How to Get Help

Struggling with your courses? Worried about an upcoming assignment? Need help with writing or presentations? Facing challenges related to your identity? Questions about online coursework or other pandemic protocols? You’ve come to the right place!

If you are aware of other resources you think students would find helpful, please let us know and we’ll add them here.

Help with anything connected to the course, or not sure what kind of help to ask for

Email Prof. Farmer or Prof. Shirazi. We may take 24 hours or so to respond to emails, but we’re happy to answer quick questions about the course, schedule appointments, or help you figure out which other resources to draw on. You can also schedule an appointment directly with Prof. Farmer here.

Looking for information about Haverford’s pandemic policies

Click here for the latest college updates and resources connected to the pandemic.

Need help finding or exploring research topics and library resources

Contact Margaret Schaus, Camilla MacKay, or Laura Surtees, the research librarians who assist work in Classics. They’ll be happy to meet with you and help you find whatever you need!

Having trouble affording textbooks or otherwise meeting the financial burdens of college

For this course, all assigned readings will be provided for free. That said, we know it’s sometimes an advantage to own the books we’ll be reading, and some of your other courses may require you to buy them.

Haverford and Bryn Mawr provide a number of forms of support for students beyond traditional financial aid to help you meet your expenses. Please contact us (Prof. Farmer or Prof. Shirazi), or consider talking with your dean, if you are in any way struggling to meet expenses here. At Haverford, the LIFTFAR program helps students with a wide range of financial difficulties.

If affording textbooks is a problem, please know that there are a number of solutions! At both Haverford and Bryn Mawr, all assigned course books are kept on reserve in both libraries, so you can consult them in your campus’ library if you need to; right now, these reserves are all available online. Both libraries can also request additional copies from other libraries, if you’d like to be able to have a copy you can take home. Both the Haverford and Bryn Mawr Classics departments maintain substantial libraries of textbooks and other assigned books, and we can offer lend or even just give you a copy if you’re in any way struggling to afford your own.

Finally, consider applying for a micro-grant through The Sportula. To put it in their own words, the Sportula is “a group of Classics Graduate Students and Junior Faculty committed to making sure that students from working-class and historically looted communities (like the ones we ourselves come from) don’t fall through the cracks left by traditional scholarship programs; all too many of which have a poor understanding of what our lives are *actually* like and what we *actually* need. We provide microgrants–petty cash ranging from $5 to $300, no questions asked, to Classics undergrads who need it.”

Struggling to balance this course with other courses, sleep, social life, activities

At Haverford: The Office of Academic Resources has coaches who will meet with you for free to discuss time management, balancing your many demands, and other skills for surviving your college experience. Like all other OAR services, this is totally free! The vast majority of Haverford students will use the OAR at some point in their time here – why not get started? OAR offers one-on-one coaching sessionsfree workshops, and online guides for all kinds of academic challenges like procrastination, time management, or exam prep.

At Bryn Mawr: the Office of Academic Support and Student Support Services offers a wide variety of forms of support for students at Bryn Mawr. You can see a full listing of their services here. I particularly recommend checking out their Peer Tutors (fellow students with specific expertise in Latin) and Peer Mentors (fellow students trained to help with study skills, time management, and other general issues). You can also contact the Director of Academic Support, Rachel Heiser, if you’re not sure what kind of help you need.

Having a hard time adjusting to life at Haverford or Bryn Mawr

Feeling lonely, anxious, depressed, overwhelmed, or otherwise finding your mental or emotional state is hindering you?

Both Haverford and Bryn Mawr offer free, confidential meetings with therapists to discuss whatever is troubling you. You don’t need a mental health diagnosis, you don’t pay, your parents don’t have to know – it’s fully free and confidential. If you want to talk with a sympathetic, trained counselor who is not a professor, fellow student, friend, parent, or someone else who has any kind of other relationship with you, this is the place to go! I can’t recommend it highly enough. As the Bryn Mawr Counseling Service puts it, seeking help is a sign of strength, not a sign of weakness.

