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The official hub for news and stories from Colorado Mesa University
Fall 2021 Safe Together, Strong Together Plan

Engage. Educate. Empower.

The relationships formed and new perspectives gained during college have the power to change the trajectory of a student's life, particularly those who are the first in their family to attend college. For relationships to form and flourish, higher education must be accessible and open.

Driven by that belief, we launched a bold initiative — Safe Together, Strong Together — to continue in-person, on-campus learning last fall. Guided by campus and regional health and medical experts and propelled by our faculty and staff's passion to serve students, we proved the skeptics wrong and safely sustained in-person, on-campus learning through the 2020-21 academic year. I'm proud of the innovation and resilience showed by the Maverick community last year especially by our students.

Thankfully, we find ourselves in a much different situation as we enter Fall 2021. We are better prepared by the knowledge gained last year and aided by the widespread availability of vaccines. Nevertheless, we are not sitting still and continue to adapt and optimize our campus plan as we always have. CMU's approach has been and continues to be one of dynamically responding to changing conditions, innovating and adapting in real time, and communicating often and transparently with the campus community.

As part of those optimizations, we have formed a new Infectious and Communicable Disease Advisory Committee. This group will provide advice and guidance for the prevention, mitigation and response to infectious and communicable diseases on campus and in the community that may affect individuals' health and safety. Dr. Amy Bronson — who co-chaired our efforts alongside me last year — has agreed to continue in her leadership role as the chair of this newly formed committee. Most immediately, they'll continue our work on COVID-19 protocols, but longer term this group will work on a variety of community health issues.

The unifying theme for this fall's phase of our pandemic response plan centers on engagement, education, empowerment and community responsibility. Put simply, it's a philosophy that returns us to our reason for existing as an institution of higher education and reinforces our collective responsibility to one another as peers and colleagues. Our goal and promise is to communicate openly and transparently, share data and facts, and help members of the campus community make informed decisions about their health and the health of the Mavily.

I'm excited by the possibilities that lay before us this year and look forward to meeting you on campus this fall!


John Marshall