Campus Community Compact
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 individual health and wellbeing, impact on others and 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.”
Students, faculty and staff will be required to complete a mandatory health and safety training. At the end of the training, they will have the opportunity to review and take the pledge online.
Code of Conduct Updates
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, Student Affairs oversees 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 semester suspensions.
Health and Safety Training
To help ensure all Pitt faculty, staff and students who are returning to campus have the knowledge they need to do so as safely as possible, participation in an online health and safety training is required. This training covers topics including:
- General information about COVID-19
- Changes the University has made to help keep the community safe
- Steps everyone is required to take to help keep themselves and others safe
- Information about steps to take if a person experiences symptoms of COVID-19
- Resources for supporting a culture of health and safety
- Ways to share or report concerns
Each of us has a role to play in keeping our community as healthy as possible. Even with all of the measures the University is taking—and everything our faculty, staff and students are doing to help keep all of us safe—the impact of the pandemic on campus operations will be significant and there are risks associated with voluntary return to campus. Recognizing the importance of students understanding these risks prior to resuming on-campus activity, the University has required students to complete a Return to Campus Student Acknowledgement.
This document is not a waiver of liability. Students are not being asked to give up their right to sue the University or any other legal right. Instead, students are being asked to acknowledge and agree that they understand the risks and the behaviors they must exhibit to help minimize those risks. Students who do not complete these items will no longer have access to my.pitt.edu, any University IT services or University buildings.
Supporting a Culture of Health and Safety
Whether you are on campus, remote or a mix of both, there are things you can do to encourage and support a culture of health and safety.
- Post signage in your area, even if your area is your home! The Office of University Communications and Marketing has provided a full suite of signage to reinforce healthy behaviors. Whether you’re in your on-campus office or working at your dining room table, these are sure to remind you and those around you of steps we can all take to help keep Panther Nation healthy.
- Model behavior: Whether it’s making sure to wear your face covering when outside of your home, thoroughly washing your hands or maintaining physical distance, it’s easier for others to remember to do these things when they see other members of the Pitt community participating in them
- Be an active bystander: If you see someone not wearing a face covering or keeping physical distance, try to address the situation respectfully and while giving the other person the benefit of the doubt. Suggestions include:
- “Hi! You may not have realized it, but you’re not wearing a face covering. I know it can be easy to forget!”
- “Would you mind wiping down your door handle at the end of each day? I found keeping a note by my keys helps me to remember!”
- Ask questions! We are all learning new things each and every day—even more than usual! It can be hard to keep track of everything, and other people certainly have the same question you do. When you’re not sure, ask! For example:
- Ask your instructor to clarify how to submit assignments if attending class remotely.
- Ask your co-worker how they are balancing the demands of work and home.
- Check for understanding: If someone is giving you new instructions, repeat it back to them in your own words to make sure you’re correctly interpreting what is being asked of you. This helps to make sure you’re aligned with those around you and prevents misunderstandings.
- Look for gaps and identify solutions: Are you noticing a frequently touched surface that should be wiped down more often? Work with your roommates or colleagues to clean it on a rotating basis each week so that it doesn’t remain overlooked or become one person’s responsibility.
- Praise positive changes: Reinforce these new strategies by recognizing someone who does a great job! Whether it’s telling them as you see it or acknowledging them in front of your friends or co-workers, it’s sure to encourage repeat positive behavior.
- Take two and make a plan: Perhaps you need to tackle a task you have not done since coming back to campus that usually required two or more people. Before you begin, take a few moments to think about and discuss how you can accomplish your objectives while following the new requirements and protocols.
- Start student organization or business meetings with a safety tip: Share a safety tip or suggestion at the start of each meeting. This only needs to take 60-90 seconds and can be rotated among team members to promote engagement. Sample ideas include:
- Sharing an article about the effectiveness of wearing face coverings.
- Sending a link to a cool video that shows proper cough and sneeze etiquette.
- Recommending a good hand cream that helps support hand health with all of the increased hand washing.