SGA Advocacy Update

Over the past few weeks, the Georgia Tech Student Government Association has been fiercely advocating for the betterment of the student body. This message contains an update on some of the issues we’ve been fighting for.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  • SGA Town Hall
  • Academic Advocacy Efforts for Fall 2020
  • Election Day & On-Campus Precinct
  • Title IX Update
  • Campus Service Advocacy Updates
  • Results of SGA Return to Campus Survey
  • Black Lives Matter Update
  • International Student Advocacy
  • LBGTQIA+ Advocacy

SGA TOWN HALL

The Georgia Tech Student Government Association will be hosting a student town hall on Wednesday, July 22, 2020, from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM. The panelists will include a few members of SGA leadership, as well as leadership from Georgia Tech International Ambassadors and the Residence Hall Association. Click here to join the BlueJeans event.

SGA is in the process of collecting questions about Georgia Tech’s return to campus this fall so that we can gather answers to as many as we possibly can. Click here to submit a question to us (this form will be open until Wednesday). We will also be accepting live questions through the Q&A feature on BlueJeans events.

We want to use this time to let you know what we’ve been working on in regards to our advocacy efforts, as well as provide answers about the fall and what it will look like. This will also be a time for you to voice concerns so that we can better understand student sentiment. We would love to see you this Wednesday!  As always, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at covid19@sga.gatech.edu.

RETURN TO CAMPUS RESOURCES

As part of our commitment to providing up-to-date information about the status of Georgia Tech’s Return to Campus this fall, SGA has created areas on our website where students can view updates on what campus will look like this fall. The Fall 2020 Return to Campus Guidebook has information on everything from testing to campus services and is available here.

In preparation for Wednesday’s Town Hall, SGA has collected over 100 questions from the student body. Many of these questions will be answered during the event, and immediately following, all of the questions we received will be uploaded to the SGA Fall 2020 FAQs page, located here. NOTE: This page will not go live until 8:30 PM on July 22, 2020.


ACADEMIC ADVOCACY FOR FALL 2020

Over the summer, SGA leadership has been working to ensure every student has a safe and successful academic environment. As changes have been released by Georgia Tech and the University System of Georgia, SGA has continued to voice student opinions and concerns in an effort to make sure everyone is heard. Here are some of our academic updates:

  • SGA leadership has drafted a letter to the Board of Regents outlining in the strongest possible terms the need for online options for every Georgia Tech student. This letter is undergoing additional revisions and Student Body Presidents at other University System of Georgia schools will be offered a chance to join this letter. As soon as final revisions are complete, this letter will be shared with the Georgia Tech student body.
  • SGA has continued to advocate for an attendance leniency policy for students and faculty. The SGA Undergraduate President and VP of Academic Affairs have drafted an updated attendance faculty/student expectations document. We will continue to push for this to be implemented and will provide updates to the student body.
  • SGA successfully helped advocate to move Phase II registration to August 1st, as well as for increased remote course options and flexibility in our course modes.
  • Beyond COVID-19 measures, SGA Academics is looking forward to continuing to work on institutionalizing mini-mester courses and revitalizing APPH/health course curriculum.

ELECTION DAY PROPOSAL ACCEPTED

On July 14, the Faculty Executive Board passed a motion brought forth by representatives from SGA, requesting that teaching faculty provide academic consideration for student voters on November 3, Election Day. The motion requested that for Election Day, faculty consider moving lectures to an asynchronous format, avoid scheduling in-class quizzes, tests, or assessments, and make lecture recordings available for students unable to attend class that day. The Faculty Executive Board passed the motion, clarifying that classes will still be in session November 3. Faculty are strongly encouraged to consider making these modifications in order to give Georgia Tech students ample opportunity to participate in the election.

SGA will continue working with the Faculty Executive Board and Institute Standing Committees with the goal of creating a policy that sustains this efforts for election days to come.

FIRST STUDENT-RUN GEORGIA TECH POLLING LOCATION APPROVED

After Georgia Tech Athletics took the incredible step of securing an election-day polling place at McCamish Pavilion, SGA met with the Fulton County Deputy Elections Chief to make arrangements to fully staff the polling place with students. We received approval for Georgia Tech’s first fully student-staffed polling place. Unfortunately, Georgia Tech administration made an executive decision to cancel the August 11th Runoff Election polling place on the Georgia Tech campus, citing health concerns regarding hosting an election while students are moving on campus. SGA is advocating strongly to ensure Georgia Tech will host a November 3rd general election polling place and early voting location, both fully staffed by students. SGA continues to serve on the campus-wide Voter Engagement Steering Committee, developing campaigns to ensure a high Georgia Tech turnout this Fall.


TITLE IX UPDATE

Following the United States Department of Education’s significant changes to the Title IX sexual assault protocol, Georgia Tech SGA partnered with the University of Georgia SGA to write a letter to the University System of Georgia (USG) regarding the reforms which we view as harmful for survivors in certain key ways. Our letter urges USG to rise above the bar regarding the treatment of survivors, which has been lowered by the Department of Education, and to establish guidelines for Title IX complaints which will prioritize the mental wellbeing and health of survivors as well as their ability to receive an equitable education at Georgia Tech.

We sent this letter to our USG peer institutions and have received signatures from Columbus State University, Dalton State College, Fort Valley State University, Georgia College & State University, Georgia Gwinnett College, Georgia State University, and Valdosta State University. We will be meeting with USG in the future to ensure student concerns take priority in the long process of developing robust USG guidelines based on the Department of Education’s reforms. To read our letter to USG, click here.


CAMPUS SERVICES ADVOCACY UPDATE

At a glance, SGA has worked to build trust and a firm communication network to assist in directly connecting student concerns with decision-makers.

We understand that may not sound very illustrious, but it’s a massive step towards improving the quality of student input received in important decisions that impact the daily life of each student. This fall, we will face unpredictable and time-sensitive issues that will require sharp communication, honest conversations, and advocacy-based decision making. SGA is ready to assist in these forthcoming efforts, and we look forward to the difficult and necessary discussions that will be had for the foreseeable future.

More substantively, here is a progress update on items in Campus Services that have either resulted from student advocacy or internal decision-making within Campus Services for the fall:

Completed Items

  • Meal swipes are now allowed at all food truck vendors at Georgia Tech.
  • The Department of Housing and Residence Life has agreed to improve the regularity of direct communication to residents.
  • SGA has set up regular meetings with Housing & Residence Life, Student Center, CRC, Dining Services, and Stamps.

