August 18, 2020
Open Letter to Louisiana’s College Students,
To our amazing college students, we are delighted to welcome you for the fall 2020 term! Though it has been a difficult COVID summer, your campus leaders have been working hard to ensure that you can return safely. We need you to do your part. Education is the key to your future, and nothing should stand in the way of your ability to stay on track and realize your dreams.
We know that things will look different as you navigate this term with remote learning and some in-person instruction. When you are on campus, you’ll be masked up, and asked to follow new sanitization rules designed to keep you safe and minimize disease spread. Social distance isn’t easy in Louisiana, where we greet with hugs, pack together in stadiums to cheer on our teams, and love nothing more than gathering around a great meal with a large group of friends. Getting back to that reality requires that we sacrifice and comply with proven safety protocols – all of us, every day, without fail. It’s a small inconvenience but we must do it. Please take this deadly virus seriously. Take care of yourself and look out for others.
It is important to keep in mind that the uncertainties and change are part of your education and preparation for the future. A college education is not just about building knowledge, though that is so important and has already played a major role in our rapid response to COVID-19. Beyond this, college teaches us to be nimble and adapt as circumstances change around us. We learn to be smart in responding to threats like a highly contagious disease, to protect ourselves, our families, and our communities, to not just follow rules, but understand why the rules are there, and to be ready to make adjustments as events unfold.
Know as you move through this unprecedented time that we are behind you and ready to support your success. When you have questions or need help, please tap into all the resources available on your campus. We remain a community that cares and no pandemic will change that.
We wish you a safe and successful semester. Stay well, study hard, take care of each other, and know that we will get through this together!
Kim Hunter Reed, Ph.D.
Commissioner of Higher Education