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Springfield College releases details for return to campus plan

By Danny Priest
@dpriest3

Springfield College students will be able to head back to Alden Street for in-person instruction this fall. On Thursday, July 23, students received their first update on what that return to campus will look like.

Full details are available for the campus community to read in an email from President Mary-Beth Cooper.

Numerous details were provided in the e-mail, but these are the highlights for what students can expect come August.

Behavior

As expected, masks will be required to be worn at all times EXCEPT when students are in their residence halls, bathing, grooming, eating or exercising.

Regularly encouraged social distancing of six-feet will be expected during the time on campus.

Full rules will also be explained in the Springfield College Community Agreement to help keep those on campus safe and healthy.

Testing

Prior to arriving on campus, students are encouraged (but not required) to obtain a coronavirus test 72 hours ahead of arrival. Students who do obtain a test are also asked to bring proof of a negative test result with them. Should a student test positive, they must remain at home for 14 days.

Upon arrival, ALL students will be tested, even if they had a negative test prior to coming to campus. If a student is positive, they may decide between returning home for 14 days until they test negative, or entering Supported Isolation Housing on campus for 14 days until they test negative.

Every week, 10 to 20 percent of the student body will be randomly selected and tested for the coronavirus to identify positive tests in asymptomatic individuals. Students who are positive will again be moved to Supported Isolation Housing for 14 days before they are negative.

Students who report symptoms of COVID or are exposed to a positive case will be tested as recommended by the health center.

Individuals on campus who are exposed to someone with the virus will also be quarantined for 14 days. This will be done as part of contract tracing between the Springfield College Health Center and the City of Springfield Department of Public Health.

Supported Isolation Housing

A number of standalone buildings on campus have been set aside as isolation living spaces for students who test positive for the coronavirus. Students must remain in the building, take classes remotely, and will be monitored and provided food by the Residence Life and Health Center staffs.

Move-In

New and transfer students will move in via a staggered format from Wednesday, August 26 – Friday, August 28. Returning students will move in on the weekend prior to classes beginning from Friday, August 28, to Sunday, August 30. PrideNet will be used to allow students to select their move-in time.

Time slots for moving in are limited in terms of capacity and students are allowed a maximum of two non-students to help with moving in at any time.

Residence Life Living

A number of policies have been implemented for students to follow in residence halls including:

  • Designated spaces to enter and exit buildings
  • Hand sanitizing stations at all entrances
  • Limited elevator capacity
  • No outside guests (non-Springfield College students)
  • One Springfield College visitor in their residence hall at a time
  • Residence hall kitchens closed
  • Limited laundry capacity and scheduled usage

Full changes and policies are available in the email students received.

Orientation Programs

New Student Orientations (NSO), Pre-Camp and Cultural Connections will all still be held. Appropriate safety procedures will be implemented.

Dining

Cheney dining hall will be eliminating their buffet style dining options. “Grab and go” availability of meals will be created, capacity in the dining hall will be reduced, and increased sanitation and cleaning will occur.

Academics

Classes are scheduled to begin for all students on Monday, August 31. Due to arrival testing plans, the first week of the semester will be entirely remote learning.

Classrooms and labs are being altered to allow for social distancing and classes will be offered remotely and in-person. Students will take half of their classes in a face-to-face format.

Among other changes, classroom capacity has been significantly reduced, ventilation systems have been tests, filters have been replaced, and air ducts were cleaned. Classrooms that failed to meet air quality standards will not be used.

Questions 

Should students or their familes have questions, President Cooper will be hosting a zoom meeting next Thursday, July 30, at 7 p.m. to answer questions regarding all of these changes.

Information to join the zoom is available in the email.

As more information becomes available, The Student will continue to report. Until then, the goal is to keep everyone safe on Alden Street this fall.

Photo Courtesy Springfield College Facebook

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