Good morning, Monks!
Is it our new routine to start, or end, our e-correspondence with statements of staying safe, hoping family is healthy, I sure hope those dogs of yours aren't mass spreaders, etc.? I mean, I love the sentiment. It's just, this is a whole new phrase-ology than I was used to before March. Just an observation.
So this morning I have the task of summarizing all of the work that the College has done to prepare for your return to campus. My weapon of choice, usually, are bullet points, but I've been at this blog for a few days, and I think I can hold your attention without them.
This whole on-campus, in-person College experience is a bit of an experiment, as you may have guessed. But....not so much of an experiment that we don't know what works, to limit the presence and the spread, of this (or any other) virus. Staying distanced even when you're talking to friends, washing your hands and staying clean, and covering your face (and that means your mouth and your nose, guy at Hannaford).
Again, you should expect us to adapt in real-time to the situation that faces us. If new science comes out saying dogs have COVID-19 and are mass carriers, say goodnight, Olive, Elsie, and Chappy. I'm kidding. But maybe we'll change our policies around having dogs on campus. And that change means things will look differently than they do today. If you got the joke, there's more on our Counseling Center over the weekend.
If you want to skip over all of the witty commentary, I'd direct you to our website Prepared with Purpose. There's a lot here, but we think it's a great place for all of the questions that you might be having about your classroom experience, what happens if you or a friend tests positive for COVID-19, our policies on face coverings, how dining will work, down to the types of chemicals we'll be using around campus that will keep things clean, and you safe.
It's a dynamic site - which means it's not done, and we'll change it, too, based on what we learn. Just this week, there was a minor kerfuffle around bandanas, the incubation time period of the virus, and the effectiveness of face shields (that last one is a doozy....even the Maine CDC and the Federal CDC aren't in agreement).
I can't blame them.
This thing has required all of us to summon boat-loads of patience, understanding, and a recognition that as we know more about how this virus is affecting us and our communities, we'll change our practices.
And, we'll do it together. That, I hope, is simple enough.
Have a great weekend doing what you need to do. If that includes checking out the blog, I'll see you tomorrow.
10 days until the first day of class!
Matt Goodwin is the Dean of Students at Saint Joseph’s College.
Along with a team of animal-loving Campus Life professionals in the areas of Student Engagement & Residential Living, Counseling Center, Health & Wellness Center, Campus Safety, and the Mercy Center, Campus Life supports students’ holistic personal development, learning, and empowerment in service to a global community.