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New School Family News, December 2022

A Message From Dr. Robert Mack

Dr. Robert D. Mack, Vice Provost for Student Success and Engagement

Rob Mack

Dear Parents and Family Members, 

During this holiday season, I want to express my deep gratitude to each of you for being a part of our New School community. Our dedicated staff and talented faculty are thankful that your student chose the New School as their academic home, and we continue to be grateful for the ways you continue to support your student and engage with our community. 

When I joined The New School at the start of this semester, I knew there was a tremendous opportunity for a lot of important work to be done. Throughout the last several weeks, President McBride has referred to our students as our “North Star.” As we enter a period of rest, restoration, and reflection this holiday season, let me reassure you that providing stability and support for your student remains at the forefront of the work of the Division of Student Success and Engagement. 

We know that this was a unique and difficult semester for our community. While we’re pleased that the university has reached an agreement with ACT-UAW Local 7902, the union representing our talented part-time faculty, we know that the impact of this experience on our students is significant. While the strike is now over, the healing is just beginning. As the university continues to work on addressing our community’s needs as a whole and identifying remedies to the challenges ahead, we want our students to have a restorative and healing winter break. When they return in the new year, we will be here, ready to support them. 


As we look ahead to the year to come, I am excited and hopeful for the opportunities we will create to engage with you and support you.

In New School Pride, 

Rob Mack

A Message From President McBride

As winter break gets underway, I want to thank our community and acknowledge your resilience over the last few months. My heartfelt appreciation goes out to our staff and faculty, as well as to our students and their families, all of whose voices have and will continue to shape a critical next chapter for The New School.  

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From the Desk of the Dean

Dr. Shondrika Merritt, Associate Provost for Student Affairs, Dean of Students

As you may be aware, we were deeply saddened this semester about the loss of a member of our New School community, Jensen Holliday. I’d like to take a moment to share more with you about who Jensen was and how our community has remembered her. 

Jensen was a first-year student in the Parsons BFA Design History and Practice program. Her faculty described her as a bright and beautiful presence–-one that our community will deeply miss, particularly her peers in our Stuyvesant Park Residence Hall, where Jensen was a resident. 

Like many Parsons students, Jensen was creative to her core. Originally from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Jensen graduated from New Orleans Center for Creative Arts before joining The New School this fall. Her family described her as a kind and creative light.  

Following her passing, Housing and Residential Education as well as Counseling Services hosted a processing space in Stuyvesant Park Residence Hall for Jensen’s friends and neighbors. During this time of healing, students shared stories and reflections about Jensen as a way of honoring her memory and beginning to process her loss.  

As you spend time with your student over the holiday season, check-in with them. Ask them about their classes, of course, but also ask them about their feelings, concerns, and ideas. Remind them that Student Health Services (SHS) is available in-person or through telecounseling if they would like to talk. 

I also want to acknowledge how incredibly resilient, strong, and forward-thinking your students have been this semester. They steered many challenging obstacles this semester that will undoubtedly influence how they navigate the remainder of their college experience and thereafter. 

I look forward to engaging with parents more intentionally next semester, so please continue to read the newsletter. Remember that we are partners in this journey, and I am here to support you and your students as they navigate their New School experience. Please continue to reach out when needed and stay connected. Feel free to email me at merritts@newschool.edu. See you in 2023!

With care, 


Winter Break Housing

As a reminder, the residence halls will remain open during Winter Break, with limited capacity. To help ensure the safety of our community, students who plan to remain on campus were asked to complete the “Winter Break” form, on the Housing Portal, by 12:00 pm on Monday, December 19th, 2022. The form remains open for students to fill out if their plans change. 

During Winter Break (Monday, December 19th, 2022 - Sunday, January 15th, 2023) each residential student is permitted two day/overnight guests at a time. All guests must be pre-registered and follow university policies regarding wearing a mask in public spaces.

Visit Housing

Parent and Family Engagement

Parents and families are an important part of the New School community. That’s why we want to help you stay engaged in the academic process and connected to The New School. We have recently re-launched our Parent and Family website to increase your access to vital information.

Need to get in touch with us? Email families@newschool.edu.

Visit Family Site

Academic Dates and Deadlines

December 24- January 2: Winter break, university closed

December 31: Fall degree conferral date

January 16: Martin Luther King Jr. Day, university closed

January 20-27: Welcome week programming

January 24: first day of classes, spring term

View Academic Calendar

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