With the weekend upon us and with in-person classes resuming Monday, I want to remind all of you that adhering to our public health measures is essential if we are to remain together on campus and limit the spread of COVID-19. As President Frandsen recently reiterated in his campus-wide message, you must:
- Wear your face coverings – Mask Up!
- Wash your hands.
- Stay a tiger apart.
- Monitor your health.
All cases of COVID-19 to date can be traced to students in their living and social environments – not among faculty or staff, not in classes, not through organized campus activities, and not in the dining hall. What this means is that our risk-mitigation strategies are working, but only if you follow them where you live and as you connect with friends.
Knowing this, here are our expectations again:
- You are prohibited from having visitors in residence hall rooms and in Witten ’burbs houses. Visits can occur in common spaces in residence halls or in non-residential buildings and spaces on campus, provided you wear a face covering and practice social distancing at all times. IF all students can demonstrate an ability to follow the protocols, we will re-examine this policy at the end of next week.
- You should not leave campus unless there is an approved educational reason such as a co-op, internship or student teaching assignment; outside employment; or for essentials like groceries or medications.
- YOU MUST NOT visit bars or other college campuses.
Your decisions affect not only you, but those that live in our community and call Springfield home, so we implore you to follow these expectations in order to help protect against spread in the greater Springfield community and on campus.
What can you expect if violations of our shared expectations continue?
- Stricter enforcement of COVID-19 protocols and expectations. For example, if you have an event with guests that exceeds the maximum of 10, you risk being suspended for the remainder of the semester.
Many of you are making responsible decisions. We see you and applaud you. For those that have put our community at risk, however, we also see you and ask that you commit to making better choices for the benefit of everyone.
We’re In This Together – and that means all of us.
Casey Gill, Ph.D.
Vice President for Student Development and Dean of Students
Co-Chair, COVID Response Team