Faculty offer support to quarantined students

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Photo by Claire Gallagher

Cobeen’s quarantine will last until Oct. 9.

Marquette faculty are using their personal cellphone numbers to connect with students and ensure they have someone to talk to while they are in quarantine. Some students previously were quarantined in Schroeder Hall and some are currently quarantined in Cobeen Hall.

Jennifer Finn, a professor in the College of Arts & Sciences, said that the conversations she participated in varied depending on the student. 

Those with whom I did speak (with) were very grateful to talk to someone and our conversations would range from the dorm food, to the classes they were taking, to travels they had done in prior years, to what they were hoping to do once they were released from quarantine,” Finn said in an email. 

Carl Wainscott, assistant dean of Marquette’s graduate school, said a majority of the conversations he held were positive and that students were grateful for the conversation. 

“The students are appreciative of the call,” Wainscott said in an email. “We talk about how they are doing mentally, if they are aware of resources to get some time outside, and mental health resources. I received some feedback from students, such as wanting some more food variety, that I passed along, but all calls were positive.” 

Joya Crear, assistant vice president for student affairs, said interactions were beneficial for both students and staff.

“Students are the heartbeat of campus and it was important for faculty and staff to continue to maintain that sense of community in a new and creative way,” Crear said in an email. “Students were reassured that the larger community were concerned about their mental, spiritual and physical health and this outreach was one way to address wellness. It allowed both parties to extend their network and get to know one another that they may not have met otherwise.” 

Finn agreed that she believes reaching out to students has helped them mentally and academically.

Without taking care of the mental health of our students, we can’t expect them to be happy or to perform well in school,” Finn said in an email. “It is important for all of us to hold each other up in times like this.”

Wainscott said that he wanted to make sure that students knew they were not alone during these difficult times.

Crear later mentioned that faculty in different departments have become interested in this opportunity to interact with students.

“An email went to numerous lists and departments and the response was great,” Crear said in an email. “Approximately, 80 faculty and staff members volunteered to support students.”

If dorms continue to get quarantined across campus, Crear said that faculty will continue to support those that need it.

“For the foreseeable future, students quarantined and isolated on campus will continue to receive care, communication, and outreach,” Crear said in an email. 

Along with faculty and staff reaching out by phone call, the university provided a safe outdoor gathering for quarantined students and is provided entertainment, such as with music from the pep band and a barbecue served by Marquette administration on Saturday for Cobeen Hall residents.

“They’re playing a band for us and serving some really good food. I like being outside and it’s good to get out of the building and everyone’s pretty happy,” Ella Ugland, a first-year in the College of Health Sciences and Cobeen resident, said.

In addition to faculty, the Office of Residence Life has been helping with providing support to students in Schroeder. 

“With the large number of residents in Schroeder the Office of Residence Life (ORL) requested support from the MU community,” Crear said in an email. “Routinely, ORL staff have been reaching out to students in quarantine and isolation on campus but the large number required more staff to maintain this outreach.”

This story was written by Natalija Mileusnic. She can be reached at nataljia.mileusnic@marquette.edu.