August 28, 2020
I hope everyone has had a successful first week of classes! It’s been exciting and rewarding to see and feel the energy that has returned to campus after months of planning and preparation by College faculty, staff and several of your fellow students. I appreciate the commitment you have shown thus far to the College’s #TogetherNC pledge to protect the health and safety of our campus. Our ability to keep campus open and continue to engage in person will ultimately hinge on our individual and collective commitments to this pledge.
As a reminder, this same commitment applies to your actions off campus as well, including in downtown Naperville. We expect our students to set a positive example by practicing physical distancing, wearing face coverings, and respecting the health and safety of others whether they are on campus, downtown, or elsewhere throughout the community.
Last week, you received a message that referenced the news from many other colleges across the country, including some right here in our region, where institutions have had to reverse course on their plans for in-person instruction; while others have had to enforce more stringent campus-wide quarantines due to large COVID-19 outbreaks on their campuses. Unfortunately, these circumstances resulted from a small number of students putting their own self-interests ahead of the larger campus community.
The temptation to let your guard down is real and understandable; we all wish for a return to the lifestyles we were able to live prior to the global pandemic. However, as social media has so aptly coined, “The pandemic isn’t over just because you’re over it.” So, as we head into our first full weekend on campus, I’m writing to remind you of our #TogetherNC pledge to protect one another. Your individual actions, and the actions of everyone in the campus community, can help either safeguard our in-person experience or put it at risk.
In circumstances where you observe repeated non-compliance with the #TogetherNC pledge by any member of the campus community, please speak up—to a Residence Life staff member, a member of the Student Affairs team, a professor, the Human Resources office, Campus Safety, or other administrators. And while North Central College is committed to not punishing minor violations of College policy reported through contact tracing, students found responsible for egregious violations of the #TogetherNC pledge, repeated non-compliance of our health and safety expectations, or hosting unsafe on- or off-campus gatherings, will be held responsible per the Student Handbook. Consequences for willfully endangering the campus community will include all available accountability options, up to and including suspension or dismissal from North Central College. We cannot risk the health and safety of the campus community due to the actions of any single individual.
We are truly all in this together, and it’s up to each and every one of us to recognize the critical role we play and the detrimental effects our choices can have on the health and safety of our entire community. Let’s have a great fall semester, and remember that should you have questions or concerns, you have many resources at your disposal, including the Office of Students Affairs, the Dyson Wellness Center, the Department of Campus Safety and our go-to website for all COVID-19-related information and reporting, covid.northcentralcollege.edu.
I wish you good health and safety, and urge you to take care of yourself and one another.
Kevin McCarthy (Pronouns – he/him/his)
Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students