COVID-19 Updates, From the President

Monday Message from President Walker—April 5, 2021

The following message was sent to Students, Families, Faculty, and Staff on April 5, 2021.

Dear Bennington community,

I hope you all enjoyed the warmer weekend. We have arrived at the halfway point in the term and it finally feels like spring! Some of you will be starting new seven-week classes tomorrow. I wish you all the best in this last leg of an unforgettable academic year. I want to thank all students, faculty and staff for your resilience and creativity and for observing the commitment to shared responsibility.

COVID-19 Update

We currently have two active cases of COVID-19 on campus. Anyone who was considered a close contact has already been notified and we are confident that these will resolve very soon.

Booth House is still in quarantine; everyone in Booth will be tested today, and we are hopeful that all residents of Booth will be out of quarantine tomorrow. I want to thank everyone in Booth for quarantining and for your continued commitment to masking and cooperation.

At this time, guests are still not permitted on campus. We know that this is difficult, but it is important to keep our campus safe. Prospective students and families are permitted to tour campus by driving but may not exit their vehicle.

As I wrote on Friday, all faculty, students and staff will be eligible to sign up for vaccines by the end of the month and we encourage you to sign up in Vermont or in your home state. For students making appointments in Bennington, we encourage you to sign up at CVS, Hannaford, Walmart, or Walgreens. We are pleased to announce that in addition to the shuttles running Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays and Sundays, we were able to add an additional day of shuttle service from campus on Fridays. For those wishing to utilize the campus shuttle, please arrive at the flagpole one hour prior to your scheduled appointment. You do not need to make prior arrangements to utilize the shuttle.

Right now, the best thing to do is to consult the Friday memo or find more information about when and how to get a vaccine at the Vermont Department of Health. You can also feel free to email us at healthservices@bennington.edu.

If you are a New York resident, vaccine registration will open tomorrow, April 6, for every resident 16 years and older. We encourage you to get vaccinated at a nearby NY state location as travel from campus to New York City is not allowed under the current guidelines. We are unable to provide campus shuttle service to the state of New York but students may travel in personal vehicles by household to these vaccine appointments if desired—carpooling is encouraged whenever possible.

Student Experience Survey

Let your voice be heard! Keep an eye on your email this week—we’re sending out a survey to all students that asks about many aspects of your experience on campus, and also how the college might better support and enable your success. Your input is so important, and we’ll look forward to sharing the results as we collect and compile the data. More to come!

Art for Access

I am thrilled to share that alumna, trustee, and Art for Access Committee co-chair Mary Bucksbaum Scanlan '91, has generously donated 500 works of art to benefit Art for Access at Bennington College. Launched in 2018, Art for Access celebrates Bennington's pioneering visual arts legacy by inviting gifts of art to enrich campus and to generate funding for scholarships through the sale of select artworks. This important initiative extends our commitment to access, equity, and diversity.

Approximately half of the works will remain on campus, and half will be sold to benefit Art for Access scholarships in an online auction June 2, in partnership with Stair in Hudson, NY. We'll be hosting an exclusive preview event for the Bennington community on May 24 and encourage all to bid! This is an opportunity to purchase incredible works of art by well-known, emerging, and mid-career artists in a myriad of styles, media, and price-points while providing critically needed support to fund scholarships for future Bennington students.

Queens Girl: Black in the Green Mountains

As a reminder, all students, faculty and staff can now stream Queens Girl: Black in the Green Mountains—the acclaimed work written by alum Caleen Sinnette Jennings '72 which was inspired by her time at Bennington. The Drama Department is hosting the streamed production that will be available until April 10 and will conclude that evening at 7:00 pm with a live conversation with Jennings to focus on the critical questions raised by the piece.

Shared Governance Task Force Complete

We are pleased to announce that all constituencies are now aboard our Shared Governance Task Force, which held its first two meetings on March 23 and April 2. We will create a website in the coming days to keep you up-to-date on the latest developments and information. In the meantime, below is the full list of members, with our constituency co-chairs noted in bold.
 

NAME                                        CONSTITUENCY

Hugh Crowl                                Faculty

Noelle Rouxel-Cubberly             Faculty

John Hultgren                            Faculty (Co-Chair)

Liz White                                    Faculty (Co-Chair)

Laura Walker                             President

John Bullock                              Faculty Liaison

Charlie Nadler                           Staff Project Lead / Liaison

Chris Adams                              Staff

Audry Herbig                             Staff

Marie Leahy                              Staff

Carly Rudzinski                       Staff (Co-Chair)

Muhammad Ammar                  Student

Tom Evans                                Student

Sam Henriquez                         Student

Sofia Salusso                          Student (Co-Chair)

Suzanne Brundage                   Trustee

Alan Kornberg                           Trustee

Dan Rowland                            Trustee

Nick Stephens                           Trustee

Kate Stimpson                         Trustee (Co-Chair)

David Maxwell                           AGB Consultant

Chris Moloney                           AGB Sr. Associate



Office Hours Outside: Friday 12:00-1:00 pm outside!

It’s finally warm outside and I am so happy to share that I will be holding my office hours outside on Friday from 12:00-1:00 pm in front of Commons. If you would like to schedule a time to meet, just drop us a note at president@bennington.edu. Or just stop by!

Have a great week,

Laura Walker
President