Many of the services VCU students rely on have moved to an online format temporarily, allowing them to continue to support students. The following services remain available to students, broken down by the fee that makes them possible.
The university fee supports recreational sports facilities, University Student Commons, campus development, career and counseling centers, student disability and student services center, intercollegiate athletics and other programs. Select a header below to learn more about related services being offered remotely.
Recreational Sports set up Virtual Programming to encourage and help students stay active.
- Live group exercise classes being offered through Zoom
- Recorded classes being offered from VCU staff, Les Mills, LifeFitness, and other partners
- Workout of the Day shared by staff
- Walk-to-Run Incentive Program
- Mindfulness Training in a Time of COVID-19
- 32 tournaments scheduled for the remainder of the semester
- Three tournaments previously held, involving 34 players
- Featured games include Rocket League, FIFA, Super Smash Bros and Overwatch
- #OutdoorSocialDistancingChallenge on Instagram
- Virtual Escape Rooms: 16 scheduled to be hosted by April 10, four already held
- Providing resources on adapting to virtual learning, virtual community building and engagement, and virtual recognition/semester wrap-ups
- Highlights coping mechanisms workshops/wellness resources developed by the Well Rec Sports, and other campus partners
- DSA Student Leadership Awards, managed by USC&A
- Virtual Earth Day (April 22)
- Virtual Leader Recognition for Seniors
- Daily community messaging and engagement opportunities promoted on The Commons Instagram and Facebook channels
- USC&A Student Employee Event, “The Rammys”
- RamsConnect training and support for students, staff, faculty, groups and departments
The Commons Fraternity and Sorority Life (FSL)
- A major increase in the utilization of all features of RamsConnect to build a robust, interactive, virtual community for FSL, including survey and polls to gauge community needs and identify areas of improvement, increased inter-community engagement, targeting and amplifying messages for officers and members, program evaluation and follow-up, etc.
- Continued weekly meetings with all four Greek Councils amplified and supported by resources provided on RamsConnect platform
- Continued weekly meetings will all chapter presidents amplified and supported by resources provided on RamsConnect platform
- Continued advisor meetings and trainings to support chapters
- Organizational support consultations for FSL Community via virtual office hours:
- Virtual Town Hall for FSL Chapter Leaders (April 2, 6:30-8 p.m.) with follow-up messaging via the RamsConnect platform including the development of FAQ
- Finance Committee - Virtual meetings to review and discuss applications and allocations
- Accreditation - Chapter Accreditation Program April 1-3. Campus partners participating in virtual presentations with students. FSL staff will review scorecards from campus partners, provide chapters with a consultation to go over rating for the year. Chapters are also nominated for awards through this process. Those receiving awards will be announced at the Virtual Student Leadership Awards.
- Virtual engagement programming by chapters:
- Virtual senior send-offs
- Gaming competitions
- Social media campaigns
- More examples of what chapters can do: Phired Up 44 Ways to Foster Brotherhood/Sisterhood Virtually
- Virtual engagement programming by councils:
- Working with campus partners to provide sessions during council meetings on topics such as mental health, academics and leadership development
- FSL virtual engagement
- Virtual engagement programming by FSL office (dates and times TBA):
- Social Distancing Competition
- FSL Netflix Watch Party and Discussion
- True Colors Leadership Development
The Commons Student Clubs and Organizations Support
- Advising to student organizations as well as co-curricular opportunities for student involvement
- Virtual Office hours: Monday - Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- RamsConnect: a multi-faceted, powerful platform, currently serving 11,805 users on the system. Sign-up takes only a few seconds for students.
