I intended to send a general welcome email to all of you but in light of circumstances in Texas today, let me begin by expressing my concerns about the conditions many are experiencing because of the storms. I want to reach out specifically to those of you who may be personally affected by this - who may have friends and/or family suffering from these extraordinary weather conditions. Please reach out to the many support services at Duke who may be able to support you. CAPS can help with the stress you may be feeling. Your academic advisor and academic dean can help you work through any impact this may have on your studies. Feel free to write to me directly if there's something we can or should do to help. Over the next couple of days I hope we'll learn more about relief efforts and I will share those opportunities with you as we learn about them.
There have been a number of important changes over the summer and among them is a new approach to access to health care providers in both Student Health and CAPS. Student Health is excited to pilot new initiatives this year that will greatly enhance students’ access to services. With their new open access schedule, students will be offered same day appointments on a first-come, first-serve basis no matter the reason for the visit.With a new telemedicine service, students can even consult with providers for certain issues over a secure online platform. At CAPS, you can drop in between the hours of 9am-4pm Monday through Friday and ask to speak with a counselor. No appointment is necessary. Check both the Student Health and CAPS websites for further details. Stay tuned as well for exciting news about dental services soon to be available in the Student Wellness Center.
Let me end for now by reminding you of your opportunities and obligations as members of the Duke community. Daily you will make decisions that can inspire or derail your future. Not unlike every campus, we all too frequently deal with issues of alcohol use and abuse, sexual misconduct and other individual and community challenges. We persistently ask you to think about these issues and once again I invite you to use your best judgement - to align your behaviors with your values - and to act responsibly, ethically and lovingly. Intervene when you see anyone in distress or vulnerable and represent Duke with honor. And at this time of national polarization and divisiveness, let's find every reason and opportunity to enjoy and learn from our differences. Equity and justice are cornerstones of the Duke experience, so let our behaviors reflect that commitment.
I look forward to getting to know as many of you as I can (I do accept Flunches!) and am delighted to welcome (all new students) and welcome back all of you!
Larry Moneta. Ed.D
Vice President for Student Affairs