VP Message- Weekly Update April 13, 2020

Dear DSA team,

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday weekend and were able to spend some quality time with your families virtually or otherwise.

Some updates:

  • Join the DSA Town Hall Thursday, April 16 at 2 p.m. The town hall will provide an opportunity for us to virtually gather as a Division, hear updates from me and provide an opportunity for you to ask questions. Please submit your questions before the meeting at student.affairs@unt.edu or anonymously at https://studentaffairs.unt.edu/forms/suggestions. Questions can also be submitted during the event.
  • The deadline to submit nominations for the DSA awards has been extended to Monday, April 27 by 8 a.m.
  • All staff (including graduate assistants) need to complete their diversity training courses by June 1. The three courses are under your Required Trainings on the My Learning-Bridge. They are Cultivating Cultural Competence and Inclusion, Communicating Across Cultures and Unconscious Bias.
  • President Smatresk announced Friday that summer courses will be mostly online.
  • Please keep driving folks to our Parent and Family Hotline at 844-366-5892. The hotline is available from 10 a.m. to 2. p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.


If you know of staff members who are going above and beyond during this time, please email student.affairs@unt.edu describing their effort. We want to highlight some of these examples as we discuss how we have come together as a caring campus community to respond to this health crisis. These also will be sent to the president for use on a campus level.

  • Kudos to the Student Money Management Center outreach team for their initiative, creativity, and can-do attitudes in transferring the center's outreach programs to online. They have applied technology and new platforms in such creative ways to ensure our outreach service to students was not interrupted. Also, the team pulled together to share ideas and duties to successfully transition the center's signature annual event - Money Month - to a complete virtual offering. A first in the program's 10-year history.
  • Thank you to the Office of Disability Access staff during this time. They have done an excellent job of transitioning to a telecommuting environment and ensuring that students remain our top priority. The staff has worked tirelessly to support students, faculty, and staff in this transition.
  • Kudos to the Housing Ambassadors, the special assistant and the assignment coordinators who have been on the front line for Housing and UNT throughout the COVID-19 response. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that their efforts have been instrumental in managing the campus’ basic functions. They have adapted to each change and eagerly taken each new challenge and conquered it. Throughout it all, serving the students has remained their top priority.
  • Kudos to Arin Desai in the SMMC for stepping into the void left by the departure of her team's leader last December. Without hesitation, she took on additional supervisory responsibilities and duties to ensure the continued success of her team and the center's outreach activities. Throughout this semester she has demonstrated the spirit and vision of a true leader. Her actions and dedication have been truly exceptional and inspirational.

Thank you for all of your continued hard work!

Take care,

Elizabeth With Ed.D.