Parents & Families

A View From the Nott - October 2020

Publication Date

Diversity leadership team announced

President David Harris recently announced the creation of a four-member Diversity Leadership Team and a number of initiatives aimed at enhancing diversity and inclusion. Learn more about Union's ongoing diversity and inclusion efforts here. Diversity data, including fall enrollment and an employee overview, are available here.

Union works to promote civic engagement

The College’s nonpartisan Civic Engagement Initiative, begun in January, is focused on voter education, registration and participation. This chaotic election season, it is working toward preparing students, faculty and staff to vote in the Nov. 3 presidential election.

Mental health a priority

Your child’s mental health is a key concern during normal times, and even more so now. At Union, we take a proactive approach to addressing mental health issues to reduce stigmas, increase access to resources and make mental health care a part of every student’s life. The Eppler-Wolff Counseling Center offers resources for students, parents and faculty/staff, including sections dedicated to suicide prevention and clinical and outreach services. In addition, students can access our same-day counseling sessions – being conducted virtually this term – by calling (518) 388-6161 or emailing Parents with further questions are also encouraged to contact us.

“Stress is a typical feeling for college students, with heavy workloads, shifting social situations and, for many, the adjustment of living away from home for the first time,” says Counseling Center Director Marcus Hotaling. “Sometimes, this stress or other factors can lead to or exacerbate serious mental health concerns, including anxiety, depression and suicidal ideation. Suicidal thoughts should never be taken lightly and often indicate the need for further intervention.”

Experiential courses to be offered winter term

Following the success of its fall programs, Union will offer a variety of unique remote courses and internships this winter. Experiential Education opportunities include Social Innovation Virtual Internship Courses that address education and health care issues; student-arranged Internship Courses based on individual interests; and Global Virtual Internship Courses given in collaboration with the College’s study abroad partners. Participating students who are exclusively taking the remote experiential courses receive a Robert J. Moser ’99 Experiential Learning Award of $2,000 to help offset any related expenses. Students should check the Union Where You Are website for information.

Student activities abound

From art nights and concerts to a video chat with a former presidential candidate, student activities are thriving this fall even amid pandemic restrictions. More than 70 clubs and organizations are working with the Student Activities office to make great events happen. “There’s this large focus on what we’re able to do… We’re realizing there’s so much we can adapt to,” says Hayley Coakley ’21, president of U Program and Concert Club. A virtual Club Expo was held the first week of the term to introduce opportunities to join clubs and organizations. Follow Student Activities on Instagram @UnionStuAct or click here.

Homecoming and Family Weekend

This year we invite all parents to join us for a virtual Homecoming and Family Weekend. Please mark your calendar for Oct. 23-24. Highlights will include an address by President David Harris, a virtual tour of campus, recognition of alumni award winners and various receptions. We wish we could see you all on campus but look forward to offering a wide array of programs virtually.

Union Hospitality

The Union Hospitality team has a new website to inform and connect families with dining options on campus. “We are continually gathering information to adjust to the changing needs of our students,” says Hospitality Director Jim Meagher. Please visit the site to learn about safety precautions, the GET app, meal kits, the Market, special dietary menus, pop-up events, and more.

Nott Memorial in a class by itself

The Nott Memorial has served a variety of roles in its colorful history. Opened in 1877, the 16-sided treasure has hosted a museum, a library, a bookstore and a theater. Now, during the COVID-19 pandemic, add classroom to the list.

Learn about the Parents Circle

The Parents Circle is a growing group of families that works in concert with College leadership to philanthropically enhance the Union experience for students, faculty, families and the campus community. Parents Circle members become College insiders and investors in its success, ultimately developing stronger ties to their student’s Union experience. Parent philanthropy has a significant and immediate impact, and we appreciate all the generosity families have shared with Union over the course of this unique year. To learn more about the Parents Circle or to become a parent volunteer, contact Noelle Beach Marchaj ’05, director of Parent and Family Philanthropy, at


  • Oct. 23-24: Virtual Homecoming and Family Weekend
  • Nov. 17: Fall classes end
  • Nov. 19: Fall term exams begin
  • Nov. 25: Residence halls and houses close

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