The Dean’s List of Tips: Stay Connected | Student Affairs Division

As we move forward into the spring semester, I hope you are all holding on. The weather is getting colder, it is snowing and the mid-terms will soon begin, which can make this time of year difficult.

Recent events have also left some of us feeling uneasy, frustrated and anxious as there have been threats against campus communities across the country. One such incident hit close to home Tuesday morning with a shelter-in-place order issued for residences near campus, and many of the threats this week have been directed at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Across the country.

My heart goes out to those who are going through trauma and who are afraid of recent events. Things can seem scary right now, and I want you to know that I’m here for you and standing by your side. During times of stress, I encourage you to take care of yourself and stay in touch with your Buff community. You never know what someone may go through. This month, take the time to show compassion, participate in acts of kindness, and learn more about black history.

Recognize Black History Month

This month, it’s important to recognize black history and the contributions of so many African Americans who have helped us be better. I encourage you to spend time this month learning about black history, whether through articles, music, movies, books, or podcasts. Look for black creators, stories, and voices that you don’t always engage with. A great place to start is to participate in the Black History Month #BeTheChange Racial Equity Challenge through the Center for Inclusion and Social Change.

I also invite you to attend a special lecture and musical event on Monday, February 21 at 6 p.m. Galen Abdur-Razzaq is a featured artist who provides musical entertainment and talks across the country as part of Flute Juice Productions. He will join us virtually to discuss jazz music and the civil rights movement. You can register for the event here – I hope to see you there.

Express gratitude and kindness

During tough times, I’ve found that expressing gratitude can help me feel a little better. So, I want to take a moment and share my gratitude for our Buff family. As I mentioned before, we’ve all been through a lot together over the past few months. We leaned on each other and took care of each other. You have shown resilience and courage, and I am grateful to those who are continually doing the right thing, like wearing masks and following public health orders. Our Buff community is special and I’m grateful to be a part of it.

This month, I encourage you to find ways to express your gratitude and kindness. Show kindness to yourself and to members of your community. Connect with your fellow Buffs and express your gratitude at events later this month with Health and Wellness Services. A small act of kindness can go a long way.

Find support

Campus resources are available to you throughout the year, and I encourage you to use them whenever you need help:

I also want to know how you are doing and how we can better support you. Please contact me by emailing [email protected]

Take care,

JB Banks

Dean of Students and Associate Vice-Chancellor for Student Affairs


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