Update from Rose Pascarell, Vice President for University Life

Rose Pascarell, Vice President, University Life George Mason University. Photo by: Ron Aira/Creative Services/George Mason University

UPDATE: The RAC is closed March 16-22.


Thanks for hanging in there.

Though this week was filled with uncertainties and questions, we are working hard to stabilize things as much as possible for you during this time. While this is new territory for all of us, we will do our best to remain responsive and keep you informed as new information becomes available.

Please remember to reference www2.gmu.edu/coronavirus. It is a great resource to get the most updated accurate info and FAQ’s. There are also links to the CDC and other sites that will provide more information related to the virus.

Many of you may be feeling anxious over the unanswered questions regarding this coronavirus.The sudden changes to your schedule and daily routine can be unsettling, along with additional concerns you may have about your health and the health of your loved ones. In this moment, remember Mason offers several online options focused on your care and well being.


Please check out the online resources and articles on the websites for the Center for the Advancement of Well BeingCounseling and Psychological Services, and Student Health Services. Now is an excellent time to join BurnAlong (free to you) and participate in online classes  — exercise, dance, yoga, relaxation — all in community and at a distance. BurnAlong also runs on a social platform so you can invite your friends, roommates, and others to join you in these activities.

Counseling and Psychological Services will soon offer virtual workshops addressing anxiety, including worry related to COVID19 as well as workshops focused on healthy coping skills. All Mason students can register for free, online psychoeducational support through Therapy Assisted Online (TAO).


Updated hours for many student services and student-facing offices during Spring Break Week 2 are listed on the University Life website. The hours will likely change as new information emerges – this could happen on a daily or weekly basis and we will update that information as quickly as possible. The Mason Student Services Center and all University Life offices are open and providing service on a modified schedule, either in person, online, or via telephone.


This week, you will receive information to help you get ready for online instruction, including the most effective approaches to online learning. Some of you may be very familiar with online courses and others may be first timers. By the way, this is also true for Mason faculty. Many are very familiar with online instruction; others are thinking through this in real time. Please be patient with yourself and your faculty as we move through this together. And please remember to maintain communication with your instructors regarding your accessibility needs as we transition to online learning.

During this time, it may seem tempting to connect with each other as you would normally, prior to the precautionary distancing measures now in place.  I cannot stress strongly enough the need to focus on physical distancing to ensure not just your health and well-being, but everyone around you as well.  Do not meet in large groups on or off campus  – it’s just not smart right now.  Connect with each other in other ways — online, outside in the fresh air, or remotely. Look for updated e-activities organized by Student Involvement, LEAD and other University Life offices soon. You can still work out at Mason Recreation. And if you feel ill, rest at home to keep others safe and healthy.

Finally — stay connected to each other. Show compassion for yourself and others, and continue to be courageous as we move through this together. In times of crisis, communities usually realize they are stronger and more resilient than anyone knew. That’s us, Mason Patriots. That’s you.

Rose Pascarell
Vice President for University Life

Posted in Coronavirus Communications, Letter from VP.