Heard Around Campus — April

Heard Around Campus

The arrival of beautiful spring weather always creates a sense of optimism and rebirth — something even more appreciated and needed this year. Drexel University can help you look into and sustain those feelings with wellness opportunities like a “Mindful May” meditation challenge and other wellness webinars, and a greenhouse on campus for Dragons to use and try out their hand (and green thumb) at gardening.

Today at Noon: “Your Safety Is Our Goal” Presentation

The Department of Public Safety is now offering virtual, interactive, monthly presentations on situational preparedness that educate the Drexel community about measures they can take to prevent themselves from being victims of a crime. The one-hour sessions, open to students, faculty and professional staff members, provide tips that encourage you to be prepared, not scared. The next scheduled presentation is today, April 29, at 12 p.m. Complete this Qualtrics form to register for today’s event or a later session and to receive the Zoom link. Future presentations are scheduled for May 25 at 3 p.m. and June 24 at 6 p.m.

Mindfulness May Meditation Challenge

Drexel Meditation Group challenges you to have a Mindful May by practicing 10+ minutes of meditation daily from May 1-May 21 to earn 30 points toward the Employee Wellness Incentive Program. Continue through May 31 and earn an additional 20 points. Be sure to meditate daily — no skip days! To participate:

To earn your points, practice mindfulness meditation (body scans, breath, open awareness) and/or silent meditation. For links to some meditation videos, visit the Ten at 10 webpage under “Mindful Mondays.” Another option is to download the free Insight Timer app and join the “Drexel Meditation Group” in Insight Community Groups. Insight Timer has thousands of guided meditations and a bell chime timer for silent practice.

If you’re interested in more meditation and mindfulness opportunities, email meditate@drexel.edu to be added to the Drexel Meditation Group email list, open to students, faculty and professional staff.

Earn Wellness Points by Joining HR’s Upcoming Events

Human Resources is keeping its award-winning wellness opportunities fresh for you, with a new slate of well-being workshops throughout the spring. Log in to Career Pathway to view the calendar of events and to register; registration generally closes 24 hours in advance. The following sessions are worth 15 Wellness Incentive Program points each:

  • May 5 – Resiliency: Secrets of Successful Employees
  • May 11 – Dragon Dialogue Series: Respecting Differences: Navigating Uncomfortable Conversations
  • May 12 – Restore and Rejuvenate: Self-Massage, Stretching & Stress Reduction
  • June 2 – Dragon Dialogue Series: Unplug and Connect: Tips for Dealing with Digital Distractions
  • June 8 – Afro-House Dance Workshop
  • June 9 – Eating the Anti-Inflammatory Way
  • June 15 – Complete Guide to IRAs with Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union

Remember to Vote: May 18 PA Primary

Pennsylvania's 2021 Primary Election takes place on May 18. The last day to register to vote in the primary is May 3, and the last day to request a mail-in or civilian absentee ballot is May 11 by 5 p.m. You can request a mail-in or absentee ballot, check your registration status, register to vote or download a registration form, and find information about your polling place at votespa.com, or call the Pennsylvania Department of State's toll-free hotline at 1.877.VOTESPA (877.868.3772). Information specific to Philadelphia, including the location of mail ballot dropboxes, is available from the Philadelphia City Commissioners at philadelphiavotes.com.

Wondering what's on the ballot this spring? The Committee of Seventy's "Build Your Own Ballot" tool allows you to see the candidates and questions you’ll encounter, so you can research and plan ahead. This year, there are several statewide races in Pennsylvania that will be on the ballot, as well as four statewide ballot questions; you do not need to be registered with a political party to vote on the questions. There are also local primary elections on the ballot in Philadelphia and its surrounding counties.

For more deadlines, FAQs and resources, visit drexel.edu/vote and the Drexel Libraries’ voter resource page.

