Thursday, January 21, 2021
Dear Albion Parents and Families,
As we approach move-in weekend, our staff and faculty are looking forward to having students back on campus and are working hard to ensure a smooth transition.
Today, we are sharing reminders about the move-in process, along with some information about health monitoring, break days and residential expectations. Next week, we will share a communication about new improvements to the student dining experience.
All residential students and non-residential students taking in-person classes on campus are required to complete a centralized check-in process. Check-in will take place at the Dow Center between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Saturday, January 23, and Sunday, January 24. Students have received instructions on how to sign up for a check-in time via their email.
When students arrive on campus, they should follow directions to the Dow Center Fieldhouse. Students must go to the Dow Center Fieldhouse immediately upon arriving and before proceeding to their residential assignment. Students will enter the Dow Fieldhouse from the parking lot next to the Dow Center to check in.
Check-in time slots are in one-hour time blocks to ensure a safe and efficient process. The check-in process will include a screening to ensure students have received or were provided with an exemption for the flu shot and have submitted documentation for a negative COVID-19 test on or after January 16. Students will also take a rapid test that will be administered by a member of our COVID-19 team and will receive their results before they leave the Dow Center. Students who test positive will have the option of returning home to complete the isolation period or moving into isolation housing on campus.
Students will be issued a new Albion1Card (student ID) during the check-in process. By providing documentation of a negative COVID-19 test prior to arriving on campus and being tested on arrival, there will be no need for students to quarantine in their rooms after they move into their spring housing.
During their scheduled move-in time slot, students will be allowed up to two helpers who have not tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 10 days, have not been in close contact with a COVID-19 positive person in the past 14 days, and are not experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. Move-in helpers are not permitted to participate in the check-in process at the Dow Center and should stay in their vehicles for the duration of check in.
We know that the first two weeks will be the most critical period for ensuring the safe and effective management of COVID-19 cases on campus. This semester, in order to be as responsive as possible, students will be required to contact our COVID-19 team directly should they experience any symptoms of COVID-19. Through regular symptom monitoring and responsiveness, we know we will be able to manage the spread of COVID-19 effectively.
Students should perform a daily self-check every morning for the following symptoms:
If students experience any of these symptoms between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday to Friday, they should call Albion’s COVID-19 team at (517) 629-0220 or email . If they experience any of these symptoms after hours or on weekends, students should call Campus Safety at (517) 629-1234.
Signage will be in place at the entrance of each building to remind students of symptoms and contact information.
Following entry testing, students will be tested on January 28-29 and February 11-12. Sign up links for testing slots will be emailed to students closer to these dates. Following our initial three rounds of testing, we will communicate with students in February about future testing schedules. Student-athletes will be on a different testing schedule and will receive information from their athletic trainer and coach at the start of spring practice. For the spring semester, we will continue to report testing data on our website.
In response to student feedback, the College has added four wellness days during the Spring semester. Wellness Days will take place on February 10, March 16 and April 7. In addition, a Reading Day is scheduled for May 4. We know that last semester was challenging for students and faculty in many ways and our hope is that regularly scheduled wellness days will offer a period of rest as the semester goes on.
For the time being, students are not permitted to visit other residential buildings. As the semester continues and we are able to assess compliance as well as case numbers on campus, locally and regionally, we will review whether students can safely move between residential buildings.
In response to student feedback, we have worked with Metz Culinary Management, our dining vendor, to implement several improvements to our student dining experience. These include additions to the menu in Baldwin and the Eat Shop, as well as an improved system for delivering food to students in quarantine or isolation.
Our dining staff has undergone training to ensure we are poised to respond to CDC guidelines as necessary, and our dining rooms are ready to allow for safe indoor seating once the state of Michigan allows it. Like all employees, our dining staff will be required to follow Albion College’s testing and health monitoring protocols. We will share a dedicated communication with details of student dining improvements early next week.
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.
We look forward to having students back living and learning at Albion.
Dr. Mathew Johnson
President, Albion College