- RamsConnect support for student leaders - assistance with:
- Building student organization websites
- How to promote events (virtual only at this time) on a public calendar and feed
- Tracking attendance at your events via QR codes
- Electing officers
- Conducting a survey
- Uploading and filing documents
- Emailing members (with Google Analytics)
- Designing a newsletter in RamsConnect
The Commons Activities, Programs and Campus Engagement
- Provide ongoing programming resources to support and extend student engagement in activities, through virtual meetings where requested
- Social media competitions: Ram Spirit, Playlists, Online Learning Set Up, VCU Cribs, Pets, and more
- Curating an Interactive Virtual Programming Resource Guide for Students, which includes free:
- Virtual classes in various subjects such as art, fitness, mindfulness, leadership, business, science, etc.
- Providing Information for Virtual Museum Tours, National Parks to National Landmarks, and Live Animal Cams.
- Provide Resources for the Commons learning opportunities, and Virtual Programs form Campus Partners, such as OMSA, the Well, LEAD, Rec Sports, the Graduate School and more
- Links to free resources such as books, playlists, crafts, and coloring pages
- A forthcoming Virtual Activities page on the University Student Commons and Activities website
- RamTHON Virtual Campaign
The Commons Student Leadership and Civic Engagement
- Virtual Intercultural Festival celebration (performances, keynote, social media engagement)
- Leadership Development (individual and organization) Resources
- Asynchronous volunteer and community engagement resources (one-sheets, articles, podcasts, reflection questions)
- Alternative Breaks: Virtual Reorientation and Reflection
- Netflix Party Leadership Development Series
- U.S. Census Day education and VCU Votes promotion
- Transfer Student Leadership virtual sessions
- Leadership and volunteer services consultations
The Commons Facilities and Operations
Remote service support is focused on student employee camaraderie and support to provide a seamless transition when VCU re-opens and staffs buildings (The Commons, Hunton, and Larrick):
- Bi-weekly meeting with student employees to encourage connection, team bonding, and touch base
- Continue weekly student and manager check-in meetings
- Virtual “Teach me something (non-work related) sessions” for our student employees to engage with each other
- Virtual Book Club for student employees
All academic advising in-person services are now provided remotely. Academic advisors continue to provide 1:1 individualized appointments with their assigned caseloads via remote options (Zoom, chat, phone calls). Advisors universitywide are working full weeks and have provided over 3,000 advising appointments in a two-week period beginning March 16. Appointments will continue through the remainder of remote learning. Students should continue to make appointments via Navigate platform.
Current work priorities include:
- Teaching UNIV 102 classes (transitioning their teaching to online format, grading and holding office hours remotely)
- Fall 2020 registration
- Grading policy implications
- Processing change of majors
- Reviewing satisfactory progress within majors
- Processing graduation applications
- Submitting ARAC requests
- Updating Student Educational Planners (SEP)
- Retention efforts include calling and emailing all not-yet-enrolled students for Fall 2020 classes. Advisors are expected to outreach to each unenrolled student at least three times. Advisors track their outreach efforts and work with liaison departments to help remove or resolve holds that students currently have (financial, immunizations, etc.)
As of May, advisors will also begin working with incoming Fall 2020 admitted students to create appointments (Transfer students) or begin building course schedules (freshmen).
