When many things are changing, it is always helpful to be reminded of the things that are not changing. Continuity, and all valid assurances are comforting right now, because there is so much uncertainty, and necessarily so, in the interest of public health and the other factors that go into decisions made at higher levels.
I chose to hire some cartoons to be my fall semester TAs, and the three of us made a welcome video for our fall semester students. We sent this out the week before classes began, via email, to our 100% full class roster, and heard back from several students who appreciated it. No student commented that they appreciated the cartoon video and all the hours I spent making it, but they thanked me for the information they got from the video, which, I suspect, they watched fully through the end because of the cartoon aspect they presumably found intriguing.
You are welcome to check it out! I shared this video as a post in the Higher Ed Learning Collective facebook group, and received several private messages after sharing there, and lots of positivity and good vibes from other ceducators who care. I highly recommend that facebook group, by the way.
What did you do to welcome students this semester?