from the desk of Harlan Sands

To our campus community,

Welcome to Fall 2020! Today, we begin a semester like none we have ever seen before. It looks different and feels different – because it is different. I truly wish that all of us were together on campus now, but I know that this will come in time. Right now, we must start small and smart, with a strategic and minimal footprint to keep everyone safe.

Whether you’re on campus or you’re learning, teaching or working remotely this semester, you are all part of our CSU family, and an important part of our Engaged Learning promise that sets us apart. I am so proud of the way we have pulled together – as a community – to plan a robust college experience this fall with safety measures in place to protect our students and workforce, and ensure the health of our community to the greatest extent possible.

Over the last few days, I have so enjoyed watching our campus come back to life: students are now fully moved into Fenn Hall and Euclid Commons and our faculty and staff are putting final touches on classrooms, common spaces and dining options. Everywhere on campus you’ll see our collective efforts to promote safe health practices: “Safe Campus” signage with reminders on how to protect ourselves, ingress and egress pathway markers, ample hand sanitizing stations, welcome kits with masks and personal hygiene items, student campus ambassadors to remind students of our responsibility to protect each other, and extra staff to help keep common spaces sanitized.

It took an incredible amount of hard work to get us ready for today, and I am truly grateful to all of those staff, faculty, and students who helped us prepare. We have worked tirelessly to create a “healthy campus” action plan that maximizes the number of in-person classroom experiences that can be safely delivered, provide managed usage of faculty and staff offices that supports an increased on-campus presence, and deliver residential living options for students that support on-site access to many of our campus facilities and support services.

I want to particularly thank those dedicated staff members in Facilities and Student Support Services, HR, Operations, Financial Aid, the Registrar and Bursar’s Offices, Student Receivables and Collections, Campus411, First Year and College Department Advising, Parking, Residence Life, Special Programs,  Marketing and Communications, department secretaries, services directors, and too many of you to name personally across our schools and colleges who worked behind the scenes – during a very challenging summer – and spent countless hours helping us prepare for today. This only happens with your support! 

Now it is up to each and every one of us to make this work. To be successful, we must take care and do this together by following the guidelines and safety protocols outlined on our Safe Campus webpage.

We must all commit to protecting ourselves and others by taking the daily health assessment before coming to campus, wearing a mask at all times on campus, maintaining safe physical distances, washing our hands and disinfecting our classrooms, common areas and workspaces. I know wearing a mask all the time and keeping 6 feet apart is hard work – it flies in the face of our natural instinct to connect with each other – nonetheless, we must stand vigilant and commit to our protocols if we are to successfully teach and learn together throughout the fall.

Please support our student campus ambassadors in their quest to encourage compliance, and please actively urge your friends and colleagues to practice safe behaviors both on and off campus at all times.

The mark of a great university is one that pulls together in a time of crisis and challenge. We have proven ourselves as a resilient, nimble, and fully engaged community that embodies everything great about the city of Cleveland and the people of Northeast Ohio. We proved we could successfully transition to remote learning and working last semester; now let’s prove we can safely repopulate our campus and keep it healthy this semester and in the future. I have full faith and confidence that we can and will make this work!

See you on campus (fully masked and distanced of course)!

Harlan M. Sands
Cleveland State University

 P.S --- I hope to see all new students at Magnus Fest 2020 – virtual this year - tonight at 6pm on our CSU Facebook page. Magnus Fest is CSU’s version of freshman convocation, where we welcome new students to the CSU experience. It promises to be a fun kick-off with several special guests, lots of giveaways, along with a chance to experience the Viking spirit. Returning students, you’re invited to join in the fun, too. Hope to see you there!

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