All career advising in-person services are now provided remotely. These services include:
- Individual advising appointments for all VCU students related to career and major exploration/decision-making, including individual assessment tool interpretation (ex: MBTI, Strong Interest Inventory, and Strengths) via Zoom, phone, and email (each advisor and graduate counseling intern/grad assistant offering up to 20 hours of appointments/week)
- Job search support and document review (ex: resumes, cover letters, personal statements) via Zoom, phone, or email
- Graduate school search and application support via Zoom, phone, and email
- Mock interviews via Zoom with an advisor, as well as 24/7 through our online InterviewStream platform
Career programs and workshops
A number of career programs and workshops sessions have moved to an online format, either “live” on Zoom or recorded and shared via individual academic courses or online for general student use via Zoom, Loom, YouTube, our website, or another platform. These sessions include, but are not limited to:
- Resume and Cover Letter Workshop (March 27)
- BEST Series Workshop - Applying to Grad School 101 (March 27)
- LeadHers Amongst Us panel (March 31)
- Interview Preparation Presentation (April1)
- Routes to Counseling panel (April 2)
- BEST Series panel - Searching for Science in RVA (April 3)
- Rams in Recovery presentations (April 6-10)
- Job & Internship Search Workshop (April 17)
- BEST Series panel - MSL Careers (April 24)
- Over a dozen individualized classroom presentations requested by faculty, hosted live or content shared between March 15 and April 15 with new requests that have come in since moving to remote work
Employer relations and job/internship development
All employer relations and job/internship development services are being provided remotely. These include:
- Approving new employers (currently an average of around 40/week) and new job and internship postings in Handshake (currently an average of 100+ opportunities approved/day, 600+/week)
- Facilitating employer promotions and employer/alumni information panels via social media and Zoom
- Planning and hosting our first-ever virtual career fair on 4/22 in place of the previously scheduled Teacher Recruitment Fair (March 25), using the Brazen platform in partnership with VCUAlumni to connect students with 24 school districts/education employers interested in hiring VCU students and grads, focusing on full-time roles.
- Engaging with current and prospective employers on internship and other hiring needs (including outreach to 800+ organizations that have not yet posted internships for VCU students to Handshake to solicit their interest).
- Facilitating and collecting VCU First Destination Survey data, to help capture critical outcomes information on May 2020 graduates, including determining who may still be job seeking and needs direct career advising support
- Preparing information and training materials to support Federal Work-Study recruitment and student hiring for Summer 2020 and Fall 2020
- Maintenance of and updates to 24/7 resources available through our website and Handshake, including industry-specific resume guides and major/career exploration resources, cover letter writing guide, gap analysis, interview and informational interview resources, and Major Maps
All Career Services course instructionhas moved online for the following Spring 2020 classes:
- UNIV 391
- ARTS 250
- GRAD 610
University Counseling Services is currently providing the following services by phone until staff are trained in tele-therapy.
- Individual therapy
- Case management
- Crisis services
Student Accessibility and Educational Opportunity provides the following services remotely:
- General student support meetings with Case Managers (phone and virtual meetings)
- Student accommodation support meetings (phone and virtual meetings)
- Assistive Technology consultations (phone, email and virtual meetings)
- Virtual exam proctoring
- Faculty consultations on developing accessible digital courses (Phone, email, and virtual meetings)
- Live trainings and workshops on “Creating Accessible online programming” for VCU departments (Virtual meetings)
- Reviewing incoming documentation and accommodation requests
- ARAC Support
- Housing Accommodation support
Student Services Center and Student Financial Management Center services have been moved to remote delivery. These services include:
- Individual financial counseling sessions upon request via Zoom/phone
- All billing and payment/financial aid questions and options are being handled via email, phone, and through the 24 hour/7 days a week call and chat center
- Outreach to our campus and off campus partners
- Financial aid processing, paperwork reviews and awarding occurs daily to ensure timely disbursements for current and upcoming semesters
- Mandatory federal, state and institutional reporting requirements and data collection occur daily
- Student Accounting operations including issuing student refunds; processing audits, official receipts, financial verifications; providing 1098-T assistance; and the processing of all third-party scholarships and tuition assistance continue daily
- Daily resolution of student enrollment issues via phone, chat, email and Zoom meetings
- Student appeals including satisfactory academic progress (SAP), Special Consideration and Refund/Waiver Appeals are being processed and reviewed as scheduled
- Processing of COVID-19 Emergency Funding Applications are reviewed daily
For all student-athletes, the following services are provided online:
- Student-Athlete Advisory Committee meetings
- Individual academic advising
- Individual academic tutoring
- Sports performance coaching plans and instruction
- Athletic training and rehab services
- Sports psychology/counseling
- Career/professional development advising
- Webinars for student-athletes on a variety of topics
- Team meetings and individual meetings with head coaches for each sport program
- End-of-year awards banquet, The Rodneys, remotely as well as our Student-Athlete Graduation ceremony
For the general student population, their portion of fee use goes to providing free men’s basketball tickets and free tickets (and transportation) to other sporting events, such as men’s and women’s soccer, women’s basketball, women’s volleyball and baseball.
