Updates and Community Messages

For older updates, please scroll down.

Updated April 9, 2021

Student Town Hall

Check out the most recent Zoom Town Hall with students Kristin Burlew and Mackenzie Traska from SMC CAN! facilitating a Q&A with vaccine experts and members of the College’s administration.

Watch Here

Updated April 1, 2021

Message from Dawn Ellinwood, Vice President for Student Life

Content Highlights:

  • Weekly testing results
  • Vaccine information
  • Updates and reminders
  • Spring Fair

Dear Students,

We are encouraged by how many of you are working hard to contain the cases we have had in these past weeks. This week so far we have had three positive student test results and no positive employee test results. As always, you can view the dashboard to see the current number of students in isolation and quarantine. In light of these numbers, we are able to make some modifications to our COVID-19 policies. Please see below.

Vaccines

We are actively discussing with the State and our peer institutions the question of whether students will be able to be vaccinated in Vermont, or even here on campus. Last night Governor Scott’s office issued a statement to clarify its current position on vaccinations for college students in the state. It indicates that college students who are residents of Vermont, or who plan to stay in Vermont through the summer, will have access to scheduling their vaccine on April 19. It also indicates that, if vaccine supplies permit, they expect to make registering for a vaccines available to students who are not Vermont residents on April 30.

Saint Michael’s College and other institutions in the State are advocating with the Governor to allow us to administer the vaccine on campus. We will keep you informed with any updates. Importantly, out-of-state students who are eligible for vaccines in their home state and have the means to travel there should contact the Bergeron Wellness Center at (802) 654-2234 or email Mary Masson at mmasson@smcvt.edu to organize a safe plan to do that.

Updates and Reminders

We are very much aware of the stress that is caused by the restrictions that are needed for the safety of the community in the midst of a pandemic. We have heard your concerns, and in light of the stable number of cases on campus, the Executive Policy Group has made some modifications that will give students some more flexibility. We are, nonetheless, keeping the Alert Level at Orange in light of the rising cases in the surrounding area and continued COVID violations on campus.

  • Break Days—as was communicated by Vice President Trumbower earlier this week, an additional Break Day has been added on April 14. This is in addition to the previously established Break Day on April 13.
  • Gatherings—we are increasing the number of students that can gather outdoors from five to ten. Effective immediately, students may gather with members not in their household in groups of up to 10 people—outdoors, masked, and physically distanced.
  • Holy Week—the schedule for Triduum Liturgies during Holy Week is posted on the Campus Ministry web page. Students are invited to attend as the Chapel has ample room for physical distancing.
  • COVID Fatigue—we are all feeling the fatigue of the restrictions and adherence to the State’s guidelines. It is stressful for all of us, especially those who have been in isolation and quarantine. Let’s all show each other patience and respect as we look ahead to vaccines and warmer days.

Spring Fair

This Saturday, April 3, we will be having Food Trucks on campus from noon – 4 p.m. These will be free to all students. Additionally, an Easter Egg Hunt is being organized for Sunday from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. The disc golf course is also finally going up for the weekend, (now that we’ve resolved the issue of being shipped the wrong parts).

We hope you take the time to enjoy the outdoors as temperatures warm up, despite today’s snow!

Be well.

Dawn M. Ellinwood, Ed.D.|she, her, hers: pronouns

Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students

Updated March 29, 2021

Message from Dawn Ellinwood, Vice President for Student Life

Content Highlights:

  • Current numbers and state of virus in the area
  • Updates and reminders
  • Athletics
  • Town Hall recording

Dear Students,

This week’s testing, which includes tests conducted through Wednesday, resulted in eight new positive cases. We now have 14 students in isolation, and approximately 36 students in quarantine. While we have done a good job in isolating positive cases and conducting contact tracing to limit the spread, we are concerned. Our current cases on campus are manageable. Our concern stems largely from what we are learning from the surrounding area and from colleges in neighboring states. Burlington, which has reported a large number of new cases among college students, represents a particular source of concern as the City’s restaurants and bars begin to open. We ask that you please limit your off-campus activities for the time being, especially in any settings that would put you in close proximity to others. Our concerns are also heightened after learning of colleges in nearby states that have had to send students home, having run out of isolation and quarantine beds. We are in the home stretch, and everyone must hang in there. I know it is difficult.

Updates and Reminders

  • Masks – please be sure to wear them, even when you are outside in the presence of others.
  • Gathering sizes – we are still limited to five people outdoors and to your household indoors. A number of students have received sanctions for violating this guideline.
  • Outdoor time for students in quarantine – we are going to pilot a program to give limited outdoor time for students in quarantine and isolation. We are working to establish the parameters and will begin piloting this in the next couple of days.
  • Spring Fair – we are planning for a spring fair on April 3 if conditions permit. We will send out more information as the date approaches. We were heartbroken when we had to cancel the Field Day last weekend. Believe me, we agonized about that decision. At first, we decided to scale back food offerings, and then when there were new positive cases at the end of the week, we reopened the conversation, and felt compelled to cancel it in the interest of safety.

Athletics

A number of students have expressed concerns about testing protocols and fairness in accountability of student-athletes. Let me reassure you that student-athletes are being held to measures that are just as strict, if not more strict, than those to which the rest of the student body is held. The NCAA requires that those actively competing be tested three times a week, and if any student on the team is positive, all team activities are paused which includes competition and practice.

Town Hall

Yesterday evening we held a Town Hall with vaccine experts who were able to answer student questions and provide helpful information about vaccines. You can see a recording of the Zoom, as well as answers to some additional questions that time did not allow us to get to on the COVID webpages.

Again, I know how difficult this is. We are in the home stretch. Let’s keep our eyes on finishing this semester and making it to May!  Please stay safe and healthy.

Be well.

Dawn M. Ellinwood, Ed.D.|she, her, hers: pronouns
Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students

Updated March 26, 2021

Student Town Hall

Check out the most recent Zoom Town Hall with students Kristin Burlew and Mackenzie Traska from SMC CAN! facilitating a Q&A with vaccine experts and members of the College’s administration. To read the answers to “over-time” questions which were not able to be addressed during the Town Hall, click here.

Watch Here

Updated March 19, 2021

From President Lorraine Sterritt

Dear Saint Michael’s family,

We are encouraged to report that we received the results from Wednesday’s COVID testing and that there were no additional positive cases. This afternoon, however, we received results from tests conducted yesterday, and there are three new positive cases. We are in a situation that requires our very careful attention. Contact tracing continues and our dashboard will soon be updated to reflect approximately 37 students in quarantine and 11 students in isolation—our largest numbers so far this semester. We expect that additional students in quarantine may become positive, and that there may be more positive cases on campus in the coming days. Please continue to complete your daily health affirmation and report any symptoms to the Bergeron Wellness Center at (802) 654-2234. It is imperative that we all continue to abide by ALL guidelines to control the number of cases. We agree with what we have heard in our conversations with the Vermont Department of Health about the cases on our campus: now is NOT the time to let our guard down.

These next two weeks are critical. Some of our peer institutions around New England and in New York state are experiencing spikes in virus levels and have returned to remote learning and higher levels of restriction. We need to work together to avoid any further spread. Students who violate guidelines will continue to be held accountable.

There are many reasons to look ahead with hope. Today the Governor announced the plan for vaccines for the remaining age bands. You can read about this on the Vermont Department of Health website. This much-anticipated announcement is a real boost to everyone’s spirits as it is concrete evidence that more help is indeed on the way.

Next week we will have two guests from the State at our Zoom Town Hall. Dr. Kristin Pierce is an infectious disease specialist, and Karen Vastine is the senior community relations officer at the Office of Government and Community Relations. They will share information about vaccines and take your questions. The link to the Town Hall can be found on the portal events calendar.

Enjoy this beautiful weekend, and please be safe.

Lorraine Sterritt
President

Updated March 18, 2021

From President Lorraine Sterritt

Dear Saint Michael’s family,

Early today we received the results of surveillance and contact testing from Tuesday. As of this morning, we have seven new positive student cases. These seven students are being moved into isolation, and contact tracing is underway. After several weeks of low incidence on campus, this number of cases is concerning. When we receive the results from Wednesday’s tests and tests of the contacts of these new cases, we will have a better picture of whether additional health and safety measures are called for.

I remind everyone that adhering to ALL the health and safety protocols is essential. It does not take much for this virus to get a foothold, but we can control the spread by being vigilant. It takes an enormous amount of work from every member of the community to keep our campus safe. I want to credit all of our students who have adapted to these challenging circumstances and necessary guidelines. I also want to thank all the faculty and staff who have been working tirelessly on behalf of our students to give them the best experience we can.

We will be updating the dashboard shortly, and we will send additional updates as we learn more.

Please be well.

Lorraine Sterritt

President

Updated March 6, 2021

From President Lorraine Sterritt

Dear Saint Michael’s community,

As Dawn Ellinwood shared yesterday, we are pleased that the incidence of virus on campus is low, and this week’s results are no exception. Our semester is progressing in the right direction. We nonetheless remain vigilant, and even small numbers require our close attention and analysis.

While conducting initial contact tracing of the positive cases from this past week, we identified a science lab as a shared point of contact. As a result, we are suspending in-person science labs for Monday and have scheduled a meeting with the Vermont Department of Health for Monday morning. There we will discuss what course of action, if any, is recommended for science labs and other lab-like courses for the rest of the week.

Regular in-person classroom-style classes will proceed on Monday as normal. Please watch for communication from individual faculty members if you have Monday classes that are not traditional classroom style.

After our meeting, and with complete contact tracing, we will share the Health Department’s recommendations and any resulting decisions. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to write to returntocampus@smcvt.edu.

Be well and stay safe.

Lorraine Sterritt

President

Updated March 5, 2021

Message from Dawn Ellinwood, Vice President for Student Life

Content Highlights
  • COVID Status – test results, etc.
  • Reminders and Updates
  • Commencement plans
  • Caring for your mental health
Dear Students,
Surveillance testing continues to go smoothly. The improvements we made from the fall have helped, and everyone is now getting through the processes quickly and efficiently. Thanks to all the people who continue to be a part of this process.  I am again happy to report that this week’s positive test results of students and employees were low (two students and one employee tested positive). Let’s keep up the hard work!
Reminders and Updates
  • Break Days – To clarify for students who have asked, there is no spring break this year due to the pandemic. In its place we have instituted three mid-week break days (2/25, 3/24, and 4/13).
  • Travel – Any travel beyond Chittenden and adjacent counties or out of state will require quarantining in Ryan Hall before returning to your residence.
  • Fitness – The Dion cardio room is now open for use by reservation only. Or, just get outside and go for a walk or a run. Getting exercise is critically important for mental and physical wellbeing.
  • Career Services – As part of the Career Readiness Program, you are encouraged to participate in an upcoming “Workshop Wednesday.” 
    o  
    Job Searching – March 10 from 6:30-7:00 pm
    o  
    Resumés & Cover Letters – March 17 from 6:30-7:00 pm
    o  
    Interviewing Skills – March 31 from 6:30-7:00 pm
    o  
    LinkedIn & Professional Profiles – April 7 from 6:30-7:00 pm
Email careereducation@smcvt.edu for a Zoom link, or make an appointment with a Career Coach for individual assistance via Handshake.
Commencement
The commencement committee has been meeting regularly throughout this semester to consider how we can best celebrate our graduates this May. The State’s limitations on gatherings to 150 individuals outdoors and 75 indoors, along with restrictions on out-of-state visitors to campus, place substantial constraints on what we can do. While COVID rates are declining and vaccines are increasing, it is still unlikely that these guidelines will be lifted to the extent that we could host a traditional commencement ceremony. We wish so much that we could.
We have heard from our seniors, and we know how much they want to have some kind of in-person ceremony with classmates – even if it means a strict no-guest policy. With that in mind, we are working with student leaders to plan for a seniors-only commencement procession on the morning of Thursday, May 13. Seniors, please let your families know that there will not be any access to campus on that day until after 11 a.m. when families can help with your move-out. We know that it is important for families to mark this occasion as well, so we are also planning a meaningful commencement online to honor our seniors and allow them to attend the ceremony from home with their families on the morning of Sunday, May 16. This will be the official commencement at which degrees are conferred.
We will be communicating more details about these and other plans to honor our seniors in the coming weeks.
Mental Health message from the Counseling Staff
This pandemic has presented big challenges, and it has been a very difficult time for many of us. The approaching anniversary of our transition last spring is particularly painful. We have been presented with profound challenges, physically, mentally, and spiritually. We have also seen and experienced some of the best qualities of humanity – the community spirit, the courage, the generosity, the tenacity and the resilience of so many. These qualities are present here at Saint Michael’s College – individually and collectively.
Here is a universal truth about mental health: We are each unique, but we are not alone.  Whatever we are dealing with, someone else has that going on too.  Here is another truth: we are stronger and more resilient than we know.  And with support we can build on the strengths we have in order to deal with the stressors in our lives.
Remember too that there are MANY other wonderful staff and faculty here at St. Mike’s to support and guide you on your journey through this semester. Please do not hesitate to reach out to any of the staff in the Counseling Center at 802-654-2234.
Sarah, Bhuttu, Jenna, Dan, Erin and Kathy
Counseling Staff at the Bergeron Wellness Center
Thanks to all of you who are doing so much to persevere and take care of each other. The warm weather is coming!
Be well.
Dawn
Dawn M. Ellinwood, Ed.D.|she, her, hers: pronouns
Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students

Updated February 26, 2021

Message from Dawn Ellinwood, Vice President for Student Life

Content Highlights:

  • Weekly testing results
  • Updates and Reminders
  • Things to do this weekend

Dear Students,

I hope that our first Break Day yesterday gave you the chance to either relax or get outside and enjoy the warmer temperatures. This week we had one positive student test result and zero positive employee results. While there have been some COVID violations which have resulted in a number of sanctions, I continue to thank the vast majority of you who are following the guidelines and keeping our community safe. Our goal is to get to a less restrictive COVID level. In order to do this, we must all adhere to guidelines currently in place, such as appearing for mandatory testing on campus each week, not eating in Dion, and continuing to follow the residential guidelines.

Updates and Reminders

  • Vans are now able to be used for sanctioned trips by authorized drivers. Usage requires reduced capacity and strict adherence to all van guidelines. Information about van use policies can be found on the Facilities pages on the portal. When traveling in a van, please consider wearing a double mask.  This is not a state requirement, but it does make good sense.  The program leader may request this of participants going forward.
  • Varsity athletic teams have returned to practice activities, following detailed protocols.  The Northeast-10 Conference Council of Presidents has approved health and safety plans for spring sports, and the league’s membership continues to work collaboratively toward a possible return to competition this spring.
  • According to the Vermont Department of Health, new cases of COVID-19 are trending downward, but levels are still high in the state, and UVM has reported an increase in new cases this week.
  • Please remember to fill out the daily health affirmations!

Things to do

  • VTIFFThe Vermont International Film Festival’s Split/Screen, focused on African American women filmmakers, ends after this weekend. Tickets are still available for students, faculty, and staff. Visit the portal for more information on how to download tickets.
  • Hot chocolate and ice skating – Tonight, Friday at 7:00 p.m. there will be hot chocolate available by the fire pits and ice rink.
  • Trivia Night Join your fellow students via Zoom tonight, Friday from 8:00 p.m. -10:00 p.m. and see if you have what it takes to be a Trivia Master.  Zoom information is on the Master Calendar on the Portal.

I hope you get out and enjoy the outdoors this weekend. Let’s all keep up the good work!

Be well!
Dawn

 

Updated February 19, 2021

Message from Dawn Ellinwood, Vice President for Student Life

Content highlights:

  • Weekly surveillance testing results
  • Important reminders and updates
  • Commuter student areas on campus

Dear Students,

We were gratified to see low positivity in the results of the surveillance tests conducted on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. Thank you all for working hard to follow the guidelines. This week we had one positive student test result and zero positive employee results. We are also monitoring the cases in the surrounding communities, and the increased positivity rates at area colleges and universities, and we remind students to avoid contact with any off-campus student groups.

Important Reminders and Updates

  • Dion is still not open for in-person dining.
  • Please remember to complete your daily health affirmations.
  • In-person dining or take-out in Alliot Green Mountain Dining room is available.
  • Ross-Tarrant recreational facility is now available for student use – by appointment only. Reservations can be made online.

Commuter Students

While commuter students cannot be part of an on-campus household, and so cannot socialize with on-campus students in residential buildings, spaces are available for commuter students to use while on campus:

  • The Durick Library is open for commuters, with a designated lounge for commuters in room #111.
  • Dion Family Student Center is available for studying between classes. Eating is not allowed.
  • Alliot Hall’s Green Mountain Dining Room and campus store are open to commuters for dining or take-out.
  • The Vermont Room on the second floor of Alliot is available for commuter students to eat or to relax and study between classes.
  • Ross-Tarrant fitness rooms are open to commuters–by reservation only.
  • The Chapel is also open to commuter students.

Let’s all keep up the good work and progress we are making as we keep the community safe and healthy.

Be well!

Dawn

Dawn M. Ellinwood, Ed.D.|she, her, hers: pronouns
Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students

Updated February 12, 2021

Student Town Hall

Check out the most recent Student Town Hall with students Kristin Burlew and Mackenzie Traska from SMC CAN! facilitating a Q&A and members of the College’s administration providing updates and information about the Spring Semester.

Watch Here

Updated February 10, 2021

From President Lorraine Sterritt

Content Highlights:

  • This week’s test results
  • In-person classes
  • In-person dining in Alliot
  • Reminder—health affirmations

Dear Saint Michael’s community,

We have received the results of Monday’s testing of students and employees. This was the required second arrival test for students who arrived on January 31. The results from the tests of 1,183 students and 70 employees showed one positive student, with three identified close contacts who are also students, and no positives among employees. The student who tested positive has been moved to isolation, and the three contacts have been moved to quarantine.

While this is very good news, and a testament to our community and your adherence to safety, we must not be complacent. We have seen other institutions in the State start well and then experience a subsequent outbreak of cases. It is indeed a great start and sets us up well for the semester, but we must not let our guard down.

I have spoken with academic leadership this morning, and we agree that it is appropriate to begin in-person classes tomorrow for those classes that were scheduled to be in-person.

Additionally, we will begin in-person dining for students on Friday, but students will still have the option to do take-out.

We remain at an Orange Alert Level—no guidelines have changed at this time. We will continue to meet over the coming weeks with the Vermont Department of Health and other institutions in the State, and we will communicate with you about whether we are able to relax any guidelines.

I want to remind everyone that you must complete your health affirmation every day you are on campus. Please do this first thing. It takes only minutes and is a key to identifying potential cases early.

Thank you all for doing the work to quarantine appropriately, staying within your households, and following health and safety guidelines.

As always, if you have questions, please don’t hesitate to write to returntocampus@smcvt.edu. I wish you all the very best as you begin in-person classes.

Sincerely,

Lorraine Sterritt
President

Updated February 5, 2021

Message from Dawn Ellinwood, Vice President for Student Life

Content Highlights:

  • Testing results from Monday
  • Important reminders
  • Future Zoom Town Halls
  • Outdoor activities
  • Questions of the week

Dear students,

I hope that you are all well.

So far this week we have conducted 1,233 COVID-19 tests of students and 40 tests of employees. Of those, seven students and zero employees received positive test results. You can see all the results on the new dashboard page. Students who tested positive are in isolation and any students identified as close contacts are in quarantine. We are in daily contact with those students to do health checks, and also to communicate about activities that are available to them. I encourage those of you who have friends in isolation or quarantine—reach out to them to check in. Maybe watch a movie, play an online game, or just chat. As many of you know, being in isolation and quarantine is not easy. These community members deserve all our support.

The positive cases we have so far were not unexpected, given the prevalence of the virus around the country. Next Monday’s all-student testing and subsequent results will be an important benchmark for us. I again stress to all of you – stick to your households only. This next week is critical to our success.

