How to stay connected during COVID-19 school closure

March 16, 2020

Dear Members of the University of Pennsylvania Community:

We hope this message finds you healthy and safe. The recent turn of events around the COVID-19 pandemic has been shocking in its impact on our daily lives and our immediate future plans. 

As many of you know, the University has ceased all face-to-face classes and programming for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester. We write to let you know that this applies to all APC-GSWS programming and events. For many of us, especially those who have worked hard on the amazing spring schedule, this is a heartbreaking turn of events. We will make every effort to reschedule those events for the AY 2020-2021, should that be possible.

Contagious disease is both ruthlessly democratic in its potential to spread AND a cruel addition to the daily burdens of marginalized people who lack resources and support. Please know that you are not alone. The staff and faculty of APC-GSWS are available to all members of our community who seek information or assistance during the coming weeks of uncertainty and isolation. We list our contact information below, but you will also find information on the APC-GSWS website about running virtual classrooms and resources for international students and others unable to return home during the university’s effort to disperse the student population on campus. 

We invite you to join the APC/GSWS Slack account to share and contribute resources and help facilitate a virtual community space. Additionally, we want to circulate a working document for teaching remotely, and lastly, a letter from GSWS Affiliated Faculty David Azzolina on the COVID-19 Libraries Policies and Information.

Regarding upcoming deadlines: Given the extraordinary events of the past few weeks, GSWS/APC will be extending the deadlines for all of our graduate awards, research funds, TAships and 20/21 teaching opportunities until April 1.

If you have recently applied for the graduate certificate, or were planning to, please disregard the March 15 deadline - we will take applications as they come. If you recently applied for graduate certificate completion, please follow up so that we can make sure that this is processed before the end of the semester, particularly if you are graduating this year. (We are also being very flexible about requirements, particularly regarding current events.)

Students wishing to declare a GSWS major or minor should visit our website for information on how to do so remotely.

Please reach out if you have questions or need support.

With all good wishes for your health and safety,
Kathleen Brown
Gwendolyn Beetham
Maria Murphy
Shana Bahemat