Dear Campus Community,
To our new students this year, welcome! And, to our returning Ducks: welcome back—we are excited to kick off a new year! We wanted to reach out to each of you and provide some educational information and share community expectations as we begin the term on Tuesday.
You should know that the State of Oregon:
- has limited indoor social gatherings to 10 people or fewer;
- has placed restrictions on the size of outdoor events; and
- has mandated face coverings indoors, AND outdoors if social distancing of six feet cannot be maintained.
We expect all members of the student body to comply with state mandates. We have all seen pictures, videos, and read articles from colleges and universities across the country where students have ignored similar restrictions. In many of those cases, this has resulted in those institutions moving to an all-online learning situation, due to significant spikes in COVID. We know this is something none of us want to see at the UO. Each of us has made sacrifices over the last six months to have an opportunity to be here and engage in a great educational experience.
- starting each day with your daily health checks;
- wearing your face covering;
- practicing safe social distancing; and
- washing your hands regularly.
Let’s also have some real talk about parties. We all have a responsibility now to be diligent in ensuring the safety of all our campus community members, especially those at high risk of developing severe complications from COVID-19. We are seeing spikes in student cases across the country. We all must take the necessary steps to protect our community. This means limiting social gatherings and parties to very few people or even refraining altogether. We understand that in these times any sense of normalcy can help ease the burdens we are facing. However, we must not jeopardize the lives of others. This is in no way condoning large social gatherings; rather, it’s a reminder that our choices will determine the severity of the impact COVID-19 will have on our community. Therefore, if you are planning on attending or hosting a gathering here are the things you should do to make sure it is as safe as possible:
- Practice safe social distancing and make sure there is sufficient space for all guests to stay six feet apart or more.
- Make sure all guests wear a face covering while indoors, and whenever they are within six feet of other guests outside.
- Limit the size of the group to no more than 10 people.
- Set expectations with your guests when you invite them or check to see what the expectation is if you get an invite to attend a gathering.
- Consider maintaining a guest list so you can contact guests if anyone tests positive after your event. Remember contact tracing is a safeguard to protect your guests and control spread.
- Make sure you thoroughly clean and sanitize before and after the event to make sure the space is safe for other uses.
While this may seem like a lot to ask just to hang out with friends, remember that we are trying to make the best of a challenging situation. By taking some extra precautions now, we can avoid the consequences of not complying, which include adversely affecting the health and safety of individuals you come in contact with on and off campus.
And, if you or your friends are not feeling well, please seek medical attention. If you or your friends are contacted by contract tracers, please cooperate fully. Your health and the health of the community rely on the ability to identify anyone in contact with someone who may be ill.
The UO has always been a place that others have looked at with awe and a little envy. In so many ways, from our stellar academic programs to our state-of-the-art facilities and our highly successful athletic teams, we have set the standard that others often try to replicate. If we work together and look out for one another, we can be a model for other schools and students around the country. We want to thank you in advance for putting your own health and safety, and that of your fellow students and the Eugene/Springfield community, at the forefront. If we can be of assistance, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Finally, as Ducks we need to work together to keep our community safe—and we think you agree. Please join us in sharing your commitment to choosing each other.
R. Kevin Marbury, Ph.D. Isaiah Boyd
Vice President, Student Life ASUO President