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Dear Campus Community,
 
I hope this message finds you well. We’ve successfully made it through another week of online classes and teaching, and working remotely the best we can, and we should all be proud. Our campus community is resilient and strong, and I commend each one of you for hanging in there and doing your best.
 
This week has been relatively quiet as far as campus-wide announcements, but want to keep you connected as best I can and remind you that we are here for you and to take advantage of the resources we have available.

I’d like to share a heartwarming story. Student Support Services (SSS)/TRIO program staff, along with Sodexo created care packages for our students living on campus during this challenging time, since many are alone and unable to visit family or loved ones. SSS/TRIO staff distributed these care packages to every student, resident hall director and assistants, as well as to students and their families living in Student Family Housing. I’m so very proud of the caring and thoughtful staff we have at our university and know that our students greatly appreciated it. Read the full story.
 
I’d also like to bring your attention to a few important things:

Anytime we have a campus safety issue or another urgent message we need to notify campus about, it will be via our Emergency Notification System. These emergency messages will show up on our social media accounts, website and will also be emailed to you. However, if you’d also like to receive these important notifications via text message (which is often the fastest way you'll see the notifications) you must sign up online through MyInfo and enter your cell phone number. Steps to sign up are below: 
I also want to bring your attention to Thrive, which is a confidential online program for people who want assistance in improving their emotional well-being. It’s sponsored by the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services and Montana State University. Now more than ever, I urge everyone to get the help they need to get through these challenging times.
 
Provost Arnold filled in for me in this week's Check-in with the Chancellor video and mentions that our Student Health Services—medical and mental health services are still available for our students via phone, unless the circumstance warrants an in-person visit. Call ahead to schedule an appointment at 406-657-2163 or visit their website.
 
We’ve also added information on employee COVID-19 benefit coverage, specifically telemedicine coverage, dependent care and health flexible spending accounts. I urge you to check last week’s communication I sent out listing all the resources available for our campus community.
 
Upcoming campus blood drive: For those of you who’d like to help our community but are not sure how, you can donate blood (if you are able) during our upcoming blood drive on April 16 from 1 p.m.-5 p.m. in the Glacier Room on the university campus. There is an urgent blood shortage now due to the pandemic and we hope to help reduce it by hosting multiple blood drives. We’ve ensured that proper social distancing measures will be in place during the blood drive. To schedule an appointment, go to bloodhero.com. Please share this event with your friends and family in the hopes that they will participate if they can.
 
Campus events cancelled through April 24: Since Gov. Bullock has extended the “stay at home” order through April 24, we have extended the cancellation of all campus events through April 24. Please check our COVID-19 page for continuous updates as things can change quickly.

Just today, we've learned that MSU Billings will receive funding from the Department of Education to help provide financial support to students who have significant financial need. Please stay tuned for more information.
 
Lastly, I’d like to remind everyone that summer and fall registration is open. Whether you’re a student, faculty or staff member, please remind and encourage potential or current students to register for summer and fall classes, so they can secure spots in the classes they need to take. Our Advising Center is open virtually with online “walk-in” hours available Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. through the chat feature on their webpage. They’re also available via phone at 657-2240 or email advising@msubillings.edu.
For City College advising, call 247-3019 or email ccadvising@msubillings.edu.

Even though we’re living in uncertain times, it’s important not to lose momentum in your studies. I can understand the urge to withdraw and not finish your program, with the idea that you’ll pick up your studies when things return to routine. My advice to you is don't do it. Now more than ever, stay in school. Complete this semester and stay on track for earning your degree or certificate. You’ve already invested a lot in this semester and are well on the path to a life-changing achievement, one that sets you up for the best opportunities in the future.
 
We are all invested in our students’ success and we have the resources needed for you to reach the finish line. Know that you’re in my thoughts constantly. We are a strong campus community who shows up for one another. I’ve heard of many instances where our campus community has come together to support one another during uncertain times. I’m continuously grateful for your continued connection and support and look forward to seeing everyone on campus again.
 
Please take care of yourselves, your families, and your community.
 
Be well,
Office of the Chancellor
McMullen Hall, Room 207
406.657.2300