California university taps Mr. Rogers to remind students of COVID protocols

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Students at the University of California were greeted this week by Mr. Rogers explaining some of the new school rules. Well, not actually Mister Rogers, but the university’s chancellor, mimicking the beloved preschool TV show host to remind students of the COVID protocols in place on campus.

In a video posted to YouTube this week, University of California Riverside Chancellor Kim Wilcox is seen entering a room singing Rogers’ familiar welcome song, Won’t You Be My Neighbor. After removing his mask, swapping his sport coat for a cardigan sweater, and wearing more comfortable shoes, Wilcox uses a soothing voice and a puppet named Scotty to explain the school’s new indoor mask and daily health check requirements. does.

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“It’s been a tough, difficult time through this pandemic, we haven’t worked out yet. So I would ask every neighbor to think of their friends and everyone around them and show them a little kindness, a little respect . .,” Wilcox says in the nearly three-minute-long video. “Help each other through the pandemic. And that way, we’ll come through it like the Highlanders.”

The school’s fall quarter began on Thursday, as its nearly 26,000 students and 1,100 faculty members returned to campus for the first time after 18 months of distance learning.

The mask policy and social distancing reminder are part of the school system’s efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19. The University of California and the California State University System, which have a combined student population of more than 750,000, announced in April Requires that all students and teachers be vaccinated against COVID-19 If they are on campus once the FDA has fully approved at least one vaccine and an adequate supply of shots is available.

Rogers’ show aired for nearly 50 years, then she last hung up her sneakers and cardigan sweater in 2001, nearly 20 years ago, so it’s not clear how many college students today have taken to the show. Received more information in It appears that Wilcox’s video was generally well received by those who viewed it, although the 7,300 views as of this writing suggest that the message is not getting to all students.

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