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Penn State Offers Support In Midst Of Government Shutdown

In the midst of a now 20-day federal government shutdown, Penn State Vice President for Student Affairs Damon Sims reached out to students offering support to affected families.

“For those among you who find yourselves in that difficult circumstance and are challenged to persist with your usual student responsibilities because of it, we want to provide what support we can,” Sims said in the email sent Thursday morning.

He provided links to campus resources including Student Care and Advocacy, Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS), and the Penn State Crisis Line and encouraged students in need to reach out to him personally for any help.

“If you like, feel free to respond to this message from me, and I will see that the right attention is given to your need,” Sims said. “We want to help in ways we can, so please do not hesitate to contact us.”

You can read the full note to students below.

Dear Penn State Students —

The University administration is deeply concerned about the possible impact of the ongoing federal government shutdown, particularly as it may affect you and your families. We have no way to know, of course, precisely how many Penn State students rely upon incomes that may be circumscribed for a time while the impasse in Washington, DC is being resolved. But for those among you who find yourselves in that difficult circumstance and are challenged to persist with your usual student responsibilities because of it, we want to provide what support we can.

Among the University services available to respond in such circumstances are these.

Student Care and Advocacy provides support intended to lessen these challenges and help manage unavoidable difficulties. Academic distress, loss of housing, or financial insecurity may be among the results of this shut down, especially if it continues for any meaningful time. Students directly affected by the closure may contact the office at 814-863-2020 or by email at [email protected] to discuss the support required.

Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) is available to address emotional and psychological needs arising from stress and concern resulting from the shutdown. Personal concerns that may benefit simply from talking to a counselor should be shared with CAPS, which can be found through resources at http://studentaffairs.psu.edu/counseling/.

Penn State Crisis Line is immediately available to anyone suffering a mental health crisis, or it can be used for consultation, if you know someone who is experiencing a crisis. The line is available to students at every Penn State campus and can be reached 24/7 at 1-877-229-6400.
There are other University and community resources that may be helpful, too, so please know that we will do all we reasonably can to assist. If you like, feel free to respond to this message from me, and I will see that the right attention is given to your need. We want to help in ways we can, so please do not hesitate to contact us.

Sincerely,

Damon Sims 
Vice President for Student Affairs 
The Pennsylvania State University

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About the Author

Mackenzie Cullen

Mackenzie is a junior majoring in English and is one of Onward State's associate editors. She is from Minersville, PA, and is always trying to explain exactly where that is. Send all compliments to [email protected] or @MackenzieC__ on Twitter.

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