you can take to reduce the fog.

In case you missed it, we’re also pleased to share this encore presentation of UF Health Chief Epidemiologist Nicole Iovine’s excellent instructions on how to put on and remove your mask. Her advice for those wearing glasses? Be sure to give the mask a good pinch around the bridge of your nose when you are putting on the mask to ensure a tighter seal.

UF Health Screen, Test & Protect website provides information, answers to questions
UF Health has launched a new website designed to provide information for faculty, staff, students and our community about the Screen, Test & Protect initiative. A science- and data-driven program designed to minimize the spread of the novel coronavirus, the effort is being guided by the world-class physicians and epidemiologists at UF Health, with everyone’s health and safety as the top priority.

You can learn more about UF Health Screen, Test & Protect by visiting the new website and viewing this video.

More Messages