UHart RAs Draft a Public Letter

RAs are asking residential students to review the regulations the school has set for covid-19 order to run campus safely.

For the past few weeks, students have been moving back into the University of Hartford, and classes have started, but not all of them have been taking the pandemic seriously. The Residential Assistants on campus, who have been trying to enforce the new COVID policies in the dorms, are asking everyone to re-familiarize themselves with the rules and remain respectful for the safety of the UHart community. To help ensure the health of yourself and your peers, the RAs ask you to:

  • Wear a mask
  • Make sure your nose is covered
  • Practice social distancing
  • Not allow guests into dorms

Because campuses are being closed all over the country, the university would like to remind all students that there is still a possibility of returning to an all-remote schedule. This outcome is much more likely to happen if these rules are continually being ignored.

The full letter can be read below.

Dear University of Hartford Students,

We are your Resident Assistants (RAs). Those of you who live on campus have noticed
us, as we are constantly reminding you that you should have a mask, that the mask
goes over your nose, and that you should practice social distancing. You have heard us
ask that you do not invite anyone in your living space, as no guests are allowed. At this
point, we have communicated every rule in the COVID-19 book, and you are well aware
of the regulations and repercussions. We want to remind you of two important things.
First, understand that we, just like you, are students. We are hoping to be able to
remain on campus for our education, while at the same time experiencing a serious
concern for our health. We do not make these rules that are in place to protect the
health and safety of everyone at the university, but our job and mission is to enforce
them so that we can ensure you (we) have a safe environment to continue your (our)
education. At the same time, it must be said that the RA community agrees with these
rules. We have seen the data, the research, and the situations that prove the efficacy of
masks, social distancing, and the absence of guests in personal spaces. We are holding
you, as well as ourselves, to a higher standard of behavior than ever before. And yet,
we are students and there is a limit to our ability to provide this safe environment
without your cooperation. In fact, without your cooperation, our efforts are certainly
futile. We are fighting the same battle here: to stay on campus, to do well in our classes,
and to remain close to our friends and loved ones.

Second, if you were here last semester, you should understand the seriousness of
Covid-19 and how fast we had to pack our bags and start remote learning off-campus. If
you are new to campus, please do not think that this can’t happen again. Other schools
have already been forced to shut down and move to remote classes because of one
incident, one party. It is simply selfish to continue this abrasive behavior towards the
policy with a disregard for the wellbeing of others. We are working tirelessly for you to
have access to the resources and opportunities for a successful college career. At the
same time, the rug is being pulled out from under us, when we are continuously dealing
with gatherings that largely disregard all policies. Please pay the same respect to our
work, our wellbeing, and our mission that we are paying towards yours.

To a large portion of students, we would like to say thank you for following the
regulations, for changing behavior when it is addressed, and for treating us with
kindness and respect as we walk around in our signature red jackets. Your compliance
with the rules, as well as the positive behavior you exhibit when we interact, reminds us
of why we do this job. To the students who are still having difficulties understanding the
regulations and policies, we urge you to be more responsible, considerate, respectful,
and mature. We urge you to think of the consequences of a shutdown for yourself, your
peers, and the staff and administration employed by the University, who would likely not
have a job should we close down. The stakes for some of us are higher than others,
and so is the pressure on our shoulders. Be better.

We remain determined to continue our mission in making our University environment
the best for our residents. We know your goal is the same. We are simply asking that
you honor your commitment to these goals and us.

Concerned SRAs and RAs