Middlebury students, faculty, and staff are required to sign a health pledge before returning to campus. The health pledges remind each of us to stay vigilant in protecting our own health, and each other, on campus and in the greater community.

COVID-19 Health and Safety Policy

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 create actual or potential COVID-19 related health and safety risks in the community. 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 Spring 2021 Campus Guide (applicable to students and employees), the Campus Status webpage and/or any other COVID-19-related policy or College directive, may result in removal of the student or employee from Middlebury’s campus (which could adversely impact in-person learning and employment). The decision to remove a student from campus will not appear on the student’s permanent record. 

Actions taken under this administrative policy in response to violations of Middlebury’s COVID-19-related policies are separate from Middlebury’s sanctions and disciplinary actions that may be issued in accordance with Middlebury’s Handbook. An incident that constitutes a violation of a COVID-19 health and safety policy may also include other behaviors that violate Middlebury Handbook policies. Those other behaviors will be addressed in accordance with the procedures outlined for students, faculty and staff under Middlebury’s ordinary disciplinary processes. 

The provisions of this policy may change depending on health conditions and state of Vermont mandates. Changes will ordinarily be communicated via the Campus Status webpage and/or via email communications. Any such changes will be considered part of this policy. Students, staff, and faculty should regularly consult the Campus Dashboard and 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 and directives, including this policy, the policies set forth in the Spring 2021 Campus Guide, the Campus Status webpage and the Student and Employee Health Pledges. 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 and courses.
  • Comply with all testing, prearrival quarantine, campus quarantine and travel restrictions, room quarantine, isolation and contact tracing protocols as directed by the College, healthcare providers, and local, state or federal officials, as applicable. 
  • Students coming to campus must 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, physically 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).
  • Employees who travel out of state must follow all Vermont travel and quarantine requirements and may not come to campus (assuming they have been approved for on-campus work) until they have done so. 
  • Students and employees shall not come to campus if they have any COVID-19 symptoms as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (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 “someone who was within six feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period starting from two days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients two days prior to test specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.” This includes individual exposures added together over a 24-hour period (e.g., three five-minute exposures for a total of 15 minutes). 
  • Students enrolled for on campus study who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or are otherwise feeling sick must contact Health Services for further evaluation, and follow their instructions and the instructions of appropriate health officials, including quarantine, isolation and contact tracing requirements. Students living in Vermont who are enrolled to study remotely or who are on leave should contact their health care provider and follow their instructions and the instructions of appropriate health officials. 
  • Employees who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or are otherwise feeling sick should contact their supervisors or department managers. If they are at work when symptoms begin, they should leave immediately and contact their healthcare providers.
  • Comply with Middlebury’s face covering requirements for students and employees. 
  • Face coverings must fit securely and snugly against the sides of the face, and cover the nose and mouth as required by Middlebury policies.
  • Comply with all gathering size restrictions and other related requirements as directed by the College and/or the State of Vermont. 
  • Students must comply with the social gathering restrictions as published on the Campus Status webpage. This includes restrictions related to close contacts, which will also be updated on the campus status webpage. This restriction may change depending on local health conditions. Close contacts refer to a very limited number of people (e.g., friends and romantic or intimate partners). The number of permitted close contacts may change and will be updated on the campus webpage, as appropriate. Students who have roommates must include those individuals as part of their close contact group. Room occupancy and gathering size requirements must be followed at all times, even when students are in a room with their close contacts. 
  • Gatherings outside of a student’s close contact group may occur only during approved College programming such as dining outside or in designated dining spaces, while in the library or other study spaces, while attending in-person classes, religious gatherings, performances, College-affiliated athletics, and/or other on-campus programming that is conducted in a way that allows for appropriate health and safety precautions (e.g., physical distancing, face coverings, and gathering size and occupancy requirements). 
  • Comply with all maximum occupancy requirements, signage, and floor markings posted in all campus spaces or communicated in other ways, including the campus status webpage and updated communications to the campus community.
  • Maintain physical distance (six 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 within six feet for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period or direct physical contact with someone). 
  • Using an app or other tool provided by the College (Policy Path), complete daily health checks, 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 Health Services 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 flu vaccine (absent a documented religious or medical exemption, which will be provided to Health Services). Students who did not receive the flu vaccine from the College during the fall semester will not be permitted to return to campus unless they provide written documentation of vaccination (or documentation of a medical or religious exemption) to Health Services prior to their return. Employees are encouraged to receive the flu vaccine. Those with questions or concerns should consult their healthcare provider.
  • Students who are enrolled to study on campus will be expected to receive the COVID-19 vaccine when it is available and feasible, unless they have a documented religious or medical exemption, which will be provided to Health Services.
  • Employees who work on campus will be expected to receive the COVID-19 vaccine when it is available and feasible, unless they have a documented medical or religious exemption.
  • 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-touch surfaces, such as phone screens, keyboards, tables, desks, etc.
  • Responsibly dispose of any sanitizing or disinfecting wipes and related materials.
  • Abide by all policies and directives related to visitors and guests on campus. Visitors are not permitted on the College campus, except at locations that are open to the public (e.g., Ralph Myhre Golf Course, Snow Bowl, and certain portions of the Trail Around Middlebury (TAM)). Visitors are defined as anyone other than students enrolled for on-campus instruction, employees of Middlebury College who are approved to be on campus, and others who are authorized by the College to be on campus (e.g.,essential service providers). 
  • All students must have an evacuation plan, which must be submitted to the College through Banner.  
  • Comply with all College requirements regarding off-campus travel (students).  
  • Employees who wish to travel must comply with all state of Vermont travel and quarantine requirements.
  • College-sponsored travel is not permitted unless specifically authorized by the appropriate department.  
  • Comply with all College requirements regarding events.
  • Be respectful and attentive to anyone who needs help or a reminder about community expectations.
  • Avoid bias-based discrimination. The COVID-19 pandemic has provoked bias and discriminatory behaviors against people of certain racial and ethnic backgrounds. During this time of great uncertainty due to 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 herein and in the Spring 2021 Campus Guide.

