College of Charleston President Andrew T. Hsu shared the following message with students regarding COVID-19 protocols on Monday, Jan. 25, 2021:
Over the weekend, you should have received a Community Advisory message about the alarming rise of COVID-19 cases on and off campus.
We are also aware of a number of large gatherings and parties in downtown Charleston this past weekend in which College of Charleston students were reportedly not practicing social distancing and not wearing face coverings. This is unacceptable behavior.
Over the next few weeks, I encourage you to be extra cautious, even in small gatherings. Remember, when someone becomes positive, all of that person’s close contacts need to quarantine. However, if you have maintained six feet or more and were wearing a face covering in that person’s presence, you would not need to quarantine.
Even with the ongoing distribution of vaccines, this pandemic, unfortunately, is far from over. And, therefore, we, as a campus community, must stay vigilant and continue to practice the proper behavior we showed last year.
I cannot emphasize this enough – careless behavior, like that exhibited by some of our students over the weekend, is a threat to our spring semester and our institution’s ability to hold in-person/hybrid classes, in-person events, and keep the campus and residence halls open.
This is a make-or-break time for our campus community. In order to help us “make” it work, we begin mandatory testing of students this week. We will also be expanding our Public Safety patrols, in partnership with the City of Charleston Police, into the downtown neighborhoods. Students in violation of our COVID-19 protocols will be cited. Please know your actions have real consequences, including potential interim suspension and/or possible closure of the campus. To help us monitor our campus community, please use the online form to report COVID-19–related health and safety concerns.
The Cougar Pledge is not wishful thinking. It is a real commitment between you and the College so that we are able to stay open and continue to offer in-person/hybrid educational opportunities and activities.
This may sound cliché, but it is still true: We are in this thing together! The actions of a few do have an impact on the whole.
Andrew T. Hsu, Ph.D.
College of Charleston