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Columbus State University

September 3, 2020 - A Message from President Markwood

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:

As we conclude our third week of classes, we do so knowing that our self-reported cases of COVID-19 remain stable. That said, we do have positive cases among our student body and our employees. This underscores that our campus is not immune, and therefore we must not become complacent in our diligence.

I thank the members of our COVID-19 Response Team who continue to receive, triage and manage the online self-reports they have received. As Dr. Chip Reese indicated Tuesday, reporting early and reporting often will help significantly reduce your risk of exposing others if you even suspect you might be experiencing COVID-19-related symptoms.

We are days away from a much-welcomed three-day holiday weekend. We each must consider the risk holiday travel presents as we attempt to reduce the spread of the virus. One of the most selfless decisions you can make this weekend is remaining at "home" here in Columbus, off the roads and away from crowds. Do your part to protect the health of your family, friends and fellow Cougars by limiting your exposure — as well as theirs.

There are plenty of great activities to enjoy right here in the Columbus area. New to the community? Been here a while and looking for something new to do? Either way, checking out https://visitcolumbusga.com is a great place to find ideas for turning this weekend into a safer staycation.

If you do travel, take the same precautions you are right now: Wear your face coverings. Wash your hands. Maintain a safe distance from others. Decline invitations to large-group gatherings. Avoid sharing food and beverages with others.

At CSU, we champion being servant leaders. One of the greatest attributes of servant leadership is sacrifice. The minor inconvenience of downgrading your holiday plans this weekend could save many others — and yourself — major health inconveniences later.

As I was walking out of the Rankin Den this afternoon, I experienced what makes the CSU family so special. A group of students called one of our dining services staff members outside to the courtyard. There, two students from our Schwob School of Music sang and serenaded her on a trumpet and guitar for her birthday. When they were done, she was in tears from joy and appreciation (I have to admit — I was misty-eyed myself). One of the students said to her something to the effect of, "thank you. I am a first-year student, and everyday you welcome me, greet me, and ask me how I am doing. I am from another country, and you make me feel like family." She responded, "I am here for you, supporting your next journey in life. It takes a village, and I love doing my part."

Even during these challenging times, I witness many of you making connections with each other, and it matters. Thank you for going the extra mile to engage one another on-campus and online. Thank you for showing that you care by working together.

Please continue to make wise choices and help us demonstrate for our entire community that #CougarsCare. Thank you for all you have done, and continue to do, for our campus, our community, and each other.

Sincerely,

President Chris Markwood