Health Affirmations!! Do them, please! Every day (including weekends). It just takes a minute or two and last semester it helped identify a few cases of COVID. To encourage you to do it we are starting a weekly prize drawing from students who submit their health affirmations 7 out of 7 days. Each week we will award 5 gift certificates to GrubHub, DoorDash, Amazon, or other online vendor.

We will be hosting regular community Zoom Town Halls on alternating Thursdays from 5:30 to 6:30, starting Thursday, February 11. We will be posting the link in the Daily Digest, in the Portal Announcements, and on the Master Calendar in the portal. We will also be recording them and posting them to the COVID website.

Today we will begin construction of the ice rink, which we hope to have finished and ready for use very soon. Propane fire pits, for special programs, and seating will be set up in several locations on campus. We also hope that the Frisbee golf course will be ready early next week. We hope you take advantage of these opportunities to get outdoors and enjoy Vermont.

Common Questions of the Week:

Periodically, I will share common questions and requests for clarifications that we receive in Student Life. Here are a few common questions and answers from this past week. I hope sharing them is helpful.

What is considered “essential” travel off campus?

Examples include shopping locally for necessities, doctor’s appointments, an internship, student teaching, or an off-campus job.

If I leave Vermont this semester, what is the process for coming back to campus?

Per Vermont state guidelines, any student who leaves Chittenden or adjacent counties in Vermont during the semester for any reason will need to complete another quarantine in Chittenden County off campus at a hotel, Airbnb, or private home at your expense, OR on campus in Ryan Hall. Please email housing@smcvt.edu to request this.

If I see someone on campus not adhering to the guidelines, what should I do?

We all have the responsibility to remind each other the importance of following the guidelines. Please politely remind that person. If for some reason, you are not comfortable doing so, contact your residence life staff, the switchboard at 654-2000 and ask for the Associate Dean on call, or send a LiveSafe message.

If I miss testing, what do I do?

Please plan to go to the Vermont Department of Health Winooski testing site at 32 Malletts Bay Ave. (Check site for hours) to receive a test during the same week that you missed testing on campus. The result of that test needs to be sent to Mary Masson in Bergeron Wellness. It is imperative that you make one of the testing days on campus for us to understand the viral load on campus. Please do everything you can to make it to one of the testing days.

Thank you all so much for doing your part in keeping our community safe and healthy!

Be well,

Dawn

Dawn M. Ellinwood, Ed.D.|she, her, hers: pronouns
Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students

Updated February 1, 2021

Student Town Hall

Check out the most recent Student Town Hall with students Kristin Burlew and Mackenzie Traska from SMC CAN! facilitating a Q&A and members of the College’s administration providing updates and information about the Spring Semester.

Watch Here

Updated January 28, 2021

From President Lorraine Sterritt

Content Highlights: 

  • Move-in Sunday, January 31—check your time
  • Revised start date for in-person classes
  • Confirmation of testing schedule and new location
  • Zoom Town Hall for students —Friday, January 29, 4pm
  • Plans for outdoor activities

Dear students,

Move-in Sunday, January 31

I hope you have all enjoyed your break and are happy to have started your classes. This Sunday, January 31 we will be welcoming the majority of you back to campus, transforming this quiet, snowy space once again into a community fully engaged in academic pursuits. It will be great to have so many of you back. If you have not yet done so, please check the website for your move-in time. For those who need to study entirely remotely this semester, your presence on campus may be virtual, but our connections remain quite real.

Revised start date for in-person classes

As has been our practice throughout this pandemic, we have been in regular contact with the Vermont Department of Health and with our peers in higher education in Vermont. This week we learned that several Vermont schools that have welcomed students back recently have had more positive cases of COVID-19 than they expected after results of their second arrival test (day 7) were received. Additionally, we have learned that these positive cases are displaying more symptoms. This highlights the importance of your quarantine now, before your arrival. As a precaution, we have decided to delay the start of in-person classes until after we receive results from our day-7 tests conducted on Monday, February 8, so the new target date for the start of in-person classes is Thursday, Feb. 11. Please note that this does not change the move-in date (January 31).

Testing location

The location for testing is still in the Ross/Tarrant Sports Center, however for this spring semester the testing will be on the second floor of Tarrant, on the track. There will be ample signage to direct the flow of people for testing. Please visit the COVID website to learn more about testing.

Town Hall

We will be hosting another Zoom Town Hall for students this Friday at 4:00 p.m. We hope you can join us. As with the recent Town Hall, it will be recorded and posted on the COVID website for those who cannot attend.

Zoom Town Hall: 4:00 p.m. Friday, January 29 

https://smcvt.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_6DfyrYA-QRm7bY_6z5k-1Q

We plan to host future Zoom Town Halls every other week and will post that schedule in the Daily Digest as well as in the events calendar.

Outdoor Activities being planned

To provide more ways for you to engage safely outdoors with one another, including with those outside of your household (limited to five or fewer, and masked), the Student Government Association and the Student Life Office have been busy preparing activities and areas for you that will be safe and fun. These include building an ice rink, setting up a disc golf course, placing several propane hearths around campus, and more. Please watch for messages from Student Life early next week with updates.

Our beloved Vermont and our campus are beautiful in the winter. They will become even more beautiful with students here, making it bright and warm. Please don’t hesitate to write to returntocampus@smcvt.edu if you have questions. We very much look forward to welcoming you back to campus.

Sincerely,

Lorraine Sterritt

President

Updated January 22, 2021

From President Lorraine Sterritt

Content highlights:

  • Classes begin remotely on Monday.
  • Arrival quarantine students all tested negative last week. Second test tomorrow.
  • Update on cases of the virus in Vermont.
  • Moving to campus—this final week of home quarantine is critical.
  • Important reminders—move-in times are by last name.
  • Next Town Hall planned for Friday, January 29 at 4:00 p.m.

Dear students,

It will be good to start classes once again on Monday and engage in our academic work together after a longer than usual break. I hope you have enjoyed the break and are eager to get started.

I am pleased to report that 38 students moved back for arrival quarantine last Friday, were tested on that following Saturday, and all their tests were negative. Those students will be tested again tomorrow, and with a negative result will be approved to leave quarantine in Ryan Hall and move into their living spaces.

The prevalence of the virus in Vermont is still high, relative to where the state has been throughout the pandemic. That said, because our state authorities have been conservative in their planning, the state is in better shape than many others. I am also pleased to see that the positivity rates in the state and nationally appear to be plateauing. Let’s hope that it starts to decline and continues so that at some point we will be able, with the state’s approval, to relax some guidelines.

I remind students who will be moving back on the 31st that it is critical that you have been in home quarantine and strictly limiting your contact with others. This final week before arrival is crucially important. We expect, given the rates of infection in many areas of the country, and the experiences of other schools with students returning, that we will have some students who test positive upon arrival. If, however, we can start our semester with a very low level of infection, it bodes well for maintaining low levels throughout the semester, provided that everyone follows the health and safety protocols. It is imperative that every member of our community do so.

I remind students to check the Return to Campus COVID website for information about:

We have scheduled another Zoom Town Hall for Friday, January 29 at 4 p.m. We will be sending out and posting a link to it early next week. You can find a recording of the last Town Hall on the COVID website under “Recent Updates.” We are also planning to host bi-monthly Zoom Town Halls throughout the semester and will communicate that schedule as soon as it is finalized.

I look forward to Monday, and even more to having everyone back on campus together next week. Please know that we understand that the restrictions the state has put in place feel limiting, but let us use these limits as motivation to adhere to guidelines so that we can transition to a more traditional Saint Michael’s experience when the time is right. You have our full support as we all continue to navigate these challenging times. We must not let our guard down as we wait for the broad distribution of the vaccines, and we must keep our chin up in anticipation of the light at the end of the tunnel.

I send you all my very best wishes for our new semester.

Sincerely
Lorraine Sterritt
President

Updated January 14, 2021

Student Town Hall

Check out the Student Town Hall with students Kristin Burlew and Mackenzie Traska from SMC CAN! facilitating a Q&A and members of the College’s administration providing updates and information about the Spring Semester.

Updated January 12, 2021

From President Lorraine Sterritt

Dear students,

We have missed you over the holidays, and we can’t wait to welcome you back to campus. As part of our preparations, the Executive Policy Group is looking forward to hosting an informational Town Hall for students via Zoom tomorrow from 4:30 – 6:00 p.m. Your fellow students, Kristin Burlew and Mackenzie Traska from SMC CAN!, will facilitate the Q&A portion of the Zoom. I will be joined by:

  • Mary Masson, Director of Student Health Services
  • Dawn Ellinwood, Vice President for Student Affairs
  • Kathy Butts, Director of Counseling
  • Jeffrey Trumbower, Vice President of Academic Affairs
  • Alex Bertoni, Director of Marketing and Communications

Each will provide a brief update and then we will open it up to your questions. We hope you can join us.

Zoom Town Hall – Wednesday, 4:30 – 6:00 p.m.

Note: You will use your Saint Michael’s email to access the Zoom. We are restricting this Town Hall to students because of licensing limitations on the number of attendees, but we are also recording the session and will share it with everyone.

Moving Back to Campus

January 15 Arrival and Move-in: We will be welcoming students who have requested to quarantine on campus on Friday, and they will be moving into Ryan Hall for their quarantine.

January 31 Arrival and Move-in: To reduce density, we need to stagger arrivals on Sunday, January 31, so we ask that all students and family members adhere to the following move-in schedule to the best of their ability. Unfortunately, we are unable to accommodate requests to arrive on Saturday, January 30.

Students with the last names:

  • A – Cl: 9 a.m.
  • Co – Ga: 10 a.m.
  • Ge – K: 11 a.m.
  • L– M: 12 noon
  • N – R: 1 p.m.
  • S – V: 2 p.m.
  • W-Z: 3 p.m.

Arrival Quarantine Requirements: Please check the COVID website section on spring semester move-in to be reminded of the requirements for campus quarantine (arrival on 1/15) or home quarantine (arrival on 1/31).  Please note that these quarantine categories apply to all students, including students from Vermont and students who have already tested positive for COVID-19.

Student drop-off during move-in: Parents/guests dropping off students for move-in are asked not to enter any campus buildings, and we request that only one parent/guardian accompany the student for drop-off.

Updated COVID Web Pages: You can still access the COVID information pages from the home page of the website, or by going to COVID website. Now you will find updated content with information about the spring semester, testing, and a new COVID Alert Level page.

Important Changes for the Spring Semester

As was the case in the fall semester, the guidelines for the spring semester are based on the guidelines issued by the Governor’s Office and the Vermont Department of Health. You can find more detailed information and explanations on the COVID website. We will also be explaining these changes in more detail during the Town Hall.

  • Weekly testing: students will have weekly surveillance testing offered on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, in addition to arrival testing which will take place the day after arrival and seven days later.
  • All quarantining will take place in Ryan Hall: any students who are required to quarantine will no longer be able to do so in their own rooms but will be moved to Ryan Hall. Please see the details of quarantine or isolation on the information for students pages.
  • Household definition: The State of Vermont is currently restricting gatherings to take place only with members of a single household. “Households” at Saint Michael’s are defined as the following:
    • Townhouse/suite/apartment residents – members of that residence only.
    • Single and double room residents – you and four other members of your residence hall wing.

Read more about Gatherings and Defining your Household online.

  • Prior COVID diagnosis: if you have been diagnosed with COVID over the break, please send documentation of test results to mmasson@smcvt.edu. While you will not need to undergo surveillance testing for 90 days after diagnosis, you will still have to adhere to all health and safety guidelines.

As we experienced in the fall, we will have to be flexible and adapt as the pandemic affects our nation, our state, and our campus. We know that these guidelines restrict our activities in ways that we wish were not necessary. We very much look forward to vaccinations becoming more widely available, and we take great comfort in knowing that they are on the way, but in the meantime the requirements are necessary for us to protect each other and the community around us. We are all in this together.

As always, please don’t hesitate to write to returntocampus@smcvt.edu with any questions that you may have.

We look forward to welcoming you to campus and hope that you can join tomorrow’s Zoom Town Hall.

Sincerely,

Lorraine Sterritt
President

Updated January 5, 2021

Message from Dawn Ellinwood, Vice President for Student Life

Dear students,

Happy New Year! We are looking forward to the spring semester.

We are finalizing guidelines for the upcoming term, and we have some updates on COVID-19 testing and health requirements to share with you now. As a reminder, if you are traveling to St. Mike’s with people from outside your household via private vehicle, or by bus, rail or commercial airline, you must arrive on campus on January 15 and quarantine for 14 days. You must also complete this Request to Quarantine on Campus form by Friday, January 8. All other students must quarantine at home, avoid prolonged stops on the way to campus, and arrive on Sunday, January 31.

COVID-19 Diagnosis/Vaccine Documentation

  • If you were diagnosed with COVID over the winter break (not while you were on campus during fall semester), please send a copy of your COVID test result with a date on it to mmasson@smcvt.edu (Director of Student Health Services, Mary Masson) in the Bergeron Wellness Center. We will keep this as part of your confidential medical record and calculate when your surveillance testing in the spring should resume.
  • If you have received the COVID-19 vaccine, please send a copy of your vaccination record to mmasson@smcvt.edu so that it can be included in your medical record.

Arrival Testing

  • Campus Quarantine: If you have been approved to return to campus on Friday, January 15 for quarantine reasons, we will offer testing on Saturday, January 16, from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at the Bergeron Wellness Center. Your second test will be available on Saturday, January 23, from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at the Bergeron Wellness Center. It is mandatory that you come for both of these tests.
  • Home/Off-Campus Quarantine: If you return to campus with the majority of our students on Sunday, January 31, your first test will be on Monday, February 1, in the Tarrant Center (like the fall) and your second test will be on Monday, February 8, in the Tarrant Center. Testing on both Mondays will be offered from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Surveillance Testing

Spring testing will be offered weekly, starting on Tuesday, February 16, on both Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in the Tarrant Center. No appointments are necessary. You can come at your convenience, but you MUST come once a week and no more than once a week. We hope this offers more flexible options for your weekly testing. You must bring your Knight Card as you will swipe your card at the entry point.

Be well,
Dawn

Updated December 15, 2020

Message from President Sterritt about winter athletics

Dear Saint Michael’s Community,

I am writing to share with you some important and difficult news about winter sports. After painstaking deliberation and with great regret, the Council of Presidents of the Northeast-10 Conference voted this afternoon, in light of the spread of the virus nationwide, to cancel formal regular season and championship competition in winter sports.

Impacted sports at Saint Michael’s include both men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s swimming and diving, and men’s ice hockey. We are also extending this decision to include our non-NE10 sports, namely, women’s ice hockey and Alpine and Nordic skiing. Student-athletes received the news in an email communication earlier today from Director of Athletics Chris Kenny. As always, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to write to returntocampus@smcvt.edu.

We know that this decision is in the best interest of public health and our community. At the same time, I know that it comes as very disappointing news, particularly for our athletes and coaches who have worked so hard. My heart goes out to you. We are encouraged that the vaccine is on the way, and we very much look forward to a time when our wonderful athletes can again participate in competition.

Sincerely,

Lorraine Sterritt
President

Updated December 10, 2020 5:30 p.m.

Dear Saint Michael’s Community,

We are encouraged by the progress that has been made on the COVID-19 vaccine and by the way in which the State of Vermont is managing the virus. As we prepare for the spring semester, we want to keep you apprised of our plans and of any new information we receive from the Governor’s Office. We understand that this is a complex and challenging time, and we know that, depending on the course that the virus takes in the coming weeks and months, we may have to adjust. Please rest assured that we will continue to share information as it becomes available to us.

IMPORTANT DATES

The dates for the spring semester that we announced on October 15 remain the same. We very much look forward to welcoming our students back to campus as follows:

  • Friday, January 15: Move-in for students required to quarantine on campus (see below). Students in this cohort will be tested on Saturday, January 16 and Saturday, January 23.
  • Monday, January 25: All classes begin remotely for all students.
  • Sunday, January 31: Move-in for students required to quarantine at home (see below). Students in this cohort will be tested on Monday, February 1 and Monday, February 8.
  • Monday, February 1: Remote classes continue.
  • Thursday, February 4: In-person instruction begins for those classes that have in-person components (when test results are back).
  • Break: There will be three mid-week respite days (break days) during the semester, but no traditional spring break, per the Governor’s requirements. The break days are February 25, March 24, and April 13. The Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Dean of the Faculty, and the faculty are working to ensure that break days are truly restful for everyone—faculty and students alike.
  • Wednesday, May 5: Last day of classes.
  • May 7 – 12: Final exams.

REGISTERING FOR CLASSES

Students who have not yet registered for classes should do so through Knightvision Self-Service as soon as possible. Additionally, students who plan to stay completely virtual and learn remotely must let the Associate Dean’s office know by Friday, January 8, 2021 at OfficeoftheAssociateDeanoftheCollege@smcvt.edu.

SPRING ARRIVAL QUARANTINE REQUIREMENTS

The State of Vermont has established new criteria for arrival and quarantine for the spring term. Please review these two categories carefully to determine which of them applies to your circumstances:

CAMPUS quarantine (Move-in January 15):

If traveling to campus with people from outside your household, via private vehicle, bus, rail or commercial airlines, you must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival to campus (after day 7 you may get a COVID-19 test and upon receiving a negative result, end your quarantine).

Home Quarantine (Move-in January 31):

If traveling to campus in a private vehicle without making a prolonged stop (avoid gatherings such as restaurants, limit gas stops, if overnight travel is required—reduce social contacts), you must quarantine at home for 14 days immediately prior to traveling (you may complete a shorter quarantine if you receive a negative COVID-19 test after day 7 and travel directly to campus without breaking the quarantine).

Please note that these quarantine categories apply to all students, including students from Vermont.

COVID-19 TESTING AND FEES

All students will undergo initial day 0 and day 7 tests as well as weekly mandatory surveillance testing in addition to any symptomatic testing that may be necessary. The schedules for testing will be communicated before the start of the semester. Students can choose to be tested on either Tuesday or Wednesday of each week so that they can plan their COVID-19 tests based on their class schedules. Faculty and staff who come to campus will also be included in the testing, and they will receive more details from the Office of Human Resources soon.

Over the course of the semester each student will have approximately 15 surveillance tests. Due to the significant increase in the total number of tests, the College must increase the spring semester COVID-19 testing fee to $300. We regret that this increase is necessary. The College has tried to limit the impact on families by bearing a portion of the cost of the surveillance tests and covering all symptomatic testing costs.

QUARANTINE PROTOCOLS

Outside of arrival quarantine, students may be required to quarantine either to await result from a symptomatic test, or because they were identified as “close contacts” of a positive case. These students will no longer quarantine “in place” as was the case in the fall for students in single rooms. They will now be required to move to a designated living space on campus until their quarantine requirement is fulfilled.

GATHERINGS

The Governor’s office, in consultation with colleges and universities in the State, is in the process of updating the regulations for how college students can gather and interact safely next semester. We realize how important this is to your experience at Saint Michael’s, and we will communicate this information as soon as the Governor has finalized his directives.

ATHLETICS

We are awaiting decisions from the NCAA and our NE10 conference, and we will communicate their decisions as soon as we hear from them.

COMMUNICATIONS

The Communications Team will be updating the COVID-19 pages of the website based on feedback from the community. They will continue to report any positive cases on the dashboard daily. We are exploring additional ways to communicate as we know the amount of information and new regulations can feel overwhelming at times. It will still be very important to watch your email for COVID-19 updates.

Believe me, I know that this is hard. All of us are struggling with limits on the way we socialize, the way we celebrate, and the way we connect with other people, but for college students, these restrictions can feel especially difficult. You rightly have hopes and expectations for your college years, and this pandemic continues to have an enormous impact on that experience. We all recognize this, and we are here to support you.

If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to write to ReturntoCampus@smcvt.edu and the staff members who monitor this email account will either answer your question or forward it to the relevant office to answer.

I wish you all the very best for the remainder of the semester, and I hope that you and your family enjoy a safe and peaceful holiday. We all look forward to welcoming you back to campus in January.

Sincerely yours,

Lorraine Sterritt
President

Updated November 23, 2020 5:30 p.m.

