Dear Students, Faculty and Staff Members,
Happy New Year and welcome back to South Carolina State University for what I know will be another productive semester. Your successes have made my tenure as your interim president both pleasurable and rewarding. Agatha and I are looking forward to celebrating even more of your accomplishments in 2022!
Your Bulldog Tenacity has shined through the challenges presented by COVID-19, and I cannot express just how much I appreciate your dedication. By cooperating with safety measures, you have made it possible for SC State to provide the HBCU experience we all know and love. As we enter the pandemic’s third year, all of us at SC State must stay vigilant in curbing the spread of the virus.
At this juncture, SC State, like other public universities across the state, remains committed to an in-person learning experience for our students. We are cognizant of the severe learning loss and challenges that many of our students would face during a 100% virtual delivery, and we are working to mitigate those challenges, as well.
We are approaching the semester with necessary caution, and the administration will diligently monitor the spread of COVID-19 and the CDC/DHEC recommended practices. We are prepared to make adjustments as the situation unfolds with input from all stakeholders.
We will continue to utilize our COVID-19 mitigation strategies and will need leadership from employees and students to maximize our success. Current actions and plans include:
- We have increased our service contract to provide a higher level of touch point cleaning.
- We have acquired sufficient hand sanitizer for the entire campus.
- We strongly encourage the use of the KN95/N95 masks and are while working to procure them in bulk. The university currently has an ample supply of surgical masks that can be provided if needed.
- We will continue to have on-campus testing and working to increasing our testing capacity and will aggressively enforce testing.
- We have identified sufficient space for any students who will require to be quarantined.
- We are continuously improving our IT infrastructure and stand ready to transition to online delivery if necessary.
We are aware that many members of the campus community have pre-existing conditions that warrant even greater pause, and we share the concerns presented by the rapid rise in COVID-19 cases both in South Carolina and across the country. Given the influx of the Delta and Omicron variants, I encourage everyone in the campus community to consider these precautionary measures:
- If you have not been vaccinated, I strongly encourage you to receive the vaccine.
- If you are already vaccinated, I encourage you to receive a booster shot once eligible.
- Avoid crowds, especially in situations when social distancing is impractical.
- Wear masks in any public setting.
- Get tested for COVID-19. Click here for vaccination locations.
- Students returning to residence halls for the Spring semester are required to present negative COVID-19 test results before move-in. (7-day window.)
- Students residing off-campus are required to present negative COVID-19 test results prior to beginning classes. (7-day window.)
- SC State requires masks inside all public buildings except when alone in private offices or residence hall rooms or when dining.
- SC State requires ALL students and employees to undergo COVID-19 testing once every two weeks. (This is subject to change.)
As a team, the SC State campus community can accomplish anything. I wholeheartedly believe that pound for pound, we punch above our weight class in every aspect of our mission. As I always say, we are here to make great things happen for our students, and that means going beyond the comforts of business as usual.
Please join me in ensuring that the mission continues in a healthy, safe, enjoyable and fruitful learning environment for all involved. We have the people, the tools and the tenacity to make it happen.
South Carolina State University