September 23, 2020
As we approach the mid-term period, I thought it would be a good time to write with some updates and reminders. We have made it through one third of the semester, and we are encouraged by the commitment shown by the vast majority of our students to the health and safety protocols necessary to limit the spread of COVID-19. It’s important that we stay the course and not let our collective guard down. I am so proud of you and your behavior so far; please continue to be conscientious and keep the safety of our Tulane and New Orleans communities at the forefront of your decision-making. Despite the good behavior of most of you, over the weekend there were some large gatherings and other reports of non-compliance that were referred to the Office of Student Conduct. Please remember, the penalties for willful non-compliance start at suspension.
There are a few other things I wanted to address, clarify, or remind you about:
- Spring 2021: I am hearing from many of you and your parents about our spring calendar. It has not been set yet. We have a committee that is meeting regularly to solidify the plans for spring. We are trying to take the lessons learned from the fall and the most up-to-date science around COVID-19 to make the best decisions possible for our community in the spring. We recognize that many of you are eager to make spring plans and we will release this information as soon as we are able.
- Travel: We continue to strongly discourage non-essential travel for the fall — this includes weekend beach trips. The reasons for this are obvious. If you absolutely must travel, please submit your request here and include the nature and dates of your travel, your classification and whether you live on or off-campus. After traveling, you will need to quarantine off campus until you submit negative COVID-19 test results from a Tulane Testing Center.
- Masks in Public Spaces (On and Off Campus): You still have to wear them. We are learning more and more about the importance of masks as a means of stopping the spread of this virus. I know wearing masks isn't the most awesome thing to do when meeting new people, but it's our reality right now. The number one thing you can do to keep others around you safe is to be masked up. Please don't put a Resident Advisor in an uncomfortable situation in which they must remind you to put on a mask. Please don’t post examples of your willful non-compliance on social media. Whether you realize it or not, these behaviors communicate that you do not care about the lives of our community members and the citizens of New Orleans. Repeated failure to comply may result in suspension from the university.
- Post-Positive Behavior: Even if you have tested positive for COVID-19, you must STILL follow all of the public health/behavioral expectations following your isolation period. What we know about this disease evolves almost daily and we are choosing to err on the side of caution. Every member of our community is accountable for the public health expectations that we set forth before the start of the semester.
As I’ve said before, we know this semester has been difficult. The mental health of our community is a top priority for us. Please look out for each other. If someone isn’t doing well-let us know. We have a lot of resources to support students who are struggling. You can submit a concerns report, which will lead to outreach by Case Management & Victim Support Services. You can walk into this office during normal business hours, 8:30-5 M-F, or you can reach the Student Affairs On-Call Professional after hours at (504) 920-9900. You can schedule a same day appointment at the Counseling Center and The Line is available to receive calls and texts 24/7 at (504) 264-6074. This semester more than ever, we need to be mindful of how our community is really doing.
Dean of Students