Message from President Sterritt: COVID-19 update to the community

Dear Saint Michael’s Community,  

I am writing to provide you with an update on our COVID-19 management and planning. As of this evening our last two students have completed their isolation, and no students remain in quarantineCOVID-19 tests from Wednesday and Friday of last week resulted in no positive cases, and students were free to return home 

The containment of cases was the result of hard work on the part of the entire community. From our students who observed the health and safety guidelines, to the staff across campus who worked tirelessly to care for our students, to faculty who adapted quickly to conducting classes remotelyI extend my heartfelt appreciation.  

As our students and faculty continue their academic work over the next few weeks, the College will continue making plans for the spring semester, working very closely with the Vermont Department of HealthAs previously announced, we plan to have students complete this semester remotely and return to campus for the spring semester. Between now and then we will monitor the situation with the virus very closely, and we will keep you fully apprised as the Governor’s office releases updated information that pertains to quarantining and the return to campus for the spring semester.  

May you have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving break.  

Sincerely,  

Lorraine Sterritt
President  

Updated November 23, 2020

Message from the VP for Academic Affairs: Extension of Withdrawal deadline to December 4

Dear students, faculty, and staff,

In recognition of the planned-for but nonetheless disruptive events of the last several weeks in the academic and student-life spheres, the College has decided to extend once more the deadline to withdraw from a course without penalty.  The deadline was originally November 6 (the typical point in a semester for such a deadline), was extended to November 18, and now will be Friday, December 4. Students who avail themselves of this opportunity will see a “WD” on their transcript next to the course in question.

Please keep the following in mind:

  • If you have a federal student loan, and a withdrawal means you will be enrolled in fewer than 6 credit hours, you should contact the Office of Student Financial Services at FinAid@smcvt.edu.
  • International undergraduate students must maintain full time enrollment with at least 12 credits. For international graduate students, the minimum is 9 credits. Please contact Office of International Student Services at mholzman@smcvt.edu with any questions.

Please accept my best wishes for a restful and safe Thanksgiving break.

Sincerely,

Jeffrey Trumbower, Ph.D. (he, him, his)
Vice President for Academic Affairs

Updated November 17

Joint Message from Academic and Student Affairs

Dear Students,

We are grateful to you for your hard work, both in your academic studies and in your lives outside the classroom, as we continue to navigate this semester together. As we approach the Thanksgiving break, we are in a much better position with regard to our positive COVID cases. At this point, there are just two cases in isolation, and fewer than five students in quarantine. While everyone has done a great job to get this outbreak under control, we must remain vigilant. With COVID becoming more widespread nationwide, and with the Governor of Vermont issuing additional restrictions statewide, it is critical that we adhere to health and safety measures both on campus and at home. We must not let our guard down.

Important Reminders from Academic and Student Affairs:

Departure: 

  • You must schedule a COVID-19 test, receive a negative result, and move out within 48 hours of the date the test was administered. You may schedule your departure and testing here.
  • The Broad Institute, the lab that processes our tests, is not open Thanksgiving week, so the last day for move-out is Sunday, November 22. If you plan to depart on that day, your test must be scheduled for Friday, November 20.
  • If a family member is coming to pick you up, keep in mind that they may not enter any building on campus.
  • If you have questions about the November 22 closing date, please email Housing at Housing@smcvt.eduas soon as possible.
  • For full move-out instructions, refer to the emails sent to you from Housing.

New Vermont State Guidelines:Due to the increased spread of COVID-19 nationwide, the Governor of Vermont recently issued new restrictions statewide on gatherings and on travel in and out of state, and he asked families to celebrate Thanksgiving in-person only with their immediate households. Those remaining in Vermont can read the State’s new policies here.

Academic Schedule:

  • Last day of class prior to Thanksgiving Break: Tuesday, November 24
  • Thanksgiving Holiday: November 25 – 29
  • Instruction resumes remotely: November 30 – December 11
  • Final exams administered remotely: December 14 – 18

Grading Policies:  Some students have asked about transitioning to Pass/No Pass grades due to the pandemic. The College is adhering to our traditional grading practices for Fall 2020. A Pass/No Pass policy can relieve stress in the moment but presents long-term challenges to evaluating preparation for advanced courses, graduate school admission, and identifying students who need advising or assistance. For any student who is struggling academically, I encourage you to make use of all the support available to you. These include:

For additional questions about academic support, please contact:
OfficeofheAssociateDeanoftheCollege@smcvt.edu.

This has been a challenging semester, and we are now in the final stretch. The work has been hard, but worth it. Let’s all stay focused, help each other, and finish strong.

Stay well,

Dawn Ellinwood
Vice President for Student Affairs

Jeffery A. Trumbower
Vice President for Academic Affairs

Updated November 4, 2020

From Vice President for Student Affairs Dawn Ellinwood: Testing and Policy Clarifications

Dear Students,

Many of you have been asking questions about move-out, testing, and other matters related to the end of this semester. I hope the information below provides additional clarity.

As you know, we have developed our testing protocols in close collaboration with the Vermont Department of Health. As a further precaution, we have decided to continue weekly mandatory surveillance testing. While we hope the update to our testing plan below provides an additional measure of reassurance, I must remind you of the critical distinction between prevention and testing. No matter how often you are tested, you can still become positive for COVID-19 if you do not abide by all College health and safety policies.

Testing Requirements:

  • Weekly Surveillance Testing: If you plan to stay on campus beyond this weekend, you MUST have one surveillance test each week, including this week. This mandatory surveillance testing in Tarrant is taking place according to the schedule below and does NOT require advance registration.
    • Friday, November 6, 8:30 am – 2:00 pm
    • Monday, November 9, 8:30 am – 2:00 pm
    • Wednesday, November 11, 8:30 am – 2:00 pm
    • Friday, November 13, 8:30 am – 2:00 pm
    • Monday, November 16, 8:30 am – 2:00 pm
    • Wednesday, November 18, 8:30 am – 2:00 pm
    • Friday, November 20, 8:30 am – 2:00 pm
    • Monday, November 23, 8:30 am – 2:00 pm
    • If you have been approved to remain on campus beyond the 23rd you will receive specific instructions for your ongoing testing.
  • Departure Testing: You must notify the College of your intended move-out date and you must be tested for COVID-19 within 48 hours of your departure and receive a negative result. This final test of the term DOES require advance registration. Sign up for your final move-out test and date here.
  • Quarantine, Contact, and Symptomatic Testing: If necessary, you will work directly with the Bergeron Wellness Center for your testing.

Campus Policies: Continue to follow all health and safety policies (masks, distancing, etc.). Violations may be subject to a $250 fine.

  • No visitors are allowed on campus, except for family pick-up on your scheduled day.
  • You may not visit another student’s room, townhouse, or suite.
  • No indoor gatherings (this includes Dion, Alliot, etc.).
  • Only essential travel off campus is permitted, and it is restricted to our local area.
  • You may visit with each other in groups of 2 or 3 outdoors, masked, and appropriately distanced.
  • Library and computer labs are open.

Move-Out

  • You must use the link above to schedule your move-out. If you have family coming to pick you up, they cannot enter any buildings on campus.
  • You may leave your belongings for next semester. If due to State or Health Department requirements there is any change to the spring semester, we will safeguard your belongings until you are able to pick them up over the spring term.

Please help us to keep everyone safe and well as we approach the end of this semester.

Thank you,

Dawn Ellinwood
Vice President for Student Affairs

Updated November 3, 2020

From Vice President for Student Affairs Dawn Ellinwood: Testing and move-out

Hello Students,

The decision to continue remote learning for the remainder of the semester has generated inquiries from some of you who wish to leave early and complete your studies from home. This is possible but will require that you sign up for a date to be tested. Upon receiving a negative result, you must depart campus within 48 hours of that test being administered. We will also need you to share the date that you plan to leave campus so that we can manage the health and safety of everyone. Below you will find information about the new test dates that are available, as well as a link to a form where you can schedule your test and share the date you wish to leave campus.

This replaces the weekly surveillance testing that has been conducted for the past two weeks. Do not plan to come to testing unless this is part of your return to home plan.

Please note, if you receive a positive test result for COVID-19, you will be required to isolate on campus for at least 10 days before you may depart campus. If you are deemed a close contact of someone who tests positive, you will be required to stay and quarantine for at least 7 days and then test negative. It is important to understand that if you test positive after November 13, you will be unable to complete your isolation and be home in time for Thanksgiving. Please follow all health policies so that everyone can be home for Thanksgiving.

All testing will be in Tarrant from 8:30 am-2:00 pm. The testing schedule is as follows:

  • Wednesday, November 4
  • Friday, November 6
  • Monday, November 9
  • Wednesday, November 11
  • Friday, November 13
  • Monday, November 16
  • Wednesday, November 18
  • Friday, November 20

Schedule your test and submit your move-out plan here.

In order to protect those who remain on campus, students who move out are prohibited from returning to campus before the start of the spring semester. There can be no exceptions.

All students who remain in residence must comply with all COVID policies so that we can continue to contain the virus. As mentioned in Dr. Sterritt’s email yesterday, please understand that there will be no indoor gatherings for the remainder of the semester.  You are only allowed to be in your own suite, townhouse or room.  You may not be in any other residence but your own.  If you are in a suite, townhouse or room that is not your own, you will be fined $250.00 for this infraction.  If this happens a second time you will be removed from campus housing for the spring semester. If your family or friends are coming to campus to help you move out, please note that they are not allowed to enter any building on campus.  Additionally, you may leave your belongings in your room for next semester. Please remember to close windows/doors, keep your keys /Knightcard, and bring home valuables, medications, and anything else you will need over the holiday break.

If you have any questions about your departure plans, please contact housing@smcvt.edu.

For more general questions, please feel free to email returntocampus@smcvt.edu.

Thank you and please be well.

Dawn Ellinwood
Vice President for Student Affairs

Updated November 2, 2020

From President Sterritt – Important decisions for the next few weeks

Dear Saint Michael’s Community,  

This afternoon we met with Commissioner of Health Mark Levine MD and his team at the Vermont Department of Health. We focused on the practical considerations of managing the final weeks of the semester on campus, given the additional positive cases and their close contacts identified this past weekend.  

In collaboration with the Health Department, we have made the following decisions: 

  • The rest of this semester’s classes will be conducted remotely.  
  • There will be no in-person group activities. 
  • We will continue with take-out dining. 
  • All gatherings of any size are prohibited, and no on-campus or off-campus guests are allowed in any residences, including rooms and common areas.   

Some students have asked about going home early. The Health Department reinforced Saint Michael’s concern that the health and safety of students’ families and home communities are crucially important. Therefore, students who wish to depart early may do so, but they MUST have an additional COVID-19 test and then must depart within 48 hours of the test being administered, provided that thresult is negative. We have developed a plan for offering testing on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, beginning this Wednesday. This will accommodate students who wish to leave campus early and finish the semester from home. Please watch for an email message tomorrow from Vice President Dawn Ellinwood that will provide details. This communication will also have strict guidelines for families wishing to pick up students from campus.  

When making plans regarding testing and departure, students should keep in mind that if their test result comes back positive for Covid-19, they will need to stay and complete a 10-day isolation period. All of those currently in isolation and quarantine will continue their current plan of care and may leave after being medically cleared to do so. 

It is of paramount importance for everyone to adhere to all COVID policies, including policies for quarantine and isolation, in order to avoid having to spend Thanksgiving break in isolation or quarantine on campus or causing a friend to have to do so. We want every student to have a safe and healthy return home for the holidays. 

Sincerely,  

Lorraine Sterritt
President 

Updated November 1, 2020

From President Sterritt – Update regarding yesterday’s COVID testing

Dear Saint Michael’s Community,  

We have already received all but the last five results from the 1,140 COVID-19 tests that were conducted yesterday, and ten positive cases have been identified. We also received additional results from testing of close contacts and have seven cases among students who were already in quarantine. The new positive cases have been moved to isolation, and the Vermont Department of Health, supported by the Bergeron Wellness Center, is conducting contact tracing. While we are adding students to isolation and quarantine, we have also been able to release other students from both isolation and quarantine since they have been medically cleared. We continue to support students who have tested positive and check in with them frequently. They are receiving the College’s full care and support.  

We, along with the Health Department, had anticipated that we would find additional cases before completely containing the virus on campus. While we had hoped for fewer, we are encouraged that there are not more, and that the cases still seem connected by social circles. We are continuing to work with the contact tracers at the Health Department. 

We have been in communication with the Health Department today and are meeting with thetomorrow to discuss our plan movinforwardAt this time, we have decided that classes for this coming week will continue to be remote. Athletics and all in-person events will continue to be suspended, and meals will continue to be takeout only, through next weekend. We will communicate additional information after we meet with the Health Department.  

If you have questions, please feel free to write to returntocampus@smcvt.edu. This email account is monitored by several staff members who will either answer your question directly or forward it to the best person to provide an answer. 

As we know from Commissioner of Health Mark Levine, once the virus is present, it takes hard work and conscientiousness to eliminate it. Everyone must follow all our COVID-19 policies, including wearing masks, maintaining physical distance, washing hands, avoiding gatherings, and having no guests from off campus, so that we can effectively contain the virus. 

We are grateful for the hard work and many sacrifices that students, faculty, and staff have made in response to the pandemic and its impact on our campus.  

Sincerely,  

Lorraine Sterritt
President 

Updated October, 28, 2020 6:00 p.m.

From Bergeron Wellness Center counseling staff

Dear Students,

We at Bergeron Counseling are writing to let you know that we have been thinking about all of you, those on campus and those studying remotely.

As we come to the end of week 9 in this historic semester, we are aware of the time passing quickly.  We have 4 weeks to go before heading home for Thanksgiving and finishing the semester from there.   As we have been thinking of you, we wanted to highlight a few things.

*We have been struck by the resilience and grit of our student body as a whole, and by the way our community has come together in many cooperative ways to address the challenges posed by COVID-19.  It is during the hardest times that the ideal of community gets tested.  We have the opportunity to put into action every day the living vision of our SMC community.  Thank you for your part in this effort.

*Let’s remember to be particularly aware of our community members who are in quarantine and isolation, and lend support to all of them.  By quarantining now, they are helping to minimize the spread of COVID-19.  And the more the rest of us support them to do the quarantine correctly, the better chance we have of containing the virus.  If you are interested in helping out with the support effort, follow the CAN! (COVID Action Network) on Instagram @smc.can and send them a message letting them know of your interest. 

*As we talk with students in counseling every day, we hear your concerns about not only facing our own outbreak of COVID-19 on campus, but also the very difficult and real challenges of living in a country that is divided, that is chaotic, and that is broadly stricken with this confounding pandemic – all of this in addition to the usual challenges of being a young adult on a college campus.  As if that were not enough, we also have a much anticipated election on the horizon.

*These challenges make staying mentally focused, balanced and healthy much more difficult – and much more important than ever.  We cannot take our mental health for granted and we have to be as vigilant in taking good care of ourselves mentally and physically.

*Let’s make a commitment to taking extra care of ourselves and everyone in our community as we face COVID-19 and as the election approaches.  We have the capacity to keep coming together to face challenging times, but it is a decision that we each have to make every day to put our best foot forward.  Let’s control what we can – our own behavior and our own self-care efforts during this time of uncertainty – through acts of kindness, care, and solidarity.  We can do it one day at a time, one right action at a time.

* With the idea of taking action in mind, we encourage the following for all of us on a daily basis:

  • Follow the COVID guidelines: wear your mask, maintain physical distance, and wash your hands regularly.
  • Take a moment to acknowledge the challenges you are facing and to offer yourself some compassion for all that you are dealing with every day.  Check out this article on self-compassion if you are interested in learning more: https://self-compassion.org/the-three-elements-of-self-compassion-2/.
  • Take a moment to acknowledge three things that you are grateful for, no matter how small.
  • For those students NOT in quarantine or isolation, get outside for at least a few breaths of fresh air.
  • For students who ARE in quarantine, check out exercise, fun, and support options available and advertised by following SMC CAN! on Instagram @smc.can.
  • Pay attention to basic physical needs – adequate sleep, adequate food, and at least ten minutes of vigorous exercise.
  • Create a daily structure for yourself to follow to help stay on track with your self-care and balance.
  • Remember, you are NOT alone in whatever you are dealing with.  We are ALL going through SOMETHING challenging right now.
  • Reach out to someone else who may be struggling.
  • Ask for help from friends, family, coaches, professors, or other staff if you are struggling.
  • Take time to laugh, play and have some fun, while following the campus guidelines for COVID-19.

*Follow us on Instagram @BergeronCounseling.  We will be offering self-care tips, reminders, drop in support groups, and encouragement there over the remaining weeks of the semester.

*Check out our “Resources” page on the web at:

https://www.smcvt.edu/student-life/health-and-safety/bergeron-wellness-center/personal-counseling/resources/

*Join our drop in zoom mental health support meeting every weekday at 4 pm.  Discuss what is going well for you and what has been challenging, exchange ideas for coping with the challenges we are facing, and get some tips on self-care.  Everyone is welcome, and here is the link: https://smcvt.zoom.us/j/95522430157?pwd=K2pGTGRhWGNESXM5YmR0NkptMllkQT09.

*If you are in quarantine or isolation, join our drop in zoom mental health check-in every weekday at 4 pm.  Discuss what is going well for you and what has been challenging, exchange ideas for coping with the challenges we are facing, and get some tips on self-care.  This group is for students to be able to discuss the challenges and strategies for coping with specifically with quarantine and isolation.  Everyone in quarantine and isolation are welcome, and here is the link:  https://smcvt.zoom.us/j/92111966529?pwd=MDNaeC9SYXhwRXlTcE5WMGdDMkhBdz09.

*If you would like to speak with a counselor in a confidential setting Monday through Friday 8:30 – 4:30, please reach out to Heidi Brodtman at the Bergeron Wellness Center, and she can set up a time for you to talk with a counselor – hbrodtman@smcvt.edu or 802-654-2234.

*If you need immediate help outside of business hours, contact the SMC switchboard at

(802) 654-2000 and indicate that you are making a crisis call.

*Additional crisis resources available 24-hours a day are:
Emergency: 911
First Call for Chittenden County: (802) 488-7777
Vermont Crisis Text Line: Text “VT” to 741741
Ulifeline: (800) 273-TALK (8255)

Let’s keep working together to live the vision of our small but powerful community.

In solidarity,

Jenna Bisset, Dan Chido, Bhuttu Mathews, Sarah Klionsky, and Kathy Butts

The Counseling Staff at the Bergeron Wellness Center

Updated October, 28, 2020

From President Sterritt – Testing through the rest of the semester

Dear Saint Michael’s Community,

In our meeting with the Vermont Department of Health on Sunday we let them know that we are planning to test all students weekly until they leave for Thanksgiving. The Health Department agreed with our plan and affirmed that our earlier testing protocol worked well to identify the current cases. As Mark Levine, MD, Commissioner of Health, said yesterday at the Governor’s press conference, it was “an early sentinel warning system.” The weekly tests are an extra measure to continue to help identify virus quickly and act on it swiftly. Please watch for an email regarding the testing schedule, beginning with our testing of all students this Saturday, October 31.

In addition to surveillance testing of asymptomatic students, we are continuing to test a few symptomatic students, who are quarantined until they receive negative results. The dashboard is being updated every weekday.

The Health Department also emphasized the crucial importance of prevention by adhering to all College COVID policies, including physical distancing, mask wearing at all times when outside your room, avoid gatherings, no guests from off campus, and strictly abiding by all quarantine measures for people who have been identified as contacts and by all isolation measures for those who have tested positive. It is imperative that every member of our community adhere to our policies as we work together to contain the virus.

Please join me in sending our very best wishes to our students who are in quarantine or isolation. We are grateful to all those on campus who are offering online fitness, doing errands, delivering meals, and providing pastoral care and support to our students. They need our continued care.

