Wilkes University

Tuesday, Auguts 18, 2020

Dear Students, 

Media reports this summer have demonstrated again and again how enthusiastic students are to return to campus and their residences. The opportunity to return to the residence halls and apartments they left last spring has prompted students at colleges and universities across the country to host large gatherings that bring students together in numbers that violate the principles of social distancing and “masking.” Several schools that opened in the last week have seen outbreaks of the virus that appear to be unfortunate and dangerous consequences of these gatherings.
 
While we have created conditions on campus that can best protect us from the spread of the virus, the greatest threat to our safety comes from behavior that will take place away from campus.  Our ability to sustain our campus experience is dependent on our collective vigilance and our adherence to the principles of social distancing, wearing face masks, proper hygiene and the daily monitoring of our health. With the decision each of us has made to return to campus for the fall semester, we accept the responsibility to protect one another by abiding by the principles and guidelines the University has established.
 
Our ability to keep everyone safe extends to our decisions when we leave campus. Being blunt about it, large social gatherings off campus create the opportunity to compromise those in attendance, and anyone who subsequently comes in contact with them. Those subsequent contacts could be people with compromised immune systems putting them in greater danger should they contract the virus. The increased potential to infect a professor, a staff member, a student or a family member is a risk that we simply cannot take. 

The University will consider students who host large off campus gatherings (defined by the City of Wilkes-Barre as more than 25 individuals) as disregarding the safety principles under which we all must operate.  Please know that the University will aggressively hold accountable our students who promote or host off- or on-campus gatherings that create conditions that may spread the Covid-19 virus. We can only have students studying at Wilkes who believe in and will follow the principles that will keep us all safe.
 
The University has no choice but to monitor the neighborhoods surrounding the campus to assure that our students and their families, and our faculty and staff, are not placed in jeopardy because social distancing and “masking” principles have been ignored.
 
Do your part to keep us on campus. Do your part to keep us safe. Do everything you can to protect yourself and those around you. Be mindful, be safe and Be Colonel!

Sincerely,

Dr. Greg Can
President

Paul S. Adams
Vice President of Student Affairs