Labor Day weekend traditionally marks a time to celebrate, relax, and enjoy the company of family and friends, as well as exploring and taking in the beauty of Northern Colorado. This year is certainly different than years past. I still want everyone to enjoy the holiday, but we must keep health and safety top of mind and take every precaution to stop the spread of COVID-19. I need you to continue to do your part and wear your mask, social distance, and avoid unnecessary gatherings and risky behaviors that could cause the spread of the Coronavirus.
Your actions also impact the local community. One positive COVID-19 case could have a ripple effect well beyond our campus borders––potentially leading to significant spread and the closures of essential services in our area such as grocery stores, restaurants, K-12 schools, businesses, and even certain healthcare services that are so vitally important to the public. Our neighbors experience the consequences as much as we do and look to us to model the proper behaviors.
With that said, I want to thank everyone who is helping to limit the spread by social distancing and wearing a mask. As an ongoing reminder, UNC requires students, employees, and visitors to wear face coverings at all times while in public or shared spaces on campus as noted in our mask policy:
- Masks are required whenever you are indoors in public spaces on campus—that is, whenever you are in any space other than your own residence hall room or a private office.
- Masks are also required outdoors any time you are around other people—even when those other people are roommates, family members, or loved ones who you live with.
- We should all maintain appropriate distance from one another, at least six feet, even when we are outdoors.
- You should also remember that even when you are off campus, Colorado Governor Jared Polis has implemented a statewide mask order and other public health directives that govern expectations for mask wearing and gatherings in public or private spaces.
- Students living on campus will be required to wear a mask unless they are in their own room or doing tasks that cannot be completed while wearing a mask such as eating or showering––the mask must be put back on once the task has been finished.
- NOTE: There is no general exception to this policy based on distances between instructors and their students during class. UNC’s instructional spaces were configured by facilities to maintain 6-feet of separation between students and the instructor. Classrooms should not be reconfigured, and the expectation is that all faculty and students will wear masks during face-to-face instruction.
I encourage all Bears to report behaviors that put the health and safety of our community at risk. The Dean of Students Office has been receiving and will continue to address these concerns through the student conduct process, including gatherings on and off campus that violate UNC policies and public health orders. Individuals or groups who violate our guidelines could face several penalties to include suspension or expulsion. For more information about reporting options, visit www.unco.edu/dean-of-students/share-concern.aspx.
The actions we take today could have long-term consequences at UNC such as limiting our ability to remain in person, on campus, or allowing students to further engage in high-impact practices such as research or internships that are so vital to the learning experience or even graduate next spring. Our campus has been doing a good job in proactively protecting our collective health and safety, and I need us to remain strong in our efforts.
Have a great weekend. Be safe, Bears!
Rowing, Not Drifting,