Sincerely,

Lorraine Sterritt
President

Updated Sunday, October 25, 2020

From President Sterritt – Plans for the coming week 

Dear Saint Michael’s Community,  

This morning College leadership met with representatives from the Vermont Department of Health, including Commissioner of Health Mark Levine, MD about the COVID-19 cases we have identified on campus. The group conducted a detailed breakdown of all testing, quarantine, and isolation procedures conducted to date, and the Health Department offered continued support of the College’s protocols and collaborated with us on our decision-making regarding the coming week’s activities and plans for upcoming testing 

At this momentthere are 26 active positive cases of COVID-19, all in isolationand 13students who have been identified as contacts and are now in quarantineThe Health Department’s contact tracing is ongoing and nearing completionThey have told us that we should expect some additional positive cases among those contacts now in quarantine 

The Health Department was very clear: we have a good opportunity to contain and manage these cases, but they emphasized that everyone must strictly adhere to the College’s COVID policies. In collaboration with the Health Department, we have made the following decisions related to activities for the coming week. We will reassess these restrictions next weekend 

Activities for this week (through Sunday, November 1) 

  • Through Friday, October 30 there will be no in-person classes or labs. All classes will be virtual only. Tuesday, October 27 is still a break day from classes. 
  • Through Sunday, November 1 there will be no in-person activities including Chapel services, and dining will be take-out only.  
  • This week, off-campus internships and student teaching are virtual only. 
  • To protect the wider community, we are asking all students to remain on campus to the absolute maximum extent possible. This includes all off-campus work/jobs except for those individuals who are defined as “essential workers,” such as students with Fire and Rescue.  
  • Commuter students are asked to not come to campus this week. 
  • Employees and students with positions on campus who are not in quarantine or isolation may continue with their work either remotely or in their workspaces as approved by supervisors.   
  • Students are still limited to one on-campus guest per residentin or near their living space. Gatherings must not exceed 10, including residents, in any common space or even outside. Offcampus guests are still not permitted. 
  • Facilities, e.g., library, Dion, mailroom, computer labs, will continue to be open for those not in quarantine or isolation. Strict physical distancing and mask wearing is required.  
  • Ross and Tarrant Centers continue to be limited to non-organized recreational use only, with all established health and safety measures in place.  
  • No athletic team activities will be permitted.  
  • A Zoom session for students in quarantine and isolation is being held today  
  • Despite virtual learning this week, the Health Department asks that students NOT leave campus and travel home, even within Vermont. 

Testing this week 

  • The Health Department endorsed the College’s plan for testing this week (outlined below). 
  • All on-campus students will be tested on Saturday, October 31. A schedule will be sent out later this week. The previously scheduled surveillance testing for Tuesday, October 27 will not be taking place.  
  • Students who are completing their day seven of quarantine this week (as contacts of prior cases) will be tested this week on their scheduled days as notified directly by the Bergeron Wellness Center. Those who receive a negative result from that test will be released from quarantine and permitted to resume campus activities, as outlined above and participate in the allCollege testing on Saturday with the rest of the student body. 
  • We will be working with the Health Department to determine the testing schedule for subsequent weeks leading up to the end of the semester.  

Working with our partners at the Health Department, we will continue to monitor our community closely and to communicate with you regularly. It is imperative that everyone follow the policies strictly. Please also remember to complete the daily health affirmation and monitor your health closely. Students should contact the Bergeron Wellness Center at 802 654-2234, and employees should contact their health care provider, if they are not feeling well or have any symptoms. For other questions, please direct them to returntocampus@smcvt.edu, and your message will be forwarded to the appropriate person. 

 There is no question that we have a lot of work ahead of us to care for those in quarantine and isolation and to limit further spread of the virus. We appreciate all those faculty, staff, and students who have offered to help. While the next weeks are going to be difficult for all of us, we are in a good position to manage the situation and to continue our work together. 

 Sincerely, 

Lorraine Sterritt
President 

Updated October 24, 2020 - 6:00 p.m.

From President Sterritt – Friday’s surveillance testing results

Dear Saint Michael’s Community,  

We have just received all the results from the 913 surveillance tests conducted yesterday, and there are eight positive cases in addition to the nine positive cases resulting from testing of contacts which were reported to you earlier today. These students have been moved to isolation, and Vermont Department of Health contact tracing has begun for them. Any students identified as contacts will be quarantined. Again, let’s all please show our care and concern for those who are in isolation and quarantine. 

We anticipated that additional positives would result from these surveillance tests and are encouraged that the numbers are limited. We have a good opportunity to contain thnumber of cases  

College leadership will be meeting with the Vermont Department of Health tomorrow morning in order to make decisions about classes and activities for the coming week, and we will communicate that information tomorrow 

Sincerely,  

Lorraine Sterritt
President 

Updated October 24, 2020

From President Sterritt – Contact testing results to date

Dear Saint Michael’s Community,

We have received the test results from the students identified as contacts of the positive cases we reported on Thursday. Among those contacts, an additional nine students have tested positive for COVID-19. These students were already in quarantine and are now being moved to isolation, and the Vermont Department of Health (VDH) is conducting contact tracing. These steps comply with the protocol of early detection, quarantine, and testing that we had put in place to identify the virus early and manage it. I commend the VDH and our own Bergeron Wellness Center for their swift and expert handling of the situation.

By tomorrow we expect to have received all the results of the 913 surveillance tests that we conducted yesterday, and we will report them to you. At that point, we will decide whether in-person classes, dining, and activities can resume on Monday.

I won’t sugarcoat it. It was extremely disturbing to learn that the likely source of the spread was one or more students knowingly disregarding policies. We are continuing to investigate the source of the spread, and should we establish that these cases are in fact tied directly to a person or persons who deliberately disregarded our community’s COVID-19 protocols, there will be serious consequences for those responsible. Deliberately violating protocols puts more than our academic plans at risk.  It puts people’s health, and even their lives, at risk.

I also want to emphasize to everyone that a positive COVID-19 result does not necessarily mean that someone disregarded the guidelines. Please show students who are in quarantine and isolation your support and care.

Students have repeatedly expressed to me that they are extremely grateful for all the work done by the faculty, the staff, and the administration to ensure that students could be on campus this semester. We want to keep it that way. Anyone who violates our policies is irresponsibly jeopardizing our ability to continue the semester in person and will be held accountable.

I want to recognize and thank the overwhelming majority of students and all who have taken this pandemic seriously, not only wearing masks and adhering to protocols, but volunteering through the SMC CAN! and other groups dedicated to being part of the solution. For all of them the news of these cases is particularly disappointing.

I am profoundly grateful for the hard work being done by everyone on campus throughout this semester, especially those in the Bergeron Wellness Center and in Student Life who were working long hours before this happened, and who are now working around the clock to help our students and to contain the virus. They all deserve our utmost gratitude and support.

We will follow up regarding Friday’s test results and plans for Monday’s classes when the information becomes available.

Sincerely,

Lorraine Sterritt
President

Updated October 22, 2020

From Vice President for Student Affairs Dawn Ellinwood – COVID Information and Testing Update

Dear Saint Michael’s Community,

All students identified as positive for COVID-19 in this week’s testing have been interviewed by the Vermont Department of Health (VDH) contact tracers and are now in isolation. The VDH tracers have also completed their contact tracing and have identified approximately 50 student contacts. Students identified as contacts have been tested and placed into quarantine. Contacts will remain in quarantine until a subsequent test on day seven provides a negative result.

We have been working closely with the VDH throughout the day, and they have let us know that so far it appears that these positive cases are connected to each other. This is encouraging in that it follows similar instances of positive cases on college and university campuses, which were then quickly traced and isolated, and additional spread was contained. In addition to following all of the Health Department’s guidance through these cases, the College has decided that tomorrow we will test all students who have not undergone surveillance testing or contact testing this week.

Important Surveillance Testing Update
Students with the last names A – M will be undergoing testing tomorrow, Friday October 23. You can find a schedule of test times on our website. If you are in isolation or quarantine or have already had a test this week you will not need to appear for testing. Students will not have surveillance testing conducted next week. Thanks in advance to faculty for their flexibility with student testing during class times, allowing students to miss part of class as necessary in order to meet their testing obligation.

While we are managing these positive cases and tracing contacts, I ask that students leave campus only for necessities. If you do need to leave campus, please remain in the area and remember that it is imperative that you wear a mask and maintain physical distancing. In addition to our responsibility to keep our campus safe, we must do our part to keep our surrounding communities safe.

It is important for us to keep in mind that we prepared for this eventuality, and while this is difficult, it is not unexpected. Let’s support one another as we manage this and continue with our academic work.

Stay well.

Dawn Ellinwood
Vice President for Student Affairs

Updated October 22, 2020

From President Sterritt – Important COVID Update

Dear Saint Michael’s Community,

This morning, we received the results of this week’s surveillance testing, and we have six new positive cases, all asymptomatic. The Executive Policy Group has already met with the Vermont Department of Health (VDH) this morning, and contact tracing is underway now. The VDH will be in touch imminently with anyone who is deemed to be a contact.

Out of an abundance of caution, we are transitioning to all remote classes, effective immediately, and for the rest of the week in order to allow the VDH to conduct contact tracing. All in-person activities, including athletics, are also suspended through the weekend. Dining will be take-out only.

Please be assured that the College is following its established COVID-19 protocols, working very closely with the VDH, and we will continue to provide new information as we have it.

Sincerely,

Lorraine Sterritt
President

Updated October 15, 2020

From President Sterritt – Important Updates on Spring Semester

Dear Saint Michael’s College Community,

Today the State of Vermont published its Mandatory Guidelines for Colleges and Universities for a Safe and Healthy Return to Campus, so we are now permitted to communicate our plans for the spring semester. Thank you for your patience.

As was the case for the current semester, some students will be required to arrive early to quarantine, and the majority of students will move in two weeks later. Because the State’s guidelines do not allow in-person classes before February 1, we will start our spring classes remotely on January 25, with in-person classes beginning on February 4, i.e., the week after everyone has moved in and we have received results from our first round of COVID-19 tests. As in the fall, to comply with the State’s requirements we will not have a mid-semester break, but instead, three mid-week respite days (break days). We believe this plan and the guidelines associated with it will allow us to have a successful spring semester and manage the pandemic’s impact on our community.

Important Dates

  • Friday, January 15: Move-in for students required to quarantine 14 days on campus (see below).
  • Monday, January 25: All classes begin remotely.
  • Sunday, January 31: Move-in for all other (non-quarantine) students.
  • Monday, February 1: Testing for all non-quarantine students. Remote classes continue.
  • Thursday, February 4: In-person instruction begins for those classes that have in-person components (when test results are back).
  • Break: There will be three mid-week respite days (break days) during the semester, but no traditional spring break, per the Governor’s requirements.  The break days are February 25, March 24, and April 13.
  • Wednesday, May 5: Last day of classes.
  • May 7 – 12: Final exams.

The academic calendar is now published on the website.

Quarantine Requirements (the classifications below are taken directly from the State Guidelines)

Home State (“Home-state quarantine”): If traveling to Vermont in a private vehicle without making a prolonged stop (avoid gatherings such as restaurants, limit gas stops, if overnight travel is required – reduce social contacts), quarantine at home for 14 days immediately prior to traveling to Vermont (individuals may complete a shorter quarantine if they receive a negative COVID-19 test after day 7 and travel directly to Vermont without breaking the quarantine); OR

In Vermont after mass transit to Vermont (“Vermont quarantine”): If traveling to Vermont with people from multiple households, via bus, rail or commercial airlines, individuals must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival to Vermont (after day 7 the individual may get a COVID-19 test and upon receiving a negative result, end their quarantine); OR

Non-Quarantine Counties (“non-quarantine”): Students traveling to Vermont from a non-quarantine county as identified by the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development, who travel in a private vehicle without making a prolonged stop, may arrive without completing a quarantine.

Testing requirements

Students in the “Vermont quarantine” who quarantine on campus will undergo testing on approximately day 7 after their move in and undergo surveillance testing over the course of the semester thereafter.

Students in both the “home-state quarantine” and “non-quarantine” groups will undergo testing the day after move-in, then again 7 days later, then undergo surveillance testing over the course of the semester thereafter.

We will again be charging a comprehensive testing fee of $150 for each student which will cover all student tests conducted on campus, whether surveillance, required because of contact tracing, or symptomatic.

Spring Health and Safety Protocols and Guidelines

Because they have served us well to date, the health and safety protocols we all have been adhering to this fall semester will stay in place for the spring semester. This means wearing face masks, physical distancing, avoiding large groups, not allowing visitors, and no out-of-state travel will all remain in place.

While we are confident in our plan, and it has been approved by the Governor’s Office, we are all at the mercy of this pandemic until we have a safe, effective, and widely available vaccine. If the situation dictates any changes to our plans, we will communicate them immediately.

Athletics

Our athletics administration is still deep in planning with the NCAA, the State of Vermont, and the Northeast-10 Conference regarding schedules and health and safety requirements for competition in the spring semester. We will communicate more as soon as decisions have been made.

Again, I thank you for your patience, and I thank everyone who has taken the guidelines this fall seriously so that we could bring everyone back safely and conduct our important work together.

Please stay well.

Sincerely yours,
Lorraine Sterritt
President

Updated September 24, 2020

From President Sterritt – Testing Results

Dear Saint Michael’s Community,

Today we learned of our first positive test result for COVID-19 this semester. In this week’s round of surveillance tests of our students, we had 527 negative results and one positive. I am writing to provide you with more information and to assure you that the College continues to hold your health and safety as its first priority.

We have strict protocols in place to identify and isolate any positive cases and contacts. We are not alone in detecting positive cases, and we have seen positive cases managed successfully in other colleges throughout the state. Our careful planning for this eventuality together with everyone’s continued adherence to our health guidelines can allow us to continue with our important academic work.

In accordance with the Vermont Department of Health guidelines, we have plans in place to isolate any positive cases, to provide meals as necessary, and to facilitate students conducting their coursework remotely until it is safe to reengage with the community. This is typically 10 days from the date of a positive result for asymptomatic individuals, and a combination of going 24 hours with no fever (without using fever-reducing medication), and going at least 10 days since the onset of any symptoms (from Vermont Department of Health information of 8/18).

The Vermont Department of Health is actively conducting contact tracing and reaching out to any individuals who should quarantine and/or be tested as a result of contact with the individual(s). If you do not hear from the Vermont Department of Health, you are not considered to be a contact. If you are notified by the Vermont Department of Health that you are a contact, you will follow the instructions they provide. Students will also work with the staff of the Bergeron Wellness Center for assistance to get tested and/or quarantined. Employees will work directly with the Department of Health and their primary care provider.

We will continue to work closely with the Vermont Department of Health to manage any additional positive cases that occur over the semester and report those cases on our Return to Campus web page.

Please remember that confidentiality must be maintained and that we must not stigmatize anyone who tests positive. A positive test can result through no fault of the individual. Let’s all remember that they deserve our concern and support to ensure that they are well cared for, can do their work, become healthy again, and rejoin the community when it is safe to do so.

Thank you all for your efforts to avoid this virus. I have seen so many of you taking full responsibility for your own actions. It is encouraging and inspiring to see. We can do this. We must stay strong and keep up our vigilance at all times.

If you have questions, we have created a COVID hot line during business hours which is 802-654-2002, or you can email ReturntoCampus@smcvt.edu. Individuals staffing this telephone line and email account will answer your questions or get back to you promptly. If you have an emergency, you can always reach Public Safety via the switchboard at any hour 802-654-2000.

Sincerely,

Lorraine Sterritt
President

Updated September 18, 2020

Dear Saint Michael’s Students,  

This week completes the first round of our surveillance testingI am pleased to report that out of 479 tests conducted this week, we had zero positive results. Again, this is a testament to how seriously we are all taking the guidelines, how well Vermont has been executing its plan, and how much everyone wants to be on campus.  

The COVID communications we send out are an opportunity for us to share important updates, newsand reminders, and clarify guidelines and information. Below are some important clarifications on guidelines and information that we have previously communicated: 

  • If you have more than four tests over the course of the semester, you will not be charged any additional testing fees. Most students will have at least four tests over the course of the semester. Some may have a few more because of symptomatic testing. The comprehensive fee for testing this semester will cover any necessary additional tests beyond the scheduled surveillance tests.  
  • Visiting friends in other residences. Students living in residence halls can visit other students in residence halls but cannot visit townhouse residents at this time. Still, we ask that everyone continue to limit their visits. For more information, visit the FAQ under the category “dining and residential life.” 
  • Venturing off campus. Due to the low rate of COVID in the area, and our good test results to date, students who wish to leave campus to explore the local area may do so, while exercising great caution. You MUST avoid groups, wear a mask, maintain social distance, and avoid events where you may find yourself in a crowd and unable to maintain at least six feet of distance from others.  
  • Travel out of stateStudents may not leave the state and return to campus. 
  • Health affirmation reminder. Please continue to complete your health affirmation each day, including on the weekends.  
  • Varsity Athletic practices. Varsity teams are following strict safety protocols dictated by the NCAA, Northeast-10 Conference, and State of Vermont, under the supervision of Purple Knights coaches and sports medicine staff. As they safely and successfully move through the three-phase program, they have been approved to practice in groups larger than 10.   

Thank you for doing everything you can to keep the community and yourselves safe and healthy. If you have questions, many of your answers can be found on the Return to Campus web pages, which are accessible from any page of the website using the link at the very top of the page. You can also find a dashboard there with testing results updated weekly 

Stay well,  

Dawn Ellinwood
Vice President for Student Affairs 

Updated September 11, 2020

Dear Students,

Working together as a community, we’ve reached the next phase of our return to campus. As you read in the Daily Digest, we are beginning our COVID surveillance testing protocol next week. Approximately 500 students with last names between A and F are scheduled for testing on Tuesday, September 15, with approximately 1/3 of the student body being tested in each of the following weeks. You can find the specific times and days for all future surveillance tests by logging into the portal and checking under “Announcements.”

The College also continues to do symptomatic testing of students who report that they are not feeling well. This past week we tested seven students and those results all came back negative. We remind you all to continue to complete and submit a Health Affirmation each morning, even on Saturday and Sunday. Not only is it a State of Vermont mandate, but it is an important reminder for all of us to think about how we are feeling before engaging with the rest of the community.

On the topic of community, there are still several ways to get involved and have fun, despite this fall’s guidelines.

  • The Student Government Association is organizing the fall Club Fair, which they hope to conduct outside later this month. It is a great opportunity for everyone, especially new students, to learn about the over 40 clubs on campus and engage with each other around a shared interest. Watch for more information!
  • The Adventure Sports Center has a full calendar of trips available. From kayaking, rock climbing, hiking, mountain biking, and more, there are plenty of ways to explore the outdoors around us, maybe learn a new skill, and have fun with other students.
  • Review the event calendar for upcoming lectures and events that interest you.

We are proud of the effort everyone is putting into maintaining these healthy outcomes going forward. Vermont as a whole is in a very good position. In Governor Scott’s press conference today, Vermont Commissioner of Health Dr. Mark Levine remarked how well the state is doing and that the CDC has called Vermont’s contact tracing program the best in the country.

Whether you venture out to the Natural Area adjacent to campus, or just bring your lunch to a picnic table in the sun, we hope you get outside and enjoy your weekend.

Stay safe and healthy,
The Office of Marketing and Communications

Updated September 6, 2020

From President Sterritt – Testing Day Results

Dear Saint Michael’s family,

I am very happy to let you know that we have received the test results for the 1409 students whom we tested on Friday, and there were no positive cases!

Seven results were deemed to be “invalid,” which can occur for a variety of reasons and is to be expected when conducting a large number of tests. Those tests will be repeated. The type of test we are using, a nasal swab RT-PCR assay test, is considered highly accurate and used by the University of Vermont Medical Center, as well as numerous Boston hospitals and clinics, and over 120 colleges and universities. More information about our testing and The Broad Institute can be found here: https://www.broadinstitute.org/coronavirus/covid-19.

These terrific results are a tremendous testament to the power of community. I applaud each and every student and each and every faculty and staff member for taking precautions both for themselves and for every member of the Saint Michael’s family. You have demonstrated great care for one another and a great sense of social responsibility.

