College of Charleston President Andrew T. Hsu shared the following message regarding Thanksgiving break with the campus community on Friday, Nov. 13, 2020:
As we approach the Thanksgiving break and final weeks of the fall semester, I want to write to you about a few things.
Keep It Up!
The College of Charleston has been able to weather this crisis as well as it has because of your incredible efforts, both inside and outside of the classroom. Your hard work and your willingness to sacrifice for the greater good has made it possible for the College to remain open as planned, while many other schools have had to shut down.
This is not a time to let our guard down and slide backwards into pre-COVID-19 habits, especially as the number of positive cases rises in our state and around the country. You have heard this a thousand times, but it is critical that you stay vigilant, now more than ever. Follow these four steps: 1) wear a mask; 2) social distance; 3) avoid gathering in large groups; 4) wash your hands frequently.
Go Home Safe
No one wants to bring home the COVID-19 virus to their loved ones, especially older relatives who may be at high risk. So, I want to share with you the same advice I am telling my own college freshman daughter: please be exceedingly careful during these last two weeks on campus and follow our COVID-19 protocols and those four steps – it’s worth repeating one more time: 1) wear a mask; 2) social distance; 3) avoid gathering in large groups; 4) wash your hands frequently.
Take Care of Yourself
I know we are all suffering from pandemic fatigue right now. This is the part of resilience that is so hard: the day-in, day-out grind. And I know this grind is beyond wearisome for all of us. The stress and anxiety we feel right now is having a real impact on our physical health and our mental health.
I encourage all of us to heed the advice of the National Institute of Mental Health and consider incorporating these tips into our daily routines:
1. Take breaks from the news
2. Take care of your body
3. Make time to unwind
4. Connect with others
5. Set goals and priorities
6. Focus on facts
By taking care of ourselves, we are better able to assist and help others in need of support. If you need help, please reach out to our staff in the Counseling Center. You have a support system in addition to your family, friends and classmates.
While many students will be leaving campus and the Charleston area to be with their families and loved ones for the remainder of the semester, the College will remain open until the winter break, with academic, administrative and student support services continuing to follow their posted office hours.
The College’s libraries will be open in person and online through final exams (which end on Monday, December 14). You can access the libraries’ full calendar and building hours here. Virtual services are available at answers.library.cofc.edu.
Campus services (which includes Campus Services HQ, dining services, Cougar Card, parking, campus housing, the Copy Center and mail services) will remain open until winter break (which begins Thursday, December 24). Residence halls remain open until noon on December 15.
The support offices within the Division of Student Affairs, including the Office of Residence Life, will remain open until the beginning of winter break, December 24.
Even in this pandemic, when things look darkest, there are so many bright spots (and I don’t just mean the lights in the Cistern Yard!). There are countless bright spots in all of your individual achievements throughout this semester – from student research, to virtual gatherings, to livestreaming performances, to even the basics of just turning your assignments in on time.
Thank you for making this semester work despite so many difficulties and challenges.
In true College of Charleston fashion, you have found a way to “conquer and prevail!”
Andrew T. Hsu, Ph.D.
College of Charleston