Students, we need your help
Aug. 28, 2020
As we wrap up the first full week of the fall semester, I hope you are enjoying your classes, getting to know your instructors and fellow classmates, and preparing for a productive and rewarding academic year.
I am writing today to congratulate you for taking care of yourself and your fellow classmates by consistently following public-health protocols to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. While other universities have had dozens, even hundreds, of students infected due to irresponsible behavior, such as attending parties and large gatherings, you are modeling what it looks like to take bold action to protect our campus and community.
In some of these cautionary tales from other universities, outbreaks can be traced back to a single party. Of course, realistically, some of our students may have already attended a party this semester, and thus taken the very real risk of becoming sick and/or spreading the virus to others. However, I want to acknowledge the vast majority of you and your classmates — regardless of where you live and study — for accepting responsibility by declining invitations to parties. You know that this situation is temporary, and that by resisting temptation now, you are helping all of us to return to “normal” college life sooner rather than later.
Beyond health concerns resulting from irresponsible behavior, here’s another real consideration for you and your fellow Bulldogs. For some, being able to take classes in person on campus is needed in their area of study. If we do not collectively reduce the spread of the virus, and all classes must be transitioned to virtual format this semester, some students may not be able to complete their degrees in a timely manner. I am sure you can understand what that would mean for them and their families.
If we collectively do our part throughout this semester, we will be able to return to the more traditional college experience, as soon as the spring semester. In addition to attending classes on campus, imagine what fun it would be to attend athletic games, Vintage Days and commencement ceremonies later this academic year! While I cannot in good faith promise that these events will definitely be held in the spring, I can assure you that our chances of doing so are much greater if you and I do our part, along with our families and friends.
So now is not the time to let our guards down. Continue to wear your facial covering, stay six feet apart, wash your hands frequently and avoid large gatherings (more than 10 people), whether indoors or outdoors. And encourage your friends and roommates to do the same.
Again, thank you, Bulldogs! Thanks to your commitment to a healthier and safer future, we are bucking the trend at other universities throughout the country, allowing us to continue offering in-person classes this fall for those students who need them. And, with continued effort on everyone’s behalf, we will be able to return to the more traditional college experience, possibly as soon as the spring semester.
With much pride and appreciation,
Joseph I. Castro
President, Fresno State