Needless to say, we must not let our guard down. A number of schools started their semesters with few or no cases only to experience a spike in cases after members of their community did not maintain their vigilance. We love having our students here on campus, and we very much want to keep it that way. Please help us to make that a reality! We are still doing battle with this virus. I know that everyone is tired of the extra steps we all have to take in our daily lives and the restrictions placed upon us, but the virus is not tired of infecting people. We will not, therefore, be relaxing any of our policies, and it is imperative that every student and every faculty and staff member abide by them.

In the event that future testing reveals any positive cases, we have strict protocols in place to isolate those individuals. We have been planning all summer for this eventuality. Our careful planning and everyone’s continued adherence to our policies are the means by which we will be able to continue our important work.

I thank you all wholeheartedly for all that you have done to bring about these reassuring results.

We must stay strong and keep up our vigilance at all times. Do the Knight Thing!

Sincerely,

Lorraine Sterritt
President

Updated September 4, 2020

From President Sterritt – Testing Day Updates

Dear Saint Michael’s Students,

We are thrilled to have you back on campus. It is a joy to see the semester well underway, albeit in these most unusual circumstances. I have been gratified to see that, with very few exceptions, you all are doing a great job abiding by the guidelines of mask wearing, distancing, and other requirements. Thank you so much for all that you are doing to keep our community safe. We get one chance at this, and it requires us all to adhere to the guidelines—especially over this weekend, while we await test results.

As I write this message, the last of over 1,400 students are completing their testing. By all accounts, the process has gone smoothly, and students have made their way back to their classes with the least amount of disruption possible. As you were told during your test, you can expect to receive results via an email from the Broad Institute. If your test result is positive, you will also hear from the Vermont Department of Health and our Bergeron Wellness Center (BWC). In that situation, the BWC and members of Student Life will provide you with information about your isolation housing, how and when you will be transported to it, and what you should bring with you. Students who test positive will be required to isolate until they are deemed recovered by the BWC. Typically, that will mean 10 days after a positive result (for asymptomatic individuals) or meeting several health criteria and waiting at least 10 days from the onset of any symptoms.

I want to stress something about positive test results. We must not stigmatize anyone who tests positive for COVID-19. They deserve, and will receive, our full support to become healthy again. A positive test can be the result of factors outside of the individual’s control and can even mean that the person is not actually contagious, but positive because the test’s sensitivity has picked up that the student had COVID-19, even up to 90 days ago.

I have been impressed by the creativity of some of the masks I have seen on campus. From our purple and gold and Athletics colors, to your favorite movies, you’re showing your St. Mike’s pride and your personalities. There are so many kinds of masks that can be worn and that provide safety for both the wearer and people around them. I encourage you to use breathable, 2-ply, washable cloth masks. Most importantly, please wear your mask correctly over your nose and mouth.

Thank you again for all that you are doing to keep yourself and others safe. I know it is not easy, but the better we are at this right now, the greater the opportunity for keeping our students on campus for a successful fall semester and a more normal spring semester.

Stay well and stay healthy.

Sincerely,

Lorraine Sterritt
President

Updated August 21, 2020

From President Sterritt – Community Commitment Reminder and Updates

Dear Saint Michael’s students,

I am excited as I write to you today, a little over a week from the day that most of you will arrive on campus. I expect that you’re excited too, and perhaps also a bit anxious. That is understandable. Let me assure you, we have done the hard work to prepare for a successful on-campus experience this fall. We are very lucky to be in a state that has managed the pandemic extremely well. We are also fortunate to be a part of a community that cares deeply for all of its members. It is time, now more than ever, to show that care.

We are heartbroken to see the stories that you’re seeing in the news. While some colleges and universities have had successful starts, others have welcomed students back to their campus, only to have to reverse course due to students’ irresponsible decisions, lack of surveillance testing, or poor planning. It is tragic to watch. Seniors hoping desperately to finish their last academic year in-person with their classmates and professors are now wondering whether their year will end like the class of 2020’s. We cannot let that happen at Saint Michael’s. The last thing we want to do is to send our students home again.

I am confident that we are better positioned than almost any other school to be successful, and we are watching and learning from the experiences of others. One thing is clear. You have a very serious responsibility to fulfill and an enormous role to play in our ability to keep our campus open this semester. I write to you now to tell you that we will respond to any infraction of the health and safety guidelines with the utmost severity. We must.

You have made it clear that you want the traditional Saint Michael’s College experience, and we want you to have that experience. The only way to achieve that is to live out the commitment we are making to one another, especially in your first weeks on campus. It is imperative that our first few weeks go well. Until we have test results back and our community has completely adopted all the new protocols, there will not be any College-sanctioned trips off campus, and students will be asked to remain on campus unless going off campus is absolutely essential. Gatherings of more than 10 people are strictly prohibited. After we see how our community is doing, and as we assess the situation in Vermont, we may be able to relax some restrictions provided we are still abiding by the Governor’s guidelines.

I urge those of you who have not yet read and signed the Community Commitment to please do it now. You will not be permitted to move in without acknowledging that you have read it and agree to abide by its requirements.

We welcomed 41 students to campus last Saturday who came to us from around the country and around the world for their 14-day campus quarantine. They all received COVID-19 tests, and I am very pleased to report that the test results were all negative. We are committed to transparency and will share weekly results of our testing on the Return to Campus web pages. These results are very encouraging, and it is also promising that the positivity rates among students arriving at other Vermont institutions are very low.

We have also updated information about dining this fall. You can find that information under Life on Campus, under the heading Dining on Campus. You will find that we have expanded hours for Café Cheray, posted new hours for Einstein’s and the Grill, and explained how seating will work in the Green Mountain Dining Room in Alliot.

We’ve got this, Saint Michael’s! With this community we all love, we will persevere and show what we Purple Knights are made of. We look forward to seeing you all very soon. Stay safe and be well.

Sincerely,
Lorraine Sterritt
President

Updated August 14, 2020

From Mary Masson, Director of Student Health Services – additional information on testing.

Saint Michael’s College is implementing a testing program in partnership with the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Broad Institute. Students will get tested either shortly after arrival and again 7 days after that (for those coming August 15 to quarantine on campus), or 5-7 days after arrival, having quarantined at home (for those arriving the weekend of August 29-30), as well as during assigned other times throughout the fall semester. Pay CLOSE attention to these assigned times and KEEP your testing appointments. They are MANDATORY!!

The test that will be used is a polymerase chain reaction test (PCR) which is able to detect the virus rapidly with high sensitivity and specificity.

All students will come to the Tarrant Sports Center to test. Your faculty know that many scheduled tests may conflict with your class schedule commitment, and they are willing to waive the attendance so you can go to your test time. Please wear your facial covering and bring your student ID with you.

After checking in with registration, you will be given your Q-tip swab and test vial so you can perform your own test in front of a medical professional. This test is one where you will insert the Q-tip swab just inside the outermost part of your nostrils. It should not be uncomfortable. You will swab and put the Q-tip in the vial for shipping. The vial has a bar code on it with your personal information necessary for test results. Watch this video from the Broad Institute that illustrates the testing procedure.

All test results will be kept in a confidential portal. Results will be shared with the nurse practitioners at Bergeron Wellness Center, the Vermont Department of Health, and you. You will know of results within 48 hours or so, and either get an email from one of the nurse practitioners or from Broad – so be sure to check your email! You will be given a link for your own access to Broad for your results. You will need to confirm your date of birth, SMC email, and zip code. NOTE: all zip codes will be the one for SMC which is 05439.  If your result is positive or there was a problem with the test requiring a retest, you will be contacted by one of the NPs.

If you test positive, even if you have no symptoms, you will be asked to stay in a single room, which could be your own room if you already have a single or it could be another single room on campus. You will be asked to remain there until it is deemed safe for you to move about the campus again. Food and supplies will be delivered to you. You will have daily health check-ins and faculty will work with you around your coursework. Expect a call from a Vermont Department of Health representative to assess with whom you have been in recent contact and how to alert them.

Together with the frequent use of staying in small groups, wearing your facial covering and frequently washing your hands, surveillance testing allows us to quickly identify virus on campus and prevent its spread to others. We want to support all students through this process, and we are counting on you to Do the Knight Thing and keep our campus as safe as we can!

Updated August 10, 2020

From President Lorraine Sterritt

Dear Students,

We are so looking forward to having you on campus soon. As you know, the State of Vermont has handled the virus very well, and this, together with our own extensive and detailed preparations, has enabled us to continue with our plan for you to return to campus shortly.

We have additional information to share with you. It includes a reminder about quarantine requirements, a new, innovative program called the COVID Corps that will expand educational and experiential opportunities for students this fall. We also have important information about the Community Commitment that you are required to read and acknowledge before coming to campus, and updates about academics and student life.

Quarantine Requirements: home quarantine starts 8/15 for many

Students returning from certain counties will be required to quarantine at home for 14 days prior to coming to campus. I want to remind all students and their families to check the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development website to determine whether they are returning from one of these counties. If you are coming from a county that is shown in yellow or red, you are required to quarantine at home starting 8/15. Please plan accordingly prior to coming to campus. If you have questions about quarantine, please contact housing@smcvt.edu.

New Opportunity: The COVID Corps

We are pleased to announce an innovative program, the COVID Corps, created in a collaboration between faculty and staff to provide students with additional educational and experiential opportunities. Students will have the chance to work and learn alongside faculty and professionals engaged in meeting the unprecedented health, educational, social, and logistical challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Students in the Corps can take courses containing relevant community-engaged learning projects, work with campus organizations helping with COVID-related endeavors, and/or pursue a two-credit COVID Corps practicum course that will be offered. Details of the program are being finalized and we will share more about it in the coming days.

Community Commitment Acknowledgement

Every student returning to campus is required to read and acknowledge the Community Commitment before arriving (use your St. Mike’s username and password to access it). We also ask that you share it with your parents or guardians so that they too understand what is expected of you while on campus. The sharable version can be found on the Return to Campus web pages. You will be among members of our community who either have compromised health or live with a person who does. Their health and safety, and our ability to be on campus this semester, depend on us all taking this very seriously. I cannot emphasize strongly enough that we have a shared responsibility for the health and safety of our community, and we must all do the right thing.

Academic Updates

All students can now view their schedules on the KnightVision System, including the delivery mode: Virtual, Mixed Model, In-Person Hybrid, and In-Person. Please pay attention to information sent by the associate dean’s office regarding drop/add during open registration.

Some students, for personal or health-related reasons, have requested permission to study remotely for the fall semester. If you need to remain off campus for the entire semester but still want to take courses remotely, please notify the Associate Dean of the College by the end of the day Friday, August 14 at OfficeoftheAssociateDeanoftheCollege@smcvt.edu.  Students who make this determination after that date may have more difficulty working out all the details to accomplish their educational goals. As always, we will work with students whose circumstances change suddenly.

Student Life Updates

For returning students, this fall semester you will have opportunities to participate in many of the activities you have come to love, and our new students will still be able to experience many of the activities they have heard so much about. For health and safety reasons, some activities are being modified and some new ones introduced. Those that cannot take place have been suspended until further notice. You can learn more about these activities, as well as availability of facilities and offices from the Return to Campus web pages. Please visit the “information for students” section, which is updated regularly with new information.

Enjoy these beautiful days of summer. Today in Colchester, it is a comfortable 81 degrees, with blue skies and a gentle breeze. Have a wonderful weekend. Be well and stay healthy.

Sincerely,

Lorraine Sterritt
President

Updated July 31, 2020

A Message for New Students from Dawn Ellinwood, Vice President of Student Affairs

Dear Students,

I hope you are all well and enjoying your summer. In preparation for your move-in on either August 15th (for quarantine on campus) or August 29th, we are sending this email to provide you with some additional information. Our goal during move-in is to make the process as efficient as possible, while providing for the safety of our students, their families, and those who work and live on campus.

Criteria to Come to Campus: You, as well as family members coming with you to campus, must meet the criteria below:

  • You, and at most two family members, have followed the guidelines provided for either the Non-Quarantine Cohort or the Home-State Quarantine Cohort.
  • If you fall into the Home-State Quarantine Cohort, you have self-quarantined and practiced social isolation strategies for at least two weeks prior to August 29.
  • No one in your household has tested positive for COVID-19.
  • You agree to wear a cloth or disposable mask, maintain social distancing while on campus, and practice preventative hygiene.
  • If you are flying to campus (or taking a train or bus), or need to make multiple hotel stops on the way to campus, you need to quarantine for 14 days in VT before coming to campus (hotel/Airbnb/private home), or by requesting a campus quarantine and move in on August 15 by submitting this formby August 4th.  
  • For students from the Quarantine Cohort who have requested move-in on August 15, we will be communicating with you directly about your schedules. 

Length of Stay on Campus for Family Members and Roommate Times:

All new students will have assigned move-in times.  We ask that you adhere to the following schedule as much as possible. We are not able to accommodate requests to arrive early.  In the event that you will arrive later than your scheduled time or need to arrive the following day, please email Housing@smcvt.edu
The schedule for arriving to campus for move-in on August 29 is as follows:

  • 9-10:30am – New Students from VT
  • 10:30am–12pm – New Students from NH, ME, & NY
  • 12pm–1:30pm – New Students from MA
  • 1:30pm–3pm – New Students from all other States

Family members are expected to depart campus at the end of the day.
No family member will be allowed to stay overnight on campus.
New commuter students living off campus are welcome to come to campus at any point during the day and are invited to participate in all Fall Orientation activities.
For students from the Quarantine Cohort who have requested move-in on August 15, we will be communicating with you directly about your schedules.

Roommates: We encourage you to reach out to your roommate ahead of time. In the event that you both have the same move-in time, and are coming to campus with a family member or two, you will need to limit the number of people in the room at the same time. You or your roommate can email Housing@smcvt.edu to request a different move-in time.

Travel: We strongly recommend that all who are traveling to campus from other states become familiar with the COVID-19 status and any travel restrictions imposed by the states you will be traveling through to come to Vermont. More information can be found at the Vermont Department of Health website and their page on Cross State Travel Information

Arriving to Campus/Parking: On August 29th, campus will be one way in and one way out.  When you arrive to campus, you need to enter campus through the Hoehl entrance and exit through the Ross/Tarrant entrance. (i.e., if coming from Route 89, please do not take the left into campus by Ross as that entrance will be closed for entering traffic. Instead, please stay in the right lane to enter via the jug handle entrance by Hoehl). As you enter campus, you will see that there is a tent that will be staffed by College Staff members eager to greet you. You will receive a parking pass to place on the dashboard of your car while on campus as well as other important information.

Orientation and Fall Activities: Planning for Fall Orientation is well underway and members of the campus community cannot wait to welcome you!  The sessions will begin online on August 17th, with the first in-person orientation activity on opening day, August 29th at 4:30pm. Campus representatives from various departments will be on hand from 9am-3pm to answer any questions. We are also looking forward to sharing more about the student life experiences you can expect in your first semester on campus. You will have opportunities, with appropriate social distancing, to take in live music and movies outdoors, go apple picking, go mountain bike riding, and more. We’ll share more about that in the coming days.

A Message from the Student Financial Services Team:We have created a Welcome Guide where you can review the annual billing and financial aid cycle, learn to navigate the portal, find out how to assign a proxy to provide access to a family member, and much more. We know this year has presented new financial challenges for many families. We will work with you to be as flexible as possible and to ensure that you have all the information you need.

Thank you for your attention to all these details. We are looking forward to having everyone back and especially welcoming all our new students to their new home away from home.

Sincerely,
Dawn Ellinwood, Ed.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students

Updated July 31, 2020

A Message for Returning Students from Dawn Ellinwood, Vice President of Student Affairs

Dear Students,

I hope you are all well and enjoying your summer. In preparation for your move-in on either August 15th (for quarantine on campus) or August 30th, we are sending this email to provide you with some additional information. Our goal during move-in is to make the process as efficient as possible, while providing for the safety of our students, their families and those who work and live on campus. Unlike in past years, in order to comply with the Governor’s Health and Safety Guidelines, we will not have the flexibility to allow for students to move to campus prior to August 30th.

Criteria to Come to Campus:  You, as well as family members coming with you to campus, must meet the criteria below:

  • You, and at most two family members, have followed the guidelines provided for either the Non-Quarantine Cohort or the Home-State Quarantine Cohort.
  • If you fall into the Home-State Quarantine Cohort, you have self-quarantined and practiced social isolation strategies for at least two weeks prior to August 30.
  • No one in your household has tested positive for COVID-19.
  • You agree to wear a cloth or disposable mask, maintain social distancing while on campus, and practice preventative hygiene.
  • If you are flying to campus (or taking a train or bus), or need to make multiple hotel stops on the way to campus, you need to quarantine for 14 days in VT before coming to campus (hotel/Airbnb/private home), or by requesting a campus quarantine and move in on August 15 by submitting this form by August 4th.
  • For students from the Quarantine Cohort who have requested move-in on August 15, we will be communicating with you directly about your schedules.

Length of Stay on Campus for Family Members and Roommate Times: 

All returning students will have assigned move-in times.  We ask that you adhere to the following schedule as much as possible. We are not able to accommodate requests to arrive early. In the event that you will arrive later than your scheduled time or need to arrive the following day, please email Housing@smcvt.edu

The schedule for arriving to campus for move-in on August 30 is as follows:

  • 9-10:30am – Returning Students from VT
  • 10:30am – 12pm – Returning Students from NH, ME, & NY
  • 12pm – 1:30pm – Returning Students from MA
  • 1:30pm – 3pm – Returning Students from all other States

Family members are expected to depart campus at the end of the day
No family member will be allowed to stay overnight on campus.
For students from the Quarantine Cohort who have requested move-in on August 15, we will be communicating with you directly about your schedules.

Roommates: We encourage you to reach out to your roommate ahead of time. In the event that you both have the same move-in time, and are coming to campus with a family member or two, you will need to limit the number of people in the room at the same time. You or your roommate can email Housing@smcvt.edu to request a different move-in time.
Travel: We strongly recommend that all who are traveling to campus from other states become familiar with the COVID-19 status and any travel restrictions imposed by the states you will be traveling through to come to Vermont. More information can be found at the Vermont Department of HealthCross State Travel Information.

Arriving to Campus/Parking:  On August 3oth, you may arrive to your housing location.  Staff will be located in each area to assist with keys and information:

  • Alumni/Aubin:  Outside of Alumni Hall (between Alumni and Ryan Halls)
  • Cashman/Pontigny/Canterbury: Outside of Pontigny Hall
  • Townhouses/RH4/ Hodson:  Outside of International Commons

Planning for Fall Activities:  We are also looking forward to sharing more about the student life experiences you can expect during this semester.  You will have opportunities, with appropriate social distancing, to go mountain bike riding, take in live music and movies outdoors, theater, and more.  Additionally, working closely with community partners, MOVE is excited to be able to offer service opportunities this fall which will be new or modified for health and safety protocols. We’ll share more about that in the coming days.

A Message from the Student Financial Services Team:  We have created a Welcome Guide where you can learn about the annual billing and financial aid cycle, how to navigate the portal, assign a proxy to provide access to a family member, and much more. We know this year has presented new financial challenges for many families. We will work with you to be as flexible as possible and to ensure that you have all the information you need.

Thank you for your attention to all these details. We are looking forward to having everyone back to their home away from home.

Sincerely,
Dawn Ellinwood
Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students

Update from July 16, 2020

From the Vice President of Academic Affairs and the Dean of the Faculty

Dear Students,

A large committee of both faculty and co-academic colleagues under the leadership of the Dean of the Faculty, Professor Tara Natarajan, has been actively preparing for your arrival on campus for the fall semester. We have developed thorough plans and models for faculty to prepare their courses for teaching and learning, ensuring each class is innovative, interactive, and rigorous.

Over the past weeks, this work has included immersive professional development, specific recording demonstrations and training on Canvas, the College’s e-learning platform, and two days of intensive workshops on various pedagogies.

Our faculty are working in response to evolving information about classroom safety, as well as the recent guidance from the State of Vermont regarding higher education. Our plans are based on the most recent requirements for reduced classroom capacity, according to physical distancing guidelines of everyone being six feet from one another.

We are writing today to provide you with an update on our preparations and to help you envision your experience this Fall.

  • Seating in all classrooms has been rearranged with 6 feet between every person in the classroom, with extra space for the professor at the front.
  • Labs, studios, theatre, outdoor spaces such as the farm and natural area, have all determined new seating/occupancy arrangements.
  • In order to accommodate some larger classes meeting in-person, we will be opening up large event spaces for classes such as in the Pomerleau building, the Farrell room in St. Edmunds, and the Hoehl Welcome Center.
  • Despite adding new spaces for classroom use, we will not have enough space to deliver all classes in-person, and so classes will be taught in three overarching categories:
    • Fully remote
    • In-person
    • Hybrid

Fully Remote Classes

  • Most fully remote classes will combine both highly interactive synchronous class meetings via Zoom, and also Canvas to post all materials, hold online discussions, collect assignments, and more.
  • Students will still have access to a great deal of one-on-one and small group interaction with professors, either electronically, or in-person via outdoor meetings or in larger rooms or public spaces.

In-person Classes

  • These classes will be taught in a traditional format, in the classroom, with all appropriate safety measures in place.

Hybrid Classes

  • Many in-person classes will be able to accommodate only some of the students in-person at any given time. Therefore, faculty may employ group rotation models such that group A will be in person one day of the week and group B will be remote, and then reverse on another day. Faculty will use the video conference technology Echo 360 or Conference Technology Zoom to facilitate the participation and learning of students who are not in-person on a given day.
  • Some faculty might teach a form of “hybrid” class where students will meet in-person once a week to engage in active discussions of the material, and then other content will be delivered via recorded Zoom, Canvas and Echo technologies.

We are finalizing class spaces this week and next, and we hope to be able to communicate with you soon regarding which of your classes will be in each format.

  • Faculty office hours, and one-on-one student meetings will not be held in faculty offices but will be held remotely, in-person outside, or an indoor meeting space larger than our typical faculty offices.
  • All science labs, music, theatre, and art faculty have been creative problem-solvers and have reimagined their courses to be taught safely, in-person as much as possible, using Vermont’s beautiful outdoor setting whenever feasible.
  • All faculty, staff, and students will be required to wear masks, and some faculty might wear face shields as additional protection.

Teaching in times of Covid-19 means that we plan our courses to be flexible, nimble, and adaptable. We are grateful to our faculty, who have been incredibly committed over the summer in planning for this new environment. You can read more about our preparations on our news feed. We are also grateful to you, our students, for your patience in the face of uncertainty. Be assured, we are sincerely looking forward to your return and ready to engage your minds in exciting ways.

If you have a general question about academics in the fall, we are constantly updating our Return to Campus site. If you don’t find an answer, please submit your question using either the FAQ form, or the returntocampus@smcvt.edu email. If you have an individual academic concern, please email OfficeoftheDeanoftheFaculty@smcvt.edu.

 

Update from July 9, 2020

Dear students,

As you know, our preparations for the fall have been focused on two priorities, the health and safety of the Saint Michael’s family, and your experience; both in terms of academics and life outside the classroom. I am writing to you today to share more details on our plans for the health of our community.  Before you arrive on campus, we will be sending you an email with a link to a Community Commitment and ask you to acknowledge that you have read and agree to abide by it. The Community Commitment will outline what is expected of you while you are on campus, whether you are a residential or commuter student. You can review much of what will appear in the final Community Commitment here. We invite you to review it carefully as it includes items you will need to have with you when you arrive, and you will be held accountable for your behavior and actions on campus. To reiterate some details around moving back to campus, please understand the following:

  • If you are traveling to campus by bus, train, airplane or another multi-passenger vehicle, you will be required to quarantine in Vermont for 2 weeks prior to the start of classes by the State of Vermont.  If you are traveling by personal vehicle from a county with more than 400 cases per million as of August 1st and are not able to drive directly to Vermont with limited stops, you will also need to quarantine in Vermont for 2 weeks prior to the start of classes.  You can stay on campus (in a designated location, not your fall housing assignment), in a VT hotel, or a VT private home to quarantine.  If moving to campus, your move in day will be August 15, 2020.  If you are planning to come to campus to quarantine 2 weeks prior to the start of classes, please complete this form: Planning to Quarantine on Campus form.  You will receive a College administered COVID-19 test upon arrival and again on day 7 after arrival. Quarantine may end for those who receive a negative test result after the day 7 test.
  • If you are traveling from a county that has 400 cases per million or more as of August 1, 2020 (i.e., Shown as red or yellow on the map found here: Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development ) and are traveling in your personal vehicle and planning on very limited quick stops for gas, you are required to self-quarantine at home for 14 days prior to arriving at St. Michael’s College by the State of Vermont.  Self-quarantining at home includes staying home, social distancing and wearing a mask as needed.  Your move in day will be August 29 for new students only and August 30 for returning students. You must either receive a College administered COVID-19 test upon arrival or in your home state within 48-hours of coming to campus and travel directly to campus. You will be tested again on day 7 after arrival.
  • If you are traveling from a county that has less than 400 cases per million or more as of August 1, 2020 (i.e., Shown as green on the map found here: Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development) and are traveling in your personal vehicle and planning on very limited quick stops for gas, you may arrive to campus without quarantining prior to arriving.  Your move in day will be August 29 for new students only and August 30 for returning students.  You will receive a College-administered COVID-19 test on day 7 after arrival on campus.

We have had many questions about the surveillance Covid-19 testing on campus.  We are required by the State of Vermont to test each student throughout the fall semester randomly. We are using the Broad Institute from Massachusetts to provide the testing materials and results. Broad is not able to bill private insurance for these tests.

As always, we look forward to your return to campus. Please send any questions to housing@smcvt.edu.

All the best,

Dawn

Dawn Ellinwood, Ed.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students

Saint Michael’s College

Update from July 6, 2020

Dear members of the Saint Michael’s Community,

I know that you are all eager to learn more about our plans for welcoming you back to campus—I hear you and appreciate your patience as we worked through the complexities and as we awaited instructions from the Governor’s office. Now that we have received official word from the State, I want to provide you with the latest information on our planning as we prepare for the long-awaited moment when our students return, understanding that some details may still change as the situation with the virus continues to evolve and as any new requirements are released by the State.

In the weeks to come we will be sharing additional information about our plan to ensure that your experience on campus is rich and engaging despite the requirements that will make this semester a challenge for us all. In the period leading up to move-in we will continue to provide updates on our Return to Campus planning and links to new information on our website.

Our plan is rooted in the careful consideration of research and data coming out of the Centers for Disease Control and the Vermont Department of Health, consultation with peers in a variety of disciplines, and a careful review of the plans of other institutions of higher education. Throughout our research and planning, which has required countless hours of dedication, collaboration, and hard work by faculty, staff, and administrators across campus, we have maintained these guiding principles: that the health and safety of our community is of paramount importance, and that we ensure the continuity of high-quality academic instruction and student life experience and the mission of Saint Michael’s College.

While we all know that the fall semester will be like no other in the history of the College—or higher education, for that matter—I am confident that, thanks to the heart of our purple and gold community, we will persevere and succeed. United in our commitment to each other, we will continue our vital work together.

With that, I share these important updates:

Arriving on Campus

Move-in Schedule & Requirements
In response to the State requirements we just received, we have adjusted our planned schedule. The State of Vermont is requiring a quarantine period of 14 days for some students arriving from certain areas or via certain transportation methods. To adhere to these requirements, some students will be moving in on August 29 or 30, and other students will be moving in on August 15.

Non-quarantine cohort
Students traveling to Vermont from a non-quarantine county as identified by the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development on August 1, who travel in a private vehicle without making a prolonged stop, may move in without completing a quarantine. For first-year and new transfer students meeting these criteria, move-in will take place on Saturday, August 29. Returning students meeting these criteria will move in on Sunday, August 30.

Home-state quarantine cohort
Students who will be coming from a quarantine county as identified by the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development on August 1, and will be traveling directly to campus in a private vehicle without making a prolonged stop (avoid gatherings such as restaurants, limit gas stops, if overnight travel is required—reduce social contacts), must quarantine at home for 14 days immediately prior to traveling to Vermont. For first-year and new transfer students meeting these criteria, move-in will take place on Saturday, August 29. Returning students meeting these criteria will move in on Sunday, August 30.

Campus quarantine cohort
Students traveling to Vermont with people from multiple households, via bus, rail or commercial airlines, must quarantine in a specified location on campus or local accommodation for 14 days upon arrival to Vermont. These new and returning students, if they chose on-campus quarantine, will move in on Saturday, August 15.

Students who have questions about move-in may contact housing@smcvt.edu

Campus move-in procedures
Students should minimize the number of individuals who come with them for move-in. We recommend only one guest, and no more than two are permitted. These guests must meet the State of Vermont travel guidelines and adhere to all campus health and safety protocols while on campus. Student orientation leaders and staff will be available to help students with move-in procedures. New students will experience Saint Michael’s traditional enthusiastic (and loud!) welcome. More information about move-in procedures will be communicated in the coming weeks.

Quarantine & Testing
As defined under “Move-in schedule and requirements,” students identified within the “non-quarantine cohort” will receive a College-administered COVID-19 test on day 7 after their arrival on campus.

Students in the “home-state quarantine cohort” must either receive a College administered COVID-19 test upon arrival or in their home state within 48-hours of coming to campus and travel directly to campus. These students will be tested again on day 7 after arrival.

Students in the “quarantine cohort” will be required to undergo a period of campus quarantine of 14 days after arriving on campus. This cohort will receive a College administered COVID-19 test upon arrival and again on day 7 after arrival. Quarantine may end for those students who receive a negative test result after the day 7 test.

Additionally, all students may receive periodic COVID-19 tests throughout the semester. Tests will also be administered in the event of symptoms or if a student comes into contact with a person who is positive for COVID-19.

A comprehensive COVID-19 testing fee of $150 will be assessed to all students to support the cost of testing.

Academics

Academic Calendar
In order to help maintain a healthy community and accommodate the State of Vermont’s new quarantine policies, the modified Academic Calendar will help to minimize the flow of students to and from campus.

First day of classes: Monday, August 31
Last day of on-campus instruction: Tuesday, November 24
Students return home
Thanksgiving Holiday: November 25-29
Instruction resumes remotely: November 30-December 11
Final exams administered remotely: December 14-18
Spring semester start: TBD
Note: The traditional October break will be replaced by two mid-week no class respite days with fun and relaxing activities during the fall semester.

The Academic Experience
Please rest assured that, while we will be making the necessary adjustments to indoor classroom space in order to adhere to distancing guidelines, we will still be providing the rich, personal, and thoughtful education that distinguishes Saint Michael’s College. That said, this semester will require flexibility, patience, and adaptability from all of us. This may mean that some classes or labs will be in-person indoors, some may meet outdoors when feasible, some will be virtual in real time, and some will be a combination of these modalities. We are actively working to adapt and ensure that courses will be fulfilling and achieve the educational objectives the faculty have set forth.

Students who must study remotely this fall semester, due to personal or health concerns, should contact Associate Dean Tim Mackin at tmackin@smcvt.edu regarding the availability of appropriate remote courses. Tuition will not be adjusted, but these students will not be assessed a housing or dining fee.

Life on Campus

Housing
New incoming students’ housing assignments will be released on July 27 to allow more time for the Student Life team to ensure adherence to new policies. Student Life will be providing additional details regarding residence life in the coming weeks.

Dining
Dining services is finalizing a plan for ensuring a safe and high-quality dining experience. This is likely to require distancing, possible assigned schedules for dining, and delivering of meals to residence halls as necessary for students required to quarantine. Washing hands and wearing face coverings at all times except when eating will be required.

Working on campus
Faculty and staff have been provided with return to work guidelines issued from Human Resources. That information will also be posted to the Return to Campus web pages in the coming week.

Our Shared Community Commitment – “Do the Knight Thing”
Students, faculty, staff, and administrators will be required to read and sign a community commitment that acknowledges an understanding of the health and safety requirements, and a commitment to abide by them. It will also ask everyone to acknowledge that despite everyone’s best efforts, the College cannot guarantee that individuals do not get sick. Our shared commitment to each other to take this situation very seriously will, however, help us stay healthy and allow us all to continue our important work. This community commitment will be sent out to everyone prior to arrival.

As a community we must also commit to understanding all we can about COVID-19 and the devastating toll it is taking. We have a shared responsibility to educate ourselves about its disproportionate impact on people of color around the world, within our society, and within the Saint Michael’s family.

Required Health and Safety Practice
Maintaining the health and safety of the community is everyone’s responsibility. With this in mind, the College will require all students, faculty, staff, and administrators to adhere to all health and safety guidelines related to maintaining good hygiene and practicing physical distancing and other protocols, which include:

Maintaining a health log: Students, faculty, staff, and administrators will be asked to self-monitor daily for symptoms and maintain a health log. This is likely to require taking your temperature daily, recording it, and affirming that you are symptom-free via an online tool before leaving your room or home.

Wearing a facial covering or mask: All Saint Michael’s College community members (students, faculty, staff, administrators, the Edmundite community, contracted employees) and its campus visitors must do everything possible to limit the spread of Covid-19. Data show that 90-95% of the COVID-19 virus is transmitted via respiratory droplets. Since COVID-19 may be transmitted by someone who does not have symptoms, a facial covering helps you protect others, and is required on campus.

Arriving on campus with a “health kit”: Students should arrive on campus with items that will be required for maintaining the health and safety of themselves and the community. This should include 2-3 facial coverings/masks, a thermometer, hand sanitizer, and over-the-counter cold and fever reducing medication. Community members should also get a flu vaccine prior to returning to campus.

If you feel sick or become sick
Bergeron Wellness and counseling staff have a care plan in place and are prepared to coordinate services for students who test positive and require a period of isolation. For moderate symptoms, the Bergeron Wellness Center and Student Life staff will check on you and provide for your care during any quarantine and recovery. Any student with serious symptoms will receive treatment at the UVM Medical Center.

Employees who feel sick should contact their primary healthcare provider, supervisor, or Human Resources before coming to work and consult the College’s PTO and time-off policies related to COVID-19.

Athletics
We are working on plans for a safe return to athletic activity, particularly for our fall sports, but we need to wait for final guidance from the State of Vermont, NCAA Division II, and the Northeast-10 Conference. We will provide updates when we have more information and direction.

Vulnerable members of the community
We understand that for some members of our community with health conditions that put them at more risk, being housed, working, and studying on campus may require additional considerations. The health, safety, and emotional well-being of our community members are at the center of our concerns. After consulting with their primary care provider, students who have special needs or concerns should contact the Office of Accessibility Services at amessuri@smcvt.edu to discuss the coming semester. Employees with particular concerns about returning to work should speak with their supervisor or contact Human Resources.

I am very grateful to all the faculty, staff, and administrators who are working assiduously, creatively, and compassionately to prepare for our students to have an engaging, fun, and fulfilling academic and student life experience. Together we will foster our sense of community and shared mission in new ways as we take care of one another. Be assured that we will be communicating with the entire community throughout the summer. Again, I thank you for your patience and ask that we all understand the need to be flexible and to adapt to the evolving situation which may dictate future changes to our best-laid plans.

In the meantime, please take very good care.

Sincerely yours,

Lorraine Sterritt
President

Update from May 29, 2020

From President Lorraine Sterritt

Dear Saint Michael’s Community,

I hope this email finds you and your loved ones safe and well.

We very much look forward to our return to in-person instruction and operations so that we can continue our crucial mission of educating our students and equipping them for the future. As we plan for returning to campus and welcoming our students, faculty, and staff to begin the fall semester, we will be communicating important information that will help everyone to prepare. I am writing today to let you know about progress we are making on important decisions and likely arrangements for returning to campus.

Earlier this spring, we organized cross-discipline working groups that include faculty, co-academic staff, and experts from The Bergeron Wellness Center, Public Safety, and many other areas across campus. They are spending untold hours meeting virtually to identify the issues, work on solutions, and provide recommendations to the Emergency Management Team and the Executive Policy Group. Their recommendations consider the latest information from health agencies and the Governor’s office, as well as information shared among peer institutions. Our priority with this work is to be prepared to provide for the safety of the community, while ensuring the quality and richness of our students’ experience as we continue to fulfill our mission of educating the next generation of great thinkers and leaders.

Based on the advice of many experts, an important aspect of conducting in-person teaching and learning on campus this fall will be to endeavor to establish a COVID-free community at the outset and then maintain the community’s health by minimizing and carefully managing the interactions members of the community have with individuals outside our community. Risk increases when large numbers of students leave a contained, managed campus environment to go to their home communities and then return, interact with one another, and again return to their home communities, especially at the outset of the typical flu season. Therefore, subject to approval from authorities in the State of Vermont, we are planning to modify the academic calendar in a way that will provide a full semester of in-person, on-campus instruction and limit large comings and goings of students after the semester has begun. There are many details on which we continue to work, but I understand and respect the need of all our constituencies to know where we are in our planning.

The proposed changes to the Fall 2020 Academic Calendar (subject to approval from the Governor of the State of Vermont and subject to continued monitoring of COVID-19) are as follows:

  • Early start—classes would begin on August 17, which is two weeks before classes would normally have started. This will mean earlier move-in dates, and we will communicate the details after we have coordinated plans with the State and other colleges in the area.
  • Early end—on Tuesday, November 24 in-person classes would end, and students would go home for the Thanksgiving holiday. Finals would be conducted that following week, remotely. Students would return to campus after Christmas break. This return date has not yet been established.
  • Modified October break—in order to minimize the risk of community members bringing the virus to campus from other places, our traditional multi-day mid-semester break, where students typically would leave campus, will not happen this fall. Instead, we are planning for two or more mid-week respite days with no classes, but we will ask that students not travel far from campus on those days.
  • Some evening and/or Saturday classes—this may be required to ensure that each of your courses is able to cover the required material and requisite number of hours.
  • Flexibility of teaching methods—we will be working to accommodate students who may need to isolate for a period and participate in their classes remotely.

In addition to this modified schedule, a safe return will require everyone to take measures before coming to campus and to make certain modifications to how we function within the community—when, where, and how we interact with each other—when on campus. Some of these measures will be determined by the College, and some will be determined by the Governor.

We realize that changes to the academic calendar and new requirements may bring up questions or present challenges for some of you. Please know that we will do our best to be flexible and work with each of you as we adjust to our new schedule. Flexibility will be a common theme over the course of the summer and fall as we may need to adjust to the pandemic and the recommendations of experts and health agencies.

Over the coming weeks, we will continue to keep you apprised as decisions are made. It will be important that everyone remain flexible in this very challenging situation. Please monitor your email and the Saint Michael’s College Health Alerts page for new information. If you should have an urgent question, please email ReturntoCampus@smcvt.edu.

Saint Michael’s College is dedicated to continuing to provide the transformative academic and student life experience that has served so many since 1904. Indeed, I would argue that there is no better time to dedicate oneself to education and to its fundamental role not only in imparting critical knowledge but also in fostering a better and more caring society. The world needs Saint Michael’s College graduates, and we are wholeheartedly committed to ensuring that our students will thrive.

Sincerely yours,

Lorraine Sterritt
President

Update from April 30, 2020

From President Lorraine Sterritt

Dear Saint Michael’s community,

I hope this message finds you and your family safe and well. As we reach the end of the semester, please know that we feel your absence on our campus daily, and we look forward to the day when we can all be here, together, again.

With that goal in mind, I want to provide you with an update on our current thinking about the fall semester. The College believes that Vermont has managed the COVID-19 crisis well. After careful consideration, and with the caveat that decisions will be impacted by a number of outside forces, I am pleased to inform you that Saint Michael’s College expects to return to on-campus, in-person instruction in late August on our regular fall schedule. Doing so will necessitate appropriate mitigation strategies to which all members of the community will be required to adhere and particular strategies for any members of the community who are in high-risk groups.

