Messages from the President

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. We remember the sorrow of that day but also the dedication, commitment and strength of those who responded to the tragic events. Chancellor Gary S. Davis of U.C. Davis recently wrote, "We remember how our world changed nearly overnight. We remember the terrible loss of life and the destruction unleashed that day. Those following weeks, months and years shaped our perceptions of the world and our place in it. It affected how we relate to one another. It caused us to reflect on how we want to move forward as citizens of the world and as community members." His is a strong and important message for all of us. As we commemorate the tragedy of 20 years ago, let’s also continue to strive for kindness and compassion. At RRCC, we have set a strong foundation to build upon. Let’s remain united in our efforts for positive change. In closing, I would like to share a quote with you. These are words spoken by Sandy Dahl, the wife of Flight 93 pilot Jason Dahl, in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. “If we learn nothing else from this tragedy, we learn that life is short and there is no time for hate.”


Dear RRCC Community Members,

After much consideration, the college will return to requiring masks for all employees and students inside all college buildings effective Monday, August 16.

The members of the Executive Leadership Team and I have carefully considered all the feedback, the recent CDC recommendations, and data on the recent spread of the Delta variant as well as meetings with Jefferson County Public Health. We believe this decision is the single best step we can take to maintain campus safety and in-person operations, given all the available evidence.

Accommodations

Requests for accommodations by faculty and staff who have medical concerns about wearing masks will be handled through the process in Human Resources. If that pertains to you, please reach out to Human Resources as soon as possible. Students requesting accommodations will contact Accessibility Services.

Masks will not be required outdoors.

Why are we requiring masks?

Key reasons: with the rise of the Delta variant, masks will help prevent faculty, staff and students from spreading the virus to one another or children who are not old enough to be vaccinated or at-risk individuals. This will help avoid the growing risk of significant disruption in college operations.

Vaccinations are Still Critical

If you are not vaccinated, please consider getting the vaccine as soon as possible.  Even if you do get sick from COVID, if you are unvaccinated you have a much higher risk of transmitting the disease to someone else.  The Delta variant has substantially increased the risk for unvaccinated people. Across the country unvaccinated people make up more than 95% of COVID deaths and hospitalizations. With over 160 million Americans vaccinated, reports of complications for vaccinated people are very rare.  If you don’t believe that you personally are at much risk from COVID, please still consider getting vaccinated to reduce the risk for others.

Jefferson County Public Health will be on campus August 16, 23 and 24 with their mobile lab providing vaccinations at the Main Entrance. We will have them return on a regular basis throughout the semester to provide opportunities for employees and students to get vaccinated.

Course Modalities and Campus Operations

At this point we do not anticipate changing course modalities or how departments are planning to operate for fall. However, the Executive Leadership Team is discussing operational plans at every meeting and will continue to assess the situation and communicate changes as needed.

Work Week

The Kickoff session will be held on the 16th at 9:00am, with an optional WebEx for virtual attendance. I am in hopes that most of you will be comfortable in joining us face to face since the gym seating will be socially distanced and masks will be worn. Food and drinks before the session will be outside and not brought into the Gym so people can keep their masks on. Many of the other meetings and presentations during Work Week will have an option to attend via Zoom or Web Ex.

We are also expecting everyone to continue to maintain space and not to congregate in groups close together.

Building Access

At the Lakewood campus we will have three main doors open for entrance and exit: the Main Entrance, the East Entrance and the West Entrance. At the Arvada campus, the Main Entrance and the South Entrance will be open for entrance and exit. We will have signs on the doors at all entry points and at all offices as soon as possible.

Safety Supplies

We have a large supply of disinfecting wipes, hand sanitizer and masks that will be available across both campuses.

Closing Thoughts

The Executive Leadership Team recognizes that masks can be inconvenient and annoying and that many of us are ready to get back to a pre-COVID, mask-free world. We don’t take this decision lightly.  We also recognize that millions of people worked with masks every day over the last 16 months, including many of our own faculty and staff and thousands of local K-12 teachers.

We had hoped that we could be in a mask free environment, but the Delta variant has changed the calculation. We will continue to monitor the situation on a daily basis and will provide regular updates via email, videos and postings on our website. Additionally, we will continue the use of our COVID 19 Notification forms found at Student COVID-19 Notification Form and Employee COVID-19 Notification Form for exposures or positive test results. Feel free to contact your divisional Vice President if additional information is needed.

We appreciate your cooperation and support to help keep the college safe and operations running as smooth as possible. If you have questions or concernes, please open this link to a short formstack.

Dr. Michele Haney, President
President, Red Rocks Community College


RRCC Colleagues:

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, xenophobic and racist incidents targeting members of the Asian, Asian American and Pacific Islander communities have surged in the U.S. and around the world. Here is a link to an article and data from the National Institute of Health about anti-Asian hate crimes during the COVID-19 pandemic. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7364747/

Red Rocks Community College does not and will not tolerate any form of violence, harassment or racism against API individuals.

Students, faculty or staff who have been the victim of harassment, bullying or discrimination should fill out our Report A Concern form.

cm.maxient.com/reportingform.php?RedRocksCC

These reports are handled confidentially and as soon as they are received.

Active Bystander Intervention tools give us options for what to do if we are witness to an incident of harassment:
lead.berkeley.edu/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Bystander-Intervention-LEAD-Center.pdf
www.ihollaback.org/bystander-resources/

Additional RRCC resources for students:

www.rrcc.edu/student-health-counseling-center
www.rrcc.edu/diversity

Additional RRCC resources for employees:

www.rrcc.edu/diversity

Colorado State Employee Assistance Program - https://cseap.colorado.gov/

We will continue to foster an environment where our students and colleagues feel safe, heard, and supported at RRCC.