Quinnipiac University

COVID-19, inclusive excellence and university enhancements discussed at annual State of the QUnion

March 03, 2021

Students watch the State of the QUnion in the Piazza

President Judy Olian thanked students for their diligence and efforts in helping to fight COVID-19 at the annual State of the QUnion on March 2 — and reassured them that their efforts are making a tangible, positive difference.

“Your hard work to keep our campus community healthy and safe – and keep us together, on ground for the semester – is paying off," she told the more than 350 students tuned in during the virtual event. "There has been a lot of pain and challenge for many people but, at the same time, the resiliency of our community, the way you rose above the challenges has been more than heartwarming."

She said that although she can see the light at the end of the tunnel, everyone must continue to work together to keep the university community safe.

"Spring is right around the corner, the vaccine is starting to ramp up in availability, and there are some really exciting things starting to gain momentum here at QU," Olian said.

Construction will soon begin on the Mount Carmel Campus, she said, explaining that in the coming weeks and months:

  • Construction will begin on the new Recreation and Wellness Center
  • The Complex residence hall will undergo a complete renovation
  • Work will begin on identifying the location of a new academic building

Significant progress has been made on advancing inclusive excellence, she said, acknowledging how important rising student engagement is in the success of these initiatives.

"We’ve come so far since we gathered for the State of QUnion just one year ago – a time that’s been shaped by national events and experiences on our own campus," she said.

Among the tangible advancements made:

  • The introduction of a 10-point plan to advance racial justice
  • The appointment of Khalilah Brown-Dean to senior director of inclusive excellence
  • The development of an LGBTQ+ action plan
  • A new student-focused online inclusion training curriculum set to be launched next month
"Our academic mission is stronger than ever, and Quinnipiac continues to earn national recognition for preparing you for successful careers, and productive lives after graduation," she told the students participating in the town hall discussion.

Among the accomplishments cited:

  • For the second year in a row, Quinnipiac was ranked the No. 1 college in the country for getting a job after graduating, by Zippia.com
  • QU is ranked among the top 3% of universities in the U.S. for long-term value, by the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce
"What you are experiencing at Quinnipiac is preparing you for careers not just in the short-term, but also in the long-term," she assured the Bobcat community. "The types of skills you're acquiring make you stand out, not just at graduation but also years later."

Throughout the 2-hour discussion, senior university leaders also answered questions from students about developments happening in dining services, COVID-19 precautions, advancements in diversity and inclusion initiatives, the future of the student experience and advancements in sustainability initiatives.

Watch the full replay

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