COVID-19 RESPONSE

Open with Classes On-Campus

Another week, another win

Posted: August 28, 2020

Dear Students,

Another week, another win.

The spirit and consistency with which you are approaching the pandemic and enabling all of us to be face to face (or mask to mask) in the classroom and on campus is laudable. 

We had no new cases of COVID-19 at our Erie campus. We did, however, have two at our Ruskin campus. In total for both campuses, we are still in the single digits for cases since June 1. Given what we have seen at other schools across the nation, we are doing well. We have your discipline to thank for keeping our numbers low.

The challenge – with 12 weeks to go – is avoiding complacency. We’ve done so well that we might think it’s OK to loosen up. We can’t. Avoid that party. Keep wearing that mask. Keep washing your hands. Keep your distance.

We are collectively settling into this “new normal” and we are seeing ways we can adjust our operations to the reality of our moment.

I received an email from a student named Ben this week who asked a good question: If I’m studying alone inside one of the private rooms at the library, why can’t I remove my mask? It is questions like these that help all of us reflect on how the university is functioning and how we can improve. (For the record, we are looking into this idea.)

I encourage you to keep those observations coming. After all, the protocols you are following were created while most of us -- students, faculty and staff -- were away from the campus. We have been listening and learning during these first few weeks of being together. Your engagement in the life of our institution is what makes Gannon University the special place it is.

As we approach the Labor Day weekend, we all need to be mindful that communities have consistently shown spikes in their virus infection rates after holiday weekends and large gatherings.

We ask that you approach this coming Labor Day weekend with an intentional plan to limit your potential exposure to COVID-19.

We have had a great start to the semester. Let’s not let these wins unravel by carelessly letting our guard down.

For now, though, I am heartened by what I’ve seen. Your resolve to work together shows what is possible when Gannon students unite for a common purpose.

Thank you,

Brian Nichols
Vice President, Student Development and Engagement