From President Turner: Please limit travel this weekend

Bearcat family,

We are three weeks into the Fall 2020 semester, and you’ve done well in regard to extra safety measures related to COVID-19 — but we still have much room for improvement. We still have nearly 11 weeks to go, and we all must continue working together to make on-campus classes successful.

This week, we have seen an uptick in the number of positive COVID-19 cases and individuals in quarantine, both on our campuses and within the local communities. For this reason, PLEASE limit travel during the upcoming Labor Day Weekend. Classes are in session on Monday, and students traveling home could potentially expose family members to the virus. You also could unknowingly bring the virus from your home to SBU.

We also are ready to pivot online temporarily as needed to deliver the best educational experience possible while maintaining the health of our campus community. Information will be communicated through the SBU Alert system if, and when, we have to make any pivot to fully online course delivery on any of our campuses.

We hope a temporary online pivot is unnecessary, and you can help keep that from happening. Please, please, please continue to follow health and safety guidelines designed for limiting the spread of the virus. You know what they are: Maintain physical distancing, cover your coughs and sneezes, wash your hands often, and mask up, Bearcats.

Here are some ways you — faculty, staff or student — can help encourage our entire Bearcat family right now:

     1. Lead by example. This is what we do as servant leaders. You know you should practice physical distancing and wear a mask any time you are within 6 feet of others who are not related to you — whether indoors or outdoors, on-campus or off-campus. So do it, Bearcats. Lead by example.
     2. Encourage mask use. See somebody who isn't wearing a mask when they should be? Kindly ask that person to put on a mask. Most people need a gentle reminder and will respond politely to your request.
     3. Support those who have been affected by COVID-19. No one wants to be in quarantine or self-isolation due to COVID-19. It can be a lonely time. An encouraging text or phone call and other kind acts can go a long way toward making these individuals continue to feel connected to the Bearcat family. This is the kind of compassionate and caring Bearcats we are.

As I said during the first week of school, your individual decisions will affect the entire Bearcat community. Let us continue to be an example of what it means to love our neighbor as ourselves.

Shaping our story together,

Dr. Eric Turner
SBU President

*Published: 9-3-2020