Hey, beloved students.

My name is Kathryn Stockton, and I’m the Dean of the School for Cultural and Social Transformation. This is a message with a singular purpose: to say we miss you. We miss your faces. We miss being in your physical presence. We miss the dynamism you bring to everything.

And yes, you’re taking classes, you’re writing cool things, you’re thinking cool thoughts. You’re being as clever as ever in your commitment to action. But we know these times are tremendously difficult – particularly difficult on your lives. Some of you’ve lost your jobs. You’re taking care of families. You might be alone unaccepted by your family.

Vast understatement: This is not the semester you expected.

But the things that we’ve been teaching each other have become quite visible, have they not. The way that this pandemic is particularly hitting hard communities of color. The way that income inequalities have led to health disparities – as they always do. The way that native populations in our state are suffering dramatically. And the way that racist hate has broken out around Asian Americans.

We could have predicted these scenarios – sad to say. We studied them. Our hearts are wound around them. So our missing you may not be the most important thing in your world. We get that. But we miss you nonetheless.

And we just need to say that we hope you’re coming back. We want to think again side by side with you.

I think we all agree the energy of the classroom is just not the same. The ability to do that fine eye role in relation to your professor, to shoot a sly smile across the room at a fellow student because they’ve said something that has moved you, and oh the fine art of irony and campiness – so much of our scene – is lost on Zoom.

But we’ll be coming back. At some point, we will be together.

And therefore may I just repeat again: those of you who are not graduating, please do come back.

We need you.

We need to think with you.

And this period of time, please if you have a need, do reach out. If you have a question, you got a comment, you just need to vent, you need a listening ear. We are here for you, and we’re going to be here for you.

So, let me just say hopefully, we will see you soon.

And Until that time take all the best care.

We’re just so missing you.