Introduction

In accordance with Vermont’s Mandatory Guidance for College and University Campus Learning, Middlebury College (“Middlebury”) has adopted this temporary administrative policy to immediately address any behaviors that violate community standards for protecting everyone’s health. Vermont’s guidance states in relevant part: “Because of public health, existing judicial processes must err on the side of public health and remove a student from potentially further endangering the community by immediately removing the student from the campus. Faculty and staff who choose not to wear a face covering or follow existing public health safety standards shall face immediate disciplinary action.”

Violations of this policy, the Health Pledge (applicable to students and employees), the policies set forth in the Return to Campus Guide (applicable to students and employees), Working Safely at Middlebury (applicable to employees only), and/or any other COVID-19-related policy, may result in immediate disciplinary action, including removal of the student or employee from Middlebury’s campus (which could adversely impact in-person learning and employment). This is in addition to Middlebury’s standard sanctions and disciplinary actions that may be issued in accordance with Middlebury’s Handbook processes, up to and including suspension or expulsion (students) or termination (employees).

The provisions of this policy may change depending on health conditions and state of Vermont mandates. Students, staff and faculty should consult this website for updates.

Conduct Expectations for Students, Staff and Faculty

Students, staff and faculty are required to comply with all applicable Covid-19-related policies, including this policy, the policies set forth in the Return to Campus Guide, Student Health Pledge, Employee Health Pledge and Working Safely at Middlebury (applicable to employees). In addition to the above, all students, staff and faculty are required to take the necessary measures to keep themselves and the community safe including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Complete all required safety trainings.
  • Comply with all testing, quarantine, isolation and contact tracing protocols as directed by the College, as well as those required by local, state or federal officials.
  • Students coming to campus will travel as directly to the Middlebury College campus as possible. They will follow all health and safety precautions during travel, including limiting stops to only those that are necessary, physical distancing from others whenever possible, always wearing a face covering, and using frequent and proper hand hygiene (i.e., hand washing with soap and warm water or use of hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available).
  • Students and employees shall not come to campus if they have any COVID-19 symptoms as defined by the CDC, if they have been in close contact with someone who is positive for COVID-19, or if they have tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 14 days. The CDC defines “close contact” as “anyone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from 48 hours before the person began feeling sick until the time the patient was isolated.” Students in these circumstances who are already on campus must contact the Center for Health and Wellness (“CHW”) for further evaluation, and follow their instructions and the instructions of appropriate health officials, including quarantine, isolation and contact tracing requirements. Employees should contact their supervisors or department managers. If they are at work when symptoms begin, they should leave immediately and contact their healthcare providers.
  • Wear face coverings that fit securely and snugly against the sides of the face, and cover the nose and mouth as required by Middlebury policies.
  • Comply with all maximum occupancy requirements, signage, and floor markings posted in all campus spaces.
  • Maintain physical distance (6 feet) from others, to the greatest extent possible.
  • Maintain a contact journal that lists the names of other people with whom the individual has been in close contact each day (any person closer than 6 feet for at least 15 minutes). A journal is not required for situations where there is already a record of individuals being in a certain location (e.g., classes or other scheduled events where the list of participants is ordinarily recorded). To assist the confidential contact tracing process, students are encouraged to keep an electronic calendar for small group meetings or gatherings, including extra-curricular activities. Employees are likewise encouraged to keep an electronic calendar of meetings, and other work-related activities.
  • Using an app or other software tool provided by the College, complete daily health checks (also known as health screenings), including temperature and COVID-19 symptom checks, prior to entering campus or coming to work (as applicable). The individual must monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms and must not access any campus locations if they are symptomatic. If students experience symptoms, they must stay in their dorm room or off-campus residence, and contact CHW for further instructions. Faculty and staff who are symptomatic may not be on campus and should notify their supervisor and contact their medical provider for further instructions.
  • Students shall receive the 2020 flu vaccine, when it becomes available (absent a documented religious or medical exemption, which will be provided to CHW). Employees are encouraged to receive the 2020 flu vaccine, when it becomes available. Those with questions or concerns should consult their healthcare provider.
  • Students will keep their residential spaces clean and will clean shared spaces and surfaces when they begin to use them (e.g., bathrooms, classroom tables and desks, and study spaces). They will use cleaning supplies provided by the College to clean shared spaces. Employees will follow their department’s protocols to clean high-touch areas and shared items.
  • Frequently and thoroughly maintain hygiene by regular hand washing with soap and warm water or use of hand sanitizer (when soap and water are not available) throughout the day, and before and after entering classrooms, work areas or other common areas.
  • Avoid sharing utensils, glasses, pens or pencils, laptops, keyboards, microphones, toothbrushes, or other similar personal products, and frequently sanitize or disinfect high-tough surfaces, such as phone screens, keyboards, tables, desks, etc.
  • Responsibly dispose of any sanitizing or disinfecting wipes and related materials.
  • Abide by all policies related to visitors/guests on campus.
  • Comply with all College and state of Vermont requirements regarding off-campus travel, social gatherings (including mandated gathering sizes and registration requirements) and events.
  • Comply with all evacuation and lockdown procedures as directed by Middlebury or other local, state or federal officials.
  • Be respectful and attentive to anyone who needs help or a reminder about community expectations.
  • Avoid bias-based discrimination. The current COVID-19 outbreak has provoked bias and discriminatory behaviors against people of certain racial and ethnic backgrounds. We know that the virus does not differentiate with respect to race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, socio-economic status, or physical ability. During this time of great uncertainty based on the COVID-19 pandemic, students, staff and faculty are expected to treat others with the respect every human being deserves and not promote, participate in, or allow their own bias to impede the access and opportunity of others in their community. (See also the CDC’s statement on Reducing Stigma).
  • The employee supervising the work of contractors performing work on campus must ensure that the contractor complies with all applicable COVID-19-related health and safety policies as set forth in the Return to Campus Guide and Working Safely at Middlebury.

