How to observe and advocate for human rights year-round, not just in December

Preface: Why do Humans Rights matter today?

Across the world there are several groups fighting for their inalienable rights, for example the women’s rights movement in Iran. Right now people are standing up to so-called morality police and facing down authority to proclaim their equality.

Audre Lorde once said that “I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own.” We at Spalding University stand in solidarity with advocates, allies, and accomplices across the world in supporting women’s rights and the dismantling of systemic patriarchy.

This is a reminder that the application of equal justice is is intentionally, and as global citizens have to act with purpose. So while this season is a great time to celebrate with loved ones, and spend time with family, it is also the perfect time to research a human rights movement you feel compelled to support.


December is a busy month. People around the world observe holidays such as Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa. It’s also a time to wrap up the year and make a New Year’s resolution. However, December is also an important month known for the Universal Month of Human Rights (UMHR).

The Universal Month of Human Rights acknowledges people of all different religions, cultures, races, and beliefs. We are people. We all deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. This month reminds us that human rights advocacy is ongoing and we can do better every day.

This month ties back to Spalding’s values in humbly accepting people of all walks of life.
The importance of UMHR aligns with our mission to promote peace and justice. Our community can educate and stand up for human rights one day at a time.

“It is absolutely clear that we need to regain the universality of human rights, the indivisibility of human rights, and we need to find a new energy that motivates young people around the world.”
-Volker Türk, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

We are here to help. We can all learn and grow together. In this post, we will discuss the importance of the Universal Month of Human Rights and how we can observe it all year-round, not just in December.

What is the Universal Month of Human Rights?

After World War II, the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN) outlined our human rights. On December 10, 1948, they created the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). This document defines our human rights that are to be protected universally. This was a huge milestone in history.

The first article states:
“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.”

The UDHR has paved the way for more than seventy human rights treaties. This milestone-document has been translated in more than 500 languages, and according to the UN is the most translated document in the world. Thus, making the UDHR and its message to protect freedom for all people accessible to many communities.

Every year on December 10, people around the world observe Human Rights Day. Beginning this year, the United Nations is promoting a year-long campaign to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10, 2023. This theme is Dignity, Freedom, and Justice for All and will focus on legacy, relevance, and activism.

How can we observe the Universal Month of Human Rights?

This month–and beyond–we empower you to educate yourself and human rights. This is a learning process. Take a step and start local and help those who are hurting in your community.

Every year, the UN’s work to protect our human rights and to solve global issues has grown. The past few years have been “unprecedented times.” We have faced new and ongoing challenges such as the global pandemic, the killing of Breonna Taylor, AAPI hate crimes, and countless mass shootings–a sign that human rights advocacy is needed more than ever.

The most important thing to do is to find a common ground with those around us. Every human being is different and unique in their own way. We can learn to accept those differences and function together as a society.

What can you do?

  • Reread the Bill of Rights and think about what freedom means to you.
  • Volunteer at a local human rights organization
  • Ask your library staff to learn about new cultures.
  • Donate money or resources to human rights organizations.
  • Speak up for those who are hurting in your community.
  • Talk and learn from others who are different from you.
  • Watch documentaries or videos that support human rights.

Resources and related links

Am I Doing this Allyship Thing Right?: Spalding allyship resource
Anti-Racism Resources: a Spalding University library guide
Gender identity terminology: Spalding University gender identity terms used for self-identification
Human Rights Campaign: ways to get involved
Human Rights Day: Dignity, Freedom, and Justice for All
Universal Human Rights Month: December 2022
NAACAP: take action

How to be a better ally year-round, not just in June

We observe two important moments in American history each June: Pride Month and Juneteenth. These events mark two turning points in the civil rights movement and social change, and they shine a spotlight on the struggles and subsequent triumphs of two marginalized groups in our country.

It’s taken the bravery and support of a lot of people to get this far. In the years that followed these events, we’ve witnessed activism and progress with efforts such as the Black Panther’s Free People’s Clinics in the ’70s and the early advocacy work of the Aids Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) in the ’80s for people living with HIV. The work is not over. With a rise in police brutality against African Americans and the nearly 240 anti-LGBTQ bills filed in 2022 (as of March), solidarity is crucial.

June is a month of programs, celebrations and events, but it is also a month when the word ally is used often. We hear it in conversation and on social media. It’s a reminder that the work must keep moving–not just in June but beyond. As we raise awareness and educate ourselves on LGBTQI+ and Black issues, it’s important to remember that progress wasn’t easily won.

It wasn’t until June 1999–thirty years after the –the Stonewall Uprising of 1969– that President Bill Clinton proclaimed June to be Gay and Lesbian Pride Month. Today, Pride not only celebrates the LGBTQI+ community but also commemorates a critical moment in what was once called the gay civil rights movement. The events of Stonewall, the bravery of those who resisted harassment and mistreatment by New York City officers, and the activism that followed led to the first Pride marches in June 1970.

More than a century earlier, African Americans in Texas first celebrated Juneteenth. June 19, 1865, marks the moment when the last group of enslaved people received news of their freedom and the end of slavery–two years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. Juneteenth is an opportunity to recognize the struggle and celebrate the accomplishments of Black people. As of 2021, Juneteenth is a federal holiday, signed into law by President Joe Biden.

If you want to carry some of the weight and do the work, but you’re unsure if you’re doing it right, we’re here to help. In this post, we’ll cover what allyship is, why it’s important and provide suggestions for practice.

What is Allyship (and Why Does it Matter)?

Let’s start with allyship’s base word–a more familiar term.


Typically used as a noun, ally, in simplest terms, is a person who supports, helps or advocates for an effort or a group of people.

Some would argue that ally is not a noun and that if you see it as such, you are doing it all wrong. Classifying ally as a noun implies that it’s an identity or status. However, it is not something that can be achieved.

Let’s take this a step further and define allyship. Understanding its meaning can get us closer to knowing how to do allyship right.


The Rochester Racial Justice toolkit defines allyship as:

Allyship is a proactive, ongoing, and incredibly difficult practice of unlearning and re-evaluating, in which a person of privilege works in solidarity and partnership with a marginalized group of people to help take down the systems that challenge that group’s basic rights, equal access, and ability to thrive in our society.

Now, let’s break that down.

  • Allyship is active. It’s a process and a practice. It’s going to take time. Make sure you’re up for the challenge.
  • Allyship is not easy work. Practice patience and own your mistakes. You’re not always going to get it right.
  • Allyship requires understanding. Be ready to educate yourself and understand the concerns and challenges of those you want to unite with.
  • Allyship is not a solo effort. Work in unity with marginalized group(s) to disrupt the systems that are holding them back.

The importance of allyship

The communities we belong to–where we live, work and learn–are diverse. As an institution of higher education, we know that inclusion leads to better retention and engagement of students.

Through allyship, we can be powerful supporters of social change and better inclusion. We can create and support more diverse learning communities and workplaces. The impact of this affects the overall well-being of our communities.

Allyship in action

Are you ready to get to work? It all starts with education and awareness. So, here’s a jumping-off point for becoming a better ally.

  • Do listen and ask how you can help.
  • Don’t expect another person to educate you about their identity.
  • Do accept criticism thoughtfully. Don’t broadcast your qualifications for being an ally.
  • Do speak up when you hear biased language.
  • Don’t apologize for the actions of your identity group.
  • Do seek support from experienced allies within your identity group.
  • Don’t expect credit for being an ally.
  • Do acknowledge intersectionality.
  • Do learn about local organizations already doing the work.
  • Do talk to your people about the change you want to see.
  • Do donate money to organizations you trust and whose work you support.
  • Do volunteer work.

