Aug. 19 Message to Students: Reducing Risk and Our Code of Conduct

Dear Case Western Reserve University Students,

As many of you may have read, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill announced Monday that it would move to remote instruction after 130 students tested positive for COVID-19 in the first week of classes. Additionally, reports and video of students at the University of North Georgia at a large gathering without masks or social distancing created a concerning situation. 

These stories are troubling, and we want more than anything to avoid similar situations at our university. 

As explained in Case Western Reserve’s Community Commitment and reorientation training , COVID-19 is a highly contagious virus, and we have a shared responsibility to minimize the risk of infection. We are asking you to follow the guidelines laid out in the community commitment, including wearing masks and social distancing. For those of you who haven't yet completed the reorientation training—whether living on or off campus—please go online to do so as soon as possible.

We will do our best to educate and work with all of you, but if students do not follow the guidelines, we may need to address situations through the Student Code of Conduct. The conduct code applies to all students, including students who are off campus. If students are attending gatherings where people are not social distancing and not wearing masks, their participation is likely to be considered a violation of the Code of Conduct.

We understand this is going to be a difficult semester. We appreciate that you work hard and that after you finish that paper or exam or project, you want to get together with friends. You can still socialize, but you also need to follow basic measures—wearing masks and physical distancing—to help protect yourself and others from contracting this virus. 

The hard reality is that if students on campus don’t comply with the guidelines, we may need to compel them to move off campus and transition to entirely remote learning. The even harder reality is that if we don’t all work together and do our part to keep each other safe, the campus might need to move to remote learning for the rest of the semester.

Case Western Reserve University is known for thinking beyond the possible. You’re here for a reason: because you can do difficult things. You work hard and you can overcome tough odds. Let’s show everyone we can have a successful semester. Wear your mask, maintain physical distance, remind others to do so, and do great work.

Whether you are engaging remotely from home, living off campus nearby or living on campus, I want you to know that the Dean of Students' Office is here for you and here to help you succeed. As we begin a semester unlike any other, we want to help keep you safe and support your success. However, we—and your classmates—need your help.

Stay Healthy, Stay Here.

Shirley M. Mosley, MSW, MA
Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students