Not the Start We Wanted, But...

To Our Undergraduates:

No one wanted your spring semester to have to start this way.

Sure, the delta variant put a slight damper on the beginning of classes in August, but compared to now, those adjustments feel easy.

Remote classes—again? 

Approvals required for gatherings over 10? Three weeks of COVID-19 tests? Meals in boxes—when will this pandemic stuff end?

Soon, we hope—and we know you do too.

In the meantime, though, please keep in mind that all are doing their best. Professors, vaccinators, COVID-test machine fillers, facilities staff, and more. Plus, that roommate of yours who tested positive upon arrival—they’re even more unhappy about the result than you are.

In short, we’ve got to give one another a good bit of grace. 

As omicron hits its peak, test result notifications will take longer than they once did. Health services will not be able to provide many of its routine services. And only those students on campus who share a bedroom—or are immunocompromised—will be moved to other isolation space. The numbers will be too high to responsibly do anything else.

The good news is that multiple studies—including one from our medical school—show that omicron infections appear to cause less severe symptoms than its predecessors. You could have the chance to ‘test out’ of isolation after six days. And even though most classes will be on Zoom, you still can go to your courses’ assigned classrooms (listed in SIS) for a change of scenery (just make sure to bring your laptop and earphones as a courtesy to others).

Also, please make sure that you register your COVID-19 test on before putting it into a drop box. That registration is the only way we can identify whose sample has been submitted (and you can get credit for compliance).

Finally, we ask that you try to be kind to one another—and patient with our faculty and staff. They didn’t want to start the semester this way either. Together, we’ll all get through it—and be even more grateful to get back to what we once considered routine.

Have a great first day of classes. 

Lou Stark
Vice President for Student Affairs

Peter Poulos
Vice President and General Counsel