Recommitting to protecting ourselves and our campus

October 13, 2020

USI Community,

Since March, we have worked hard to instill a set of best practices to help minimize the spread of COVID-19 within our campus community. Thanks to the hard work of our faculty and staff who helped to develop these practices, and the efforts of all to adhere to them, we have been able to remain open and vibrant and to provide the in-person educational opportunities our students so badly desire.

However, as time progresses, we are noticing more people forgoing steps we have put in place to protect ourselves and each other. We are seeing fewer face coverings inside campus buildings, even though they are still required. More students are starting to gather in large groups and not physically distance, putting themselves at risk for contracting and spreading the virus. All this is happening as the number of positive COVID-19 cases in Vanderburgh County continues to rise to record levels and hospitalizations have increased due to both COVID-19 and the start of the flu season.

This virus will not relent simply because we grow weary of being vigilant. It’s imperative that we continue to keep ourselves and our entire campus safe. To that end, I am grateful to be joined by my colleagues in Faculty Senate, Administrative Senate and Staff Council, as well as by our student body president and the facilitator of our COVID-19 task force, who have stepped up to ask that we all come together and collectively recommit to mitigating the coronavirus spread within our campus.

As part of that recommitment, I am reinforcing that our current COVID-19 practices and protocols will remain in effect through the end of the Fall 2020 Semester. Additionally, these protocols will be in effect for the start of the Spring 2021 Semester and will remain in effect until public health officials communicate that it is no longer necessary to do so in order to protect our health and safety.

But we need you to keep doing your part to keep our community safe and our campus open and active. For your own sake, and for those who are depending on you to stay healthy, please continue to mask up, maintain physical distancing, avoid large groups, practice good hygiene and get that flu shot.

This marathon is well underway, and for that I am thankful. But there is still a lot of road ahead. Now is the time to show we are recommitting ourselves to protecting our community for the long term. Together, the University of Southern Indiana family can do this!

Ronald S. Rochon, PhD
USI President

Dr. Rex Strange
Chair, Faculty Senate

Britney Orth
Chair, Administrative Senate

Terri Alvey
Chair, Staff Council

Kelsey McCullough
President, Student Government Association

David Bower
Facilitator, COVID-19 Task Force