Dear Students, Families, Faculty and Staff: In recent days, there has been a renewed and palpable sense of energy on our campus. Many of us are feeling optimistic for the future, especially as more and more members of our community…
Students Asked to Take the Stay Safe Pledge
Syracuse University is asking students to make a commitment—to staying safe, staying healthy and doing their part.
It’s a commitment to the Stay Safe Pledge to help keep the University community safe from the spread of COVID-19.
The pledge, which can be found on the Fall 2020 Open website, outlines expectations for promoting healthy behaviors that follow University, federal, state and local guidelines. Students are encouraged to take the pledge to show their support and also understand the repercussions if the directives and guidelines are not followed.
The pledge includes such measures as:
- Wearing a mask or face covering on campus
- Maintaining physical distance
- Getting a flu vaccine
- Limiting social gatherings
- Washing hands and frequently used surfaces
- Monitoring health regularly
Catherine Campbell ’22 has personal reasons for following health and safety guidelines, in addition to protecting herself and her community. A friend of hers has a compromised immune system, putting them at a higher risk for serious complications due to COVID-19.
“Just hearing from another student my age, very similar to me, a friend of mine, say how me wearing a mask or me being educated on how COVID-19 spreads is really important,” says Campbell, a peer educator and student member on the Stay Safe Campaign Committee, led by the Division of Enrollment and the Student Experience. “It’s something that stuck with me because it doesn’t take very much to do your part and to help out in a situation that’s this big.”
Other measures included in the pledge are following University directives if there is a need to be quarantined or isolated, participating in return to campus testing and avoiding traveling outside of Central New York during the Fall 2020 semester.
Whether or not students take the pledge, they are still bound by the directives and policies set by the University. Students who fail to comply with the directives may be referred to the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities (OSRR) for violation of the Code of Student Conduct, which governs individual and group behavior on and off campus. Sanctions for violating the pledge may be found on the OSRR website. Students could receive a disciplinary warning for intentionally violating a public health guideline, such as regarding wearing a face mask, or face suspension if their behavior is found to have put the community at a significant health risk, for example, hosting a large gathering.
“We ask students to take the Stay Safe Pledge as a member of a community that is committed to the well-being of others,” says Rob Hradsky, vice president for the student experience. “The Stay Safe Pledge is a shared social responsibility and a serious commitment to do what is right in these extraordinary times.”
Campbell ’22 emphasizes the importance of peer accountability and education on the pandemic. “It’s important for students to know that they have a voice, and they can use it if they don’t feel comfortable in a situation,” she says. “If they don’t agree or they don’t feel safe they have agency in the situation.”
To help spread the word among students, Goon Squad members, who traditionally assist first-year and transfer students move into their residence halls, are being trained to share and help the campus community support COVID-19 prevention, health and safety guidelines as students return to campus. Students interested in signing up to be a Goon Squad health ambassador can register online.
Some students with disabilities, in order to live and learn safely, may need to modify some aspects of the pledge. Students who believe they may not be able to adhere to these protocols for disability-related reasons should contact the Center for Disability Resources to request a reasonable accommodation/modification at email@example.com or 315.443.4498.
Additional information and safety tips on how to stay safe and keep the Orange community safe can be found on the @bewellsu Instagram page.
Story by Noah Lowy ’21 and Kathleen Haley