August 24, 2020: Student Behavior This Fall

Dear Tommies,

By now, I hope you have read President Sullivan’s campus re-opening update. The St. Thomas faculty and staff have been working hard to welcome you back to campus—I look forward to your return!

The behaviors and choices of all our community members matter more than ever. There is such a ripple effect to our choices in the midst of COVID-19. Mitigating the virus on our campus will only work if ALL of us commit to the expectations outlined in the Preparedness Plan and Common Good Commitment. MOST of us is not enough. We each need to claim personal responsibility for our actions and we need to hold friends and colleagues accountable. Our choices should not be about personal risk. We are part of a community. Our actions impact our entire community. Our choices should be about our impact on others—they should be about the Common Good.

Here’s what won’t work if we want to be in-person on campus this fall:
  • Hosting off-campus parties or large gatherings, on or off campus
  • Attending off-campus parties or large gatherings, on or off campus
  • Crowding together in small or large groups
  • Failing to wear a face covering when required
  • Failure to report to the Center for Well-Being if you are confirmed to have COVID-19
  • Failure to follow instructions from the Center for Well-Being if you need to quarantine or isolate
Here’s what we need to do:
  • Wear face coverings indoors unless you are in your residence hall room or your off-campus home
  • Maintain 6 feet social distancing —on-campus and off-campus at all times
  • Stay home if you are ill
  • Frequent handwashing
  • Respect others and think about the greater good
I understand the desire to gather in groups—college students want and need to connect. But large groups won’t work this fall. This is the fall where you need to plan small connections with three or four friends where you can connect while social distancing. St. Thomas is planning ways for students to engage this fall while following social distancing guidelines. Opportunities will be available through Tommie Link.

It’s important you understand that we will administer firm consequences for any violation of the Campus Preparedness Plan. Students found in violation of jeopardizing community health, on or off-campus, will be immediately subject to disciplinary action, including suspension. Again---it takes all of us to create a safer campus this fall, not most of us.

We can do this. You can do this.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to the Dean of Students Office with any questions or concerns as you prepare to return to campus.

Linda Baughman
Dean of Students
Dean of Students Office
p 1 (651) 962-6050