Journey Ahead Update: The Moment You've All Been Waiting For
The Journey Ahead is not complete. But we’re taking a major step forward.
After consultation with the COVID-19 Task Force’s medical group, and in light of new CDC guidelines, today we’re announcing a major update to our Journey Ahead protocols: Wearing masks and/or face coverings is no longer mandatory on the Anderson University campus.
Remember: Our approach over the past 15 months has been risk management--not risk avoidance. That posture allowed us to reopen in the fall with the largest student population in University history. It minimized disruptions (to an extent, anyway). It kept our coronavirus cases low and our campus community as healthy and safe as possible. And it allowed us to successfully complete the school year.
The decision to move to a mask-optional environment is in line with our risk-management posture. It does not mean the risk of contracting COVID-19 is entirely eliminated. It simply means the risk of contracting COVID-19 is low enough that wearing masks should be a personal choice, not a University mandate. That hasn’t always been the case. It is now.
But before everyone lights their masks on fire, let’s keep a few things in mind:
- Things can change quickly.However unlikely, current trends could take a turn for the worse, requiring us to put protocols back in place. All of us have demonstrated incredible flexibility and resilience over the last several months. While we hope never to call on those qualities again, we’re confident we can adjust quickly if necessary.
- Every adult is eligible to receive one of the FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccines, and you should take advantage of the opportunity.Vaccination is safe and effective against the coronavirus. It is free and readily available. Most importantly, it protects you and those with whom you live and work.
- That being said, if you haven’t been vaccinated, you should strongly consider wearing a mask and/or face covering. People still are getting sick. If you are not vaccinated you could be among them.
- While masks are optional, please respect on-campus guests who may take different approaches. Summer camps will soon be in full swing, with thousands of people visiting campus over the next several weeks. Some of the organizations bringing guests to campus may have their own protocols that require masks and/or face coverings, so please be prepared to mask up as a small demonstration of AU’s legendary hospitality.
We hope this change is the first of a return to normal operations this fall. And we hope you are excited about this major step forward in the Journey Ahead.
We can’t wait to see your smiling faces soon.