Union Where You Are: Plans for 2020-21

Keeping our campus safe and open - we need your help

Publication Date

Dear students,

In the past four days, we have had more than 50 student cases on campus. We need your help.

While the campus quarantine in January was difficult, we saw how effective it was in reducing the number of positive cases. We learned lessons about the activities and interactions that were adding to the spread and which ones were safer than others. To realize the successful spring term we all want on our beautiful campus, effective immediately we need you to do the following:

  1. Avoid being indoors with others, if possible, especially for informal or unstructured activities.
  2. We must re-establish our Union bubble. This means we have to identify remaining and returning students who have become infected with COVID, and limit interactions with people outside Union.
  3. We must redouble our efforts to abide by our health and safety protocols including masking and distancing that allowed us to keep infection rates low for most of the academic year.

Immediate Actions

  • Do not go to restaurants, bars, or off-campus gyms.
  • Avoid indoor gatherings, other than classes and other formal College activities.
  • Do not host non-Union guests, including parents, in your on- or off-campus residence.
  • Choose to be outside over being inside when interacting with others.
    • Use the campus tents, fire pits and picnic tables.
    • Exercise outside. Go for a walk, run or play Frisbee golf on our on-campus course. Looking for more activities? Find them here.
    • Support your friends and classmates as they compete in Union’s spring athletic events.
  • To reestablish our bubble, all on-campus students must be here to test twice during the first week of classes. Any who do not will be moved to remote status for the term.
  • COVID-19 Testing
    • Students remaining on campus or in the area for spring break should schedule an additional test for Friday, March 26.
    • Twice-weekly testing is required from March 29-April 8 for all students and weekly testing employees. As a reminder, if you miss more than two tests, you will be converted to remote status. To be clear, if you intend to access campus during spring term, you must test twice next week.
  • Dining will be grab and go only. Indoor seating will be removed. We encourage you to eat outside. Remember to socially distance.
  • Schaffer Library and study spaces will be available. It is critical that you mask and maintain social distancing in these spaces. Those who do not will be asked to leave.
  • As we have no evidence of spread in classrooms, in-person classes will continue as planned, starting on March 29.

This situation is serious, but we know from experience and from the guidance of our public health consultant, that once again, with immediate, aggressive action and sacrifice by all, we can reduce the spread on campus. There is much joy and discovery that awaits us during spring term. Doing your part today will help us get to an on-campus spring with fewer restrictions.

Be well,

David Harris
President

Fran’Cee Brown-McClure
Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students

Strom Thacker
Dean of Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs