This is always such an exciting time of year on campus, as the end of the semester approaches and we all collectively look forward to summer. I believe it’s safe to say that we will all be enjoying our summer even more than usual this year. I hope that our continuing students can take a step back from the pressures of academics, our graduates can move on successfully to whatever new and exciting challenges await them, and our faculty and staff can take a well-deserved break from this once-in-a-lifetime type of semester.
Our recognition of the end of the semester will have to look different this year, and we are counting on the continued partnership with our students to make choices that balance celebration with safety, minimizing the risk of spreading COVID. Our Student Affairs and Campus Life staff have been hard at work structuring end- of- the- year activities planned for Friday, May 7, on campus, while also reminding students that other unstructured activities that create large gatherings must not occur this year.
On the last day of classes, expect campus to be joyful and the tempo upbeat thanks to music spun by students from our WICB campus radio station. While keeping New York state gathering and COVID guidance in mind, we will also have both unstructured and structured activities for students to take advantage of on our quads. These activities will be spaced out to help de-densify the events and permit as many students to participate as possible.
Students can look forward to lawn games, and sport/recreation equipment will be available for checkout from our Fitness Center. Glazer Arena will also be rocking…although silently…with our silent disco. If dancing isn’t your thing, students can de-stress with outdoor yoga or catch an outdoor movie. Additionally, work out that stress with inflatable games, such as axe throwing, soccer darts, or hoops challenge. Outdoor yoga and the movie may fill up quickly, so make sure to sign -up early. Details will be posted on IC Engage as soon as they are available.
We know that all this activity will make students hungry, so in the Campus Center quad, dining services will be offering a mini state fair-like midway with multiple food and beverage tents. Rather than picking up a meal inside the dining hall, students will be issued meal, drink and snack tickets to be redeemed at the outdoor food and beverage tents. There will be some seating available, but we’ll ask for help in keeping things de-densified by grabbing your food and spreading out across campus to eat, and it’s okay to remove your face covering temporarily while you eat and drink. While there’s no possible way we will experience bad weather in Ithaca (wink, wink), if that does occur, expect the dining experience to be moved indoors.
We are happy to be able to provide these opportunities to our students, but please remember that COVID remains a reality and we need your partnership to make sure these events are successful and safe. Wear an appropriate face covering that covers your nose and mouth, whether the event is held indoors or outdoors. Maintain your distance. Disinfect your hands when needed. Finally, keep those IC Health Badges current and “green” as they will be required to participate in events. If you have been vaccinated against COVID-19 disease, please make sure to send your vaccination card to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Looking forward to seeing everyone on the quads as we finish out an amazing semester, where we are #ICInThisTogether.
Christina Moylan, Ph.D.
Director of Public Health Emergency Preparedness