From the VP's Desk

Erin Hoffmann Harding
Vice President for Student Affairs

Update on Initial COVID-19 Cases

Author: Erin Hoffmann Harding and Mike Seamon

Dear undergraduate, graduate, and professional students,

Congratulations on a successful start of classes! While we may not write to you every week, please know we are committed to keeping you well informed. Today, we have important updates to share.

Thank you for embracing our health and safety practices. Mask wearing and physical distancing have been outstanding in class and at University sponsored events.…

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Updates on Health and Safety Practices

Author: Erin Hoffmann Harding

Dear undergraduate, graduate, and professional students,

It has been wonderful to watch campus come alive with more students this week. As we approach our first weekend together, I write with a brief update on our health and safety practices.

  1. Wear a mask.
  2. Observe physical distance.
  3. Wash your hands.
  4. Complete your daily health check.

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Updates for Student Life This Fall

Author: Erin Hoffmann Harding

Dear Students,

We are truly excited for your return to Notre Dame next week, though I realize this will be a challenging semester as we all adjust to necessary changes on campus. I write today to ensure you are aware of our updated plans related to student life during the fall semester. All of the information contained in this letter is also available on the University’s central website

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Returning to Campus Safely

Author: Erin Hoffmann Harding

Dear Students,

With significant health and social challenges facing our country and the world, we are more dedicated than ever to your safe return to campus. From our founding, Notre Dame has sought to be a force for good in the world and cultivate an education of both mind and heart. We support those aspirations in the Division of Student Affairs through fostering community for all students, nurturing your health and well-being, and supporting your individual formation.…

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Sharing Our Students' Voices and Moving Forward Together

Author: Erin Hoffmann Harding

Dear Students,

In the midst of the challenges all of our students have faced since March, many in our community but especially our Black students are now in anguish because of the recent killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery - the latest tragedies in a long list of precious lives needlessly and brutally taken. These deaths occurred at a time when many students of color faced significant disparity in resources during remote learning and have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Several of our students, recent alumni, and their allies have written this past week with pleas, anger, hope, and ideas. Our students have told us they are angry and in pain. They have reminded us Notre Dame is neither immune to nor distant from the sin of racism. They are right. As Father John said, we must be honest about our failings and commit ourselves to do better.…

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2019 Letter to Students: Fostering a More Inclusive Campus

Author: Erin Hoffmann Harding

August 26, 2019

Dear Notre Dame Undergraduate Students:

We are delighted to begin a new academic year; one that we hope is filled with thought-provoking coursework and meaningful involvement in campus life – in other words, a time of growth in both mind and heart consistent with our Catholic, Holy Cross tradition. This year, as we approach the 2020 presidential election, our country is engaged in vigorous debate about our future. We write today to share our hopes for how this discussion will unfold at Notre Dame, and how we intend to continue to build a community that is inclusive of all students.…

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A Letter to Notre Dame Students: Sexual Assault Prevention and Support in the Year Ahead

Author: Erin Hoffmann Harding and Erin Oliver

Dear Notre Dame Students,

Each summer, the University of Notre Dame evaluates the programs, policies, and procedures we use to prevent and respond to sexual assault, sexual misconduct, dating and domestic violence, stalking, and other instances of sexual harassment. As we welcome new students and launch a new academic year, we write today with a reminder of the resources available to members of our community and highlight recent changes to our efforts. …

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Writing the Next Chapter

Author: Erin Hoffmann Harding

Dear New Students,

Like generations who came before, you are embarking on a journey at the University of Notre Dame where you will have an opportunity to advance your knowledge, deepen your faith, develop your character, and form lifelong friendships. Whether you are a first-year undergraduate, transfer, professional, or graduate student, we are delighted that you have chosen to join our community; and I extend a warm welcome to you as you begin this formative time in your life.…

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Residence Halls Announcement

Author: Erin Hoffmann Harding

Dear Notre Dame Undergraduates,

I write today with an announcement about how we will be forming two new undergraduate residential communities in 2016-2017. Next fall, two new residence halls will open, supporting the University’s long-term priority to relieve overcrowding conditions in our current halls. These new facilities will also make it possible for us to significantly advance renovations of existing halls.

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A Letter to Notre Dame Students: Let's Keep Our Community Safe

Author: Erin Hoffmann Harding

Dear Notre Dame students,

My heart sank when I learned of several reports of sexual assault last weekend. While I am encouraged that students are comfortable reporting, and I have great confidence in the support and response systems the University and our partners have in place, we will never be content until these incidents cease.

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A Letter to Notre Dame Students regarding Sexual Assault Prevention, Resources and Support

Author: Erin Hoffmann Harding

Dear Notre Dame students,

Over the past few weeks, our University community has increased discussion about the ways we together attempt to prevent and respond to instances of sexual assault. While hundreds of community members attended film screenings, expert panels, or programming events for Sexual Violence Awareness month, this is a topic where we must all engage in conversation.…

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Inclusion Advisory Committees

Author: Erin Hoffmann Harding

Dear Students,

I am writing today to make you aware of two advisory committees that have been formed to offer input on the climate of our campus with respect to inclusion, and to invite you to contact me or a member of the committee if you have an idea or concern that you believe either group should discuss.

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Details regarding Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C. Events

Author: Erin Hoffmann Harding

Dear Notre Dame students,

The passing of Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., on Thursday evening at the age of 97 was a sad moment for so many in the Notre Dame family whose lives were touched and inspired by Father Ted. As the University now prepares to celebrate his extraordinary life, I write to provide you with details on how students can participate in next week’s events. 

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