Community of Mutual Care

Being an Allegheny Gator means that each of us is a part of this community and must take steps to stay well and purposefully protect each other and the community as a whole. We are all committed to taking responsibility for our own health and helping to keep the Allegheny community safe from the spread of COVID-19 and other infections as identified and instructed by the College. Holding ourselves and one another accountable for creating and sustaining a community of mutual care is critically important.

At some point, most of us will find ourselves in a position to remind a campus community member about the importance — and the expectation — to wear a face covering, maintain physical distance, or ensure other healthy practices. This might involve a friend, a colleague, or it may be a situation you observe involving people you don’t personally know. As a community that cares deeply for one another, we have a responsibility to respectfully and directly intervene when we see people engaging in actions that are harmful to themselves or others. Still, finding the words and finding the agency to say something can seem difficult. Below are some ways in which we each can do our part to support a community of mutual care.

Lead By Example

The most effective way to influence others’ behavior is through our own actions. So wear a face covering, physically distance, practice good hand washing hygiene, clean up/sanitize after yourself, and socialize responsibly, including by avoiding dense gatherings of any size. Be responsible for your own environment. You are in control! You do not have to engage in any situation where you feel at risk. If someone approaches you without a face covering or comes within six feet of distance, every member of our community is empowered to ask them to practice our community’s health measures, to walk away from a situation yourself, or to ask them to leave the situation (the classroom, common space, office, etc.).

Respectfully Engage

When you do need to politely remind or intervene with someone or a group of people, engage from a place of respect, not anger. Here is some language you should feel comfortable using without fear of retribution:

Hey, remember the Gator Pledge, face coverings are required – can you put one on please?

It looks like everyone is having fun – but no face coverings/distancing is unsafe – we all want to stay on campus so please socialize responsibly.

I’d love to talk, but I need you to put on your face covering first.

I’m going to back up so that we can maintain 6 feet of distance between us.

I want you to be able to continue socializing, can you put your face covering on/stand six feet apart?

Let’s go outside, I’d feel more comfortable meeting there.

I would love to see you all in person but our state guidelines indicate that we should still be conducting meetings virtually. Can you schedule this on Zoom or Hangouts Meet instead of live?

You are exceeding capacity for this room – you can continue to socialize but you need to move outside.

By the same token, if someone says these things to you, say “thank you” and take the follow-up action needed. Remember that these interactions are grounded in good intentions and reminders will be shared out of concern for themselves and for you.

Seek Support

Any member of the Allegheny community may report behavior that does not adhere to the guidelines and expectations put forth by the College to keep our community safe from the spread of COVID-19 and other infections. If someone refuses to cooperate after being addressed or if you witness an egregious violation (a large gathering in a residence hall, a large group not distancing or wearing face coverings outside or off-campus, someone who repeatedly violates guidelines) you should report the behavior using the appropriate form:


If the individual(s) is a student, complete the Gator Pledge Incident Form for Student Behavior. Submissions are reviewed by the Student Conduct Officer (or designee). Students investigated for violating the Gator Pledge are required to meet with the Student Conduct Officer (or designee). If found responsible of violating the Gator Pledge, sanctions will vary based on severity of the offense. Responses may range from a warning, being expected to leave campus to learn remotely, suspension, or expulsion depending on the severity and number of infractions.


If the individual(s) is an employee, complete the COVID-19 Incident Form for Employee Behavior. Reports are reviewed by Human Resources and outcomes vary based on the severity of reported behavior.

Please do not continue to engage with the person if they do not comply. Do what you can to deescalate the situation. If you are a faculty member, this may mean dismissing class or relocating your class to avoid unsafe behavior or further conflict. If you are in an office or common space, this may mean leaving the situation and then calling Public Safety for assistance.