Aug. 21, 2020: Keep up the great work, stay safe this weekend

Dear UM Family,

Welcome back, everyone! It is exciting to look out over the Oval and see our campus vibrant and full of energy once again.

UM faculty and staff worked tirelessly over the summer, doing everything possible to ensure students could continue their education this fall semester.

After the first few days of classes, everyone is stepping up, especially our students. You are doing a great job wearing masks and social distancing.

It is a wonderful privilege to be able to offer in-person learning options on our campus this fall, and our ability to be able to continue with our plans for this semester depends on everyone doing their part to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Keep wearing your mask at all times, practice social distancing and wash your hands.

If you haven’t done so already, please go to the Adams Center today to pick up your Healthy Griz Kit, which will make it easier for you to practice safe and healthy habits.

This weekend, I am encouraging everyone in the UM family to continue the healthy behaviors that I have seen on campus over the past few days.

I know weekends are for fun and socializing, and with some creativity, you can still have a good time and mitigate COVID-19 risks. I’m asking that everyone make smart choices this weekend.

Whether you plan to hang out with old friends or make new ones this weekend, take advantage of all the outdoor opportunities Missoula has to offer. Hike up Mount Sentinel or Mount Jumbo, mountain bike up the Rattlesnake, grab a tube and float down the Clark Fork River, or explore the countless other outdoor adventures across our valley. These activities are fun, and you can do them in a safe and socially distanced way.

Let me be clear, these next few weeks will be crucial to the trajectory of this semester. We are doing everything we can to make sure students can keep learning in a flexible manner during the pandemic – including in-person classes. But ultimately, the outcome of this semester depends on all of us, and we’re counting on each of you in the UM family to continue to step up and to take responsible action to protect the health and safety of our community. We all know what we need to do, so let’s keep up the great work.

Thank you for your help and your partnership. We are off to a strong start this semester. Please continue this smart behavior this weekend and in the weeks ahead.

Sincerely,

Seth Bodnar

University of Montana President