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Dr. Mo Dehghani, chancellor of Missouri S&T, sent the following message to students, staff and faculty on March 29, 2021.
Dedicated students, distinguished colleagues and dear friends,
Welcome back from spring break! I hope you found last week relaxing and re-energizing. As I see more people on campus today, I’m reminded of a quote from Ghanaian author Dr. Lailah Gifty Akita, “May you have fresh strength in the spring season.” I feel like we’re not only emerging from winter but a long season of COVID-19 concerns. With vaccine availability increasing, I am optimistic that we will all be vaccinated soon against this disease.
Beginning today, all higher education faculty and staff (including student employees) are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. I enthusiastically encourage all employees and eligible students to get this vaccine as quickly as possible. This includes all students, faculty and staff who are considered high-risk due to age (65 or over) or severe health conditions as identified in Phase 1B – Tier 2 of the state’s priority listing. Soon, we will announce a partnership with Phelps Health to provide vaccination clinics for our faculty and staff. Please watch for that announcement in the eConnection.
Less than two weeks from now, on April 9, the final vaccine phase in Missouri will open, and it includes college students who have not previously qualified for the vaccine. Students, I encourage you to get the vaccine for your health and the health of others around you. Please note that you do not have to be a resident of Missouri to get the vaccine in Missouri – college students are considered “temporary residents” of the state for this purpose.
For a list of vaccine sites in the area and instructions on how to schedule appointments, visit coronavirus.mst.edu/vaccinations.
Now this does not mean we can completely let our guard down and return to pre-pandemic life just yet. While we are making great strides towards that goal, we must remain vigilant and follow our current safety protocols. There is hope on the horizon and I am looking forward to a return to in-person learning, gatherings and activities next fall.
In closing, I extend a special welcome back to campus to our students, faculty and staff of Asian and Pacific Islander descent. The recent shootings in Georgia, in which six people of East Asian descent were killed, have certainly rattled many of us, as have the more recent shootings in Colorado and Virginia. During these times, it’s more important than ever to remember that Missouri S&T strives to create an environment that is welcoming and supportive of all our students, faculty and staff. If you ever encounter or witness any incident of discrimination, bias or unfairness, I urge you to report it immediately so that it can be quickly investigated and addressed.
Respect toward others and toward diverse people and viewpoints is at the heart of our values as a university. I encourage anyone in need of support due to these incidents – or at any other time, for any cause or reason – to contact our counseling services team or reach out to any of our other health and well-being support services. The website wellbeing.mst.edu provides a comprehensive listing of S&T resources.
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