The Smitty Safety & Civility Pledge


The 2020/2021 academic year is destined to be a time like no other. Our Smitty students, faculty, and staff – whether they are new to campus or returning – will share an experience marked by changed environments, unfamiliar practices, and new social norms. The COVID-19 global pandemic requires each of us to observe heightened health and safety precautions in the coming academic year.

Individually we are many different things – explorers, creatives, thinkers, doers, achievers, collaborators, and more. Together we are one community. And just like the ecosystems that surround our campus and often occupy our thoughts, the PSC community is a web of interdependence on the choices that each of us makes. Most of us are not medical professionals, but we all have a role to play in protecting the health and safety of our community. It is up to each of us to conscientiously do our part.

By joining this community, I pledge to arrive on campus prepared, take healthy actions to protect myself and others, and bring joy to PSC by sharing positive energy and a welcoming vibe. I will:

Prepare For Success

Abraham Lincoln said: “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” With slow moves like that, Abe wouldn’t stand a chance in a Woodsmen’s competition. However, he is right about the importance of being prepared.

  • Bring a supply of masks or other suitable face coverings.
  • Monitor my physical health to avoid carelessly spreading infection. If I am sick, I will stay home.
  • Pay attention to college communications so that I know what to expect.
  • Contact PSC in advance if I need to arrange special housing, dining, or learning accommodations.

Protect Everyone’s Health

We’ve been hearing it for months, but it bears repeating: a few simple steps can go a long way toward reducing the risk of infection. Our collective health and wellness depends on a commitment to these daily habits.

  • Monitor myself for COVID-19 symptoms and report concerns to the Health Services office.
  • Wash my hands often with soap and water or hand sanitizer.
  • Cough into my elbow or cover my cough.
  • Wear an appropriate face mask when I’m outside my residence room.
  • Practice good personal hygiene and keep my room/personal belongings clean.

Some behavioral changes take a bit more practice before they become routine. These may at times feel awkward, inconvenient, or annoying, but everyone must do his/her/their part by following these new expectations.

  • Adhere to the mandatory Health and Safety Protocols as defined by PSC.
  • Follow the safety guidance and directions on signage posted across campus.
  • Participate in a quick, online daily health survey to keep Health Services professionals informed.
  • Improve sanitation by wiping down surfaces after I have used shared spaces, tools, or equipment.
  • Stay home if I am ill or have been exposed to someone who is ill or has tested positive for COVID-19.

Be A Good Neighbor, Ally And Friend

Living and learning together is an amazing way to develop common bonds. We cannot thrive as a community by excluding others from fully participating in this experience. In fact, we will be most successful when we avoid thinking of people as “others” in the first place.

  • Treat all members of our community with dignity and respect.
  • Extend a welcoming hand to individuals who appear to be feeling lost or out-of-place.
  • Participate in efforts to advance social justice, diversity and inclusion.
  • Refrain from participating in exclusionary activities.
  • Prevent my own biases from impeding access and opportunities for all.
  • Bring positive energy, enthusiasm, and fun to my interactions.
  • Treat our campus as an aggression-free zone, and expect everyone to do the same.
  • Recognize that many people are coping with anxiety or stress, and avoid increasing their burden.
  • Offer to listen, support, and provide assistance when I think I can help.


To align the College’s health and safety expectations with the well-being of each member of our community, and to assure all Smitties of our mutual commitment to uphold these standards, all Paul Smith’s College students, faculty, and staff are required to sign this pledge as a condition of their return to campus for the 2020/2021 academic year.

Detailed health and safety protocols, including requirements for social distancing, facial coverings, and self-care, are detailed on the college website at This guidance will be updated as best practices change and new information is discovered. Updates will be announced to the community, and each community member is expected to remain apprised of these changes as they occur.