In preparation for the spring 2022 semester, Student Union President Krupa Sourirajan ’23 wrote to The Brandeis Hoot on the union’s plans as the student body faces the threat of the omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus. The Student Union will continue to work to support students regardless of whether the Spring semester is held virtually or in person.
“I am excited to bring new initiatives and events this semester and collaborate a lot more with other clubs on campus,” wrote Sourirajan to The Hoot.
As the university navigates the COVID-19 pandemic, the student union is prepared to make alterations to its events. Most of the events they already had in place had been arranged to be in-person, wrote Sourirajan, but they will “continue to evaluate the situation to see whether events need to change in the future.”
One change that has been made is that the winter round of elections will be fully virtual, wrote Sourirajan. The Student Union has also decided to postpone its semesterly union meeting to a later date in February, this comes after the university pushed the first two weeks of classes into virtual learning, according to a previous Hoot article. As for other Student Union run events, the modality will be decided closer to the date they are planned for.
Sourirajan wrote that the Student Union plans to remain engaged with the student body through their social media platforms while students return to campus virtually. The Union will also be introducing a new format to their weekly newsletters this semester in order “to ensure everyone can stay connected with what we are doing along with showcasing what other clubs around campus are up to,” wrote Sourirajan to The Hoot.
While navigating online learning, after having a nearly entirely in-person fall semester Sourirajan suggested that students should, “make use of our existing resources on campus like Academic Services to get their questions answered and the extra support they might need.” Another piece of advice Sourirajan offered is for students to attend office hours with professors in order to stay connected and keep up with course material no matter the type of learning format.
For mid-years arriving on campus Sourirajan advised they take advantage of all events on campus—whether they are being held virtually or in-person. To incoming students, Sourirajan wrote, “Try to make an effort to get to know the people on your floor and when you come to club events, you will naturally meet people as well.”
The university announced it would hold the first two weeks of classes online on Jan. 7 in an email from President Ron Liebowitz. This is meant to be a temporary measure, with classes resuming in-person on Feb. 1. “I know it might be really tough to get adjusted to campus life again this semester as we juggle between modalities so I would encourage everyone to get outside as much as possible, mask up and maybe take a walk with a friend, listen to music or even have some alone time,” wrote Sourirajan.
Sourirajan highlighted the importance of taking care of ones’ self and doing things that make one happy to have something to look forward to. This, wrote Sourirajan, can make a huge difference on students’ mental health as they go into this semester.