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

Students living in off-campus housing who are enrolled as in person learners at Middlebury, including those who are enrolled in all remote classes, are subject to the same expectations and policy requirements as those living on campus, including this COVID-19 Health and Safety Policy, the Spring 2021 Campus Guide, the Campus Status webpage, Middlebury’s Handbook, and all other other applicable COVID-19–related health and safety policies and directives, including but not limited to arrival testing, periodic testing throughout the semester, pre- and post-arrival quarantine and isolation processes, daily health checks, physical distancing, face coverings, contact tracing protocols (including maintaining a contact journal), travel, visitors, hygiene protocols, gathering sizes and close contact group gathering restrictions, completing the SafeColleges COVID-19-related health education courses and other prearrival requirements, and compliance with the Student Health Pledge. They are also expected to abide by all state and local 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 complete all prearrival requirements as stated below, and comply with all Vermont Department of Health and State of Vermont COVID-19-related requirements. These students are not permitted on Middlebury’s campus and 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. They are also required to comply with all College health and safety requirements that are applicable to them prior to their arrival (e.g.Vermont’s quarantine and travel requirements, completion of SafeColleges COVID-19 health education courses, providing their local address to the College, and health pledge) and during the course of the semester. Students should refer to the  Spring 2021 Campus Guide and the Campus Status webpage for additional information. Violations of Middlebury’s Handbook policies, including disruptions to the community or non-compliance with the Health Pledge, State of Vermont, College, or local health and safety requirements will result in disciplinary action in accordance with Middlebury’s Student Conduct Process.

Note: students engaged in remote learning only remain subject to the Scope of Oversight provision in the Middlebury Handbook.

Students on Leave, Living in Vermont

Students living in Vermont who are on leave will be required to complete all prearrival requirements as stated below, and comply with all Vermont Department of Health and State of Vermont COVID-19-related requirements. They are also required to comply with College health and safety requirements that are applicable to them prior to their arrival (e.g. Vermont’s quarantine and travel requirements, providing their local address to the College, and health pledge) and during the course of the semester. These students are not permitted on Middlebury’s campus. Students should refer to the  Spring 2021 Campus Guide and the Campus Status webpage for additional information. 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

Note: Students on leave remain subject to the Scope of Oversight provision in the Middlebury Handbook.

