August 18, 2020

Dear CSU Students,

I was excited this morning to meet some of you and your families as you moved into the Residence Halls on campus. Welcome back! And thank you all for your patience and sense of humor about the new socially distanced move-in process.

What I’m not excited about is this: I have heard from some parents, some students, and some of our dedicated Housing & Dining staff members that a number of students moving into our on-campus residence halls and apartments, as well as some already living in university housing, are choosing not to receive a free COVID-19 test.

I urge each and every one of you to register for a COVID test, go to your assigned testing tent, and get this free test conducted immediately. And because we care so much about your health and the health of our whole community, we will also offer free COVID testing this week to any adult family members living in university housing with a CSU student (e.g. spouses, partners, parents).

Why get tested? You know the answer: Rams Take Care, Rams Take Action. We are committed to keeping our whole community healthy this year and that means we must work together. Testing for COVID helps us identify cases and reduce the spread of the virus quickly. Your test may mean the difference between getting to remain on campus this Fall or going home. And in case I wasn’t clear above: COVID testing is free to all students in university housing, all week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (we have extended the apartment testing through Friday).

The next question of course is “why not get tested?”

If you have any health condition that would make a COVID test a hardship for you, we understand. That’s why we have indicated that you can opt out.

But I’m hearing that some of you are opting out because you don’t want that horrible long swab up your nose. Don’t worry! This is a simple, regular swab that you administer yourself, not the long one that will make you cough or gag. You can see the test in action here. If fear of a painful test made you opt out, take a deep breath and go get tested.

I’m also hearing that some of you read our assurance that “you can opt out” as another way of saying that “getting a COVID test is totally optional.” Think about that for a minute. There are so many things that you do every day that you could “opt out” of: showing up for class, doing your homework, being kind to your friends, treating your teachers and advisors with respect. But you don’t opt out of those things, because again, Rams Take Care, Rams Take Action. You are the very best of CSU and that’s because you opt IN to making this university and community a special place.

So please, OPT IN to a simple, free test in one of our testing tents this week. Help keep our whole community healthy and on campus all semester.

Thank you!
Joyce McConnell

For more detailed information about the free COVID testing being offered to students at CSU, go here.