In Progress Items

  • We are currently working with student groups and the Department of Housing and Residence life to advocate for no contract cancellation fees. Georgia Tech has sent three proposals for removing housing contract cancellation fees to the University System of Georgia. USG is currently reviewing those proposals.
  • SGA is continuing to advocate for international student housing support.
  • We are working with the Department of Campus Services to provide general support for returning students this Fall.
  • SGA is finalizing a proposal for a meal swipe semesterly donation initiative.
  • We are working with the Department of Campus Services to improve the quality of empathetic communication from all Campus Services’ departments
  • The CRC has taken over activity spaces in residence halls. SGA is working to ensure student input is provided for renovations to these spaces.
  • SGA is advocating for improved meal plan flexibility.
  • We are working with the Department of Parking and Transportation to ensure an increased level of transportation services is provided during the Fall semester.
  • The Department of Campus Services is working to provide general support for student-led advocacy groups.

Change comes from many places, but change comes most swiftly when students speak vocally about what works and what doesn’t work. Thank you to every student who has reached out to us over the past few months to share concerns, ideas, and ask questions. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us at any time now or in the future regarding your ideas, thoughts, and concerns regarding Campus Services. Being able to point directly to your words and your voice helps us to better advocate for change. 

Lastly, in case you’re wondering what departments fall under Campus Services, here’s the list in brief: Dining Services, Buzzcard Center, Housing & Residence Life, Stamps, Georgia Tech Bookstore, Parking & Transportation, Student Center, and Campus Recreation Center.


RETURN TO CAMPUS SURVEY RESULTS

On June 15th, SGA distributed a Return to Class survey to all Georgia Tech students. Over a two week period, we received 4,071 responses. Here are a few of the survey highlights:

  • 32% of students said they would opt-out of on-campus instruction.
  • 29% of students said they were uncomfortable or extremely uncomfortable returning to on-campus instruction in the Fall.
  • 48% of students said they would live in on-campus housing in the Fall
  • 80% of students said they were likely or extremely likely to wear a mask on campus, but only 40% indicated they believed their peers were likely or extremely likely to wear one.
  • The top three concerns for returning to on-campus instruction were lack of social distancing, instructional space not being disinfecting, and inconsistent PPE usage.
  • Many students emphasized the importance of having a remote/online/distance learning option for health and safety reasons, international students who cannot return to Atlanta, in the event that a student or professor becomes ill, or in the event of a major outbreak. 

These results have been reported to the Georgia Tech Administration and have been used to guide decisions as we prepare to return to campus. To view the full report of results, please click here.


RACIAL JUSTICE ADVOCACY

On Friday, June 12, 2020, SGA leaders met with the leaders of Black Student Organizations (BSOs) to discuss how SGA can bolster Institute support for Georgia Tech’s Black student community. This meeting came in the wake of nationwide protests against racial injustice across the country and the world. Some of the requests that BSO leaders have made to President Cabrera and his administration include the following:

  1. Black student spaces. With the construction of the new Student Center, the Black Student Offices have been pushed to the corner of West campus, making spaces for Black students harder to access. BSOs need a space more centrally located on campus. Physical spaces are crucial in signaling inclusion on behalf of an institution for underrepresented groups.
  2. Black student scholarships. Nationally, Black students must take out loans at a higher rate than all other student groups in order to afford the cost of college, as recorded by the National Center for Education Statistics. Only two scholarships currently exist for minority students at Tech — Tech Promise and Goizueta. Neither of these scholarships has been given the sole focus of incentivizing the attendance and retention of undergraduate Black students.
  3. A stronger commitment to diversity, justice, and representation. Increased enrollment of Black students and increased hiring of Black professors, researchers, and lecturers. Increased support of black-owned businesses including food truck vendors.

The full list of demands can be viewed here.

SGA cabinet members have since elevated the list of demands that BSO leaders provided in our discussions with President Cabrera, members of his administration, and the leaders of campus departments. 

Undergraduate SGA President Brielle Lonsberry and graduate SGA President Lea Harris wrote a follow-up letter to President Cabrera and Dr. Archie Ervin to further emphasize the importance of incorporating the feedback from BSO leaders into long term sustainable structural changes, making anti-bias and microaggression training accessible campus-wide, and urge the institute to publicly announce institute actions being made to support these goals.

Undergraduate and graduate cabinet members Mykala Sinclair and Nettie Brown sat as panelists on the Race At Georgia Tech – A Call to Action talk on Thursday, July 16, 2020. During the discussion, President Cabrera announced five tangible actions the institute will be incorporating campus-wide. They include:

  1. Incorporating a bias and harassment component to the Institute’s new student orientation and employee onboarding programs.
  2. Implementing a new implicit bias training program for students and staff focused on racial bias and discrimination.
  3. Establishing a Georgia Tech Diversity and Inclusion Council to identify issues and propose solutions on an ongoing basis.
  4. Creating a Georgia Tech Police Department (GTPD) Community Council composed of students, staff, faculty, and members of GTPD to ensure open communication and collaboratively identify ways in which GTPD can continually improve how it serves the community.
  5. Creating a new Diversity Strategy position at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) reporting to the vice president for GTRI and dotted line report to the vice president for Institute Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to lead diversity recruiting, training, and professional development support for enhanced career progression for underrepresented minorities and women research faculty and staff.

Members of SGA’s undergraduate cabinet, Mykala Sinclair and Jackson Caruso met with the director of the Office of Undergraduate Admission to discuss what plans the office has to increase Black student recruitment and enrollment.

Georgia Tech Dining has announced that it will partner with local, minority-owned food truck vendors to more than double the available food trucks on campus in the fall. A finalized schedule will be available soon. Additionally, these plans will increase the regularity of daily food truck availability on campus for the fall semester and increase accessibility to food trucks via meal plan inclusion.

Members of SGA’s undergraduate cabinet, Mykala Sinclair and Kyle Smith joined a new working group created by the Office of Minority Educational Development (OMED) called the Racial Injustice and Sexual Violence (RISV) Collective which had its first meeting on Tuesday, June 23, 2020. The Collective was charged with the responsibility of:

  1. Creating a culturally relevant Racial Inequality and Sexual Violence Education and Awareness Action Plan.
  2. Establishing accountability metrics for the execution and evaluation of these education and awareness protocols at Georgia Tech (starting in the Black community and hopefully expanding beyond).

While we recognize the progress we have made, we also acknowledge that the fight for racial justice in our institutions of higher education will require systemic-level changes and continuous advocacy. We look forward to advancing these efforts in the year ahead.


