President Mark Anarumo thanks COVID-10-positive or symptomatic students for delaying campus return
President Mark Anarumo on Thursday updated Norwich University’s community on the newly begun spring semester and called for increased empathy amid the continuing coronavirus pandemic.
In a 10-minute Update from the Hill video, Anarumo said 1,027 cadets and 684 civilian students are on campus. When the complete student cohort arrives, campus will have 2,249 residential students, along with 317 commuter students and 45 nondegree commuter students, he said.
Anarumo said 181 students — 97 civilian, 84 Corps — delayed their campus arrivals because they tested COVID-19 positive or were symptomatic. If these students hadn’t waited, he said, campus might have faced a Spring 2021 scenario, when cases spiked and tight restrictions, including in-room quarantine, were imposed.
“To all those men and women who behaved and made those responsible choices, sincerely from me, thank you,” Anarumo said. “I know the entire university community joins me in thanking you for doing the right thing.”
As of Thursday morning, Anarumo counted 14 faculty members, 19 on campus students and seven off-campus students who were COVID-19 positive and recovering. He directed students to norwich.edu/psa, which will update COVID-19 pandemic information at noon daily Monday through Friday.
Case counts will likely fluctuate, he said, especially as the university continues intake; more than 2,000 polymerase chain reaction tests are planned through Monday.
Anarumo reiterated the university’s commitment to in-person learning. However, he said, classes may shift temporarily online or hybrid if faculty, staff or the majority of students in a given class are COVID-19 positive or recovering. Staff or faculty may also, he said, need to more stringently manage personal space to manage their health or health risk.
Anarumo said policy will shift as the pandemic situation evolves — government and health officials are discussing the shift from pandemic to endemic policies, he said. The university will decide policy carefully and deliberately, with the campus community’s participation, he added.
Everyone on campus wants a safe learning place, Anarumo said. So, he called for empathy, following the university’s service-before-self Guiding Value.
“We have to maintain the character of this institution and our on-campus environment,” he said. “But if grace and empathy can guide our daily interactions, we’ll land in a very good place.”
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