Dear Campus Community,
It is Juneteenth. On June 19, 1865, 155 years ago in Galveston, Texas, a reading of federal orders by Union Army general Gordon Granger proclaimed that all slaves in Texas were now free. The proclamation came a full two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation. Today, as we celebrate the end of slavery in our country, all Americans must reflect on the meaning of this day and recognize the hard work that is ahead of us to eliminate racism and inequality whenever and wherever we encounter it.
As preparations continue for the University’s fall semester opening, I want to provide you with timely updates regarding our academic enterprise and the steps that we are taking to make the campus as safe as possible for your return.
Highlighting the information that I sent out last week about the reopening of campus in a three-phase plan, students will take up residence in on-campus housing beginning August 24 per the state of Connecticut health safety recommendation and regular semester classes will begin on August 27. Students may move their personal items into the residence halls by appointment during the week of August 17-23 and return home. Instructions on signing up for an appointment will be communicated by the Office of Housing and Residential Life.
The delivery of UB courses will continue with our traditional on-campus programs, blended programs offering both on-campus and online courses, and new and existing programs that are 100 percent online.
For health and safety precautions that will minimize off-campus/back-to-campus travel, there will be no two-day, mid-semester October break for Fall 2020. Students will not need to return to campus after the Thanksgiving recess, which begins Wednesday, November 25. Students will then continue their regular semester courses online, through distance-learning technology, until the last day of class, December 4. Final Examination week, December 7-11, will also be conducted online. There will be exceptions to the adjusted calendar for the College of Health Sciences graduate programs and all internship experiences.
As always, UB’s number one priority is the safety and well-being of our students, faculty, and staff. The focus and work of UB’s Emergency Response team has included planning for wellness monitoring, interim policy development, contact tracing procedures, essential sanitation supply ordering, and new processes to make the campus safer for all members of our community.
We call on each member of the UB family to assume personal responsibility for maintaining physical distancing of at least six feet, wearing face coverings in public or social settings, and other precautions to assist with the overall health and safety of others.
Communications to our students will be forthcoming that will address academics, student life, and support. Virtual orientation sessions have begun for the Class of 2024 and synchronous orientation sessions will be held virtually on July 14, 16, 17, and 18 to build community and prepare for the academic year.
We will continue to update our dedicated and dynamic web page at https://www.bridgeport.edu/covid-19/campus-reopening with ongoing reopening announcements. In the next week, we plan to post an FAQ section that will address many of your questions, as well as interim policies established due to COVID-19.
We miss your presence on campus and look forward to welcoming back all our new and returning Purple Knights.