Continue to stay safe

Dear Temple students,

As we head into Labor Day weekend, I want to stress the seriousness of the moment we're in right now. With a spike in cases around campus, our educational community is now almost exclusively engaged in online instruction and learning. Although many students may be leaving our campus to continue the semester from home, regardless of where we are located, we must recommit fully to the four public health pillars. I hope you understand that the risk is real, and it's up to all of us to take personal responsibility for the safety of those around us. This is the moment when we can show everyone—the greater Philadelphia community and the world—that Temple Owls know how to prioritize the health and safety of us all and that we make a difference when we do so.

As you know, we have been partnering with the city of Philadelphia to enhance testing and contact tracing efforts. Because this is a local and global health emergency, it is critical that we have your most up-to-date contact information on file in case you need a test or are identified as a close contact of someone who tested positive. If you haven't already, please go to the Start of Semester Verification pop-up in TUportal to confirm your information is correct. If you completed the verification earlier this semester, you can ensure the accuracy of your current address (which is where you live now and not your permanent address) and cell phone number by selecting Manage My Account in the upper right corner of TUportal, then clicking Manage Addresses and Phones. 

Some of you residing in university housing may choose to return to your permanent address. As indicated in yesterday's message from President Englert and Provost Epps, you'll need to make this decision by Sunday, Sept. 13. University Housing and Residential Life will be in touch with you shortly to provide more information about properly vacating university housing, should that be the choice you make. To support everyone's health and safety, in addition to ongoing testing on campus, those choosing to move back to their permanent or family home can elect to have a COVID test prior to departure. Be on the lookout for an email from Health Services, which will provide additional information about scheduling a testing appointment. 

Additionally, the actions you take this Labor Day weekend and for the remainder of the fall are critical. I recognize this requires changes in our behaviors, managing our expectations about what fun and socializing look like, and even some sacrifice, but fellow Owls—I urge you not to travel over Labor Day, to stay in your residence as much as possible, limit your contact with others, and do all that you can to keep yourself and everyone around you safe. There are many opportunities for you to participate in virtual activities on campus and in the city. Student Activities, IDEAL and the Wellness Resource Center are all resources to help you find local options and virtual activities. 

For those continuing to live on and around campus, I know you are taking your responsibilities seriously. Thus, I am reluctant to have to remind any of you that acting in defiance of the measures put in place by the university and the city of Philadelphia carries serious consequences. Even though almost all classes are now being held virtually, students are still accountable under the Student Conduct Code. Sanctions for students in violation of the four public health pillars and other COVID-related policies, such as hosting a social gathering, refusing to cooperate with contact tracers, and other blatant disregard for the health and well-being of Temple University and the surrounding community may result in

  • revocation of university building access,
  • removal from campus housing,
  • suspension, or
  • expulsion.

Academic, student support and health services remain available to students. In the days and weeks ahead, please be sure to check the Student Services section in TUportal often, to see which services are being offered in a hybrid model or virtual only. This list will be updated regularly. 

In closing, I believe your decision to attend Temple University shows that you want to be a part of a community with an unwavering commitment to leave the world better than we found it. Owls embody perseverance, grit and determination. We're united by a passion to create meaningful and lasting change. And, in this unique moment, we have the opportunity to prove that we care for one another, we know what's right and we persevere

Stay safe and healthy, Owls!

Stephanie Ives 
Dean of Students