President Wilson issues message to new and returning students
Welcome to the start of a new semester — one unlike any other in Wayne State University’s history. Whether you are a returning student or part of what looks to be a record-setting freshman class, I applaud your commitment to your education in these uncertain times.
We are as excited as you are to start the new semester, and have been working diligently to ensure we can help you continue your education safely. We have developed our plans carefully, drawing on the latest science, our own broad expertise and a good deal of common sense. As we start the semester, we will of course remain vigilant and flexible, and should the need arise we will not hesitate to take steps to keep members of our campus community safe.
This is where we need your help. We all play a role in keeping our campus safe, and your role is critical to our success. I’m sure that you have heard about other universities with COVID-19 outbreaks quickly changing their semester plans. We must not be among them. The outbreaks on other college campuses appear to be linked directly to the social activities of students, often at off-campus venues and events. This may be understandable, but it is not acceptable. It is dangerous, and it can mean a quick return to 100% online and remote learning.
For the time being, the social activities that normally enrich the university experience must remain virtual, or, as in the case of athletics, postponed. The governor has mandated no in-person social gatherings of 10 or more indoors and 100 or more outdoors. While we will adopt the indoor restrictions, our campus outdoor restrictions will include no in-person gatherings of 50 or more, and must also include masks and social distancing. While we acknowledge it’s not the same, we will offer plenty of opportunities to connect and engage online. This pandemic will abate in time, and we will work our way back to normalcy, but in the meantime I ask that you please follow the Warrior Safe guidelines and commit to the safety of our community.
I’m also asking you to remember that your commitment to health and safety precautions does not end at the boundaries of campus. In your off-campus activities, please continue to practice safe, responsible behavior and avoid situations that are likely to promote spread of the virus and could even — inadvertently — bring the virus to campus as a result of a party or other gathering.
To review our plan for this semester and remain up to date on any developments, visit our coronavirus webpage. I will also host a virtual town hall at 3 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 27, to make sure we address any outstanding questions before classes begin.
Members of our university community have worked hard in responding appropriately to this pandemic, and I greatly appreciate your help as we build on this for the fall semester. Remember: Warrior Safe is Warrior Strong.
M. Roy Wilson