Dear Franklin & Marshall Students,
Last week, you received updates on course registration and our move-in procedure and housing (available for you to read in our COVID-19 and Fall 2020 Messages to the Community), as well as a call to complete this Fall 2020 Commitment questionnaire by the end of Monday, July 20. As you consider whether to return to campus, I write to share with you the F&M Pledge, another example of our shared sense of community at Franklin & Marshall.
This pledge was created by the leadership of Diplomatic Congress and the Student COVID-19 Task Force, in collaboration with the senior officers of the College. In particular, I want to acknowledge Shubh Punj '21, student body president, for his dedication to this project. Time and again, our students demonstrate their dedication to Franklin & Marshall and to the education and well-being of their fellow Diplomats. My sincere thanks to the Diplomatic Congress for taking leadership in this important statement of accountability, and for committing their time and energy to the formation of the F&M Pledge. In my nearly two years here, our students’ determination, creativity and resilience have deeply impressed me, and the development of the Pledge is another excellent demonstration of their work.
All students coming to campus this fall will be asked to take the F&M Pledge by agreeing to the tenets outlined in this document. As living and learning on campus during a pandemic will be a shared responsibility, employees and staff also will be asked to take a similar pledge. Together, we must observe protocols and policies for the health and safety of everyone on campus and in the greater Lancaster community. The pledge will be effective as of two weeks before students’ respective return dates in August, and will remain effective throughout our time together on campus this academic year.
Our individual and collective commitment to observing health and safety measures is essential to make residential life and in-person learning possible. For this reason, your willingness to adhere to this pledge needs to be a key factor in your decision-making. Please read the F&M Pledge carefully and discuss it with your family. If you are uncomfortable with any portion of this compact, I respectfully suggest that you choose the remote learning option as you complete your Fall 2020 Commitment questionnaire by the end of Monday, July 20.
As you contemplate your options for the fall semester, I also would like to call your attention to several updates to the F&M reopening plan website, including additional information on housing and dining, COVID-19 testing and best practices, course selection and registration, the classroom experience, and more. As always, we will continue to update this website with the latest information.
I firmly believe we can create a rich and worthwhile residential experience on campus this fall, but it will require that all of us make a community commitment to these shared values and practices. No matter how you choose to complete your Fall 2020 Commitment questionnaire and pursue your studies with us this fall, we at F&M are dedicated to giving you an individualized and powerful academic experience, true to our tradition and ready to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow. I look forward to the beginning of the term.
Barbara K. Altmann