Overview of Autumn Quarter at UChicago 2020

Returning to Campus and a Culture of Safety

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To: Members of the University Community
From: Robert J. Zimmer, President, and Ka Yee C. Lee, Provost
Date: August 6, 2020

We are looking forward to welcoming as much of the University community as possible back to campus for the Autumn Quarter that begins on September 29, guided by the University’s academic missions and values and in close collaboration with public health experts and the University of Chicago Medicine.

The video linked below provides an overview of UChicago’s plans and expectations for students and families, faculty, researchers, and staff about the resumption of on-campus activity, including the health practices to promote safety within our community.

If you have questions, we encourage you to visit the UChicago Forward website for more information.

UChicagoGRAD Is Here to Help

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The past few months have highlighted the intense inequities and racism in our country, and the murder of George Floyd and subsequent protests have amplified the injustices that Black people in America face. UChicagoGRAD recognizes that many students and postdocs are feeling hurt, trauma, and increased anxiety. These are challenging issues to grapple with, and we don’t purport to have quick or easy solutions. We encourage you to check in on each other—reach out to your peers. Please email askthegargoyle@uchicago.edu to let UChicagoGRAD know how we can support you in efforts to change the reality in this country so that we have an inclusive and equitable society for everyone.

Dana Bozeman, Director of Diversity and Inclusion, is available for advising and personal support (schedule in GRAD Gargoyle using appointment type ”GRAD Diversity: Topics Related to Diversity & Inclusion” or email Dana at dbozeman@uchicago.edu).

Virtual Programming and Resources

UChicagoGRAD is committed to supporting graduate students and postdocs during this challenging time. We are working with campus partners to provide virtual resources and opportunities to help you stay connected and engaged while campus is closed. Please see current offerings below and visit virtualgrad.uchicago.edu for updated information.

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Photo credit: wsj.com

UChicagoGRAD

  • Graduate Admissions Learn more here
    • We have made the decision to cancel all in-person admissions programs and interactions out of concern for the health and wellness of everyone in our campus community and all of our guests. While the Office of Graduate Admissions will be closed to the public on campus, our staff will be readily available to help you via email or phone during these challenging times. We also are offering the opportunity to schedule a one-on-one Zoom meeting with a member of the admissions team – click here to schedule an appointment. You do not need a Zoom account to join a meeting.
    • View media resources (webinars, online publications, etc.) here
  • Sounding Board Advising – Sign-up here
    • Emotional distress is common and normal in the context of uncertainty and potentially health-threatening situations. Taking care of your mental health needs during the COVID-19 Pandemic is challenging and particularly when being required to shelter in place, oftentimes, in isolation. Tend to your wellbeing by reaching out to UChicagoGRAD’S Sounding Board advising service which provides remote phone consultations addressing anxiety, fear, relationship concerns, and other destabilizing reactions during these uncertain and upsetting times.
  • GRADHelpLearn more here
    • GRADHelp is your source for help and information about stipends, payments, bills, fees, insurance, and more. If you have questions about any kind of payment or other financial-related issue and aren’t sure where to turn, email gradhelp@uchicago.edu

  • Diversity and Inclusion Advising and Workshops – Sign-up here
    • All students and postdocs can sign up for advising sessions to discuss issues, concerns and experiences related to diversity as it affects their academic and career development as well as personal wellbeing.

    • Structured Writing Accountability Groups (SWAG) – In collaboration with Student Support Services and the Writing Program, we provide space and structure for graduate student and postdoc quarterly writing accountability groups. Applications are due April 26. Learn more here

