Safety measures in response to large student gathering
The following message was sent to Students, Faculty, and Staff on March 22, 2021.
Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,
I’m writing to share the concerning news that there was a large gathering that occurred in Kilpatrick House on Saturday night into Sunday morning. While the vast majority of the members of our campus community have observed our COVID-19 protocols diligently, we need to now take steps to ensure that this does not further jeopardize the health and safety of anyone else.
On the advice of Dr. Randy Anselmo and in observance of the Vermont state guidelines, Kilpatrick House is now in quarantine, even though not all students in the house participated in this gathering.
Students who attended the gathering but do not live in Kilpatrick House should quarantine in their room and let us know so we can work with you on next steps. Students at the gathering who do not come forward will have to meet with the Commitment of Shared Responsibility panel if it is later determined that they were at the gathering.
All students quarantining will get a COVID test on Tuesday and Thursday and will quarantine until released by Student Life. They will need to participate in classes remotely during this period. We hope students will be able to be back in class by next Monday.
- A member of the Academic Services staff will contact students to discuss necessary accommodations for remote class participation during the quarantine period.
- Psychological Services have been made aware of the quarantine and staff are available to connect students to offer additional support including access to BetterMynd. To access the on-call therapist, please call 767 from a campus phone or 802-447-4250 and Campus Safety will put you in touch.
- We will have a Zoom conversation about health and safety guidelines with Dr. Randy Anselmo for students quarantining at 3:00 pm on Tuesday March 23. Students can also email health questions to email@example.com.
In the fall a student created a sign that was posted on campus saying, “Partying during a pandemic is ableism.” Partying during a pandemic is also deeply unfair to the community: it is unfair to those students who live in Kilpatrick but didn’t attend the gathering; it is unfair to the members of our community with health risks; it is unfair to those students who would be disproportionately burdened by the loss of campus housing; it is unfair to the majority of students who are following the health and safety rules; and it is unfair to all the staff and faculty who are working so hard to provide our in-person education and residential experience.
I know as the weather improves there will be an increased temptation to gather in larger groups but the risk is still very real. Recently, it was confirmed that 4 of 5 random samples from University of Vermont tested positive for the UK variant (B.1.1.7) of COVID-19. This is important information as the variant spreads more readily and can be more severe.
I ask you all in this moment to recommit to our Commitment of Shared Responsibility. I believe we can make it to the end of this pandemic safely but only if we work together and prioritize the needs of the whole community above the wants of some individuals.