AUGUST 6, 2020 | TOWN HALL ON FALL 2020
21 questions and answers as captured from Town Hall Meeting with President Anarumo on August 6, 2020.
Q: Will postponed commencement remain on Sept. 12?
A: Yes, but it will be virtual. President Emeritus Richard W. Schneider will speak as scheduled.
Q: Given that the postponed commencement is virtual, will the Class of 2020 ever get to graduate onstage?
A: Yes. President Mark C. Anarumo declared, in consultation with student leaders, that Class of 2020 graduates may return to campus any year they’d like when the pandemic passes and the traditional rite returns to walk the stage. The invitation will remain open until every 2020 grad who wishes to stage-walk has.
Q: Will campus amenities, including the Sabine Field running track and field, the Paine Mountain trails and the gyms be open to Northfield residents when school resumes?
A: No, not at first. For the health and safety of residents, the campus and all its features will be open only to students, faculty and staff through Sept. 9. Norwich University will reassess this policy then and issue a new directive Sept. 14.
Q: With off-campus for students limited to cases in which they have special permission from the dean of students or the commandant, how will they shop for sundries unavailable on campus?
A: Norwich University will arrange with local grocery stores and restaurants to deliver food and sundries to campus.
Q: Did academic merit figure in decisions about who would be offered spots on campus for the fall given the limited capacity necessitated by Vermont and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention safety guidelines?
Q: Did some students who’d been offered on-campus beds opt out?
Q: Will students be issued face masks?
A: We’re asking students to bring some from home, but students will also be issued two washable, reusable masks. There will also be instruction on how to clean and use them.
Q: Will students be expected to monitor their own health?
A: Yes. Students will do daily health assessments. If they’re feeling ill, and need to take their classes online that day, they should.
Q: Will there be passive temperature-taking stations?
A: Yes. Several will be placed on campus to check the body temperatures of passing students. Spikes will signal the need for reassessment and next steps.
Q: Is there any chance the decision to cancel fall sports will be reversed?
A: No, especially given that the schools Norwich would ordinarily play have canceled their schedules. The goal now is to have winter and spring sports if state health guidelines allow.
Q: Will fall sports shift to the spring?
A: Undetermined. University officials and coaches are assessing possibilities.
Q: Will rooks be able to keep their electronics, including their cellphones, while they are in quarantine and isolation?
Q: If a COVID-19-positive student requires hospitalization, how will that student get to the hospital and who will take him or her?
A: The university will take the student to the Central Vermont Medical Center in Berlin, Vermont.
Q: How do adjust my on-campus meal plan?
Q: How will chow be served?
A: Because of health protocols, students will no longer self-serve. They will point out which foods they’d like as they go through the line and a server will plate the food.
Q: Will there be classes on Labor Day?
Q: Will there be further coronavirus tests after the two at the semester’s start?
A: Yes. Seven hundred fifty students will be tested each week throughout the semester leading up to Thanksgiving break.
Q: What are the new cleaning procedures for dorm rooms?
A: There will be standard dorm room cleaning every day plus additional cleaning of common areas and bathrooms. If a student is placed in isolation, Facilities Operations will follow cleaning guidelines established by the Vermont Health Department.
Q: Will students who refuse to follow health protocols be asked to leave campus?
A: Yes. No one student can be allowed to risk the full campus community’s health.
Q: What became of belongings left on campus last semester?
A: Students who arrived Aug. 8 to quarantine had their belongings moved to new rooms if they were reassigned to new rooms. If students kept their rooms from last year, the belongings weren’t moved.
Q: I’m a returning student and I don’t have to quarantine. Will I get to move my left-behind belongings?
A: Facilities Operations packed and stored these items in military vans or barracks storage. Arriving students will be able to retrieve and move their items. If you have questions about the rearranging of personal belongings, ask your company mentor if you’re in the Corps of Cadets or Sean O’Reilly if you’re a civilian student.