We must embrace our core values of respect and compassion
Dear students, colleagues and friends,
I want to begin my email today with a reminder of our core values, compassion and respect, and our reputation as a community that lifts each other up.
I have heard some disappointing news about the way some students, as well as some faculty and staff, are treating the employees responsible for implementing our health and safety plan. This treatment has targeted the health care workers performing tests, the contact tracers who follow up by phone, the Residence Life staff who enforce quarantines and isolation, and others.
It is perfectly acceptable to disagree with the health and safety plans we have in place. As I discussed in my blog this week, as president, I expect that difficult decisions like this will sometimes be met with opposition; no system of health and safety protocols would have fully satisfied every member of our community.
Disagreement is acceptable; however, it is not acceptable to engage in disrespectful behavior when asked to follow the practices that keep our campus community safe. These are practices that align with national health and safety standards recommended by the CDC, as well as those suggested by our state and local health leaders and our own CMU Health experts. These were not chosen haphazardly; they are strategies that have proven to be effective at mitigating virus spread and reducing the risk of serious illness. These guidelines are spelled out clearly on the Protect Yourself. Protect Others website — they apply to every member of our campus community and they are being enforced.
This is a community that lifts each other up, that embraces the core values of respect and compassion in all we do. We all are affected and have all been impacted by COVID-19 — we truly are all in this together; therefore, we must work together with kindness and patience, even when we disagree.
The number of confirmed new cases of COVID-19 on campus dropped slightly this week. Let us continue that trend by continuing to use the daily health screening app, wearing masks, and getting vaccinated or tested.
The overall vaccination rate for our campus, around 72.6%, is well above rates for our surrounding area and has also exceeded the state rate for full vaccination. I encourage all unvaccinated individuals to consider getting the vaccine. It has been demonstrated to significantly reduce the likelihood of serious illness, and we want every member of our community to enjoy a healthy, successful semester.
Cultural celebrations and remembrances
CMU is celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with a full calendar of activities. You can find a list of all guest speakers and events online, and I encourage everyone to participate. Cultural celebrations are a wonderful way to get engaged on campus and to expand your understanding of our increasingly global society. It also can be quite a bit of fun!
On a more somber note: Thursday, Sept. 30 is Orange Shirt Day, which honors survivors of American Indian Boarding Schools and Residential Schools. For over a century, Indigenous children were taken from their families and placed in schools, including the Mount Pleasant Indian Industrial Boarding School, where they were not permitted to practice their language and culture, nor honor their heritage. I invite our university community to join the Native American Programs office and the North American Indigenous Student Organization to honor and remember these children.
The Mount Pleasant Indian Industrial Boarding School is an important historic and cultural site for our community, and has particular significance to members of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe and Tribal Communities statewide. It also is the site of ongoing faculty research and hands-on learning for students studying anthropology and archeology, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Please respect this important heritage site and do not trespass on the grounds.
Spotlight on CMU
Our campus will play host this weekend to hundreds of parents, families and friends of current students with the return of the annual Family and Friends Weekend. In addition, we are resuming in-person CMU & You Day, which allows prospective students and their families to explore our academic colleges and experience campus life. Saturday will be a busy day at CMU.
This is an incredible opportunity to demonstrate what a welcoming and supportive community we have at Central Michigan University. If you plan to be on campus, and if you will be attending the football game, I encourage you to wear your favorite maroon and gold attire and greet our guests with a truly Fired-Up spirit.
Enjoy the fall weather this weekend and be well,
Bob Davies, Ph.D.
Central Michigan University
Blog: COVID-19 communications posted | Author: by Bob Davies, Ph.D.