Campus Update | Spring 2021
Below are updates and communications sent to the University of Mount Saint Vincent community regarding COVID-19:
Spring 2021: A Message From President Burns
After months of preparation and a great deal of hard work and planning, the time we’ve all been anticipating is finally here: our community is back together at this right place on the river! As we look forward to an enriching, productive, and safe spring semester, we’re also excited to introduce you to the College’s new president, Dr. Susan R. Burns, and share her welcome message to the Mount community.
Preparing for the Spring Semester
January 6, 2021
Dear Students, Faculty, Administrators, and Staff,
With the beginning of a new year, I hope that you hold a similar optimism for a happy and healthy 2021. I appreciate your patience while awaiting to learn the University of Mount Saint Vincent’s plans for the reopening of campus for spring 2021. Although updated guidance from the Governor’s office has not been released, we recognize the need for communication so that you can begin your plans for returning to the Mount. I have included general information in this communication that will be supplemented with additional information from Vice Presidents and Directors of various divisions. All follow-up communications will have in the subject line: Spring 2021 Return to Campus Information.
If you have questions after receiving this communication or supplemental information, please either contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact those who send the additional information. I ask that you read this message in its entirety as it contains important information for all members of the Mount community.
The University of Mount Saint Vincent continues to monitor local, regional, and national trends of infection as well as guidelines for health and safety. Whereas progress is being made on the distribution of safe vaccines, infection rates continue to rise. Thus, it is essential in our institutional commitment to human dignity that we continue to follow CDC Guidelines. Although we dare to imagine a future where masks are not a part of our daily living, I ask that you continue to mask up (covering your nose and mouth), wash up (with soap and water for at least 20 seconds), and back up (maintain six feet physical distance).
In an effort to de-densify the campus during the time period most likely affected by holiday gatherings, our spring 2021 semester will follow the posted Undergraduate Academic Calendar and Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing Academic Calendar with classes beginning on January 25, 2021. The first two weeks of classes will be offered fully online in synchronous format (i.e., classes meeting virtually at the scheduled times). Faculty will communicate with their students via Canvas and email during these first two weeks. Please note that the only exception will be for Nursing students who have clinical placements in facilities off-campus; these students will go to their assignments in person as scheduled beginning on January 25, 2021. Classes will resume in-person on Monday, February 8, 2021. Graduate programs will follow the posted Graduate Academic Calendar.
Residential Life, Student Activities, and Athletics
With a desire to safely allow residential students to return to campus, Student Affairs and Housing and Residence Life will be coordinating a phased move-in process that will occur between January 18 and February 7, 2021. Residence Life will provide additional information about move-in processes and procedures following this message. Again, to keep our community healthy, the safety precautions that were in place during the fall semester will continue into the spring term. Residential students will be required to recommit to these safety protocols upon their arrival on campus.
Clubs, organizations, and all student activities will continue once students are back on campus with health and safety in mind. Clubs will still meet regularly while adhering to social distance measures and safety protocols. Student Government Association, Campus Activities Board, and all clubs will still offer in-person programs and events, as well as virtual programming options. Masks will be required for all in-person activities and meetings.
We continue to receive guidance from the NCAA, the Skyline Conference, as well as national, state, and local officials to inform our decisions on spring athletics. As you may have suspected, winter and early spring athletic competition continues to be disrupted by the pandemic. That said, we continue to provide our student athletes meaningful and safe experiences with their teammates and coaches. Further information about specific sports will be communicated with student athletes and updates on competitions, as available, will be provided on our athletics website.
Hudson Heights remains open for grab-and-go. Seating is limited. Additional seating has been made available in Pastorini (Founders Hall, 1st floor), the Blue Room (Founders Hall, 2nd floor) and the Alumnae Pavilion Game Room. Residential students completing the NYS travel quarantine will receive (complimentary) meal delivery to the lobby of their residence halls daily from 9 to 11 a.m. for brunch and 4 to 6 p.m. for dinner for the duration of their quarantine period.
Shuttle services will resume on Monday, February 8, 2021 to coincide with the first day of in-person classes. Face coverings will be required. The College-issued clearance pass is also required to board. Seating is limited.
Testing and Monitoring
All students must be tested within 7 days* before coming to campus and must submit all documentation to the Office of Student Affairs via Self-Service. Resident students will not be allowed to move in before having a negative test result. All students (residents and commuters) will be required to take a COVID-19 test and submit a negative test result before attending in-person classes and/or participating in on-campus activities. All students, faculty, and staff are expected to continue to complete the daily screening survey prior to coming to campus.
*Please note: Students arriving from noncontiguous states are subject to the New York State COVID-19 travel advisory. Contiguous states are Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Vermont. Please review the forthcoming communication from Student Affairs for additional details on the testing and quarantine protocols in the advisory.
Between the dates of Monday, January 11, 2021 and Friday, February 5, 2021, to de-densify offices, staff whose work allows it, will move to a hybrid work model whereby office staff will split into two groups spreading out their days on-campus over the work-week. Essential staff will be required to report to campus per their normal work schedules. Staff with questions about these arrangements are to speak with their supervisor or appropriate Vice President.
In signing off, I wish you a Happy New Year and thank you for your commitment to the health and safety of our community. I also look forward to seeing you virtually and in-person in the coming semester.
Susan R. Burns