Dear University of Michigan Community:
As Wolverines, the importance of cultivating a culture of care for self and others has always been paramount and is of particular importance in this shared moment of crisis and challenge. It is right for us to reflect on the values we hold as individuals and the values we embrace as a community. University values are outlined in the Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities: Civility, dignity, diversity, education, equality, freedom, honesty, and safety. These values stand as long-held community-defined commitments rooted in social justice and put into practice through a restorative approach. It is these values which continue to serve as a guide as we live into our Pledge to Take Care of the Maize & Blue.
Our community recognized that the expectations we have for each other must rise to meet the needs of the moment. Central Student Government (CSG) Executive Leadership partnered with student leaders from across campus to propose an Addendum to the Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities. This addendum, as recommended and refined by key stakeholders (including: The Student Relations Advisory Committee of SACUA, University Executive Officers, the Vice President for Student Life, and the Office of the General Counsel), and approved by President Schlissel, adds to the full spectrum of resources for a public health informed academic year.
This addendum, which applies to all students at the University of Michigan, builds upon the existing Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities for the duration of the 2020-2021 academic year. Each member of our student community is responsible to review both the Statement and this Addendum, which encompasses on campus, Ann Arbor, and in online environments. In summary, the addendum outlines the following:
- Health & Safety Laws, Orders, Ordinances, Regulations & Guidance: Members of the student community are expected to comply with health and safety laws, orders, ordinances, regulations or health and safety guidance adopted by the University. The University has been and will continue to be communicating expectations for important well-being promoting initiatives, such as COVID-19 testing, de-densifying efforts, limitations on gathering and social distancing recommendations, face covering expectations, contact tracing efforts, and quarantine/isolation for those who test positive and/or are exposed to COVID-19.
- Face-Covering: Face-coverings have been identified by public health experts as a primary mode of transmission prevention. As such, the University has adopted public health policy requiring face coverings. With reference to the face-covering policy, the addendum outlines the expectation for utilizing face coverings as we all embrace our shared value of community safety. http://ehs.umich.edu/wp-
content/uploads/2020/07/U-M- Face-Covering-Policy-for- COVID-19.pdf
- Quarantine/Isolation: The minimization of transmission remains a primary and obvious goal. When a student tests positive or was in proximity with someone who tested positive, they will receive communication and support. In support of the range of efforts focused on harm-reduction, compliance with a directive to participate and maintain quarantine or isolation by a health care provider and/or UM Environmental Health and Safety is expected.
- Social Gathering: The social experience at Michigan remains an important component of student life. That said, it will be our shared responsibility to think differently and creatively about how we build the strong bonds and relationships which the college experience, under usual circumstance, more naturally affords. Limiting the size of gatherings, will be another critical community expectation necessary to reduce the potential for asymptomatic community spread of COVID-19. Under the addendum, all members of the student community are expected to adhere to gathering limitations adopted by the University and established by state mandate, local law/ordinance, or University policy.
The Office of Student Conflict Resolution (OSCR) remains committed to our mission of supporting a safe, just and peaceful community through building trust, promoting justice, and teaching peace. Through this addendum, OSCR will continue to support the community through a full spectrum of conflict resolution resources, upholding student rights, ensuring fundamental fairness in accountability, and leading with a social justice lens on the work through a restorative justice framework.
Erik S. Wessel, D.Ed.
Director, Office of Student Conflict Resolution
The University of Michigan