New school year brings challenges and hope
The beautiful ducks, herons and other birds have returned to Lake Spafford, right in time to welcome students, staff and faculty to another rewarding school year for the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. This won’t be a typical fall quarter, of course, since most classes will be held online and extensive safety protocols will be in place on campus. But I, like so many of you, am hopeful for the future and eager to start the new academic year.
We anticipate that our on-campus community will increase gradually over the next several months. Many of you will be transitioning back to labs and offices, and our onsite student population will grow. For now, our dorms will be at one-third capacity in order to provide students the space they need to safely social distance. Campus dining facilities are offering take-out only, and the COHO will be closed through Nov. 25.
To keep you, your family and your friends healthy, the campus has developed a robust COVID-19 planon the Campus Ready website that includes wearing face coverings, maintaining physical distance, sanitizing often and monitoring symptoms daily.
Beginning fall quarter on Sept. 28, every day you come to campus you must complete the Daily Symptom Survey and be prepared to show your results before entering a campus facility. It’s a quick process when you take a screenshot! Some facilities will employ checkpoints, while others may have a different process, but either way you will need to be “approved” by the Daily Symptom Survey before entering a building.
Face coverings are a central element to our pandemic plan. The campus requires them for everyone at all times at all UC Davis locations. Indoors, the only exceptions are when you are eating or drinking or when you are alone in private spaces such as dorm rooms and single-occupancy offices. Outdoors, you must keep your face covered when it’s not feasible to stay six feet from other people.
Also, please remember to get your flu shot. All students, faculty and staff who are living, learning or working at any UC location this fall must be vaccinated against influenza by Nov. 1. Our goal is to minimize the number and severity of flu cases so we don’t put further strain on medical resources during the pandemic. You can learn more at our Campus Ready flu vaccination webpage.
I am proud of how our college has prepared for fall quarter given the unpredictable nature of this pandemic, and I expect we will continue to grow and thrive despite our challenges. Our college has a long tradition of advancing scientific solutions and, even in uncertainty, while balancing work and home life responsibilities, our faculty continue to engage in meaningful research. These efforts inspire hope. Together, we will keep our community safe and provide the opportunity for students, faculty and staff to study, innovate and build a brighter future for us all.
Welcome back, Aggies!