Today's Update: Tuesday, September 22

September 22, 2020

Dear Student Life Team, One of the greatest ways for students to become involved in their university is through any of our 1,400 student organizations. It has been unfortunate that, due to COVID-19, we’ve had to keep them from having in-person gatherings of any size.  

Now, thanks to our community working Together as Buckeyes and infection rates trending down, I am very pleased that we are allowing student orgs to gather in groups of ten or fewer people.  

That situation may change yet again based on the prevalence of the virus on and off campus, and certainly all of us must continue to follow the safe and healthy guidelines including masks, no gatherings of more than ten and physical distancing, but this announcement reflects the Scarlet and Great progress we are making as a community. 

Here is the message I sent a short time ago to student organizations around campus: 

Dear Student Leaders: 

You’ve heard the term ‘Together As Buckeyes’ a lot over the past few weeks, and I want to thank you for considering this an action statement and commitment, as well as a rallying cry. 

As you know, we have been closely monitoring positive COVID-19 cases among students and I am pleased to share that we continue to see stabilized results and a continued decrease in rates. With this in mind, effective tomorrow (Wednesday, September 23), we will resume the opportunity for student organizations to hold gatherings of ten or fewer people; as a reminder, a gathering is defined as a formal or informal assembly of people that is either planned or spontaneous. Examples of gatherings (for ten or fewer people) include executive board member meetings, networking opportunities, recruitment info sessions and wellness outings or dialogues that RAs hold for residents. 

As always, we will continue to evaluate the prevalence of the virus on and off campus and will be in touch quickly if we need to adjust this restoration of in-person gatherings or take any other pre-emptive actions. Likewise, I would be remiss if I didn’t remind you that student organizations are still required to follow all the safe and healthy guidelines, and Student Conduct will fully investigate and take appropriate action if violations occur on or off campus.  

I always mention the seriousness of the consequences because COVID-19 is a serious matter. It is just critically important – and required – to wear your face mask (even outside), maintain at least six feet of distance from others (especially when eating), wash your hands frequently and thoroughly, and don’t forget to complete the daily health check. These are the actions we must each take to help promote a safe and healthy Ohio State. 

As you make plans for your future gatherings, I want to encourage you to continue virtual programs and activities – I‘ve had the opportunity to attend several and they have been Scarlet and Great (and safe)! However, you plan your autumn engagement strategy, I appreciate how you have creatively and passionately shown how important student engagement is to the Buckeye experience. The semester will continue to look different, but just as our football Buckeyes will adjust to playing without a crowd, I know that you all will continue to rise to the occasion to show that, Together As Buckeyes, we will fight COVID-19. 

O-H! 

Melissa