LGBTQ+ Allyship

  • Refuse to tolerate anti-lesbian, -gay, -bisexual, -trans or -queer (LGBTQI+) comments, attitudes, remarks or jokes.
  • Ask others that any anti-LGBTQI+ humor displayed in common areas be removed completely or placed within private offices or living spaces.
  • Display positive materials in support of people who are LGBTQI+. If possible, post flyers on activities, support groups, programs, and resources for people who are lesbian, gay, or bisexual.
  • Do not assume that everyone you meet is heterosexual.
  • Use inclusive, non-gender-specific language that does not assume heterosexuality in others. Use inclusive language in conversation and also in written materials, policies, forms, etc.
  • Educate yourself on issues and concerns for people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans or queer. Take the initiative to obtain accurate information.
  • Attend events, meetings, or programs sponsored by or for people who are LGBTQI+.
  • Gain insight by talking to people who are LGBTQI+. Learn from their experiences.

African American Allyship

  • Be willing to listen and learn.
  • Help open up spaces without taking them over.
  • Do your research.
  • Resist the “white savior” complex.
  • Start in your own circle.
  • Assume racism is everywhere, every day.
  • Notice who is the center of attention and who is the center of power.
  • Notice how racism is denied, minimized, and justified.
  • Understand the connections between racism, economic issues, sexism, and other
  • forms of injustice.
  • Learn something about the history of white people who have worked for racial justice.

The next step

Allyship is a learning process. It challenges us to think critically, build relationships and create more inclusive spaces. You have the basics you need to get started—all that’s left to do is to continue the work.

Resources and related links

LGBTQ History and Why It Matters: a lesson plan for teaching LGBTQ history from the Roman Empire to 2016.
Gender identity terminology: Spalding University gender identity terms used for self-identification
What is Juneteenth? The History of a Holiday
Anti-Racism Resources: a Spalding University library guide
Collective Care Center: speciality clinic for treating racial trauma
Human Rights Campaign: ways to get involved
NAACAP: take action

New on-campus space, made possible by a grant from the PNC Foundation, will serve as a hub for academic support

With the support of a $100,000 grant from the PNC Foundation, Spalding University has established the PNC Center for Student Success, a new space on campus that centralizes and strengthens the university’s academic support services.

The new PNC Center for Student Success brings together the Writing & Peer Learning Center, the Center for Accessibility & Learning Equity’s reading support services and Success Coaches program, and the Math Lab. Located on the second floor of the university’s library, this shared space will improve ease of access and visibility to resources for students, while also fostering administrative coordination.

“Spalding University is known throughout our region for its efforts to close the equity gap in higher education, and for its contributions to the development of our local workforce,” said Kristen Byrd, PNC regional president for Louisville. “The services and resources offered at the PNC Center for Student Success will help ensure today’s students and tomorrow’s workforce are equipped to thrive.”

Integral to the delivery of the center’s services is a faculty/peer-mentor staffing model, which accommodates a variety of learning styles and is designed to reach students statistically at-risk for attrition, including first-generation and minority students.

These services include tutoring, research guidance, assistance with math and reading comprehension, study skills development, test preparation and technology use. Additionally, the center aims to foster a sense of community and collaboration, with a comfortable common space where students can connect with each other.

“I remember being in the residence halls when I was a student, and we would converse for hours and debate as part of our student experience,” said Tomarra Adams, dean of undergraduate education. “Our vision for the PNC Center for Student Success is to create that kind of synergy for students. They come to get the technical help, but they also feed off the energy of learning and the interactions that a central space fosters. Thereby, they get to share ideas and learn in a different way.”

The PNC Center for Student Success’ grand opening will be 2:00 p.m., May 11, 2022. President Tori Murden McClure, Dean Tomarra Adams, PNC Regional President Kristen Byrd and the center’s coordinators will share remarks.

# # #

About PNC Foundation: The PNC Foundation, which receives its principal funding from The PNC Financial Services Group (, actively supports organizations that provide services for the benefit of communities in which it has a significant presence. The foundation focuses its philanthropic mission on early childhood education and community and economic development, which includes the arts and culture. Through Grow Up Great, its signature cause that began in 2004, PNC has created a bilingual $500 million, multi-year initiative to help prepare children from birth to age 5 for success in school and life.

