Dear Hokie Students,

Last semester we were thrilled with how well our community came together to meet the ever-changing challenge presented by the Covid-19 pandemic. Sacrifices were made by all to give up social opportunities and gatherings for the good of everyone. While Virginia Tech did hold both on-campus and off-campus students accountable throughout the fall semester by way of interim suspensions and/or housing revocation when necessary, most students got it right. They masked up, kept gatherings small, and fully committed to our collective wellness agreement.

In an earlier note Dean Hughes provided ways to prepare for this semester and referenced how important it would be to not cause unnecessary strains on our first responders. If we are to make it through the remaining challenges to come this semester, then we need to be sure that their focus is on those that need them most. Hosting large parties that draw the response of our police officers is the wrong move. Reckless behaviors that would result in the loss of a hospital bed for a potential Covid-19 patient are not okay. The smallest of our choices have a significant impact on the greater whole – particularly at this moment when anxieties are running high and resources are low.

The past year showed us many examples of what can happen when a community coalesces around the same fundamentally important needs. We believe we can continue this trend through the spring semester. We hope that the hard and challenging sacrifices we make now will lead to a more relaxed spring semester as we clear the winter that is ahead of us. We know that many of you understand this. For the students you know that do not – please remind them and use the resources you have to confront and challenge their choices. We will continue to hold students accountable for their actions through the Student Conduct process and that will include interim suspensions and/or housing revocations.

So please remember:

  • Wear a mask.
  • Wash your hands.
  • No gatherings larger than 10 people.
  • Avoid travel when possible.

Again, our hope is to succeed together in this endeavor and take care of each other in the process.

Warmly,

Byron Hughes,
Dean of Students

Chief Mac Babb,
Virginia Tech Police Department

Chief Anthony Wilson,
Blacksburg Police Department

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