Whether you are a new or returning student I am so pleased to see you coming home.
It is going to be a funny old start to this new academic year. I know that we are all anxious–impatient to get started; keen to pursue our academic passions; eager to meet new people, people who will be friends for life; itching to experience a new city, a new term, another chapter in our lives – yet with that veneer of anxiety–how will we manage all this when the pandemic has reduced our opportunities to do all this in a free and easy way?
The answer is firmly in our own–your own–hands. What we have to do is be thoughtful and creative.
Thoughtful? Be caring of others in the way you mix socially–keep your distance, wash your hands, wear that face covering, take part in the testing programme. Remember the Rule of Six. And please, particularly as we begin, practice social distancing at all times.
But I also call on you to be creative. Find ways of mixing safely. Don’t sit alone in your room. Find a place to work where you can see, and be with others. Take advantage of the in-person and the online events which you will be offered. Talk to strangers when you see them–at lunch, in the OCR or clubroom or marquee, over coffee or a beer. Engage with the College and with WCSA. Join some of the numerous student societies. Want to try rowing? Or to dig the student garden? Use Facebook and WhatsApp to connect up. Plan some “events” of your own and engage others–are you interested in setting up a book group, or a painting club, or to gather to watch the US Presidential debates? Do it! We can help you do this in a covid secure way.
Wolfson will retain all that it holds dear. That supportive egalitarian ethos; that international community celebrating our differences, sharing our experiences, delighting in the diversity of ideas, disciplines, cultures and opportunities that we find within our grounds. We will come out of this stronger and wiser. We will Ring True.
- Professor Jane Clarke, President of Wolfson College