About Spalding University: Established in 1814 and located in downtown Louisville since 1920, Spalding is a historic, private institution that offers graduate, undergraduate and accelerated programs in a range of areas of study. The regionally accredited university offers an innovative schedule of seven six-week sessions per year, allowing students to earn a bachelor’s degree at their own pace. Its athletic teams compete in NCAA Division III. Spalding was recognized as the world’s first Compassionate University. More information is available at

The first week of classes is over, and it’s time to celebrate. Spalding University’s inaugural Eagle Fest concert has you covered.

Eagle Fest – Spalding’s biggest Welcome Week event of Fall 2021 – will take place 6-10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 28 at Trager Park (at the corner of South Second and West Kentucky streets) and is a free event for all Spalding students, employees, alumni and their families.

Joslyn and the Sweet Compression – a high-energy, dance-inducing funk, soul and R&B band from Lexington – will be performing, and food trucks and vendors and campus organizations will be on hand. Free T-shirts will be distributed to early arrivers. Joslyn and the Sweet Compression will go on about 7 p.m. DJ Alli will also perform, closing out the evening.

Eagle Fest is the first and biggest 2021 event organized by a new committee of campus leaders focused on strengthening campus traditions and community engagement.

“We love the community we’ve built at Spalding, and we are constantly looking for ways to strengthen that sense of campus pride and build energy and excitement around activities on campus,” said Amanda Lucas, Spalding’s Senior Director of Marketing. “Now that we are all fully back on campus after being away from one another for so long during the pandemic, we thought a big, high-energy, outdoor concert would be a perfect tradition to establish to celebrate the new school year. Because it’s outside in a huge open space, it’s also a safe way for us to gather and have a great time.”

Lucas said Spalding couldn’t have landed a better headliner for their inaugural concert than Joslyn and the Sweet Compression, led by dynamic singer Joslyn Hampton and guitarist/songwriter Marty Charters, Hampton’s stepfather who has shared the stage with Buddy Guy, Van Morrison and other legends. The seven-member band, which includes two horn players, “deliver(s) a hook-filled mix of funk and soul,” according to their website. (Watch a video of the band here or at end of this story.)

Lucas, a musician, herself, said her band, Bridge 19, shared the bill with Josslyn and the Sweet Compression at a music festival and that she instantly became a fan.

“They have really blown up, playing a lot of great festivals and events in Kentucky and other states, and they are just super-fun to see live,” Lucas said. “We are really excited to have them at our first Eagle Fest, and I know our students and campus community are going to love them and have a great time.”

Before you head to Eagle Fest, please review these FAQs and important safety information:

When: 6-10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021
Where: Trager Park (corner of South Second and West Kentucky streets)
Who: Joslyn and the Sweet Compression, and DJ Alli will perform. The Student Involvement Fair will be held on site.

How much are tickets?
Sponsored by Spalding’s Campus Traditions Committee, Eagle Fest is a free, ticketless event open all Spalding students, faculty, staff, alumni and their families.

Where can I park?
Campus parking and street parking – for which there is much around Trager Park – will be available. Check out our campus map for campus parking locations.

What time can I get there?
The lawn opens at 5:30 p.m. Arrive early for a free T-shirt.

What time is Eagle Fest over?
The event will end around 10 p.m.

Can I bring my kids?
For sure, Eagle Fest is a family-friendly event, and kids will love the band.

Can I bring lawn chairs?
Yes, we encourage you to bring a lawn chair or blanket.

Can I bring a canopy?
Yes, but if you plan to bring a canopy, please set it up along the perimeter of Trager Park to avoid blocking anyone’s view of the stage.

Will there be food and/or drinks on sale at Eagle Fest?
Bourbon Trail Bites Food Truck will be on site, along with Louisville Pure Tap’s free self-serve water coolers.

