Over the last few weeks, I’ve received a lot of questions from students. Many deal with what to do when faced with social injustices, controversial speakers or hate messages. These are valid questions, and it is important to recognize that messages of hate affect us all differently. For some, anger ignites, while others can feel anxious. Customarily, students experience a wide range of emotions and reactions. I encourage all of you to take care of yourselves and to find a safe outlet to express your emotions.
If you need support, the campus has several resources:
- Counseling and Wellness Center – Counselors will hold walk-in hours on Oct. 19 in Peabody Hall. Please call (352) 392-1575 if you need immediate counseling assistance.
- U Matter We Care – If you are aware of members of the UF community in distress, please contact U Matter, We Care at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Reporting – For bias incidents or hate crimes, consider reporting them and seeking support. Reports can be made to UF RESPECT teamand/or UPD.
As both President Fuchs and Chief Stump-Kurnick have stated, care and safety remain our top priority. As such, we are operating campus with modifications consistent with current circumstances. Hours of facilities and services may shift based on situational changes. Please visit freespeech.ufl.edu for the up-to-date information, including a message about safety and security information on campus.
As you may know, the Cultural Plaza parking areas, commuter parking behind the Hilton and other lots near the Phillips Center will be closed on Thursday, Oct. 19. Vehicles must be removed from those areas by 10 p.m. on Wednesday evening. Students with valid parking decals may move their vehicles to Flavet Field beginning at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 18. This is limited, temporary parking and vehicles must be removed by 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 20.
Many of our facilities will be Gator 1 Card access only. We encourage students, faculty and staff to carry their Gator 1 Card with them the week of Oct. 16-20.
Beginning Monday, Oct. 16, all residence halls and housing facilities will be swipe access only.
Students with appointments or tests at the Disability Resource Center will also need to present their Gator 1 Cards for entry at Reid Hall.
On Oct. 18-19, the Reitz Union will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Events and Leisure Courses scheduled in the Reitz Union after 6 p.m. both days are cancelled. On Oct. 19, access to the building will be limited to two entrances: North Lawn (Level 1) and Circle Drive Breezeway near the hotel front desk (Ground Level). A Gator 1 Card will be required to swipe at the door. Entry is limited to students, faculty and staff. Also on Oct. 19, the Museum Road entrance doors to the Welcome Center will be closed, and there will be no campus tours. The UF Bookstore will only be accessible through the Reitz Union.
Southwest Recreation Center and UVS Fields will close at 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 18. They will reopen on Friday, Oct. 20. Broward and Graham area pools will be closed on Thursday, Oct. 19. We are not accepting guest passes on Wednesday, Oct. 18, or Thursday, Oct. 19, at any Recreational Sports facilities.
Beginning at 12 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 18, Newell Hall will be accessible by Gator 1 Cards through the closing of the building on Thursday, Oct. 19. The building’s operating hours are as follows: Wednesday, Oct. 18, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Thursday, Oct. 19, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. On Friday, Oct. 20, Newell Hall will open at 8 a.m. and resume its normal schedule.
Smathers Libraries will be open for regular hours, including 24-hour access to Library West. Gator 1 Cards will be checked.
In a time of political division and hate, we greatly need reasoned discourse and community in response. I encourage you to think critically about your actions and not react to the provocations of others. If the actions of those around you are not consistent with your own values and goals, feel free to remove yourself from those circumstances without responding or to respond in a manner consistent with your personal values and the values of the University of Florida.
David W. Parrott