On campus, another week has gone by with no new positive COVID cases, and our previously reported positive cases have been cleared and the individuals allowed to re-enter campus last week. 

Meanwhile, here in Ticino, as in most of Europe, the number of cases is on the rise.

We truly are members of a community that we have all voluntarily decided to join, and that we collectively constitute. Together we have been able to maintain in-person instruction, co-educational learning opportunities, and academic travel by protecting ourselves and those around us.

For that to continue this winter and into the next spring semester, we have to fight the inevitable fatigue of following effective everyday public health measures such as wearing a mask, washing our hands, and physically distancing. I personally believe that vaccinations are our best chance at preserving public liberties, but not everyone can be vaccinated, and vaccinations alone do not exempt us from taking other steps to protect the more vulnerable around us.

Student actions to protect the community also include—in my mind—cooperation and patience with, for example, requests for information or restrictions on academic travel registration, or showing up at testing appointments and, this week, at mandatory spring pre-travel meetings. Thank you sincerely for stepping up and assuming these responsibilities.

We would like to hear your concept of community and of values at Franklin. Franklin’s VIEW (Values, Identity, and Ethics) Workgroup is seeking additional student input to help define Franklin's Institutional Values before the end of the semester. Students, if you have not yet contributed, please do so through the following anonymous link. VIEW will also set up suggestion boxes around campus and at Thanksgiving dinner. Thank you for your contributions to this important process that will frame our strategic thinking and more, in a way that will affect all of us.

In typical end-of-the-semester fashion, this coming Wednesday, November 24 we have four(!) events lined up: 

  1. All students enrolled in a spring academic travel are required to attend their mandatory spring pre-travel meetings at 3:30pm. Classroom locations will be announced today. Remember, registration changes for travel will close at the end of this semester, and there will be no add/drop for academic travel courses in the Spring semester, so this is your one opportunity to find out more about the class and about the actual travel. Students who do not attend the pre-travel meeting for the course they have registered for could risk receiving an absence for the course or even losing their place in the travel, so please make every effort to be there.
     
  2. The entire community is invited to participate in an open forum dialoguefacilitated by the university-wide Committee on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in collaboration with the Division of Arts and Cultures. POWER (everyone's invited) will take place at 5:00pm in the Kaletsch Campus Conference Room and via Zoom.
    At the event we invite the community to voice their opinions, concerns, and questions about power as it relates to FUS campus life particularly, but not only. We want to empower the community to share the responsibility of taking the necessary steps towards positive change.
     
  3. At 6pm in the LAC Conference Room, Emily Lundgren-Cook from the University of Edinburgh, UK, will be giving a talk related to her research interest in organizational (in)equality in the international development sector. Emily Lundgren-Cook is a candidate for the position of Assistant Professor of Management at Franklin.
     
  4. Our community Thanksgiving takes place at 7:00pm in the North Campus Dining Hall. Thanks to Russell Martin for organizing a safe and festive Thanksgiving!
    Whether you’re celebrating your first Thanksgiving at Franklin or have been coming to the dinner for years, we hope you’ll join us for one of Franklin’s greatest traditions. You can still purchase tickets until Monday, 22 November at 20:00.

Lastly, if you still haven’t updated the Winter Break Moodle Site with your plans, now is the time! Likewise, please be sure to inform the Registrar if you are planning to take a Leave of Absence or not return for the spring semester. Thanks to all those of you have already done so.