- June 17 Performative Femininity
- July 15 Afro - Latinx Identity
- Aug. 5 Latinx Representation in Media
The Dean of Students office provides the following services remotely:
- General student support cases
- Off Campus Housing/Ram Pantry student support
- Emergency travel financial assistance student support
- Support for faculty concerns
- Medical Leave of Absences
- Emergency Funds
- General student issues
- Title IX cases
- Conducting virtual leasing and budgeting workshops
The Student Conduct and Academic Integrity office provides the following services online:
- Conducts one-on-one meetings with students regarding alleged infractions of the Student Code of Conduct and VCU Honor System
- Facilitates Student Conduct Boards, Hearings and Appeal Boards for students wishing to appeal the outcomes of their cases under either the Student Code of Conduct or the VCU Honor System
- RAMS LEAD: educational sanction, RAMS Learn Ethics and Decision Making conducted via Zoom
- Refers students to The Well for BASICs/CASICs for alcohol or cannabis education
Funds from the library fee sustains 24-hour services in James Branch Cabell Library, expands hours at the Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences, strengthens digital tools and supports operating costs for VCU Libraries.
- Doubled the hours of online chat-based assistance for students and faculty to 107 hours a week (7am to midnight Monday-Friday); expanded email hours.
- Scanned 20 course textbooks (5,773 pages scanned) or provided their digital versions to faculty on request, including Focused Inquiry textbooks for UNIV 111 and 112. The FI textbooks are now available digitally to over 2,000 students.
- Purchased over 15,000 new titles at a cost of over $200,000 specifically to support online instruction, including high-demand streaming video titles and ebooks.
- Provided access points, authorization processes and instructions for access to thousands of digital textbooks and other course materials temporarily opened up to our students by publishers, including over 35,000 JSTOR ebook titles and 26 JSTOR archives in public health; Sage Research Methods videos, Sage Knowledge Books, Sage Reference (focuses on Social Sciences and STEM fields); and hundreds of titles from Art & Architecture ePortal, Bloomsbury Publishing, and Harvard Business Review eBooks.
- Fielded over 500 online requests for assistance, research consultation, and instruction between March 16 (the first day of remote teaching) and March 31.
- Through April 3, retrieved print items from on-site and in-storage collections and mailed them to faculty and students on request.
- Continue to fulfill interlibrary loan and document delivery requests for digital materials from our collections and from other libraries and document suppliers.
- Partnered with Technology Services to send laptops to students. VCU Libraries supplemented the university’s laptop inventory with 50 laptops drawn from library classrooms and reconfigured for student use. Library staff packaged and shipped computers, working closely with VCU Technology Services.
- Partnered with VCU School of the Arts and VCU Technology Services to purchase Adobe Creative Cloud licenses for use by students.
- Maintained access to Scholars Compass for graduate students to submit electronic theses and dissertations.
- Collaborated with the Office of Vice President for Research and Innovation to provide an online platform for undergraduate student research posters, providing a crucial capability for displaying and accessing work in the absence of the yearly in-person VCU Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program event.
- Sustained uninterrupted work on Open and Affordable Initiative to provide free or low-cost cost materials to students. For spring 2020, the Initiative saved 7,257 course enrollments in 95 courses at a conservatively estimated $882,000 in textbook costs. For the entire academic year of 2019-20, the initiative has saved 11,518 course enrollments in 121 courses and an estimated $1.251 million in textbook costs.
- The due date for all loans of library materials has been extended to August 28. Everyone who had materials checked out of VCU Libraries has been notified.
Learning support fee
The learning support fee supports tutors, supplemental instruction leaders and academic coaches for undergraduates and writing consultants for undergraduates and graduate students.
All Writing Center in-person services are now being provided remotely. These services include:
- Writing consultations: Students make one-on-one appointments with writing consultants via Navigate. Any appointments scheduled before March 23 have been automatically transferred to online, even if the original was in-person.
- Workshops: The Writing Center schedules a session on a particular writing topic, such as personal statements or reflective writing. Please email Brian McTague, the director of the Writing Center, at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
- Student resources: Writing Center pamphlets have now been converted to a digital format, offering guidances about several different aspects or types of writing.
All Campus Learning Center services (except the testing center) are being provided remotely. These include:
- Individual tutoring appointments: Students may schedule up to three appointments per week. All appointments are being offered via Zoom.
- Individual academic coaching appointments, this includes students who are new to coaching, returning coaching students and anyone who might want some extra support during this transition.
- SI sessions and SI marathon sessions: Zoom links for sessions can be found on student's class Blackboard pages.
- Foreign language conversation groups
- Workshops to students on time management and the transition to online learning, to students on time management and the transition to online learning, just let us know what you need!
- Tips for success when learning online
Funds from the activity fee support educational, social, cultural, and other student activities for undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. These activities include the Student Government Association, sports clubs, student organizations, and publications
Online services provided by the Student Government Association include:
- Continue Senate meetings on the first and third Monday of each month at 4 p.m. (Zoom)
- Graduate and Professional Senate meeting, April 15 (Zoom)
- Continue weekly Executive Board meetings
- Continue weekly Appropriations Committee meetings
- Continue weekly committee meetings
Digital services provided by the Student Media Center include:
- Professional staff meeting with students virtually and in communication with them, including:
- Regular critiques of work published in The Commonwealth Times
- Advising students as usual through virtual channels
- Collecting and submitting student work to college media contests
- Updating websites and working on digital projects
- Working on The Compass orientation guide, including story budgets and assignments, ad sales, production schedules, etc.
- Reaching out to clients and publishing ads on the media org websites and through social media campaigns
- The Commonwealth Times covering news and happenings on campus as usual, and publishing in a digital format
- WVCW Radio is streaming online 24/7 in automation, and they have begun adding shows to the rotation
- WVCW News is publishing daily news headlines online
- WVCW publishes a weekly Staff Picks playlist on Spotify
- Ink Magazine, Pwatem and Emanata are in production of their spring 2020 print edition, to be distributed throughout the spring, summer and fall. These issues will also be released digitally via Issuu.
- River City Fashion is updating their Instagram account regularly and working on content for their website.
- Amendment has been publishing updates and calls for submission via its social media channels and their website. Amendment is also continuing with its Soapbox video project by asking staffers and students to record and submit videos, and are still accepting submissions for their film festival (submission deadline: April 17).
Online operations for Student Clubs and Organizations include:
- Conducting meetings as normal via Zoom
- Planning officer transitions
- Planning late summer and fall programming
- Completing budget requests for 2020/21 academic year
Operations that Sport Clubs has moved online include:
- Conducted three meetings with Sport Club Council virtually
- Hosting fall 2020 budget deliberations virtually
- Hosting 2020-21 officer training sessions virtually
- Facilitating equipment purchases being made by the club and processing reimbursements
Student programming specific to the MCV Campus that has moved online includes:
- Student clubs and organizations
- Conducting meetings as normal via Zoom
- Planning officer transitions
- Planning late summer and fall programming
- Completing budget requests for 2020/21 academic year
The health fee, which is optional for part-time students, covers unlimited visits to University Student Health Services, after-hours phone advice for urgent medical problems and most laboratory tests (though it does not cover accidental injury, emergency room visits or hospitalization).
Since March 16, the health fee has helped provide services, such as:
- Open clinic hours from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday on the Monroe Park Campus
- Patient visits
- Telemedicine visits
- Phone encounters for medical advice and/or prescription refills
- Prescriptions filled
- OTC medications
- Regular updates to the USHS website, including an FAQ on COVID-19