This week in GSA 2.2.16

The “Short & Sweet” PDF Version

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This week in GSA 2.2.16

Flint Water Crisis: How You Can Help

#Hokies4Flint on social media to spread awareness and news

Want to give money to the cause?  Support here through VT
Click “Enter Your Own,” & fill in, “Flint water study research fund.”

Resources for Students: A Refresher

In light of recent news events, here is a refresher/short cut to information on mental health, academic relief, and counseling resources for all Virginia Tech students. Remember, as graduate students, especially instructors, we have a lot of interaction with students. If you or someone you know is having trouble, there is no shame is reaching out for more information and assistance:

  1. Anonymous & Confidential Mental Health Screening
    Provides list of resources following screening
  2. Students in Distress: Who to Contact?
  3. List of Clinical Services for All Students
  4. Cook Counseling Non-Emergency Referral Form
    *Note: This form is NOT required for services
    About: Cook Counseling
  5. Faculty Access: Dean of Student Reporting System
    If a graduate instructor, can also report via Faculty Access

Not sure if you need to refer or
contact services?

Contact Office of Student Conduct: (540) 231-3787 or Online

Calls to Dean of Students Office are welcomed and encouraged.

For more detailed information, tips for the classroom, and numbers to call, scroll to last announcement for this week.

Labor Day Survey

There is discussion about the possibility of making a recommendation to the Commission for Academic Planning about closing on Labor Day next September.  30 second survey to capture the graduate student sentiment on this issue, please fill it out at:

Contact GSA representative on the Commission on University Support Henry Murray,

Celebrate Black History Month!

Celebrating Black History began in 1926, when Carter G. Woodson, Ph.D., a Harvard graduate, initiated Negro History Week. Woodson, a historian, chose the second week in February because it included the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. From there, the month of February has become Black History Month.

The Intercultural Engagement Center will be including additional information from the community as it becomes available (see

For information on the schedule of events:

GSA Beer & Wine Social: Volunteers Needed!

Mark your calendars, the GSA Beer & Wine Social will be held April 8th from 5-9 pm. More information to come in the upcoming weeks.

We will need volunteers for this event. If you are interested in serving as a volunteer for THIS OR ANY OTHER GSA EVENT, please contact us at We will add you to our volunteers email list serve so you can stay up to date on all our volunteering needs. Thank you!

BoV Representative Applications are Open
Information Sessions Held
February 1st & February 2nd

Looking for details on Info Sessions?

Looking for details on application?

Do you want to help make decisions that affect the entire university community? Apply to serve as the graduate student representative to the Board of Visitors (BoV).

More information can be found here:

Applications due next Friday, February 12th, 2016

Don’t Forget…Nominate Faculty and Staff for Their Efforts on Diversity & Inclusion!

The Vice Provost for Inclusion and Diversity is now accepting nominations for the Presidential Principles of Community Awards. Two awards to recognize members of the Virginia Tech community who exemplify the Principles of Community and have demonstrated an active commitment to inclusion and diversity at Virginia Tech, one for faculty and one for staff.

Nominate at: by 5 p.m., February 5, 2016. Recipients will each receive a $2,000 cash.

For more info, contact Marcy Schnitzer,

Non-Emergency Resources,
continued information…

The following sections contain more information regarding NON-EMERGENCY resources for Virginia Tech students (graduate and undergraduate):

Recognizing Student Distress (click to zoom):


Tips for Interacting with Students (click to zoom):


More information:

Download (PDF, 260KB)

Finding resources OFF CAMPUS:

For information from the Faculty Handbook regarding Trauma & Handling it in the classroom:

Dean of Student Reporting Information (non-emergency):

Dean of Students Reporting System – This is not a system to use for emergencies. Phone calls to the Dean of Students Office are welcomed and encouraged.

Faculty Access: The Dean of Students Reporting System is available within the Hokie SPA/Faculty Access Menu. Faculty members have the ability to report a concern for students enrolled in their course. [NOTE* This resource is available to graduate instructors]

Other useful information

From Virginia Tech’s Responding to Students in Distress (p. 3):

  1. If you need immediate assistance in response to a threat to your safety, or the safety of others, contact Virginia Tech Police Department at 231-6411 or 911. The department is staffed 24 hours per day and can dispatch law enforcement personnel to assist you at your campus location. Off campus and satellite locations should dial 911. 
  2. If you need to consult with someone about a student who is disruptive in any educational setting or seems to be showing signs of emotional distress, mental illness, or difficulty in adjusting to college life, contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 231-3787. The Office of the Dean of Students can assess the situation and make the appropriate referrals.
  3. If you have questions about whether a student’s disruptive behavior can be addressed through the university conduct system, contact the Office of Student Conduct at 231-3790.
  4. If you don’t know whether to be concerned about a behavior contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 231-3787 for guidance and referrals. If after hours contact if needed, the Virginia Tech Police can have the on-call staff person contact you.

As the course instructor, you are the authority both in your classroom and in any class related interaction occurring outside of the class. You are obligated to establish appropriate academic and behavioral standards. There are a number of ways you can influence how individual student behavior impacts the learning environment. Some strategies that might prove helpful include: 

  1. set and communicate classroom behavior expectations on your syllabus, 
  2. personally model the behaviors students are expected to exhibit,
  3. firmly and fairly address disruptive behavior, and 
  4. hold students accountable for their actions.

A learning environment that incorporates the above elements will better support students in their intellectual and personal growth while contributing to your own sense of safety and well-being.
Do you have an issue you would like to bring up to GSA? Contact us at