At this time last week, the College moved from Level 1 in our BiCo Mitigation Plan to Level 2. We took this step in light of multiple instances of COVID-unsafe behavior over the course of last weekend by a minority of students who gathered unmasked, close together, and in some groups over the maximum allowed of 15 students.
As promised, we have reviewed our collective situation over the past week and write with an update that includes a decision regarding whether a change from the current Level 2 status is warranted.
- Over the past week, a number of students have decided that they would prefer to live and study away, either at home or in off-campus housing. We thank these students for taking the time to reflect and act in a way consistent with our concern for oneself and others.
- Several other students have received one-time-only formal warnings in connection with unsafe behavior and have promised to adhere to the rules going forward, and we thank them for their constructive response.
- We have also heard numerous reports of students reminding other students about the need for us all to abide by the rules at all times, and we thank them for taking ownership of their role in community.
- Behaviors through the week and across the weekend almost completely adhered to Level 2 specifications. All reports of concerns were tended to by Campus Safety and/or the deans.
For these reasons, the College will be moving to Level 1 effective immediately, and until further notice. A few reminders of what Level 1 means:
- In-person learning continues as scheduled (indeed, it had not been affected by the change to Level 2).
- Students may once again leave their rooms and move about the campus as long as they adhere to our health and safety protocols regarding universal masking, social distancing, etc.
- Indoor or outdoor gatherings are allowed and limited to 15 people, distanced and masked, subject to any space-specific capacity limits.
- Students may leave campus if needed for local errands. A student needing overnight travel for family or emergency reasons must request permission from their dean.
- Student travel across the BiCo outside of class attendance is permitted, as is in-person socializing with Bryn Mawr students. A BMC or Haverford student (enrolled for in-person instruction) can visit another dorm as a guest of a resident. Students are limited to one guest per person at a time.
- Commuting students may visit campus during non-class times.
- The Library is once again open as a study space and for accessing library resources. Please note that the Library, outside of the Cafe, may not be used as a dining or lounge space.
Varsity athletic practices, modified for current conditions and only with coaching supervision, begin tomorrow, Monday, September 21st. This coming week, all students will be tested for COVID-19 in our next round of screening tests; please follow the instructions from Health Services. Last week, we began additional testing of high-risk populations of students via targeted screening tests. You can see our cumulative testing data, as well as those of Bryn Mawr College, Swarthmore College, and the local area on our dashboard. Please be reminded that we have thorough plans and protocols in place in the event that a student tests positive for COVID-19.
Thanks again to the overwhelming proportion of students and to the full staff and faculty for doing your parts to minimize adding risk for all other members of the community. Truly, we can only succeed as individuals if we think—and act—in ways that put collective interests first.
Joyce Bylander, Dean of the College
Wendy Raymond, President