As we head into fall semester 2021, there is a buzz around our campuses that we have not experienced in a long time. After 18 months of having many students and employees learning and working remotely, it has been exciting to see USU’s faculty and staff returning to prepare for your arrival.
The past several semesters brought many challenges, and I am inspired by the ways the USU community adaptedand overcame. Returning students: I admire your determination, inventiveness, and flexibility in dealing withall the changes you’ve faced. I hope this coming year includes the rich, vibrant USU experience we’ve all been missing. And new students: I welcome the enthusiasm, energy, and talents you bring to the USU family.
We have so much to look forward to this fall. We are back on our beautiful campuses. We will see each other face-to-face in classrooms. We have many activities planned and longstanding traditions to continue. Let’s all enjoy this together!
While we are enjoying the opportunities that come with being on campus, keep in mind that the Delta COVID-19 variant remains a serious threat. Fortunately, we have effective tools and proven knowledge to help keep ourselves and our USU family healthy.
We want to help you thrive as you pursue educational and social opportunities, and we want to have as many in-person classes, events, and activities as possible. You can help make that happen. I ask you to:
- Get vaccinated. Vaccines are the best available tool to help stop the spread of COVID-19, especially with more contagious variants circulating. These vaccines are safe, free, and easy to access. USU is providing several vaccine clinics on the Logan campus in the first weeks of the semester, beginning this Wednesday at Day on the Quad. If you are vaccinated, you will not have to quarantine if you are exposed to COVID-19, as long as you do not have symptoms. This means you won’t have to miss face-to-face classes or miss out on the activities that make being an Aggie so great. Upload your proof of vaccination so you will not have to quarantine unnecessarily.
- Stay home if you are sick. It may be that you just have a headache, allergies, or a cold, but COVID-19 has many different symptoms that may change with new variants. If you are sick or have been exposed, get a free test for COVID-19, and remember, you can become infected more than once with COVID-19.
- Wear a mask indoors. Public health experts recommend that even vaccinated people wear masks indoors in high COVID-19 transmission areas, which currently includes most of Utah. On the Logan campus, masks are required on the Aggie Shuttle in accordance with a CDC rule about public transit.
By now, you’ve been introduced to USU’s Green-Red-Orange class status system. It’s designed to minimize the risk of COVID-19 exposure in classrooms and keep classes happening in person.
Whether your classes are mostly in person or you are taking advantage of our multiple course delivery methods this fall, our faculty and staff have worked hard to create courses that meet USU’s high standards. We are here both to challenge you and to help you succeed.
The connections and experiences you have at Utah State will forever impact your life. We are excited to have you here!
Wishing you all the best for a healthy, productive year at Utah State University.
Noelle E. Cockett
Utah State University