Campus Leadership

Calling Because We Care

UW faculty and staff personally contact quarantined students.

Outside view of dorm room windows where quarantined students have written messages

Students fill the windows with playful signs during quarantine in Sellery Hall. Jeff Miller

Last September, UW–Madison made the difficult decision of asking students in two residence halls to quarantine for two weeks — a necessary measure for stopping the spread of COVID-19. But the students weren’t completely cut off, thanks to “Operation Connection through Quarantine.”

Faculty and staff across campus volunteered to call more than 2,000 quarantined students to offer mental-health resources and emotional support.

“It was important that these students know people are thinking about them,” says Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning John Zumbrunnen, one of the volunteer callers.

The operation was so successful that volunteers continued calling students in isolation or quarantine beyond the initial two-week period.

Haley Arrington x’23 is among those who appreciated the effort: “We thought it was cool for the school to reach out to us.”

Published in the Spring 2021 issue


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