Students Residing Off-Campus Who are Enrolled to Take In-Person Classes

Students living in off-campus housing who are enrolled to take in-person classes at Middlebury are subject to Middlebury’s Handbook, and the same expectations and policies as those living on campus, as referenced above and in the Return to Campus Guide, as well as all other applicable COVID-19–related health and safety policies, including but not limited to arrival testing, periodic testing throughout the semester, pre- and post- arrival quarantine and isolation processes, physical distancing, face coverings, contact tracing protocols (including maintaining a contact journal), travel, visitors, hygiene protocols, gathering sizes, and compliance with the Student Health Pledge. They are expected to abide by all state and local physical distancing and infection control measures and will be held accountable for doing so in the same ways as students living on campus.

Students Engaged in Remote Learning Only, Living In Vermont

Students living off-campus in Vermont and enrolled as fully remote will be subject to Middlebury’s Handbook policies, and will be required to sign a Health Pledge. These students will be required to abide by all requirements in the Health Pledge, as well as all Vermont Department of Health and State of Vermont COVID-related requirements. Violations of Middlebury’s Handbook policies, including disruptions to the community or non-compliance with the Health Pledge, State of Vermont, or local health and safety requirements will result in disciplinary action in accordance with Middlebury’s General Disciplinary Processes.

Students on Leave, Living in Vermont

Students living in Vermont who are on leave will be required to sign a Health Pledge and abide by all requirements stated therein, as well as all Vermont Department of Health and State of Vermont COVID-related requirements. Disruptions to the community, or failure to comply with the Health Pledge or State of Vermont or local health and safety requirements will result in disciplinary action and will be addressed prior to any future return to campus in accordance with Middlebury’s Handbook.

