July 20, 2021
We write today in the hope that you are all healthy, well and enjoying the summer months. As our summer session draws to an end, campus remains very active with faculty and staff preparing for the fall semester, over a hundred students living and working on campus, and hundreds of prospective students and their families visiting the Colleges.
Last week, Hobart and William Smith announced the new Master of Science in Management program, a wonderful addition to our curriculum and a new way that the Colleges are seeking to provide students with greater options and opportunities as they prepare for their futures. The upcoming year promises to be both exciting and very busy as we begin celebrating the Bicentennial of Hobart College. There are fewer than 75 colleges and universities in the nation that have achieved this milestone and we intend to spend 2022 remembering our past as we prepare for another 200 years of education.
As we get ready for the opening of the fall semester and an academic year that will look and feel much different than last year, we wanted to share some important information regarding COVID-19 protocols. In response to the high rate of vaccinations in New York State and per current Centers for Disease Control recommendations, the State has significantly relaxed its COVID requirements.
What does this mean for us on campus? We are pleased that more than 96% of our faculty and staff are vaccinated, and that over 90% of our students are already reporting full vaccination. These are extremely high numbers, and we expect the student number to rise additionally over the next two months. Unless there is some change in the spread of the new variants of the disease or unless directed otherwise by State or County officials or the CDC, we will abide by the following protocols:
- We continue to ask employees and students to voluntarily submit proof of vaccination to the Colleges so that we have a clear sense of our situation. Employees can use the COVID-19 Vaccine Confirmation Form. Students who have been fully vaccinated should upload their documentation to the COVID-19 Vaccination Portal in preparation for the 2021-22 academic year; the portal requires a PIN, which students will receive later this afternoon (along with instructions) in a separate email from Campus Life. Unlike some other colleges and universities, Hobart and William Smith are not requiring vaccination to return to campus. The only individuals required to submit proof of vaccination are those who will travel on behalf of the Colleges, including for events such as academic conferences and athletic competitions.
- Vaccinated members of the HWS community will not be required to wear face masks, but may still choose to wear them. Those who are not vaccinated must wear face masks while in public indoor spaces. No social distancing is required so long as this face mask rule is followed.
- Visitors to campus including parents and family members dropping their students off in August, are no longer required by the State to be tested or quarantined. We are not limiting the number of family members who can accompany a student during move-in, nor will we be placing any restrictions on spectators at games and competitions; however, the same masking guidelines as above apply.
- The Colleges will not perform arrival or surveillance testing of students, faculty or staff for COVID-19. At any point during the year, symptomatic students should go to Hubbs Health Center to be tested while employees should seek the advice of their health care professionals.
- Students who test positive for COVID-19 will be placed in isolation; the Colleges will provide isolation facilities for them. Employees who test positive will be required to isolate at home until released by the Ontario County Public Health Department.
- Vaccinated members of the community who come in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19 will not need to quarantine. Unvaccinated close contacts will need to quarantine until released by the Ontario County Public Health Department. The Colleges will provide quarantine facilities for students.
- All classes will be in person. All academic facilities will be open. All dining facilities on campus will be open, including the Cellar Pub, Au Bon Pain and the Common Room.
- Recreational facilities, clubs and varsity sports will all be available. We have a full schedule of fall, winter and spring varsity sports practices and contests planned.
We strongly encourage those who have not yet been fully vaccinated to please either complete or start your vaccination course before arrival on campus, and if unable to do so, to attend one of the following clinics we will offer on campus:
- Aug. 16: First Dose Clinic of the Pfizer Vaccine, 1 pm – 5 pm
- For early arrivals to campus, athletes, student staff and international students
- Sept. 7: First and Second Dose Clinic of the Pfizer Vaccine, 1 pm – 5 pm
- Second dose for those who received the first dose on Aug. 16
- First dose for any returning students still requiring a vaccine
- Sept. 27: Second Dose Clinic of the Pfizer Vaccine, 1 pm – 5 pm
- Second dose for those who received the first dose on Sept. 7
Should you have any question about these protocols or if you have concerns about anything else related to the opening of the academic year, please reach out to us at any time at email@example.com.
Wishing you the very best for the remainder of the summer,
Provost and Dean of Faculty
Vice President for Campus Life