We will continue to follow health agency recommendations to protect the health and safety of the entire community. The College is also developing contingency plans should state and federal health agencies dictate otherwise.

There are many details that remain to be worked out, and many questions we will be better positioned to answer as we continue to monitor the course of the virus through the spring and early summer, but I wanted to share our current intentions with you as soon as possible.

During this challenging time, I hope that you will find comfort in these plans as you prepare for our shared future. I look forward to welcoming you back to campus.

Sincerely,

Lorraine Sterritt
President

Update as of April 22, 2020

From Mary Masson, Director of Student Health Services

In order to comply with current state and federal guidelines related to COVID-19 and to keep both our community safe and be good citizens, Saint Michael’s College is instituting the following policy. We ask that ALL members of the Saint Michael’s College community wear a cloth mask to cover your mouth and nose when entering and doing work in campus buildings and around others. Since COVID-19 may be transmitted by someone who does not have symptoms, a mask helps you protect others. Students alone in their residence/room, or employees in their own offices, please use your judgement whether to wear a mask or not in those spaces. If you work in shared offices, where others may also be working or using equipment or facilities in the area (photocopiers, restrooms, etc.), you should wear a cloth mask.

PLEASE do not use N95 masks that are greatly needed by our healthcare community and continue to practice social distancing.

If you do not have access to a cloth mask, students can find masks available in a basket outside of Student Life in Alliot Hall until supplies run out, and employees may contact Public Safety. There are a limited number of masks available, so request one only if you otherwise cannot obtain one.

Public Safety

802.654.2374

OfficeofPublicSafety@smcvt.edu

CDC information on using and maintaining cloth face masks.

https://www.healthvermont.gov/sites/default/files/documents/pdf/COVID-19-VDH-mask-guidance.pdf

Update from April 17, 2020

From Lorraine Sterritt, President

Dear members of the Saint Michael’s College community,

I hope this email finds you all well.

Thank you all for your continued hard work and adaptability. I hope that the accommodations and changes to grading policies that were developed by faculty committees and the Office of Academic Affairs have helped to alleviate some stress and anxiety. It was the right thing to do, and I thank them for that.

Among the most difficult communications I have had to send during this crisis was the one letting our seniors and their families know that we had postponed Commencement. I am writing today to share some information about how we plan to celebrate the great class of 2020, to honor them, and to showcase their academic accomplishments. We believe that these plans offer us the best opportunity both to celebrate virtually on the original May 10 date and to provide an opportunity for an in-person celebration on campus at a future date.

Working with members of the Commencement Committee, student leaders reached out to the senior class to assess what was most important for us to retain in any rescheduled Commencement. The response was clear. Seniors expressed that:

  • they want to be together again, on campus, celebrating over a period of days;
  • they and their families would like to experience some of the formal elements of the Commencement celebration;
  • and they want the ability to stay on campus.

Based on that input, the Commencement Committee eliminated the option of a summer 2020 event, because of the risk of having to postpone again, as social distancing is still likely to be the recommendation of health authorities. Looking beyond the summer, the only other period in which we could host the event and house the senior class on campus would be June of 2021. Please know that if there were any way to have it sooner, we would. The Commencement Committee is now starting the planning for that event and will be sharing information as it takes shape. I am excited that we are able to offer an in-person ceremony. Our seniors deserve it.

We all agreed that May 10, 2020 is also an important landmark and should not go by without some event or acknowledgement. So, working with faculty and staff from the Commencement Committee, student leaders are helping to put together a virtual commencement for May 10, one that we can all experience at the same time “together.” We hope that you will have your caps and gowns by then. Your diplomas will be mailed to you later in May, once the Registrar’s office has processed grades under the new system. This tribute to our seniors will give us all a chance to share a moment in real time as you become official graduates of Saint Michael’s College.

In the coming days we will be sharing more information about the plans for the virtual commencement and providing you ways in which to invite anyone with whom you wish to share this milestone. In the meantime, please save and hold the morning of May 10.

Academic Symposium is another event that we agreed must be celebrated. As many of you know, it is a time when students from all different disciplines present their research projects in spaces all over campus over the course of several days. It is truly a time when the College shines bright with the light of our brilliant students. The Undergraduate Research Committee, led by Professor David Heroux of the Chemistry Department, has been working closely with the Office of Information Technology, and I am thrilled to let you know that Academic Symposium is happening, albeit, remotely. From Wednesday, April 22 – Saturday, April 25, more than 100 students will be participating in the Academic Symposium in one of three formats:  via a pre-recorded video, live via Zoom Session, or by presenting ePosters during our normally scheduled poster sessions on Saturday the 25th. We are all excited to experience and learn about our students’ research, scholarship, and creative achievements. You will be receiving more information about the Symposium and links for where to find student presentations in the coming days.

I look forward to celebrating our students at the Academic Symposium, during our virtual Commencement, and ultimately together again in person, on campus. I know that a question on everyone’s mind is when will the College resume in-person instruction and operations? While we can’t predict the timeframe with regard to the course the coronavirus will take, we have begun to discuss scenarios for how to return to in-person functions. In determining both the “how” and the “when,” we will employ the same careful assessment and deliberation that we have used in addressing the initial emergency, and we will be guided by medical and scientific information at every stage of the decision-making process. We will also keep you apprised as decisions are made.

In the meantime, I wish you all the very, very best in these challenging times. Please continue to practice social distancing and to take precautions to protect yourselves, your families, and your communities. We miss our students very much, and we all look forward with a great sense of excitement to the day when we can welcome everyone safely back to our beloved campus in person.

Sincerely yours,

Lorraine Sterritt

President

Update from April 22, 2020

From Mary Masson, Director of Student Health Services

In order to comply with current state and federal guidelines related to COVID-19 and to keep both our community safe and be good citizens, Saint Michael’s College is instituting the following policy. We ask that ALL members of the Saint Michael’s College community wear a cloth mask to cover your mouth and nose when entering and doing work in campus buildings and around others. Since COVID-19 may be transmitted by someone who does not have symptoms, a mask helps you protect others. Students alone in their residence/room, or employees in their own offices, please use your judgement whether to wear a mask or not in those spaces. If you work in shared offices, where others may also be working or using equipment or facilities in the area (photocopiers, restrooms, etc.), you should wear a cloth mask.

PLEASE do not use N95 masks that are greatly needed by our healthcare community and continue to practice social distancing.

If you do not have access to a cloth mask, students can find masks available in a basket outside of Student Life in Alliot Hall until supplies run out, and employees may contact Public Safety. There are a limited number of masks available, so request one only if you otherwise cannot obtain one.

Public Safety

802.654.2374

OfficeofPublicSafety@smcvt.edu

CDC information on using and maintaining cloth face masks.

https://www.healthvermont.gov/sites/default/files/documents/pdf/COVID-19-VDH-mask-guidance.pdf

Update on April 14, 2020

From Dawn Ellinwood, Vice President of Student Affairs

Dear Students,

I hope this email finds you and your families well during this very difficult time. In light of Governor Scott’s recent decision to extend his Executive Order for only essential travel within the State of Vermont to May 15, we are required to alter the move-out schedule. We have rescheduled groups A-H to later dates (see below). Please note that campus will remain closed on the weekend of May 8-10. If you appealed to come to campus during the May 8-10 weekend, we are sorry, but we cannot honor your appeal any longer.

Dates for move-out grouped by the first letter of student’s last name. Note: groups highlighted in yellow are rescheduled.

I-J                                   May 15; Campus will be open from 7am to 8pm

K-L                                  May 16; Campus will be open from 7am to 8pm

M                                    May 17: Campus will be open from 7am to 8pm

N-Q                                May 18; Campus will be open from 7am to 8pm

R                                     May 22; Campus will be open from 7am to 8pm

S                                      May 23; Campus will be open from 7am to 8pm

T-Z                                  May 24; Campus will be open from 7am to 8pm

A-B                                 May 29; Campus will be open from 7am to 8pm

C-D                                 May 30; Campus will be open from 7am to 8pm

E-F                                  May 31; Campus will be open from 7am to 8pm

G-H                                June 1; Campus will be open from 7am to 8pm

Reminder to Students

In light of some online chatter that has come to my attention, I want to reiterate with you that our campus is not open to visiting.

  • You are not allowed to come to campus without prior approval from Student Life.
  • You have an assigned day to move out of your room for a short period of time. That assigned day is the only day you are allowed on campus. If you have special circumstances, please contact housing@smcvt.edu.

I realize many of you are mourning the traditional spring celebrations on campus such as PDay, however please note:

  • If you are found on campus without prior approval, you will be held accountable. This may include losing your room and board refund, losing your housing assignment for next year, and other sanctions through the College conduct process.
  • Returning to campus without approval will put those students and essential staff still on campus at risk.
  • Please think of others and make good, responsible decisions around your own health and safety.

We will get through this pandemic only if we all abide strictly by the physical restrictions both federal and local governments are asking of us. It is imperative that you be responsible to yourself and others since lives are at stake.

Be assured, we are in the midst of planning an in-person commencement celebration on campus for our seniors to recognize the Class of 2020 at a future time. We are also working with student leaders to do something together remotely this May. We will provide more information soon. We miss you and hope you are doing well.  If you need assistance, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. We are here for you.

Be well,

Dawn

Dawn M. Ellinwood, Ed.D. | she, her, hers: pronouns

Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students

Update of March 26, 2020

From Lorraine Sterritt, President

Dear Saint Michael’s College Community,

I hope that you are all well and staying healthy. Thank you all for your continued work on adapting to remote learning and supporting one another.

I am writing to communicate important decisions and updates about instruction and certain events for the remainder of the semester. Since the beginning of the outbreak of COVID-19, the College’s emergency management teams have been meeting regularly, consulting with our own health experts as well as with peers at other institutions, and with state and federal health agencies. These conversations led us to make several very difficult decisions. We know that these decisions will come as a disappointment, and we all share in that disappointment.

Remote Instruction:

For the health and safety of all students, faculty, and staff, we have decided that the remainder of this semester will be conducted through remote instruction. Understandably, this is sad news, especially for our beloved seniors. We fully understand your desire to return to campus, and we strongly wish that that were possible. We will continue to do everything in our power to make online learning as smooth as possible for you. If you are having any technical/computer connectivity challenges, please contact IT at 802.654.2020 or via email at ithelp@smcvt.edu. They will even try to support issues you may have because of home internet connectivity.

In the very near future, the Office of Student Life will be sending students and families a schedule and process for when and how students may pick up their belongings. While we will strive to be flexible, we will insist that students come to campus only on their scheduled date. We must stagger student pickups appropriately over the coming months to help ensure the health and safety of everyone and to practice social distancing. Please stay tuned for more information from Student Life.

Commencement:

In addition to suspending in-person instruction for the remainder of the semester, the College has made the very difficult decision to postpone Commencement. Seniors, we have heard you, and we have read your messages about postponing commencement. We are heartsick that it has become necessary to make this decision, and we fully understand your disappointment. You have worked so hard, and you have made so many friends at Saint Michael’s. Please rest assured that we based the decision on advice from public health experts. We will preserve as much as possible of the celebration that recognizes your accomplishments and honors the class of 2020 for another date, ideally in-person. Rest assured also that your degrees will still be conferred on May 10 as originally planned, and that we will mail your diplomas to you. We will watch national developments and work to find a date as soon as possible that will provide the safe and celebratory event that you all deserve. For many of us, commencement is our favorite day of the year, and we very much look forward to celebrating it with you.

Note: Student leaders are collecting commencement ideas from the senior class and sharing these with the commencement committee. If you have ideas and suggestions, please be sure to reach out to them:

Dimitrios Stamoulis, Class President:  dstamoulis@mail.smcvt.edu

Arianna Boscia, Class Vice President:  aboscia@mail.smcvt.edu

Katelynn Briere, SGA President:  kbriere@mail.smcvt.edu

Brenna Broderick, SGA Vice President:  bbroderick@mail.smcvt.edu

Reunion:

This year’s reunion, which was to take place May 28 – 31, has also been postponed. This is an event alumni, faculty, and staff look forward to each year, and I share in your disappointment in having to postpone. The Office of Alumni Engagement will be communicating with all alumni as new reunion plans unfold.

I am truly sorry to have to convey this news. Thank you for all the patience and fortitude you are showing during this world-wide crisis. Please continue to care for yourselves and for those around you. Please also continue to practice social distancing so that we all do our part to resolve this crisis.

We very much look forward to resuming our normal in-person activities. We can’t predict when that day will come, but it will come, and we will welcome you back with open arms.

Sincerely yours,

Lorraine Sterritt
President

 

Updated March 24, 2020

From Lorraine Sterritt, President

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

Tomorrow we embark on a new venture together. We will do the important work that we do—seeking truth, questioning, and educating—remotely. We will miss being together and experiencing the “aha” moments collectively. These moments are an inspiration, and they are the reason many of us chose to work in higher education. While we will do our very best tomorrow and in the days ahead, nothing can entirely replace the magic that happens in a classroom, face to face with each other. We know this, but we will persevere together.

I am already so proud of all of you. The heart, dedication, and resilience that you have demonstrated to get ready for teaching and learning online give me hope for a better tomorrow. A better tomorrow, I am certain, awaits us because of you.

Our world, our country, our community, must learn from this experience. We all must learn from this experience. We must understand what has happened, what is science, what is rumor. Equally importantly, we must then teach others. The world needs exactly what we all live and breathe here—a liberal arts education in all its facets.

These stories of the Saint Michael’s community opening their hearts to help one another remind us of what it means to do well and to do good.

As we move into the next stage of the semester, we will undoubtedly also have technical challenges to overcome together. IT has created a list of resources for remote learning and instruction, which can be found on the Portal and also from the Health Alerts section of our website. If you need additional academic support, you can find a number of resources listed on the FAQ page. I encourage you to reach out. With each other’s help and patience, we will all get better at this as the days go by.

Please also check your SMC email regularly for important updates from the College in the days and weeks ahead, and please know that decisions about the path forward will be shared with you as soon as they are finalized.

Let’s all look forward to the day when we can all be together in person again, and, in the meantime, I pray that everyone will remain safe and healthy.

Sincerely yours,

Lorraine Sterritt
President

Updated on March 19, 2020

From Lorraine Sterritt, President

Dear Saint Michael’s College Community,

First and foremost, as we look to the days and weeks ahead, I implore everyone to practice social distancing now. We must do everything in our power to flatten the curve of this pandemic.

Let us not forget that difficult times often bring out the best in people. In recent days I have seen extraordinary acts of kindness, dedication, and hard work from myriad offices and individuals on campus. Our Facilities staff have been disinfecting spaces all over campus to keep us safe. IT is helping employees who are working remotely and supporting our faculty members as they make the transition to teaching online next week. Many individuals and teams are significantly modifying the way in which they work, addressing new questions in this unprecedented time, and helping one another.

My heart goes out to all our students who have also had to adjust to a new reality, particularly our seniors who have had their final semester completely disrupted. We are here for you, and we are working hard on the preparations for the rest of the semester, albeit in a new and different way. I know that we will all face this challenge with the dedication, teamwork, and compassion that characterize the Saint Michael’s community.

As you know we created a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page, which can be accessed from the Health Alerts page. We add to it regularly as this situation evolves. We have made several important updates to it that include the following:

Students on campus who feel ill: Please read this information carefully as it describes COVID-19 symptoms, outlines what to do if you have them, and tells you about testing and about isolation here on campus. There are no known cases of COVID-19 on campus, but the College has developed a detailed protocol for helping students to get tested if they develop symptoms and has prepared spaces for any necessary isolation. Should a positive case be found on campus, the community will be notified appropriately. More information can be found in the FAQ list under Important Health Information.

College offices and services availability: This information explains which offices are closed for in-person visits or have limited hours until the College resumes in-person activity, but also how to access important services even if an office is physically locked. You can find this information under Campus Operations: Accessing Offices and Services.

Student Employment: The FAQ list has information for students, such as some RA’s and IT staff, who are still working, as well as those who will not return to their jobs on campus. The section where this can be found is under Financial Matters.

Refunds of room and board: Many families have asked this question. You will find more information about our refund policy in the section on Financial Matters.

The Counselors in the Bergeron Wellness Center are here for you. Counselors are still available to you, whether you are on campus or in another state, and any interested students are encouraged to join them on Instagram @bergeroncounseling so that they can keep in touch with you. You can make an appointment by contacting Heidi Brodtman during business hours at 802.654.2234, or if you have a more urgent need outside of business hours, contact ULifeline at 800.273.TALK, or 911. The Bergeron Wellness Center counselors have also created a helpful guide and resources for all of us as we deal with COVID-19 challenges. You can find them on the FAQ page under Important Health Information.

We miss having our students on campus: I know that I speak for my colleagues when I say that you are the reason we chose this line of work. We very much look forward to the day when we welcome you all back to campus! In the meantime, please stay safe and well.

Sincerely yours,

Lorraine Sterritt

President

Update on March 16, 2020

From Lorraine Sterritt, President

Dear Saint Michael’s College Community,

Today the US government is warning of the continued rapid spread of the coronavirus and has announced new guidelines, including the closing of schools, and avoiding groups of more than 10 people, as well as avoiding discretionary travel, bars, restaurants, and food courts. On Sunday, Vermont Governor Phil Scott announced a Continuity of Education Plan for the orderly dismissal of all schools (Pre-K – grade 12), and the cancellation of all school-related activities, no later than Wednesday, March 18. We strongly urge all members of our community, both here on campus and beyond, to adhere to all guidelines and recommendations and to monitor the situation closely. In addition to following government guidelines, it is imperative that we all do our part to slow the spread of the virus and to give our medical professionals time to tend to those infected with the virus. It is also imperative that we all practice social distancing now.

At the College we have made, and continue to make, substantial adjustments in the way we do our work. The Information Technology office is making progress on training and technology to prepare for providing classes online. Faculty members are preparing to teach with new tools. Administrators and staff members have already begun to meet via Zoom and conference calls whenever possible, in order to adhere to the practice of social distancing. Sodexo is adapting to new ways of serving food to our students. The Admission Office is busy putting together virtual events for admitted students, and Student Life is working hard to provide students who remain on campus the limited but critical support and assistance they need.

For students, faculty, and staff who remain on campus:

  • The College is strictly prohibiting gatherings of any kind. This includes indoors and outdoors. Meetings must be held via telephone or remote technology.
  • Durick Library is now closed until further notice. Librarians are available to support the College community remotely until the library reopens (see Remote Library Services).
  • The Ross Sports & Tarrant Recreation Centers are closed. No one is permitted to use the facility at this time. Employees who have offices in the buildings may have limited access to their offices only.
  • Additional spaces that are closed with limited access only to employees who have offices in the building are: McCarthy Arts Center, Pomerleau Hall, and all academic buildings. Entrance to academic buildings will be by card access only as of 3/18/2020. All employees must carry their knightcards for access to buildings. If you have any concerns regarding card access, please email accesscontrol@smcvt.edu.
  • Bergeron Wellness Center is staffed and maintaining normal hours, but its doors will be locked. Students must call 802.654.2234 to be evaluated before an appointment can be scheduled.

Student Life is developing a schedule for checking in on students who remain on campus. I encourage each of you to support one another by connecting virtually via social media, phone, and text.

Students, you should have received an email from the Registrar with information about advising and registration extensions, and a reminder from the Office of the Associate Dean about being in touch with your advisor to set up a remote meeting. It is important to be as proactive as possible.

Lastly, the College has created an FAQ list, which is accessible via our Health Alerts page. Many of you have submitted questions, and we are adding to the FAQ list as answers become available.

We will continue to keep you apprised in the days and weeks ahead. Since the situation is changing rapidly, I must ask that all of us be prepared for substantial new developments and changes as we take the steps that are necessary for the health and safety of our community and far beyond. I urge you to take all necessary precautions to protect yourself, your family, and your community. The world is facing a gargantuan challenge, and each and every one of us has a crucial role to play in conquering it.

