There have been many developments in the last week about the spread of COVID-19/Coronavirus in the DC and greater DMV area and you have likely received much information regarding the University’s response and the steps being taken at this time. In the midst of all the noise, there are three important steps to remember as we head into this week: stay informed, stay calm, and be kind.
Stay informed — It is important that we are checking the source of all information we hear as it makes its way around campus. The University has created a one-stop site for all the information you need to know. To date there have been no confirmed cases of the virus in the GW community. We encourage you to dispel rumors as you hear them and stay vigilant in keeping up to date with the latest news. The site also lays out necessary information regarding international and domestic travel that we urgently ask every student to review as we head into spring break.
Stay calm — It’s healthy to be concerned and take extra precautions, but we need to be mindful not to panic. There are plenty of best practices to safeguard ourselves from getting sick — washing hands, cleaning surfaces, avoiding unnecessary contact with others with things like shaking hands, and keeping hands clear from your eyes, nose, and mouth. While we work to protect ourselves from illness at the community level, please also check in on one another on a personal level –– maintaining your mental health is just as important. You can learn more about GW’s counseling and psychological services here.
Be kind — We are all members of the GW family and it is important to treat everyone in our community with kindness and respect. Be kind to one and another each and everyday. If you see somebody struggling, lend a helping hand. The CARE Report system is another great resource to escalate your concerns. In addition, if you see a member of our community acting unkind and you believe it may be motivated by xenophobia or any form of bias, please submit a Bias Incident Report. As this situation continues to escalate, we cannot allow fear to turn into hateful actions; we must continue to hold each other accountable to our community’s shared values.
GW has been put to the test many times before, and each time we’ve been able to come closer together. This time will be no different and we encourage you all to follow the guidelines prescribed by University and government officials and know that the SA has always got your back. If you wish to speak about your concerns with us please stop in during our office hours, which are listed below.
SJ Matthews President, GW Student Association
Sundays 3-5 p.m., Mondays 1-3 p.m.
Amy Martin Executive Vice President, GW Student Association
Sundays 1-3 p.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays 4:30-6 p.m.