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Building Our Campus Community Online

Dear Vols,

I realize this is a strange time. Not only are we not living and working alongside one another on campus, but we’re also cooped up in our homes. We may feel disconnected from our friends and our colleagues.

But just as our classrooms and workplaces have moved online, so has our campus community.

We work hard all year to make UT a place where everyone matters and everyone belongs—and that work doesn’t stop just because our community is now a virtual one. More than ever, we must all do our part to build an inclusive campus that is supportive of all students, faculty, and staff in what is an uncertain and stressful time for a lot of us.

As conversations move online, it’s easy to become less thoughtful with our words. Let’s commit to being intentional about what we say, and look for ways to reach out to those who might need extra support.

Building community also means staying connected—and not just when we have to for work or class. Consider holding regular video check-ins with your friends and moving student organizations online as much as possible.

This is our moment to show everyone who Volunteers really are. We are resilient, helpful, and compassionate. Now is the time to lead with courage and kindness.

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Donde Plowman