President Yager Welcomes the University Community Back to Campus

Sent to students, faculty and staff Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022

To the UArts community,

I hope that you all enjoyed a well-deserved, restorative winter break and that you are looking forward to returning to our creative campus for the start of the spring semester next week. I write to you today to thank you again for the profound optimism, resilience and flexibility you have demonstrated throughout the entire COVID-19 pandemic. It cannot be overstated how much your enduring spirit has buoyed our university throughout one of the most challenging times in our long and storied history.
 
I am keenly aware that the spring term will not begin in the exact manner we all hoped for at the start of this academic year and that the COVID-19 policies we enacted in the fall must remain in place for the foreseeable future. If necessary, those policies may even be strengthened to ensure the continued safety of our community. However, if not for your dedication and steadfast commitment to keeping one another safe and upholding the UArts Healthy Promise, the upcoming term would almost certainly look very different. Masking, regular testing and vaccinations—especially boosters—remain the most critical tools in thwarting the spread of COVID-19 and ensuring a successful semester, and I remain deeply grateful for your patience and willingness to embrace the necessary evolution of our protocols.
 
As the past six months have consistently demonstrated, COVID-19 remains unpredictable and will surely introduce some moments of uncertainty this spring. I am heartened, however, that our COVID Response Team, which has been meeting regularly to shape and implement policies since the pandemic's onset, continues to provide clear and sustainable guidance that successfully addresses our primary concern: the health and safety of our entire university community. Throughout the coming semester, remember to check your UArts email and our community health policies, available online, regularly for any updates or changes. 
 
Additionally, please remember that on-campus rapid COVID-19 testing is available for all students through Health Services, Monday through Friday, from 9:20 a.m. to 4 p.m., beginning Monday, Jan. 24. Appointments can be made online quickly and easily, and I ask that students pursue testing if they feel unwell or are concerned about a potential exposure. In addition, two rapid tests that can be administered at home are available for every university employee through Student Affairs. Tests can be retrieved in Gershman Hall, Room 311, Monday through Friday, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. I strongly encourage all employees to pick up their tests as soon as possible to ensure they have them at hand before they are needed.
 
Whether you are returning to campus or are setting foot into our creative learning environment for the first time, I look forward to seeing you soon. This spring, please continue to wear your mask and take good care of one another. Perhaps more importantly, I implore you to schedule ample time to care for yourself, too. 
 
Sincerely,
 
David