Scope of Oversight – All Students

Nothing in this policy is intended to alter or amend the Scope of Oversight provision in the Middlebury Handbook, which includes the following policy statement: “All students will be held accountable for policy violations that take place between the time they first arrive on campus to begin their Middlebury program and their graduation or official program completion, or Middlebury’s confirmation of their resignation or expulsion. Conduct that takes place on or near Middlebury premises or property; occurs at or in connection with a Middlebury-related event; or occurs off-campus but may represent a threat to the safety of the Middlebury community or its members, the pursuit of its objectives, and/or the educational environment of others, may be subject to Middlebury’s disciplinary process.”

All students living in Vermont, regardless of whether they are studying remotely or on leave, will be required to provide their address to the College. Failure to do so will result in disciplinary action.

All enrolled students, regardless of where they live or whether they are enrolled in remote classes or in-person classes, are subject to Middlebury’s Handbook policies.

Disciplinary Process

A. Reporting

Violations of this policy will be addressed through the College’s conduct policies and processes as described below and will include accountability measures for students, staff and faculty.

Students or employees who have concerns related to an individual’s failure to comply with this policy, policies in the Return to Campus Guide, Working Safely at Middlebury, the Student Health Pledge, the Employee Health Pledge, or any other COVID-19 related policy, should report the matter to residential life staff (both professional and student staff), deans, or public safety (if the report involves a student), the individual’s supervisor(s) (if the report involves a staff member), or the department chair or program director (if the report involves a faculty member), as applicable. For reports that involve department chairs and directors, the report should be made to the appropriate associate dean or the dean of faculty.

Reported concerns involving students will be addressed by the appropriate authority (e.g., the associate dean for community standards, or designee). Reported concerns involving employees will be addressed by the appropriate supervisory authority (e.g., the staff member’s supervisor(s) or designee, or the faculty member’s department chair, program director, appropriate associate dean or the dean of faculty, as applicable), in consultation with Human Resources. The appropriate Middlebury authority will determine if the expectations have been violated and, if so, will determine whether the individual should be removed from campus and/or receive other disciplinary measures as described below, except as follows: No faculty member shall be removed from campus without prior review and approval by the dean of faculty.  

B. Removal from Campus and Other Disciplinary Action

Sanctions for students or discipline assigned to faculty or staff are intended to align with potential and actual impact to community health and safety.

i. Students

a. Removal from Campus

The decision to remove a student from campus will be made by the associate dean for community standards. The student will be notified in writing of the decision and may submit an appeal, in writing, to the dean of students within 48 hours of receipt of the decision. The dean or their designee will notify the student of the appeal outcome within 24 hours of receipt of the appeal. Students living on campus will be required to remain in quarantine in their on-campus dorm room pending the appeal decision and may not have in-person access to campus services or classes. They may attend classes via remote access only if such access is available. Meals will be delivered to students living on-campus.

Students living off-campus will be barred from campus and must remain in quarantine in their off-campus residence pending the appeal outcome. They may attend classes via remote access only, if such access is available, and they must arrange for their own meals

Students removed from campus will receive a No Trespass Notice (“NTN”). A NTN prohibits the presence of an individual on Middlebury property, or other properties on which Middlebury programs are occurring. Violating a No Trespass Notice is considered to be a violation of Middlebury policy. As No Trespass Notices are legally enforceable, a violation may lead to arrest and prosecution.

Students removed from campus housing will not receive a refund for unused room and board fees, absent exceptional circumstances of economic hardship. Students seeking a refund under these circumstances may submit a written petition to Student Financial Services (“SFS”). Refund decisions will be made by SFS, with final review and approval by the Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration. 

b. Other Sanctions

Additional sanctions for violations of Middlebury’s policies may be assigned in accordance with Middlebury’s General Disciplinary Processes. The Community Judicial Board will hear cases that could result in suspension or expulsion from the College. Hearings will be held remotely. Cases heard by the Community Judicial Board may be appealed using the appeals procedure articulated in the student handbook. 

