Dear Acadia Students,
I hope you are getting excited about coming to Acadia University as we near the start of the new academic year. Thank you for choosing us, and thank you for your resilience and determination not to allow the pandemic to derail your university education goals.
Whether coming to Acadia for the first time or returning to campus, a warm welcome is awaiting you. As you know, we ran in-person classes and residences last year, albeit at a reduced capacity, while some of you “attended” only online. Regardless, we are all looking forward to providing you with the unique learning experience that is Acadia University.
Back in March, we were one of the first universities to announce that we would be inviting you back for in-person education this September. Since that time, we have worked hard to ensure you will have a safe and healthy experience. Throughout the pandemic, Nova Scotia has been one of the safest places in Canada, and indeed the world, due to its public health response.
Despite continued concerns, the epidemiology of our province remains excellent. Vaccination rates are moving steadily towards the levels required for population immunity, and this has allowed us to continue our plans to bring you all to campus and Wolfville.
We want to make sure that your arrival in our community is safe for you, the campus community, the Town of Wolfville and the surrounding region. That’s why we encouraged as many students as possible to get fully vaccinated before arriving on campus. We have easy access to clinics on campus, Wolfville, and the surrounding area for those still needing a vaccine.
Getting vaccinated is the best thing you can do to protect not only your health but that of your fellow students and the faculty and staff of Acadia, as well as local residents.
Based on the responses to our student surveys, we are looking at an expected vaccination rate of more than 95%. I hope we can get above that and push to get as close to 100% as possible.
Not everyone can get vaccinated for health reasons, mainly, and some of you will be seeking to complete your vaccinations once you are on campus. We ask you to get tested twice a week using our on-campus rapid testing clinics until you are fully vaccinated. It only takes a few minutes, and you get your results shortly afterwards. Frequent testing is an important way for those who are not fully vaccinated to protect themselves and others around them.
We encourage you to get tested regularly but not as frequently as those who are unvaccinated. Even with complete vaccination, you can carry and spread the COVID-19 virus and its variants to others. It is crucial that you take advantage of the rapid testing available on campus to keep our community as safe as possible.
You must follow the public health requirements for masking, physical distancing and other measures detailed in our Comprehensive COVID-19 Safety Plan for fall.
Acadia’s motto says that through hard work, we will succeed. Together, we will succeed in keeping our campus and community safe and healthy, just as we did last year. By getting vaccinated, tested, and following the directives of our campus safety plan, you will do your part in keeping Acadia and the surrounding communities safe.
Despite all of these rules and procedures, you will have an incredible time at Acadia. As long as everyone contributes to making our community safe and healthy, we should emerge from the pandemic during the fall term. We will be reviewing our policies and procedures as the pandemic situation develops. I promise to keep you fully informed as we go.
We are on an exciting journey together – your Acadia educational experience. Thank you for being part of our community, and thank you for keeping our community safe and well. I wish you all the best as you make your final preparations to come to Acadia. I hope you have a safe journey and arrival in Wolfville.
We are so glad to have you all back, and I look forward to welcoming you in person.
Stay safe and well,
Dr. Peter Ricketts
President and Vice-Chancellor