Dear TUJ students:

Earlier today, you received an email from Temple University’s new president about vaccines and the fall semester at Main Campus. Although the facilities, operations, and situation at TUJ differ from those in Philadelphia, I think that there are several important takeaways from President Wingard’s message.

  • Our commitment to you. Temple University is committed to supporting you on your path to a degree through unprecedented circumstances. It is our goal to facilitate your learning by providing a comfortable and safe in-person environment as well as online alternatives by which you can interact with faculty, your peers, and TUJ staff
  • Safety. Because of COVID-19, we will continue to face challenges. At the same time, we are deeply grateful for the extensive work that has been done to keep our university community safe. This includes the advice and direction that TUJ receives from experts and leaders in Philadelphia as well.
  • Teamwork. . If we all observe the standard COVID protocols and follow important health strategies, we can continue to succeed both inside and outside of the classroom.

Additionally, in terms of fall semester at TUJ, here are a few important things that we wanted to add.

  • Added Level of Protection – Vaccination Progress. Many of our faculty and staff received their second dose of the COVID vaccine on Sunday while others have been vaccinated via their local municipal programs. For many TUJ students, the second dose of the Moderna vaccine is right around corner on Sunday, August 22nd. To crush the virus, we are fortunate that this highly effective and safe vaccine has been made available to our community. The opportunity for our faculty, staff, and students to receive the COVID-19 vaccine has been a blessing that will help protect all of us.
  • Wearing Your Mask -- Necessary: We respectfully ask that masks continue to be worn on campus even if you have been vaccinated. It is widely believed that masks have been the single most important component of prevention.
  • Preventative measures -- Necessary: Masks, good hand hygiene, and avoiding large crowds—especially indoors—all work to keep us from contracting or spreading the virus. Of course, if you feel ill, do not come to campus and let us know so we can assist you.
  • Reporting your vaccination status – NOT necessary. Several students have asked about whether it is necessary to report their vaccination status to TUJ. We are not collecting such information. If you have not been vaccinated, you are still welcome to attend classes in-person so long as you continue to observe the preventative measures detailed above.
  • Getting vaccinated if you have not already done so – Highly recommended. . As emphasized by the University leadership in Philadelphia, if you haven’t yet been vaccinated, we strongly and unreservedly advise all students, staff and faculty to get fully vaccinated as soon as possible. Vaccines are truly the pathway out of the pandemic -- they provide very strong protection from getting ill but, if you do become ill, the vaccine prevents the most serious consequences of the virus. Vaccination is the best way to protect yourself, your loved ones, and other community members from COVID-19 infection. It is also your best way to ensure that a return to in-person classes and direct socialization with your friends is safe. Vaccination is our best tool to make sure that the campus can remain open.
  • For everyone who can be vaccinated, we hope that you can be vaccinated as soon as possible. Doing so is in the best interest of the entire Temple community—students, faculty, staff and neighbors. For details about vaccination opportunities, please contact your local ward office or city hall. If you are finding that vaccine opportunities are unavailable, please contact us and we will explore what options are available.

We are just as eager as you are to have everyone on campus interacting without masks and other protective measures. However, the pandemic is still with us, so we must all take the necessary steps to keep each other healthy and safe. Together with the Main Campus, TUJ will continually monitor the status of COVID-19 cases and scientific advances to inform decision-making. We will all need to be flexible. TUJ policies and how courses are offered may need to change with new information. We will continue to keep you apprised about fall semester moving forward.

Thank you for being here at TUJ. We appreciate the opportunity to serve you as you work towards your university degree.

Matthew Wilson