April 1, 2022
April 1 Safe Return update
Happy April! We have a series of updates for you this week, including guidance from the CDC and some changes to the Minnesota COVID testing program. I hope your month is off to a great start, and thank you again for all you are doing to support this last leg of the semester with our students.
Updated booster guidance from the CDC
On March 29, the CDC updated booster dose guidance to expand eligibility for some people to get a second vaccine booster. Adults age 50 and older and some immunocompromised individuals are now eligible to get a second Pfizer or Moderna booster dose at least four months after their first booster (whether they received a Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson booster). Older adults—especially those with underlying medical conditions—and people with compromised immune systems are at higher risk of severe health impacts if infected by COVID-19, and are therefore among those most likely to benefit from the additional protection of a second booster shot.
You can read more about this new guidance on the CDC’s Vaccine Booster Shots site.
Minnesota At-Home Testing Program update
Two important updates about the availability of PCR (processed in a lab) and antigen/rapid (self-administered) COVID-19 tests:
- PCR Tests: As announced by the State of Minnesota, Vault Health’s at-home COVID-19 testing program will be ending this week. Beginning April 1, 2022, no-cost tests cannot be ordered through the MN At-Home Program via Vault’s website. However, if you are in need of a test, Vault will continue to offer free testing at community sites across the state in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Health. You can also continue to order at-home tests from the Vault website at your own expense located here. These tests can be submitted to insurance for possible reimbursement, and are also HSA/FSA eligible.
- Rapid Tests: This week Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) launched a new program that will enable Minnesotans to order free rapid COVID-19 tests online for delivery directly to their homes and campus mail. Use this link to order two rapid at-home COVID-19 test kits (four tests total) for free, while supplies last.
First Generation Reception
Over 50 members of the campus community came together on Tuesday, March 29 in support of first-generation identity, marking the College’s first-annual First Generation Reception! The reception was sponsored by the institution’s First-Generation Forward Fellows, a cohort of campus advocates who are committed to first-generation student success.
Read the full recap and see a photo of our first-gen faculty, staff and students on our News Center.
Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month
April is Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month around the nation and at The College of St. Scholastica. Sexual harassment, assault and abuse happen in person and online. While many people understand the definition of consent to include an enthusiastic yes, one in three female-identifying Scholastica students still reports being victims of sexual assault (2021 Boynton Student Health Survey).
This April, the Violence Intervention and Prevention Program has compiled this list of resources including books, movies, podcasts and resources related to the impact of sexual violence, prevention, and resources. You can also get involved is by wearing teal on Tuesday, April 12 to show solidarity and support for victims and survivors of sexual violence.
In case you missed it, earlier this week we announced that Dave Williams is officially our head coach of Men’s Hockey! Our thanks to Dave for leading the program through a challenging transition, to an above .500 season for the first time in five years and for his calm and steady leadership during great adversity with the NCAA. An additional bonus; Ross Kovacs is staying on as our full-time men’s hockey Assistant Coach!
Synod on Synodality
The College of St. Scholastica is participating in the Synod on Synodality in cooperation with the Diocese of Duluth’s Let’s Listen initiative and the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities. You are invited to participate with us. These opportunities are open to anyone who has been impacted by the Catholic Church, Catholics and non-Catholics alike.
We will host an in-person session for faculty and staff in Somers Lounge on the Kenwood campus on Thursday, April 7 from 9-11 a.m. with a meal provided (please RSVP here by April 6). If you are not able to attend our in-person session or if you would prefer to provide feedback virtually, you are invited to use this google form.
We hope to hear from you! Please reach out to a member of the Synod Planning Team, Jessica Ellingson, Mark Hakes, or Sister Kathleen Del Monte if you have any questions.
Benedictine gathering – you are invited!
Please stop by between 3-4:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 21 in the Benedictine Commons to visit with faculty, staff and Sisters. An assortment of snacks and beverages will be served. It will be a nice opportunity to celebrate the arrival of spring and catch up with colleagues.
Great Colleges Survey
Thank you to everyone who already participated in our Great Colleges to Work For survey. If you have not yet used your voice, please take a few moments to complete this anonymous, confidential survey (search for ‘Great Colleges’ in your inbox). We view this survey as a great opportunity to assess the culture of our campus after a couple of years of unforeseen challenges and to demonstrate our willingness to listen to your concerns.
The results are in!
Give to CSS Day blew past our goal of 300 participants with 463 donors, contributing $118,532. Fifteen different initiatives were highlighted supporting many areas of the College and championed by faculty, staff and alumni. Thank you to all project leads for their time and dedication. It’s not too early to start thinking about how you can collaborate with College Advancement to highlight your project next year. Look for Give to CSS Day 2023 and project submission information in September!
A Brand New Day
From March 24-26, the Concert Choir and Bella Voce ensembles traveled to the Twin Cities for a tour, previewing their upcoming concert titled A Brand New Day. Seventy-five Scholastica students, along with Bret Amundson, Richard Carrick, and Emily Valine, visited Cloquet, Centennial, Saint Michael Albertville, and Buffalo high schools where they participated in a choral exchange with more than 400 high school singers. In addition to their exceptional performances, our students answered questions about academics, life, and fine arts at the College.
Additionally, on Friday, March 25, the choirs presented a formal concert at Hamline Church United Methodist in Saint Paul, where they performed for a full house. The concert was live-streamed, and an archived recording can be found here. You can also see photos from the concert on our Facebook page.
Enjoy your weekend, many blessings and stay safe,