Fiat Shared Responsibility

Throughout our process for reopening Alfred University for the Fall 2020 semester, we have consistently stressed the importance of following practices that best protect the health and well-being of our campus community.

We all share in the responsibility to Protect the Lux. Students have been asked to publicly affirm a social compact acknowledging their duty to follow guidelines aimed at mitigating the impact of COVID-19 on our campus. For those students who have not yet made the affirmation, here is the link to do so: Protect the Lux. These guidelines—which apply equally to staff and faculty—include wearing masks or face coverings when required, submitting a daily health screening, practicing social distancing, and engaging in appropriate personal hygiene.

We urge everyone at our University to comply with these guidelines, but realistically we know there will be some degree of non-compliance in following the protocols. That is why we have established a means of anonymously reporting anyone that is not upholding their responsibilities to Protect the Lux.

If you observe a situation involving students, staff or faculty that you believe violates our safety protocols—such as a large group gathering where those in attendance are not wearing masks or appropriately practicing social distancing—simply use this link to report it and be as specific as possible in the details that you provide. Our Student Conduct and Public Safety offices will receive each report and investigate as appropriate or, in the case of non-compliance by staff or faculty, refer the reports to our Human Resources office.

Each reported incident will be examined on its own merit. Please be aware that not every reported incident warrants action—a person walking or standing outside alone, without face covering, for example—or rises to the level of a violation of our safety protocols. Likewise, when permitted after the first two weeks of class, groups of 25 or fewer individuals gathered for an event or party who are exercising appropriate social distancing will not represent a violation. With that said, we will take each of your concerns seriously and encourage anyone who suspects a breach of our COVID-19 safety policies to report it. If there is an issue, now is the time to address it before it becomes a larger problem.

In an effort to promote even greater safety for students, staff, and faculty, we have also revised our testing plan. In prior emails, we outlined a testing regimen that included weekly pooled saliva testing for a sample of our student body—180 students per week in pools of 12.  Pools exhibiting a positive test result would require individual tests of the 12 students in those pools to determine which particular students are, in fact, positive.

Over the past few days, however, we have decided to employ a more rigorous, comprehensive testing approach, one that will test all students (residential and commuter) coming to campus as well as any staff and faculty wishing to take advantage of the test. 

This decision is based on the experience of other colleges and universities that have experienced sharp spikes in COVID-19 cases on their campuses. As a result, all Alfred University students coming to campus over the next two weeks will be required to be tested once a week during the weeks of September 7th and September 15th.  Depending on the test results we receive during these two weeks, we will decide whether to continue testing all students coming to campus for an additional two weeks, or to revert to sample testing.

In closing, let us remember the importance of each of us fulfilling our shared responsibilities for promoting the health and safety of our campus and surrounding community. Our individual actions will be the greatest determining factor in achieving our collective goal of keeping our campus open throughout the semester. The launch of the more comprehensive testing regimen outlined above will support our efforts in keeping COVID-19 in check.

Fiat shared responsibility!
Mark