Dear Saint Anselm community,
With three weeks remaining before the first students arrive on campus, the Hilltop is buzzing with activity! We appreciate the feedback and support from our entire Anselmian family as we finalize preparations for a fall semester that will be unlike any other.
Our reopening plans carefully balance the need for health protocols to limit the risk of coronavirus, while recognizing the importance of an enjoyable on-campus experience. Today I wish to share an update on our Return to the Hilltop progress, along with a few thoughts about what the semester will look like.
- By now, all students have received roommate assignments, move-in dates and guidelines for the phased return to campus. To be sure, this year will be significantly different than others, and we all have a shared desire to start the year on the right note.
- We recently shared the Saint Anselm Community Care Covenant, which details health practices we all will follow with the clear and simple goal of reducing the potential of spreading the coronavirus on campus. Of all the steps we are taking, it will be our collective commitment to taking care of each other that will keep our campus safe.
- At the same time, let me reiterate that we are committed to bringing back a campus life that is filled with enriching activities and traditions, both old (with a twist) and new. While not everything will be the same, we are actively engaged in creating high-impact events and experiences that will become indelible memories of Saint Anselm College.
- And while plans are underway for transformative curricular and co-curricular experiences, the physical space on campus is undergoing several adaptations as well.
- You will see a wide variety of new signage – everything from spacing markers in Davison Hall dining lines to directional signs indicating certain stairways and hallways as one-way, which will help with traffic flow and encourage social distancing.
- Other signs of the “new normal” will include our on-campus coronavirus testing site. We also are working closely with the Manchester Department of Public Health and the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services on tracing and isolating plans.
- We have installed air purifiers in our heating and cooling systems that have been proven to reduce the overall amount of coronavirus pathogens without producing harmful byproducts.
- These air purifiers are being installed in 15 buildings across campus, including the Coffee Shop, Goulet Science Center, Joseph Hall, Poisson Hall, Geisel Library, Roger and Francine Jean Student Center, the New Hampshire Institute of Politics, and classrooms in Alumni, Gadbois and Comiskey.
- These changes come in concert with the robust cleaning protocols of facilities and residences, additions of plexiglass and other mitigation efforts in classrooms and Davison, and other measures to keep the campus covid-free.
The Community Covenant I mentioned is a way for us to underscore our Anselmian values of care, respect, responsibility and empathy for one another. These are our hallmarks, and they become more important than ever as we return to an enriching and enjoyable campus experience.
I have often said over these past months that we are making the path by walking it, and therefore we must rely on our guiding principles to lead us in the right direction. Let us all commend the Return to the Hilltop team on the tremendous intelligence and ingenuity at the foundation of our plans. In the end, however, we hold our collective fate in our own hands by doing the right things and caring for each other – which is precisely why we feel so confident about a successful semester and beyond.
We will be sharing progress updates each week, and I encourage you to check the College’s COVID-19 website throughout the summer for updates at www.anselm.edu/covid-19-response.
We cannot wait to see you again in a few short weeks!
Joseph A. Favazza, Ph.D.