Our Doors Are Open
We are thrilled to have you back. It is a delight to see the faces and hear the voices of students, faculty and staff.
Our doors are open. That means we are here for you and we need to be available for each other. Communication and education require collaboration. We are at our best when our community is safely together.
We understand this transition requires a lot from all of us. To that end, we must remind you that our College abides by the policies and direction of UGA and USG in regard to safe medical gathering practices. To see the latest guidance for COVID-19 protocol, visit our COVID-19 response and communications page.
Challenges, questions and difficulties surely await. With open doors and receptive minds, we will all thrive together.
A Message from Dean Davis
Well, it’s almost time: a year and a half later, our halls will soon be filled again with the wonderful sight of students! We can’t begin to explain how this fills our hearts. We’ve missed you all terribly, and we’re all excited to have you back in our classrooms, labs and studio spaces.
We have spent the summer actively preparing to safely welcome everyone to campus. For some, that welcome has already begun – we had our low-residency MFA students in this week, as well as a steady stream of visiting high school students and even a few alums have dropped by to say hello.
This coming year will be different from last year (and different from the year before), but our fundamental commitments endure. Our commitments to you, our students, and to each other, to foster a culture of shared responsibility and to lift each other up during trying times, remind me in some ways of last year, but the return to campus and face-to-face instruction brings new challenges.
The impact of the Delta variant is likely on your mind, as it is on ours. At the outset, if you have not been vaccinated, we strongly encourage you to do so. All of us in the dean’s office are vaccinated, and our community becomes safer and stronger with every person who is vaccinated. Thanks to a new statewide initiative, it is now easier than ever for current and incoming students to get their vaccines. Please see the University’s COVID-19 Resource Page for more details on vaccines and testing. We also encourage you to read the most recent CDC Guidance for Fully-Vaccinated Individuals.
Here are a few other items to keep in mind as you prepare to return to campus:
- DawgCheck – While the symptom checker has been discontinued, it remains the platform where members of our community must report if they test positive for COVID-19. Among other things, these reports enable our personnel to reach out promptly and provide support. They also permit contact tracing so that close contacts can be advised on the appropriate precautions to take.
- Masks – You’ll often see me wearing a mask in indoor public places on campus. While not required, it is recommended by the CDC, and I’ve chosen to wear one for a couple of reasons – (1) to support some immunocompromised members of our community who are working with their health care providers on a vaccine decision, (2) to keep from unwittingly spreading the virus to others as vaccinated individuals are able to spread the Delta variant, and (3) frankly because I have a young grandchild in my house five days a week who can’t yet be vaccinated and, therefore, want to reduce the risk of her (or anyone) catching it.
Consistent with this statement, we strongly encourage all students to have and wear a mask when inside journalism facilities. If you need a mask, swing by my office.
It will take all of us working together, keeping an eye out for each other, supporting each other in the ways that we can, to make this a better year than last. I know I can count on each of you to help us stay safe.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns and we look forward to all that this new school year will hold!
Regards, Dean Davis