Student Life

September 30, 2020

Welcome to a new year!

A message from Denzil Suite, UW Vice President for Student Life.

Hello Huskies,

Whether you are here in Seattle or engaging remotely from another state or country, I am thrilled to welcome you to the 2020-21 academic year. It goes without saying, this will be a year unlike any other. In fact, each of you is making history right now.

While it is sometimes hard to imagine looking back on this past year without just focusing on the negative, when we do reflect on this moment in history, as individuals and as a society, what will really stand out is what we chose to do with this time; how we chose to navigate these uncertain waters and extraordinary circumstances and come together as a community in the face of unprecedented challenges.

Whether you are a returning student or completely new to the UW, we in the Division of Student Life are here to help guide and support you as you navigate this transformational journey of discovery.

We’re here to listen when times get tough, help you with career choices, and make sure you have a friendly and inclusive community within the larger University environment. We also offer you a wide variety of activities to enhance your personal health, which we know is important to your academic success.

This year is no exception, and regardless of what the coming months bring, we are here for you and are committed to a great Husky Experience. We have adapted our programs and services to support your success, growth, connections, and well-being, even in this remote environment.

We have created virtual spaces for you to find opportunities to connect and engage with your fellow Huskies and opportunities across UW and beyond. We have also adapted recreational activities as a way for you to explore fun and active pursuits, on your own or with other Huskies, including virtual intramurals and free virtual mindfulness and fitness classes.

We are also offering remote counseling and well-being support in a variety of formats and languages, and you can access online workshops and other content to proactively bolster your self-care and wellness.

Student Life, in conjunction with our partners in the Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity, Undergraduate Academic Affairs, the Graduate School, and more, serves as the hub of many of the activities that complement your academic pursuits. And make no mistake, your academic pursuits need to remain your #1 priority.

BUT you must also get involved! I want you to know that your UW experience will be incomplete if all you do is attend class and then study all night.

We know from years of experience and research that students who participate in clubs and organizations, who get involved with their residence hall associations, who participate in engagement opportunities, or who hold office in student government —these students graduate at higher rates, they are more satisfied with the college experience, have better grades, and are less likely to drop out.

As I have said, while many things are not normal this autumn quarter, we are committed to making these same opportunities available to you. As distracting and distressing as the pandemic is, do not let these things deter you from getting involved or from making this experience an enriching one.

In fact, let these things propel you to be more proactive, more engaged, to put yourself out there, and to really make the most of your Husky Experience given the circumstances.

My message for you is that whatever your course of study, whatever your passion, just remember WHY you are here and stay focused on your goals. It is critically important for you to do well in the classroom, but also to get involved with YOUR campus on every level, even virtually, starting with the faculty but also including the wonderful staff and your fellow students.

Welcome to a new academic year. I’m excited for the things we will achieve together.


Denzil J. Suite
Vice President for Student Life