Remaining Guided by Our Mission
At St. Thomas, we strive every day to live our values as a university inspired by Catholic intellectual tradition. Our mission is to educate students to be morally responsible leaders who think critically, act wisely, and work skillfully to advance the common good. Serving our common good helped us remain together at heart, even though we were separated by physical space during this time of crisis. Now that campus has fully re-opened, we look forward to hosting students in-person again in the fall – but we must remain vigilant in following the protocols that have been created to safeguard our community’s health and safety. See our COVID-19 Preparedness Plan for more details.
As this is a time for unity, we remind our community that we cannot let the COVID-19 pandemic drive us apart by sowing fear and discrimination. We can never allow our fears to assign blame for this – or any – situation to any individual or group of people based on their skin color, race, ethnicity or country of origin. If you feel you have been the target of discrimination, please report it using our online reporting system.
See you soon, Tommies. In the meantime, stay strong and healthy.
Latest message from University Leadership (from September 21, 2020)
Dear students, faculty and staff,
As we begin the week, I ask all of you to visit our COVID-19 dashboard for an update on the number of positive cases within our community. Last week’s total (36 – including 33 students) was markedly higher than the previous week’s; I have two main points that I wish to impress upon you.
First, this is not unexpected. We all anticipated a rise in cases these first few weeks of the semester, and the university is prepared for these sorts of numbers. Based on what we’ve seen play out at campuses across the country, in fact, we should not be surprised to see these kinds of numbers in the next couple of weeks.
Secondly, no one needs to panic right now, but no one should become complacent, either. We should all find these numbers a sobering reminder that COVID-19 is a highly contagious virus that can quickly spread and put people in danger if we allow our judgments to lapse for even a few minutes.
Thankfully, I am told most of our community members with confirmed cases are experiencing only mild symptoms, and most of the impacted individuals either in quarantine or isolation are off campus. Additionally, there is currently no evidence of virus transmission in classrooms or in facilities such as the Anderson Athletic and Recreation Complex (AARC).
There is, however, evidence tracing some of these infections to off-campus gatherings, as well as a few instances of resident students having guests inside their residence hall rooms. So far, it appears these on- and off-campus gatherings have been small and relatively subdued (playing cards, playing board games, gaming, watching sports) but have not always included social distancing and face coverings. These remind us that gatherings do not need to be large to put people at risk.
St. Thomas Responds
Serving our common good is more important now than ever. Whether it is rallying behind our students experiencing financial hardship, providing critical supplies for our health-care workers on the front lines, or advocating on behalf of our student teachers, the St. Thomas community is banding together to make a difference. Visit our Newsroom to see stories about our community members in action to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic.