Resource Roundup: The Dean of Students Office

Written by Chris Pasion, graduate assistant to The Graduate School.

The Dean of Students Office has a number of resources that are tailored to those experiencing hardship or financial burdens, especially during the difficult circumstances of COVID-19. 

Dr. Juan R. Guardia, the Dean of Students himself, has served in many academic and education-based roles for over 20 years. Dr. Guardia's role as the Dean of Students is to serve as a resource to students, faculty, and administration by developing programs and services that will aid with holistic growth and focus on issues impacting students' lives.

The Dean of Students Office houses some of these important resources, such as the Career Closet and the Bearcats Pantry, and it is an important place to know if you are in need.

Bearcats Pantry

The Bearcats Pantry offers groceries and meal vouchers for anyone experiencing food insecurity or financial hardship. They provide food for those with dietary restrictions as well, such as those on a gluten-free or vegan diet. The pantry, which is located in Stratford Heights (Building 16) is currently operating on an appointment-only basis because of the pandemic, so if you are looking to make use of the resources, be sure to complete the intake form and schedule an appointment.

In addition to their grocery services, the Bearcats Pantry is also home to the Career Closet, where visitors can be outfitted in professional clothing for job interviews, conferences, internships, and other developmental experiences. 

Graduate Student Government (GSG) is a partner with the Bearcats Pantry, and the GSG’s campus ambassador, Dominique Tanner, says, “We’re really excited to work on this initiative with the Bearcats Pantry and we’re excited to work with community partners and businesses that are willing to donate and take part in this to make a significant impact.” The pantry is open to donations and volunteers for anyone that wants to support the important work they do for our community. 

Graduate Student Emergency Fund

The Graduate Student Emergency Fund is in place to directly support graduate students who are experiencing financial hardship. The fund was created in partnership between the Graduate School, the Provost office, the Division of Student Affairs, and the GSG to assist with financial burdens associated with COVID-19 and the graduate tuition increase. While the application for the fall term has closed, be sure to keep this resource in mind if you are in need of direct financial support next semester or in the future. The maximum amount available is $580.00, and the amount of aid received will likely be limited to the increase in your program’s instruction fee.

To be eligible for the award, you much be an actively enrolled graduate student who is a not on a Graduate Assistantship or a recipient of the Graduate Incentive Award (who receive 100% tuition remission). You also must also be a returning student; first-semester students are not eligible. 

The Safe Apartment

One other important resource that the Dean of Students Office provides is the safe apartment, which is a confidential location around campus that is reserved for anyone living in an unsafe or hostile environment. If you are in a situation where you feel unsafe or threatened by those you live with, or you are currently without a place to stay, this resource is here for you to seek another form of temporary shelter while you adjust your living situation. Being cooped up inside during the pandemic is already difficult enough without the added stresses of being victimized in an unhealthy environment. Use this resource if you need another place to stay while you figure things out. Reach out to the Dean of Students directly at