Dear UNI Community,
As we enter our second week of classes, I am reaching out to ask you for your help.
Many of our students have shown their dedication to wearing masks, physically distancing, and following the Student Commitment and Acknowledgement of Risk. Unfortunately, the actions of some students during their time off-campus is causing significant concern about our ability to maintain the health and safety of our students, employees, and the surrounding communities. We know this is a community-wide problem, but we each must do our part to maintain public health and safety.
The images from the past weekend showing members of our campus community outside local establishments without face masks and not social distancing are very concerning and disappointing. Ignoring public health guidelines puts the entire community at risk.
We must recognize that the actions of a few impact us all, so we must work together in this process.
Together we must abide by the commitment we made at the start of the semester, which is a commitment to behaviors both on- and off-campus to protect the health of the Panther community. Individuals who fail to abide by those commitments (including visiting crowded places off-campus where prevention measures such as wearing face coverings and practicing physical distancing are not being practiced) will be referred to the student conduct process.
We remind you that UNI’s Student Conduct Code addresses “misconduct related to health, welfare and safety” of others. We can and will take action to hold students who fail to fulfill our commitment to public safety accountable, which can result in suspension from the university. We prefer to avoid a punitive approach, so we are appealing to your sense of community, of family. We are requesting your cooperation so that punitive actions are not needed.
We implore you to wear your masks and maintain appropriate social distancing when in public; that is the easiest way to protect the health of everyone.
The health and safety of our university community and the greater Cedar Valley depends on each of us taking responsibility for our health and the health of those around us.
Mark A. Nook