August 21, 2020

Dear Students and Families,

Over the last several months, you have seen numerous emails and videos on social media about the importance of wearing a mask and practicing physical distancing.

Now that fall semester is here, it’s go time, and every member of our university community must abide by our established behavioral policies.

Students, it is critical you understand that on- and off-campus parties and disregard for face masksphysical distancing and gathering sizes will not be tolerated.

There are real and far-reaching ramifications for disregard of policies—and actions undoubtedly have consequences. If you choose to disregard the policies established to keep you, your peers and all of us safe, please know that such decisions will result in sanctions such as loss of privileges associated with being a University of Florida student or student organization, including suspension and expulsion.

Additionally, we have worked together with city and county leadership and agencies to develop consistent expectations on campus and in the Gainesville community. If a violation occurs off campus you will be subject to fines, misdemeanors or even arrest that could have significant impacts on your future endeavors.

It is my goal to be upfront and transparent with you. The impact of COVID-19 is serious, and we are serious about and committed to keeping our community safe. I encourage you to read Dr. Michael Lauzardo’s, Director of UF Health Screen, Test & Protect and Deputy Director of UF Emerging Pathogens Institute, most recent letter about how we are tracking cases.

You are at the heart of everything we do. We care deeply about how you and your well-being as you pursue your educational endeavors and re-engage with the campus community. We are here to help you do so. Yet, amid welcoming you back, we have also witnessed several instances of peer institutions having to shut their doors and send students home merely days after they began the fall semester. One fun party or night bending the rules will have devastating consequences. That must not be our reality, and we all must work together to avoid such an outcome.

As Gators, we lead from the front and set an example. Now is the time to live our values and make smart, considerate and conscientious decisions that will help us have an incredible fall semester. We have many fun activities, both virtual and in-person with appropriate physical distancing protocols in place, and new traditions in store for you, and we look forward to seeing you throughout the fall.

I also ask you to have a conversation with your roommates or suitemates – that is your UF quaranteam. You should set social guidelines for your team to limit the risk of spreading the virus. We are all in this together, and each of our individual actions have great impacts on the collective.

We are very excited to welcome many of you back to Gainesville. Our plans, precautions and policies are only as good as your actions. Your help and best effort is critical in determining how we go forward.

Be safe, be well, and as always – Go Gators!

Dr. D’Andra Mull
Vice President for Student Affairs

More Messages