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Spring 2021 Plans

A sunlit Drillfield with Burruss Hall in view between two large trees. (Photo by Christina Franusich/Virginia Tech)

Last updated on January 13, 2021

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our team has implemented a number of changes to our operations. We will begin the spring 2021 semester by keeping all our experiences virtual.

We are in the process of developing outdoor, physically distanced service activities that will be offered to groups of students registered as pods as well as to students registering on an individual basis. We hope to offer these opportunities beginning in March when the weather will be warmer, but this timeline will depend on public health guidelines.

You'll find a current list of our offerings listed on our calendar.

What will we offer online?

Virtual experiences will include two five-week sessions of our new leadership experience Lead for Good, skill-building sessions, and workshops centered on social justice topics.

What will we not offer this spring?

We hope to offer some in-person experiences starting in March (see above.) However, at the beginning of the semester, we will not be offering in-person opportunities. We will not be offering any spring break or weekend trips this semester. Have additional questions? Please see below for more information.

To remain up to date on this evolving situation, we encourage all Hokies to visit the VT Ready website.

If you are experiencing any issues from this crisis, particularly related to paying for bills, food, and rent, as well as any issues related to your courses, please contact the Dean of Students office at dean.students@vt.edu or 540-231-3787.

Student Emergency Fund: the Dean of Students office has an emergency assistance grants program available to students. Learn more about these grants and fill out the contact form on their website.

Food security needs: if you are a student struggling with food security issues, there is a new program called The Market of Virginia Tech here to support you. Those who enroll in this program will receive a bag of healthy food each week of the semester. Learn more and enroll on The Market website.

As of January 4, our office is physically open, but we encourage potential visitors to call or email us to schedule an appointment. Our team can be reached at 540-231-6964 or engage@vt.edu during regular business hours (Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.)

Looking for someone specific? Head to our team page for contact information. Not sure who to contact? Check out the list below.

Our list of program managers for our most frequently inquired about programs is below.

  • Campus Kitchen & Get on the Bus: Kas Church at kasc@vt.edu or 540-231-1113
  • Alternative Breaks / Service Immersion Trips: Jes Davis at jesdavis@vt.edu or 540-231-6947
  • Media Requests: Lindsey Gleason at lgleason@vt.edu or 540-231-97978
  • Global Trips & Co-Curricular International Approvals: Meghan Weyrens Kuhn at mweyrens@vt.edu or 540-231-1356
  • Community organization interested in partnering with us? Catherine Cotrupi at cotrupi@vt.edu or 540-231-9186
  • Faculty Engagement: Catherine Cotrupi at cotrupi@vt.eduu or 540-231-1356

Ut Prosim is a motto that Hokies care deeply about. And in a crisis, many of us feel compelled to help even more than we might normally. Here are some ways you can help others, without having to leave your home.

  1. Stay home as much as possible. We know that it might not feel like it’s a helping act to stay at home, but it is. So often service looks like doing something active, but that’s not the only way to care for others. Right now, staying home whenever possible means you’re contributing to flattening the curve. This contributes to helping prevent our healthcare system from becoming overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients.
  2. Check in with your people. Ask your neighbors if they need anything when you make a trip to the grocery store. Call or text someone you haven’t talked to in a while. Set up a video chat and have a meal together. Play games online with one another. Host a Netflix watch party. Write a letter.
  3. Offer your talents and skills to others. Could you create a lesson to share with kids in your community? Is there an organization that needs social media or website support? Could you share your musical talents with an online performance?
  4. Uplift issues you care about. Sign an online petition. Use social media to talk about something you’re passionate about. Call or email your representatives to let them know what you care about.
  5. Donate money or supplies. Here are three ideas: a) check out the United Way of the New River Valley’s list of nonprofit needs in the NRV region; b) consider making a donation to Virginia Tech’s student emergency fund. The fund is designed to help out Hokies who are experiencing things like food or housing issues; c) is there a nonprofit in your community that you care about? Whether they are directly addressing the crisis or not, many have the need for some type of support!
  6. Review our list of partner volunteer opportunities. These opportunities are not affiliated with VT Engage and will not have VT Engage team members or student leaders in attendance. It is the responsibility of the individual to contact the partner, register for opportunities, find transportation to the site, etc. ">partner volunteer opportunities. these opportunities are not affiliated with VT Engage and will not have VT Engage team members or student leaders in attendance. It is the responsibility of the individual to contact the partner, register for opportunities, find transportation to the site, etc. 

While the format of your partnerships and your students’ projects may need to change, it is still possible to have a successful semester with your community partner. By moving away from transactional thinking regarding these projects, and moving towards more of a relationship, you and your partners can begin to reconsider this fall's work, and also plan for future semesters’ opportunities. Head to this page for more resources.

Questions about community-based learning courses can be directed to Catherine Cotrupi, Assistant Director for Campus and Community Engagement, at cotrupi@vt.edu or 540-231-9186.

Executive Vice President and Provost Cyril Clarke has approved a recommendation by the Global Travel Oversight Committee to allow for the possibility of spring 2021 study abroad activities to proceed contingent upon program-specific reviews, public health and safety guidelines, and alignment with the university’s academic planning strategies for the spring semester.

if you have any questions or concerns about your co-curricular program, please contact Meghan Weyrens Kuhn, VT Engage director, at mweyrens@vt.edu or 540-231-1356. Additionally, Global Education compiled a list of frequently asked questions related to travel during this crisis that may be useful.