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A Rapid Response to the Unexpected


“We are going to miss you,” an administrator said to a student leaving the pop-up ticketing “agency” rapidly created by the Dean of Students Office on the last day of classes before spring break. “I am going to miss Hamilton. I am grateful I have a ticket home,” replied the student from South America heading out the door with flight information in hand.

The college’s decision to shift to online education after spring break necessitated a quick response to meet the needs of students who hadn’t planned to return home as well as those who couldn’t return home. A robust group of staff from the Dean of Students Office as well as from Advancement, Academic Affairs, Library and Information Systems, Admission and Financial Aid, and Facilities Management staffed computers throughout Friday, March 13, to make sure all who needed help received it. Students in need were provided tickets home as well as transportation to the airport, equipment for internet access, and laptops, among other assistance. For those students who must stay on campus, food services will be available as well as access to the field house, exercise equipment, and the library.

Answering student questionsIn addition to travel arrangements, Dean of Students Terry Martinez and staff members from across the campus were available to assist students with addressing financial issues, answering any questions, and providing general support. “We are at a moment we all hoped wouldn’t arrive,” she wrote in a memo to students. “We are doing our best to minimize disruption as we navigate this unprecedented situation, and we’re grateful for your flexibility and understanding.

“it is important for us to come together as a campus community. Today’s effort clearly exemplified that.” Martinez wrote in an email reflecting on the day. “This is a challenging moment for students, and our goal was to make sure they felt supported.”

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