University president: ‘Margin of error is shrinking’ for completing fall semester

Published 9:22 am Monday, August 24, 2020

University of Alabama president Stuart Bell said there was “an unacceptable rise” in COVID-19 cases in a letter sent to students, faculty and staff Sunday.

Bell said the “margin of error is shrinking” and detailed what is currently being done by university and local officials to help save lives and continue to have the university open for students. “Completing the fall semester is our goal,” he said. Here is the letter written by Bell:

Dear students, faculty and staff,

This is a critical moment for The University of Alabama.

Despite the robust testing, training, health and safety measures we carefully and clearly implemented, there is an unacceptable rise in positive COVID cases on our campus.

Make no mistake, this trend is a real threat to our ability to complete the semester on campus. The solution is proven: testing, mask wearing, social distancing, personal hygiene and compliance with crowd size limits are all that are asked as we work together to complete the semester together.

Violations to our health and safety protocols, both on and off campus, are subject to harsh disciplinary action, up to and including suspension from UA.

UAPD and the Tuscaloosa Police Department are partnering to monitor bars, restaurants and off-campus residences where the city’s COVID-19 ordinances and UA guidelines are not being followed. Joint task force officers are risking their personal health and safety to protect yours. UAPD officers are also focusing efforts on our residence halls and Greek housing to ensure safety and compliance.

Completing the fall semester together is our goal. The margin for error is shrinking.

Now is the time to take action, commit to protect each other, and hold each other accountable. Thank you for taking your responsibilities seriously. Together, through shared sacrifice and commitment, we will achieve our goal.

Tide Together,

Stuart R. Bell