INTERNATIONAL STUDENT ADVOCACY

The COVID-19 pandemic has created serious challenges for international students who have continuously voiced their concerns to SGA. SGA elevated a letter signed by 300+ international students in advocacy efforts with President Cabrera and members of his administration. Additionally, SGA leaders met with the author of the letter to personally discuss strategies to advocate for international students. Some of the requests included:

  1. Remote instruction options. The Institute must provide a viable option for students to remotely complete their academic coursework, including expanding its online course offerings and developing a uniform policy governing participation and attendance for students in different time zones.
  2. Communicate guidance from the Student and Exchange Visitor Program. The Institute must communicate any relevant guidance from the Department of Homeland Security’s Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) to students on F-1 visas and applicable immigration statuses, including any guidance about the completion of academic coursework full-time remotely in the fall semester.
  3. Tuition and fees adjustments. The Institute must address the new financial circumstances of international and out-of-state students, many of whom ordinarily pay full out-of-state tuition to attend classes in-person, and must seriously consider lowering tuition prices and expanding aid and scholarship opportunities for incoming and current international students.

On July 6, 2020, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced new guidance measures that stated that nonimmigrant F-1 and M-1 students would not be allowed to take a full online course load and remain in the United States. In the wake of this policy, undergraduate SGA President Brielle Lonsberry and graduate SGA President Lea Harris joined a working group to elevate student concerns on this policy. During which they pushed for greater accommodations to ensure international student access and safety. 

SGA also received a list of questions and concerns about this policy from the Georgia Tech International Ambassadors that was elevated to campus administrators. On July 14, 2020, ICE rescinded this policy after a lawsuit was brought by Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 

To support international students, Georgia Tech Housing has announced the following:

  1. The GT Housing contract no-penalty cancellation period has been extended.
  2. Housing options have been provided to all students regardless of residential/contract status.
  3. GT Housing has committed to increased communication with international students who plan to live on campus in the fall.
  4. Earlier housing availability for international students.

LGBTQIA+ ADVOCACY

Members of SGA Undergraduate Cabinet, Kyle, Grace, Emmett, and Joyce, have been working with undergrad Pride to advocate for more STI testing on campus, access to/advertising for Emory’s PREP (which is a preventative medication for AIDS), and we will be collaborating with the LGBTQIA Resource center at GT for event planning going forward. 

Grace Swift, the VP of Communications, met with Undergrad Pride Alliance and spoke with previous leadership from the Pride Alliance and determined the following commitments that SGA can make:

  • Ensure that incoming first-year students/students in general know how to apply for name changes through the registrar so they aren’t deadnamed
  • Connect with the chairs of each school to get them to get thier faculty to take Trans 101 and Safe Space Training
  • Promote holidays that are relevant to the LGBTQIA+ community
  • Promote gender-inclusive housing options on campus
  • Advocate for multi-stall gender-inclusive restrooms (specifically in the new student center)

Title IX Letter to USG

Title IX Letter to USG

July 21, 2020

Dear Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia,

The Student Government Associations (SGA) of the University System of Georgia colleges and universities stand with survivors of sexual misconduct. As representatives of Georgia students, it is our duty to express our desire for Georgia colleges and universities to hold themselves to a higher standard than the Department of Education (DOE) requires with its recent amendments to Title IX. 

We, as students, would be wrong to ignore the presence of positive change within these reforms. Title IX now explicitly covers sexual misconduct that occurs in fraternity and sorority housing and requires increased visibility of the Title IX Coordinator on college campuses.1 Additionally, the new classification of stalking, domestic violence, and dating violence as acts of sexual harassment marks a step forward in addressing and preventing sexual misconduct on college campuses.2

That being said, changes to Title IX also strip survivors of several crucial protections. By narrowing the scope of complaints that colleges are required to investigate by changing the definition of sexual harassment to “unwelcome conduct” that is “so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to education,” all students who experience sexual harassment are not protected.3 Such a narrow definition of sexual harassment binds universities’ hands in their ability to take action against students who prevent their peers from receiving equal access to our quality Georgia public educations. We therefore ask that the University System of Georgia guides its colleges and universities to address sexual misconduct claims even if they do not fit the high standard of “severe” or “pervasive” and continue to use the definition of sexual harassment defined in the ‘Dear Colleague’ Letter.4

Moreover, under the new reforms, colleges are not required to handle cases of sexual misconduct that occur outside the United States or outside a school program or activity.5 This will result in cases of sexual misconduct that occur on study abroad programs and in off-campus apartments not being investigated. However, under the Title IX Final Rule, colleges remain free to adopt disciplinary systems to address sexual misconduct committed outside the United States,6 and can offer supportive measures to students who report sexual harassment that occurred off-campus, as well as outside a school program or activity.7 We ask that the University System of Georgia compels its colleges and universities to investigate all claims that involve enrolled students, both on and off campus.

To address the presumption of innocence aspect of the changes, these Title IX reforms now allow colleges and universities to choose between two different evidentiary standards: “preponderance of evidence” and “clear and convincing.”8 In many cases of sexual misconduct, these offenses occur in private places such as residence halls, residential housing, and fraternity housing, and without substantial quantities of documented evidence.9 This is evident by the fact that in 35.3 percent of incidents involving penetration among women who had consumed alcohol, the survivor was passed out or asleep for at least part of the incident of her rape.10 Consequently, a clear and convincing evidentiary standard inordinately disadvantages complainants, establishing the need for a preponderance of evidence standard. Furthermore, a preponderance of evidence standard aligns schools’ treatment of sexual misconduct complaints with similar civil rights statutes and more generally with courts’ handling of civil cases.11 Both Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prohibits race discrimination by educational institutions and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prohibits discrimination in employment, use a preponderance of the evidence standard.12 The clear and convincing evidentiary standard would be inconsistent with the standard of proof established for violations of the civil rights laws and may guarantee the accused innocence, which is why we ask the University System of Georgia to establish preponderance of evidence as the evidentiary standard for our colleges and universities.

Title IX reforms aim to address the previous existence of a de-facto college court system created in previous Title IX reforms. The DOE seeks to fix these problematic pseudo-courts by creating the guarantee of a cross-examination of the survivor. In allowing survivors to be cross-examined by their alleged abusers–or a representative of them–the DOE is refusing to acknowledge the traumatic nature of reliving an assault in a series of questioning in front of their abuser. Such an environment poses a significant threat of intimidating survivors to not pursue formal Title IX investigations.13 According to a 2018-2019 annual report from the the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, where cross-examination of survivors began in 2018, since 2018, fewer students chose to pursue formal Title IX investigations and there was a significant increase in requests for an “Adaptable Resolution” or informal resolution that issues no punishments to the accused.14 The report states on page eighteen, “some Claimants who wanted University action taken in response to their concerns also expressed hesitation about pursuing an Investigative Resolution in light of the addition of a hearing and direct cross-examination under the Interim Policy.”15 In a reform ultimately aimed at allowing survivors of sexual misconduct to lead fulfilling, productive college careers and receive the education they earned with admittance, a cross-examination undermines the mental well-being of survivors and creates further trauma for survivors. Consequently, we ask the USG to establish guidelines for these mandatory cross-examinations that would allow for such reviews to be conducted in a manner that is tactful, respectful, and safe for survivors’ mental health. 

