A Message of Support

Dear University Apartments Community,

I spent the majority of the day Monday trying to write an email that would perfectly express the sincere interest my team and I have in supporting you all during this difficult time. Each time I start a new sentence I find that words come up short in all areas, but it’s important to me that you know we’re here to help so I’m going to try. Those of you working in helping or service professions can likely relate to my desire to see a problem and solve it immediately. I’m forced to admit I don’t have the ability to solve all of the problems facing us today.

Here’s what I think I do know:

  • Some of you are suffering.
  • Some of you have been suffering.
  • Some of you have to explain difficult and unfair topics to your kids, topics well beyond their years.
  • Some of you don’t have to talk to your kids about what’s going on in the world but want to.
  • Some of you are scared because you understand what’s going on.
  • Some of you are scared because you don’t understand what’s going on.
  • Some of you are angry.
  • Some of you have lots of differing emotions, you don’t know what to do with.
  • Some of you have cried and are experiencing grief.
  • Some of you fear leaving your house.
  • Some of you fear when friends and loved ones have to leave their house.
  • Some of you have strong support networks.
  • Some of you have no support networks.
  • Some of you know and love police officers.
  • Some of you have been mistreated by the police.
  • Some of you attended the protests this weekend.
  • Some of you don’t understand why the protests are happening.
  • Some of you have been committed to the work of ending racism in the US for a long time.
  • Some of you are not from the US and may not be as familiar with the historical context of racism and police violence in the US.
  • Some of you don’t feel impacted at all.
  • Some of you feel confused by everything that’s going on.
  • Some of you are new to this idea and don’t know where to start.

For each individual person there comes a unique set of beliefs and life experiences, a unique combinations of these feelings and opinions.

Here’s what the Resident Support Team would like you to know:

  • We are available to offer support.
  • We will help answer your questions.
  • We will help you find resources.
  • We will listen.
  • We will suggest books, movies, or podcasts to learn more.
  • We will take and respond to your reports of bias and racism.
  • We will stand with you as you navigate these challenges.
  • We will help find someone else to stand by you, if we haven’t earned your trust yet.
  • We will help mediate minor disputes between neighbors, so you don’t need to call the police.
  • We will help you work with our UWPD Officers or our Community Officer Brad Davis for larger issues that may necessitate police involvement.
  • We will keep learning and growing in these areas as well.

The most beautiful thing about University Apartments and the reason I wanted to work here more than anywhere else on campus is: you. You make this place beautiful, vibrant and wonderful. You with your uniqueness and differences enhance our community and make it something greater than each of us in our individual parts. That makes sending the perfect email impossible; because each of you has different needs, wants, and contexts by which you’re experiencing the current events in the world today. A mass email was never going to address everyone’s concerns, that’s not what they are designed to do; but if given the chance, I think we can excel at responding to your individual needs and concerns. Tell us what you’re facing. We’ll figure out how we can help. We look forward to hearing from you.

Jolene Esterline
Director of Resident Support Services

Resident Support Services Team

Phillip Werman
Assistant Director of Resident Support
phillip.werman@housing.wisc.edu

Andrew Werner
Assistant Director of Resident Support
andrew.werner@housing.wisc.edu

Jolene Esterline
Director of Resident Support Services
jolene.esterline@housing.wisc.edu