As we conclude our first fully in-person academic year since 2019, I would like to take a moment to reflect. It was a joy to see you joining clubs and organizations, attending classes and events, and building an even stronger sense of community at Rutgers. I have highlighted a few student-led campus-wide programs that remind me that you were indeed back on the banks. Please click here to view some photos from our signature events, including our Scarlet Days of Service, RUDM’s in-person Dance Marathon, Unity Day, and RUPA’s Hot Dog Day.
I would also like to express my heartfelt congratulations to all graduating students. You, as well as many other Rutgers students, not only have dealt with the ongoing challenges of our societal reckoning with social justice issues and the pandemic, but also have navigated in-person, remote, and hybrid contexts over your time here. Adapting and thriving in these situations has been no small feat, and I recognize your achievements. I invite graduating students to complete a survey from Career Exploration and Success, which will help the university use your insights to shape program and service offerings.
I should also note that members of our community have felt the impact of broader issues across our society—which sadly include violent and hate-fueled attacks like those that took place this month in Buffalo, New York, Dallas, Texas, and Laguna Woods, California. Please know that CAPS is available to support students who feel affected in any way by these incidents. Additionally, the Office of the Dean of Students tailors campus resources to meet students’ individual and personalized needs, and the Cultural Centers offer a variety of resources for those who seek advocacy, counseling, and community connection, especially for those from historically marginalized communities. Above all, please take the time and resources available to support yourself and each other in celebrating being a Scarlet Knight and coping during these challenging times.
I encourage returning students to stay engaged with us over the summer as our services will continue to be available to you. You can also follow us on social media via our Instagram account, Facebook, and Twitter. If you would like to get a head start on your involvement for the fall semester, you can volunteer to be a part of a Move-In Team, assist with Welcome Week programs, identify clubs on GetInvolved which you may want to join in the future, or stay abreast of upcoming events via Instagram @rugetinvolved. As we approach the fall, I look forward to continuing to build a beloved community together.
Thank you for a fabulous year. I wish you an enjoyable and safe summer!
Salvador B. Mena, Ph.D.
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
Rutgers University—New Brunswick