Letter from the Provost: September 4, 2020

Dear U of A Community:

The current number of COVID cases in the University community is too high.  We need to work hard on reducing the number to maintain a campus environment that is as safe as possible and have a successful semester. Here are two measures we are taking at this time:

First, starting Saturday, Sept. 5 and continuing through Sept. 18, on-campus events are suspended, other than official events conducted by University academic and administrative units, which are still subject to approval on a case by case basis. To be clear, this suspension does not affect in-person classes, labs, or other instructional activities and does not relate to practices or related activities for intercollegiate athletics. Whether this might need to be extended will be evaluated over the next two weeks.

Second, we believe that one of the largest sources of transmission among students may be off-campus social gatherings where social distancing is not observed. We understand that students enjoy getting together to socialize, but at this time events where social distancing and mask-wearing do not occur run the risk of further spreading the disease and putting others at risk. Therefore, we want to make the following clear:

Until further notice, if the Office of Student Standards and Conduct receives a report of large parties and similar social gatherings involving 10 or more student guests, without very clearly maintained safety elements such as social distancing and mask-wearing, and the report is verified, the University will treat the event as a violation of the Code of Student Life by organizers and by attendees. Organizing and conducting such an event will be considered a serious matter and students will be held accountable.

In addition, if the Office of Student Standards and Conduct receives a report of students in the Dickson Street entertainment district or elsewhere congregating in large groups to socialize, not maintaining social distancing and mask-wearing, the matter will be treated as a Code of Student Life violation.

Students must hold each other accountable for safe behavior and lead the way in modifying conduct to prevent COVID Spread.

Please enjoy a safe and relaxing weekend.


Charles F. Robinson

Interim Provost and Vice Chancellor for Student and Academic Affairs

Professor of History