Dear Saint Anselm Community,
We are excited to resume on-campus classes August 19. Today we would like to share some of the progress our “Return to the Hilltop” team has made as we eagerly await the homecoming of our students, faculty and staff.
While this letter includes some detail about our plans, beginning this week and continuing for several weeks, you will be receiving in-depth communication pertaining to specific areas, including move-in procedures, classroom policies and practices, testing plans, health protocols, dining, athletics, events and more.
We have said this will be a semester like no other, and that is certainly true. The Anselmian community has always looked out for one another, and this year it will be particularly important as we establish precautions with the goal of reducing our risk of spreading infection. At the same time, we will balance the necessary safety measures with an enjoyable and rewarding campus experience.
- At this point, we anticipate the phased return of students will begin August 8. You soon will be receiving a notification with your day and time to arrive on campus.
- When you arrive, students and their move-in helper (which will be limited to 1 person) will be given a questionnaire about their general health and well-being. When cleared, the student will proceed into Sullivan Arena, where they will receive a coronavirus test, among other check-in steps.
- Once students are cleared for housing, we will consider that residence hall a “family unit;” students will remain quarantined until the results of their coronavirus tests are in.
- Of course, meals will be provided and our move-in and orientation team is preparing activities to keep students engaged and entertained during this time.
- When the test results are in, you will be issued a wristband that “clears” you from quarantine.
- A key to our on-ground experience this fall is reducing density in living spaces, common areas and dining facilities. The Return to the Hilltop team is looking at some creative ways to accomplish this goal.
- Since the capacity in Davison Hall will be limited, we will be using a reservation app so students and others can reserve a dining time. The app may be used to control crowd size in other common areas as well.
- We also will prepare all food as take-out and we anticipate an increase in outdoor dining options as well.
- The classroom is going to look different in the falll: fewer students will be physically present for each class meeting and some lectures will be pre-recorded.
- We are looking at the best use of auditorium spaces, including the Koonz and Melucci theaters, and the Athletics film room, to host slightly larger classes.
- In-class group work will be shifted to Zoom meetings and there will be some entirely online classes.
- Professors are looking for ways to maximize the in-person experience with students and they are actively preparing for the fall semester.
TESTING AND QUARANTINING
- For student testing, we are partnering with Clear Choice MD to have an on-campus testing site.
- Clear Choice will have the capacity to conduct up to 200 tests a day, which will allow us to screen students when they arrive on campus and will give us the ability to do programmatic testing throughout the semester.
- An infirmary and quarantine living quarters are being established on Fourth Street of Alumni Hall and Collins House respectively.
- More detail will follow regarding our practices for anyone who tests positive for coronavirus. We are developing scenario plans for containment and for next steps if coronavirus does appear on campus.
- We remain optimistic about fall sports on the Hilltop. The department of athletics is working diligently on a plan for fall sport student-athletes to safely return to campus in August for pre-season training, practice and competition. This comprehensive plan will follow public health guidelines and comply with NCAA and NE10 requirements.
- Details related to when competition will resume are being developed in collaboration with the NE10 and are also pending NCAA Division II decisions to be made in the weeks ahead.
We still have ground to cover in our reopening plans, but we are making great progress and feel very confident we will be ready when the first students arrive. I would like to acknowledge the tremendous work by our Return to the Hilltop team and everyone who is preparing the campus for the “new normal.” You have told us loud and clear: You want to be back. Let me assure you, we cannot wait to see you in August!
Joseph A. Favazza, Ph.D.