College of Charleston President Andrew T. Hsu shared the following message with students on Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021, regarding COVID-19 updates on campus:
At this point in the fall semester, we have completed two full weeks of classes. Congratulations on making it to this point! For our new students, I hope campus is feeling more like home to you. And to our returning students, I hope you are back in the groove of your studies. It is great to have everyone on campus.
While we are still actively monitoring and responding to the pandemic, I am thankful that our positive cases on campus right now have not surged at the same level as they have in other parts of the state and region and, therefore, remain manageable.
However, to ensure everyone’s health and safety – which includes your classmates and members of our faculty and staff – please be sure to wear a face covering (and wear it properly over your nose and mouth) when inside any campus facilities around others or in large outdoor gatherings. To be clear, masks are required to be worn inside all campus facilities.
The good news: currently, our vaccination rate among the student body is 74 percent, which represents one of the highest percentages at a public university in South Carolina. I encourage those who are not vaccinated to talk with their family doctor and strongly consider taking advantage of one of our free student vaccination clinics on campus. Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control, vaccines are still the best and most reliable means for limiting the spread of COVID-19 and its potential devastating effects if you were to get sick.
Because our student body has topped the 70-percent vaccination rate, we are pleased to announce the following:
- Puppy therapy returns to campus for Weeks of Welcome!
- Residence hall lounges and kitchens are fully open
- Library study spaces and rooms are open at 50% capacity
- There are many expanded opportunities for programming and events
Remember, if we reach 80 percent of students vaccinated, I will host a pizza party in Rivers Green, and if we hit 90 percent, I will climb into a dunk tank on George Street. Who doesn’t want to see that?
Regarding financial incentives related to the Vax on the Bricks campaign, we held our first drawing of student scholarships on August 26, awarding nine scholarships worth a combined $17,000. On Thursday, September 16, we will hold our second drawing, so please make sure to upload your proof of vaccination status as soon as possible to be eligible, if you have not already done so. You have a chance to win a $1,000, $3,000, $5,000 or $10,000 scholarship!
As we continue on into the fall semester, I encourage you to remain vigilant and remember our campus core value of integrity, meaning, as members of the College of Charleston, we take accountability for our actions and we demonstrate respect for self, others and place.
Along those lines, I also ask that everyone – our students, families, faculty, staff and visitors – please practice empathy and show kindness in your interactions when communicating in person, by phone or by email. By thinking of others, especially in these stressful times, we ensure our campus community’s ability to persevere and succeed together.
Andrew T. Hsu, Ph.D.
College of Charleston