Mental health issues are already incredibly prevalent on college campuses, and both the administrations and SGAs are committed to an ongoing fight to alleviate them, and to do better by our fellow students throughout all of Georgia.

We recognize that Title IX is a substantial body of legislation, as are the changes to it. However, we still implore you to allow USG colleges and universities to hold themselves to a higher standard with regard to Title IX, especially when it comes to handling allegations of sexual assault. Our aim is to clearly delineate between strict Title IX rules and guidelines which leave room for USG interpretation. For every rule that is open to interpretation, we exhort USG to establish a survivor-focused justice-seeking process. This, we believe, will allow both the administrations and SGAs to better advocate for and protect survivors of sexual misconduct and continue to make our campus a safe place for everyone. 

Sincerely,

Georgia Tech SGA, University of Georgia SGA, Dalton State College SGA, Fort Valley State University SGA, Georgia College and State University SGA, Georgia State University, Georgia Gwinnett College SGA, Columbus State University SGA, Valdosta State University SGA

SGA Town Hall Announcement

SGA Town Hall Announcement

The Georgia Tech Student Government Association will be hosting a student town hall on Wednesday, July 22nd from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM. The panelists will include a few members of SGA leadership, as well as leadership from Georgia Tech International Ambassadors and the Residence Hall Association.

SGA is in the process of collecting questions about Georgia Tech’s return to campus this fall, so that we can gather answers to as many as we possibly can. Click here to submit a question to us (this form will be open until Wednesday). We will also be accepting live questions through the Q&A feature on BlueJeans events.

We want to use this time to let you know what we’ve been working on in regards to our advocacy efforts, as well as provide answers about the fall and what it will look like. This will also be a time for you to voice concerns so that we can better understand student sentiment. We would love to see you this Wednesday!  As always, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at sga@gatech.edu.

Volunteers Requested for First-Year Student Move-in

Volunteers Requested for First-Year Student Move-in

Georgia Tech Campus Services is requesting student volunteers to assist in providing a safe and positive move-in experience for students and their families during the two-day move-in on August 8th and 9th.

From a centralized mobile check-in to a 30-minute unloading zone, the new, streamlined process is designed to help students check-in and move in while remaining safe and happy.  

General volunteer positions include greeting families as they arrive for check-in, directing traffic, and helping roll bins to students’ buildings.  

Volunteers can sign up for a shift by completing the sign-up form below where they can see a more detailed description of each position before signing up.  

Volunteers can expect to receive virtual training for their assigned role the first week of August.  

SGA Letter to President Cabrera

SGA Letter to President Cabrera on Covid-19

July 7, 2020

President Cabrera,

In light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and the recent spike in cases in Georgia, we ask that you and the rest of the Georgia Tech administration set the health and safety of the Georgia Tech community as the top priority. Since we have been notified within the last day that the University System of Georgia (USG) has given Georgia Tech additional latitude to meet the unique needs of our campus, we would like to direct several concerns toward you and members of your administration. We recognize and greatly appreciate the USG’s recent move to mandate face coverings on campuses across the state and hope that this is a starting point to further protect students, faculty, and staff. We thank you for including students in the governance process thus far and wish to continue to elevate the concerns and desires of our student body. 

We, as student leaders at Georgia Tech and on behalf of our entire undergraduate and graduate student body, stand with the 800+ academic professors1, 300+ international students2, and 2000+ students, alumni, and parents3 at Georgia Tech who released statements to demand action and outline their serious concerns for the Fall 2020 semester. 

Since the pandemic began, students across our campus have demanded that Georgia Tech and the USG meaningfully address their concerns. Students continue to express that the current Fall 2020 plans are causing fear and emotional distress due to their inability to make safe choices for remote coursework or to return to campus safely. While the ability to require face coverings more widely indoors will address some concerns, we still want to express the need to support students and faculty in their personal accommodations to  increase the safety of on-campus experiences and hybrid courses. Young people remain the fastest growing demographic to be infected with Covid-19, and it also must be recognized that campuses are at high risk for the spread of infection. Georgia Tech and USG leaders must protect both the physical and mental health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff.

Similarly, a sentiment heard widely is the need to accommodate students who have faced barriers and inequities in accessing the tools and technology required to continue their education during the Covid-19 pandemic. Specifically, Georgia Tech must provide safe and viable course opportunities for our immunocompromised, out-of-state, on-campus resident, and international student populations. Students who are themselves at higher risk and/or live with and regularly interact with individuals who are at higher risk of the coronavirus have repeatedly voiced their deep concern for the lack of remote course delivery options and safety precautions being put in place on campus this Fall. These students seek assurance of remote accommodations being made available during hybrid course delivery to reduce transmission for those who fall under USG outlined underlying medical conditions. 

International students, who make up approximately 23% of our total student population, have asked for viable options to complete academic coursework given the travel concerns and immigration restrictions around the world and now within our own borders. With the new changes to the active Student and Exchange Visitor Program, our international students have been disadvantaged and left in the dark on how to proceed with their plans for the Fall in order to maintain their visa status and accommodate safety. Additionally, due to the expected change in experience on campus, many international and out-of-state students, who normally pay full out-of-state tuition, are going through new financial and economic challenges. We ask that in your advocacy efforts with USG you champion lowering tuition prices, expanding aid and scholarship opportunities, and waiving cancelation fees to support students.

On behalf of the diverse student body that we represent, we strongly urge the following: 

  1. The Board of Regents and Georgia Tech administration partner together to safeguard the health and safety needs of the Georgia Tech community, informed by scientific evidence. 
  2. Make remote course delivery available for all students during the Fall 2020 semester in order to reduce disease transmission risk and to reduce disruption of educational delivery in the event of worsening pandemic conditions. We emphasize that no student, faculty, or staff should be coerced into risking their health and the health of their families by working and/or learning on campus when there is a remote/online equivalent. 
  3. Make on-campus experiences and courses available for students who need access to campus residences and on-campus laboratories or other specialized facilities, while ensuring accommodations can be sought to access such resources for students with USG outlined underlying medical conditions.
  4. Provide large-scale Covid-19 testing and ensure timely contact tracing of new infections. 
  5. Adjust tuition prices, waive cancellation fees, and expand scholarship opportunities and aid to support students whose finances have been impacted by the pandemic.