Can I bring my own food?
Sure thing.

What can’t I bring?
Alcohol and glass. Additionally, please do not bring items listed in the Spalding University student handbook.


An inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public space where people are gathered, even at an event that is fully outdoors. All guests who enter our event space must behave responsibly to prevent the spread of COVID.

We are closely monitoring government policy changes, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines, government mandates, and public health announcements and any guidance provided will be strictly followed.

Masks: While outdoors at Eagle Fest, wearing a mask is optional for those fully vaccinated.  We encourage everyone to mask up, especially in crowded, high-traffic areas.  Note: masks will be required for access to restrooms.

Keep your distance: Be courteous to other Eagle Fest goers and make sure to give them space — on your way in, in the food line, on the lawn, wherever.   Attendees from different households should stay at least 6 feet apart.

How are you feeling? If you’re not feeling well, please STAY HOME. We cannot emphasize this enough. Help keep each other healthy.


During the 2020-21 academic year, we will be highlighting some of the Recognized Student Organizations (RSO) on the Spalding University campus.  Today’s featured RSO is the Spalding Environmental Alliance (SEA), and information has been provided by staff advisor Leah Cover, Instruction and Learning Services Librarian, as well as Elizabeth Dyer, Director of Institutional Effectiveness. Contact [email protected] for more information.

What is the purpose or mission of the organization?

Since 2019, the Second Street Garden – located across South Second Street from Spalding’s College Street Center building – has been maintained mainly by the student organization Spalding Environmental Alliance (SEA), formerly known as Spalding Local Urban Gardeners (SLUG). In early 2020, SEA collaborated with students from a Presentation Academy Ecology course to maintain the garden.

The mission of the Spalding Environmental Alliance is to encourage students, staff and faculty to learn from and contribute to group discussions on pressing environmental issues such as climate change; to provide activities that foster outdoor appreciation as well as physical and emotional enrichment, such as hiking and gardening; and to promote environmental action through green projects both on and off campus and in collaboration with the community, especially the Second St. Garden.

Who can get involved in the organization?

Any undergraduate or graduate students can become members of SEA, and staff, faculty and alumni are welcome to help out with projects and activities.

What are some activities or projects that the organization participates in?

During summer 2021 there have been several projects underway:

Restoring all 12 raised beds at the Second Street Garden – removing weeds, tilling the soil and mulching. In addition:

* Pumpkins! We planted a crop of sugar-pie pumpkins, which are medium-sized pumpkins that make excellent pies as well as jack-o-lanterns. Each pumpkin vine will produce 6-10 pumpkins. Our plan is to sell the best-looking pumpkins for a low price to the Spalding community and sell all the rest to our dining services to convert into pumpkin pies. The funds raised will be donated to our Pelican Pantry.

* Sunflowers! As we return to campus this fall, we’re all going be experiencing some anxiety and uncertainty. Therefore, we will be offering free bouquets of cheerful sunflowers and other flowers from the garden throughout the fall to add something bright and beautiful to your space.

Trays of small green plants set to be planted in the Second Street Garden across from Spalding
A tray of plants being tended by SEA.

* Live plants! This fall we will be offering small planters of purple lavender, lamb’s ear, or marigolds, so you can have a live plant of your own. Which will you choose –  the soothing smell of lavender, stroking a soft lamb’s ear leaf, or the bright blooms of a marigold? In addition, the produce from our small assortment of vegetable plants will be donated to Pelican Panty each week.

What is a great memory you’ve had as part of the organization, or accomplishment of your organization that you’re proud of?

In spring 2019, SEA organized an Earth Day planting and learning day-long event. In the morning, the group prepared the soil and planted numerous vegetables and wildflowers. Over a shared lunch, a guest speaker from U of L discussed urban agriculture. It was a beautiful sunny spring day, and we had great turnout from students and staff.

Why should someone check out your organization, and what should they expect if they do?
SEA student leaders will be planning other events and activities for the Fall semester. Keep an eye out for some outdoor activities in addition to gardening!