  • Fellowship Advising and Workshops – Sign-up here
    • Fellowship advisors are available to work with you on application materials for specific fellowships or grants.
    • Small group advising sessions are also available to help applicants compare the different types of grants, understand the application components, learn about strategies for developing competitive applications, and receive resources for further exploration.
  • Graduate Writing ConsultationsSign-up here
    • UChicagoGRAD is offering one-on-one online Graduate Writing Consultations for graduate students interested in working on their academic writing. Consultants work with writers on academic papers, journal articles, dissertation chapters, proposals, and other academic documents.
  • Career Development Advising and Workshops – Sign-up here
    • For Your Job Search
      • Are you currently in the middle of a job search, or are you gearing up to begin one? Are you planning to go on the academic job market this fall? Talk with a career advisor about how you can refine your strategy now that hiring is happening virtually. This includes advice for crafting a strong LinkedIn profile or personal website as digital presence increases in importance. Your advisor can also share strategies for expanding your options in an uncertain job market.
    • For Public Speaking, Interviewing, and Networking Preparation
      • Are you interviewing for jobs? Getting ready for a presentation? Preparing for virtual networking conversations? GRADTalk advising helps you enhance your oral communication skills for a variety of professional applications. You can schedule a meeting with a GRADTalk advisor to practice virtual presentations for your classes, committee, lab, or prospective employers. You can also use GRADTalk as a low-stakes way to practice using Zoom and other remote technologies.
    • For Your Written Application Materials
      • Are you satisfied with your CV or resume? Whether you are currently applying for jobs or not, this is a good time to refine written materials such as your CV, resume, or cover letters. In a virtual meeting, you can work on live edits with your UChicagoGRAD career advisor, sharing screens and discussing the documents line by line.
    • For Your Career Exploration
      • Are you trying to decide what type of career makes sense for you? Whether you are completely undecided or just want to explore contingency options in case your current plans are disrupted, UChicagoGRAD career advisors are experienced at helping you work through a process of self-reflection and personal discovery. We are here to listen first, meet you where you are, and offer guidance in navigating the range of available opportunities.

Campus-wide

Have an idea for a virtual program or resource to promote academic skills or community building? Know of an existing program or resource you would like us to highlight? Share it with us here

Need a Sounding Board?

Emotional distress is common and normal in the context of uncertainty and potentially health-threatening situations. Taking care of your mental health needs during the COVID-19 Pandemic is challenging and particularly when being required to shelter in place, oftentimes, in isolation. Tend to your wellbeing by reaching out to UChicagoGRAD’S Sounding Board advising service which provides remote phone consultations addressing anxiety, fear, relationship concerns, and other destabilizing reactions during these uncertain and upsetting times. Make a Sounding Board remote appointment here.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Looking for love? Or just something to do? Check out these events happening on-campus and across the city this weekend.

Photo credit: Vox.com

Thursday, February 13

Friday, February 14

Saturday, February 15

Sunday, February 16

Friday, February 21

Tax Support

Tackle your taxes with confidence. While we’re not able to provide individual tax advice, the University has resources to help you navigate your tax filing process.

Photo credit: USA Today

No need to panic – here are three tips on getting started:

  1. Sign up for a workshop. UChicagoGRAD will offer tax workshops online and in-person to review the basic requirements for domestic and international graduate student filers, including an overview of common student filing situations and how to find the right professional help if you need it.
  2. Review your funding. Different types of fundings have different tax implications – including different forms and reporting requirements. Take the time to look over your records (e.g. bank statements, award letters, my.uchicago.edu portal) to review what types of income you’ve received and what you’ll need to report.
  3. Set a schedule. Annual tax returns are due to the IRS and the State of Illinois on April 15, 2020. Aiming to prevent tax panic? Schedule some time to get started and start early. Don’t wait until the last minute to get started. (April 14 is National Dolphin Day and you deserve to celebrate with videos of dolphins playing with cats.)

When you have questions, check in with gradhelp@uchicago.edu.

Student Legal Advice Services

The Graduate Council provides attorney office hours to eligible, full-time graduate and professional students in the University of Chicago for advice and consultation regarding legal matters and to make referrals for students who seek legal representation. Olivia Long, JD’09, will provide office hours through Graduate Council at no additional charge to students.

