COVID-19 Task Force implements new policies; fall sports canceled
Many college campuses have elected to cancel in-person classes for the entire fall semester. Beloit College on the other hand has implemented more practices and protocols for students to follow upon returning to campus.
The Beloit College COVID-19 Task Force informed students of the new practices via email and the Beloit College website.
The college’s Back to Beloit plan on their website now includes that students “must provide documentation of a negative COVID-19 test prior to their arrival on campus for the start of the Fall 2020 term.” Students should expect more information regarding testing locations from the Heath and Wellness Center and COVID-19 Task Force via email.
According to Beloit College’s COVID-19 Testing Policy for students, an antibody test will not be accepted. Written documentation of a negative test result must be sent to the college’s Health and Wellness Center via email, mail, or fax prior to each student’s return to campus.
The college has given a 7-10 day time frame for students to take their tests before returning to campus. “The test may not be administered earlier than 7 days nor later than 10 days before the student’s arrival date,” said in the COVID-19 Testing Policy. However, if a student does not receive their results before they return to campus, they have the option to stay home or quarantine in an assigned room from the college until the results are in.
The college has included enforcement strategies for the protective practices they have implemented. In the COVID-19 Protective Practices Policy, if a student is “observed not adhering to protective practices on campus…the student will be notified and issued a warning as a first offense.” If a student has a second violation, they will be issued a second warning, as well as a $100 fine. A third violation results in a suspension from the college. Dean of Students and Chief Diversity Officer Cecil Youngblood at an online student-led Question and Answer panel said that he hopes students will “set the culture so enforcement is not necessary.”
The Office of Residential Life has arranged for 38 single rooms to be set aside as isolation spaces, according to Director of Residential Life Ryan Schamps at the same panel. Each of these rooms has access to a private bathroom and meals will be delivered by campus staff. These rooms will be used for students who have tested positive for COVID-19. Upon move-in, students will be allowed to bring two additional people to help move belongings.
All of Beloit College’s athletics have been canceled for the rest of 2020 as of July 27 via the Midwest Conference suspended league athletic competitions. As of August 5, the NCAA Division III Presidents Council announced the cancellation of all Division III championships.
“To our student athletes we say: We are committed to harnessing the Buc spirit with creative approaches to provide meaningful experiences for you, your teammates, and coach this fall. It will be different, but we are confident in both coaches and players to keep the Beloit spirit alive,” said President Scott Bierman in an email to Beloit College Students.
Athletes will still move on their designated move-in date. However, the college has not released an official plan regarding how practices will be implemented.
The fall semester still holds uncertainty, but with the correct steps, it can be a safe and successful one.