Plants growing in the Second Street Garden near Spalding University
Plants growing in the Second Street Garden. Spalding’s College Street Center building is in the background, across South Second Street.

What information can you share about the community garden?

The community garden has been the site of various projects and collaborations in the past three years. We have some great visions from students and staff for maintaining and expanding the garden and its resources throughout the next year and beyond. Get in touch if you have a green thumb and ideas for this plot of land!

If you would like more information on joining – or starting – an RSO on campus, contact Director of Student Leadership and Service Learning Anna Foshee at [email protected]. If you have Spalding login credentials, you may also visit the Virtual Student Involvement Fair

Spalding Dean of Students Janelle Rae sent the following message to Spalding students on Monday, Aug. 16, 2021.

Dear Spalding Students,

We are so looking forward to welcoming you back to campus, engaging in rigorous learning, and rebuilding our interpersonal connections. As the Delta variant of COVID-19 continues to spread at alarming rates, it is important that we all do our part to protect each other’s health, wellbeing, and ability to learn. Please take note of Spalding University’s COVID guidelines that are currently in place and what we are considering enacting as information becomes available.


Face coverings will once again be REQUIRED on campus in indoor settings for ALL individuals, regardless of vaccination status. This includes faculty, staff, students and visitors. The only exceptions will be in residence-hall rooms or when individuals are alone in their private offices or while eating in the College Street Café or a campus lounge/breakroom. Faculty are allowed to remove their masks while teaching if maintaining 6 feet distance from students, which is consistent with the Governor’s Executive Order. The amazing cooperation and masking compliance we achieved last academic year were undoubtedly key contributors to our low number of positive cases on campus.

If you see someone not wearing their mask or not wearing their mask properly, be a good neighbor and gently remind them to mask up.


Vaccines are the best defense against the COVID-19 virus and the Delta variant. Vaccination significantly reduces the likelihood of serious illness and even death. The fastest-growing age group contracting the virus in our state is between the ages of 20 and 44.

At this time, while the vaccines are under only emergency-use authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Spalding is not requiring COVID-19 vaccines for employees or students. But be aware that Spalding plans to require employees to be vaccinated once one of the current vaccines has received full FDA approval.

In addition, to protect our campus and to keep a gauge of asymptomatic positive cases within the Spalding community, we plan to implement on-campus testing for COVID-19 for employees and those students in high contact and congregate settings such as athletes and residents who have not been vaccinated. More information will be shared once the testing process is finalized, but at this time we expect that employees and students who attest to being vaccinated will be exempt from this testing. A form is being developed for students to upload their proof-of-vaccination card or record.

Spalding will offer a free vaccine clinic on campus the week of Aug. 29 open to all students, employees, and the public. More details to come.


If you do not feel well, have been exposed to COVID-19 or have tested positive for COVID-19, stay home and work with your professor to make up the classwork you miss. Some courses may be able to provide live streaming but not all will, so you are responsible for notifying your professor and asking how you can best participate in class and engage with the course material.

You should also contact the Eagle Care student health clinic to report your symptoms, COVID-19 exposure, and COVID-19 test results and receive guidance on your next steps by calling 502.873.4255. For information on Spalding’s isolation and quarantine protocol, visit Spalding’s Healthy Together webpage.

We have discontinued using the #CampusClear health-screening app, and a daily health screen is no longer required before coming to campus. If you are still receiving reminders, you can uninstall the app or choose the “Purge My Info & Delete My Account” feature on the app.


With vaccines, mask requirements, and regular COVID testing, we hope to return to a robust campus life and invite you to participate in and lead opportunities for community building across campus.

The health and safety of our community will remain our top priority, and we will continue to adjust our guidelines as needed to keep everyone safe.

Thank you for making Spalding the amazing place that it is.

