Dean's Message to Students: We Are Here, Together

Letter to students from Dean Prabu David, College of Communication Arts and Sciences.

Over the last two weeks, life has changed dramatically for all of us. Through conversations with students, I have learned that you are understandably anxious about the future, concerned about courses, grades, graduation and jobs, struggling to make rent, worried about your well-being and the health of family and friends.

During a crisis, we typically turn to family, friends, mentors and advisors for emotional and social support. But with social distancing, our options for supportive human interactions are limited and we have to settle for online, virtual interactions.

We empathize with your challenges and you are constantly in our thoughts. To keep up with the changing dynamics of the crisis, our faculty, staff and administrators are in constant contact via online platforms, working diligently to ensure your success.

At this time, we also stand with our graduating seniors who cannot experience their final weeks on campus, which is a special time when sentiments are shared, bonds strengthened, and memories etched in Spartan green.

Amid the fear and uncertainty, stereotypes and frugal thinking can cloud our judgment. As Spartans, we have to stand by our creed, “hate has no home here.” We cannot allow our anxiety to cause us to assign blame or mistreat Chinese or Asian students, who are an integral part of our community.

Before long, in the warmth of spring or summer, life will return to normal. In the meantime, remain positive. Be kind to yourself and reach out to those who are less fortunate and more vulnerable.

Social distancing has given me a new appreciation for human connection and the value of friends, family and community. And the lessons learned from this difficult time will prove yet again that the flame of the human spirit can outlast a pandemic.

I will stay in touch from time to time with an email or a video message. I hope you would stay connected, as well. We have created a link where you can post questions and concerns about courses and academics, which will be monitored by our response team. We will address questions as soon as possible and point you to the right resources. You can email me directly at