Message on March 17 Regarding Novel Coronavirus (COVID-29) | Benedictine College

Message Regarding Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Situation - Mar. 17

Sent to Benedictine College students, student parents, faculty and staff on March 17, 2020.

Hello Raven Community -

As previous emails have indicated, our faculty is preparing to give classes completely online beginning March 23. While it is strange during this extended Spring Break to have a campus with only a few students present, this is a good situation to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus. And while the residence halls and Dining Hall are open, we strongly encourage you to stay home and off campus, even after this week.

Protect the Vulnerable - In a pandemic like this, we all have a moral obligation to not just look out for our own well-being, but to protect the health of others. You probably realize you are not part of the true at-risk population, but the monks, the sisters (the Mount is now on lockdown and not allowing visitors until the end of April), members of the faculty and staff, older parishioners at St. Benedict’s Parish, and many others you will come in contact with in Atchison are among the most vulnerable.

We ask each of you to discern, with your family, whether a return to campus at this time is necessary. If you believe it is, you will need to complete the Request to Return form. If it is not, please stay home. We will work as hard as we can to ensure that you receive the highest quality education that is feasible. And we will do our best to resume normal operations when it becomes possible.

New Guidelines - As the situation has continued to evolve, there are now added 14-day quarantines established by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment for anyone returning from international travel or returning from the states of California, New York or Washington and certain counties in Colorado since March 15. If you fall into one of these categories, we cannot accommodate you on campus at this time; we simply must follow the appropriate guidance.

A Changed Campus Experience - To address the changing situation and to abide by CDC social distancing guidance, college administration, acting with reasonable and realistic caution, has established new protocols for students on campus which severely restrict our normal sense of community, something we hold very dear. For the time being, life at Benedictine College is not going to be what you remember. Here is how the campus will operate for the foreseeable future:

  1. Students who find it necessary to return to campus may be assigned to a different room.
  2. There will be no visitors of any kind in residence halls. Only currently assigned residents will be allowed in the halls; no one can be in a hall they are not living in. This will be in effect 24 hours a day.
  3. No gatherings of more than 4 students (or the number of residents allowed in a room or suite) in a residence hall room will be allowed.
  4. All residence hall residents will be expected to be back in their halls by 10:30 p.m.; at that time the doors will be locked.
  5. We ask students to avoid congregating in large groups even in the Dining Hall. Students are not allowed to bring in outside bottles or cups.
  6. Students will not be allowed in the academic buildings; most faculty will be off campus and all classrooms will be locked and inaccessible.
  7. Any violation of Benedictine College policy may lead to your immediate removal from on-campus housing.
  8. The Dining Hall will convert to pre-packaged meals and will provide brunch (10:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.) and dinner (5:00 – 7:00 p.m.) service only.
  9. NOTE: Almost all leisure, recreational and entertainment options in the area are closed, the NAIA has canceled all spring sports, and the Murphy Recreation Center is now closed.
  10. The Archdiocese has canceled all public celebrations of Holy Mass until further notice.
  11. Students who develop possible symptoms of COVID19 will be held in isolation off campus until arrangements can be made for their transportation home.

We appreciate your understanding and patience with this rapidly changing environment. Expect to hear from us soon as we work on ways to keep you connected to Benedictine College and to your friends. You can keep up with the ongoing situation and changes on campus through our coronavirus response web page.