Dear History majors,
As most of you have probably noticed, the Registrar’s Office has still not set registration dates for the fall semester. The reason, as you might imagine, is that the university doesn’t yet know whether the fall semester will entail face-to-face classes. The University doesn’t want students to register for face-to-face classes, only to find out that classes will be moving online (and if all classes go online, there are likely to be additional changes to the schedule as well). At the university-wide town hall last Friday, President Holton announced a tentative timeline of June for a decision about the fall semester. Though it’s difficult to guarantee anything at this point, that’s our best guess for when fall registration will open up.
I know this must be frustrating. Please know that the university has the health and safety of the students in mind as it makes these decisions. Continue to look out for communications from the university about the current situation. The most authoritative source of information remains the university’s Covid-19 page, though the department will continue to relay key information to you as well. I’ll take the opportunity to remind you of the university’s Coronavirus Student Emergency Assistance Fund, for those who are in need of short-term financial assistance. The Student Support and Advocacy Center and Counseling and Psychological Services are also valuable resources to keep in mind.
Please remember that your professors are another source of support for you. If you have been struggling to stay afloat in your classes, please let your professors know. They know that many of you are struggling—indeed, many of them are struggling through similar circumstances. They are eager to hear from you, and will do their best to work with you to succeed in your classes, or at least to let you know of your options.
One final piece of information, for those of you who are scheduled to receive graduate assistantships next year: you may have heard that, amidst the economic uncertainty, the university has instituted a hiring freeze. However, Graduate Assistant positions are not included in that freeze. There has been no talk, at any level, of reductions in GA positions.
Best wishes on the rest of your semester. And again, if you are in need and don’t know how to get help from the university, please inform me, your professors, or your advisors; we’ll do our best to point you in the right direction.
Chair, Department of History and Art History