Community Update on COVID-19
Dear Marlboro Community,
As we are all witnessing, the COVID-19 outbreak is causing rapid, daily changes in the way we live and work. I am grateful for your support and patience as we continue to make changes to the way we operate in response to this pandemic. I am very thankful for the care and concern you have shown for Marlboro and each other, and for the many people working hard in support of this effort. In response to recent changes, we are taking the following steps:
In-person classes are canceled for the remainder of the spring semester. We had planned to consider this decision later in the week, but conditions surrounding the spread of COVID-19 have accelerated both in Vermont and nationwide. I realize that this decision puts a special burden on students to continue their work in a new way that will require significant support from our faculty. The College remains committed to delivering a vibrant academic program through the end of the semester, even if it will be delivered differently than we anticipated. Faculty will be reaching out to students in their courses and tutorials over the next two weeks to address the changes to a remote format.
Students who are currently on campus completing Plan work over break must complete that work by this Friday, March 20 at 4:00 pm and will be required to leave campus housing no later than this Sunday, March 22 at 12:00 pm. We initially announced that students working on Plan would be able to stay on campus through March 29, but unfortunately current circumstances don’t allow this. You must pack up your rooms and bring all of your belongings with you when you leave campus. Details on when and how students who have already left for break will be able to return to campus to move out will follow later this week.
We are committed to assisting students in need during this unprecedented time. If you have questions about resources for leaving campus and returning home or have other concerns, please contact Patrick Connelly, Dean of Students, at firstname.lastname@example.org. For international students, Maggie Patari (email@example.com) will be reaching out to you shortly to coordinate your next steps.
We recognize that there are a small number of students who cannot go home and will need to remain on campus for the rest of the semester. The process for requesting permission to remain on campus will be sent out in a separate email shortly.
If you have approval to continue to live on campus, either for the remainder of this week or for the rest of the semester, you must not travel beyond Windham County in Vermont.
Students who are part of the Federal Work-Study program will continue to be paid even if they are not able to work on campus.
The College will refund to students and their families a prorated portion of the room and board costs for the remainder of the semester.
All college buildings—including academic buildings and residential houses—will be closed to the public as of 4:00 pm on Friday, March 20. Effective immediately, visitors are not permitted in campus facilities. The only exception is families assisting students moving out of their residences.
All in-person gatherings—both for students and employees—are strongly discouraged. Social distancing remains a critical factor in reducing community spread, and we ask that all members of our community interact with as few people as possible in the near term.
We are still committed to holding commencement at the close of the semester, though we are expecting that we will need to change the date to later in the spring. All of us recognize how important this commencement is for our community, and we look forward to having students, faculty, and staff back on campus to mark this important occasion if conditions permit. I will keep you informed as we know more.
As students you have lost something that is difficult, if not impossible, to ever recover. This is especially true of our seniors, but it is also true for every student who was looking forward to this final spring on the hill. As much as we know that this is the right decision given the circumstances, this is an unexpected and irreconcilable loss. It is real and painful for all of us.
I am heartbroken that this is how our last semester on the hill is ending. This is not the path that anyone wanted. I look forward with genuine hope that we can come together for commencement to celebrate our students’ accomplishments and remember the remarkable legacy of this special place on Potash Hill.
Kevin F. F. Quigley
March 16, 2020