Deb Moriarty

Fri, Sep 4, 2:59 PM

Dear Students,

At the end of my first week in the F&M community, I want to take a moment to introduce myself as your interim vice president of students affairs for the fall term.  I have to admit, it is hard to be on a campus and not see all of you here, but I am looking for new ways to interact with you throughout the fall semester.

COVID-19 will be a defining event of your generation.  The experience is different, and often difficult, for us all, but everywhere I look, F&M students are making the most of it.   It is impressive to see students embracing new ways of learning and community engagement.   

I am encouraged by students’ understanding of the seriousness of this pandemic.  This is evident through behaviors I see on campus and, importantly, through your participation in the F&M Pledge and the mandatory testing program.  It is critical that we continue to be vigilant about maintaining those pledge guidelines throughout the fall.   Most importantly:

  • Continue to physically distance (6’)
  • Wash your hands
  • Wear your face coverings
  • Avoid large gatherings were social distancing is not possible

You have likely seen the serious challenges other institutions have faced this term, which have resulted in moving to an all-campus quarantine or a complete shutdown of campus.  Your continued adoption of these new norms will hopefully prevent that from being the F&M story. It is only by adopting these new norms that we can write our own, successful, story.

Finally, given the challenges of these times, I offer some advice:

  • Be patient with yourself.
  • Give others, and the process, the benefit of the doubt, and a little grace.
  • Recognize that we are all coming from different places; rely on your empathy and compassion to seek understanding.
  • Pay attention to your physical and mental wellness; and finally,
  • If needed, seek help through DipCares. Here is the link to the DipCares Reporting Form:

From what I’ve seen, I’m confident that you will continue to practice social responsibility as we head into the weekend.  And, don’t forget that, as usual, there will be classes on Monday, September 7, which is Labor Day, although many offices will be closed.

I’m also pleased to share that next week we’ll be hosting two webinars for our students on staying connected to F&M this term. The first webinar will be on Thursday, September 10, at 5:30 p.m. EDT and will be geared to our remote learners. The second webinar will be on Friday, September 11, at 12:00 p.m. EDT and be more geared to our in-residence and commuting students. Early next week, you will receive Zoom information for the events.

Thank you for the great impression you have made on me during my first week.  I hope to meet as many of you as possible during this fall term.

Stay safe, and keep well.

Deb Moriarty, Ph.D.
Interim Vice President & Dean of Student Affairs
Franklin & Marshall College