Monday Morning Message 3.30.2020 Our North Star

Posted 2020-03-30 10:14am

“Professor Garlock….During this unprecedented time, it has been extremely tough for myself and my fellow classmates to navigate remote instruction. We all think you have done a splendid job in easing this transition for us. We recognize that this transition was and is not easy for you either… As you remember, the first year of law school is the most difficult. It has become even more difficult coupled with the unique circumstances we are facing. Despite it all, you have demonstrated an unequivocal passion for teaching and sincere regard for your students.”  -1L Student

Our faculty, a number of whom had not taught online before this crisis, have stepped up in extraordinary ways to convert their courses to an online format. They have done it for one reason- their relentless commitment to our students.

The best interest of our students is, as Professor Doron Kalir calls it, “our north star."

This morning’s message is directed to our students.

We recognize that there are many of you now forced to juggle the usual pressures of being a law student with a range of new and unexpected challenges, not of your making. I know that there is much uncertainty in your lives. 

You face sudden and unexpected stress on top of having to adjust to the new online format, including moves, illness or the fear of illness, the need to protect the health of family, childcare or eldercare duties prompted by school closures, financial stress due to job loss affecting you and/or your family members, living situations that are not conducive to studying, and varying levels of familiarity with and access to  technology. You now must face these anxieties without the direct support networks you have built on campus.

Dr. Asaf Bitton, a global health expert at Harvard Medical School, doesn’t like the phrase “social distancing.” I don’t either. He noted, “When we say social distancing, it’s an isolating concept. It’s really about physical distancing while maintaining social connections. If we’re going to do this for a while, we’re going to have to find new ways to be socially connected to each other.”

As we move into the remainder of the semester, please continue to find ways to connect with each other. We know that you miss seeing each other in person, just as we miss seeing you in person.

The most critical starting point is to take care of yourself, and the people around you. There’s a reason why airline attendants instruct us that, in the case of emergency, we’ll be most able to help others if we secure our own oxygen masks first. If you're feeling alone, it's important to reach out for support, whether that's to trusted friends, family, colleagues, classmates, or a trained professional.

In the midst of this crisis, we are reminded of what truly counts in our lives: our health, the safety of our family and friends, and our commitment to taking care of one another.

We are all here to support you through the remainder of this challenging semester as we unite as a community in the face of a shared crisis.

Thank you very much for your patience, understanding, and perseverance.

We’re in this together.  # ItTCMLAW  #CSUTogetheratHome

A complete listing of all CSU campus services under the order, their status, and hours of remote operations can be found here.

If you missed CSU President Harlan Sands’ virtual Town Hall on Friday, March 27, you can see it here.

Please email questions, comments, concerns to: Dean Lee Fisher (,

Associate Dean Carolyn Broering-Jacobs (, Associate Dean Jonathan Witmer-Rich (, or Sarah Beznoska, Assistant Dean of Student and Career Services (

You can also email the university at:

Students may use this link to submit concerns  anonymously:

Please regularly check the University’s Coronavirus Updates page and your law school email for further updates. Please see the links beneath my email signature for additional information.

This Week’s Monday Moment:   A List of Free, Online, Boredom-Busting Resources


Have a great day. Have a great week.

 For copies of past messages, please go to this link: Monday Morning Messages

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 My views in all my Monday Morning Messages are my personal views alone and do not reflect the views of our law school or our university.

My best,


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