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Parent & Family Newsletter

February 2021

Welcome!


With the Spring semester underway, we are excited to share our February 2021 newsletter. In this edition, you can find links for resources and information regarding the Spring 2021 semester. Student Affairs also provided details regarding the operations of the various departments within the Division along with services available to students both on and off campus this semester. In addition, important updates from Residential Education & Housing, Student Health Services, TCNJ Dining, and more are included. You can also find significant dates and deadlines for your reference. 

We hope you and your family are safe and well.

Susie Orecchio
Director of Administration & Operations, Student Affairs
Coordinator of Parent & Family Programs

Introduction from the Vice President
for Student Affairs 


Dear Parents and Families,

Greeting and welcome to the latest edition of our Parent and Family Newsletter.

After a significant amount of planning, I am delighted to see the early stages of the reemergence of campus life. After resolving supply chain challenges and careful planning, we have welcomed nearly 1,200 residents to the campus with 400 or more students nearby in off campus properties. While I am delighted to start anew, admittedly, this semester has not been without its challenges. The spring semester started with a snowstorm impact we have not seen in five years resulting in the cancellation of our first two days of in-person classes. The snow delay created a backlog in our testing program which tested the vulnerabilities of our quarantine/isolation protocols. However, after a short setback, we have made significant changes and improvements in working with several of our campus partners including dining as well as our testing partner, Bergen New Bridge.

The Division of Student Affairs is committed to providing our student body with an enriching experience as members of our community, whether they are on campus or remain off campus. I ask that you encourage your student to become involved in campus life by joining a student organization, participating in student government, or securing on campus employment if nearby. Our weekly activity newsletter to students, This Week @ TCNJ, which is featured in this newsletter, chronicles all of the happenings on campus (virtual or in person) by our student organizations. Students can also support our athletic teams by livestreaming athletic competitions or engage in Religious & Spiritual Life, Meditation, and Fitness programs to name a few. No matter what they decide, we ask them to remain committed to Roscoe’s Pledge so they will be contributing members to helping us recapture the TCNJ experience we all miss and love.

In the meantime, please know, we will continue to monitor local and regional conditions and make improvements where possible to support the student development component of our mission.

Be well and stay safe,

Sean O. Stallings
Vice President of Student Affairs

Table of Contents

Connect with us across the web for more information and resources!

TCNJ Parent & Family Resources
TCNJ Parent & Family Resources
Parent & Family Webpage
Parent & Family Webpage
TCNJ Student Affairs
TCNJ Student Affairs
TCNJ Student Affairs
TCNJ Student Affairs
TCNJ Student Affairs
TCNJ Student Affairs
TCNJ Spring Flex 2021
 
We want to share where to find the most updated information about Spring semester, including communications from President Foster, TCNJ's COVID-19 Dashboard and detailed information regarding health & wellness, academics, student experience, facilities and more.

Stay updated with TCNJ’s Spring 2021 here.

You can also find additional information and resources on our Parent & Family website here.
Roscoe's Pledge 
 
All members of the community who reside on campus or spend any amount of time on campus are asked to take Roscoe’s Pledge, which follows, to help ensure the health and safety of students, faculty, staff, and others.

Student Affairs Resources:
Spring 2021

Along with the resources we have already shared, we want to also list important information regarding the offices and departments within Student Affairs during this unique time. It is encouraged that you keep this for reference should you or your student need information about Student Affairs in the next few months. Additional information regarding the spring semester can also be found on the Spring 2021 Flex website
 
Housing

Residential Education & Housing (located in Eickhoff 114) will be open Monday-Friday 9-4pm during the spring semester. Though the office will be open, we request that you reach out over the phone (609.771.2301), email (housing@tcnj.edu), or chat online via the My Housing Portal to understand if assistance can be done virtually. Please refer to the following link for more information regarding campus housing. 

Dining

TCNJ Dining will provide extensively modified services — including reduced capacities in dining locations, modified service hours, reinvented serving stations, and additional to-go options — to ensure the campus community’s well-being.

The Atrium at Eickhoff Hall, the C-Store at Eickhoff Hall, the Lions Den Food Court located in the Brower Student Center, and the Library Cafe will be open. However, hours of operation are subject to change dependent upon the campus occupancy levels. Additionally, consistent with current state and CDC guidelines regarding inside dining, the Atrium at Eickhoff will offer limited seating. Fresh Pride Cafe, Stem Cafe, the Education Cafe, and T-Dubs will be closed in the spring of 2021. The Traditions restaurant, located in the Brower Student Center, will not serve food, but will be available as a study location. Student Center room 100 West will be available as a study location and place for off-campus students to eat meals.