The attorney is able to advise students on a wide variety legal issues, see below for a list of common topics. The attorney will not consult on issues relating to the University of Chicago; other University of Chicago students, faculty, staff, other academic appointees, or postdoctoral researchers; or University of Chicago student organizations. Title IX issues will not be handled by the attorney and should be directed to the Office for Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Support.  Immigration-related matters should be directed to the University’s Office of International Affairs. At her discretion, the attorney may decline to provide legal consultation due to a conflict of interest.

Eligibility 

All currently enrolled, full-time University of Chicago graduate and professional students who pay the Student Services Fee as part of their registration status are eligible to receive legal consultation. Graduate Council is funded in part through the Student Services Fee. Students enrolled full-time, but not charged the Student Services Fee are not eligible. Students are eligible for one thirty-minute appointment per legal issue, as the attorney’s time allows.

Appointments

  • Office Hours will be held at UChicagoGRAD on the third floor of the University Bookstore at 970 E 58th St, Chicago, IL 60637

  • Office Hours will be 10:30 AM – 2:30 PM on the second Monday and third Thursday of each month

  • Appointments scheduled in advance are highly recommended and can be made online through GRAD Gargoyle

  • The attorney will not do consultations by telephone or via email

Common issues

The following list is a non-exclusive list of legal issues addressed by the attorney. The attorney will not consult on issues relating to the University of Chicago; other University of Chicago students, faculty, staff, other academic appointees, or postdoctoral researchers; or University of Chicago student organizations.

  • Landlord/tenant issues including lease and sublease review

  • Municipal ordinance violations

  • False identification matters

  • Criminal issues

  • Credit and debt issues

  • Contracts

  • Domestic issues

  • Dissolution of marriage

  • Automobile accidents

  • Probate

  • Employment contracts

  • Parking/Traffic violations

  • Litigation

  • Personal injury

  • Business formation

  • Consumer rights issues

NOTE: Communications made between a student client and the attorney will be protected under attorney-client confidentiality rules in accordance with the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct.  If a student’s matter requires further legal assistance, upon request, the attorney can assist the student in locating an attorney suitable to the student’s needs.

Happy Winter Break!

Staying in Chicago? Check out these free activities across the city.

Photo credit: chicago.gov

December

January

Ongoing

UChicago Food Security Program

 

 

Financial Wellness

Winter Quarter is coming! Be financially prepared.

Photo credit: winteriscoming.net

Along with snow, ice, and a wind so famously fierce it’s known as “the Hawk,” Winter Quarter brings an opportunity to review your funding and make sure you’re set to start of the New Year on solid financial footing. Get ready with three simple things to do in the coming month:

  1. Winter Quarter scholarships for tuition, fees, and/or insurance will post to your account on December 27, 2019. Mark the date and log in to your account to check your balance, make sure you understand your bill, and plan ahead to make any relevant payments.
  2. Are you still getting a paper check? Get your funds faster with direct deposit, which you can set up in your student account and your Workday profile. 98% of students have signed up for direct deposit and you should too.
  3. Students get paid many different ways. As you plan for Winter Quarter expenses, get a handle on your situation by reviewing what payments you can expect in Winter Quarter and when you can expect to receive them. Not sure? Your Dean of Students Office is a great resource to review and you’re always welcome to contact us at gradhelp@uchicago.edu for a quick overview,

And, keep email handy – gradhelp@uchicago.edu is the dedicated resource to help you manage you navigate your financial relationship with the University. Not sure who to check in with? Not sure what type of payment you’re receiving? Something doesn’t look right? Email us. We’re here to help.

More to come on the most wonderful time of the year. . .that’s right. . .tax season is right around the corner too! Don’t sweat it though – we have workshops to help you get everything filed efficiently and on time. Stay tuned and stay warm.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Staying in Chicago over Thanksgiving Break? Check out these free activities across the city.

Photo credit: https://www.chicago.gov/city/en.html

Thursday, November 28

Friday, November 29

Saturday, November 30

Sunday, December 1

Ongoing

UChicago Food Security Program

Volunteer Opportunities