The below email was sent to undergraduate and graduate students on the Storrs, Hartford, Waterbury, Avery Point and Stamford campuses
One year ago, I remember participating in a forum addressing this new COVID-19 virus and the need to temporarily send students home for two weeks. Two weeks. You left UConn and I looked forward to seeing you again in April.
April 2020. Not 2021. This ‘anniversary’ is one that I approach with mixed feelings. You. Are. Missed. I miss popping into student meetings and saying hello. I miss events — even the muckiness of Oozeball and my athletic incompetence. I want to visit the Stamford residence halls, see the view from Avery Point, and sit in a conference room with colleagues and students making actual eye contact and offering real high fives. I know I’m not alone in feeling this way.
Our collective work for the past year has kept us safe during an incomprehensible time. I thank you – so sincerely — for your persistent commitment to the health of others: wearing masks, participating in testing, following medical guidance, and keeping physical distance. For the majority of our students, this has been the lesson of COVID-19 and the UConn Promise: We choose to change our behaviors for the health and safety of our UConn community.
Both I and my UConn colleagues choose to believe in the actions of the many UConn students, not the few. But there have been some exceptions: most notably, the information the University recently received from Connecticut State Police regarding a gathering on Birch Road last weekend. When those exceptions occur, our University will both provide for the health of our students and hold students accountable to the Code, and the health and safety procedures that have been created in response to the pandemic.
Here’s what we know today about our overall health on the Storrs campus:
As part of this status, the following will go into effect beginning Thursday, March 11:As you can see, we continue to maintain a lower positivity rate, but there has been some concerning testing this week. Given our overall good health and the advice of my colleagues, I am choosing to transition our residential status to BLUE. This is a cautionary victory that reflects the success of our continued care for another and reducing exposure and spread of COVID-19. Please remember our status is reviewed weekly and can change at any time.
- Guests permitted in the residence halls. Residential students are permitted one guest, which does not include overnight (past 11:59 p.m.).
- Movement activities permitted outside, such as vocal performance and dance performance.
In accordance with the Governor’s recent announcement, additional capacity changes for the blue designation for indoor and outdoor events will go into effect on March 19 and April 2. Although maximum event/activity capacities will be increased, we may still need to limit some event capacities based on room limitations when applying 6-foot physical distancing.
In the coming weeks, my colleagues and I will share more information on Commencement plans and our framework for approaching fall planning. I am thrilled that Residential Life has already announced plans to support students returning in the fall with roommate selection. Let’s continue to enjoy our good health and the transition into blue.
As we enjoy these signs of our success, let us also never lose sight of the disruption and concern this virus has caused. COVID-19 will, I hope, continue to fade as vaccination rates continue to rise and prevention efforts maintain good health. We should, however, never forget the cost of COVID-19 and the care we will always have for one another.
All my best,
Eleanor JB Daugherty, EdD
Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students