Dear Wolverine Families,
As Dr. Kedra Ishop and I wrote to U-M parents and families on Monday, the Michigan experience may look and feel different this year, but it still will be amazing.
In Student Life, we know that an essential aspect of a residential experience is the co-curriculum where students engage meaningfully outside of the classroom. We are committed to students thriving, connecting, practicing skills, and translating their learning outside of the classroom—whether they’re taking advantage of academic, career, and personal counseling, participating in student organizations with our diverse student population or practicing the skills of civic engagement.
In fact, ever since last semester, we’ve heard from students about how much they want to be back. We’ve heard from you, too—in emails, calls, Zoom meetings, and town halls. This feedback gives us the confidence that students are eager to engage in behaviors that create an environment that allows for an on-campus experience.
We need all hands on deck to make an in-person fall semester happen as safely as possible. On the university side, we’re implementing a wide range of strategies, including stringent cleaning protocols, staggered move-in schedules, and starter health kits. Your student’s role in this shared responsibility includes maintaining safe and healthy behaviors that protect each person and those around them, such as wearing face coverings, practicing physical distancing, and keeping indoor social gatherings small (under 10). As for parents and families, while your student focuses on the excitement of the new semester, they will need reminders from you—reinforcement to make sure they’re equipped to make the right choices and take the proper precautions.
Our preparations and the cadence and culture of the coming fall are not only influenced by the pandemic. We’ll be living and learning together as an educational community dealing with COVID, the friction between systemic racism and the anti-racist movement, and the civic engagement associated with an election year.
Shared responsibility is key to all of this. Your student’s choices as an individual have a greater impact than ever on the U-M community in which they live, move, grow, and engage. We know and trust that they will embrace that responsibility with the same resilience and initiative that are the hallmarks of our Leaders & Best.
Wolverine families, I am truly excited. All of us in Student Life are. We have been planning, assessing, and preparing for months for how to welcome students back as safely as possible this fall—and we will be sharing that work with you in greater detail throughout this edition of Family Matters and in other updates that will follow soon.
Stay tuned. Stay engaged. Stay well. And Go Blue!
Simone Taylor, Interim Vice President, Student Affairs