Friday, March 20, 2020

The following is text in an email sent out on 3/20/20 around 3:30pm CST. We will strive to keep this site up-to-date with the most current information. 

Dear University of Iowa Students,

First, we want to thank you for your resilience and flexibility in the face of unprecedented changes across our university and the world. By now you have received an email from the University of Iowa communicating additional changes in light of COVID-19 community spread, including the closure of most university buildings and residence halls, virtual instruction for the rest of the semester, and the cancelation of traditional graduation ceremonies. Please note that virtual classes will not begin again until Monday, March 30, 2020, as the university enters a transition week to make necessary adjustments.

This email is intended to provide additional information that may be helpful to you as a student during this time. 

Remaining in Hometowns

While many of us have come to call Iowa City "home," it is currently in the best interest of public safety for us to remain in or move back to our hometowns. If you are able and comfortable, we strongly encourage you to return or stay at your permanent residence and not return to Iowa City. This is especially important given the critical healthcare provided by our partners at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics and anticipated surges and strains on healthcare in our community. If you must return or need to remain in Iowa City, please maintain recommended social distancing practices. 

Emergency Support Fund

The Office of the Dean of Students, in partnership with student government, coordinates a fund designed to aid students experiencing unexpected financial hardship including rent, utility payments, and certain other expenses. GPSG and UISG regularly fund this account each year but have increased allocations as we expect that COVID-19 is creating additional hardship. You can find more information about the fund and the application here. Please be patient as applications will take time to process.

If you are able and interested in contributing to support other students in need, the University of Iowa Center for Advancement has set up a contribution fund where you can donate.

Technology Assistance

The University of Iowa is moving to a fully virtual campus for instruction purposes. Many collegiate units have already implemented a laptop checkout process and are assisting students who need help accessing courses online. If you need assistance with technology access or online course materials, please contact Student Care and Assistance. The contact information for this office is included below.

Drive-up Wi-Fi

Drive-up wireless service is being offered to allow students, faculty, and staff who need high-speed internet to access it without having to enter buildings.

The service is currently available at the Hancher South Lot (Lot 55). It will soon be available in the Hawkeye Commuter Lot (Lots 85 and 39), the Myrtle Avenue Lot (Lot 48), and other locations. Please visit the working remotely guide on the Information Technology Services website for updates.

Users should join the eduroam network and log in with their and HawkID password.

Textbook Rentals

Many of our students utilize the textbook rental process through the Iowa Hawk Shop. The Iowa Hawk Shop will provide additional information later this semester regarding textbook return options, but at this time, they are working on a  plan to send prepaid mailing labels through email to everyone with rental books. This will be part of an email that is sent towards the end of the semester reminding everyone to return their books. 

Developing Alternatives to Commencement and End of Semester Celebrations

We share the sadness and disappointment that traditional commencement ceremonies must be canceled but understand the need to prioritize the health and safety of students and our community. Student government leadership is currently working with the Provost's Office to create commencement alternatives. We also recognize that the spring semester is a time to celebrate the accomplishments of our community through awards and recognition outside of graduation.  If you have any ideas about what these ideas could look like, please respond to this survey.

Graduate Student Concerns

We recognize the unique challenges that this situation presents to graduate students. The Graduate College created a specific Graduate College FAQ to address some of these concerns. In some cases, health sciences students will continue clinical education where appropriate and on a case-by-case basis. Please consult your individual colleges with questions about clinical education and research labs.

Mental Health Resources

We know that this drastic transition and change to established procedure can be difficult. We encourage everyone to practice self-care and take care of themselves as a first priority. If needed, information regarding mental health resources can be found at the University Counseling Services website. 

Student Care and Assistance

We understand your needs may change dramatically during this time of uncertainty. This situation may be especially challenging for off-campus residents whose jobs have been eliminated, or those students who lack access to needed infrastructure to participate in virtual instruction effectively. We encourage you to reach out to Student Care and Assistance for help overcoming these challenges. 

Be Kind to Each Other

We are aware of increased instances of xenophobic actions and harassment towards members of our community, especially those who identify as Asian Pacific Islander Desi Americans (APIDA) and international students from Asia. We strongly condemn this unacceptable behavior in all forms. COVID-19 does not discriminate between hosts based on race, ethnicity, nationality or immigration status. As members of the Hawkeye community, we expect that you will treat everyone with respect and not engage in discrimination or harassment.

If you have any questions or concerns not addressed here, please check the University Coronavirus FAQ and communications from your collegiate leadership. If you have remaining questions not addressed, please let us know.

Thank you again for your continued patience, understanding, and adaptability as we continue to navigate this unprecedented situation.


Dexter Golinghorst, GPSG President
Noel Mills, UISG President