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President Bateman's message to faculty and staff on social distancing policies for fall 2020

Dear colleagues,

In the past few days, the COVID-19 Task Force has completed their discussions of several issues that will affect life on campus in the coming academic year, and I would like to share those decisions with you.

The following procedures relate to gatherings and events:

  • In-office meetings will be limited to no more than 2-3 people, depending on the space. Other meetings should be held virtually or by phone.
  • Due to the effect of physical distancing requirements and safety issues with larger gatherings, we will not offer catering services in the fall.
  • After much discussion, the decision was made to delay the Greek Play until fall 2021. Other theatre events—as well as dance concerts and music recitals—will be allowed to take place but will need to be video streamed without a live audience. All of these events will be required to rehearse and perform with physical distancing and other health and safety measures in place.
  • Athletics events will also not be allowed to have in-person spectators, and athletic events will be streamed online.
  • Events at the Maier Museum of Art at Randolph College will be viewed in the same regard as theatre, dance, and recitals.

In addition, the Task Force agreed that:

  • Any field trips and athletic trips will require six feet of physical distancing during transportation. All participants in field trips must  wear masks and observe ix feet of physical distance during the trip.
  • There will be no international travel during this academic year. Given the current circumstances and the need for advance preparations, this is likely to extend into the summer of 2021.
  • In addition, the College will not transport individuals with COVID-19 symptoms under any circumstances.

Because we will no longer be able to use the College cars for transporting students with other medical needs due to physical distancing, we will need to have the vans available for this use. This means these vehicles will not be available for field trips or other uses.

The COVID-19 Task Force has determined the conditions that would prompt the College to close the campus and move classes online (similar to our operating procedures in April).

These three “triggers” include:

  • Reaching our quarantine capacity space for residential students
  • Having positive test results that approach or reach 5 percent of our population
  • Testing for symptomatic individuals becoming unavailable

It is our hope that none of these triggering events occurs during the fall semester; however, it is also important to be prepared.

All of our lives have been changed and upended over the past months, but what hasn’t changed is the commitment of our community to provide our students with the best possible experience. This is what made us successful as we navigated the tricky and fast-moving waters of the spring, and it will be what carries us through the coming months. The changes we are making, though temporary, will not all be popular, but they are necessary if we are going to maintain a safe and healthy campus environment for both our students and our employees.

I appreciate all that you do and will continue to share updates as they become available.


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