Refer to the following link for information on hours and locations. 

Brower Student Center

The Brower Student Center will continue to remain open to the public. Starting February 1, building hours are Monday–Thursday 7:30 a.m.–8:30 p.m., Friday 7:30 a.m.–5 p.m., and Saturday–Sunday noon–4 p.m. 

Services and spaces have been adjusted to promote physical distancing and in an effort to keep guests safe. The Game Room will remain closed. Spaces on both levels are available for students to study or to relax. The Brower Student Center will continue to hold events and activities open to students. All events will follow the latest safety guidelines.

Dean of Students

The Dean of Students Office (located in BSC 220) will be open Monday-Thursday 9-4pm during the spring semester and on Fridays, the office will be completely remote. All appointments will be conducted virtually unless otherwise arranged with a staff member. All crisis/urgent appointments during business hours should call 609.771.2780 to determine next steps. 

 
  • CARE Referral: Should you or someone you know need any support and/or guidance during the semester, please fill out the following referral link and a case manager will connect.
  • The SHOP (food pantry): At this time, we are unable to accommodate any specific requests; however, the prepackaged bags have an assortment of items available at the time they are prepared. Anyone requesting access to The Shop can fill out the request form to schedule a pick-up time.
  • Emergency Fund: Should you or someone you know need any financial support during the semester, please fill out the following link and select option “5. Emergency Fund”. 
  • Student Conduct Report: Should you have a concern regarding a TCNJ student (regardless of where behavior occurred), please fill out the following link and a representative from the Office of Student Conduct & Off-Campus Services will provide assistance.
  • Sexual Misconduct/Title IX Report: Should you or someone you know experience any form of sexual misconduct/violence during the Spring semester (regardless of where the incident occurred), please fill out the following link and a representative from the Office of Title IX & Sexual Misconduct will provide assistance.
 
Student Health Services

Student Health Services (Eickhoff 107) will be open Monday–Friday from 9–4pm. Make an appointment through the Online Wellness Link portal or by calling 609.771.2889. Walk-in services will not be available. Medical visits will be conducted primarily in a telemed format if appropriate and in person when needed. 

Mental Health Services

Mental Health Services (new location for the Spring semester, Forcina 308) will be open Monday–Friday from 9-4pm. Individual and group counseling as well as workshops will be offered remotely throughout the spring 2021 semester. Walk-in services will not be available. All crisis/urgent appointments should call 609.771.2247 for initial screening and to determine next steps. Make an appointment through the OWL portal.

Alcohol & Drug Education Program/Anti-Violence Initiatives/Collegiate Recovery Program/Religious & Spiritual Life

Alcohol & Drug Education Program/Anti-Violence Initiatives/Collegiate Recovery Program/Religious & Spiritual Life (located in Forcina 308) will be open Monday-Friday 9-4pm during the spring semester. All appointments will be conducted virtually unless otherwise arranged with a staff member.

Recreation

Recreation and Wellness will be open Monday-Friday 9-4pm during the spring semester with limited staffing. The Fitness Center will be open for the Spring semester. Learn more about using the Fitness Center facility.

Career & Leadership Development

The Office of Career & Leadership Development (located in Roscoe West) will be open Monday-Thursday 9-4pm during the spring semester and on Fridays, the office will be completely remote. All appointments will be conducted virtually unless otherwise arranged with a staff member. The Spring Career Fair will be held on February 24th from 10am-1pm. Please check the website for additional information. 

Office of Student Involvement

The Office of Student Involvement (OSI) will continue to support the meaningful, developmental and vibrant engagement of students and student organizations in the Spring 2021 semester. Working with our Recognized Student Organizations (RSOs), we will implement guidelines and criteria to maintain the health and safety of students participating in student organizations and student organization programming in this Spring Flex semester.
 
Low density and low contact programming will be the standard for all in-person, hybrid, and/or virtual programs. Student organizations will reimagine meetings, events, and activities using physical distancing and virtual options for larger groups or students who are unable to participate in person. In order to help RSOs achieve their missions and goals related to programming, OSI has developed the Risk Assessment and Planning Tool for student organizations to utilize when event planning.  

Following the success of the Fall 2020 Virtual Student Involvement Fair, we hosted the Spring 2021 Virtual Student Involvement Fair on February 10, 2021. OSI utilized the same Virtual Software program from Fall 2020. 

Athletics

The Athletic Department is working to safely return student-athletes to team activities during the Spring Semester. Student-athletes must meet eligibility and testing requirements to participate in team activities. Head Coaches will provide specific information to teams as it becomes available, and student-athletes should direct any questions to their respective Head Coach. Team or student-athlete meetings will continue to be held virtually.

