Clarification on Campus Restrictions (sent to the Bradley community on 09/23/2020)
Dear Students and Bradley Community,
I wanted to follow up on an email I sent out earlier this week about coming off of quarantine and going back to class today. First and foremost, I’m thrilled we are able to be back in class. I recognize and appreciate your interest in being in the classroom with faculty.
I have gotten feedback from a number of you concerning your frustration with the ongoing social interaction restrictions. I understand your frustrations. This is not the experience any of us were anticipating when making the decision to join the Bradley community. I know it's not how you envision your student experience and it’s certainly not how I anticipated starting my new presidency at Bradley University. It’s rough. It’s not what any of us wanted. To be clear, I share your frustrations.
I also need to be clear we did not make the decision on how to come out of the quarantine lightly. Our decision to keep certain restrictions in place is a result of knowing how the virus was spreading prior to the quarantine and was made in collaboration with the city/county health department concerning what we need to do to successfully come out of it. We included factors such as enhanced testing, quarantine adjustments, re-entry, social interactions and many others into our decision making.
We are still very much in the midst of a pandemic that continues to impact our campus and our community. We need to do our part to make sure we are doing what we can to mitigate its continued spread.
We recognized socialization is an important part of emotional wellbeing. We need to be thoughtful about how we socially engage in today’s environment but there are things we can do even with the current constraints. Here are some examples:
It is ok to get outside and exercise with a friend or two. Go out and get fresh air, just don’t congregate in groups. Use the Markin Center. The equipment has been appropriately physically distanced for your use.
You can grab food to go and eat outside in the quad with a few friends. Again - at a distance with only a few people.
You do need to wear your mask in your private living space's common areas - for example, in a Greek house or residence hall you need to have it on when you’re outside your sleeping area. But if you’re in your apartment or house you have more leniency.
We’re working on a number of events to create appropriately spaced opportunities for social interaction. Homecoming has been scheduled for next week and we’ll move forward with several of the events planned, so watch for information on these to come very soon. Student groups like ACBU are hosting virtual events as well, and I encourage all of our student organizations to find ways to engage with each other virtually.
My hope and expectation is at some point in the future we’ll be able to loosen the restrictions we now have in place. I won’t try to predict when that’s going to happen, but please know this is something we are paying close attention to. When we feel it’s safe to do so, we’ll loosen up the restrictions currently in place. However, until we see a further decline in the spread of this virus on our campus, it’s absolutely critical we all follow the necessary behaviors for us to be able to return to face-to-face classes successfully. I can’t over emphasize how important it is we be aggressive in engaging in the behaviors we know will stop the spread of the virus.
Everyone is stressed. I know it. I hear your frustrations. I feel your frustrations. Please know we are doing everything we can to get us back to a successful path. I so appreciate and thank you for your collective partnership in helping us do so.