DEI Spotlight: April 2021

The Office of Equality and Diversity (OED) presents this month’s DEI Spotlight, a recurring feature in which they recognize different individuals and diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) committees across campus for their work to advance diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging at Drexel. Congratulations to Danielle Boardley, director of diversity inclusion & student belonging for the Kline School of Law, and Amy Edwards, EdD, director of Drexel Autism Support Program (DASP), for being featured this month!

This month also highlights the work of Drexel's Biology DEI committee. This collaborative group of undergraduates, graduate students, faculty and staff dedicated time to create a more inclusive and supportive community in their department.

To read more about these spotlights, visit the OED website.

Stratton Greenhouse Ready for Community Use

The greenhouse on the third floor of Stratton Hall.

The greenhouse located on the third floor of Stratton Hall (across the street from Creese Student Center) is currently being revamped by Drexel Real Estate and Facilities for community botanical use. Any students, faculty or professional staff looking to put their green thumb to the test may request to use this space. Real Estate and Facilities can provide growing trays and soil; community members would need to bring their own seeds. As the space can be heated and has a working water source, it will be open through the spring term, will likely close through the summer, and then will reopen for fall. The greenhouse will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis, with a formal booking process to come. Anyone interested in utilizing the greenhouse may contact Scott Dunham at greenhouse@drexel.edu.

Local Businesses Offer Special Discounts for Drexel Faculty and Staff

Local businesses on and near Drexel campuses are open, and many have special offers just for faculty and professional staff. Here are a few featured offers from local retailers:

For a list of DragonDollars retailers, view the DragonDollars Directory.

In Case You Missed it:

BFPSA’s 2021 Luncheon: Local Partnerships, Powerful Speakers, Uplifted Community

The Black Faculty and Professional Staff Association (BFPSA) was proud to host its annual Black History Month Celebration on Feb. 24. The Office of Equality and Diversity, the Center for Black Culture, the Student Center for Diversity and Inclusion, and the Center for Inclusive Education and Scholarship sponsored the BFPSA virtual lunch experience. This year's theme was We Shall Overcome, highlighting resilience in the face of hardship caused by the pandemic and racial injustices, which have both disproportionately affected Black communities. The event drew over 150 faculty, staff, students, alumni and community members. In the spirit of the on-campus luncheon, the BFPSA partnered with two local Black-owned restaurants to facilitate a virtual soul food luncheon experience for Drexel students, faculty and staff within Philadelphia. Watch the luncheon's remarkable program lineup on the OED website.

‘Standing in Solidarity: A Frank Conversation About Anti-Asian Hate Crimes’

On April 16, the Office of Equality and Diversity (OED) hosted this panel discussion addressing the rise of anti-Asian hate crimes through a conversation grounded in the experiences of Asian and Asian-American students, faculty and professional staff members in the Drexel community. In addition to learning from the experiences of a group of panelists from the Drexel community, participants explored the history of anti-Asian bias and violence in the United States and received strategies and resources for allyship. A recording of this meaningful event is available to stream on the OED website.

Reminder: Submit Your Leave Report

Each year, as part of the fiscal year-end process, Human Resources asks that you complete and submit any exempt leave reports that remain outstanding for prior reporting periods. All exempt leave reports for the fiscal year must be completed to ensure that time-off balances are correct, since the balances are used in calculating the University’s vacation and sick liability for our financial statements.

Please review your exempt leave reports for each month from July 2020 through April 2021 to confirm that they have been submitted and approved. Remember that even if you did not use any time off during a month, you are required to create and submit a blank leave report as confirmation.

Fiscal Year 2022 Approved Fringe Benefit Rates for the Academy of Natural Sciences

When the Drexel fiscal year 2022 (FY22) approved fringe benefit rates for sponsored projects were first announced on March 10, the fringe benefit rates for the Academy of Natural Sciences were not yet available. The FY22 rates for the Academy are now available and listed in the table on this announcement on the Office of the Comptroller website. The rates will be effective beginning July 1, 2021.