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9/18: Important Updates for the Start of the Fall Quarter

The following message was emailed to the undergraduate students on September 18, 2020.

Welcome to the start of the new quarter,

We all wish we could be together in person this quarter. Until we can safely do so, we must recognize the personal responsibilities we all have in protecting our fellow Broncos and those around us.  It has been so gratifying to see how our Bronco community has adapted to the expectations related to the pandemic. It will take each of us to model care and concern for one another during these extraordinary times.

As members of the Santa Clara University community, we are guided by competence, conscience, and compassion. These values call us to navigate the 2020-21 school year and the very real threats we still face from the COVID-19 pandemic. These values extend beyond the physical campus. Because so many Broncos are moving back to Santa Clara, it is imperative that we honor each of the commitments below, to keep our number of positive cases low and, in turn, have the best chance possible of returning to on-campus learning in 2021.

As you or your families have questions, we wanted to highlight a key resource—our new robust Fall Student Guide, part of the Prepared SCU website. It covers what you need to know including important information on Health & Safety, Academics, Campus Life and more.

Commit to the Bronco COVID-19 Pact
As a Bronco, I pledge to follow the state, county and University guidelines by:

  • Wearing face coverings at all times on campus—indoors and outdoors
  • Practicing social distancing (6-feet minimum) at all times—indoors and outdoors
  • Staying at home if I am sick or experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms
  • Get tested when I come into contact with someone who tests positive or if I am experiencing symptoms
  • Regularly disinfecting shared/common areas and items
  • Following Santa Clara County isolation protocols if I come into contact with someone who tested positive or when feeling ill
  • Participating in SCU’s COVID-19 contact tracing program through the symptom checker
  • Washing or sanitizing hands frequently throughout the day
  • Practicing good cough and sneeze hygiene
  • Establishing a plan for where I will isolate if I test positive
  • Engaging in a conversation with my housemates or roommates about behavioral expectations, such as social behavior and living arrangement cleanliness

Complying with our collective commitment to safety efforts during this pandemic will clear a path to reopening campus. Likewise, failing to comply is a serious violation of the Student Conduct Code.  The Student Conduct Code and disciplinary action applies to all students whether on or off campus. Students who are cited for failing to abide by campus, county and state health and safety protocols are subject to the full range of disciplinary actions.

Get Connected to SCU!
One of the best parts of the Bronco Community is meeting new friends and participating in a wide range of campus activities. That will look a little different in the fall, but we have developed a comprehensive website to showcase a wide array of virtual engagement opportunities for students throughout the year. Take a moment now, to scroll through the Get Connected site. You will see a link to the calendar of events, which you can add to your own Google calendar; featured events and groups (updated weekly) and an amazing collection of on- and off-campus resources to support the eight dimensions of wellness…. 

Daily Symptom Check
All students who will be coming onto the campus in the fall, regardless of whether they are living on or off campus, are required to use the Daily Symptom Tracking App, or an online version of the Daily Symptom Tracker. The app will guide you each morning to track any symptoms that could indicate the presence of COVID-19, and what to do if any are detected. The online Daily Symptom Tracker is here. A link to download the SCU Mobile App, which will contain the Daily Symptom Tracker, is here. You may want to bookmark and set a reminder on your phone until you get in the habit of completing the Daily Symptom Check. 

Testing Options
By now all students should have received communications instructing anyone who plans to come to campus, for whatever reason, to get tested first for COVID-19 at one of Santa Clara’s testing venues on campus. If you missed the Sept. 18 and Sept. 21 testing windows, register for pop-up testing on campus at the Cowell Center.  Students who are not feeling well should call the Cowell Center to make an appointment to speak with a provider. More information on testing can be found here.

State and SCCPHD Ordinances re Gatherings
You are reminded that parties and other large gatherings are prohibited. Students who choose to host such gatherings will be subject to disciplinary action by the university. Per the Santa Clara County Public Health Department:

 “a 'gathering' is an event, assembly, meeting, or convening that brings together multiple people from separate households in a single space, indoors or outdoors, at the same time and in a coordinated fashion—like a wedding, banquet, conference, religious service, festival, fair, party, performance, barbecue, protest, or picnic.  Although the County allows all such outdoor gatherings to occur in compliance with this Directive, at this time the State only allows gatherings for purposes of worship services, cultural ceremonies like funerals and weddings (but not wedding receptions, which are prohibited), and protest or political activities. Because the stricter of the requirements applies, the only outdoor gatherings allowed in the County are those allowed by the State.”

Students should not be gathering in large groups and are advised to avoid crowded places. Be sure to stay at least six feet apart and wear a mask (or cloth facial covering) when around other people or in public. 

Access To Campus
We know that it is challenging to be cooped up in your house or apartment during online learning.  As mentioned in the September 11 email from University Operations, currently enrolled students are authorized to come to campus, as described below.

  • On-campus resident students taking in-person instruction, or accessing approved study spaces or the other limited number of open facilities are permitted on campus.  Students are allowed to utilize grass lawns and designated outdoor dining areas. Outdoor ‘social-distance circles,’ where students can enjoy a change of scenery, have been chalked throughout the campus.
  • Off-campus students accessing approved study spaces or the other limited number of open facilities are permitted on campus. Students are allowed to utilize designated outdoor dining seating areas, and grass lawns. Outdoor ‘social-distance circles,’ where students can enjoy a change of scenery, have been chalked throughout the campus.

Prepared SCU: BRONCOS Health and Safety Guide
Given the number of changes we are experiencing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have developed a video - Prepared SCU: BRONCOS Health and Safety Guide that will help you learn more about SCU’s response to the pandemic, what to expect if you are on campus and how to report if you or a peer are ill and need support.  We invite you to spend less than 15 minutes reviewing this important material.  Doing so will keep you and your peers on the path to good health.

This truly is such a difficult time for our Bronco community and the world. Let’s mask up and do our best to keep each other healthy! With everyone’s help, we can shorten the time until we are able to be together again, safely, on our beautiful campus.

Jeanne Rosenberger
Vice Provost for Student Life

Ciara Moezidis
Associated Student Government (ASG) President