A Letter to Parents from NYU President Andrew Hamilton
Date: July 30, 2020
TO: Parents and Guardians
FROM: NYU President Andrew Hamilton
Dear Parents, Guardians, Caregivers, and Loved Ones,
I hope you and those in your life are healthy, and that you are coping well with whatever restrictions may prevail where you are. All of us at NYU are looking forward to welcoming your student for the fall semester, whether in person here in New York, participating in "Go Local" at an NYU global site, or studying remotely.
We have done a great deal of planning and work to make the University safer for those who are returning to campus. As we look ahead to the coming academic year, we know the risk from COVID-19 cannot be eliminated; however, with conscientious adherence to the safety and health protocols NYU has put in place — particularly mask wearing, physical distancing, and avoiding large gatherings — we believe it can be managed effectively.
We will be communicating the necessity of following our new health rules repeatedly and extensively to everyone on campus. We will be putting in place a team of student Health Ambassadors who will reinforce the importance of individual behavior that prioritizes the health of all. We will require that all students take an online training module and commit to the behaviors mandated by our health plan.
Throughout higher education, there is concern about students' willingness to abide strictly by new health rules on campus. But NYU and its students have a history of defying expectations, and I believe they can do so in this instance, as well; however, with your help, we will be far more likely to succeed in doing so. A parent's, guardian's, caregiver's, or loved one's word carries a special weight.
I would ask you to add your voices in NYU's efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to re-emphasize to your NYU student how important it is to follow our health rules.
However, as much as I hope students will display their best selves and act in a way to keep each other safe, we will not be relying on persuasion alone. The University has a special responsibility for the well-being of our students, but as president I am also responsible for the welfare of our faculty and other employees, many of whom fall in an age range or suffer from conditions associated with more severe outcomes from the coronavirus. Accordingly, the new safety rules will form part of required student conduct throughout the semester. Breaches will be treated seriously and referred to the student disciplinary process; egregious or repeated cases could result in serious sanctions, including but not limited to suspension.
This week, we shared important new information with students about arrivals for those coming outside the New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut tri-state region about legally mandated quarantines and about required testing. These measures, which are in line with guidance coming from New York State, are all part of our planning to carefully manage the health of the University community.
We are also conducting a series of webinars on issues relating to many facets of campus life in the coming year that I am sure you will find informative and helpful. You can find the list of upcoming and archived webinars here.
You have done a great job supporting our students in so many ways: the excellent academic records they compiled, the talents they have developed, their enrollment in our great university — none of this happened without you. You helped their successes come to pass. Please help us make fall 2020 a success.
We take very seriously the trust placed in us to educate the young people who come to NYU to learn. That is why it is so important at this moment that we carry on with our academic mission, and that you and we act as partners to make NYU safer for everyone.
Be well. Stay safe. Enjoy the remainder of your summer.