| by Derek Doucet

Spring 2021, Students

Dear Students,

This week’s Dean of Students Update features information about changes to the Campus Status web page, critical reminders about testing and COVID-19–related conduct, a closer look at the isolation and quarantine experience, Snow Bowl bus information, and a job opportunity for seniors.

Campus Status Web Page Updates

Check the Campus Status web page Friday afternoon for changes related to the following:

  • Outdoor recreation in Addison County,
  • Visiting close contacts who live in off-campus residences, and
  • Clarification on our group gathering size expectations.

Quarantine and Isolation: What Is It Really Like?

Some students have spent or will spend time in our isolation or quarantine housing this spring due to potential exposures to COVID-19. Curiosity about the experience is natural, so our Health and Wellness team produced this overview of what to expect in isolation and quarantine housing.

COVID-19 Testing

We’re maintaining an accelerated pace of testing compared to the fall due to higher COVID-19 prevalence both on campus and in the surrounding community. Please monitor the Campus Status web page for details on next week’s testing schedule. The overwhelming majority of students have been diligent about keeping their testing appointments, and I thank you. There have, however, been too many students who have missed required testing days. 

For this reason, we are making the following policy change, effective immediately:

  • A first unexcused testing absence will result in a warning. 
  • A second will be referred to the Office of Community Standards and will result in a COVID-19 sanction. 
  • A third may result in removal from campus housing or loss of on-campus privileges. 
  • To request to be excused from a testing day, contact COVIDtesting@mi​ddlebury.edu in advance.

Thanks for your cooperation.

Snow Bowl and Rikert Transportation

The weather looks glorious this weekend! Public transportation to the ski areas is available through the Snow Bowl Shuttle, run by Tri-Valley Transit, which stops on campus. Students should review COVID-19 safety guidelines on the TVT website. Students who wish to travel in their own vehicles must follow the guidelines for Traveling Safely with Others. Due to the popularity of this service, TVT has added buses on the same schedule to double their capacity on Saturday.

Conduct: Stay Strong

As the weather warms and we all see what we hope is a light at the end of the tunnel for the pandemic, the urge to relax our collective vigilance is understandable. There have been behavioral incidents in recent days that demonstrate the real effect pandemic fatigue is having. However, local COVID-19 prevalence remains concerningly high, and we have had recent cases on campus. It was confirmed this week that at least one of the new COVID-19 variants is present in Vermont. Now is not the time to let down our guard, as tempting as that may be.

All COVID-19 health and safety expectations remain in place. Students are responsible for monitoring the Campus Status web page. Noncompliance with these expectations will result in sanctions up to and including dismissal from campus. Stay strong. Better days are ahead. We’re just not there quite yet. 

Job Opportunity in Admissions

The Middlebury Admissions Office has an opening for an admissions counselor for this coming year; the office is reaching out to graduating seniors who have an interest in the world of college admissions and/or careers that serve their alma mater. This entry-level, term position (22-month commitment) is a wonderful opportunity to share your experiences with high school students and their families as they navigate the college admissions process. There is a complete job description on the Human Resources website. Contact Michelle Nelson at mmnelson@middle​bury.edu with any questions.

Open Office Hours with Jen, Mark, and Derek

We want to hear your feedback and answer your questions! Join Director of Environmental Health and Safety Jen Kazmierczak, Chief Health Officer and College Physician Mark Peluso, and me at our weekly open office hours, Friday, March 12, from noon to 1:30 p.m. Go to this Zoom link. You can submit questions in advance.

Enjoy the sunshine. Spring is coming!


Derek Doucet
Dean of Students