With so much uncertainty facing our student body, now is not the time for business as usual. This moment demands that the USG and Georgia Tech demonstrate steady and compassionate leadership that acts in the best interest of students, faculty, and staff. As the Fall is quickly approaching and the landscape of the semester continues to evolve we highlight the importance of transparent, timely communication to students about all decisions being discussed and made. We are counting on you to do what is right.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

In Progress and Service,

Brielle Lonsberry
Undergraduate Student Body President 

Lea Harris
Graduate Student Body President 

Kyle Smith
Undergraduate Executive Vice President 

Jay McKinney
Graduate Executive Vice President 

References:

  1. https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdjyLGfLIncWtm8fntduj3mMhZhhGtF2khGYHNJdZIXu1xBhg/viewform?fbclid=IwAR1g9SmUIpHVwoNjILY3_2SCwcsJWic-GS4DBEs3Dc6WSx-rg8d3n5C5dOU
  2. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Dvylyu2REOBh0QFT5FK1rEEwjPes8r9hZGCBDFWUsMI/edit
  3. https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdzJmBzud15maXjXwJwwXPnq98kxjSptcKIg4kaMFI8TTC7Lg/viewform

Students Return to Classes Survey

Students Return to Classes Survey

Yellow Jackets, 

I hope you are doing as well as you can be during these times. As we are in the process of returning to on-campus instruction in the Fall, it is important for us in the GT Covid-19 Recovery Task Force to gather and address concerns to better cater to students returning to campus. Our first priority is keeping our Georgia Tech community safe. 

To gauge concerns for students planning to take courses on campus this Fall, we are providing a survey titled “Undergraduate and Graduate Student Return to Campus Survey,” that will collect feedback on the upcoming Fall instruction. Please take a few minutes to fill this out, found here, as it will be very important in making sure concerns are reported and addressed for your return to campus.

SGA greatly values your input on how we can best advocate for you! I can’t wait until we are all united on campus once again. 

In Progress and Service,

Brielle Lonsberry
Undergraduate Student Body President

SGA’s Response to Student Demands

SGA’s Response to Student Demands

  1. SGA’s undergraduate and graduate Vice Presidents of Academic Affairs and Vice Presidents of Student Life are initiating conversations with the admissions office, including the Black Student Recruitment Team, to discuss further and expanded efforts to recruit more Black students to Georgia Tech and engage further with local middle and high schools as well as increase resources allocated to the Black Student Recruitment Team.
  2. Joint executive leadership has participated and will continue to engage with President Cabrera, Dean Stein, and Dr. Ervin, among others, to advocate for the hiring and retention of more black administration and faculty.
  3. Georgia Tech Campus Services has already committed to bringing additional food trucks to campus this Fall due to COVID-19 social distancing guidelines. SGA’s undergraduate and graduate Vice Presidents of Campus Services are meeting with Campus Services leadership this week to advocate for black-owned food trucks and the continuation of student involvement in the selection process. 
  4. Under USG Student Voting Privileges Policy, section 4.1.3, Georgia Tech is required to permit an excused absence if a student’s class schedule prevents them from voting in any federal, state, or local elections. SGA worked with the Registrar’s Office throughout the Spring of 2020 to set up the process for Tech students to request an excused absence. Due to COVID-19, the communications and promotion of these efforts have been postponed until this Fall. To request an excused absence to vote please visit https://registrar.gatech.edu/info/request-for-excused-absence-for-voting.
  5. SGA’s undergraduate and graduate Vice Presidents of Campus Services are meeting with Campus Services leadership and student organizations in upcoming weeks to discuss the treatment of campus services’ workers, specifically black workers in the dining halls and those who operate campus transportation, as well as potential changes to the food truck program on campus. 
  6. Joint executive leadership has participated and will continue to engage with President Cabrera, Dean Stein, and Dr. Ervin, among others, to advocate for an expanded ethics curriculum for undergraduate and graduate students. In the short term, joint leadership is working to expand bias-training workshop capacity across campus and diversity training for anyone involved in academic instruction (TAs, professors, staff).

Any questions or comments are welcome at sga@gatech.edu!

Student Engagement Events and Listening Sessions

Student Engagement Events and Listening Sessions

Sponsored by the Division of Student Life

Coffee with CARE

The Center for Assessment, Education and Referral (CARE) is available to help you navigate resources, provide support and listen during difficult times. Coffee with CARE is a drop-in opportunity for students to learn about campus and community resources and ask questions in a non-clinical setting. We are reaching out especially to Black and African American-identified students and other communities who are impacted by current events. No question or challenge is too big or small. CARE recognizes the need to support a student in every aspect of well-being. Whether it is your emotional, social, physical, academic or financial well-being, CARE wants to make sure that you can get connected with the support you need. Each week will focus on a different topic related to maximizing your mental health and well-being.  If you have been considering coming to CARE, this is a great opportunity to get to know the CARE clinical staff before initiating services.

Week 1:
Are you a student who is seeking support or experiencing fatigue due to the uncertainty of the current cultural climate protests, COVID-19, 24/7 news cycle, exposure to violence?

Join us for our discussion of self-care strategies, creating boundaries and practicing self-compassion.

Thursday, June 11: 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM
BlueJeans Meeting ID: 423211297

Friday, June 12: 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
BlueJeans Meeting ID: 439868285

Week 2:
Do you want to explore strategies on how to support your friends? Join us in a discussion on how to have difficult conversations, practice empathy, and learn the difference between listening and giving advice.

Monday, June 15th: 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
BlueJeans Meeting ID: 565404910

Tuesday, June 16th: 10:00 AM – 11:00
MBlueJeans Meeting ID:  521495207

Counseling Center: Let’s Talk Special Offerings

The Counseling Center is available to offer support to students who want to be heard during these difficult times.  We extend a particular invitation to Black and African American-identified students and other communities who feel the impact of current events and want to be listened to, heard, and supported.

“Let’s Talk” is a Georgia Tech Counseling Center program that provides easy access to informal, friendly, supportive, and confidential consultations with Georgia Tech counselors. Counselors will hold virtual walk-in hours throughout the week.  Most Let’s Talk sessions last about 30 minutes. 

To sign-up for an individual time that fits your schedule please email one of our counselors for the day and time you prefer.  Days and times are listed below.  They will send you a confidential Blue Jeans link in order to protect your privacy.

To access a counselor after hours and on weekends please call the main Counseling Center number at 404-894-2575 and follow the prompts.  To initiate formal counseling services please contact GT CARE at 404-894-3498.

Community Listening Circles and Special Events

These various community listening circles center black students. Staff from each Center will be available to offer support and resources. We invite all students who may need/want this space to join us for community and virtual healing.

