Welcome home, Coyotes! I hope you are enjoying your first day of the fall semester. The University of South Dakota was not the same without the energy our students bring to campus, and we are excited to welcome you back to campus.
This year is certain to bring tremendous opportunities, and yes, some challenges. Nationally, we have already seen universities return to remote instruction due to widespread outbreaks and clusters of COVID-19. My deepest hope is that USD may continue with face-to-face instruction until Thanksgiving, and I firmly believe in our students' ability to #ProtectThePack. But I want to be clear: Our ability to continue the in-person experience at USD rests in your hands.
The actions we take today will impact the health and well-being of our community in the upcoming weeks; by wearing face coverings, washing your hands and physically distancing from others when possible, you are protecting yourself and others. This is a time for us to come together as a Coyote community. We hope these are actions you take not only while attending class or enjoying USD's facilities, but also while you are out in the community and socializing in private. These are temporary measures, but they are critical to our ability to continue to provide an in-person experience this fall.
Thank you for continuing to do your part to #ProtectThePack. If you have questions about USD's response to COVID-19 and what changes you can expect to see on campus this fall, please visit usd.edu/COVID19. I also invite you to contact us via email at COVID19@usd.edu if you have additional questions or concerns.
While some elements of campus life have changed, great academic and student life opportunities await you this semester. You have a lot to look forward to, and we are glad you are a part of our community here at USD.
Sheila K. Gestring
University of South Dakota