If you have any questions about the resources or information listed above, please feel free to email sa@tcnj.edu or call 609-771-2201
This Week @ TCNJ
By Office of Student Involvement

Last semester, Student Affairs launched This Week @ TCNJ to streamline communication with students about virtual opportunities. This campaign helped students engage virtually - you can check out an article about the success of the program here! We are excited that This Week @ TCNJ is back for the spring semester, sharing opportunities taking place virtually and on-campus using three platforms:
Housing Students During a Pandemic 
By the Department of Residential Education & Housing

Communal living in residence halls during a pandemic is a tricky subject. Every year, we welcome thousands of students to our residence halls. Bonds are built over shared meals, while brushing their teeth side by side in community bathrooms or hanging out late at night in each other's room having deep philosophical discussions about careers, academics, friendships or even the Kardashians. All of these traditions are challenged when there's a pandemic featuring a virus that thrives on congregate community settings and spreads through respiratory droplets.

The safest option--and the option we operated under in the fall--was to be 100% virtual. But we also understand that the last semester has given us greater opportunity to open safely: we know more about the virus, there's greater access to PPE, and there is a collective understanding of what is necessary to keep transmission rates low.

If your student is a residential student, they received the following information via the President's October email about Spring opening, the Safe Colleges training they were required to complete prior to moving in and in the reminder email from the Director which was sent on January 31. These health and safety policies will help our entire community stay safe and allow for students to participate in an in-person TCNJ experience--whether that is in a flex classroom or in the residence halls.

  • Residential students will live in single occupancy rooms and they will be prohibited from having guests. Guest is defined as anyone who does not live in the room. Only the residents who live in the building and staff who have work to do in the building are permitted to be there.
  • Lounge spaces and kitchens are offline until further notice. We hope as transmission rates drop, the state will allow us to open these common areas so students can use spaces in the residence halls outside of their room, but at this point, lounges are closed.
  • Being on campus is more of a privilege than ever before. Students who are unable to abide by Roscoe's Pledge and housing policies that were created to keep COVID transmission down, will have to continue their studies virtually. 
  • Programming--including the events our community advisors plan--will be mostly virtual but possibly outdoors (weather and appropriate space permitting).
  • Students coming to or living on campus will have to participate in the weekly COVID testing on campus. If they need to isolate or go into quarantine, our staff will reach out to the student to walk them through what they will need to do and what they can expect. Preliminary information was emailed to all residential students on January 17. You can find the quarantine info here.
  • Dining: the Atrium at Eickhoff will have limited seating. Dining will primarily be grab and go for students to eat in their rooms or in any of the eating areas listed here.

Just like many of you don't like living in a pandemic, we do not like working within the restraints of one. We absolutely can't wait for the day we can gather in our lounges, see people's smiles (and not just their "smize" or eye smiles, as the students say!) when they tell us about an amazing accomplishment and cheer on our athletic teams again. But we will certainly all do our best to make sure that a physically distant, masked community doesn't create a socially distant one. Thank you all for your grace, patience and willingness to join us on this adventure. 



Sincerely,
Residential Education and Housing
Staying Ahead of Pandemic Caution Fatigue
By Barbara Clark, APN - Nurse Practitioner
Student Health Services


It seems as if we are hitting a milestone of a year-long collective human experience of coping with the issues and challenges of living in an era with COVID-19. We have been physically distancing from others, wearing masks, diligently washing our hands and avoiding spending time in indoor spaces with persons outside of our own family unit. The “new normal” still does not seem “normal” to most people who recall and miss the days when people gathered freely without the COVID-19 concerns of today.
 
Although COVID-19 vaccination is currently rolling out (although many say at a slower pace than hoped), the CDC and other health experts encourage us to continue to adhere to the COVID-19 precaution guidelines that have been our best protection so far in reducing the spread of COVID-19. Letting our guard down now can have dire consequences on both an individual and society level if COVID-19 transmission increases and cases continue to rise.
 
