Continued Vigilance and Supporting Your Student
A Message from Dean Shepardson
I hope that you’ve stayed healthy and safe as we settle into the fall. Now four weeks into the trimester, I’ve been proud of the way that our students have adapted to their new campus setting and followed the new strict health and safety guidelines that we’ve set into place this trimester. From consistently wearing face coverings to scheduling (and keeping) their weekly COVID-19 screening test appointments, all while dealing with the regular workload of classes and assignments, a lot has been asked of our students.
The health and safety measures that we implemented to start this year have proven to be effective and have helped keep our positive case count very low, but it is critically important that we not let up or take a step backwards, especially with cooler temperatures and the traditional “flu season” quickly approaching. Your preparation this summer played a major role in our initial success, and for that I thank you. We are consistently reminding our students to remain vigilant—and I am again asking for your help in reinforcing this message. Our community has done well so far, but we cannot get complacent if we expect to keep our case count low. As has been seen at colleges and universities locally and throughout the country, a cluster of positive cases can develop in an instant if everyone is not carefully doing their part.
With so many strict rules in place, we’re holding our entire on-campus population responsible to maintain the health and safety of our community. As a reminder, students who violate any policy or protocol that puts themselves, their peers or faculty and staff at risk will be subject to our student conduct system and may be removed from campus for the remainder of the fall trimester. In particular, failure to adhere to the weekly testing protocol will be met with zero tolerance. The risks are simply too great to treat violations with any less severity. It will take a collective and relentless effort to get to November, and your support of your student plays a major role.
You can help ensure your student’s success by:
Making sure they schedule and keep their weekly tests at our on-campus COVID-19 screening test site.
- Ensuring that they properly wear their face covering at all times when outside of their own room. Helpful guidance on the most effective types of face coverings and masks can be found here from the CDC.
- Talking to them about being smart when it comes to their social interactions. Whether residential or living off campus, being back in the swing of a new academic year can easily bring with it the urge to have large gatherings. Your help is needed to remind students that keeping physical distance includes avoiding traditional parties and gatherings.
These important reminders will help to ensure that your student continues to do their part this fall. I know that together, we can ensure their success.
I, like you, have heard many rumors about new cases on and off campus or about who might be in quarantine or isolation. I still hear rumors about Bentley building on law school on the south campus (we are not!). The data we share on our dashboard is there to be transparent with our community. It is posted once confirmed accurate and I assure you, you can trust the numbers. The results reported include all tests conducted on campus at the testing center, as well as laboratory-confirmed cases reported to the university involving students, faculty and staff who have been on campus.
On a separate note, I wanted to share a reminder to register for the upcoming Falcon Weekend. This weekend is always one of my favorites at Bentley, and I’m looking forward to this year’s virtual offerings. While I’m disappointed that I won’t be able to greet you in person, I know that the Office of Alumni and Family Engagement has done an exceptional job at creating interactive and meaningful programing for you and your students to get involved. On Saturday morning, I’ll be sharing updates from across campus along with Chair of the Board of Trustees and Acting President Paul Condrin. Be sure to visit our Falcon Weekend homepage to view the schedule and register for events.
Again, thank you for all that you’ve done thus far in preparing your student to have a safe and productive fall trimester. Your involvement has helped make the fall a success thus far and will be needed as we move forward.
J. Andrew Shepardson
Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students