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COVID-19 Update: Campus Commitment

Aug. 11, 2020

Dear colleagues,

As members of our Jesuit university you are familiar with the Latin phrase cura personalis, or “care for the whole person.” Cura personalis will be the driving concept for our community during the fall 2020 semester. “Care for the whole person” – mind, body and spirit – calls each of us to have compassion, patience, empathy and a spirit of sacrifice. We must be willing to surrender some of our personal autonomy so that others remain healthy. Following the safeguards outlined in this campus commitment will allow us to be together as safely as possible.

Through extensive consultation, we have drafted a campus commitment to be affirmed by each member of the University community. This document outlines our shared expectations of one another. It is designed to ensure that we can live, learn, work, worship and, as we all desire, be in community together, as safely as possible amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Every part of this commitment is upheld by University policy and has been shaped by local ordinances.

Please complete the Campus Commitment by Aug. 17.

We are taking extraordinary steps to provide the safest campus possible under the current circumstances and limitations. These include changing physical spaces to accommodate social distancing, providing necessary supplies to the community (such as face masks, thermometers, and hundreds of additional hand sanitizer stations), increasing and enhancing the cleaning of spaces and more. These steps are necessary, of course, but it will be our individual compliance and cooperation that will prevent further spread of COVID-19. We will only succeed if we act in concert, both on and off campus, committed to the needs and safety of those around us.

Through our actions and decisions, both on and off campus, we can choose to act as people for and with others by wearing our face masks, washing our hands, adhering to social distancing, and following the rest of SLU’s safeguards. These actions will demonstrate our respect for the dignity and well-being of others in our local community.

All students, faculty and staff are required to complete this campus commitment, indicating that you understand and agree to follow what is required of each of us in order to make this time together successful. Failure to submit a completed commitment will result in your inability to return to in-person classes, or to campus in general, this fall. Abiding by these expectations will allow us to retain the privilege of being in community with one another.

I do not need to tell you that these are challenging times. Please be mindful of the thoughts, feelings and experiences of others. If you or someone you know is struggling, remember that there are resources available to you. While we all are experiencing this new reality together, we are called to remember that we each have our own unique struggles — visible or not.

Let us continue to pray for one another and especially for our SLU vaccine researchers, and frontline caregivers, who are living out cura personalis each and every day.  

May the Lord bless you and bring you back to campus safely.

We are OneSLU.

Fred P. Pestello, Ph.D.