From the Desk of William Stackman, Vice Provost for Student Affairs

I know this isn’t how you pictured the spring semester. But I want you to know that the Division of Student Affairs is still here to help you, even when you’re miles away.

Student Affairs staff continue to show up, albeit remotely, for Mizzou students every day. Take the Office of Student Accountability & Support, where the Student Legal Education team can help you learn to resolve legal conflicts and disputes. The Student Legal Education team is still accepting private appointments and will soon begin open online sessions, too.

Screen grab from a virtual town hall for Division of Student Affairs staff
During this time, Division of Student Affairs staff are meeting regularly to discuss programs and initiatives to promote student success and keep students engaged. And some staff are having fun with Zoom backgrounds too!

The Office of Student Engagement along with the Fellowships Office and the Graduate School recently hosted the Graduate and Professional Student Leaders Retreat, with the final session held remotely on April 3. I was fortunate to be able to take part in the event, which provided leadership education and opportunities for graduate and professional students from various fields of study to connect.

One participant, Roland Oruche, a master’s student studying computer science, appreciated that the initiative continued even as Mizzou transitioned to remote learning and programming.

“The program helped me develop my leadership skills to positively affect my academic, research and work-related pursuits,” Oruche said. “I know it was not easy to keep the program moving forward during unprecedented times, so I really appreciate the effort made to keep the retreat fun, refreshing and engaging for all of us.”

Our Campus Activities Programming Board and Office of Student Engagement are both hard at work organizing virtual events so you can stay connected to campus and to each other. One of these is the Show Me Futures Series. This year’s edition will focus on the COVID-19 pandemic, the response so far and how it will continue to affect us in the future. Pre-recorded presentations should be available in early May.

The 93rd annual Tap Day will also be a virtual event. On May 8, Mizzou’s six secret honorary societies – QEBH, Mystical 7, LSV, Mortar Board, Omicron Delta Kappa and the Rollins Society – will honor new members for their service, leadership and commitment to the Mizzou community.

I know many students miss MizzouRec. I miss it, too. As some of you may know, I like to start my mornings running at MizzouRec. So I’m so excited to share that MizzouRec has partnered with Fitbod to provide all Mizzou students, faculty, staff and their families complimentary access to a fitness app to help members of our community meet their fitness goals.

Picture of a girl using her phone in a hallway at MizzouRec
Mizzou students can use a new app, Fitbod, to support their fitness goals while away from MizzouRec.

Our ability to roll with the recent punches reminds me what an incredible space Mizzou is to live, learn and thrive. But it’s also something more because you have invested yourselves in it. Nowadays when I hear the melody of the alma mater, I think the lyrics are talking about you, dear old varsity:

Proud art thou in classic beauty,
Of thy noble past;
With thy watchwords, Honor, Duty,
Thy high fame shall last.

That’s your high fame. When future Tigers look back on the year 2020, they will think you, your honor, your devotion to duty, and they’ll raise a health to thee.

Speaking of songs, before I go, I want to leave you with a fantastic video. The Involvement Ambassadors are still ready to help you stay involved with the Mizzou community this semester. If you have questions about how to get more involved on campus I encourage you to email an involvement ambassador at involveambass@missouri.edu.

I’ll let Lynn have the last word.