Let's do this, Skyhawks!

August 18, 2021

Skyhawks,

The fall semester is right around the corner, which means we finally get to come back #FLCTogether. I’m beyond excited to welcome our new and returning students to campus and engage with our FLC community in ways we haven’t before. The fall semester kicks off an academic year that will be full of fun events—food truck nights, bonfires, and fiestas—and will be deeply rewarding academically—experiential field trips, peer-to-peer engagement, and normal capacity classrooms engaged in lively conversations. For those reasons and more, I know that we all are eager to return to FLC.

The reason we’re able to come back to a vibrant campus is our continued care for another. The pandemic has disrupted many things, but not our commitment to doing what’s best for the safety and health of others. As we head into another semester of in-person learning and highly engaging campus activities, we’ll need to ground ourselves once again in the practices that have kept our community safe and learning. The virus is still a very real threat that we must manage together. While we have a highly vaccinated population, virus variants present a new challenge as we interact with each other on campus and when we're off campus at restaurants or in the grocery store.

Below are the COVID-19 policies and guidelines we’ll be following for Fall 2021. As we have done throughout the pandemic, we will stay nimble and reevaluate our strategy as necessary. As of today, these are the tools and layers of protection that will help us stay safe and ensure a positive educational experience for all.

  • Vaccine Policy
    As we’ve emphasized since last spring, a broadly vaccinated campus community allows us to engage in the hands-on, inclusive, and personalized learning environment that we all know and love. The COVID-19 vaccine is required for all FLC students enrolled for the Fall 2021 semester as well as all faculty and staff.
     
  • Health Pass Policy
    The Daily Pre-Screening feature on the FLC App is required every day you are on campus for in-person engagement. Faculty and staff will check passes to ensure safe in-person engagement. If you have a Red Health Pass, you may not attend in-person classes, visit campus offices in person, or do any in-person campus activities. A Red Health Pass means you haven’t uploaded your vaccination or exemption documents, you are symptomatic, you’ve been notified you need to quarantine, or you are unvaccinated and did not complete your testing requirement for the week. You can always call 970-382-6919 or email covid19-info@fortlewis.edu if you need help.
     
  • Testing
    Unvaccinated individuals will be tested weekly for COVID-19. Vaccinated individuals should test for COVID-19 if symptomatic. Anyone requesting a test due to experiencing symptoms, or exposure to someone who tested positive, should remain in quarantine until test results are confirmed.

The COVID-19 vaccine requirement, Health Pass policy, and our testing program have greatly reduced the risk of the virus spreading on campus this fall. To stay out in front of the dynamic nature of the pandemic, we will be adding masks back to our virus mitigation strategy.

  • Masking Guidelines
    Masks are not required outside. As of Monday, August 23, masks will be required in public indoor spaces on campus for all community members, whether you are vaccinated or unvaccinated. This includes classrooms, club meetings, traveling in campus vehicles, and gatherings that occur inside. When we walk down a crowded hallway, work out at the Student Life Center, meet with an advisor, or enter the Union, we’ll be wearing masks. 

    If you’re fully vaccinated, you can take your mask off in private spaces—like in a study cubicle when there is no one around—but be mindful of when it’s appropriate to wear a mask elsewhere indoors. Even if you're fully vaccinated, always keep your mask with you and put it on if there are several people gathered around you. Unvaccinated individuals always need to wear a mask inside on campus.

All of this information and more can be found on our Gear Up website and if you ever have questions, call 970-382-6919 or email covid19-info@fortlewis.edu

We will continue to follow our ethos of empowering each other to make the right decisions. I trust your judgment and I trust the science that has led us to this structure for the fall. Our community of care, empowerment, and trust led to our success last year and will again this upcoming year. 

We’re poised to do great things together this fall, and I can’t wait to see you all soon. Let’s do this, Skyhawks!

Tom

Tom Stritikus
President
Fort Lewis College