News and Announcements

University community required to sign OHIO Pledge before return to campus 

Due to the hard work and leadership of Ohio University’s five Senates – student, graduate student, faculty administrative, and classified – the University is announcing the creation of the OHIO Pledge, which is intended to embrace OHIO’s culture of care by asking each member of our community to do their part to keep one another safe in the midst of a worldwide public health crisis. 

“Maintaining safety and connectedness as a community in the midst of the global pandemic is Ohio University’s top priority.” Ohio President M. Duane Nellis said. “Each member of our community is responsible for observing heightened health and safety precautions in the coming academic year. It is up to all of us to make smart choices and follow public health guidelines to help keep our University community safe, and to protect our own families and friends who may be outside of our campus community. I greatly appreciate the leadership of our student, graduate student, faculty, administrative, and classified senates in the development of a thoughtful and meaningful compact that will help to ensure the well-being of our Bobcat family.” 

The OHIO Pledge is a social compact that acknowledges the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic and a promise to follow public health guidelines to show care for one another and to help stop the spread of this deadly disease. 

By signing the OHIO Pledge, members of the University community pledge to maintain public health recommended behaviors when off campus and to regularly monitor University communications for updates. This includes following the interim University policy, requiring use of facial coverings in all public places, such as inside campus buildings and outside when appropriate social distancing is not possible, with exceptions limited to those outlined in the policy.

The OHIO Pledge also outlines the University’s protocols for responsive actions and requires signers to report COVID-19 exposure, symptoms and diagnosis or to a designated person or office on campus. By signing, the community member agrees to fully participate with contact tracing efforts by the local health department and Ohio University.

Finally, the pledge acknowledges cognitive bias and discriminatory behaviors provoked by COVID-19 and asks signers to treat all members of our University community with the respect every human being deserves and not promote, participate in, or allow bias to impede the access and opportunity of others. 

“These are stressful and overwhelming times for us all, and the OHIO Pledge outlines expectations for all members of the University community to make OHIO a safe place to learn, live and work,” Faculty Senate Chair Robin Muhammad said. “We all have a role to play, and the OHIO Pledge calls upon all community members to support one another with patience and understanding.”

All members of the campus community must sign the OHIO Pledge before they are able to return to campus this fall. The University is also working with our community partners to develop a University-community compact that will complement the OHIO Pledge. More information can be found online at

July 24, 2020
Staff reports