Happy New Year Maroons!
We are looking forward to your arrival in February. This communication outlines information you will need to prepare for your return to campus. As you know, our semester was pushed back to a Feb. 8 start date for spring semester classes. This was partially due to the expected nationwide increase in COVID-19 cases, as well as the College campus network outage.
We are encouraged by your successful work this past semester. Ending the semester safely was a big accomplishment for Roanoke College, and we thank you. We learned a lot and now have a formula for success that will help us achieve a successful, healthy semester this spring.
As you know, Roanoke College experienced a significant network outage in December. The College IT staff continues to work on rebuilding our network and the programs needed to conduct College business and operate the campus. If you have not yet reset your password, please plan to do so soon so you can get the latest information and updates about the return to campus. Information about how to reset your password and the status of the network restoration can be found at roanoke.edu/cyber. Many of you have asked about ordering your textbooks. That system is now available, and students can purchase textbooks via the online bookstore.
As expected, there is a post-holiday increase in COVID-19 cases across the country. We encourage everyone to maintain vigilance and do everything to help deter spread of the virus: wear a mask, wash or sanitize your hands often, keep six feet of distance between you and others, and avoid large gatherings, especially those indoors. It will again take every one of us working together to make our spring semester safe and healthy. Vaccinations have begun in Virginia, but we do not yet know when the entire College community will be eligible for the vaccine. We will share more with the campus community about local vaccination availability as we know more. Meanwhile, we encourage you to monitor your local health department for information about your area.
Testing Prior to Campus Return
In an effort to contain the virus from the start, ALL students must have a COVID-19 test with negative results taken five days prior to arrival on campus this semester. Results should be provided to the Student Health Center via the Student Health Portal. Due to the continued spread of the COVID-19 virus in most communities across the country, we recommend staying close to home for 10 days prior to move-in. Continue to wear a mask, wash your hands, and avoid gathering with anyone outside your household.
Once students are back on campus, all students will be re-tested approximately a week after arrival. During the semester, the College will test students experiencing symptoms as needed. Typically, the College has both PCR and rapid tests available. The College also plans to do random testing throughout the semester to help track and identify asymptomatic cases.
The CDC and VDH have provided updated guidance regarding exposure to COVID-19. While 14 days remains the recommended quarantine period following exposure to an infected person, individuals may complete a shorter quarantine based on the degree of exposure. Student Health staff will make this determination during the contact tracing process.
“We are encouraged by your successful work this past semester. Ending the semester safely was a big accomplishment for Roanoke College, and we thank you. We learned a lot and now have a formula for success that will help us achieve a successful, healthy semester this spring. ”
President Michael C. Maxey
Moving to campus
Those who are living on campus this semester should have received an email from Res Life on Jan. 11 with links for move-in day scheduling. Students may choose Feb. 1, 3, 5 or 7. No one may move in on other dates. Standard, safe COVID-19 protocols will be in place for students and anyone helping them move in. Students may have two adults to help with moving into the halls.
Off-campus and Commuter students
Students who live off campus or at home are also required to have a COVID-19 test with negative results taken five days prior to arrival on campus. Results should be provided to Student Health Center via the Student Health Portal.
Due to the continued spread of the COVID-19 virus in most communities across the country, we recommend staying close to home for 10 days prior to move in. Continue to wear a mask, wash your hands, and avoid gathering with anyone outside your household.
Those who live off campus or at home should plan to adhere to the same protocols off campus as on campus. These students should not host gatherings or attend large gatherings at other homes or at bars or restaurants.
COVID-19 safety protocols
We will again be operating under COVID-19 safe rules on campus. The following rules to the conduct code are in effect for Spring 2021.
- Follow the face covering policy and distancing requirements
- Complete the Daily Health Assessment each day you are on campus. This reports any possible COVID-19 symptoms to the Student Health Center for follow up.
- Adhere to quarantine or isolation guidelines as directed by Student Health Services if you are exposed or test positive for COVID-19. This includes students living off campus.
- For the health and safety of the campus community, students will only have cardkey access to their assigned residence hall to start the semester. However, residents may have one visitor in their room from the same building. The visitation policy will be reviewed and adjusted as conditions allow.
- Stay on campus as much as possible.
Winter Welcome: Orientation for Spring Start Students will take place on Saturday, Feb. 6, from 9 a.m. to noon. Resources and tools for a successful transition to Roanoke College will be provided. Directions for joining this virtual event will be sent via College email.
Welcome Back! Orientation continues for ALL first-year students! It’s a chance to reconnect, reflect and reenergize as students head into their second semester. This required virtual programming starts on Saturday, Feb. 6 at 1 p.m. and continues through Sunday evening. This is a combination of workshops, activities and majors fairs, and Roanoke College swag! Check your emails the week prior for information from your NEW student leader.
Safe and fun social activities
We are planning safe and festive social activities for students this semester, just as we did last fall. There will be outdoor and virtual events for students. Remember to bring warm coats, hats, gloves and boots for cold weather, as there will be planned and spontaneous campus activities outside. On campus, you will find several new outdoor shelters near the residence halls to give students a safe outdoor space to gather and hang out with some protection from the elements. We will continue to provide updates as necessary. If you have questions, please contact us at email@example.com.
International students, athletes and others who need to be here early are starting to arrive on campus and it’s exciting to see students in College spaces again. I am thrilled for the start of classes next month and looking forward to seeing the campus continue to bloom this spring. Together, we can all contribute to a successful and safe semester.
Michael C. Maxey