  • LGBTQIA Resource Center, Student Diversity Programs, Veteran’s Resource Center, Women’s Resource Center
    • Wednesday, June 10th: 2pm-3pm EST
    • BlueJeans Meeting ID 878 991 611
    • Join staff from the LGBTQIA Resource Center, Student Diversity Programs, the Veteran’s Resource Center, and the Women’s Resource Center for a community listening circle that centers Black Georgia Tech students. Staff from the Centers will be available to offer support, resources, and opportunity for healing.
  • LGBTQIA Resource Center: Black LGBTQIA Community Listening Circle
    • Friday, June 5th: 4pm-5pm EST
    • BlueJeans Meeting ID 590 510 148
    • Join staff from the LGBTQIA Resource Center for a community listening circle that centers Black LGBTQIA students. Staff from the Center will be available to offer support and resources. We invite all LGBTQIA students to join us for community and virtual healing.
  • Women’s Resource Center: Black Women’s Community Listening Circle
    • Friday, June 5th: 12pm-1pm EST
    • BlueJeans Meeting ID 805 290 111
    • Join staff from the Women’s Resource Center for a community listening circle centering on Black women. WRC staff will be available to offer support, resources, and a dedicated space for student processing and healing.
  • Veteran’s Resource Center
    • Friday, June 12th: 12pm-1pm EST
    • BlueJeans Meeting ID 772 185 774
Information for Registered Student Organizations

Student Organizations and groups looking to have conversations, listening sessions, or taking actions towards creating more equitable and inclusive communities are encouraged to connect with staff from the Collective for Inclusion, Advocacy, and Support Centers:

Grand Challenges Action through Education Workshop

Saturday, June 6 from 3:00 – 4:30 PM

Guided by the MSW @USC Diversity Toolkit, we will discuss identity, privilege, race, gender and sexuality

Office of the Arts

Belonging and Community: A Conversation on Atlanta, Art & Connections with Bill T. Jones

Thursday, June 25 (Time TBA)
Georgia Tech Arts in partnership with WABE & ATL PBA present a virtual town hall discussion with renowned choreographer Bill T. Jones that explores the importance of community when facing the sense of isolation and divisiveness present in society today. Jones will be joined by Georgia Tech President Ángel Cabrera, with the conversation moderated by Lois Reitzes, host of WABE’s “City Lights.” Together, they will examine questions probing the ways in which we all have felt isolated before and during this pandemic; how we can come together and create a sense of community, of belonging; and how art can help us to imagine a new future of connections. This event is free and open to all.Long before the pandemic, Jones was exploring this concept of community while developing a new work titled What Problem? that is inspired by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the character of Pip from Herman Melville’s Moby Dick. It is an adaptation of Deep Blue Sea made for a proscenium performance. Georgia Tech Arts will present What Problem? at the Ferst Center for the Arts in October, and it will also include opportunities for professional and novice performers from the Atlanta community to participate in the production along with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company members. Visit https://arts.gatech.edu/content/what-problem to learn more.

Staff Development

“I’m Not Okay”- A Conversation with Black Staff in the Division of Student Life

With everything going on in the world, it’s okay to not be okay. Join us in a conversation as we check-in with each other and build community and support during these challenging times. The conversation will be facilitated by Stephanie Ray, Joi Alexander, and LaRonda Hollis

When: June 10, 2020
Time: 3-4:30 pm
Location: Blue Jeans Link: https://bluejeans.com/825187432/9230?src=calendarLink

SGA’s Joint Call for Solidarity with the GT Community

SGA’s Joint Call for Solidarity with the GT Community

A Letter from Undergraduate and Graduate SGA

Fellow Yellow Jackets,

In light of the recent protests over the tragic loss of far too many Black lives, we join in solidarity with those calling for justice. At this pivotal moment, we cannot remain silent because our silence would make us complicit in the violence and oppression aimed at Black communities. We want to assure you that the Georgia Tech Student Government Association believes that Black lives matter and that we hold the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and Ahmaud Arbery in our thoughts and prayers. These most recent incidents have represented an all-out assault on the Black community and illustrate that our justice system is fundamentally broken. So many members of our community, particularly those in the Black community, have been traumatized, angered, and saddened by the manifestation of systemic racism seen in these events. We hear and share your pain. We urge you to continue to exercise your rights, remain civically engaged, and take care of your emotional and mental health during this time. SGA has created a guidebook (attached below)  with some of these resources. We want you to know that we stand with you and will continue to utilize our roles to ensure that Georgia Tech upholds equity as we move forward.

Over the past few days, the Student Government Association has been reaching out to Black student leaders and other stakeholders across campus to first listen, and secondly, develop a plan to move forward, address the concerns raised by the student body, and advocate for meaningful reforms. This topic is important — you are important — and because we wanted to provide substantive updates and resources for students, we recognize that our response has not been as quick as we would have preferred. To create a campus culture centered on equity and inclusion, we must dedicate the necessary time to focus on solutions not just for the short term but for the incoming generations of Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. While we continue to develop a comprehensive plan, we have identified and are pursuing steps to ensure that we protect each and every Georgia Tech student. We need your feedback to help us do so.

Our next steps:

  • Cabinet members from both the Undergraduate and Graduate SGA are meeting with senior leadership and training officers from the Georgia Tech Police Department to thoroughly review department policies and officer training protocols, address student concerns of implicit bias and use of force, and set the foundation for continued student input on this topic. 
  • Joint SGA leadership is meeting with Dr. Archie Ervin, Vice President of Institute Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Georgia Tech. As part of this meeting, we will relay student sentiment and concerns to establish additional ways Georgia Tech can foster equity and inclusion for minority groups of students. 
  • Student leaders and members of Georgia Tech’s Black Student Organizations will be invited to meet with SGA leadership to formally express their views and work with SGA on initiatives moving forward. 
  • Joint SGA cabinets will work with the Office of Minority Educational Development (OMED) to expand and communicate resources and support for minority students during this time. 

To help guide SGA in our efforts to advocate for you, we encourage you to click here to answer the following question: “What would help you feel safer as a member of the Georgia Tech community?” Your responses will help us better understand what our next steps should be to thoroughly address the concerns of the student body. Thank you in advance for your open and honest responses. 

While we continue to reach out to stakeholders across Georgia Tech’s campus, we have compiled a comprehensive list of resources available to students in Atlanta and across the nation. As we navigate these difficult times together, please view these resources and if you know of additional resources and would like to share with others, please email us and we will add them to the page.

We are here for you, now and always. As an organization, we remain committed to standing up for your voices, especially those in our historically underserved and marginalized populations, and ensuring that each and every Georgia Tech student has the opportunity to succeed. If we can ever be of assistance, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at sga@gatech.edu. To learn more about our response and access to additional resources, click here to see our news update.

From the Undergraduate and Graduate Student Government Association Executive Cabinets,

In Progress and Service,

Brielle Lonsberry, Undergraduate Student Body President
Kyle Smith, Undergraduate Executive Vice President
Lea Harris, Graduate Student Body President
Jay McKinney, Graduate Executive Vice President

Available Resources

Comprehensive Resource Guide

The Student Government Association External Affairs team put together a comprehensive guide of all of the resources listed below. You can click below to download the guide and access all of these resources in one place.