Janelle Rae

Dean of Students 
Spalding University


In recognition of national Mental Health Awareness Month in May, here is a Q&A with Spalding Director of Counseling and Psychological Services Dr. Allison From-Tapp on issues related to mental health:

What are some types of mental health issues that college students may be experiencing or that are common among the students who visit the Counseling and Psychological Services (CaPS) center?

Across the country, anxiety and depression are typically the top two reasons that bring people to therapy, and that is the same at Spalding. All people feel some levels of anxiety because it is a motivator to help us get things done. Unfortunately, sometimes that anxiety takes over in a way that is not helpful. Most people who come to CaPS are experiencing some levels of anxiety that are no longer helpful to them. We can talk through ways to help bring that anxiety back down to helpful levels. Many of the students we see have also experienced some sort of trauma in their lifetime. Trauma also often leads to anxiety and sometimes to depression as well. Those are all things we can help someone work through, but students also come to us for a variety of other issues and we welcome talking about them all.

What are some everyday ways that people can help relieve anxiety in their lives? Are there any resources you can offer?

There are many ways to lower anxiety, and we can help you figure out what works best for you as each individual is unique. There are lots of things you can try on your own, with or without the help of a therapist. Mindfulness has been repeatedly shown to be excellent at reducing symptoms of anxiety. CaPS has a YouTube channel with many videos to help you get started with mindfulness. There are also brief videos (in the Mindful Monday section) to guide you through breathing and other exercises. Just taking five-minute breaks throughout the day to focus on breathing can help lower your anxiety and get you reconnected to what is important to you.

Here are some other great websites to check out with many more tips:

What are some signs that you or a friend may be experiencing depression? What should you do if you are experiencing some of these signs, or if you notice that a friend or loved one is experiencing some of them?

Some of the signs of depression may be seen in a change in behavior. This could include things such as sleeping more than usual, drinking or smoking more than usual, not being as talkative, being withdrawn or sad, or seeming angry or irritable more than usual. If your friend is experiencing any of this, please encourage them to email us to talk it through. The most they have to lose is a couple hours of time. If you want to check things out before emailing us, you can also take a screener at the Mental Health America site: . They have screeners for different issues. If you or a friend are having any difficulties, please email us. You can’t schedule an appointment for a friend, but you can sit down with them and encourage them to send us a message.

This year’s national theme for Mental Health Awareness Month is, “You Are Not Alone.” How important is it for people to understand that they do not and should not have to endure a mental health struggle alone?

That is extremely important. Individuals who contemplate suicide often say they felt alone and hopeless. So many people do not talk about their struggles, so they do not realize how many other people are struggling, and sometimes they are struggling with similar things. Many times, the first bit of relief comes from knowing you are not alone and knowing that someone else wants to walk this journey with you.

How can Spalding students get in touch with Counseling and Psychological Services (CaPS), and what might a student expect about how the process will go if they reach out? What does it cost?

Getting in touch with us is as simple as sending an email. Since we are continuing to do mostly telehealth for the summer, we monitor our email every weekday and work to get people scheduled as soon as possible. You can start with emailing [email protected] and all you have to say is, “I would like to schedule an appointment.” You are welcome to say more than that, but sometimes people struggle to find the “right” words to get started. We want it to be as easy as it can be. Once you email us, our assistant will get back to you with some online paperwork and then we will work to get you scheduled. Once the paperwork and scheduling are done, your assigned therapist will send you a welcome email with a link for the telehealth session. In that first session, they will spend a little time getting to know you and what they can do that day to help. If you want to come back after the first session, they will get that scheduled for you. The second time they will probably ask for a little more background information and you will keep getting to know each other so they can help in the best ways. As long as you are an enrolled student, there is no extra fee for anything we do at CaPS.

Anything else you’d like to add during Mental Health Awareness Month?

Everyone feels anxious or sad sometimes, and some of us feel it more than others. We do not want it to become a time of intense suffering for you. Please come see us and share your feelings with us so we can help find the tools that fit best for you and your life. Help reduce the stigma of mental health issues by sharing your feelings with others and if you come see us at CaPS, tell your friends and encourage them to come if they need a little extra support. Regular, healthy people come to therapy to stay regular and healthy! Also, if you have a question about your mental health and you do not know who to ask, feel free to send me a personal and totally confidential email. If I do not know the answer, I will help you find it. [email protected] Our whole staff is here to help, please just ask.

