Important Update on COVID-19 Global Health Pandemic at Radford University (Message from President Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D. to All Students)

Radford University Message from President Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D. Important Update COVID-19 Global Health Pandemic

Dear Students:

As a University, we are thrilled that you are back on campus and in the classroom. We have missed you! In an effort to ensure consistent communication and clear expectations, I am reaching out with an important update as our University has reopened during a time in which the COVID-19 global health pandemic is impacting all facets of our lives and our society.

I have been encouraged by the many students wearing face coverings, while on campus. However, I want to remind everyone that face coverings are equally important, while in the broader community and at in-person gatherings even with close friends. Every single student must be diligent in wearing face coverings, as well as exercising physical distancing and frequently washing their hands. And, do not forget to fill out the Daily Symptom Tracking for COVID-19 Screening on a regular basis and use it as a journal to monitor your health and any changes.

Currently, Radford University has a limit of 50 individuals for indoor and outdoor gatherings. Exemptions are being provided on a very limited basis for instructional purposes and select activities. Please know that we are continuing to closely monitor gatherings and may reduce the on-campus limit, for both indoor and outdoor events, if necessary. As previously shared, the University is monitoring on-campus and off-campus conduct and will take appropriate action. Please note that such action has already occurred and will continue to occur. Without question, we are serious about compliance and enforcement to ensure the health, safety, and well-being of the entire Radford family.

Radford University can only continue to provide an in-person experience if everyone commits to doing the right thing. As several universities across the nation have reopened only to quickly move to an online-only environment, I want to be very clear that COVID-19 is real. The consequences for ignoring state mandates and best practices are real. Look no further than what is happening at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Notre Dame.

At Radford, we know that the college experience is important. We understand that you want to meet and interact with new people. However, we are in the midst of a pandemic, and those interactions must occur in a different way. Please know that we will support your efforts to engage academically and socially, but those engagements must be in accordance with the established directives. Why? You and your health are important to us. And, the only way to be protected and safe is to follow Commonwealth of Virginia requirements, Radford University expectations, and public health guidelines.

Again, I ask that you display your Highlander values each and every day and encourage your fellow students to do the same. I am confident that, together, we can remain in-person for the Fall 2020 semester if every student steps forward. Highlanders, now is the time to lead by example.

With Highlander Pride,

Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D.