Dear Undergraduate Students,
We can’t believe that the beginning of the fall semester is just a short week away. We hope this message finds you and your families feeling well, even in the midst of the disruptions and on-going constraints of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This global health crisis has shaped all of our lives in ways we never could have imagined just six months ago, as we were saying goodbye to you on campus. When we shifted to remote learning last spring, we had no idea that we wouldn’t be greeting you all on campus again in this fall. In fact, as early as the beginning of this month, as you know, we’d been planning to bring all students to campus for at least one full semester this year. We’re enormously sorry that we couldn’t follow through with that plan.
As a result, less than 300 students will be returning to campus at the month’s end. Present will be those who’ve requested emergency residency because of housing precarity (~200 students); our Army ROTC participants, who will continue their training (16 students); and the few senior thesis researchers who’ve been approved to continue their laboratory work (~60 students, 37 of whom will live on campus).
All undergraduate students enrolled this fall must visit https://socialcontract.princeton.edu/ to review important information about our expectations. For example, students approved to be on campus are required to complete an online training, a COVID-19 risk assessment, and to sign the Social Contract 48 hours before arriving on campus. All three can be accessed at the link provided. Your prox card access will be available only after you complete these important steps.
Students who are enrolled but not approved to be on campus should also consult this web site. Those of you who plan to live near Princeton, for example, should be aware that although you won’t have access to campus buildings or services, your presence as a member of the larger community will be meaningful. Your respectful, pandemic-aware behavior will be crucial to preserving public health.
Although we’re not able to gather on campus, our commitment to you all remains strong. We’re here, as we always are, to support your health and well-being and your successful progress toward your degree. We encourage you to use all the academic and co-curricular resources available to you, however virtual they may be right now. We’re here to help sustain your growth and your intellectual commitments during these challenging times.
Remember that Counseling and Psychological Services (CPS) is available regardless of whether or not you are on campus. Even if your state doesn’t allow cross-state practice, CPS can still offer consultations to help connect you to local providers. Their virtual workshops are open to everyone. Call 609-258-3141 or log on to “myUHS” to schedule an initial consultation or email the outreach counselors directly. In addition to individual support, CPS will offer group support; please sign up here.
The decision to teach and learn only remotely this fall was difficult and wasn’t made lightly. Although we did the right thing, given on-going public health concerns, the decision truly breaks our hearts. We were eager to have you back on campus; nothing can replace the vibrancy of our campus when it’s animated by your spirited presence.
We look forward to the moment when can gather in Princeton to live and learn together once again. In the meantime, we’ll see you frequently and happily online.
With our very best,
W. Rochelle Calhoun, VP for Campus Life
Jill Dolan, Dean of the College