Dear College Community,
It's been quite a week as we welcomed students back with the start of spring classes, celebrated the life and achievements of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and witnessed the swearing in of our 46th president, Joe Biden, and the swearing in of the first woman to hold the office of Vice President, Kamala Harris. In addition, lots are happening in Minnesota as the vaccine programs roll out and testing options expand. I am glad it's Friday! A few updates for you this week:
The Saints Rise Up Steering Committee met this week to review the results of a self-assessment of the College's COVID response efforts. Individuals leading the SRU Committee sub groups took the survey and offered their feedback and perspectives. In essence, we discussed process improvements as we move through Spring term to ensure improved and clearer communications. A summary of the findings is available by contacting Kris Church firstname.lastname@example.org in the Institutional Effectiveness/IR department. A summary of findings will be included at the Open Forum in February.
CSS Athletics has now resumed practices and are currently preparing for competitions slated to begin next week. All teams are adhering to the NCAA SSI testing requirements as well as MDH guidance. The UMAC athletic conference is still deciding on allowing spectators at athletic contests and an announcement will likely be made early next week. Big shout out to our athletic department staff for the remarkable work that has gone into the extensive planning to make spring competition possible.
Facilities update: Facilities staff will be continuing its disinfecting program throughout spring as they have this past fall. Sanitations will continue to be maintained in classrooms, labs and public spaces. If you have a need for cleaning or disinfecting supplies for your department please contact facilities directly.
HR update: Tax time is here and HR is working on W-2s. The deadline for the College to have those to you this year is February 1st. When they are done and ready to be accessed on BannerWeb or mailed to homes, a communication will be sent to let you know.
College Open Forum - mark your calendars: Administration will provide a College Update/Open Forum from 10 - 11:30 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 12 via Zoom. It will be recorded. The format will follow past forums and we invite you to submit questions in advance. If you have a question, please send it to Cari McMillan at email@example.com
Student Health Services update: Daily COVID symptoms screening is required of all students that attend any in-person activities on campus. Any student that will not be on the Duluth Campuses are not required to complete the daily symptom screening and can email SHS to be removed from the list. Student Health Service (SHS) plans to continue COVID-19 testing spring semester. We are able to test both symptomatic and asymptomatic patients. Students with symptoms can be tested and receive results in 15 minutes! We request that students call to set up appointments at this time.
Also, we are working with the MDH to become a COVID vaccine administration site. We will keep the campus community informed of when and how it will be rolled out when it becomes available.
If you have questions, please email or call/ firstname.lastname@example.org/ (218) 723-6282.
Spring Term return and Spring Break alternative reminder: As a reminder, for spring term we will be operating in a hybrid format just as fall semester started. Classes will be held in their scheduled formats (in-person, online or hybrid as determined by the departments), residence halls will be open and campus/extended site operations will continue as we have in the fall term.
For the residential Duluth campus, we are currently in a 2-week quiet period that limits in-person student activities and visitors in the residence halls, similar to what we did at the beginning of the fall semester.
A reminder that we have an "alternative spring break format" this year with the following dates set aside as "no class/no contact days". There will be no classes on the following dates, however administrative offices will be open. Also, a reminder that Community Day is canceled this spring and is included in this list:
Beginning January 24, St. Louis County is hosting a week-long event called "Project Blue Light" focused on supporting our front-line workers, especially our healthcare workers. From Monday, Jan. 25, the College will be participating "with a twist", and that is lighting Tower Hall green rather than blue. We are excited to honor our alumni, current students, faculty and staff by lighting Tower Hall green, a color that aligns with many of our healthcare program's regalia colors. St. Louis County is supportive of our customized approach. The other reality is that this color will project well against the dark blue stone of the building. A huge thank you to all frontline workers in our communities who have worked tirelessly during this global pandemic. A very special thank you to our wonderful healthcare alum and current students serving on the front lines.
Thank you all for welcoming our students back in the spirit of hospitality and love of learning, and for helping us deliver our Benedictine mission in these very challenging times. Please remember to adhere to our Community Pledge - wear your masks, wash your hands frequently and social distance. We have done such a great job to date in keeping our college as safe as possible and I commend your efforts and commitment to all we serve.