We are eagerly awaiting your return and looking forward to your arrival in the days and weeks ahead. As a reminder, all students enrolled at Norwich in the fall must be fully vaccinated, or have an approved medical or religious exemption. Proof of vaccination, or your religious or medical exemption request, was due August 1. We are grateful that so many members of the Norwich community are doing their part to protect the health and safety of our campus and surrounding community, which in turn allows us to provide the full campus experience you deserve.
With our vaccination requirement in place for all faculty, staff, and students, we will have a highly vaccinated campus community at the start of the fall semester.
A small number of students have not yet provided their proof of vaccination, medical or religious exemption, or request to vaccinate upon arrival; we are contacting these students via email, text, and personal phone call to facilitate their return to campus. Please note that any student who arrives without proof of vaccination, or without a medical or religious exemption, will be permitted to request the vaccination upon arrival and will be afforded the opportunity to request a medical or religious exemption; however, the student will NOT be allowed on campus, to live in the residence halls, or to attend in person classes until they agree to vaccination, or have their medical or religious exemption approved.
Requests for medical exemptions require a medical provider to complete the exemption form. Students in this very rare case will be asked to sign up for a vaccine pending the arrival of the medical exemption, and may be asked to leave campus if they do not receive the medical exemption in time and refuse to be vaccinated. Students who have not submitted the required vaccination information will not be eligible to enroll and attend Norwich in Fall 2021. This applies to all students in all programs at all levels, excluding those who have been granted an exemption or are in the process of completing their vaccination cycle.
We are making every effort to avoid disappointment upon arrival, please do your part and ensure you have taken the necessary steps to partake in the full campus experience.
COVID-19 Arrival Testing
With the rise in the number of positive COVID-19 cases attributed to the Delta variant across the United States and around the world, Norwich University has decided to implement COVID-19 testing during students’ reception on Day 0 (arrival) and Day 7. We remain fully committed to in-person learning, full participation in athletics, a robust schedule of student life experiences, and a full training schedule for cadets in our military lifestyle. To ensure the delivery of these experiences we simply need to screen arriving students to protect the local environment for our students, faculty, staff, and local community.
To meet this goal, all residential and commuter students on campus will be required to participate in COVID-19 testing upon their arrival (Day 0) and again on Day 7. Testing will be conducted on a daily basis beginning August 10th and continue throughout the arrival schedule for all students, both residential and commuter.
Pre-Arrival COVID-19 Testing
We are recommending pre-arrival testing for your convenience and safety. Pre-arrival testing will support our efforts to prevent the introduction and spread of the virus on our campus and in our local community at the beginning of the fall semester. The Delta variant of the coronavirus is highly transmissible; pre-arrival testing increases our ability to detect the virus before day zero testing on campus. Pre-arrival PCR tests should be taken within 72 hours of arriving on campus.
We would like to thank those students who complete pre-arrival testing. Students who arrive with and present a negative PCR test result will receive $10 CADETcash and will be entered into a drawing for a PlayStation 5.
Masking policies may evolve as Vermont Department of Health and CDC guidance is published. Our intent is to limit restrictions and to have a vibrant campus experience. As with last year, Norwich may be required to adhere to updated guidelines, thus students should be prepared to wear face masks in certain indoor settings. Guidelines from the CDC includes the recommendation that all unvaccinated persons wear masks in public indoor settings, a recommendation we support at Norwich. Based on emerging evidence on the Delta variant, CDC also recommends that fully vaccinated persons wear masks in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high transmission such as classrooms, labs, fitness facilities, the Academic Achievement Center, Counseling and Wellness Center, and similar indoor spaces. We will continue to review local, state, and federal guidelines and adjust accordingly.
For now the above guidelines are recommendations, which we review several times per week with our public health and medical professionals. To ensure maximum flexibility to respond to evolving requirements, we will again provide face masks to all students upon arrival. We also encourage all students to bring their own face masks to campus, with the reminder that students in uniform are required to wear a mask that is black in color.
Fall Sports Update
The majority of our fall athletes compete in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC). We are happy to announce that GNAC member institutions will resume a full schedule of exciting NCAA Division III competition this fall. In alignment with ongoing commitments to prioritizing the health and well-being of student-athletes and athletics personnel, GNAC approved updated COVID-19 protocols for GNAC conference and non-conference competition for the fall 2021 season. Athletic conference protocols are separate from Norwich University policies and may be more restrictive.
Per GNAC rules, fully vaccinated GNAC student-athletes, coaches, and staff are permitted to participate during the 2021 fall sports season without any restrictions. As of the date of this memorandum, all unvaccinated student-athletes, and those with a religious or medical exemption, will be permitted to participate in athletic competitions, practices, and associated activities provided they wear a mask during all activities and submit to testing at least twice per week. This accommodation is subject to change in accordance with athletic conference requirements and does not guarantee full participation in athletics for the duration of the fall season. Each institution is responsible for verifying the vaccination status of its athletes, coaches, and staff. Officials working GNAC competitions are required to provide proof of vaccination.
For those student-athletes and teams competing in our other athletic conferences (NEWMAC, NEHC, NIRA, NEWA, Men’s Rugby) we will be following the GNAC policy on vaccinations and testing until we are advised otherwise by those respective conferences.
Spectator attendance policies will take into account local, state, and CDC guidelines.
During the last academic year, the Norwich community came together in the face of this global pandemic as a singular and supportive team to learn on campus, find new ways to connect—and to keep our COVID-19 infection rate one of the lowest in the country. Our stated goal has been and remains to operate this academic year with as few restrictions as possible while providing a full campus experience, including in-person instruction. We are fully committed to fighting for our students and their success, along with the mental and physical health of our entire campus population and partner communities.
We are excited to welcome everyone back to campus in August to learn, live, and experience Norwich together in person again.
I look forward to seeing you all again very soon!
Norwich Together, Norwich Forever!
Dr. Mark Anarumo, President