Published: Oct. 7, 2020
JB Banks

Buffs, as we near the halfway point of the semester, I want to share how proud I am of your efforts this fall. Navigating around a pandemic has not been easy. But as a community, we’ve pulled together to support each other and keep each other safe. We do not expect perfection, and know that everyone is doing their best to make good decisions.Thank you for showing up for your fellow Buffs and following public health orders.

Learning from your experiences

This semester, I’ve been working to be a “dean on the go” and meet with students in different ways to learn about your experiences. I’ve set up pop-up office hours on campus for students to drop by, and virtual meetings to connect with students in isolation spaces. 

I want to know what’s working, what’s not, how you’re managing through the uncertainty and how we can best support you. In my conversations so far, I’ve heard how difficult this semester has been. Learning about your experiences helps me advocate for you as your dean of students, and I can help connect you to the right resources and support services. Thank you for sharing your stories so far, and I’d like to share an opportunity with you to help continue these conversations.

Sharing feedback and suggestions

I’m excited to announce the launch of our Dean of Students Leadership and Values Council. This council exists to engage students in a meaningful way and provide the appropriate support, resources and opportunities to thrive. In addition to sharing ideas, counsel and feedback regarding issues that affect the student body, members will also engage in leadership development and mentorship opportunities.

All current undergraduate students are encouraged to apply and join the council. We’ll meet once a month to discuss various topics that are important to the college student experience and learn from each other. If you’re interested, please submit a resume and interest statement describing why you’d like to be involved to with the subject “Leadership & Values Council Application” by Friday, Oct. 16. Learn more about the Dean of Students Leadership and Values Council.

Using support resources

As we all continue to adapt and work through the rest of the semester, there are many resources and services to help support you.

For those who are looking to build connections, Student Affairs has more than 500 events planned for you this semester. Between virtual debate watch parties, art projects, bingo for grad students, book clubs, trivia nights, career development workshops, cooking classes and much more, there’s something for everyone! Check out our Fall Events webpage to find and register for upcoming events.

If you’re struggling with anxiety, stress or depression, our Health & Wellness Services team is here to support you. 

  • Counseling & Psychiatric Services is offering telehealth appointments and workshops to help students cope with COVID-related changes.
  • Check out weekly events like Mindful Mondays, Wellness Wednesdays and Fri-Yay Nights to learn self-care tips and connect with fellow Buffs.
  • Try peer wellness coaching. This is a free service available to CU Boulder students to help you set and achieve wellness goals.

CU Boulder students who are in need of food are invited to visit the Buff Pantry to receive food on a weekly basis at no cost, if needed. Students receive approximately 20 pounds of food and are able to visit the Buff Pantry one time per week. And the Student Emergency Fund was created to provide support for CU Boulder students who are experiencing a crisis that could adversely affect their semester. The intent of the funding is to support students experiencing a temporary financial hardship as a result of COVID-19.

Buffs, I’m here for you - please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you aren’t sure what you need. We’re in this together, and we’ll get through this together. 

JB Banks
Dean of Students and Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs