July 29, 2020

Dear Pitt students,

The University of Pittsburgh is a large, diverse community made up of many people from every walk of life and corner of the globe. But we are united in our support of the University’s mission to build a better future for humankind, and we share the core values of cooperation, mutual respect and being good neighbors to each other. This is true especially during a pandemic.

Student leaders from the Pittsburgh campus have created the Pitt Community Compact and have asked students, faculty and staff on all campuses to take this pledge to emphasize our culture of adhering to behaviors to protect the community. The Compact focuses on your individual health and wellbeing, your impact on others, and your accountability. It ends with, “No matter your affiliation, we are all members of the same community. We are all in this together, and we will get through this together.”

Watch the video at youtu.be/6_vZluYSKyY

Other ways to build our culture include modeling good behavior for others, offering constructive suggestions to those who seem to be disregarding the health rules, and praising positive behaviors. Be an active bystander – if you see someone putting others at risk, interject and have a discussion. We can also build a culture of mutual care by reporting harmful behaviors. More information about building a supportive culture is available at coronavirus.pitt.edu.

You will be required to complete mandatory health and safety training. At the end of the training, you will have the opportunity to review and take the pledge online. All faculty and staff will also undergo mandatory health and safety training and will have the opportunity to review and take the pledge online.

The training is focused on the health rules and safety guidance to ensure every member of our community is made aware and accountable. Members of the community who fail to adhere to the health and safety guidance may have their access to university buildings and facilities revoked.

A new code violation regarding compliance with health rules has been added to the Student Code of Conduct: a student who “Fails to comply with guidance set forth by the University, federal, state and/or local authorities regarding public health and/or safety” may be sanctioned. As with every violation of the Code, when student misconduct occurs, we oversee impartial procedures and opportunities for personal development and improvement. Students who violate the Code of Conduct may be restricted from campus facilities, including classrooms when classes resume in person. Violations can also result in sanctions as serious as disciplinary suspension or dismissal.

Student violations of the Student Code of Conduct should be reported online or emailed to the Dean of Students. Anonymous reporting for violations can be reported through Environmental Health and Safety’s anonymous form. Tips about non-compliance may also be submitted through the RAVE Guardian mobile safety app, which is available free of charge to Pitt community members.  If you are not invested in the safety and wellbeing of our community, please stay home.

The pandemic has created a lot of uncertainty, but I am certain that if we all share the responsibility of helping to make our community safer, we will get through this together. Please continue to take care of yourself and each other!

Sincerely,

Kenyon R. Bonner, EdD
Vice Provost and Dean of Students