Aug. 1: COVID-19 Response Update
We continue toward our re-opening of campus and the start of the fall semester. The 16 subcommittees of the Enhanced Emergency Management Team are now implementing the final components of their work. This is an update of their efforts.
1. This summer, Castleton hosted a number of camps on campus that followed guidelines set by the state. It has been a successful summer. Hosting these groups allowed us to understand the complexities to our plan for the fall. Cleaning procedures, dining protocols, mask use, COVID-19 testing, and meeting space coordination are a few systems in which we have gained more confidence.
2. While the campus remains at stage 4 of our re-opening plan, some spaces such as the fitness center and library will be opening soon. Watch for notifications under separate emails. The goal is to have opened most of campus by August 13. Many offices are considering how best to serve students and others in stage 5 with a goal to create a safe environment for all. Lots of plexiglass has been installed around campus in anticipation of a face-face interaction, however, all offices are expected to offer access via phone and zoom to all. The need for social distancing should not stop access to services.
3. Sodexo, our partner for campus dining, has published a video titled “How-To-Do-Huden”, which reviews what to expect for the fall.
4. New Student Orientation has gone fully online. In addition to 8 online modules with interactive videos, the Orientation Committee has been hosting a variety of open zoom meetings for first-year students, transfer students, and families.
5. The Office of Residence life is getting ready to welcome those choosing to live on campus.. Move-in dates, testing protocols, and expectations for the fall semester are all being delivered directly to our residents. Any student who will access resources on campus this fall will have to be tested for COVID-19 minimally seven days after arrival. In some instances, testing occurs on the first day of arrival. All students, on-campus and off, will need to be tested or declared themselves eligible to opt-out. Those who opt-out will not be able to access the campus in person until the start of the spring semester in 2021. Learn more about our testing requirements on our website. The Castleton Lodge at Killington is getting ready to open as well using all the same protocols as the main campus.
6. There are lots of consideration being paid on how to maintain a vibrant co-curricular experience, offering programming to those who are online as well as those choosing to live on campus. Large meeting places are being considered for programming by Campus Activities Board, Residence Life, and more for the fall semester. The Homecoming weekend activities will be delivered virtually over multiple days, creating a week-long celebration that includes our Alumni, Students, Parents, Faculty, and Staff. The challenge of our time appears to be met with creativity and opportunity which will create new traditions as we consider new ways to deliver programs now and in the future.
Thank you for doing your part to protect yourself and our community.
Dennis P. Proulx
Chair Emergency Management Team
Dean of Students