Sept. 9, 2020: An open letter to Spartans


An open letter to Spartans:

If you are new to MSU, welcome! If you are returning, welcome back! I’m writing to you today as president of Michigan State University and also as a parent. We are glad to have you here, whether in person or virtually.

And as an infectious disease doctor, I understand all too well how coronavirus can spread. I take seriously the commitment to put student safety — and the safety of our entire Spartan community — first.

The return of students to campuses across the nation has brought with it an increase in coronavirus cases and local, state and national concern.

This past week we have witnessed our own spike among students, mostly due to student gatherings primarily off campus.

It’s part of our nature as Spartans, and students, to engage and celebrate. After all, it may have been months since you have seen your closest friends. This pandemic has taken an emotional toll by isolating us, and I understand it’s going against most students’ natural desire to be social.

But we need to be careful.  

Spartans cannot be passive observers to this trend in increasing cases. Because it is also our essence as Spartans to take care of one another, support one another and keep each other safe.

Following public health guidance and regulations passed by local authorities, including wearing masks, washing our hands, staying physically distant and limiting social gatherings, will help in combatting this pandemic. It is the right thing to do and is expected of every Spartan, regardless of location.

Any of us can respectfully remind another Spartan or individual to do the same, because everyone’s health and safety is important to us. And those who choose not to follow the university’s and state and local guidelines may be subject to disciplinary action from the university.

When we work together to tackle one of society’s most significant health crises, the Spartan community can become a powerful example of embodying the change we wish to see in the world. 

It starts with… wash your hands, physically distance and wear a mask.

Best wishes on a successful and safe semester,

Samuel L. Stanley, Jr., M.D.
President

 

*Originally published in the State News