Health, Safety and a New Academic Year

UVA Families
Vice President Robyn S. Hadley, Student Affairs

Dear UVA Families:

We are excited that in just a few days, our new students will be arriving, upperclass students will be returning, and we will be together for the start of a new academic year.

Earlier today, I sent the below communication to your student. It includes several reminders about safety and wellness. A sense of safety, as well as physical and mental well-being, enables students to be their best selves. It enhances their ability to concentrate on their studies and enjoy the many dimensions of college life. We recognize that many young people today experience mental health challenges. When our students have questions or face difficulties, whether large or small, we want to be sure they know how to get help. That help is available in various ways, and critical resources are available around the clock.

To quickly recap, I am listing several things discussed in the note to your student that you may wish to encourage them to consider:

  • Download the TimelyCare app so they can access remote, on-demand mental health care if and when they need it. Remind them about TalkNow, which provides unlimited 24/7 access to a mental health professional.
  • Think about what they would do if they contract COVID and need to isolate or quarantine. Although COVID is now part of our daily lives, doing a bit of planning ahead will help ensure COVID does not overly disrupt their studies. Make sure they know about resources and guidance available from Student Health and Wellness:
  • Review the Student Safety Guide so they are familiar with the many safety resources available to them. This includes learning the latest about late-night transportation options.
  • Choose safe activities, such as the concert taking place this Saturday evening at John Paul Jones Arena (and the after-party at the Aquatic & Fitness Center) as part of Wahoo Welcome, instead of the off-Grounds party that typically occurs that evening during move-in weekend in the area of Wertland and 14th streets. This event is not sanctioned by the University, and it presents a number of individual health, safety, and legal risks.

We are looking forward to a great year and will continue to remind your student about the wealth of resources available to help them succeed at UVA. If we can be of assistance to your student or to you, please feel free to let us know.

Warm regards,

Robyn S. Hadley
Vice President and Dean of Students
Chief Student Affairs Officer

Dear Undergraduate, Graduate and Professional Students:

New classes, new people, new opportunities. . . The new academic year is an exciting fresh start for all of us as we welcome the newest members of our UVA family.

Over the summer, we welcomed more than 4,700 new first-year and transfer students during nine Orientation sessions. Our new undergraduate international students are arriving now for Orientation, and our incoming graduate and professional students have been moving to Charlottesville at various times in recent weeks.

Whether you worked or traveled, or did a little of both, I hope your summer was relaxing and productive. In early June, I took on the expanded duties of Dean of Students for the University. As a result, the summer months for our team in Student Affairs have been busy with some reorganizing and planning, all aimed at supporting you and creating the best possible student experience.


  • Wahoo Welcome: Getting under way this week with events for everyone.
  • Your Safety and Well-Being:
    • Download the TimelyCare app
    • COVID Update 
    • Student Safety Guide: Learn about new transportation options.
    • Safety this Weekend: Know the risks about off-Grounds parties not sanctioned by the University.
  • Student Affairs Website: Take a look at our new site and give us your thoughts!


Wahoo Welcome officially begins this Wednesday with dozens of events and activities not only for new students but also for the entire community. Please plan to drop by and join us in this UVA-wide welcome. Highlights include:

  • Rec Fest: Friday, 6-8 p.m., AFC. All things IM-Rec.
  • Saturday Evening Concert with artist Sean Kingston: John Paul Jones Arena, doors open at 6:30 p.m. Performance begins at 8 p.m. No ticket required, but you must show your UVA ID for entry.
  • Hoos Home Celebration Post-Concert: AFC, 10 p.m.-2 a.m. Food trucks, games, music, bears to build, and grocery Bingo.
  • O-Hill Movie Night: Legally Blonde, Sunday, 8-11 p.m., O-Hill Field.
  • Student Activities Fair: Monday (Aug. 22), 11 a.m.-3 p.m., South Lawn/Amphitheater/Peabody Lawn. Explore one of the largest gatherings of UVA organizations and learn how to get involved.
  • Rotunda Sing: Wednesday (Aug. 24), the Lawn, 8-10 p.m. An annual welcome-to-UVA tradition featuring a cappella groups!


Starting the year on a positive note means making your physical and mental health a priority. Research confirms we human beings are hard-wired for connection. We need each other, and we often need help navigating real-life situations. Please remember this as you encounter the expected stresses of college life. It is normal to feel overwhelmed at times. In those times, we want you to connect with one another and seek out the many resources available to you here.

TimelyCare Mental Health Resources: As part of a collection of comprehensive mental health services, Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) has partnered with TimelyCare, a national provider of telehealth services, to further expand student access to mental health care. Through the TimelyCare mobile app or web platform, students can access the following:

  • TalkNow, an unlimited, on-demand, 24/7 service allowing students to connect with a mental health professional within minutes, either by phone or video, 
  • 12 free counseling visits per calendar year, and
  • psychiatric care and management.

Sign up now so this service will be readily available to you if and when you need it.

Public Health Considerations: We have reached a point with COVID where it remains with us, but the disease is now part of daily life. As you prepare for the new semester, you should take a moment to consider what you would do if you contract COVID. Student Health and Wellness (SHW) has created two infographics with information to help you plan and respond:

The Centers for Disease Control remains a valuable, central resource. Of special note is the CDC Quarantine & Isolation Guide and Calculator.

The University continues to support members of the community being vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19. With the expected release of a new booster vaccine this fall, the University will keep you informed of when it is available here and how to obtain it.

With regard to masking, you are encouraged to carry a mask with you when you leave your residence and to familiarize yourself with CDC guidance for when they should be worn. If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, please wear a mask, even if you have not tested positive, and contact Student Health and Wellness. While masking remains a personal decision, there may be times when members of our community are more comfortable masking or maintaining physical distance and we should all continue to treat each other with kindness and respect. 

Monkeypox is now a new concern nationwide, and University officials are closely monitoring this disease’s trajectory. SHW has prepared information for students to learn more and gain awareness about the disease. A recent UVA Today article also provided updated information.

General Safety: Safety is a community-wide endeavor. Each of us must take reasonable steps to protect ourselves as well as our friends and fellow members of the community. The police are here to check out your concerns. Do not hesitate to call 911 if something doesn’t feel right or a situation threatens your or others’ safety. Most important, be familiar with the many safety resources available to you. Some changes aimed toward improvement around late-night transportation have been made for the fall. Please take a look at the Student Safety Guide to learn more.

Safety during this Upcoming Weekend: The off-Grounds party that typically occurs on Saturday evening in the area of Wertland and 14th streets continues to pose safety concerns. This event is not sanctioned by the University, and it presents a number of individual health, safety, and legal risks. Please plan to attend the Saturday evening concert instead of going to Wertland. Let’s make the weekend a fun, safe start for everyone at the University.


We have launched a new Student Affairs website, and I hope you will take a moment to visit it. Our goal was to showcase our programs and resources in a way that is approachable, accessible, and engaging, especially for new students. We welcome your feedback on how we can provide you with the information and resources you need.

Best wishes to each of you as you travel to Grounds and settle into the routine of a new year. Again, a warm welcome to our new students. We are so glad you are here, and we look forward to the many gifts you are bringing to your new home.

Warm regards,

Robyn S. Hadley
Vice President and Dean of Students
Chief Student Affairs Officer