How to Speak Out
NameContact Information
Your City’s Chief of PoliceVaries by Location
Your County’s SheriffVaries by Location
Your State Patrol HeadquartersVaries by Location
Your MayorVaries by Location
Your GovernorVaries by Location
Local Accountability/Human Rights OfficeVaries by Location
Chief Erika Shields (Atlanta Police)(404) 546-6900
Sheriff Ted Jackson (Fulton County Sheriff)(404) 612-5100
Georgia Department of Public Safety(404) 624-7477

How to Protest Safely
General Information
  • Only attend protests with transparent leadership linked to legitimate community/activism organizations
  • If you are an international student, be aware that if you get arrested, you could potentially lose your visa
  • We are still in the midst of a pandemic, so remember to wear a mask, socially distance if you are able, and try to quarantine after going to a protest
  • Under the 4th Amendment, you do not have to give your passwords to your devices to the police. Facial recognition passwords are not protected.
  • You only have to identify yourself by Name and DOB, hold your responses, and wait to speak to your attorney. Do not volunteer any information
  • Always stay with your group. Some police tactics are to separate people.
  • Plan your transportation. Usually, roads are cut off for a protest and/or march. Consider carpooling and using public transportation.
  • Let your family and/or close friends know that you are protesting so that they can support you and know where you are. 
How to Act
  • Act Boldly
  • Follow Protest Leaders
  • Participate in chants
What to Wear
  • Clothing:
    • Nondescriptive
    • Comfortable
    • Fitted clothing that is hard to grab
  • Face masks, and bring extra if possible
  • Thick sneakers or boots
  • Goggles (including heat resistant goggles)
  • Emergency contacts on your arms
    • Atlanta Jail Support: (404) 689-1519
    • Your Local Jail Support: Varies by Location
  • Pull your hair back
What to Bring
  • Water
  • Cash
  • ID
  • Snacks
  • First aid
  • Protest signs
  • A cell-phone (fully-charged) in airplane mode with a passcode lock
  • A backpack or fanny pack to carry your items
What to Do if You Get Hit With Tear Gas
  • Remain calm and take the following steps:
  • Avoid using oils/lotions because they can trap chemicals and prolong exposure
  • Breathe slowly, blow your nose, rinse your mouth, cough, and spit
  • If possible, shut your eyes
  • Quickly move away from the tear gas canister
  • Remove your contacts, or have someone with clean hands remove your contacts and through them away, or wash your glasses
  • Wash your hands and rinse your eyes
    • If possible, use a solution of half antacid/half water, or use milk
  • Get home, air out your clothes, wash your clothes, and shower
Advocacy/Donations
NameWebsite
Georgia NAACP (or local NAACP chapter)Click Here
George Floyd Memorial FundClick Here
Reclaim the BlockClick Here
Black Lives MatterClick Here
Campaign ZeroClick Here
Black Visions CollectiveClick Here
ATL Solidarity FundClick Here
Black Youth Project 100Click Here
Color of ChangeClick Here
National NAACP OrganizationClick Here
Southern Center for Human RightsClick Here
The King CenterClick Here
National Center for Civil and Human RightsClick Here
Georgia Tech Resources
NameWebsite
Office of Minority EducationClick Here
Center for Student Diversity and InclusionClick Here
Center for Engineering Education and DiversityClick Here
Health InitiativesClick Here
Women’s Resource CenterClick Here
LGBTQIA Resource CenterClick Here
GT Counseling CenterClick Here
SGA Legal AdvisingClick Here
Mental Health Resources
NameWebsite
The Steve FundClick Here
(or text STEVE to 741741)
Therapy for Black GirlsClick Here
Therapy for Black MenClick Here
Black Emotional and Mental HealthClick Here
Silence the ShameClick Here
The Boris Lawrence Henson FoundationClick Here
BetterHelpClick Here
The Trevor ProjectClick Here
National Suicide Prevention Line1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Black Student Organizations (BSO)
NameWebsite
African American Student UnionClick Here
African Student AssociationClick Here
Black Graduate Student AssociationClick Here
Black Student Recruitment TeamClick Here
Caribbean Student AssociationClick Here
GT National Pan-Hellenic CouncilClick Here
GT Society of Black EngineersClick Here

Education Tools

BOOKS (AVAILABLE FROM THE GT LIBRARY)

TitleAuthor
I Know Why the Caged Bird SingsMaya Angelou
Just MercyBryan Stevenson
The Fire Next TimeJames Baldwin
The New Jim CrowMichelle Alexander
The Warmth of Other SunsIsabel Wilkerson
Their Eyes Were Watching GodZora Neale Hurston

MOVIES

TitleSource
13thNetflix
American SonNetflix
Dear White PeopleNetflix
See You YesterdayNetflix
When They See UsNetflix
If Beale Street Could TalkHulu
The Hate U GiveHulu
The Black Power Mixtape: 1967-1975For Rent
ClemencyFor Rent
Fruitvale StationFor Rent
I Am Not Your NegroFor Rent

Feedback

To help guide SGA in our efforts to advocate for you, we encourage you to click below to answer the following question: “What would help you feel safer as a member of the Georgia Tech community?” Your responses will help us better understand what our next steps should be to thoroughly address the concerns of the student body.

Steps Moving Forward

Georgia Tech Police Department

Cabinet members from both the Undergraduate and Graduate SGA are meeting with senior leadership and training officers from the Georgia Tech Police Department to thoroughly review department policies and officer training protocols, address student concerns of implicit bias and use of force, and set the foundation for continued student input on this topic. 

Office Institute Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Joint SGA leadership is meeting with Dr. Archie Ervin, Vice President of Institute Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Georgia Tech. As part of this meeting, we will relay student sentiment and concerns to establish additional ways Georgia Tech can foster equity and inclusion for minority groups of students. 

Black Student Organizations

Student leaders and members of Georgia Tech’s Black Student Organizations will be invited to meet with SGA leadership to formally express their views and work with SGA on initiatives moving forward.

Office of Minority Educational Development

Joint SGA cabinets will work with the Office of Minority Educational Development (OMED) to expand and communicate resources and support for minority students during this time. 

Georgia Tech Summer Health Initiatives

Georgia Tech Summer Health Initiatives

With campus life disrupted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Georgia Tech Student Government Association is committed to continuing to provide resources for students. As part of this commitment, SGA has worked with Georgia Tech Health Initiatives to obtain a list of resources available to students during the summer months.

A Message from Georgia Tech Health Initiatives

Georgia Tech Health Initiatives is continuing to follow guidance from the CDC and the Georgia Department of Public Health to limit personal contact to reduce the risk of exposure of COVID-19. Yet, we have not forgotten about the health and well-being of Georgia Tech students, faculty, and staff and are ready and willing to meet your needs virtually!

Check out our virtual offerings for the summer below!

Well Being Weekly

Join us for Well-Being Weekly all summer long!

