Message to USC Faculty
From: Charles F. Zukoski, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
November 11, 2019
I write today to seek your assistance. I am sure you saw the letter sent to our community on Saturday regarding the recent deaths of members of our student body. We are in a trying and sad period. Our students may be struggling. Please be as understanding as you can during this particular time. This may include reaching out more than usual, offering extra support, and perhaps, proposing accommodations during these difficult days.
If students appear to be in distress, please offer our campus options for support (see below). The cardinal folder provides more information including how to recognize and respond to an urgent situation. If students are in need of academic help, please consider how best to assist them. Students who are suffering may need latitude with assignments and tests. (Attached are guidelines designed to help you if students seek your advice on assistance.)
Please know that we understand that you, too, may be in need of support as well. We hope you will seek assistance as necessary and take care of each other.
We are working with national experts, our experts in student life, and our entire mental health community to address this difficult situation.
We will continue to update you and share more information as it becomes available.
In the meantime, I know that you will join us to ensure we have a safe, healthy, caring community. Thank you for all that you do for the entire university.
Student Counseling and Mental Health Services: 213-740-WELL (9355)
Trojans Care 4 Trojans (TC4T): https://campussupport.usc.edu/trojans-care-4-trojans/
Department of Public Safety: UPC: 213-740-4321 or HSC: 323-442-1000
Office of Campus Support and Intervention: 213-740-0411
Office of Religious and Spiritual Life: https://orl.usc.edu/
For faculty and staff: Center for Work & Family Life: 213-821-0800
Cc: Carol L. Folt
What Can You Advise Students to Do?
- The grief process is an individual experience. Some people like to talk about it while others prefer to grieve by “doing” something. Consider both and do what feels right for you.
- Express your grief. How do you express your feelings? Do you cry, scream, get angry or use music, art, poetry, journaling?
- Be open and understanding towards yourself. There is no specific amount of time the healing process takes. It is different for everyone. Allow yourself the time to heal.
- Avoid alcohol or other substances.
- Allow yourself to engage in normal everyday activities. Try not to over-schedule yourself.
- Get regular sleep and eat healthful, regular meals.
- Get regular exercise.
- If needed, give yourself a break.
- If you are religious, contact your place of worship and utilize the services that are offered.
- Do one nice thing for yourself every day.
- Consider creating ways to memorialize your loved one (ie: start a scholarship, plant a garden, etc).
- Find ways to maintain connection with the individual you lost.
- Be patient. There may be days where you feel great and other days where there may be setbacks. There is no right way to grieve, nor is there a deadline.
- Consider getting professional help if you feel overwhelmed, hopeless, or helpless. Seek professional help if you have suicidal thoughts. Grief therapy does not have to be long-term. It may be beneficial. Call Student Mental Health Counseling at (213) 740-9355 (WELL) to talk with a counselor.