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"Let's stay of good cheer!"

The deans of the four faculties at the University of Erfurt and the management of the Max Weber Center have sent a letter to the members of the university today. It is meant to encourage in times of great uncertainty - and follows here in the wording...

Dear students, dear colleagues,

already today's administrative start of the summer semester on April 1 is far from what has been imaginable for all of us until recently. It will also continue in an extraordinary way. But it will go on!

The normality of familiar work processes has been disrupted. But the university will ensure that you as students can study and take exams here, even if the framework will certainly change for some time to come.

The security in social contacts, in collegial exchange and in chance encounters can no longer be established. So reach each out to one another (virtually) and enter into conversation. We all need this contact. Support each other and pay special attention to those who need attention right now, because they are especially insecure. Accompany students from other countries or fellow students who are less socially integrated; people who are physically and mentally weaker. And stay connected to those who are close to you out of sympathy. Physical distance should not encourage social distance. As a university, we are a community that can now show what kind of sense of "being together" we have. Let us be creative and optimistic.

We are all confronted with tasks that we have not known before. This means that all of us cannot cope with everything at the moment. There will be decisions which are made for good reasons now and which we will later say we should have made differently. This is the dynamic of times when the normal has become fluid. Please be patient with us together.

In those recent weeks we have seen a great deal of prudence and a sense of proportion in the face of challenges: we have a well-functioning, stable administration; the university's emergency programme is up and running; we are protecting the health of colleagues and students without losing contact to all of you. We work together and for the functioning of the University in the coming period. We will all be informed about the steps to be taken regarding the organisation of the summer semester, and you will be informed as soon as the necessary decisions have been made.

We, the deans and the management of the Max Weber Center, are doing everything we can to be able to carry out this summer semester responsibly, whatever it may look like then (which we cannot say anything about at the moment). Let us all remain in good spirits!

André Brodocz (Faculty of Economics, Law and Social Sciences), Hartmut Rosa (Max Weber Centrefor Advanced Cultural and Social Studies), Sabine Schmolinsky (Faculty of Philosophy), Jörg Seiler (Faculty of Catholic Theology) and Verena Weidner (Faculty of Education)