A welcome message from your Dean of Students Christina Olstad:
Welcome to the first day of class! You (we) did it — we have a near 90% vaccination rate, and we’re back together, in person. You can once again feel the energy on campus. Soak it all in. It feels good to be back.
I’m proud to be your dean of students at UW–Madison. My role is to be your advocate, your coach, and your biggest fan as you navigate campus life. My team within the Dean of Students Office and staff in Student Affairs that focus on student advocacy, are all here to help you succeed as a student. When you don’t know where to go with personal, academic, or health issues, contact the Dean of Students Office.
As we gear up for fall, a few reminders on ways you can build community, stay informed and safe, and take care of your mental and physical health.
Build community with other Badgers.
- Get involved in Wisconsin Welcome for new first-years and transfers and Wisconsin Welcome Back events and programming for second-year students.
- Meet or reconnect at special events through the Wisconsin Union, Recreation & Wellbeing, and the Multicultural Student Center, to name a few.
- Join the Campus Scavenger Hunt: Discover UW to learn about iconic campus buildings, find resources, and collect prizes.
Stay informed, safe, and take care of each other.
- Get help when you need it. Learn about support and get guidance if you are concerned about yourself or someone you know.
- Our University Police (UWPD) offers a one-stop-shop resource to stay safe on campus.
- If you’re worried about a friend, contact the Dean of Students Office so we can check in. And if you find yourself in a situation where a fellow student is incapacitated due to alcohol or other drugs and needs medical assistance, know that you can get them help without fear of repercussion.
Make health and well-being a priority.
- Support is available for your well-being through University Health Services (UHS), Recreation & Wellbeing, and Dean of Students Office. Learn how to help yourself and others address mental health, sexual assault, high-risk drinking, and more with assistance.
- Food and financial assistance are available through The Open Seat, UW Student Food Pantry, community resources, and the Badger FARE Program. The Office of Student Financial Aid supports students who face financial challenges and emergencies and provides a handy list of resources for basic needs.
- Participate in the Badger Well-Being Challenge. With the help of the Center for the Healthy Minds, spend time focusing on your mental health and well-being.
As you start the academic year, let’s continue to show grace and be kind to one another and ourselves. COVID-19 and the new variant might make us feel a little apprehensive, and that’s normal. But if we’ve learned anything from last year, it is that Badgers are resilient. Keep it up: Remember to wear face coverings when indoors and we’ll continue to share campus health and safety protocols at covidresponse.wisc.edu.
See you around campus, and when you see me out and about, introduce yourself (I usually have ice cream coupons); I’d love to hear your story.
Until then, stay well, Badgers.
Christina Olstad, EdD (she/her)
Dean of Students