Welcome students 2020 (Video with transcript)


Robert Dana: Hello, everybody. I’m Robert Dana. I’m your dean of students.

It’s so wonderful to be addressing you because it’s a magnificent day here in Orono, you’re getting ready to come back, or you’re getting ready to come for the first time. You’re going to be a Black Bear tried and true. We’re going to love having you.

We’re coming back in times of COVID-19, a very difficult time. This is a time for you to take full responsibility, and you’re coming to a campus that is a true community.

A true community is hallmarked by each other’s willingness to take care of each other and to do the right thing. If we’re going to be here and be safe, it’s up to you. It’s up to me. It’s up to all my friends back here.

All we have to do is the simple things. Wear your mask. Wash your hands. Keep social distance. If you don’t feel well, get help. We’re going to be fine, but we have to do it together.

Now, listen, this video here is going to help us understand all the very interesting important good stuff that the University is doing to keep us safe. I hope you’ll enjoy it. I welcome you. I cannot wait for you to be back on campus.

[background music]

Emily Pigeon: Hi, I’m Emily Pigeon, a member of Team Maine, here with my friends Antonio, Conner, and Bananas. The first day of fall semester begins August 31st for both undergraduate and graduate classes. While for most of you, you’ll be returning, for some of you, this will be your first time attending UMaine.

Man 1: We are going to take you on a quick tour of campus to check out some of the safety and health measures that we have built-in.

Man 2: The first thing to keep in mind is that face coverings will be required everywhere on campus, both indoors and out, with the exception of in your room in the residence hall.

Emily: Let’s head to campus and see some of the other changes you’ll see. Throughout campus are hundreds of hand sanitizer stations, classroom hand wipe dispensers, and signage related to social distancing with health and safety reminders.

Man 2: As mentioned, face coverings are required all across campus. In the event you misplace yours, there are plenty of on-campus locations where you can find replacements.

Emily: Community members each receive a wellness kit, containing face covering, refillable hand sanitizer bottle, door opener, and cell phone cardholder.

Man 2: CDC recommended cleaning protocols address high-touch and high-traffic areas, including doorknobs and other surfaces.

Emily: Signs on building doors specify entrance and exit traffic patterns.

Man 2: Floor signage in classrooms and common areas will help ensure social distancing.

Emily: Clear hygiene barriers are installed in areas where there are face-to-face interactions.

Man 2: Classroom seating is modified for proper social distancing.

Emily: Rooms and residence halls and common areas have been organized for optimal social distancing and equipped with PPE supplies.

Man 2: Dining areas will feature grab-and-go selections and modified seating arrangements.

Emily: Likewise, health and safety measures, and a regular cleaning schedule are in place in computer clusters, the library, Rec Center, and other UMaine facilities.

Man 2: Information on all these initiatives and more are on the UMaine Return to Campus website, umaine.edu/return.

Emily: There, you’ll find more about the Black Bears Care Plan and the Black Bear Pact, our health, and safety campaign for all members of UMaine community.

Man 2: On the Return to Campus website is a list of more than 18 planning groups working to prepare for summer and fall. Those groups include the UMS Science Advisory Board, led by some of our top faculty experts.

Emily: When you’re on the UMaine campus or at any of our facilities and offices statewide, we all have important responsibility to adhere to. In addition to following health and safety measures, we ask that you continue to follow state and federal CDC guidance.

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and use alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Maintain social distancing when possible. Wear face-covering whenever you are on campus and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Man 2: We all know life on campus will be different this fall. With your help, we can keep everyone healthy and safe.

[background music]

Emily: We can’t wait to see you this fall.

Man 1: We can’t wait to see you this fall.

Man 2: We can’t wait to see you this fall.