St. Bonaventure University

Alumni News

Halfway Home: A Message from President DePerro

Oct 08, 2020 |

Dear Members of the Bonaventure Community:

Dr. Dennis DePerro, university presidentThe moment this hit your email – noon today, Oct. 8 – was precisely the halfway point of the semester, or at least the portion of the semester we’ll spend together in person. After today, the 34th academic day of the semester, only 33 class days remain until Thanksgiving break.

I can’t thank everyone enough for the roles you’ve played in helping us get to this point with so few cases of COVID-19 surfacing in our campus community. The most important reason we’ve made it this far is the effort that our students – by far the largest segment of our campus community – are making to comply with the health and safety protocols we’ve established.

In my travels around campus during the week and my conversations with students, over and over I hear from them how much they want us to stay in session until Thanksgiving.

I know this hasn’t been easy for any of us, but especially for our students, 25% of whom are away from home for the first time in their lives living with restrictions no one could have imagined a year ago.

We can see the light of Thanksgiving in the not-so-distant future, but this is no time to let our guard down. Cattaraugus County is experiencing the first significant spike of the pandemic and we need to do everything we can not to contribute to the strains on the local healthcare facilities, including our own Wellness Center.

If the message wasn’t clear enough when we suspended 28 students a month ago, I sure hope it’s clear now after 21 more were suspended this past weekend. We simply can’t tolerate those kinds of incidents anymore and risk ruining what the vast majority of people here have done and sacrificed to get to this point.

I’d also like people to have a little perspective. As much as has been taken away from us over the past seven months, we need to appreciate what he have been able to do compared to so many other colleges and universities.

Some schools lasted only a week before being shut down, their students sent home like so many of you were in the spring semester.

We’ve been able to conduct roughly 90% of our classes in person. Many schools that are still in session have as many as half of their classes available only online.

And I’ve said this before and I’ll continue to hammer the point home: Our Student Affairs team has done a remarkable job of offering creative programming that not enough students are taking advantage of.

Please read the Notice Board in your morning email every day or check out the website calendar at Talk to your RA about opportunities you might not be aware of. Don’t sit in your dorm room on Sunday and watch football on your phone or iPad. Go watch in the tent between Richter and Reilly, or to the ‘Skeller for night games and play pool while watching the game on a big-screen TV.

We’re halfway there. Please stay vigilant.

  • Wear your face coverings, inside and out, and stay socially distant.
  • Please take advantage of the three remaining flu clinics (Oct. 15, 23, 28); the more we can do to stay healthy, the less burden there will be on our campus and community healthcare workers.
  • Avoid travel as much as possible and please don’t welcome visitors, to campus or off-campus residences, especially those from states on the New York “hot list” who would be obligated to quarantine if they do come and could face significant fines if they don’t.

Again, thanks to everyone for all you’re doing to keep our campus community safe.

Peace and all good,

Dr. Dennis R. DePerro
University President