Sent: Monday, November 2, 2020 9:13 AM
To: STAFF; FACULTY
Subject: Campus Update
Welcome to November!
We have come a very long way this semester, but we still have three weeks of vigilance and hard work ahead. The fact that we have made it this far through a very challenging semester is a testament to the heroic efforts of the entire SAU community. Thank you! Thank you!
COVID – 19 Update:
As of this morning, we have 0 positive cases isolating on our campus and we have 6 students who are in quarantine on campus because of a close contact. We continue to monitor 16 students off campus who are positive and 43 students who are in quarantine off campus. Our Health Services office have conducted an astounding 1,920 rapid tests since July 6. Thank you again, Health Services Team!
The number of cases in Columbia County and in Arkansas spiked over the weekend. Again, we ask that you do your best to avoid crowed venues in town, but if you do, please practice caution and wear your face covering and adhere to social distancing.
Flu season is here. If you have not had your flu shot, we encourage you to consider doing so very soon. Keeping our immune systems strong, will be another key factor in avoiding spread of the virus among our SAU community.
Campus and Academic Update:
The last day of class is Monday, November 16 and finals begin Tuesday, November 17. You may have seen that we plan to have one commencement ceremony at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, November 21 in Wilkins Stadium. Similar to our July ceremony, all safety protocols will be followed as we celebrate the achievements of the fall Class of 2020.
It is also a testament to the spirit and vision of our faculty and academic staff that we continue to move the SAU academic program forward during this challenging semester. The College of Liberal and Performing Arts has launched a new Pre-Art Therapy program, the College of Education has begun a Lead Teacher program (the only one in Arkansas), and the new Ed.D. program started accepting applications for the first cohort of students yesterday.
College of Business reached an incredible milestone with the Rankin Endowment exceeding the $1,000,000 mark last week, and Biology and VISTA students in the College of Science and Engineering have begun to build an interpretive natural trail and have placed other scientific experiments at the Laney Farm just north of campus. All of these activities and achievements, are just to name a few of the exciting things that continue to happen within our various colleges and departments.
We also successfully completed our “Not Your Average Homecoming” week. So many people worked diligently to make that time what it could be for our campus and alumni. We saw unique virtual and face-to-face events that helped engage our community and remind our alumni that we still cared for them in the midst of a world-wide pandemic. We appreciate the efforts of all involved. It was indeed unique and special.
Our student athletes continue to practice and condition by following our COVID protocols each day. Over the past several weeks, our athletes have engaged in several service projects on campus and in Magnolia. Thank you to our coaching staff and students as they worked long hours to make a difference at several venues. It has been inspiring to watch them virtually engage with community children, and work to clean and beautify many areas of the community that needed attention.
The Great American Conference recently decided to have an abbreviated basketball schedule this year that will follow all COVID protocols and procedures. Our conference play for basketball will be an in-state only schedule. The GAC is continuing to discuss attendance parameters for these games, but we do know they will be limited and will follow our campus procedures.
This weekend, I was reminded of what continues to make our campus and people so very special. We received three messages from prospective students and their parents concerning their visit to campus last week. Like we have heard so many times, they were amazed by the friendliness of our staff and faculty, the beauty of our campus, and the positive atmosphere here at SAU even as the world moves through very stressful and difficult times.
Thank you, everyone!
As we enter the home stretch in our semester, please stay safe, please stay positive, and please continue to nurture each other and our students.
All the very best –