For more information, please see the table in Appendix A, below, which is a guide for sanctions applicable to students, across the range of behaviors from less serious to most serious. The table is intended to be used as a guide only. Sanction-related decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis and will depend on the circumstances of each case. The examples in the table are intended to be general rather than exhaustive, and more or less severe sanctions could be imposed depending on the specific facts. Sanctions are defined in the College’s General Disciplinary Processes.

ii.   Staff and Faculty

For the duration of the pandemic (until statewide requirements are lifted), employee disciplinary procedures will be modified to ensure adherence to the state of Vermont’s obligations to maximize health and safety.

a. Removal from Campus

The decision to remove a staff or faculty member from campus (and/or or take other action as described below) will be made by the appropriate supervisory authority (e.g., supervisor(s) or designee (staff), or department chair or program director, (faculty), in consultation with Human Resources. Decisions involving department chairs or directors will be made by the appropriate associate dean or the dean of faculty, in consultation with Human Resources.

A faculty member shall not be removed from campus without prior review and approval by the dean of faculty.

The employee will be notified of the decision in writing and may file a written appeal to the vice president for human resources, or designee (staff) or provost or designee (faculty), within 48 hours of receipt of the decision. The employee will be notified of the outcome of the appeal within two business days of receipt of the appeal. The employee will be required to remain off-campus pending the appeal decision. If feasible, the employee will be expected to work remotely during the appeal period. If this is not feasible, the employee may be placed on paid administrative leave during the appeal period, and pending the outcome of any additional discipline.

b. Disciplinary Action

This administrative disciplinary policy utilizes a tiered response as a guide: the first violation of a basic health precaution such as wearing a face covering, physical distance, etc. will ordinarily result in a verbal warning; the second in a written warning; the third in removal from campus. Violations with higher impact, such as violations of COVID-19-related departmental safety protocols, quarantine, isolation or contact tracing requirements, will ordinarily result in remote work for the rest of the semester (for staff, this will depend on the department’s ability to operationally support remote work), and may include a No Trespass Notice. The dean of faculty must approve the removal of a faculty member from campus.

The above is intended to be a guide only. Disciplinary decisions are at the discretion of the appropriate supervisory authority, and disciplinary measures will depend on the particular circumstance of each case.

If an employee is required to leave campus, they will ordinarily be asked to work remotely for the remainder of the semester. (For staff positions requiring work on-site, Human Resources will discuss options with the appropriate supervisory authority, including unpaid leave).

Additional discipline, such as termination (or other action as deemed appropriate under the circumstances) may be imposed in accordance with the procedures set forth in the Middlebury Handbook (see, e.g., the Faculty Handbook and the Employee Handbook, as applicable).

Appendix A

Student Sanctions Guide for COVID-19-Related Conduct Violations

Potential/Realized Impact

First violation

Second violation

Third violation

Minimal

 

 

 

Ex.: Non-compliance with daily health monitoring and face covering guidelines (assuming violation is not intentional)

  • Educational sanction
  • Warning, reprimand, or probationary status
  • Parental notification
  • Removal from campus (held in abeyance)
  • Educational sanction
  • Probationary status or Letter of Official College discipline
  • Parental notification
  • Approved plan for future compliance
  • Removal from campus for remainder of academic year
  • Letter of Official College Discipline
  • Suspension
  • No Trespass Notice*

Moderate

 

 

 

Ex.: Having campus visitors when prohibited

  • Removal from campus (held in abeyance)
  • Educational sanction
  • Probationary Status
  • Parental notification
  • Approved plan for future compliance
  • Removal from campus for remainder of semester
  • Probationary status or Letter of Official College Discipline 
  • No Trespass Notice*
  • Removal from campus for the remainder of the academic year
  • Suspension for the semester or expulsion
  • No Trespass Notice*
  •  

High

 

 

 

Ex.: Violating quarantine and isolation restrictions, travel restrictions, student-initiated events and parties policies, failure to cooperate with testing or tracing protocols

  • Removal from campus for remainder of semester
  • Probationary status or Letter of Official College Discipline
  • No Trespass Notice*
  • Removal from campus for remainder of academic year
  • Suspension for the semester
  • No Trespass Notice*

 

 

 

  • Suspension for one academic year
  • No Trespass Notice*
  •