This is the 8th week of our 15-week semester, and I am writing to provide you with a mid-semester update.
The most important news is that we are doing very well as a community in managing the virus. We have had fewer than 75 positive cases in the first 7 weeks and of those, 44 were in the first three weeks when students were moving back to campus. In fact, last week only two students tested positive and at the start of this week we had less than 10 students in supportive isolation or quarantine housing. You should be proud of what we have accomplished so far this semester.
However, now is not the time to relax. There is still a long way to go in the semester. Everyone, whether vaccinated or not, needs to remain vigilant and continue to get tested weekly, wear masks, not violate COVID occupancy limits, and as best you can maintain social distance. We all want to remain on campus for the entire semester!
Unfortunately, we have had to send some students home for violating COVID protocols or failing to get tested weekly as required. We do not want to send students home. However, our commitment is to keep the overall community as safe as possible and, in order to do this, we will continue to hold students accountable for violations. Please help each other follow the rules!!
We are also continuing to plan a robust set of programs and activities for the rest of the spring semester. We said goodbye to the ice rink (a huge hit on campus!) and by April we will be replacing that with a sandy beach! We will continue to bring food trucks to campus each Saturday night. Harvest Table will continue to host pop-up food events throughout the semester, and we will be adding a weekend shuttle to Forest Park (a large beautiful park about a mile and a half away from campus).
Last summer, when we were determining if and how we could bring students back to campus, I said multiple times that if there was a student community that could do this successfully it was this one. You have proved me right so far. Please continue your good work and let's get through this semester together!
If there is anything we can do to assist you during these difficult times, please do not hesitate to reach out!
Patrick G. Love
Vice President for Student Affairs
Director, Student Affairs Administration graduate program
(he, him, his)
o: (413) 748-3100 c: (732) 543-4853 Twitter: @pglove33