August 20, 2020

Below is a message from student leaders to their fellow students:

Hey 'Canes!

We are so excited to welcome you back to campus! Whether you are learning online, in-person or somewhere in the middle, we are excited for this new chapter at the U. Over the course of the summer, the University of Miami labored tirelessly to ensure a safe return to campus for all members of our community. Through emails, a COVID-19 module, and videos from our administrators, the University has constantly communicated what is expected of us.

As members of the 'Canes community and University of Miami students, we must strive to exhibit behavior that conveys our commitment to community, public health, and safety. However, we have seen behavior that has fallen short of these ideals and the amazing privilege that we have in returning to campus. We, as students, can do better and we all must commit to doing what is right. This opportunity should not be taken lightly and requires each of us to take responsibility for our actions both on and off campus.

So what can you as a ’Cane do to ensure that we have a successful year?

  • The first and most important practice is to wear a mask. We, as ’Canes, are incredibly social, but in order for us to continue to build community, we must do so safely.
  • Second, we expect all ’Canes to limit large social gatherings in order to reduce super-spreader events. Masks and social distancing are effective practices and it will take us all caring for each other to thrive in this “new normal.”
  • Additionally, remaining six feet apart is now more important than ever. We have seen the serious consequences of failing to follow guidelines in the news recently, but at the U we must strive to be different.
  • And finally, our Public Health Ambassadors serve to help positively reinforce safe public health practices and we should strive to follow their guidance. Our ambassadors are always ready to supply masks, information cards, and additional resources in order for all of us to be compliant with university policies.

’Canes Care for ’Canes is an amazing mantra to speak about, but we must also be sure to act in caring for our fellow peers through safe public health practices. We must also remember that an integral component of public health is mental health. Virtual engagements can be mentally and emotionally exhausting. We strongly implore everyone to explore our campus resources through the Counseling Center.

Other practices from strolling by Lake Osceola with a friend to exercising in the Herbert Wellness Center can truly provide a healthy, safe outlet. For those days that you may desire a change of scenery for your studies, consider studying or attending class in a Zoom tent located near the Ferre Building or other on-campus study spaces. Check on your friends and ask your fellow peers about how their day is going. When we all decide to keep each other in our thoughts and actions, we create a community like no other.

The message of ’Canes Care for ’Canes is now more applicable than ever. If we do not act now and fast, our ability to remain on our beautiful campus could be in jeopardy. We as ’Canes must be willing to do what is right no matter the situation, regardless of convenience or expediency.

Our love for The U and our fellow ’Canes is what makes us strong. Let us hold ourselves and others accountable in order to ensure a path towards positive outcomes for the campus community this semester.

So let’s #MaskUpCanes and do our part. Always remember, We are One U.

Abigail Adeleke, Student Government President

Shirley Gelman, Student Government Vice President

Amanda Rodriguez, Student Government Treasurer

Landon Coles, United Black Students President

Milena Pak, COISO President

Andres Florez, Association of Commuter Students President

Anna Timmons, Editor-in-Chief of The Miami Hurricane

Ryan Garay, Public Health Ambassador Team Lead

Sofia Hamilton, Association of Greek Letter Organizations Chair

Sydney Knapp, Student Athletic Advisory Committee President