Message to Students: Returning in September
I am looking forward to welcoming you to Acadia in September. Whether you are coming to Acadia for the first time or are returning to campus to resume your studies, the entire campus community will be here to make sure that you get a great start to the new academic year.
The past two years have been difficult for everyone, yet I am very proud that Acadia was able to provide in-person teaching throughout the duration of the pandemic and did so in a way that provided a safe and healthy working and learning environment. We were able to achieve this because everyone in our community – faculty, staff, and students – worked together to follow the public health rules and advice. Even before we had vaccinations and testing, Acadia provided safe on-campus learning and living. Last year, our on-campus student body achieved a full vaccination rate of over 99%, and with additional participation in regular testing, masking, social distancing, hand sanitisation, self-monitoring of symptoms and isolation as appropriate, we kept everyone safe at the university and in the surrounding community of Wolfville.
Today, with most public health restrictions lifted, we are looking forward to a full return to on-campus classes and activities. Yet we know that the COVID-19 virus is still amongst us and will likely be so for a very long time. “Life with COVID” is the new normal, and we want to ensure that Acadia continues to be one of the safest and healthiest campuses in Canada.
With this goal in mind, I am asking each and every one of you to come to campus with the willingness and desire to protect yourself and others. You can do this by following three simple rules:
- Be fully vaccinated - the best way to protect yourself and others is to be fully vaccinated, including having any booster shots that you are eligible to receive in your home province or country. Being fully vaccinated not only protects yourself from serious illness but it also helps reduce the spread of the virus when your symptoms are kept to a minimum.
- Follow all on-campus Public Health measures – at present, there are no public health directives on campus other than we are asking students to respect the wishes of any professors who ask that masks be worn in their classes. We will ask you to respect this any other public health measures that we may need to introduce, depending on how the pandemic develops over the rest of the summer and into the fall. We work closely with Nova Scotia’s Public Health department to ensure that we are following all of the required and/or recommended measures to keep our campus community safe.
- Self-monitor your health daily – monitoring your own health for any signs of symptoms and taking precautions as appropriate are key to reducing the spread of the virus; regular hand sanitisation is also a great way to reduce the potential for catching the virus and spreading it to others.
We are looking forward to providing you with a rich Acadia University experience when you arrive in September, whether you live in residence or off campus. I hope the pandemic continues to evolve in a way that allows us to return to as near normal life as possible, and that you will not experience the disruptions that have characterised the last two years.
The Acadia experience is a truly transformative one – and you deserve nothing less.
See you in the Fall.
Dr. Peter Ricketts
President and Vice-Chancellor