President’s Corner: Keep the faith
Dear Salve Regina:
The national news, particularly last week, was overwhelming. It was painful to witness so much unrest alongside the daily stress of the pandemic, and I know we are all tired of living behind our masks.
Lately, I’ve been finding solace by focusing on our local environment here at Salve Regina. This weekend showcased just how beautiful the fall season can be on the coast of Rhode Island. Some of the views on campus took my breath away with the brilliant blues in the sky and ocean against the bright colors of the foliage, especially those artful arrangements created by our grounds team at the Salve Regina gates.
On Saturday, over 400 students attended the fall festival, gamely participating in socially distanced activities and sampling the wares of food trucks. Although we were all masked, the Salve Regina spirit was palpable as students spoke about their good fortune of being together “in person” and finding new ways to connect with one another – cooking with roommates, installing movie screens in their suites, and exploring the local Newport scenery.
The same kindness, consideration and other-centeredness that I’ve loved about our students was still prominent. It was heartening to see that despite the constraints, our core remains unchanged.
So, rather than give in to those feelings of despair because of the chaos in the world, I prefer to think about our blessings as a community:
- Our lowest-in-the-state number of COVID-19 cases at a higher education institution.
- Salve’s continued vigilance in mask-wearing (and other safety protocols) for the common good.
- That most of our classes remain in person and most of our students are in Newport.
- The ongoing commitment of our faculty and staff to providing the best experience possible.
- That we have been able to keep our Mercy spirit alive throughout the pandemic, including our all-important value of service to others in need.
In an earlier blog when I wrote about how I believed Salve Regina would become a model for how to navigate the COVID-19 crisis, it was an aspirational statement, but one I sincerely hoped we could achieve. And you are doing it, Salve. Day by day. The essence of Salve Regina is shining through, and I am incredibly proud to be a member of this community.
I also wanted to remind the community that I have officially set up virtual office hours for faculty, staff and students to share anything they would like. The full list of all the dates and times are located here on SALVEtoday, and you can find the links to sign up for them there as well. I truly look forward to seeing you and hearing your thoughts.
Keep the faith!
All my best,