Welcome back, Bulldogs!

Welcome back, Bulldogs!

January 7, 2021

Welcome back, Bulldogs!

As we are set to begin the spring semester, and in light of all of the events we have experienced in the past year, most recently at the U.S. Capitol yesterday, I am reminded of the William James quote:

Act as if what you do makes a difference.  It does.

In terms of the pandemic, our approach to the spring semester is no different than our approach to the fall semester.  The fall semester was proof that, while this is a unique school year with never-before-seen challenges, with perseverance, grace, and respect for everyone in our community, we can achieve what many thought would be impossible.  For us to realize the same success in the spring semester, we must all continue to be vigilant and thoughtful in our actions.

Masks are a Must
The campus mask policy remains in effect.  Masks are required at all times in any campus building, with the exception of students in their private residence hall room, employees in a private office, or when an individual is dining.  Returning students should also be aware that the City of Kirksville adopted a mask policy in late November.  Masks are now required in all Kirksville businesses.

Follow Safe Practices
Simple steps such as washing your hands, remaining at least six feet away from others, and always wearing a mask can help limit exposure to and spread of the virus.  The Truman campus will continue to have plexiglass barriers in many public spaces, as well as controlled access to and through high-traffic areas. Classrooms are still spaced out in observance of proper social distance guidelines and room capacities are limited.

Interact Responsibly
Do not attend large gatherings.  While parties are still unsafe options, you can create a pod of people to interact with regularly.  Sometimes called bubbles, pods are partnerships between a few individuals.  They can be a great way to experience social interactions while reducing the likelihood of acquiring COVID-19.  Keep in mind, the smaller the pod, the less the risk of exposure.  Pods are not invincible, and it is still important to be thoughtful in our choices.

Use Campus Clear
All faculty, staff, and students must monitor symptoms every day, including a daily temperature check, before arriving on campus or leaving a residence hall.  The CampusClear app can be used to help with daily monitoring tasks.  If symptoms of COVID-19 are experienced (without a separate known cause, e.g., asthma, allergies, etc.), the individual should not come to campus or leave the residence hall.  CampusClear is free and available for Apple and Android devices.

Tests are Available
Students who use the CampusClear app are eligible to receive free COVID-19 tests at the Student Health Center.  Students who use the app and are demonstrating symptoms, or who have been in contact with an individual with COVID-19, can contact the Student Health Center to schedule a test.  Faculty and staff can obtain tests at Walgreens, Hy-Vee or Complete Family Medicine.

Take Care of Yourself
To maintain your physical and mental health, it is important to take supportive actions from the beginning of the semester.  The tips and activities provided toward the end of last semester (https://www.truman.edu/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Coping-During-Covid.pdf?x43747) can be very beneficial in helping to manage the stress and challenges you may experience this semester.  Also check out the Campus Recreation website (https://recreation.truman.edu/) for other helpful activities and tips.

Stay Informed
The University will continue to maintain the COVID-19 website, which includes all campus messaging regarding the coronavirus, as well as related links to resources for health and wellness, campus life, and academics.  Any major announcements will also be emailed to campus and posted in the Truman Today.

Truman rises to the occasion; it is who we are.  The end of pandemic restrictions is in sight, but it remains months away, and we cannot let up now.  Act as if what you do makes a difference.  It does.

Be well and do well,