Dear GC students,
COVID-19 has modified our Goshen College experience. These modifications present disappointment for all of us. We know that being home or on campus with a lot fewer students isn’t how we thought we would finish the semester, but this is our new reality.
Our student life team is fully aware that you are processing a lot of change. Our goal for the remainder of the academic year is to stay connected with you. Staying connected with student life staff through various communication platforms such as Moodle, our website, and Zoom calls are ways we hope to connect with you. Through these platforms, the student life team will offer you weekly wellness messages, student life announcements, and promotion of our online student life activities.
We are making plans that support you in this rapidly changing time. We are looking forward to sharing our wellness messages and connecting with you. Be on the lookout for emails from the student life email account notifying you of our weekly message.
Stay healthy, stay connected, and stay strong!
Gilberto Perez Jr.
vice president for student life and dean of students
Wednesday, April 1, 2020
A Message from Campus Ministries
Greetings to you in the name of Jesus who is present to us in our times of uncertainty.
As we move into a time where we shift from in-person to online meetings, please know that the Student Ministry Team and I are here for you. Whether you are strong in your faith or figuring things out on your own, we care about you and your wellbeing during this time.
In a time where there’s a lot of fear, I am finding it hard to not be fearful. The news, social media, and our lived experience can have us feeling depressed, afraid, and anxious.
I recently heard a sermon by Nadia Boltz Weber talking about the opposite of fear. She thought that the opposite of fear might not be courage, but love. Jesus’ words of “Fear not” might not resonate with us during this time, but the love of God, our family, and our friends can speak to us when words, written or otherwise, cannot. It is my sincere hope that you are able to feel love surround you during this time.
To that end, we are instituting a time of prayer Monday mornings at 10 am via Zoom. If you would like to join us for that meeting, click on this link Monday mornings at 10 am: https://zoom.us/j/4061621324
Meeting ID: 406 162 1324
Whether or not you are able to join us, we are always taking prayer requests from anyone part of the GC community via Google Forms. You have the option to remain anonymous. If you’d like someone to follow up with you, you have the option to request that, as well. To submit a prayer request, click here: https://forms.gle/yn5pGuNQjwmHHqpv9
Thirdly, I am opening up time in my Monday and Thursday schedule for anyone who would like pastoral care. Whether it’s to talk about stressors in your life, something spiritual, or just a need for connection, go ahead and sign up for a time. That link can be found here: bit.ly/PastorJoanneG
As we live into a “new normal,” it is my prayer that we can do so in love, grace, and peace.
Campus Pastor Joanne Gallardo
Wednesday, April 1, 2020
Counseling Services Continues to Serve
Mark Twain once said “If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.” So whenever anyone asks me what I think about being a campus counselor at Goshen College, I pretty much give them my standard answer, “It’s the best counseling job I’ve ever had.” Even though students who make appointments to see me are struggling with any manner of stressors, I am constantly amazed by the caliber of student who chooses to seek counseling. The GC students I see are smart. They also have big plans, not just to better themselves but to make the world a better place. And while you can find smart and ambitious students in any Ivy League school, you will also find that most GC students also have an abundance of empathy and compassion for others that I fear may be in short supply on other campuses. Counseling Services at Goshen College has been one of the most effectively utilized services on campus. In the week prior to the emergency campus closure, over 4% of Goshen’s student body sought counseling services. This semester, I share counseling duties with Jennifer Miller, Rachele Defrancesco, and Kathleen Jones. The reasons students have for seeking services can vary dramatically. I’m glad to say that our door is open to any student and that no problem is too small. While some needs can be addressed quickly and easily, others have required a concerted effort on the part of the students and counselors. We also have the benefit of working with faculty members, other college staff, and outside support. While we always seek to improve our ability to serve students, we have felt confident that we have been able to make a difference in the lives of our student body.
As you may be getting tired of hearing, “Then everything changed.” Within a week, I went from having 15 students on my schedule to none as students were directed to leave campus and continue their studies at home. Goshen College students joined the other nearly 20 million college students in the United States who were unexpectedly thrust in the role of “e-learner.”
I’m old enough that I have to admit that I’ve never been an e-learner. I’ve never conducted a counseling session over the internet before, either. And while I didn’t foresee that I would have to make this transition from face to face contacts to virtual contact, I as well as the other counselors at Goshen College have begun to do so. And you know what? It works!
