Coronavirus: Welcome back to campus!
Today, the University begins a shift toward more normalized operations on campus. This has been referred to as our “soft opening”. Nearly three months ago, our campus community converted our instruction and service delivery to a remote model. Such an extreme pivot, without warning, is an accomplishment for which everyone should be proud. Thank you.
As we make the transition back to campus, there are a few things to keep in mind:
1) It will not be perfect
Restarts take time and require a series of adjustments. Departments will not be fully staffed onsite as employees return at differing levels and schedules, necessary COVID-19 preparation is ongoing, and furloughs begin. We will need to offer grace to one another.
2) We come back under a “new normal” and a new social contract
What does it mean to live out loving your neighbor under these conditions? The Community Care Covenant is a pathway to help protect the most vulnerable among us. We estimate that close to 25% of the campus is particularly vulnerable. Wearing a mask in certain conditions, washing hands, monitoring symptoms, and keeping a social distance are basic ways to limit transmission of the virus. If you have not completed the Community Care Covenant, please do so prior to returning to campus. At some point, we will have the DAON app as an additional tool for campus health and safety. Until then, please self-monitor symptoms daily using the daily checklist attached.
3) This is a resilient community
The challenges being placed before you have been daunting. Time and time again, the AU community has rallied and overcome. Many of you are tired, and a restart seems itself daunting. While the economic and pandemic conditions create uncertainty, please know this: Our collective, resilient effort and sacrifice is what separates this community from others, and is the foundation for emerging stronger.
Thank you for your hard work, care, sacrifice, and dedication to AU. Welcome back!