As we begin this very unusual fall semester, we have been receiving a lot of questions from students, families, faculty and staff members, media representatives and others about safety measures, classes, housing, masks and much, much more.
Our goal is to provide as much information as possible in as many ways as possible – through community messages; in response to questions that come in phone, email and individual meetings; and on our website and through social media.
On Friday, we added a new form of outreach: a virtual panel representing the many offices involved in our fall planning. Panelists shared information about safety and cleaning protocols across campus — from classrooms to offices to research facilities. Other topics included testing and tracing, quarantine and isolation, courses and academic programs and how people can continue to get information. We ended the panel fielding questions from students, parents, faculty and staff, and we will be posting responses to questions we couldn’t get to.
You can watch a recording of the discussion online.
A community effort
What impressed me about the event was the knowledge, ownership and engagement of everyone on the panel, from vice chancellors and deans to representatives of our emergency response team, School of Medicine, the Jackson County Health Department, athletics, admissions, information technology and others. The team demonstrated that decisions regarding fall have been made with commitment and care following the most current recommendations of health agencies and experts. I’ve heard from many people who indicated that the panel gave them confidence that we had taken our fall planning very seriously.
Of course, we did not promise that we have all the answers. The situation will change, new information and tools will become available, and we will continue to adapt. One thing that absolutely will not change is our commitment to the safety of the SIU community.
Thank you to all of the panelists and viewers.
We are planning additional panels throughout the semester to keep you updated on our plans. Meanwhile, here are ways you can stay informed:
- Read your siu.edu email. We will send messages that include important updates. If you are a faculty and staff member, also read SIU Today. If you are a student, open your weekly This Is SIU enewsletter.
- Visit siu.edu/coronavirus. Here you’ll find our fall 2020 and Saluki Safety plans, frequently asked questions, a form to report cases, past messages, a form for employees to order supplies, travel request and event approval forms, guidelines and training for employees returning to campus from remote work, and more.
- Ask. Students and families have been reaching out to University Housing and the Office of the Dean of Students. Advisors and admissions officers have been fielding questions. Employees can contact their supervisors or human resources. Most importantly, anyone can email firstname.lastname@example.org with a question or comment. We will do our best to answer your question or get you to someone who can.
Again, our goal is to make sure you have the information you need throughout the semester. We’ll be here for you!