Effectively immediately, members of the Northfield community may use the university’s trail system on Paine Mountain for outdoor recreation. The campus facilities, including the Sabine Field track remain closed to the public.
While using the university’s trail system on Paine Mountain, community members are required to follow all Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Vermont Health Department guidelines including limiting group size to two people, physical distancing and wearing face masks.
Public access to the university’s trail system will remain in effect through Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021, when we anticipate students will be returning to campus for the spring semester. We are grateful to everyone on the Norwich campus and in the Northfield community for your role in keeping us all safe and supporting our in-person college experience for our students in 2021.
The Directors of the New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) have come to the difficult decision to cancel the 2020-21 league regular season schedule and championship tournament. Despite this news, I remain committed to working with our coaches and Director of Athletics to identify ways our student athletes can compete this season.
Our men’s and women’s hockey teams are both part of the NEHC, and now join our GNAC winter sport teams of men’s and women’s basketball, as well as men’s and women’s swimming and diving, in having their league seasons and championships cancelled. At this time, we do not have an update on the status of the wrestling championship.
The situation on the Norwich University campus remains unchanged from previous communications: We have three current positive cases in our university community, and zero positive cases on campus. We have continued to provide a large number of surveillance tests as advertised and promised.
There have been several guidelines and memos distributed from multiple university sources over the past week. Despite these communications, rumors are spreading on several issues. Please read this memo carefully for a consolidated factual update, and please help me control dissemination of inaccurate information by referring students, parents, and members of the Norwich community to the facts below.
Given rises in positive COVID-19 cases including recent positive tests from among our campus population and within our Washington County communities, we have enacted additional protective measures to protect the campus and ensure we finish the fall semester safely.
I have empowered the deans of our four colleges to work with our faculty to adapt teaching modalities to achieve their teaching and learning objectives through the end of the fall term. That may mean that your faculty will be communicating with you that your classes will be fully remote/online for the remainder of the fall semester in order to de-densify our campus and keep you healthy and safe as you ready to depart for the Thanksgiving holiday. Your faculty will continue to support you if this occurs to make any transition to fully remote learning seamless and successful.
Students who wish to depart campus early are permitted to do so through coordination with the Commandant or Residence Life staff. All personal items must be boxed and sealed in advance of your departure as previously communicated to you by the Student Affairs staff. All students should check with their academic advisor, faculty, and Commandant and Student Life staff to ensure departure will not affect successful completion of the fall semester.
We are in the final weeks of in-person instruction on campus. What we have accomplished this Fall is nothing short of remarkable, and I thank each of you for your role in keeping us all safe and supporting our in-person college experience. Students will soon be departing for the Thanksgiving holiday, the online conclusion of the fall semester, and winter break.
Our faculty have delivered their courses at an exceptional level of excellence this semester, something we should all applaud. In-person academic instruction, in addition to other residential training and learning opportunities, was possible only because we have treated the current public health threat seriously. As your President, I must continue to ensure the safety of our students, faculty, staff, and entire community. It is in this spirit, and for the reasons cited below, we must return to a more restrictive environment for the remainder of the fall term.
We are so pleased in how your commitment to an on-campus experience allowed to us to remain residential for the majority of the fall semester. As you know, all students will leave campus by Nov 25th and not return again until January. In order to maintain the safety of all, the departure process will be a bit more complex than it has been in years past. We are providing this communication with all the information you need to plan your departure.
Emergency Leave: Emergency leave is still authorized as we prepare for winter break, but students who must leave campus and travel to a quarantine required area and do not return to campus by November 6th, will not be allowed to return to campus this semester and must complete the check-out process prior to leaving.
On March 27, 2020 the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) was signed into federal law. Included in the Act was the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) to support college students whose education was disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic with financial grants. These emergency grants are intended to assist students with unanticipated expenses for food, housing, academic course materials, technology, health care and childcare.
As with so many other aspects of college life, the uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic have changed how we must approach and plan for the remainder of this academic year. Together with the entire university leadership team, we have evaluated factors that have contributed to our university’s low prevalence of COVID-19 cases, the experiences of other colleges and universities, state of Vermont guidance, and the realities of the upcoming winter season in Vermont to formulate our Spring semester operational plan.