Important Communication from the Dean of Students Office
September 17, 2020
We are now 4 weeks into the academic year, and it feels like every week there is something happening in our communities and the country that heightens concerns for both our safety and future.
I want you to know that I, along with our campus staff, faculty, and administrators, worry for you and your families if impacted by fires; we worry how the racial climate is impacting your safety and mental health; we wonder how the pandemic will continue to impact all members of our community—especially the vulnerable populations; and we consider how the coming election might contribute to feelings of social and economic instability.
This sense of angst is a reminder that right now, more than ever, we need to nurture what makes Westminster great: our close-knit community. The care, laughter, shared learning, and ongoing relationships we build on this campus offer us patience, grace, guidance, and energy to make it through this moment.
I see you, and I am glad you are a Griffin.
Engagement and Programming
A lot of programming was canceled in the last couple of weeks because of COVID-19 and severe weather. However, we still aim to make connections around campus—both for learning and belonging. I encourage you to check out the remaining Weeks of Welcome (WoW) events. You can find additional activities by visiting the campus events calendar as well as connect with our wonderful friends at the Fitness, Wellness, and Recreation Department to learn about upcoming engagement opportunities.
If you are new to campus and have not found your people yet, that is okay—they are here! I believe this down to my core: there is a niche for everyone at Westminster; sometimes it just takes a minute to find them. I encourage you to step outside of your comfort zone and attend a campus event.
This week is Westminster Weekend-ish, our homecoming event that allows exciting opportunities to connect with old friends and make new ones. It is one of our most beloved traditions and one you most definitely should experience.
Study rooms in the library are open and need to be reserved ahead of use. For the safety and health of our community, only one person is allowed in the room at a time regardless of household or roommate status. Each room has been equipped with a HEPA filter to increase air circulation. Students are allowed to remove their face covering when using the study rooms. Please wear your face covering when you leave the study room.
Keeping the Campus Open: COVID-19 Guidelines
Thank you for your ongoing efforts and responsibility in following the COVID-19 guidelines. As the pandemic continues, it is understandable that the changes we have made in how we go about our days and live our lives may be tiring. But we must not ease up on following the guidelines set in place for our campus community. These guidelines allow us to remain open, and many of us may need us open for emotional, physical, or safety reasons. Please keep vigilant and stay responsible: keep physical distance, wear face coverings, and, if you are a residential student, please do not host guests in your apartment or room.
As a reminder, if you are feeling sick, do not go to class. Let your professor know and schedule an appointment with Student Health Services. You can also use the Utah Healthy Together App for guidance on symptoms and locations for testing centers off campus. Connect with Student Health Services if you experience any symptoms or have concerns.
Starting next week, we are entering a new phase of testing as part of on-going preventative efforts to keep our community safe. All residential students will be tested again in groups. The groups were randomly selected, and testing will take place throughout the semester. Residential Life will notify students as they are identified for testing.
Please do not move outdoor furniture—especially classroom furniture—around.
If you’ve been in close contact to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 (that is less than six feet for more than 15 minutes regardless of face covering), or you yourself tested positive for COVID-19, please submit a report. You can also submit an anonymous incident report if you have concerns or observed a behavior that is inconsistent with the COVID-19 guidelines.
Continue Doing Your Part
In closing, I am deeply grateful for you and for our community. I know that we have something special and valuable here. Let's each continue to do our part to elevate that which makes us great.
Daniel K. Cairo, Ed.D
Interim Dean of Students
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