Dear Campus Community,
As we settle into week 4, our COVID numbers have continued to be low. Currently, we have no active cases within our campus community. That is good news. But it does not mean that we don’t have COVID on campus. Through our testing protocol, we expect to continue to detect cases even as our rate of infection on campus appears to be low right now. COVID-19 can circulate within our community among individuals who never experience symptoms, and this is why our health and safety guidelines remain critical. Please remain vigilant about these practices, especially mask-wearing, physical distancing, and hand washing.
With that in mind, I do want to draw attention to one issue and make clear our position: under no circumstances should students be traveling to another college campus or off-campus bar and then returning to Denison. Doing so places our community at more risk than we are willing to accept, and it makes it hard for us to loosen restrictions on our campus. We’re fortunate to be a residential college with no off-campus housing. Other campuses are less contained and, as we are all seeing via media reports, COVID-19 numbers on some campuses are in the hundreds and even thousands. Visiting these campuses and/or bars around these campuses presents a real threat to our Denison community. If you leave campus to visit another college or bar, please don’t return to campus. Finish the semester remotely.
Some good news:
Social Options: we continue to work to provide more social options on our campus, especially on weekends. Many students have stepped up to help and share ideas.Social Pods: a group of students is creating proposals for safe ways for students to socialize in their residential hall rooms and the Red Frame Lab will start to focus on this issue this week.Activities: we have launched some club and intramural sports and will be expanding offerings in the coming weeks. Each sport will have clearly defined safety measures in place. Student captains and staff/faculty advisors will be trained on these safety measures and all students who opt to participate will be required to comply with them.Remote Students: I want to thank Dean of Students Bill Fox for establishing a new Remote Student Advisory Board. This group will assist with building shared online resources for remote learners, helping to create a sense of community among students, advising on ways to help remote learners stay engaged with academic and campus life, and more. Thank you to all of the students who are part of this very important group. We appreciate your leadership.
Finally, I want to recognize and show gratitude for the ways students have approached the challenges and restrictions of this semester. Whether on campus or remote, students are demonstrating incredible resolve, commitment, and adaptability. And I want to recognize, again, our faculty and staff who are working tirelessly to make this a great, and healthy, semester for everyone.