Reminders on COVID-19 Policies

Good Afternoon and Happy Friday!

Congratulations on completing the first full week of classes in the second semester! I wanted to take an opportunity to follow-up with some updates and reminders.

Everfi Courses

In the last week, new and returning students have received course assignments from our partner Everfi. Additionally, new students who did not complete the mandatory courses in the fall semester – Alcohol Education, Sexual Assault Prevention, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and Mental Wellbeing – have been reassigned the incomplete courses. These are mandatory courses as part of the Orientation program at Wheaton College. Please contact [email protected] if you have any questions or concerns.

Given the positive feedback about the Mental Wellbeing course from the new students in the fall, in addition to our commitment as an institution to provide ongoing supportive mental health awareness, education and resources, we made the decision to implement this resource for all of our returning students. Sophomore, Junior and Senior students should have received an email from Everfi about the Mental Wellbeing course earlier this week. This course is meant to help build your toolkit of resources and coping skills as we all try to navigate this pandemic together. Please contact [email protected] if you have any questions or concerns.

COVID-19 Policy Reminders

Tomorrow will mark two weeks since we have started welcoming students back to campus for the second semester. However, it has been a different semester already with several positive cases involving symptomatic students and close contacts becoming positive. Additionally, we have seen some challenges around student compliance with the community expectations. We are hopeful that we will not be like the other colleges that needed to shift to temporary remote operations in recent weeks, but we need your cooperation. Please take a moment to review the policies below and recommit to the spirit of the Community Commitment. We can only stop the spread by working together!

  • Testing: All students will be required to test twice weekly throughout the semester if they are living on campus or coming to campus at least three times a week for any reason. A week is considered Monday through Friday and you cannot test on back to back days. Schedule all of your semester appointments ahead of time of the CoVerified App. Please take note that the testing center is closed 12pm-1pm for lunch, and closes at 4:15pm for the day.
  • Face Coverings: All community members are required to wear a mask or face covering at all times when you are outside your residence hall room, with the exception of bathing and eating. Please note that bandanas, neck gaiters and masks with exhalation valves are not permitted. As some N95 masks have these valves, those will be permitted only with a surgical mask used over the N95 mask.
  • Guests: To start the Spring semester, on-campus residential students may have any on-campus residential student that lives in their same residential hall, house or suite as their guest in their private bedroom area of their assigned residence hall, house or suite. Each room resident is able, and limited, to host only one guest at a time. As such, the maximum occupancy of a room with one resident present is two people and the maximum occupancy of a room with two or more residents present is four people. Off-campus guests are NOT permitted in the residence halls and theme houses; this has been the policy all year and will not change for this semester.
  • Travel: All students have been encouraged to limit their travel off campus to essential travel only. A special note about the Massachusetts Travel Order: you will be required to adhere to the travel order if you choose to leave the state at any time during the semester. Please email [email protected] if you plan to leave the state overnight.
  • Vaccinations: If you were able to receive a COVID-19 vaccination, please email [email protected] with a picture of your vaccination card with the dates.

Given the increased focus on the health and safety of our community, violations of the Community Standards and COVID-19-related policies will result in elevated disciplinary measures. Major violations, including but not limited to, hosting a social gathering or not complying with quarantine/isolation procedures, will likely result in loss of housing and restriction from campus. As a reminder, Wheaton’s jurisdiction extends to behaviors both on and off campus.

We also want to recognize the positive role models on campus so look out for the CoVerified Champions and new raffle opportunities next week! See the email from Ed Burnett this morning for more information.

Quarantine Bag

Lastly, I would encourage students to be prepared. As I have included in previous communications, no one thinks it will happen to them but it is important that we are all ready to go into quarantine or isolation with no warning. Please review the information about packing a quarantine bag and what you should have available.

I hope you have a safe, enjoyable, and relaxing weekend!

Stay safe and be well,

Dean Zack