You Must Show Up to Be Tested

Dear Members of the Methodist University Community, 

Significant numbers of students are failing to show up for required weekly COVID testing. This is a serious issue. My promise to you remains: Safety will come first as we strive for another full year on campus. However, the failure of students to show up for testing creates a critical challenge to my ability to keep that promise. Therefore, I want to put all students on notice that if compliance with the testing requirement does not near 100% immediately, I may have no choice but to suspend face-to-face learning, athletic events, and other events on campus. I also may have no choice but to send students home for a period of time.   

For those who were here last year, you will recall what we sacrificed to accomplish our goals of safety and an entire year of on-campus living and learning. For much of the year, no group gatherings, no eating in the dining hall, no resident hall visitation, and countless cancelled events. At one point, we even sent some students home in order to isolate clusters of COVID cases. The Delta variant of the virus is far more contagious, creates more severe illness, and is more likely to attack college-age people. It is therefore crucial that everyone comply with all safety protocols, including testing of those who have not uploaded vaccine cards.

Last year, all Monarchs moved Forward Together and accomplished our goals. We showed the care for others necessary to do what many universities across the state and country could not.

I know everyone is tired of COVID and tired of safety protocols, including testing. I am too. But COVID is still with us, whether we like it or not, and as I said, it is more contagious and more serious than this time last year. I could not be more serious or absolute when I share that we are as close to having to give up our semester on campus as we were last year. The reality of “We may all be heading home” is substantial.  

  • If we do not follow our masking guidelines and cases rise quickly — as they have in the past — we may all be sent home. (We were close to that once already this year.) 
  • If the unvaccinated miss their testing sessions — putting themselves and others at risk — we may all be sent home.
  • If we don’t address the still-too-low percentages of unvaccinated individuals in our community, we may all be sent home. (Do not procrastinate and wait for the October deadline.)
Last year was a remarkable achievement for us all. We should take Monarch pride in that. But we’re not done, and it’s going to take an immediate effort to hold yourself and others accountable if we are to reach those goals again. We showed once that if we move Forward Together, we can do this, MU. Let’s show the world that again!


Stanley T. Wearden, Ph.D.