Staying Optimistic during Corona Days, March 22nd
A Message from TAU President
Our plans for this second semester were very different. Yours too. But the world, Israel and Tel Aviv University are now dealing with an unprecedented crisis. Even if there is controversy over the handling of the contagion, it seems that the shared goal of defeating the new coronavirus unites all humanity. I cannot think of a single event when the entire world joined forces like it is doing now.
Yet even during this crisis, we need to remember that the end goal – important as it may be – does not sanctify all means. A healthy democratic society must make every effort, especially during difficult times, to protect and limit harm to individual rights, to respect human dignity, and to safeguard the powers of state institutions mandated to defend these rights. This is a deciding moment for the State of Israel and I hope we pull through intact.
And what about you, our students? Saving the semester – and indeed the 2019-2020 academic year – has been TAU's top priority from the moment the virus appeared. Our technical staff and teachers have made no less than heroic efforts to get all coursework online for you quickly. If there continue to be glitches, or the online learning does not entirely meet your expectations, then understand that we were just as surprised as you were with the rapidity of events and the need to get organized differently. Be assured that we are working around the clock to improve the distance learning experience for you, and please have patience until we succeed.
Our concern for you is not just in the academic sphere, but also the personal one. The TAU Management is in continual contact with the committed staff of the Student Union, TAU International and the Dean of Students to understand your needs during this tough period. These range from psychological counseling to financial assistance. We are endeavoring to raise extra resources to help those among you who require help. I will continue to update you regularly on new developments, and the departmental, school and faculty secretaries, the Academic Secretariat, the Registrations and Admissions Center, and the Dean of Students are available for any query or request. All the relevant office will be keeping in touch with you with instructions, clarifications and news.
These days are challenging, but they are also generating solidarity. You, our students, are central to the University community, and we are thinking about your welfare at all times. Please be sure to fulfill the directives of the Ministry of Health, keep your distance physically from one another (but not emotionally!), and most important – take care of one another.
Hoping for healthier and better times soon,
Ariel Porat, TAU President