Reminders & Resources in Challenging Times

November 7, 2023

Dear Students,

I hope this message finds you well amidst what feels to be overwhelming and distressing daily news headlines. I was moved by Professor of Psychological Science Jamie Bodenlos and her message to HWS faculty over the weekend where she reminds the community it’s important to acknowledge the“collective trauma that we, as Americans, have been experiencing due to so many factors (e.g., pandemic, global conflicts, racism and racial injustice, antisemitism, inflation, climate related disasters).” Just over the last few weeks, we experienced a shooting in Maine, a nationwide bomb hoax that impacted more than 100 places of worship (including here in Geneva), the continued war in Ukraine, the on-going impacts of COVID-19, and an increased international conflict in Israel and Gaza. As Dr. Bill Woodson, Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion points out in his Saturday message, "while the Middle East can seem so far away, the connections between the region and members of our own campus community are multiple.” All of these items weigh on top of what each of us may bring from our personal lives.

I understand the anxiety these events can bring, especially in the face of ongoing uncertainty. In times like these, it is natural to feel a range of emotions, and we want you to know that the campus community is here to support you. 

Please remember that it is okay to seek help, and I encourage you to talk to your friends, professors, staff, coaches. Our professional counselors are also available for in-person or remote sessions through our counseling center or via our teletherapy provider, Mantra Health. Other resources, such as crisis counseling and on-call resources, are also available

Campus Safety is collaborating closely with the Geneva Police Department to stay aware of local developments that may impact the wellbeing of the HWS community. Campus Safety has increased the frequency patrols on campus. Should you ever find yourself in a situation where your physical safety is jeopardized or if you receive an email or social media post containing threats to your safety or property, please do not hesitate to contact Campus Safety immediately at 315-781-3333. Remain vigilant and report any behavior that feels concerning to Campus Safety. And, as always, we ask that you keep doors and windows locked, and that you not prop open exterior doors. The Colleges’ Office of Campus Life will investigate any harassment, intimidation, or other violation of the Community Standards

If you're feeling lonely and want to connect with others, the Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Spiritual Engagement, the Adams Intercultural Center, the LGBTQ+ Resource Center, Campus Life, and more will continue hosting panels, gatherings, and open spaces for communities and individuals. More details will be sent in the coming weeks. If you’re unsure what resource to use or who to call, explore the links in this email or search AskHWS, a platform we use for students to identify their concerns and find connected resources.

As Professor Bodenlos notes, “we are entering that time of year when symptoms of anxiety and depression can get even worse due to the holidays, changes in season, etc.” As we approach November Break and gear up for the end of the Fall semester, we recognize the unique stressors that come with finals, assignments, and all that wraps up the term. 

We want you to know that there are resources available to help you navigate through this time. 

Take care,

Becca BarileVice President for Campus Life and Dean of Students