Yesterday, at its weekly meeting, the Coronavirus Emergency Response Team (CERT) reaffirmed its July 1 decision that the university is on track to open for the new academic year. Reworking nearly every aspect of our campus life—academics, travel, research, projects, facilities preparedness, residential life, dining, clubs and activities, and events—has been a monumental effort, with complexities at every turn.
While there is still work to be done, we are a “go” for the fall, and we are looking forward to the new ways we will welcome the return of students, faculty, and staff. Decisions large and small continue to be made weekly, from changes to our carefully choreographed move-in process in the wake of Governor Baker’s new Travel Order and testing processes, to a reimagined New Student Orientation (NSO) that will give students a chance to cross Earle Bridge, socially distanced and wearing a face covering.
“The creativity and innovation of this team—and the colleagues they have consulted with all across campus—is nothing short of inspiring,” said President Leshin. “The work is intense and has not been without twists and turns, and I am grateful for their dedication and efforts. Ultimately, of course, success depends on our community working together to stop the spread of virus.”
Most critically, safely reopening depends on every member of the community—students, faculty, and staff—taking responsibility for themselves and caring for others by, first and foremost, staying home if not feeling well and, when on campus, social distancing, wearing a face covering, washing hands often, and cleaning their space.
To get a sense of the completeness and the scope of the planning, check out the most recent communications to students and their parents, and watch WeAreWPI.edu for updates: