President Susan A. Cole welcomed the Montclair State University community back in a video message on Red Hawk Day, the official start of the fall 2020 semester for students – a semester like no other.
“Because of the circumstances in the world around us, the new semester will be rather different,” Cole says. Montclair State has in place a number of safety guidelines, including face coverings, social distancing and online screenings, that can all be found at Red Hawk Restart.
“We will do everything together and do our best to provide an opportunity for you to pursue your educational goals and to participate in meaningful ways in the life of the University,” she says.
“Whether you are living on campus or at home, whether you are studying online or have course activities on campus, this is still your University,” Cole says. “There will be ways for you to engage with your classmates and friends, talk to your faculty and advisers, and connect with clubs and activities. We just need you to do it carefully, and without the physical camaraderie, that is after all, our natural way of being in the world.”
While students will find much that will be familiar about life on campus, the campus does look different, she says. This includes signage reminding the University community to wear masks and wash hands. Arrows showing the direction in and out of rooms, markings showing where to sit or stand so to keep a safe distance in classrooms and public areas. Tents have been set up where some classes will be held outdoors this fall.
“We’re all on an unexpected journey together,” Cole says. “If we walk that road responsibly, we will enable the University to stay open. But that will require all of us to do the things that help keep each other safe.”