Dear East Georgia State College Faculty and Staff,
In my letter to students this week, I asked each of them to consider the importance of personal responsibility in making our campuses healthy and safe this fall. Having served as a faculty member for decades, I know, however, that messages like this have a far greater impact when they hear this message from you.
Here is the message I shared with students. Your “top ten” list certainly won’t be identical to mine. The important thing, however, is that you talk with students about the importance of exercising personal responsibility in keeping our campus healthy and safe. I implore you to have these conversations with your students.
My Message to Students
“Earlier this week, I had a phone conversation with a student about returning campus this fall. We talked about the many things the college is doing right now to make our campus healthy and safe this fall --- things like installing protective shields around campus, requiring and providing some protective face coverings, scheduling your classes so that there will be room for social distancing, and so much more. We also talked about the fact that the effectiveness of these steps depends upon the exercise of a high level of personal responsibility by each and every member of our Bobcat family. Here is my top ten list of the things we discussed:
- Respect the space of others. When you meet someone on campus, you don’t know their unique situation. They may be particularly susceptible to the COVID-19. If they are exposed, the impact of COVID-19 on them may greater. They may be going home later that day to care for a family member who is particularly susceptible to COVID-19. Observe social distancing standards during your conversation.
- Respect yourself and remember the investment in your future you are making by choosing college. Your own future is dependent on the choices you make about protecting yourself.
- Wear your protective face covering proudly. If it is a cloth face covering, launder it regularly. It is a sign that you respect others and yourself.
- Remind others. This doesn’t need to be confrontational or disrespectful. We all remind each other regularly about things like wearing seatbelts. I’m not offended when someone says, “Seatbelt on, Bob?” I wouldn’t be offended if someone said, “Mask up, Bob.”
- Wash your hands frequently and vigorously with soap and water.
- Use hand sanitizer stations regularly.
- Stay informed. As new information about COVID-19 safety emerges, listen learn and adapt.
- Enjoy finding creative new ways to communicate in a COVID-19 environment. Many of these methods of communicating will become useful tools which will help you succeed in your career once the pandemic ends.
- Reach out to others frequently using your new communication skills. Many are lonely and isolated during this unprecedented time. They need your voice.
- Be optimistic. All of us a struggling together to adapt and survive. I can see already how it is making us stronger in so many ways.
I am looking forward to seeing a sea of colorful, creative masks (all six feet apart ��) as I look out from my office on the first day of class."
Please stay healthy and safe.
East Georgia State College