As you take in the excitement of being on campus and prepare for your first day of classes, I want to welcome you to USD. Some of you have called USD home for years, and others are stepping foot on campus for the first time; no matter what stage you are at in your journey, each one of us is a part of the Coyote community.
USD aims to maintain a safe and fun environment for you on campus until students depart in November. We recognize the value of face-to-face instruction and the campus experience, and we continue to prioritize the safety of our community while offering academic and student life opportunities for you to enjoy. That said, our ability to provide these experiences on campus hinges on the decisions our community makes each day, especially during this critical time at the start of the semester.
We all have a collective responsibility to #ProtectThePack. You and your fellow Coyotes play a significant role in the health of our entire community, and we are counting on you to make safe choices and do what you can to protect yourself and others. Unsafe choices will have significant consequences on the well-being of our community and our ability to learn and live on campus together. You can do your part by wearing a face covering, washing your hands and maintaining physical distance from others when possible. If you did not already receive a USD face covering at Move-In Day, you can pick up a free mask at the MUC front desk this week. You may be asked to swipe your student ID. Please remember that face coverings are required in all public, indoor spaces on campus, and face coverings are expected in buildings open to the public in the City of Vermillion. Please ensure your actions are in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct, which extends beyond the residence halls at USD. We also ask you to complete USD's mandatory safety training; for more information, please refer to the email you received on Saturday, Aug. 15.
We appreciate your efforts to protect the health of yourself and others. By taking precautions today, we can increase the likelihood that we are able to remain united on campus this semester. We are in this together, and we are so glad you are a part of our Coyote community.
Kimberly A. Grieve, Ph.D.
Vice President for Student Services/Dean of Students