Sincerely,

Lorraine Sterritt

President

Update of March 15, 2020

From Dawn Ellinwood, Vice President for Student Affairs

Dear SMC students,

In response to changing circumstances, including the declaration of a state of emergency by both the federal government and the State of Vermont and the importance of establishing and maintaining rigorous social distancing practices, we are issuing updated guidance about students in campus residences. This is a rapidly evolving situation and our priority is the health and safety of our students and community. Please be prepared for further changes, given the critical nature of this health emergency, which we are monitoring very closely. We ask for your patience as we all do our best to keep one another safe.

Effective immediately all students remaining on campus will be required to follow these terms in order to remain living on campus:

  • You agree to limit your travel locally for essential purposes only. For instance, travel to work that cannot be done remotely, for health care needs or for emergencies.
  • You understand that you are not permitted to return to live on campus if you traveled outside of the local area; this includes any pre-registered Spring Break plans. If you previously received permission and have left the local area, that permission is now VOID.
  • You will be permitted back to campus to pack up your belongings if you travel outside of the local area ONLY with permission from Student Life.  Please submit your request to return through housing@smcvt.edu.
  • Students who have already left the campus and were approved/intending to return after March 16 cannot return to campus.  If you have questions, please contact housing@smcvt.edu

Also effective immediately:

  • No non-SMC College guests will be permitted in any residence on campus.
  • Dining services and other campus offices will be open but will have limited hours and services.
  • You understand that all College policies, including those stated in the Student Handbook will apply, and you will be held accountable to them.
  • Please be aware that further restrictions may be necessary, including the possibility of the College suspending functions for a period of time. Please review the relocation plan you provided the College when you first enrolled.
  • In the event the campus suspends functions, plans to move the remainder of your belongings out of your room will be forthcoming.

Note, by staying on campus in residence you are agreeing to abide by these guidelines.

If at any point, if you feel sick while on campus in residence you are asked to NOT go directly to any health care provider, including Bergeron Wellness, without a phone call prior.

  • Bergeron Wellness; (802) 654-2234
  • Contact the Vermont Department of Health for guidance; (802) 863-7240
  • Contact 911 in the event of an emergency

You are strongly encouraged to have self-care items on campus including a thermometer and fever reducing medication such as Tylenol.  Please remember that the virus can be spread by people with and without symptoms, thus the importance of social distancing. Please refer to the CDC website for information about caring for yourself and others. Please see links below:

CDC – Coronavirus (COVID-19)

CDC – How to Protect Yourself and Others

Please understand that if conditions change, the College may require additional restrictions.

If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at the Student Life Office at housing@smcvt.edu or (802) 654-2566 during regular business hours.

Sincerely,

Dawn M. Ellinwood, Ed.D.|she, her, hers: pronouns

Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students

Updated March 13, 2020

From Lorraine Sterritt, President

There are no known cases of COVID-19 on campus. We are nonetheless taking the precaution of canceling all in-person classes today, Friday March 13. Please monitor your email for more information.

Updated March 12, 2020

From Dawn Ellinwood, Vice President for Student Affairs

As you learned from Dr. Sterritt’s letter last evening, the College has made the difficult decision to transition to online/remote instruction through at least April 14. All students are expected to leave campus no later than 6:00pm on Friday, March 13.

When leaving campus, please be sure to take academic materials, laptop, medications, and any other valuables. Please remember to lock your doors, lock your windows, and bring your keys and Knightcard with you. Buildings and rooms will remain secured while you are away from campus. As stated in a previous email, ESA owners must bring your animal with you and we strongly encourage you to leave the animal at home if you receive approval to return to campus.

We recognize that this is an extraordinary disruption to your experience on campus; however we feel that this is the best way to minimize the risk of spreading this virus on this campus and beyond. Fortunately, as of this writing, we have no cases at Saint Michael’s College.

As we transition to online/remote instruction, we realize that there are some students who may need to stay on campus while completing coursework online. You must apply for and receive permission to remain on campus. Please note: those students who received prior approval to stay on campus for the upcoming spring break will now be required to leave campus by March 13 at 6:00pm.

Any student requesting to stay on campus beyond March 13 needs to complete this request form.

Please know that permission to remain on campus may, at any time, change should the level of safety change on campus or the immediate area. In the event of an extreme situation that results in a total campus shut down, please make sure that you have a relocation plan as you may need to enact that plan.

  • Extenuating circumstances to stay on campus may include:
    • You are an international student
    • You are a member of an essential service on campus such as Fire and Rescue
    • You are a student teacher as long as your school district remains open
    • Your presence in the Burlington, VT area is necessary due to academic requirements
    • Leaving campus will result in extraordinary hardship for you
    • You are unable to relocate to a secure living environment
  • Those students who have been approved to stay on campus beyond March 13 are expected to stay in campus housing during spring break and avoid significant travel.
  • Students staying on campus are strongly advised to practice social distancing – no physical contact with one another – and are advised to stay at least 6 feet apart.
  • Students staying on campus will not be permitted to have any social gatherings. All SMC policies remain in effect and any violation of these policies will jeopardize your ability to remain on campus.
  • Students approved to stay on campus beyond March 13 who have left or plan to leave campus will be required to provide to the College all details of their travel; depending on their itinerary, these students may be required to self-quarantine for 14 days.

Those students who are approved to remain on campus can expect:

  • Meals in a limited manner
  • Residence hall access to your own hall only
  • Limited campus offices and support systems will be available
    • Computer labs will be closed
    • Ross/Tarrant will be closed
    • Library services will be limited

We will communicate with you as far in advance as possible once we have pertinent information to share concerning significant campus events such as:

  • P-Day
  • Senior Week
  • Baccalaureate and Commencement Ceremonies
  • Summer Session (including housing and courses)

Please continue to practice self-care as referenced in previous communications and continue to check your SMC email for updates.

We will continue to provide regular updates on our COVID-19 response. Please visit the SMC Health Alerts page for updates.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we continue to work through the many logistics of preparing for a smooth transition from our normal operations.

Sincerely,
Dawn

Updated March 11, 2020

From Lorraine Sterritt, President

Dear Saint Michael’s College Community,

Saint Michael’s College is committed to the health and well-being of our community and is closely monitoring the ongoing developments related to COVID-19 (coronavirus). Following today’s declaration of a pandemic by the World Health Organization, and in consultation with faculty, staff, and the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees, we have made the following difficult decisions:

  • The College is extending spring break for students by two days, with classes to resume online remotely on Wednesday, March 25. Remote online instruction will continue until at least April 13. Classes this Thursday, March 12 and Friday, March 13 are being held in person as scheduled. The earliest that regular in-person classes could resume would be April 14. We will communicate with you regularly during this period. We will monitor developments and follow guidelines and recommendations from health agencies and reassess this timing by no later than April 9.
  • Students who cannot go home/stay home during or after spring break, please email housing@smcvt.edu to request permission to live on campus while continuing coursework online. NOTE: This will be on an exception basis only and will require students to remain on campus, avoid travel, and practice social distancing.
  • Students who are flying directly to their spring break destinations from Burlington and returning from those destinations to Burlington, are required to notify Housing at housing@smcvt.edu before being allowed to briefly enter their rooms to pick up any necessary belongings.
  • Students studying abroad should adhere to the guidelines and recommendations of their host providers. The Study Abroad Office is in direct communication with these students and their families.
  • Effective immediately, all public events on campus until at least April 14 are cancelled. This includes all athletic events, lectures, performances, and other large gatherings. When we can host events online, we will. We will monitor the situation closely and follow health department recommendations as to when we can again host events on campus.
  • All College sponsored trips have been canceled until at least April 14. This includes trips planned during spring break, e.g., MOVE service trips, athletics trips, and academic study trips.
  • All College sponsored travel by air or other public transportation has been canceled until at least April 14.
  • The College remains open during this period for employees and students who have made arrangements with Student Life. Faculty and staff members who have a fever or don’t feel well must stay home and consult with their primary care providers before coming to work.

In the coming days, you will receive additional information from the College about how we will support this transition. Please monitor your official Saint Michael’s College email for updates.

We understand that many people will have questions. This situation is unprecedented, and we ask for your patience. We will post FAQ’s on this page in the coming days. Remaining questions can be submitted via an online form accessed from this page. We have created a phone line for urgent questions: 802-654-2002. This urgent call hotline is available from 8:30 AM –4:30 PM Monday through Friday.

We recognize the disappointment that students, their families, and all of our community members are experiencing in response to this situation. Our decisions were not made lightly, and they reflect the care and concern of the administration, the Board of Trustees, the faculty, and the staff of the College. Please know that we will do all that we can to continue to support our students, faculty, and staff and to answer your questions as they arise.

At Saint Michael’s, we come together in challenging times. Our team has been working tirelessly to make plans for our students’ education and for the health and safety of our community. We will continue to work together on your behalf.

 

Updated March 10, 2020

From Lorraine Sterritt, President

Dear Saint Michael’s College Community,

Although there are currently no recorded COVID-19 virus cases on our campus or in our immediate area, the College is actively making plans for that possibility. The Emergency Management Team and senior leadership of the College have been in daily communication with the Vermont Department of Health and have been meeting regularly since the first news of the outbreak. Our paramount concern is for the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff.

NOTE: This situation is dynamic, and information can and will change – please monitor your official Saint Michael’s College email account and this page for new information throughout Spring Break.

Classes After Spring Break

The College is actively preparing for the possibility that we may need to ask students to delay their return to campus and to transition to online classes temporarily after Spring Break. That decision could be made at any time between today and Friday, March 20, should conditions and recommendations from the Health Department change.

To prepare for the possibility of online classes from home after Spring Break:

  • Bring with you during Spring Break all academic materials (books, notebooks, laptop) necessary to conduct studies online for some period of time.
  • Check your Saint Michael’s College email during Spring Break in the event we need to notify you that classes will be conducted online.
  • Students who cannot complete their studies online from home will be able to apply for permission to remain on campus. Information on how to request permission will be sent out should the decision to go online be made.
  • Chief Information Officer Bill Anderson and Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs Jeff Trumbower will follow up with faculty with details.
  • Students whose travel plans are directly from and to the campus and who would not be able to bring their academic materials with them on break can coordinate with Student Life to pick up their materials upon their return, if we do move to online classes.

For students who need to stay on campus for Spring Break

  • The College and the Bergeron Wellness Center will remain open. If you need to remain on campus during Spring Break, you MUST register with housing. Email housing@smcvt.edu.

College-Sponsored Travel

At this time, the College is not canceling any domestic College sponsored trips during Spring Break. That includes Athletics trips, MOVE service trips, and academic study trips. No decisions regarding College sponsored trips that occur later in the year have been made at this time. We may need to make changes at any time depending on guidelines and recommendations from the CDC and Vermont Department of Health.  Monitor your official College email account and this page to keep informed of any new developments.

Public Events on Campus

At this time, the College is not canceling any public events on campus. This includes visiting lecturers, admission events, athletics events, and theatrical events and recitals. The College may change that decision at any time depending on guidelines and recommendations from the CDC and Vermont Department of Health.  Monitor your official College email account and this page to keep informed of any new developments.

Students Studying Abroad

Students who are studying abroad have been in direct contact with their in-country program providers and the Saint Michael’s College study abroad office.

Students and Employees at Particular Risk

For those in our community with particular concerns about their risk because of chronic medical conditions, more information will be sent to students from Bergeron Wellness Center, and to faculty and staff from Human Resources later today.

Additional information for travelers

  • Read the latest CDC travel warnings and know the Travel Health Alert status of the places to which you are traveling. If you are traveling to areas with a Level 3 or higher Health Alert status, you will not be allowed back on campus until you have completed a 14-day period of self-isolation elsewhere.

Helpful Links

I want to acknowledge the care and concern shown by everyone, and the hard work of the College faculty and staff. We will share new information with you as soon as it becomes available. Thank you all for your understanding as we address this challenge together.

Updated March 9, 2020

From the Office of Marketing and Communications

The Vermont Department of Health has reported the first Vermont case of COVID-19 in the southern part of the state. The College continues to closely monitor developments and follow the guidelines provided by state and federal health agencies, as well as coordinate with other institutions of higher education.

Continue to follow CDC guidelines for prevention to keep yourself and others healthy. Over the next few days, the College will be sending out information and recommendations for spring break travel.

Updated March 6, 2020

From the Office of Marketing and Communications

We continue to closely monitor the developments around the spread of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) and together with the College’s Emergency Management Team, are actively working on contingency plans to address its potential impacts on the College, its people and programs. We, like many other colleges and universities, are focused on continuing to deliver a quality student experience, while placing the health and safety of everyone at the forefront of our planning. We will continue to post updates to this Health Alerts webpage where you can find updated information and links to helpful resources, smcvt.edu/health-alerts.

At this time, there are no confirmed cases of the virus in Vermont. However, the Vermont Department of Health is monitoring a number of individuals, and we expect that it is only a matter of time before there are cases in the state. The best thing we can all do to stay healthy and keep our community healthy is to follow the CDC guidelines for prevention.

If you have been in contact with anyone who has been in areas designated by the CDC as a Level 3 or greater Health Travel Notice, the Vermont Department of Health asks you to contact them at 802-863-7240. They will be in regular contact with you to monitor you for symptoms such as shortness of breath, cough, or fever. If you develop these symptoms, call first before going to your health care provider for evaluation. Stay in place and either call the Bergeron Wellness Center at 802.654.2234 (student), your provider (faculty/staff), or the Vermont Department of Health at 802.863.7240 (this phone is answered 24/7). You can find the up-to-date Health Travel notices on the CDC website. This information is important to monitor for students and employees planning travel in the coming weeks.

Study Abroad
We remind all students studying abroad to remain in close contact with your program providers. At this time, we do not have any additional students with programs abroad who are suspending operations and sending students home. That said, many students abroad are being asked to limit their travel from their host sites, and to avoid travel to certain areas with higher rates of infection. Please follow the guidelines provided by your host providers and if you have any questions or concerns, contact our Study Abroad office at 802.654.2222.

Upcoming Travel
Students, faculty, and staff with plans to travel in the coming weeks, consider making backup plans. At this time, the College isn’t cancelling any domestic trips planned for spring break by College groups, including teams, clubs, and programs. However, it is possible this could change at any time because the situation is so fluid. We advise you to please make backup plans for spring break in case we have to cancel trips. If you’re buying plane tickets, seriously consider purchasing travel insurance, too.

Anti-Stigma
People being mistreated because of their descent or nationality is unacceptable. As the CDC has stressed on its website, it is important to remember that people – including those of Asian descent – who do not live in or have not recently been in an area of ongoing spread of the virus, or have not been in contact with a person who is a confirmed or suspected case of it are not at greater risk of spreading it than other Americans. We encourage everyone to show compassion and care for those who may be experiencing these kinds of discrimination and social stigma. If you witness such acts, share that these behaviors hurt everyone, foster fear, and can affect people’s wellbeing and the community’s resilience. Share the facts about COVID-19, which can be found on the CDC website.

Updated March 2, 2020

From Lorraine Sterritt, President

Dear Saint Michael’s College Community,

I am writing to provide an update on the coronavirus (COVID-19) as it relates to our students studying abroad and on our campus here in Vermont. While there are no confirmed cases of the virus in Vermont, the College is actively planning for that possibility.

Our immediate concern is with our students studying abroad. On Friday, the U.S. Department of State raised its Travel Advisory for Italy to Level 3: Reconsider Travel. As a result, our students in Italy were notified on Friday by their program providers to return to the U.S., as those programs were being suspended for the semester.

For our students in study abroad programs in other countries, the College is monitoring the situation very closely and maintaining close contact with study abroad program providers, the Vermont Department of Health, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and other health agencies. It may be necessary to bring more students home based on future recommendations from the CDC and U.S. Department of State, but no such decision has been made at this time.

We are actively working with those programs on contingency plans that would allow students to continue their studies online. We ask for patience as we and the study abroad providers are working around the clock to address individual needs and concerns.

For students, faculty, and staff currently on campus who may be returning from travel to areas with a Travel Advisory designated Level 3 or higher by the U.S. State Department, the College will require you to self-isolate for a minimum of 14 days before being permitted to return to campus. Please consider this carefully as you plan your travel for the upcoming spring break.

We remind you that the most up-to-date information about COVID-19 can be found on the CDC and Vermont Department of Health websites:

Vermont Department of Health

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Anti-Stigma

We also ask that each member of our community review the CDC anti-stigma guidelines issued recently regarding coronavirus. The CDC advises that we collectively focus on the disease that is causing the problem and avoid casting blame on individuals, cultures, or nationalities. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/related-stigma.html

The health and safety of our community is our primary concern. We will keep you informed as the situation evolves. Please monitor your email for any related updates from the College, and regularly check the website health alerts page at: www.smcvt.edu/health-alerts

Updated February 27, 2020

From Mary Masson, Director of Student Health Services

Saint Michael’s College is closely monitoring the novel coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19). The safety of our community is our highest priority. At this time, the virus is not spreading widely in the United States and there are no suspected cases in Vermont. This is an evolving situation and the College’s Emergency Management Team is monitoring it closely and will update the community via email and updates to this health alerts webpage.

Students Abroad


We are closely monitoring the situation in countries where we have students studying abroad and communicating directly with those students and their families. We have no students studying in countries that the U.S. Department of State rates as Level 3: Reconsider Travel or Level 4: Do Not Travel.  We have four students studying in central Italy, a country that has experienced a recent outbreak in the northern part of the country. Currently, the U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory for Italy is Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution, and the CDC has issued a Level 2 Health Alert for Italy, Practice Enhanced Precautions. Our Italian program providers are remaining operational, as are a number of other study abroad programs in Italy.

We will continue to be in close communication with our students in Italy and their program providers as well as follow all medical and public health guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the U.S. State Department.

For all students who are currently abroad:


  • Closely follow the protocols of your study abroad program and the recommendations of local government officials and International SOS.
  • All Saint Michael’s College study abroad students are covered by the College’s International Travel Assistance and Insurance Program and enrolled in the International Travel Registry that facilitates communication and support in the event of an emergency. These resources provide 24/7 assistance and communication.
  • We are sensitive to the concerns of our students abroad and their loved ones. The College will work with individual students to support their decisions and provide academic and logistical advice and resources relying on our education partnerships and risk management resources abroad and on campus. Independent of the College’s recommendations, we understand that students and families will need to make decisions that work best for them.
  • Students with questions about their study abroad program should contact their in-country program staff and their Saint Michael’s study abroad adviser. Students with questions about their health and safety should contact their in-country emergency contact or the Saint Michael’s College Study Abroad Office.
  • The Study Abroad Office can be reached by calling 802.654.2222 or emailing Peggy Imai at pimai@smcvt.edu.
  • In case of emergency contact:
    • Bergeron Wellness Center at: 802.654.2234
    • Saint Michael’s College switchboard: 654.2000
    • The Vermont Department of Health at: 802.863.7240

As the outbreak evolves, we will continue to post news recommendations from the CDC and other agencies on this page.

The most up to date information about COVID-19 can be found on the CDC, and Vermont Department of Health websites:

Vermont Department of Health

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

For members of our community who plan to travel in the coming weeks, please follow all CDC Travel Guidelines.

Updated February 6, 2020

From Bergeron Wellness Center

The flu is widespread in Vermont and has been for several weeks. The staff at the Bergeron Wellness Center have seen and diagnosed many cases. We are asking anyone with flu-like symptoms to wear a mask so they can protect their health and the health of others. So, if you see a student with a mask, thank them for keeping you healthier! And if you are experiencing symptoms of the flu, such as cough, fever, chills, body aches, etc. call for an appointment at the Bergeron Wellness Center at 654.2234.

This should not be confused with the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. There are no documented cases of the virus in our state at this time, but information continues to unfold daily. For the most up to date information on the Novel Coronavirus visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/index.html or https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

As with all viruses, protect yourself and others by washing your hands, staying home when your ill, cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough and don’t share drinks, bottles, etc.