Undergraduate Student Government (USG) president-elect Shaheer Khan poses for a headshot. USG will not be hosting events or elections this semester due to the COVID-19 pandemic. EMMA HARRIS/THE STATESMAN

Shaheer Khan is the Undergraduate Student Government President at Stony Brook University. Khan is majoring in Political Science and minoring in International Studies. 

My Fellow Students,

I hope this letter finds you and your loved ones in good health. It is safe to say that we are in uncharted territory; it is a confusing and challenging time for us all. With student groups unable to hold their annual Spring 2020 events, Undergraduate Student Government (USG) unable to host our traditional campus events and commencement ceremonies still in limbo, it feels as though our semester has been cut short. However, I would like to remind you that this is temporary, and we are going to get through this together.

With some students still on campus and many other students connecting to the campus remotely, USG will continue to advocate and provide for the undergraduate student population in any way we possibly can.

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If there are any questions or issues that you may have, please fill out this form, so that we can take an active approach in advocating for your needs, whether that be your academic experience or social experience during this time of remote learning. We want to stay informed about the concerns of our student body and be of help.

We should also take this time to be mindful of the well-being and protection of our Asian student population. We condemn all xenophobic rhetoric and acts of hate. Remember to keep your family, friends and peers in mind during this troubling time.

Over the past week, there have also been concerns raised about offensive and inappropriate content being shared in Zoom classrooms. Please remember that the Code of Student Responsibility applies on and off-campus. If you have been targeted or experienced discrimination of any kind, report these incidents to the Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity

Finally, please do not feel like you are without help or assistance during these trying times. There are many resources available on and off campus to assist us. Below are some resources you may be able to use:

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Mental Health Services

SBU Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is open and available to help. They are not taking any in-person meetings, but you can still gain access to a mental health professional. Call CAPS at 631-632-6720 for counseling services over the phone. 

Tutoring Services

Academic Success and Tutoring Services are providing virtual tutoring support services to students who need academic support in several courses. 

Free Internet Services

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Spectrum Internet is offering free Wi-Fi installation for households with students who do not have Spectrum already. You can call 844-488-8395 to enroll your family in this offer. 

International Student Services

If you are an international student experiencing financial hardship, you may request off-campus employment authorization to help you secure off-campus employment. For more information about eligibility and how to apply, click on this link.

Stony Brook Food Pantry

The SBU Food Pantry serves as a supplemental food source for students, staff, and faculty on Stony Brook’s campus. Students living on campus can request food online from the Food Pantry starting on Monday, March 23, at 11 am. 

Hardship Funds

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The Hardship Fund is a program available to assist eligible faculty, staff and students who are experiencing a personal financial emergency and who have exhausted all other avenues for obtaining assistance. The Hardship Fund will accept and consider applications from international students adversely affected by the federal government’s travel policy. Student applicants must be currently enrolled at SBU and in good academic standing.  

And lastly, to my fellow graduating seniors: I want to take this time to send my compassion and sincere support to you all for experiencing your last semester at SBU under unprecedented circumstances. Many of us have been separated from our friends and families who we have made on-campus way too soon. However, when this public health crisis comes to an end, we will come out stronger. USG is committed to ensuring that the graduating seniors still have a commencement ceremony that will be remembered. And for that reason, we ask you to fill out this short survey so that we can plan accordingly. 

I want to let you all know that I am here to be a guide, resource and supporter in any way I can. Feel free to reach out to me at [email protected]. I thank you for your understanding and, most of all, for your courage. It has been a pleasure to serve as your Undergraduate Student President this year. I wish you a healthy rest of the semester. 

Sending you all light,

Shaheer Khan

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