So how does one stay focused on the goal of continuing to keep everyone safe? Mental health experts suggest there are ways to keep us going in the correct direction: 
  • Keep a daily routine which not only provides a schedule but gives a sense of purpose and reduction in feelings of loss, despair and hopelessness.
  • Find new ways to keep connected to others and to explore the world around us, albeit in perhaps different ways such as through virtual platforms.
  • Seek *COVID-19 vaccination opportunities but understand the vaccine rollout process may take longer than expected.
  • Look forward to the day when our lives will return to closer to what we have had in the past but be prepared to embrace that some changes may be here to stay as society may realize and remember that….working at home is possible, getting outside more can be rewarding, learning to cook at home can be enjoyable and that staying connected to friends and family whether near or far away is what really matters in life.
*Find places to locate COVID-19 vaccination in New Jersey: https://covid19.nj.gov/pages/vaccine
TCNJ Health & Wellness Newsletter
By TCNJ's Health & Wellness Portfolio
 
TCNJ Health & Wellness has their February 2021 newsletter to share with you! This issue includes resources, activities and articles focused on staying healthy in this unprecedented time. You can view their February 2021 newsletter here.
Curious About Senior Class Photos?

The Office of Student Involvement and The Senior Class Council are happy to share that Grad Photoshoots will once again be provided for all Seniors and Graduate Students.

Utilizing COVID-19 risk reduction procedures, PPE, and cleaning materials, students will be able to have photos taken in cap and gown regalia. Emails were sent out at the beginning of February with unique usernames and passwords for students to sign up for a time. Slots are still available through the first week of March. All photoshoots themselves are free of charge. Photo packages can then be purchased directly from the photography company. If your student needs a log-in, please have them email 
involvement@tcnj.edu. If they have questions about scheduling, or the photoshoot itself, LORS photography's direct customer service line is: 908.964.8200. More time slots will be added as needed. 
TCNJ Athletics Spring Update 
By Barry Beal

 
While the stadiums and fields of TCNJ Athletics remained quiet for much of 2020, the future remains promising for student-athletes to return soon. During the pandemic, TCNJ Athletics took time to create feature type stories across the programs. 
To read more featurettes from TCNJ Athletics, click here.

For more from TCNJ Athletics, you can view their January 2021 TCNJ Athletics newsletter here.
Spring Dining Update
By Dining Services
 
TCNJ Dining’s top priority is keeping the TCNJ community safe while providing the best possible dining experience. All updates and enhancements were developed with our TCNJ community, their families, and our staff in mind. Our team has implemented extensive training and procedures to ensure we are following all TCNJ, CDC, and the State of NJ COVID-19 Guidelines. Please visit our website here for a full list of our safety program enhancements. 

Our new meal plans have more flexibility that allow you to dine where you want, how you want, and when you want around campus. We have improved the plans to remove restrictions and increase flexibility. 


TCNJ Dining is also committed to doing our part in reducing the amount of waste produced through our dining program. Waste Watch Reusable is a reusable program that we are excited to introduce in the Atrium at Eickhoff. This program gives students the ability to take food from Eickhoff and eat where they choose around campus. In addition, this program also helps to reduce the amount of trash produced daily by the TCNJ community and promote a better tomorrow!

For more information or details, please visit our website: https://tcnj.sodexomyway.com/ and be sure to follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter @TCNJDining! 
What's New at TCNJ?
 
Here is some of the latest news available about The College of New Jersey!
Stay updated with more news about the College here.


Join your fellow Lions for one special day of generosity. Every gift makes a difference —sparking greater opportunities, better facilities, and further resources for more TCNJ students. Visit dayofgiving.tcnj.edu and mark your calendar for March 25, 2021.

Significant Dates and Deadlines

  • Last day to apply for May, August, and December 2021 and January 2022 graduations without a $35 late fee: 2/18
  • Last day to submit change of major forms for Fall 2021 registration: 3/5
  • Spring Day off starting Wednesday at 5 PM, 3/17-3/18
  • Spring Recharge Week: 3/29-4/2
  • Spring Day off starting Monday at 5 PM, 3/29-3/30
  • Exam Period begin Tuesday at 5 PM, 5/11
  • Residence Halls close for the spring semester: 5/18, 8 PM

You can find TCNJ's full academic calendar here.
Are You a TCNJ Legacy Family? Let us Know!

A Legacy at The College of New Jersey is an alumna/alumnus or current student who is the grandchild, child, or sibling of another TCNJ alumna/alumnus or current student. The Office of Alumni Affairs hosts special events for Legacy families throughout the year. Please let us know if you are a TCNJ Legacy family by clicking here to fill out our survey.
First Time College Parent/Family Member?

If so, we have articles on our website focused on transitioning to college for parents and families. You can find articles and resources on our website here.

TCNJ Barnes & Noble Bookstore

 
External Resources

CDC Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

CDC guidelines for Institutes of Higher Learning

Governor Murphy’s “The Road Back: Restoring Economic Health Through Public Health” plan

NJ COVID-19 Information Hub

NJ Department of Health
Copyright © 2021 The College of New Jersey, All rights reserved.


If you would like to contact us or have any questions, please email sa@tcnj.edu. 

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