Other than Commencement, the Running of the Rodents is Spalding’s oldest annual tradition, held each spring around Kentucky Derby season as a fun break from the “rat race” of upcoming exams and the end of the school year. This joyful event for students, faculty and staff was held for 47 consecutive years until last year, when, unfortunately, the pandemic forced us to take a pause. Led by the Student Government Association, Spalding is proud to announce that next week, festivities surrounding the week of the Running of the Rodents will return, leading up to a modified, socially distant, livestreamed version of our rat derby on Thursday, April 22.

RELATED: 2019 Running of the Rodents ‘Rat Recap’

More information and reminders will be shared next week, but Rat Week activities will kick off Monday afternoon, with a Spring Carnival at Trager Park sponsored by the Residence Hall Association. (See info below.)

For all events, remember to practice social distancing, wear a mask (including for outdoor events) and complete the CampusClear assessment before coming to campus.

Here is the schedule:

Monday, April 19

RHA Spring Carnival, Trager Park, 3-7 p.m.: Join the RHA and our campus residents for yard games and activity stations, including cornhole, ladder golf, giant Connect 4 and a tie-dye station. (Bring your own items to tie-dye.) There will be popsicles and lemonade for attendees. Also, to benefit Family Scholar House, bring a donation of school supplies to be entered into a raffle. The raffle winner will receive a prize from the Campus Store.

Rat Race Photo Archive, Library Huff Gallery, all day (Monday-Thursday): A video of photos will be on display.

Tuesday, April 20
Lemon Juleps, College Street Café, lunch hours: The Café will serve Spalding’s traditional Running of the Rodents beverage. The Library will have a fun display with the history of the drink.

Derby Hat Social Media Contest, enter by noon: Create a Running of the Rodents or Kentucky Derby hat and please submit a photo of it to [email protected] or tag @spaldinguniversity on Instagram by noon. The winner will receive a Rat Race T-shirt.

Rat Race Photo Archive, Library Huff Gallery, all day: A video of photos will be on display.

Wednesday, April 21

Way Back Wednesday, all day: Please share your Rat Race photos from previous years on social media and tag @spaldinguniversity on Instagram, @spaldingu on Twitter or @spaldinguniversity on Facebook. Or email your photos to [email protected].

Rat Race Photo Archive, Library Huff Gallery, all day: A video of photos will be on display.

Thursday, April 22

Modified Running of the Rodents, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: More information to come next week on the details of this year’s socially distant races!

Rat Race Photo Archive, Library Huff Gallery, all day: A video of photos will be on display.


Dear Spalding Community,

As we begin our safe return to campus, we want you to stay informed about important updates regarding the University. This is our annual reminder to all students, faculty and staff to sign up for Spalding’s Omnilert E2Campus alert system. It is the fastest way to be informed of a class delay or campus closing related to weather or other circumstances, and it is the system used to communicate any emergency situation that could potentially impact you as a student, faculty or staff member.

We encourage everyone to sign up if you have not already done so.  If you have signed up previously please be sure that you are still in the system and that your contact information and preferred mode of notification is up to date.

Please note that the system typically inactivates users after four years. We will be testing the system once next week, so expect to receive a text, call or email. If you signed up some time ago and do not receive a text or call during this test then you may need to reactivate your information in the system.  Similarly, if you have changed your email address,  phone number or cell provider and do not receive a text/call then you may need to update your information via the link above.

If you currently receive texts only and wish to receive calls as well or add e-mails or make any changes to how you receive messages them please update those preferences in the system as well.

Thanks for your help in promoting a safe and secure campus.


Chris Hart, Dean of Operations and Chief of Staff
Janelle Rae, Dean of Students