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Welcome to the Fall 2021 semester & new academic year – President Savoie

Dear students, faculty and staff members,



Welcome to the Fall 2021 semester and the new academic year!



The fall semester is always a special time. New and returning students, faculty and staff members enliven the University with an undeniable air of optimism and excitement about


the possibilities that lie ahead in the new academic year and beyond.



Fall is a season to welcome and to reconnect – to the campus, to new friends and longtime colleagues, and to the activities and experiences that define University life.  



This fall holds that same promise and retains that same sense of anticipation. But the continued challenges we face bring added responsibilities for all of us as members of a wider and deeply interconnected community.



A few months ago, we announced plans for a fall semester that would be as close to normal as the health situation would allow. Our preparations reflected feedback we heard from many of you about the importance of living, working, learning, teaching and just being on campus.



This remains our goal. Together, we can reach it. Here’s how.



Get vaccinated: Vaccines are safe, effective and the most powerful tool we have to combat – and end – the pandemic. If you have already been vaccinated, thank you. If you have not, I strongly encourage you to take this critical step to protect yourself and those around you.



The University, in collaboration with the Louisiana National Guard and state Department of Health, is offering a free, walk-in vaccination and testing clinic in Burke-Hawthorne Hall from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.  



Students who receive their first or second vaccine dose on campus qualify for a bank card as part of the state’s “Shot for $100” incentive program. Those who have received both doses can win prizes by entering the University’s “Don’t Wait. Vaccinate!” campaign. Find more about the programs here.



Get tested: In addition to vaccinations, testing is essential to keep our community safe. Throughout the semester, unvaccinated students will be randomly selected to take a required COVID-19 test. If chosen, you will receive an email with details. Vaccinated students will not be required to test at this time. A similar program for employees will be announced soon.



Wear a mask: When you wear a mask over your nose and mouth, you protect yourself as well as others. We’re requiring that all students, employees and visitors wear masks or face coverings while indoors and on buses and shuttles. We recommend that masks be worn outdoors as well.  



Please mask up when you are in other public spaces, too. Remember – the decisions you make away from campus can affect your friends and colleagues at the University.  



Be vigilant: If you have any COVID-19 symptoms or have been exposed to someone who has tested positive, you should get tested. In general, stay home if you are sick unless seeking medical care or testing. Students can find quarantine and isolation protocols here; employees should visit the Human Resources website for more information.



Remain agile: The University will continue to monitor the evolving health situation and adjust as necessary. As we’ve experienced in the 18 months since our community first confronted the pandemic, changes and challenges are inevitable – but so is the resilience and sense of community with which the University family answers them.



Whether you are a new or seasoned Ragin’ Cajun, you embody that shared determination – and that’s what’s going to ensure a safe and successful fall semester.



Welcome back, and Geaux Cajuns!






Dr. Joseph Savoie






Visit my blog at https://president.louisiana.edu/presidents-blog to read more.