| by Barbara McCall and Derek Doucet

Students, Fall 2021


Dear Students,

We are writing with some reminders about Halloween and Homecoming weekend, costume choices, and COVID-19 health and safety.  

Halloween Costumes

As you prepare your costume this year and every year, we encourage you to think about the impacts of your choices. Some Halloween costumes reinforce stereotypes of particular races, genders, cultures, religions, or abilities. Others mock cultural or religious symbols, or trivialize human suffering, oppression, and marginalization. Please select your costumes and depictions in a way that does not demean, dehumanize, or diminish anyone’s identity or culture. This video shares the perspectives of and impact on people whose cultures are often reduced to costumes.

Health and Safety Reminders

Please keep in mind that it is also important to continue health and safety practices to avoid transmission of COVID-19, especially as the holiday season approaches. Large gatherings and traditional Halloween activities present varying degrees of risk for contracting and spreading COVID-19, flu, and other illnesses.

Following are some tips and reminders for navigating these challenges:

  • Face coverings are required indoors and outdoors when distance cannot be maintained.

  • Costume masks do not take the place of cloth face coverings meant to reduce the transmission of COVID-19.

  • Maintain good hand hygiene.

  • If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, isolate yourself from others and contact Health Services to schedule a test. 

Guidelines for Celebrations and Substance Use

Holidays and special occasions can make it difficult to set and maintain boundaries related to substance use. Following are some tips for navigating substances during times of increased social activity:

  • Incorporate some weekend events with others that do not include substances. Keep in mind that this will make these events accessible to more people and lessen the number of days you choose to use substances.

  • Alternate a non-alcoholic drink in between alcoholic drinks to moderate blood alcohol levels and give you a better sense of how your body is being impacted. 

  • Reduce the amount of a substance you plan to consume before going to a party or a special event to account for feelings of excitement or nervousness.

  • Share your plan or goals for the weekend with someone you trust so that you have support to make the choices that are best for you.

Homecoming Guest Policy

This weekend is Homecoming at Middlebury, and we encourage you to take advantage of the many activities on campus. As a reminder, guests of students are only allowed at officially planned and sanctioned homecoming events. Overnight guests for students are not permitted to stay in residence halls due to the current visitor policy. More information is available on the Campus Status webpage

Thank you for considering these important parameters. Have a safe and healthy week. 


Barbara McCall

Executive Director, Center for Health and Wellness

Derek Doucet

Dean of Students