By CBSLA Staff

RIVERSIDE (CBSLA) — Students were welcomed back to UC Riverside Thursday with a special, Mr. Rogers-style video from Chancellor Kim Wilcox.

Speaking the comforting lines made famous by Mr. Rogers, Wilcox took off his suit jacket and donned a cardigan sweater before walking through the new indoor mask and daily wellness check requirements at the university with the help of Scotty, a puppet.

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“This has been a tough, tough time through this pandemic, we’re not done yet. So I’d ask every neighbor to think about their friends, and all those around them, and use a little kindness, a little bit of respect,” Wilcox said in the video. “Help each other through the pandemic. And that way, we’ll come through this like Highlanders.”

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Some 26,000 students and their professors returned to the campus Thursday for the new fall quarter after 18 months in distance learning. The university says 80% of all classes will be delivered in person this fall.

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Campus life should get back into full swing, with libraries, student recreation areas, bookstores, dining spaces, and residence halls all back open. However, students and professors who return are required to be vaccinated, and wear face coverings while indoors. Students are also required to complete a daily wellness check everyday while on campus.