Welcome back to returning students, faculty and staff! To our newest Mocs, we are delighted you chose UTC for your education. Welcome! We are looking forward to a great year, albeit a bit different due to COVID-19. It is great to see the campus coming back to life with the arrival of more and more students each day. It is like a breath of fresh air to once again feel the campus alive with students.
As we welcome everyone back to campus and kick off the new academic year, we are also facing a global pandemic. This year will be challenging and require each of us to do our part to keep the campus safe while we focus on offering the best possible educational experience for our students.
We must define UTC by our response to this virus and not allow this pandemic to define us. We must face this challenge together, Mocs helping Mocs. Everyone must do their part. Wear a mask, practice social distancing, limit the size of gatherings. Our interim campus COVID-19 policy can be found here.
Over the past several days we have had several positive COVID-19 cases and exposures resulting in quarantines that are the direct result of social gatherings. While we, as a University, are taking all the necessary precautions to protect the UTC community so that we can begin our fall semester as planned, we must have your help and cooperation.
Our success depends on each of us doing our part. The UTC on-campus experience is contingent on students, faculty and staff working together and following health and safety measures, of which wearing face masks and social distancing are of utmost importance. All UTC students, faculty, staff and visitors must wear face masks or face coverings in all indoor and outdoor public settings on campus and whenever social distancing is not possible. This includes—but is not limited to—classrooms, hallways, restrooms, meeting rooms, elevators, stairwells, common areas and reception areas. Social distancing means keeping space—about six feet—between you and others as much as possible. We must do everything we can to protect the health and safety of our campus community.
Personally, I find wearing a face mask to be uncomfortable, but I wear one whenever I leave my office because Mocs help Mocs. For those who do not want to wear a face mask, maybe UTC is not the place for you to work or go to school. One last thought on face masks: They are designed to cover your mouth and nose, not your chin or neck.
As you walk around campus, mask on your face, take in all that is new and improved. Lupton Hall, the former Lupton Library, is now operational after a total renovation – it is beautiful! The Mapp Building, Fine Arts Center and Fletcher Hall are back in business after getting facelifts. Blue & Gold Bistro (University Center Food Court) and Freshens (Lupton Hall) are now part of the UTC dining experience – check them out.
We look forward to a great academic year, despite COVID-19. Together we will define what it means to be a Moc. I look forward to a great year! Go Mocs!
Be Safe –