Next week the Class of 2025 will arrive on campus, and although I am always excited about the start of the school year, this year brings a particularly distinctive mix of emotions. With a fully vaccinated campus, I am looking forward to a safer environment in which we can have more interactions with one another than we’d had in the past. But with the more contagious Delta variant, I also know that we must remain vigilant. The COVID-19 operations team, which consults with public health officials and epidemiologists with deep expertise, has developed protocols that should make our campus one of the safest places at which you could live and work.
Being one of the safest places at which you can live and work during a pandemic doesn’t mean the campus is risk-free. There will be some positive cases as we go through the semester, but with careful monitoring and basic preventative measures (like isolating when you’ve been infected and wearing a mask indoors), we will be able to prevent serious illness and widespread outbreaks.
I’m looking forward to seeing students engage in the full range of co-curricular activities, from athletics to theater, from poster sessions to art installations, as we get back in the swing of things. Although I taught in person last year, I so missed celebrating student, staff, and faculty accomplishments in person.
The transmissibility of the Delta variant should make us careful, but we won’t let it rob us of the kind of experiences that make being together on campus so powerful. With the cooperation of everyone, we will make the fall semester safe and joyful.
For Lola, being back on campus is just pure bliss!