University creates campus safety pledge

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Kevin Gao

Illinois students study and lounge on the tables outside of the Illini Union on April 3.

By Amrita Bhattacharyya, Staff Writer

The University has created a voluntary pledge to encourage students to personally commit in keeping the campus safe. 

The Illinois Community Pledge consists of several components, which advance public health. One such component is conducting a health self-assessment every morning to see if one has COVID-19 symptoms. 

Other facets of the pledge include frequently washing one’s hands, practicing social distancing, regularly participating in COVID-19 testing, contact tracing programs and wearing face coverings in public spaces. 

“If we are to come back together this fall as COVID-19 circumstances allow, every single one of us must be ready to commit to taking every possible step to protect those around us,” said Chancellor Robert Jones in a Massmail. 

The Pledge also includes taking the COVID-19 online safety training by the Illinois Division of Research Safety, which is required before returning to campus. 

Robin Kaler, spokesperson for the University, said the University is trying to build a culture of family on campus.

“In a time of COVID, we know that we’re not just doing these behaviors to protect ourselves; we need to do these behaviors to protect everybody in our community or we’re not going to be able to physically be on campus,” Kaler said. 

The Pledge is part of a larger education campaign by the University to encourage students to comply with public health guidelines. 

This includes setting up classrooms to accommodate social distancing, setting up hand-cleaning stations where sinks are not readily available and putting up plexiglass partitions as needed. 

According to Kaler, 7,755 students have taken the pledge as of July 18. 

The University is encouraging students to show their commitment through social media with the hashtag #IveGotYouCovered.

“(The pledge) is a way to say ‘I care about my community,’” Kaler said. “It’s not required. It does not have you give up any rights at all.”

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