Dear UK Students,
Happy first day of classes! We are excited to welcome you to campus, and we look forward to all that you will accomplish this year at the University of Kentucky. You and your success are at the center of everything we do.
We want to start by saying thank you for masking up at all the indoor K Week events and for uploading your vaccine documentation. You’re keeping each other and the Big Blue Nation safe.
We also want recognize the leadership of all our student leaders. They have launched events that are safe and promote healthy behaviors while building community and belonging.
Many thanks to all.
A few reminders as you start out the 2021-22 academic year:
- UK Health Corps is here to support you. Whether you have been vaccinated or not, Health Corps is your central hub for health and safety resources. If you develop symptoms of COVID-19, alerting Health Corps through the wellness screener (or contacting them directly) is the quickest way for us to provide you with support and resources. Remember, if you are not vaccinated, you are expected to complete the screener every day. If you are vaccinated, you may complete it whenever you need COVID-19 support or have questions related to COVID-19.
- Vaccines are our best defense against COVID-19 and your safest route to engaging in campus life. The science is clear: vaccines work. The sooner we can reach and exceed an 80% vaccination rate on campus, the sooner we can safely relax some of the restrictions in place now. If you are still considering the vaccination, we encourage you to explore more information about it here. If you have not been vaccinated, you can do so quickly, easily and confidentially on campus at no cost. If you were vaccinated through a non-UK provider, please upload your documentation.
3. After you are vaccinated, enter to win prizes. In recognition of your positive healthy behaviors that protect our community, we want to say thank you. All students who have been vaccinated can enter for a chance to win a variety of prizes, ranging from athletic and concert tickets to tuition scholarships. There will be at least seven drawings and more than 160 chances to win. Learn more here.
4. Mask up when you’re inside. UK policies require everyone, whether you’re vaccinated or not, to wear a mask or face covering in indoor spaces. The only exception is when you are exercising in a recreational facility. This rule is in place to keep us all safe.
5. If you are unvaccinated, complete your entry test and be on the lookout for testing emails. Unvaccinated students are required to complete an entry test before August 27 and participate in ongoing testing throughout the semester. Be on the lookout for emails from Health Corps letting you know that it’s time to be tested. You can be removed from these testing requirements by getting fully vaccinated. At the same time, these testing services are available at no cost to all students, any time you want to complete a COVID test.
6. Take care of your mental health, too. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. We are here to help. Look out for your friends, don’t be afraid to check in on those around you and please remember that resources are available to support your mental health and well-being. You can learn more about those here.
7. Take advantage of the resources available to you. If you have a disability or medical condition and need disability-related accommodations, including those involving absences, please contact the Disability Resource Center. If any alterations are deemed appropriate accommodations, the DRC Consultant will work collaboratively with you and your faculty member to determine the possibility or ability to provide the accommodation.
8. Think about how to get engaged with your UK community. UK has more than 500 student organizations that provide opportunities to get involved on campus, meet new people and explore your interests. We also have hundreds of events planned around campus designed to help you connect and build community. Check out student organizations and campus events here.
The UK faculty and staff are here to support you, cheer for you and help you achieve your wildest ambitions. We hope you have an exciting semester of learning, growth and fun!
I hope you had a great first day of classes.
Kirsten Turner, Ph.D.
Vice President for Student Success