Dear Campus Community,
We near the close of our second week of the fall semester at Texas Christian University, and it’s been heartening to see so many new and familiar faces. Or at least part of your faces, under your face covering. When I walk the campus and visit classrooms, I see encouraging examples of Protecting the Purple. Thank you to those who are consistently making our spaces and interactions safer. Your efforts are noticed and appreciated.
I also need to talk frankly about the problem that we are still facing as a campus. We continue to see large gatherings in the residence halls and off-campus. It is natural for students to want to gather, but these gatherings are causing a great deal of virus spread in our community. Many students are now in isolation or quarantine this week due to parties that occurred over the last weekend. We are doing the best we can to respond to student needs, but our resources (physical and human resources) are finite. We literally cannot keep up with the pace of the spread we are experiencing this week. So, I ask you again today, to live up to our expectations.
TCU has been transparent with our reporting since the onset of the pandemic’s spread in March 2020. In addition, our new dashboard provides comprehensive detail on the multiple factors that affect TCU’s operational decision-making. For those closely watching the case counts at other universities, do note that our cumulative numbers reflect a six-month period of all on and off campus cases, while others began reporting on campus only at the onset of the fall semester, making the numbers not at all comparable.
Moments ago, I updated our student isolation bed capacity. Availability of isolation beds is now at 42 percent, while we isolate and support students who have tested positive. We are grateful that no one in our community is currently critically ill or hospitalized because of COVID-19. However, the toll of isolating and quarantining can feel lonely, frustrating and inconvenient. Y’all came to campus because you wanted to learn with others. The only way that we can do that is to commit, as individuals, every day and every night (even on the weekends) to slow the spread in our community.
We continue to see other universities with record cases return to fully remote learning. We must change behavior if we want to avoid the same fate.
If we want to stay on campus together, now is the moment to respect the protocols that will keep our friends, neighbors and colleagues safe.
Thank you, Horned Frogs,
Vice Chancellor, Student Affairs and
Chair of the Chancellor’s Fall 2020 Campus Readiness Task Force