Together Safely: Off-Campus Travel and On-Campus Visitors

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Dear Albion Parents and Families,

We are looking forward to having students back on campus soon. As we continue to make plans for a healthy spring semester, we are sharing details about how we will keep our on-campus and local communities safe from the spread of COVID-19.

Today, we shared a communication with students regarding Albion’s policies for off-campus work and travel and on-campus visitors, and I am summarizing the contents of this email below. Please note that all of the forms referenced in this email are accessible to students using their Albion login credentials, and should be filled out by students, rather than parents and guardians.

Our policies for off-campus work and travel and on-campus visitors are designed to give as much flexibility as possible while reducing risk of infection entering from outside or infection on campus spreading to the community. While our off-campus travel and on-campus visitor policies remain similar to those of fall 2020, we continue to work to expand these opportunities for students, particularly as the COVID-19 vaccination becomes available later in the semester. We will review policies and protocols on a continuous basis to determine if restrictions can be adjusted based on compliance and case numbers on campus, locally and regionally.

Off-Campus Work

Albion is continuing to work to make off-campus employment as accessible as possible while reducing risk to our campus community. As in the fall, students may work in an off-campus job if:

  1. The employer is located within 25 miles of campus and has all employees participating in Albion College’s testing protocol; or
  2. Students have an approved residency requirement waiver, live in non-college owned housing and agree to take their classes only online.

Students who wish to work off-campus should fill out the Spring Off-Campus Work Request form. If students have already received both doses of the vaccine, they can submit their off-campus work request through this form to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

As the vaccine becomes more readily available, we will share an updated policy regarding working off campus after receiving the vaccine, along with a process for verifying that both doses have been received.

Off-Campus Travel

As in the fall, students must submit the Off-Campus Travel Request form for all travel that is not directly College-sponsored. Students should continue to submit the Off-Campus Travel Request form for medical appointments and grocery shopping so we have a record of these trips, but these cases will be pre-approved. If a student has a family emergency that requires them to leave campus, they do not need to fill out the form.

All other requests, including for family events, will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Requesting permission involves a brief conversation with a College administrator to understand and evaluate the risk of exposure.

Grocery Shopping

For the spring semester, students can access any grocery store with curbside pickup in Jackson. The College is also offering a limited number of grocery pickups per week at Meijer and Kroger for students who do not have vehicles. You can learn more about current curbside offerings and grocery pickups on our website.

Visiting Local Businesses

In order to protect both our campus and our local community, Albion has partnered with a number of local businesses that have agreed to participate in full testing of all employees. The list of our Together Safely Business Partners is available on our website. Students do not need to use the off-campus travel form in order to leave campus to visit these businesses, and we encourage students and visiting families to patronize them.

On-Campus Visitors

In keeping with our public health and safety protocols, we have developed a process to facilitate student requests to receive visitors. All parents, guardians and families are permitted to visit outdoor spaces on campus, as well as visit businesses that are part of the Together Safely partnership with students. In order to have a visitor in outside spaces on campus, students must register their visitors so we are aware of the number of visitors on campus at any given time. This allows us to mitigate risk and ensure our whole community is protected.

The College is hoping to expand testing later in the semester in order to increase opportunities for on-campus visitors. We will share more information in the coming months.

As always, copies of the parent and family newsletter will be added to our website and information regarding our COVID-19 policies and protocols for spring 2021 will be added to Together Safely as it is released. This Thursday, January 21, we will share a second email focused on detailed move-in protocols.

We are looking forward to seeing you and your students on campus this weekend!

Dr. Mathew Johnson
President, Albion College