9/25 Dean of Students Update
| by Derek Doucet
I am writing with updates about coming new Phase 2 guidelines and expectations, Davis Library changes, and opportunities to ask questions and give feedback about campus climate and campus life during the pandemic.
Easing COVID-19 Restrictions and Guidelines
We plan to continue relaxing COVID-19 restrictions incrementally, and I’d like to give you a sense of what to expect. The changes below are contingent on satisfactory results from the September 28 and October 1 targeted dynamic COVID-19 testing. Assuming we continue to have very low prevalence on campus and in the surrounding community, they are expected to take effect October 5. We’ll confirm this for you in a separate communication once we have received the results.
- Residential room capacities will increase from N+1 to N+2; and from N+2 to N+3 in Atwater suites; physical distancing and face covering expectations will remain unchanged.
- Visiting off-campus residences will be permitted under the following conditions:
- All individuals present are enrolled as on-campus learners or have met Vermont cross-state travel quarantine rules.
- No one present is or has been sick in the past 48 hours or had a recent exposure to a person who has tested positive for COVID-19.
- A maximum group gathering size of 10 people, including residents of the household, remains in place.
- Removing face coverings is permitted for outdoor athletic activity provided a minimum six-foot distancing is maintained.
- Coach- or staff-supervised, non-contact athletic activity within six feet while wearing masks is permitted.
- Overnight outdoor camping within Addison County is permitted with face coverings, physical distancing, and a maximum group gathering size of 10.
- Indoor off-campus overnight stays continue to present a significant risk to campus health and safety and are not allowed at this time.
Opportunities to Ask Questions and Provide Feedback
- Office Hours: Join Dean of Students Derek Doucet, Environmental Health and Safety Coordinator Jen Kazmierczak, and College Physician Mark Peluso at our open office hours on Wednesday September 30, from 12 to 1:30 p.m. to ask questions and give feedback related to COVID-19 and campus life.
- Feedback Form: Feel more comfortable submitting feedback electronically? You can do so Here.
As we move into the next stage of Phase 2, the following changes will be in effect at the Davis Library:
- Expanded hours: The library is now open in the evenings and on weekends. Full library hours are available online.
- Individual study spaces: Three new individual study spaces can now be booked for meetings, classes, and appointments.
- CTLR space open for study: The CTLR has been transformed into a study space. No reservations are required.
- Stacks: The stacks remain closed. If you need a book or DVD, please page it following these instructions.
- Support for Research: Librarians are available to help you with your research needs. You can connect via zoom, chat, phone, or email.
- Staff picks for Anti-racism readings: The theme for this year’s library Staff Picks is anti-racism, and in their first post, the library team writes about Me and White Supremacy by Layla Saad.
I’ve spoken with many students in recent days and want to offer some reflections on campus climate that I’ve gleaned from those conversations.
Since we first began communicating in July about reopening for the semester, we emphasized our shared responsibility for maintaining a healthy and safe community. This shared responsibility means that we all need to hold one another accountable for our health and safety expectations. We can do this in numerous ways. The most important is speaking openly with each other about expectations and providing respectful feedback and reminders in the moment. Equally important is receiving such reminders gracefully.
There will, of course, be occasional moments when your concerns are large enough that you feel the need to report them to us, and we will be ready to step in to help. Most of the time, however, these situations present an opportunity for a constructive conversation in the moment with your peers.
This approach builds trust, community, and support rather than divisiveness. We are living in a time when it is more important than ever to recognize our shared responsibility and accountability without fear. I ask you all to recommit to these hard conversations among yourselves.
Please do reach out to your student res life staff, RDs, deans, or Public Safety any time you have a concern that feels too big or that you feel unsafe addressing yourself, but take the opportunity, when appropriate, to respectfully engage with one another whenever you can. We will be a stronger and healthier campus community for your efforts.
Dean of Students