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

Pre-Arrival Task Compliance for All Students Enrolled To Study On Campus or Enrolled to Study Remotely or on Leave and Living in Vermont 

Students are required to do the following before returning to campus or the Vermont area:

  • Update their emergency contacts and personal evacuation plan in BannerWeb (students enrolled to study on campus).
  • Complete the required SafeColleges return to campus training (students enrolled in on-campus study and remote learners).
  • Sign the Spring Health Pledge (students enrolled in on-campus study; remote learners and students on leave, living in Vermont).
  • Provide Health Services with documentation that they have received the 2020 flu vaccine (or of a medical or religious exemption) (students enrolled to study on campus). This does not apply to students who received the flu vaccine from the College during the fall 2020 semester.
  • All students living in Vermont who are studying remotely or on leave will be required to provide their Vermont address to the College

Failure to complete these tasks will delay approval to return to campus until they are completed, and may jeopardize students’ ability to return at all.

Duty to Cooperate

All students and employees are required to comply with Middlebury’s COVID-19-related health and safety policies and directives, state of Vermont requirements (as applicable) and the Health Pledge; consent to and cooperate with testing, contact tracing, isolation, and quarantine protocols; participate in isolation or quarantine when directed; agree to share test results and other necessary medical information with the College and other contact tracers; conduct daily health checks; and follow the directions of contact tracers, medical staff, and Middlebury officials.

Violation Response Process

A. Reporting

Violations of this policy will be addressed through the College’s 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 Spring 2021 Campus Guide, the Student Health Pledge, the Employee Health Pledge, the Campus Status webpage or any other COVID-19 related policy or directive, 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 the faculty.  

B. Removal from Campus and Other Responses

Actions taken under this policy 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 or their designee. The student will be notified in writing of the decision and may submit an appeal, in writing, to the dean of students within 24 hours of receipt of the decision. 

An appeal of a decision to remove a student from campus is permitted on the following bases only:

  • Discovery of significant new factual evidence not available to the initial decision-maker (this does not include omission by the student who filed the appeal of evidence about which the student was or reasonably should have been aware)
  • An issue of fundamental fairness (e.g., a procedural error) that substantially affected the outcome. Note: A determination that a procedural error occurred and prevented fundamental fairness may result in a new determination using the correct procedures. However, a procedural error alone is not a basis for reducing a sanction when the appeal upholds the finding of responsibility under this policy. 

Appeal submissions that do not satisfy at least one of these bases will be denied without further process.

The dean or their designee will notify the student, as well as their parent(s)/guardian(s), of the appeal outcome within two business days 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 quarantined 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. 

For more information, please see the sanctions table below, which is a guide applicable to students for violations of this COVID-19 Health and Safety Policy only, 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. 

b. Sanctions for Other Student Conduct Violations 

There may be instances where, in addition to violations of this policy, other student conduct violations may arise in connection with the same COVID-19-related incident (e.g., violations of Middlebury’s General Conduct Policy). In these situations, COVID-19 violations will be adjudicated in accordance with this COVID-19 Health and Safety policy and other student conduct violations will be adjudicated in accordance with the procedures set forth in the Middlebury Handbook as applicable to the specific alleged violation. Sanctions for other student conduct violations may be assigned in accordance with Middlebury’s Student Conduct Process or other handbook processes, as applicable. 

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 the 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).

Student Sanctions Guide for COVID-19-Related Conduct Violations

Parents/guardians will be notified of violations of this policy that result in a student’s removal from campus. Notification will be sent after expiration of the appeal period or after the appeal decision, as applicable.

Potential/Realized Impact First Violation Second Violation Third Violation

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

  • Educational sanction
  • Removal from campus held in abeyance
  • Approved plan for future compliance
  • Removal from campus for remainder of semester 
  • No Trespass Notice
Moderate: Examples: Missing a COVID-19  testing appointment; violation of occupancy limits policy
  • Removal from campus held in abeyance
  • Approved plan for future compliance
  • Removal from campus for the remainder of the semester
  • No Trespass Notice
 
High: Examples: Violating quarantine, isolation, or travel restrictions; simultaneously violating gathering restrictions and occupancy limits policies; having campus visitors when prohibited; failure to cooperate with tracing protocols
  • Removal from campus for remainder of semester
  • No Trespass Notice
   

Amnesty

Students who seek medical attention or crisis support for themselves or others due to a medical or personal emergency which occurs in the context of a situation involving violations of our COVID-19 conduct expectations will not be referred to the Office of Community Standards, nor will information obtained through contact tracing be used in any way in the conduct processes.