–We are preparing for a traditional fall semester with students living on campus per our housing policy.
–Students, faculty, and staff are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated. The higher the vaccination rate, the greater the likelihood we will be able to fully reopen campus.
–Students living on campus this summer should expect to participate in weekly tests if they have not been vaccinated.
–We expect to return to a regular fall athletics intercollegiate schedule and intend to reopen the Berman Museum of Art and the Schellhase Commons to visitors this summer.
Dear Campus Community,
I am excited to share news that Ursinus has already begun planning for a fall semester that brings faculty, staff, and students together on campus once again.
I know the office of student affairs will lead that transition and help create a welcome environment for everyone who again plans to call Ursinus “home.” Students will be expected to live on campus and should already be in the final stages of securing on-campus housing, per the college’s housing policy. We are making every possible effort to prepare for the fall and are fully committed, once again, to delivering the full residential experience that is a central component of an Ursinus education.
In the meantime, there is a lot of work we must do to reinvigorate campus life beginning this fall. Only a very high vaccination rate across students, faculty, and staff will allow this to happen, so at this time we strongly recommend that everyone get vaccinated before the start of the fall semester. Our hope is that we can rely less on mandatory testing sessions and the strict mitigation measures that, unfortunately, defined much of the past year. To be clear, the higher our campus-wide vaccination rate, the more flexible campus life can become.
This is especially the case for those students who plan to remain on campus for part of the summer for college-sponsored research or programs. Students living on campus this summer should expect to participate in weekly tests if they have not been vaccinated.
As we seek to enhance the residential experience for students, I am happy to report that we remain in regular communication with Montgomery County’s office of public health as well as locally elected officials, all of whom have been so supportive of Ursinus this past year. And the vaccine task force will continue to meet throughout the summer to evaluate both the health of our campus and the prevailing health conditions across southeastern Pennsylvania.
Those changes will ultimately determine how our campus guidelines are updated for the fall semester. It is in everyone’s best interest that they reflect the very latest state recommendations, so we will wait until early July to begin sharing those changes. We will do our part as the college’s leadership to work hard to communicate those updates in as consistent and clear a manner as possible.
There are several other developments that have already been set in motion. We expect to return to a regular fall athletic intercollegiate schedule beginning this August. And here on campus, we will look at ways to begin opening our campus to a greater number of visitors. We hope to formally open the Berman Museum of Art and the Schellhase Commons to our neighbors throughout the region. Any new developments will be shared this summer through our communication channels, including social media.
Over the past two weeks, we were able to make two separate vaccination clinics available to faculty, staff, and students. More than 1,000 members of the community participated in those clinics. I am personally grateful for your support of these clinics–both of which were organized quickly and without much notice. But these successful events were just the beginning of returning to the Ursinus we all know and love.
This semester has been challenging for everyone, and we overcame a lot as a community. After some well-deserved rest, I hope we can all approach the upcoming fall semester with a new sense of purpose and renewed spirit of camaraderie towards one another!
Be well, Bears!