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Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

California Wildfires and Our Students

August 27, 2018
Debra S. Larson, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Milton Lang, Vice President for Student Affairs, Chief Diversity Officer

Dear Faculty,

As we are all aware, wildfires in California have impacted us all. Not only is the air quality poor, but there are faculty, staff, and students with families who have been directly affected by personal loss. You may also be aware that we have students who are assisting on the fire lines and elsewhere and may be needed for several more weeks. The Office of Veterans Affairs has shared that some students may have been or will be called to serve in the National Guard to assist impacted communities. Therefore, there is not a one-size-fits-all way to provide support.

We are writing to ask faculty to be sensitive to the needs of those students affected during this difficult time. When possible, please provide some flexibility on class assignments, attendance, and exam dates. The demands these fires are making on our state resources are vast, and we can assist by supporting those on the front line. We ask that you consider each request on a case-by-case basis as you hear from students who have been affected by the wildfires. In addition, you are welcome to contact Emily Peart in the Student Conduct, Rights, and Responsibilities, who may be able to answer questions or concerns you may have as you seek the appropriate solution for each request you may receive.

Student Affairs has been working for weeks to ensure students and families impacted by this summer’s devastating wildfires across the North State are aware of the resources and support we have available. Through email, social media, and direct communication, we have let them know our Wildcat family is here to support them, including with the following programs:

  • CARE Team—intervention and support, referrals to service agencies, connections to on-campus housing and dining services, academic referrals, and student employment
  • Counseling and Wellness Center—individual and group counseling, support for loss and grief, Zen Den
  • Chico State Basic Needs Project—food and housing assistance, emergency loans and grants, referral services

Thank you for your understanding and support of our students.