Date: March 21, 2020
From: Vice President for Campus Life W. Rochelle Calhoun
Dear undergraduate students,
This past week has been nearly as tumultuous as the previous week, as we all adjusted to new ways of working, communicating, and supporting one another. Today, in an effort to slow and reduce the spread of the coronavirus, New Jersey announced the implementation of a “stay at home” order beginning on Saturday, March 21 at 9:00 p.m. This order will not interfere with our ability to resume classes on Monday, but may have some other impacts on campus. As a result, we are taking additional steps to support the health and well-being of our community and our neighboring communities.
The number of undergraduates who remain on campus is slightly under 500. As the number of COVID-19 cases increase nationwide, we will not be immune. Now more than ever, we must work together to mitigate the spread of the disease. We ask that you adhere strictly to the following new restriction:
- All non-essential indoor gatherings of any size are prohibited, outdoor activities are only permitted if appropriate social distancing guidelines can be observed.
- Visitors to student living spaces are not allowed. While you have been granted permission to remain on campus, you may not invite others to stay in your room. Your ability to remain in residence is contingent upon your willingness to abide by this restriction. If we learn that you have offered space or overnight accommodations to any other individual you will be asked to leave campus immediately and disciplinary consequences may follow for you and your guest.
- Follow all the public health guidelines, most especially regular handwashing and generous social distancing. Refrain from touching your face, keep surfaces clean if you share a space with others, and eliminate or reduce the use of shared items. If you are not feeling well, you can call University Health Services at 258-3141. You can email COVID-19 related questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Non-COVID-19 related health questions can be emailed to: AskHealth@princeton.edu.
We understand that the limitations and restrictions on many campus services and spaces will raise a number of practical questions for you as you learn to navigate life on campus in the weeks ahead. We have prepared a set of Frequently Asked Questions that we hope will provide some helpful information.
Faculty are preparing to begin online instruction next week and staff in Campus Life, the residential colleges, Housing, Dining, and Public Safety are working equally hard to maintain services for those of you who remain on campus. While the campus may feel rather empty, we assure you that the staff in the colleges and Campus Life are available remotely and stand ready to assist you. Many of these offices will be reaching out in the coming days to let you know how we plan to stay connected and help support you.
We appreciate all the steps that have been taken to ensure that the University can continue its core teaching mission during this challenging time. Doing so, however, requires sacrifice and patience from everyone as we learn to cope with parred down services and the inevitable frustration that will occur because something has fallen through the cracks. One of Princeton’s greatest assets is the grace so many people display toward one another daily as we work together to solve problems, respond to crises big and small, and embrace opportunities to improve. We ask that you continue this gracious and patient spirit in the days ahead and know that so many staff are working hard to support you. Some are physically here on-campus, others are working remotely; all remain deeply committed to keeping you healthy and safe.
None of us knows exactly what the next weeks will bring. We will try to be as responsive as possible to changing needs and circumstances. Please do watch the University COVID-19 website for updates and important messages. Please reach out to your residential college staff with any other questions.
Vice President of Campus Life