As most students returned to campus for fall 2021, so did programs and services. To know more about what’s back and what’s not, here’s a guide to five resources on campus.
Established specifically for students in February 2020, the pantry offers mostly nonperishable items and a small array of frozen and fresh options. The pantry also partnered with DePaul’s Career Center to offer professional attire for students to use during job fairs and interviews.
As of the publication of this story, the pantry is located in room 107 of the Lincoln Park Student Center. This quarter, the pantry is open on Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays from noon to 5 p.m.
In addition to this pantry, there is also Seton Soup Kitchen located within the St. Vincent de Paul Parish grounds (in front of the Ray). They serve meals on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at 10 a.m. This is open to everyone, regardless of a DePaul affiliation.
This quarter, the Office of Health Promotion and Wellness is hosting a hybrid of virtual and in-person events.
Wynante Charles, a peer health educator and senior health science major, says that HPW “carried over a lot of our pandemic babies” and continues to provide these virtual services this fall. Some of these include:
Refresh Sleep Program: A seven-week newsletter-type of email that sends tips and tricks on how to improve sleep.
Hot Seat with HEAT Mondays: A weekly Instagram live where peer health educators give updates about health and wellness resources available on and off campus. This happens every Monday either from 5 to 5:30 p.m. or 5:30 to 6 p.m. on the HPW account.
Wellness Wednesdays: Students and peer health educators meet every Wednesday from 4:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. in a DePaul classroom to discuss certain topics through workshops and presentations. Topics vary weekly, but all relate to improving one’s well being.
CHOICES: A peer-led workshop and discussion-based group about alcohol and cannabis. According to the HPW website, specific topics include “culture of drinking and cannabis use and harm reduction strategies to practice safety.” This happens every Friday from 2 pm. to 4 p.m.
This quarter, The Women’s Center events are predominantly online, including check-in circles over Google Meet happening on Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Other ways the center connects with their community members are through their weekly gratitude newsletter and healing zine.
For in-person happenings, communications and graphics assistant Belinda Andrade invites the DePaul community to stop by room 150 of the Schmitt Academic Center during the drop-in hours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Mondays and Thursdays and flexible hours on Friday.
“We are open and we are here to serve the DePaul community. We have our tea, snacks and magazines,” Andrade said. “It’s just an overall calm and relaxing environment.”
In addition, the Food Share initiative, where people grab and leave nonperishable items, has returned. Zayne Taylor-Humphrey, a women’s and gender studies graduate student, started this pre-pandemic, and since the campus is open again, the center decided to continue it.
“We have tons of food, and it’s there for you, DePaul community,” Andrade said. “If you have extra stuff and you’re trying to clean out your pantry, bring it by because we don’t mind. It’s a “take what you need and leave what you can” type of philosophy. There’s no shame in being hungry.”
Whatever resource it may be, organized remotely or in-person, the center aims to emphasize their current theme of “another world is possible” through community care.
To put this into practice, the center sent out a survey to crowdsource and accurately depict how that would look in the coming months.
“If you’re thinking about a resource and maybe you haven’t seen them, let us know because we’ll have it there for you,” Andrade said.
If you’ve attended the involvement fair or lined up for a free DePaul ugly Christmas sweater, it means you’ve participated in an OSI activity. Through working with student organizations and coordinating events themselves, OSI holds a unique role in engaging the DePaul community.
For students who want to get involved:
Sarah Rudy, student organizations and campus activities coordinator, said there’s a lot to look forward to during the Halloween season. Some of these include DePaul Activities Board’s Harry Potter Halloween on October 22 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. in Cortelyou Commons and Spooky Friday Fun on October 29 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Student Center.
Beyond Halloween season, Rudy said that some of DePaul’s traditional events like the Tree Lighting Ceremony are expected to happen.
“Right away in winter quarter, we’ll kick it off with Winter Welcome Week. It’ll start off with an involvement fair and so I think that would be reassuring for new students or returning students that they have not lost their chance to get involved by any means,” Rudy said.
For student organization leaders:
For hosting on-campus events, an additional task of student leaders is to constantly enforce and advocate for COVID-19 safety. This involves reminding members to wear masks at all times, tracking attendance through the DeHub QR code, requesting individually packaged food from Chartwells (if necessary) and overall, following the university’s COVID-19 guidelines.
UCS experienced a major revamp in 2021 when employees left “to pursue other employment,” according to UCS Director Tow Yau, in his statement to The DePaulia. Yau added that the UCS is actively recruiting to expand their staff. As of writing, they have one counselor employed by DePaul.
With students back on campus and UCS currently understaffed, DePaul partnered with My Student Support (MySSP), a free application that connects students to a student support counselor in real time. To access this resource, call (866) 743-7332. If calling outside North America, dial 001.416.380.6578.
To know more about the recent changes in UCS, read this article from The DePaulia.
Since you reached the end of this rundown, here’s a bonus resource for everyone.
In addition to UCS, 14 East’s newsletter In The Loop has compiled a list of mental health resources and therapist directories. Here’s a few of them:
- Open Counseling: a list of people and nonprofits with counseling services available for free or low-cost counseling in the Chicagoland area.
- Center on Halsted: offers behavioral health, anti-violence and educational resources dedicated for LGBTQ+ folks of Chicagoland. Located in Lakeview.
- Directory of Black Therapists in Chicago: provides services for $75 and under.
Header image by Bridget Killian