In response to the improved COVID-19 infection rate on campus, the College will relax some of its Yellow status restrictions related to dining and residence halls effective today, Friday, September 17.
Associate Dean of Student Affairs, Director of Residential and Student Life and COVID-19 Resource Coordinator Mike Ranen announced the change in an email to the Bowdoin community Wednesday afternoon, crediting the original restrictions for the low levels of transmission over the past ten days. “This speaks to the significant efforts everyone has made to keep the campus safe.”
Students will once again be allowed to have “small gatherings” in private and public spaces inside residence halls. However, the mask mandate will remain in effect; everyone must wear a mask unless they are in their own private residential space, and large gatherings, such as registered events, will not be allowed until October 1 at the earliest.
Additionally, Moulton Union, Thorne and Jack Magee’s Pub will reopen for in-person dining at 50 percent capacity. As long as there are seats available, students are welcome to eat inside. Ranen asked that students be conscious of others who may wish to dine in-person by limiting their conversations in the dining halls to while they’re eating.
While this change comes as a welcome step toward a return to normalcy, the lingering influence of COVID-19 on campus remains tangible.
In a separate email yesterday morning, Dean of Students Kristina Odejimi announced that the College revised its conduct policy related to missed COVID-19 tests. The updated policy will go into effect Monday, September 20.
If a student misses four tests, that results in automatic probation for fourteen weeks. Five missed tests extends probation to a full year. A sixth missed test would cost that student campus housing and permission to be on campus for any reason other than classes. In her email, Odejimi noted that remote learning is not being offered this semester.
“It will be the responsibility of the student to secure local off-campus housing,” she wrote. “Students who lose campus privileges must continue to test for COVID-19 in order to attend classes.”
If a student misses seven tests, they are immediately suspended from the College.
This revision comes just two weeks after the College’s move to twice-weekly PCR testing for every student on campus, a guideline that will remain for the time being.
“We know that COVID-19 will be with us for some time,” Ranen wrote. “We will have to deal with the inevitable challenges that it will bring.”