COVID-19: The Covenant Commitment
On behalf of the College's COVID-19 Response Team and the College Cabinet, I'm asking two things of all employees:
Please read and affirm the Covenant Commitment by clicking HERE and checking the box as your digital signature. This is expected of all employees. Any concerns should be directed to the Vice President over your area. Human Resources will also be sending out some additional guidance for all employees next week.
This is a community commitment. All students and all employees are expected to affirm and abide by this commitment. We believe the measures we have put in place for the community will work if there is a shared commitment to continuously upholding each of them. My second ask of you is to help us hold our students and one another accountable. That is the heart behind #10: Cooperate as graciously as possible when asked to comply with these commitments by any member of the Covenant College community; be willing to graciously hold others accountable to these commitments.
One of our former counselors in the Priesthill Center, Steve McIlvaine, used to say that it takes 30 days to form a habit. We have to be ready and willing to model these protective measures to our students (compliance is contagious) and also to take the even harder next step of graciously asking them day after day to comply until this becomes habitual. This cannot solely fall on the shoulders of Res Life and a few other departments and student leaders on campus. They are already worn out after just a few days and need all of our support and back-up. Whether a diet or an exercise plan or a spiritual discipline, the first days are often the hardest when developing a new habit.
Constant vigilance is exhausting, but we must be on this from the beginning. I know this is a lot to ask and you have so much else to do. However, I'm convinced when students are regularly asked to comply and regularly see the majority of the community complying that they will develop the habit. Like any new habit or skill - (finger placement on a difficult piece of music, off-hand layups, reading for comprehension, hitting a curveball, or learning mathematical equations) - repetition is key. And we have an opportunity to get a lot of reps in during the days and weeks ahead as we teach and coach our students.
Be gracious and appeal to both the selfless and selfish natures of our students. We should want to do this because we are called to care for one another as brothers and sisters in Christ and this is a tangible way to love one another. I understand that may not appeal to all. Selfishly we should want to do this because community compliance gives us the best opportunity of moving forward on campus for as long as possible without significant interruption. We have heard time and again that students want to be here - that they have missed it so much and could not wait to get back. This Covenant Commitment should be understood as the path to how we continue to make it possible.
Thanks for reading to the end of this. Thanks for your partnership in this endeavor.