College of Charleston President Andrew T. Hsu shared the following message with the campus community regarding the completion of the first week of in-person classes on Friday, Sept. 18, 2020:
We did it! While there was doubt and plenty of stress and anxiety along the way, we made a plan to return to campus for in-person/hybrid classes and then we executed it. And we’ve almost made it through our first full week.
We have all of you to thank for this. You’ve done your part – you’ve masked up, you’ve kept your distance from others and you’ve made the best of a situation that none of us wants to be in.
Of course, we had a few bumps. Technology can be fickle, speaking and being heard through masks can be challenging, and navigating through buildings with all the new signage and arrows takes some getting used to.
But the important part is that we proved this can be done. Meaningful and engaging education and social interaction can and are taking place safely at the College of Charleston this semester.
Now the hard part begins. We all have to keep doing all of the things that have gotten us this far. Do not let your guard down; do not become complacent. If we take our foot off the gas, things can quickly go off track. So, please take note of these three things:
1. Keep us honest: Use this reporting form in order to let us know about those electing not to comply with the College’s public health directives.
2. Self-reporting and contact tracing: If you’re not feeling well, please contact Student Health Services and also please be ready to share your close contacts if/when our health team speaks with you. By sharing this information, we can better take care of you and of our greater CofC community.
3. Random testing: As mentioned in previous messages, the College intends to conduct random COVID-19 testing among the campus community at periodic intervals this semester. The first random testing event (by invitation only) will take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. next Thursday, September 24 (more details below).
Fortunately, right now, our number of active cases are down. As of today, we have 35 active cases. This is good news that we hope continues. Yet, it doesn’t take much for an outbreak to occur. One social event that violates our limits on gatherings could create big problems for you and the university. So, I ask you, is it really worth getting suspended over?
So, let’s be smart this weekend and make good decisions. I encourage you to take full advantage of our many Weeks of Welcome events. And this evening, I may even see some of you as Executive Vice President of Student Affairs Alicia Caudill and I go around campus, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., to pass out cookies and treats to those we see wearing face coverings and practicing proper social distancing.
If we keep doing the right things – like we have been doing this past week – I fully believe we will be able to keep on keepin’ on! And that kind of resilience is the true measure of a Cougar!
Andrew T. Hsu, Ph.D.
College of Charleston