Additional Town Hall Questions

Answers to Questions during Town Hall on Thursday, March 25 which the panelists did not have time to address.

What do you have to say to students who have been following the guidelines, but are frustrated to see that no restrictions are being lifted? 

We understand the frustration, and thank those students that are working so hard to follow all the guidelines. While we had hoped to be able to relax some restrictions by now, our experiences with recent positive cases, the ongoing campus COVID violations, and the Governor’s continued enforcement of restrictions have limited what we can safely do. Our goal is to ensure that we all finish the semester in person, on campus, together. Please know that when we identify students who are violating guidelines, they are held accountable. 

I am noticing bias in regards to Covid punishments, students on my floor break rules constantly and aren’t reprimanded yet on other floors students are punished for lesser actions. Will you work to treat each floor/building with the same scrutiny? 

Please know, we work very hard to treat each student fairly. It is hard to monitor the entire student body at all times, nor would we want to. When Public Safety or the Residential Life staff encounter a Covid violation it is addressed and followed up with judicially. At times this can appear unfair – we understand that. All students are responsible for following the Covid guidelines. 

Can you tell us any other programs we might be able to see this semester? 

We are working to create a Spring Fair for Saturday, April 3. What we can do, and whether we can do it, will depend on the virus situation on campus. We will introduce additional programs and activities as we can this spring.  

What else does the student activities fee go towards? 

The College has a comprehensive fee that only in part covers the cost of student activitiesIt also covers the cost of some mental health services, technology infrastructure and support, and this year, costs like spare masks for classrooms. We transitioned to a comprehensive fee structure some years ago to help cover unexpected needs and fund new opportunities.  

Are you going to do anything to address the biases in Covid punishment? Why are some people being given many ‘warnings’ for violations yet others are being given fines the first time? 

The College and Residential Life staff do their best to treat every student fairly. That said, no student’s situation is exactly like another’s, and so it can appear that there is either bias or differential treatment. We are not aware of any student that has “many warnings” and has not been held accountable for their behaviors. 

Can students currently on campus go home and finish the semester remotely? 

It is not likely as in-person classes are not set up to be taught both to in-person students and simultaneously to remote students. Exceptions are made under extenuating circumstances, but this has an impact on the classroom experiences for in-person students, so is by exception only. A student exploring this must talk to their advisor and individual professors, as well as Tim Mackin the Associate Dean 

In the last town hall meeting, I remember someone bringing up the fact that one staff member in Alliot only wears a face shield with no mask when serving food. The response was that appropriate actions would be taken, but that individual is still serving food without a mask as of this week. 

Please know when you see someone with different PPE, there is a medical reason that dictates the protection a person is able to wear.   

I have reported people getting together more than 10 on several occasions but it feels like nothing being done and the same people keep getting together. what do I do? I am nervous about the amount of people gathering a mere few feet from my place. 

Public Safety and Residential Life staff try to respond to every report of a COVID violation. That said, we have gotten many and at times we have had to prioritize those that are the most egregious or represent the greatest risk to the community. We encourage students to approach those who are violating COVID guidelines and ask them politely to consider the health and safety concerns of others. If you are not comfortable with that, speak with your RA, RD, or the AD on duty about what more can be done. 

Will there be better monitoring of Ryan hall? There are several groups gathering, primarily athletes, when they should be quarantining and they are preventing the rest of us from enjoying our semester 

A number of students who have violated COVID guidelines while in quarantine have been sanctioned severely. We continue to monitor behavior in Ryan Hall closely, as well as on other parts of campus.  

If students choose to return home will there be any refund of housing fees?  

Last spring, when we were forced to send the entire student body home to finish the semester remotely, we provided a pro-rated refund for housing and meals. Were this to recur this spring, it would be considered again. Students electing to go home to finish the semester would not receive a refund.  

Are there actually any fines given to people who fail to fill out the health affirmation daily? 

The Health Affirmation form is just one part of what a student or employee does to ensure the health and safety of the community. We have been providing incentives to complete it and compliance this semester is significantly better than last semester. We have not issued any fines yet to students who have not completed their Health Affirmation form.