My fellow WCSU students,

The impact that COVID-19 has had on our University and the Danbury community has been devastating for all of us. The decision to transition to online learning was a difficult one, but necessary in the name of public health and safety. As a graduating senior, it saddens me to know that staple WCSU events such as the Student Leadership Recognition Banquet, WestFest, Commencement, and countless others have been canceled as a result of this global pandemic. These are experiences that we look forward to throughout the year and as upsetting as it is for us as students, I know that it is equally upsetting for the faculty, staff, administration, and greater WCSU community. While we are all putting effort into hosting online events, attending classes virtually, and adjusting to the “new normal,” it is not the WCSU we know and love and for right now, it can’t be. I’m here to tell you that we will get through this; we will come out on the other side of this stronger and more united than ever before. There is something magical about the feeling of walking through the quad of Midtown in late April, when the cherry blossoms have bloomed and the grass is a radiant shade of green. It is the simple moments such as these that I, personally, will miss the most. The sound of a group of students throwing a frisbee back and forth outside the library, the way the Spring Carnival lights up the commuter parking lot on West Side, and that smile you can’t hold back when you walk out of your last exam during finals week to a warm and sunny day in May. I will miss all of these moments as my time at WCSU comes to an end, and I know my fellow graduates will too. For those of you who are not ending your journey with us this May, remember not to take these things for granted.

We have heard your concerns as students. I know how worried we all are about our GPA suffering as a result of unfamiliar territory. I know there are students who relied on food services throughout campus to provide their meals throughout the day. I know not all of us have access to adequate resources such as WiFi or our own personal laptop. I know some of you are parents, struggling to find a balance between homeschooling your children and prioritizing your own education as well. I know those of you who are paper-based learners with no printer at home are struggling to keep up with assigned readings, it is a sad time for our highlighters. I know some of us have been laid off from work and are worried about having no source of income. I know how frustrated the graduating class is that we won’t have the opportunity to hear our name called at commencement, walk across that stage and receive our hard-earned degree from Dr. Clark. The Student Government Association is working tirelessly to address these concerns, and do whatever we can in our capacity as student leaders to help those among us who may be struggling the most. In an effort to help those students who may be facing an emergent financial crisis, as a result of what is happening, the Senate leadership voted to donate $50,000.00 into the WCSU Cares Student Assistance Fund. It would be remiss of me not to take the opportunity to thank them for their endless commitment, dedication, compassion, and grit in a time of such hardship. Below, you will find buttons to multiple resources currently available to students in regard to COVID-19 and how the University is responding.

With much respect and admiration, Paul Horkan.

Student Body President, 2019 – 2020