We have been busy over the last several months working on a re-opening plan to respond to COVID-19. Information about the virus and safety guidance changes frequently and we will continue to respond with necessary changes to our re-opening plans.
As we are looking forward to seeing you, students, back on campus engaging with your fellow students, faculty and staff, we also acknowledge that a pandemic requires us all to be more thoughtful and intentional about how we interact in order to respect and care for one another well. The Taylor community is a unique and dynamic living and learning environment, and the reality of a pandemic reminds us that this type of education comes with opportunities and risks. While these challenges are inherent to a collegiate environment, Taylor is uniquely positioned as we live out the Life Together Covenant and remain “dependent on and accountable to one another.”
With this in mind, we want to make you aware of a number of things.
First, there is no way to remove all risk from the college experience, especially in a residential setting. This is even more true during a pandemic. We simply cannot ensure that the campus will stay free of COVID-19. However, we can work together to mitigate risk, and you will play a critical role in that effort.
Second, the current evidence seems to indicate that COVID-19 is more dangerous, in terms of death and long-term illness, to older individuals and those with underlying health conditions. Accordingly, the steps we will be asking you to take are as much for other members of the campus community as they are for yourself. By wearing masks as expected, self-assessing your daily health (including taking your temperature), and complying with reporting requirements, you demonstrate your care for your peers, professors and mentors. Obtaining a flu vaccine this fall, which could help avoid symptoms similar to COVID-19, is urged. We will also ask you to avoid travel to various areas away from campus in order to avoid transfer of the disease, and to restrict visitors you might otherwise invite to campus, unless University approval is obtained.
We continue to work closely with local and State health officials to adapt to rapidly changing safety guidance, and will be sharing a comprehensive plan with you later in the summer. The full re-opening plan must remain flexible as new information is available, findings from studies are released, and the incidence of COVID-19 infections changes.
For now, we are asking all students to do two things to help us in these efforts:
- Please review the Taylor Together, Again plan. Students, we invite your feedback. Please remember that a more comprehensive plan will be released later this summer. We want to know which aspects of the plan you are grateful to see and which give you concern.
- We also ask all students to acknowledge they have read this letter carefully and are aware of the risks and expectations. You should have received in your email a link to a form to acknowledge you have read and understand. Please take the time to submit your response.
Thank you for your commitment to the health and safety of the Taylor community.
Dr. Skip Trudeau
Vice President for Student Development