Marquette supporting students even as COVID-19 leaves campus nearly empty

Despite safer-at-home policies and procedures in place due to the coronavirus pandemic, Marquette has maintained its mission of cura personalis, or care for the whole person, to support students wherever there are.

The university has a number of services and programs in place to ensure students are having their needs met—even while away from campus.

University Advancement established the Bridge to the Future Fund to provide financial aid assistance to students whose changing economic circumstances jeopardize their ability to continue their Marquette education. The Bridge to the Future Fund can be used for room and board, travel expenses, tuition and more. It’s an especially helpful fund when there are unforeseen situations, such as the current pandemic.

A group of alumni recently supported the fund with money earmarked for a longtime, annual group vacation canceled due to COVID-19.

In a 2018 study of Marquette students, one-in-five were identified as having experienced food insecurity during the past school year. The Backpack Program is a free and confidential service that provides groceries to any student who is having difficulty accessing affordable, nutritious food and other essential household items. The program continues during the pandemic, offering service windows twice a week.

The university raised over $82,000 to support the Backpack Program through a fundraiser tied to the demolition of McCormick Hall in May.

With the majority of students, faculty and staff scattered all over the world, the Office of Mission and Ministry has strived to keep the faith on campus and remain engaged with the community. Since the first days of the safer-at-home orders, the Mission and Ministry team and the Marquette Jesuit community have livestreamed Mass on a regular basis, and they have held special services for Easter, including stations of the cross, and Earth Day.

Distance has also not deterred the Counseling Center. The Counseling Center is offering 24-hour telephone services, as well as resources for students such as managing stress, coping with social distance, and looking after themselves and others.