In an effort to ensure safety as campus plans to reopen, Michigan State University unveiled guidelines for Spartans, introduced a new COVID-19 website with updated information while promoting the slogan "Together We Will."
"The 'Together We Will' campaign is an evolution of the Spartans Will branding campaign created nearly a decade ago," University Spokesperson Emily Guerrant said in an email. "This evolution is focused on the needed messaging around returning to campus and how we can collectively get through this time period together. It’s designed to be sincere, supportive, welcoming and inclusive. We want students, faculty and staff to know they are a vital part of the Spartan community and that the university has their back. The university will help our community navigate through this difficult time with services and support in various ways."
Executive Vice President for Health Sciences and co-chair of the Health and Safety subcommittee for the return to campus Norman J. Beauchamp Jr. is leading the development of plans to keep those who return safe upon their return to campus.
“We’re developing plans to help ensure the health and safety of students, faculty, staff and guests. To succeed, we all must do our part,” Beauchamp said. “COVID-19 is a formidable disease and the coronavirus is easily passed from person to person. However, there are simple measures that effectively limit transmission.”
MSU explained the health practices and safety measures that they will take and require students to take, in a video posted to YouTube.
Requirements for Spartans on campus include wearing face coverings, frequently and thoroughly washing their hands, monitoring their health and practicing physical distancing at all times on and off campus.
In the video, it was emphasized that these actions aren’t just for one person’s health, but collectively can make a difference and keep the community healthy.
“As a two-time Spartan, I know that Spartans come together to accomplish things that matter, and what could be more important than keeping each other healthy and safe," Beauchamp said. "Together we can do this.”
In their efforts to prepare students to return in the fall, MSU has released a number of YouTube videos on their page, explaining different aspects of life on campus and reforming the Spartan slogan, "Spartans Will" to "Together We Will."
In “MSU Reopening Campus: Together We Will,” a part of the series on MSU’s YouTube, multiple members of the Spartan community explain actions being taken, as President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. assures MSU’s priorities.
“A safe and healthy campus is my top priority,” Stanley said. “These times are temporary. Being a Spartan, that’s part of you forever. We’ll get through this because together we can and together we will.”
Vice President for Auxiliary Enterprises Vennie G. Gore explained that the move-in process will be socially distanced, cleaning procedures will be enhanced, how some room configurations will be updated and dining halls will be adjusted in ways that limit contact.
Acting Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Thomas D. Jeitschko acknowledged that teaching and learning will be different but promised that while different, it will still be a Spartan education.
“Many aspects of our teaching and learning will look different this fall,” Jeitschko said in the video. “But our world-class faculty and MSU education will not change. By adopting curriculum and incorporating online, in-person and hybrid classes, plus new technology, we can support students while being in-progress to graduation.”
Along with education, actions are being taken to continue to allow students to participate in research safely.
Beyond education and campus life, the main factor that has resulted in all these changes still remains at-large. In the process of making things safe for reopening, MSU has developed a new website where there used to be a COVID-19 website, providing additional information on the coronavirus' impact and how the reopening of campus has changed because of it.
The new website offers ways for Spartans to keep themselves and others safe, while providing updates on the university's plans for the near future broken up into separate topics ranging from classes and academics to athletics and travel.
In addition to "Together We Will," MSU is also hosting fireside webinars specifically focused on impacts of COVID-19 on fall life.