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Remote Resources Available for Students, Alumnae/i During COVID-19 Crisis

Classes resumed March 23 via distance learning for the balance of the spring semester at a time when most employees are working from home due to state mandates triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite these challenges, the college remains committed to providing students with the services they need.

The staff of Vassar’s Counseling Service has developed a videoconferencing system for all students to help them manage stress.

Vassar’s Counseling Service and Career Development Office have put plans in place designed to help students navigate these challenges. “It can be disruptive to face so much transition and uncertainty all at once, and to be working through the losses associated with changing future plans,” said Wendy Freedman, Director of Psychological Services. “Students may experience a period of grief including feelings of sadness and anger, as well as loneliness from moving away from friends.  In a time like this, it is important to allow ourselves to have our full range of feelings, and also to think about how to cope effectively. This can be an opportunity to practice being resilient in the face of adversity in which we shift our focus to what we can control, and identify creative action steps towards adjusted goals.”

Freedman said Counseling Service staff would be available to students via videoconferencing to help them manage stress and optimize their mental health. Appointments already scheduled before Spring Break have been cancelled, Freedman said, but students may contact Counseling Service at 845-437-5700 during business hours to speak to a counselor and to schedule a 50-minute video call. Students may also call the Campus Response Center at 845-437-7333 at any time. For more information, visit the Counseling Service website at https://counselingservice.vassar.edu.

Counseling Service staff are available to meet with on campus students via videoconferencing to provide counseling assistance and to discuss how to manage stress and optimize mental health. Counselors are also available to assist off-campus students in connecting to local resources for ongoing mental health support. Students can call 845-437-5700 or email counseling@vassar.edu to schedule an appointment. The 24/7 counselor-on-call is also available by calling 845-437-7333 and requesting to speak to the counselor-on-call.

The Career Development Office has made the transition to a virtual office. In-person career events have been suspended, but most services will continue to be available online. Students may continue to schedule appointments online via Handshake.

Alumnae/i may email the office at cdo@vassar.edu with questions or to schedule an appointment. The office will share updates on its website. (Get answers to frequently asked questions about the impact of the COVID-19 virus on the CDO.)

Regular exercise can be a useful means of diminishing stress, so the Department of Athletics and Physical Education is offering free access through April 30 to Wellbeats, an on-demand wellness program that provides classes, challenges and fitness assessments. Vassar will be offering some Life Fitness classes through Zoom as well. Sign up here. The department will also be providing weekly exercise videos for people of all fitness levels from Head Strength and Conditioning Coach Alice Read.

For updates, on this effort and other announcements related to the COVID-19 pandemic, visit https://www.vassar.edu/coronavirus-updates/.