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March 03, 2020

A Message from Lehman College President Daniel Lemons

Dear colleagues:

As we continue to receive updates on the rapidly moving developments of COVID-19 in New York City, including local school closures or preparation for closures in the Bronx and new information about a second confirmed case of COVID-19 in our area, we are also mindful of the unique stress and anxiety that can arise at this time. I wanted to make you aware of a resource that could be helpful at this time if you find yourself understandably overwhelmed or distressed at developments associated with COVID-19. Deer Oaks has online a helpful reassuring resource, “Building Psychological Immunity During the Coronavirus Outbreak.” The self-paced webinar is about 50 minutes long, and it offers practical resources for building personal resilience at this time. (The username and password for the Deer Oaks website is cuny).

Vice President Rene Rotolo has assured us that although some stores are reporting shortages of hand sanitizer, her team has enough supply for campus, is making it available in more public spaces on campus and is working to procure more.

We have identified a few students who are currently studying abroad and determining the best course of action for their potential return with the least amount of impact on their academic standing. Speaking of students abroad, I want to remind our campus community that we want to be particularly careful to support students who may be stigmatized or harassed by others based on their ethnicity or country of origin. During times like this, there is great potential for hysteria and a greater potential to use fear as a cloak for racial and ethnic profiling. There is no tolerance for that at Lehman, where we continue to embrace the legacy of our namesake, Herbert H. Lehman. I have heard reports that Asian-owned businesses are beginning to see business declines as a result of this stigmatization; an unfortunate reminder of the emotional, financial and social costs to stigmatization that we can offset by lending them our support at this time and continuing to do business with them.

Daniel Lemons

Previous messages from President Lemons can be found here.