Jennifer, Rachele, Kathleen, and I are continuing to see existing and new student clients for the rest of this school year using the Zoom video conferencing service. If you are having difficulty adjusting to the changes brought about by the current COVID 19 health crisis, please don’t hesitate to reach out to one of us. If you haven’t seen one of us before, go to the counselor’s page at https://www.goshen.edu/campuslife/counseling/ and click the “Request an Appointment”. After you send us your information, one of us will reach out to you to set up an appointment. You may also email any one of us directly. There is a possibility that extensive counseling services may not be available to some students living outside of Indiana, but we are continuing to investigate if this will be an ongoing issue.
I’d also like to provide you with access to an app that is available to Goshen College students on both your computers and mobile devices. It’s called myStrength, and it has an abundance of tools that will enable the user to build resilience and develop coping skills that will make your lives a little bit easier. It even has resources specifically directed toward coping with the current COVID-19 health crisis. It’s my favorite wellness app. Please contact me for more information regarding the myStrength app.
You’ve heard this many times already but I’ll say it again. “Stay Safe.” I hope to see many of you again in person later this year.
Tuesday, March 24th, 2020
Refusing to Lose Touch
We wanted to reach out to you as members of the Student Life team and offer you our words of encouragement and support as well as updates on some things that were coming up pertaining to the upcoming fall semester.
As you can imagine, this process has been very, very unsettling and 100% not the way anyone in Student Life would have liked to finish out the school year. We should be celebrating senior recitals and senior athletics, preparing for housing selection, and celebrating Commencement Weekend. That might look a little different this year and that is probably painful for most of you.
We are very aware it feels unfinished, especially for seniors, and there are a lot of challenging realities that some of you may have been unexpectedly thrust into this last week.
It’s painful for us as well, because our work and our passion in Student Life is you. When you’re not here…we’re kind of lost.
But here’s what there’s hope in:
We live in a world that is connected to each other in thousands of ways and through thousands of platforms. So refuse to lose touch with your peers and the GC staff and faculty. Chad and I have been working in Student Life for a very long time. We have seen a lot of classes come and a lot of classes go, and it brings us tremendous joy to stay in touch with students long after they leave campus. It also brings us tremendous joy to see you all continue to share your lives with each other: getting the first job, getting into graduate school, traveling, moving somewhere new. So, whether you’re planning to come back next semester or not, do not consider an early goodbye the only goodbye.
Student Life will be posting Wellness Messages and updates every Wednesday on the campus life webpage. Continue to check the Communicator, as well, as I’m sure there will be several announcements from a variety of sources about what’s next for GC.
Grace and peace to you. God bless. You are missed, and you are loved.
Director of Student Involvement
Director of Student Life Operations
Connecting with Student Life:
All of us on the Student Life team are available to you either via phone, email, or several other newfangled social media platforms that, I personally, never knew existed until around a week ago. Everyone is still able to help you — student involvement, counseling services, campus ministries, academic success center, DEI, career networks, community engagement and impact, campus safety, athletics, the whole gang — is ready and willing to answer your questions and help you work with the remainder of the semester, May term, and into the summer.
Housing Update for Fall 2020
We have decided to delay housing sign-up further to allow students more time to submit their deposits given the circumstances surrounding COVID-19. The President’s Cabinet is working closely with Student Life on a process for refunding/crediting a portion of spring semester room and board charges for residential students. This process will begin after April 1. More information will be communicated when the process is finalized. All housing sign-ups for Romero Apartments, Kulp, and KMY will begin in late April and will be online.
Find out more here: https://www.goshen.edu/campuslife/housing/spring-housing-information/
Student Apartment Sign-Up Begins Monday, April 27 @ 9:00AM
Housing Lottery Night for 2020-2021
Kulp, Kratz, and Yoder Hall
- First and Second-year residential students are required to live in Kratz or Yoder Hall.
- 2018 High School Graduates and before are eligible for Kulp Hall single rooms.
- $50 Room Deposits are required for Kulp, Yoder, and Kratz Hall before May 5th, 2020
Deposits can be submitted online here: http://mygc.goshen.edu/services/
Keep an eye on this page for the complete timeline for Romero Apartment, Kulp, Kratz, and Yoder sign-up.
Student Senate, Clubs, and Leadership Opportunites
Student Senate applications are still available for 2020-2021 and can be accessed here.
We’re working on ways to keep events and activities happening online, including staying connected with your Resident Assistant, Commuter Student Leaders, Intercultural Student Leaders, Student Ministry Team, and Team Captains.
New Student Orientation leader interviews will be happening. Corie will be reaching out to schedule a time to interview. Be prepared to describe your icebreaker!
Club leaders should be on the lookout for a virtual roundtable form to talk about how Student Involvement can better support clubs in the future.