  • Mindful Mondays – 4:00 p.m. Mindfulness meditation practices to start your week
  • TEDx Talk Tuesdays – 12:00 p.m. A Ted Talk and discussion over lunch
  • Well-Being Wednesdays – 2:00 p.m. Wellness trivia on a variety of health and wellbeing topics
  • VOICE Message Thursdays – 1:00 p.m. Information on supporting survivors, 10 signs of healthy and unhealthy relationships, and virtual harassment topics
  • Flavorful Fridays- 12:00 p.m. Join our Dietitians on Instagram Live (@gthealthinitiatives) for recipe ideas and/or spicy nutrition conversation

Register here to get access to the Blue Jeans links! Open to faculty, staff and students

Fit to Thrive

Join us for a 6-week lunch and learn style series designed to teach faculty, staff, and students how to incorporate the dimensions of well-being into their daily lives. Wednesdays 12-1pm

To Register click here
May 13 – June 17

For Questions Contact:
Amber Johnson
amber.johnson@health.gatech.edu

Jackets Journal Journey

What do Albert Einstein, Marie Curie, Frida Kahlo, Leonardo da Vinci, and Frederick Douglass all have in common? Each of these famous figures kept a journal to record their experiences, thoughts, or feelings. Journaling promotes self-care, enhances our immune system functioning and has been proven to reduce stress. Join Health Initiatives’ Jacket Journal Journey for a weekly journal prompt every Monday on Facebook and Instagram (@GTHealthInitiatives) to help you get started.  

Mindfulness Book Club

Join the Georgia Tech community in reading and discussing the book “Mindfulness Meditation: Your Guide to Achieving a Life of Peace by Reducing Stress and Anxiety through Mindfulness Meditation” by Daniel K. Barton, while also learning simple mindfulness exercises that you can incorporate into your daily routine.

The sessions are open to faculty, staff and students and will be held over the course of 4 weeks throughout the month of June using BlueJeans conferencing.

There are two days/times to choose from: 
Wednesdays: 10am – 11am
Thursdays: 3pm – 4pm 

To Register Click Here

Virtual Wellness Coaching

Wellness coaching is now VIRTUAL! Wellness coaches will help you achieve your goals by guiding you through discussion and reflection. You can explore fitness, sleep, stress, relationships, future plans, and more.

For More Information: 
https://healthinitiatives.gatech.edu/support-services/wellness-coaching

To register click here

Open to undergraduate and graduate students only!

Nutrition Consults Go Virtual

All students can meet with our dietitians to receive individual counseling via BlueJeans. Each initial visit includes a one-hour appointment, an analysis of your current eating plan, and an action plan addressing your individual goals. Our dietitians see students who want to address disordered eating habits, change their eating habits, manage a medical diagnosis or concern, or learn how to stay nourished while following specific food restrictions or allergies. Our dietitians are also members of Georgia Tech’s multidisciplinary Eating Disorder Treatment Team.

  To make an appointment, email nutrition@gatech.edu 

Open to undergraduate and graduate students only!

The Body Positive

Through the generous allotment from JAC, Health Initiatives is bringing The Body Positive to campus.  The mission of The Body Positive program is, “To teach people how to develop balanced, joyful self-care and a relationship with their whole selves that is guided by love, forgiveness, and humor so they can focus on the things in life that really matter.” Research completed in 2014 at Stanford University demonstrated that the Be Body Positive model is strongly associated with self-compassion, healthy eating and exercise, more satisfying relationships, emotional wellbeing, and lower levels of anxiety.  We hope to bring this mindset to Georgia Tech to create a culture where positive body image, healthful eating, and self-care are the expected norms.

Health Initiatives is able to offer the following opportunities through this program:

  1. You can be trained to be a Body Positive Facilitator at Tech
  2. You can access an online course to transform your own relationship with your body
    • Be Body Positive FundamentalsA deeper dive into the 5 Competencies for personal exploration. You’ll have access to videos, guided meditations, and worksheets where you can do your own self-exploration with the course material.
    • Body Positive Health – This course is an abridged version of the full fundamentals course. Not sure if you’re ready for the full course? This is a great place to start! You can decide to complete the fundamentals course after learning more.
    • Interested in the online courses or becoming a Body Positive facilitator? Email us at nutrition@gatech.edu These opportunities are open to students, faculty, and staff.
Georgia Tech Collegiate Recovery Program

Weekly All Recovery Meeting

Begins May 6, 2020
Wednesdays at 3 pm
BlueJeans Link: TBD

Hosted by the Georgia Tech Collegiate Recovery Program, the All Recovery Meeting, is for any student who is struggling with substance use, has questions about their substance use, or is concerned about themselves or a friend. All students are welcome to attend! This is a safe and supportive environment to openly discuss issues with alcohol and other drug use and the challenges that come in a time of social isolation. It’s important to stay healthy both mentally and physically during these stressful and uncertain times and this meeting is here to provide support to anyone who needs it.

For more information and to receive the Blue Jeans Link, contact
Christina Owens at christina.owens@studentlife.gatech.edu

VOICE at Georgia Tech

As Georgia Tech takes measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19, VOICE wants to remind you that we are here for you 24/7. Whether you are on or off campus, VOICE is continuing to provide confidential services to those impacted by sexual harassment, sexual assault, intimate partner violence, and/or stalking.  Here is how to access VOICE: 

If you need immediate support call GTPD at 404-894-2500 and ask for the on-call VOICE Advocate. You do not need to make a police report and you only need to provide a phone number in order to reach an Advocate.

For non-urgent support, VOICE Advocates are available to speak with students by phone, to meet either via video conferencing or face-to-face, and to accompany them to seek other needed services. To schedule an appointment, call Amanda Planchard at 404-385-4451 or Jennifer Gagen 404-385-4464. Leave a message and the Advocate will call you back promptly during business hours.Be aware that isolation can create safety risks and trigger trauma for survivors. During social distancing or quarantines, it’s normal to feel uncertain, trapped, socially isolated or like you don’t have control. For people who have survived traumatic experiences, these feelings and experiences can trigger trauma symptoms to resurface or increase. They also may exacerbate underlying mental health issues such as depression or anxiety. We know that as students are advised to move away from campus, many are moving to off-campus living quarters with their significant others, family, or returning to their childhood homes. Students who live in environments where abuse has occurred face additional barriers to accessing support and an increase in abusive tactics like verbal and physical abuse and interference with academic work. VOICE Advocates are here to support you and explore options and strategies to increase your safety. VOICE will work with you to find a safe and confidential means to have a discussion. Remember, being a proactive bystander means checking in on friends, finding ways to connect virtually, and recognizing when someone may be in an abusive or unhealthy relationship. 

Contact a VOICE Advocate to access support or to learn more about how you can help.