An Ode to Reopening

Illustration of Jonathan the mascot and Jonathan XIV wearing masks and staying 6 feet apart
As UConn prepares to reopen this fall, the UConn community will notice a handful of changes to ensure the campus stays healthy and safe. (Yesenia Carrero /UConn Illustration)

The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic has caused immeasurable heartache; disrupted everyday life; and changed the way we think about education, work, and social interaction – and we know how scary, frustrating, and overwhelming it is for our UConn community. So, we hope that everyone can take a pause and enjoy this brief moment of levity – peppered throughout with helpful links to formal guidance, video PSAs, and other tools to help our students, faculty, and staff stay safe – as we prepare for the work ahead of us all this semester.

Welcome back, our dear Huskies,
And please listen right here.
We’re about to begin
Another new year.

While you’ve been home waiting
In your quarantine,
Our staff have been busy
Giving campus a deep clean,

Opening labs,
Preparing lecture halls,
Readying lesson plans,
Adding signs to the walls,

So that we will be ready
For when you return,
Eager to study,
To grow, and to learn.

This year will be different,
We all know that it’s true,
So we have some advice
To help all of you.

Keep washing your hands,
And stay six feet apart.
Wearing a mask all the time
Is a start.

Illustration of Jonathan the mascot and Jonathan XIV wearing masks and staying 6 feet apart

If you’re feeling unwell,
Please keep yourself home,
And if you’re just feeling restless
Go outdoors to roam!

There are trails around campus
That you’ve probably missed.
Go enjoy that fresh air,
It can only assist!

Our buses and shuttles
Can move you about.
There are new ways to ride, though,
So just ask if in doubt.

Going home on the weekend
Is a real bad idea.
But who needs to travel
With all we have here?

The Dairy Bar is open,
Just order ahead,
Or plan a study picnic
On Horsebarn Hill instead.

Illustration of people socially distancing on horsebarn hill

The Rec Center is for you,
Just please do take note
That there are some new rules
To help keep things afloat.

Dining Services will be ready
With grab-and-go options
So you won’t miss out
On their tasty concoctions.

The Dean of Students has resources
To help guide your way
And make it easier to keep safe
As you go about your day.

There will still be events,
And clubs are still meeting.
Just gather responsibly,
Skip the handshakes when greeting.

Student Health will be testing
For that nasty virus.
Just a quick swab or some saliva
Will help to protect us.

A lot of staff will be home
Still telecommuting
But they’re right there to help you
If something isn’t computing.

Illustration of Jonathan XIV having a zoom meeting with his brother, President Katsouleas, and mascot Jonathan

We’re constantly trying
To do these things better.
Prez TK and Provost Carl want to hear from you,
So tweet at them whenever.

Whether you’re in Groton or Storrs,
Or learning remote,
Waterbury, Hartford, or Stamford,
We’re all in the same boat.

So, our dear Huskies,
We’ll leave you with all
These helpful videos
About preparations and precautions this Fall.

Please share them on social
So your friends can all see
How to study and learn
On our campus safely.

While it will not be easy,
We’re all in this together,
And we’ll take care of each other
Because we’re Huskies Forever!