February marks our collective celebration of the extraordinary contributions and the central role of African Americans in U.S. history. Black History Month recognizes the creativity, innovation, leadership and resilience of the Black community and encourages us all to evaluate how we honor and elevate these amazing voices. Throughout this month, the University of Florida – including Black Affairs, the African American Studies program, the Black Student Union and the Black Graduate Student Organization – will commemorate the vibrant contributions of Black students, faculty, staff and alumni to the university’s excellence with stories, podcasts, events and dialogue. I encourage everyone to celebrate Black history and help amplify these vital stories.
This month also includes the first of our Gator Recharge Days, which will take place on Thursday, Feb. 25 and feature large-scale, physically distant offerings such as laser tag, a rock-climbing wall, free food, wellness and exercise classes, giveaways and more. Please be on the lookout for the full schedule available on February 12. Created to promote students’ holistic wellness, I hope these days will allow you to take a well-deserved and much-needed break to have fun and renew your energy.
In a letter to our campus community this week, Senior Vice President and COO Dr. Charlie Lane and I provided an update on the traffic and pedestrian safety measures we are collaboratively working on with the city of Gainesville, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and the University Police Department. The short-term and long-term actions outlined include enhancing crosswalk visibility, additional lighting, permanent signage and constructing a pedestrian walkway, among other initiatives. To learn more about our steps, please read this letter from FDOT to our students. Again, I want to thank all our students, families and members of the community for your thoughtful emails and suggestions on how we can work collaboratively to enhance safety on and near our campus.
Lastly, this Sunday, our community needs you to be cognizant and careful of your behavior so that your Super Bowl party does not become a superspreader event. Our COVID case numbers are trending downward, and your continued support is crucial. As a reminder, events are not permitted where physical distancing and mask wearing are not observed. Hosting a teleparty, watching with your Quaranteam, or moving your gathering outside are less risky alternatives to cheer on your team. I see and appreciate your continued efforts to keep campus safe — thank you for doing your part!
Have a restful and relaxing weekend!
Be safe and be well, Gators.
Dr. D’Andra Mull
Vice President for Student Affairs
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