Journey Ahead Update: Our Mask Policy Has Changed
Given a host of factors, including guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), increased transmission of COVID-19 in Anderson County and the surrounding region, and the very real threat the Delta variant poses to public health, Anderson University is temporarily requiring masks and/or face coverings during scheduled class and/or lab sessions, while on Trojan Transit, and when attending large, organized events held indoors (consisting of 75 people or more.)
Let’s keep our most important goals in mind. Our first priority is that everyone on campus is as healthy and safe as possible. And, of course, we want to remain fully operational, with on-campus instruction throughout the academic year.
We’ve said repeatedly since the pandemic began that Anderson University’s policies and protocols are subject to change. And they have. We’ve made unfortunate changes (such as having to switch to remote operations back in the spring of 2020) and we’ve made changes that were celebrated (such as moving to a mask-optional environment over the summer.) The reality is that this virus is unpredictable; indeed, predictability is at an all-time low in large part because of the Delta variant. That’s why flexibility is so important. And it’s why it is prudent to make this change.
Proverbs 27:12 says, “The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.” While it won’t be unanimously celebrated, we believe this temporary change to our Journey Ahead protocols is the prudent thing to do.
Please keep in mind:
- Things have changed a lot since we announced masks and/or face coverings would be optional. Again, they include updates to CDC guidelines, case increases in Anderson County and the surrounding region, and the dangers posed by the Delta variant. Those, along with the results of our recent campus survey, informed this updated policy.
- We expect the mask and/or face covering requirement to be temporary. Again, we can’t predict what will happen. But given the record number of students enrolled this year, many of whom are coming to campus from around the country, taking this precautionary measure as the semester begins is just the wise thing to do.
- Despite the mask and/or face covering requirement, our current Journey Aheadprotocols are significantly less stringent than they were during the 2020-2021 academic year. We are doing our best to balance the need for reasonable restrictions with the desire for normalcy.
We recognize this change will not be universally celebrated. Regardless of your position, we hope you will embrace the challenge it represents. After all, this is an opportunity for us to demonstrate to the community around us that we take seriously what Christ calls us to be. We are a peculiar people, set apart and called to love others more than we love ourselves. That is a high calling, and impossible without the Holy Spirit’s continued work in our hearts and minds. Our challenge, then, is that we embrace that calling. That we embrace what makes us special. That we embrace self-sacrifice. That we embrace loving God with all our being and our neighbors as ourselves, “and so fulfill the Law of Christ.”
We love each and every one of you. We can’t wait to see you. We can’t wait to celebrate the day when we’ve finished the Journey Ahead.
And, by being stronger together, we will.