Aug. 7, 2020: Student Leaders Urge Responsibility This Fall

Greetings Grizzlies,

As executive leaders of your student government, the Associated Students of UM, we are excited to start of the school year later this month. Fall semester 2020 will be unlike any we have encountered previously and it will have challenges that we face together. Reopening campus is an incredibly complex process and, as your student leaders, we are actively involved in all planning and COVID-19 mitigation efforts for the fall. For these plans to be successful, we all must take active responsibility for our health and well-being.

As we approach the beginning of fall semester, we are writing to you as fellow students about ways we can protect our campus community. We urge you to look through UM's Coronavirus Information Page and read the policies that will guide campus instruction and operation. All areas of campus are working tirelessly to ensure that when fall semester begins, it will be in the safest manner possible.

Around the United States, there has been a surge in COVID-19 cases among young people, with many cases being connected to parties, drinking at bars, athletic practices and a lack of mask wearing. If you contract COVID-19 due to behavior that placed you at unnecessary risk, the virus likely will spread to your friends and ultimately can cause harm to others in the Griz community. You do not know if someone is immunocompromised or has an ill loved one or an older family member that they live with or visit. During this time, it is important we all have empathy toward others and are accountable to our peers.

We urge all students to think carefully about how we socialize with our peers in all aspects of life in this new environment. This fall, please consider the following behaviors:

1.

Refrain from sponsoring or attending large gatherings. This is an national emergency and we all need to do our part to change our behavior in mitigating the spread of the virus.

2.

Wear a face covering/mask on campus according to campus policies and follow Missoula County guidelines when off campus.

3.

Pick up your Healthy Griz Kit during the first week of classes and use it throughout the semester.

4.

Monitor your own health daily through the UM App. The app has a polling feature that allows students to self-report any COVID-19 symptoms. Additional information and updates related to COVID-19 will be provided there, too.

5.

Call Curry Health Center immediately (406-243-2122) if you feel ill or have any symptoms associated with COVID-19.

Starting the fall semester in the middle of a pandemic is certainly not the ideal situation for anyone. The effects of COVID-19 impact every part of our lives, and we want you all to know that ASUM is here for you. If you need access to ASUM, the campus services it provides, advocacy or are looking for socially distanced events, please reach out. Anyone at ASUM would love to talk with you and help make this fall semester better for you in any way we can.

Please take care of yourself, your fellow students and others in the campus community. This is a difficult and historic time to attend college and there will be bumps along the way. However, if we all take the necessary precautions and follow university protocols, we can limit the spread of the virus and protect the campus community.

We look forward to seeing you all around this fall and wish you the best of luck with the start of the semester.

Sincerely,

Taylor Gregory, ASUM President

James Flanagan, ASUM Vice President

Ethan Hanley, ASUM Business Manager