The College will hold full in-person residential instruction with the traditional fourteen-week semester beginning as scheduled on August 23 with the traditional fall break (no classes on October 11 and 12) and Thanksgiving break (beginning after classes on November 23 until November 29). See the academic calendar. The College is not planning to offer remote study during the 2021–22 academic year. The following information is subject to change during the semester or the academic year.
Given high transmission levels in Prince Edward County, all individuals – both vaccinated and unvaccinated – are currently required to wear masks inside campus buildings when others are nearby (within 6 feet). This is in accordance with the CDC’s July 28 recommendation regarding masking in areas with substantial or high levels of community transmission. This is subject to change as conditions evolve, and the College will notify the community of any updates. The TigeRec Fitness Center is currently following NCAA guidance regarding masking for those exercising inside the facility and Kirby Gymnasium: Masks are required for unvaccinated individuals, and strongly recommended for those who are vaccinated. Students, we expect you to be on your honor in following this policy.
Students for whom we do not have a vaccination record must undergo testing upon their return to campus and be tested weekly. This testing won’t be optional and if you do not get tested, you will not be able to attend classes. Such absences will be unexcused.
- The Dean of Faculty’s Office is adjusting classroom spaces and, in some cases, reassigning classrooms to allow the requisite six-foot spacing between occupants who are not on file as being fully vaccinated. Class enrollments will be limited to enrollment caps to enable social distancing in available classrooms. For the safety of themselves and others, students will be asked to follow instructions from their professor about seating arrangements. This will ensure proper physical distancing between vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals.
- As was the case in 2020-2021, some spaces on campus not ordinarily designated as classroom spaces will be used as teaching spaces to allow safe distances between students.
- Faculty members will conduct in-person group work and hands-on learning activities in ways that maintain six feet around unvaccinated participants.
- Faculty members should be prepared to meet remotely with students who are unable to meet during designated office hours, particularly due to illness. Faculty members may find that a judicious mix of mostly in person with some Zoom office hours works best.
The vaccines are proving effective at preventing infection and serious illness, including from the more contagious Delta variant. Public health recommendations are that everyone eligible should be vaccinated. If, for any reason, you have not yet been vaccinated, please consult with your family physician about whether you should get vaccinated. Vaccinations are readily available without appointment at Walmart, CVS, and Walgreens. If you need assistance in arranging for a vaccination, including help with transportation, contact the Dean of Students’ office.
According to NCAA guidelines, any student-athlete for whom we don’t have a vaccination record must mask during indoor athletic activities and travel, remain socially distanced, avoid locker rooms, and be tested regularly. Due to limited staffing, only students who have provided a vaccination record may participate in intramural or club sports.
Isolation and Quarantine
Students and employees who contract COVID or who are unvaccinated and come into close contact with someone who has COVID, will need to isolate or quarantine at home. (We will work to identify alternatives for students who live further from campus or who would create a health risk for others by traveling home.) As they did last year, faculty members will work with students who are ill or in isolation or quarantine to help keep students on track.
As was the case last year, the College will be contact tracing for the campus community. Whether vaccinated or not, people can still contract and spread this virus and must take appropriate steps if they have symptoms or have had close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or has symptoms. In cases of close contact or questions, students should notify the Health Center; staff should notify the Office of Human Resources; faculty should notify Dean of Faculty’s office.
Visitors to the College will be expected to comply with all College Covid mitigation policies.
The Bortz Library staff has adjusted library spaces and services to allow for adequate space between patrons, including at service desks and in seating areas. Through its electronic newsletter and signage, library staff will notify patrons of new expectations in the Bortz Library, including: using and leaving all furniture where it has been placed; limiting use of group study rooms to the posted occupancy as determined by library staff based on room size; using outside porch and covered areas as weather permits; using designated book drop/equipment return areas rather than handing materials to staff members or student employees; maximizing use of electronic interlibrary loan services for articles and book chapters; accessing research assistance in person with physical distancing or by phone, email, or chat feature on the library’s website; and observing all required safety precautions, including social distancing, wearing face masks, and limiting shared materials when using library services in person.
Food Service will resume pre-COVID operations; however, there will be to-go options and we encourage students to make use of outdoor seating. All students, employees, and guests are required to wear face masks while in the Pannill Commons, Tiger Inn, and at catered functions. Patrons may remove their face masks while eating and drinking in designated dining areas.
Events may be held in person as long as the space can accommodate 6 feet of social distancing for individuals who are not vaccinated. Organizers should request that individuals attending in person events seat themselves in areas where social distancing is possible. All attendees should be reminded of the college policy that everyone be masked at indoor events. Be aware that some additional spaces are being utilized as classrooms and may not be available or, if available, will need to be utilized with desks and classroom setups left in place. (These spaces include: Crawley Forum, Parents and Friends Lounge, the first and fourth floor of the Library, the Cabell Room, the Board and Chair Rooms in Pannill, and Fellowship Hall in the Church.)
Faculty committees, department meetings and other faculty groups are encouraged to meet in person as we seek to restore the campus to normal operations. However, faculty have discretion to make decisions as to whether they need to meet remotely. If a member of the group would like to participate but is unable to attend in person for health reasons, the department or committee chair should make attendance possible through remote communication.
The Dean of Faculty, Dr. Walter C. “Mike” McDermott III, will continue to serve as Hampden-Sydney’s COVID-19 coordinator. The Director of Human Resources, Ms. Sue Carter, will respond to questions regarding sick leave policies and requests for reasonable accommodations.