At Haverford: The Haverford Counseling and Psychological Services Center (CAPS) offers mental health support to Haverford students. You can email CAPS, call (610) 896-1290, or schedule an appointment online.

At Bryn Mawr: Bryn Mawr Counseling Services offers mental health support to Bryn Mawr students. Call the Bryn Mawr Health Center at 610-526-7360 to schedule an appointment.

Facing issues related to identity or FGLI status

Are you experiencing challenges or discrimination related to your identity (race, gender, sexuality, disability, or any other category)? Are you facing difficulties that stem from being a first-generation college student (that is, you’re the first or one of the first people in your family to attend college) or being a low-income college student? Resources on and off campus can help.

If you feel comfortable, contact one of us (Prof. Farmer or Prof. Shirazi), and we will try to connect you with resources that can help.


Bryn Mawr

In addition, many student organizations help students connect with other students of similar identities, backgrounds, and life experiences. You can find the full list of Haverford student groups here, and Bryn Mawr student groups here.

Questions about diversity, equity, and inclusion in the field of Classics

The Classics Departments at Bryn Mawr and Haverford are committed to doing the work necessary to make our field equitable, accessible, and inclusive.

In the summer of 2020, the BiCo received an open letter describing experiences of racism and other forms of discrimination on our campuses, and calling for action and change. Soon after, students and alumni made a similar call for action within the Classics program. You can read the Haverford Classics Department’s response to these letters and plan for action here, and the Bryn Mawr Classics Department’s here.

Many organizations are working towards racial justice and other forms of equity in Classics. Most of these groups have low-cost or free memberships for students; all offer freely available resources. Here are a few I recommend, if you’re looking for support, community, resources, or ways to contribute to these efforts yourself:

  • The Mountaintop Coalition (“students and scholars of the ancient Mediterranean world and its reception (broadly defined) with a shared interest in advancing the professional goals of Classicists who identify as members of ethnic groups traditionally underrepresented in the field.”)
  • Multiculturalism, Race, & Ethnicity in Classics Consortium (“an international organization… to raise awareness and support the study of multiculturalism, race, and ethnicity in classics and classical archaeology at all levels”)
  • Asian and Asian American Classical Caucus (“a group of Asian and Asian American students and scholars of classical antiquity interested in studying the reception of the classical tradition in contemporary Asian and Asian American culture and committed to increasing the diversity of the field of Classics”)
  • Classics and Social Justice (“The purpose of the group is to bring together those scholars in the field who are working in various ways on social justice, using Classics. This work is a form of outreach that brings Classics out of the academy and returns it to the least privileged in our society”)
  • CripAntiquity (“We exist to advocate for people disabled in academia & their allies: Students and teachers of antiquity, both past and present”)
  • Eos: Africana Receptions of Ancient Greece & Rome (“Eos exists to create a supportive, dedicated community for studying Africana receptions of ancient Greece & Rome and to foster collaborative research and pedagogy between Classics and other disciplines”)
  • Lambda Classical Caucus (“a coalition of queer Classicists–including, but not limited to, lesbians, bisexuals, gay men, and transgendered people–and their friends and supporters”)
  • The Sportula (“We are a group of Classics Graduate Students and Junior Faculty committed to making sure that students from working-class and historically looted communities (like the ones we ourselves come from) don’t fall through the cracks left by traditional scholarship programs; all too many of which have a poor understanding of what our lives are *actually* like and what we *actually* need.”)
  • Women’s Classical Caucus (“fosters feminist and gender-informed perspectives–especially those with intersectional and global approaches–in the study and teaching of all aspects of ancient Mediterranean cultures and classical antiquity”)

And here are some lists of resources and bibliography to support antiracism and other forms of equitable practice in the field:

None of these sound quite right, but I’m still having a hard time

Contact us (Prof. Farmer or Prof. Shirazi). If we can’t help you directly, we almost certainly know someone who can! It can be hard to navigate all the different resources available on our campuses, so if you’re not sure how to get help but you’re struggling with any aspect of your life here, feel free to talk to us.