Campus Operations and Business Continuity Update

Williams people,

Following are your institutionally dispensed units of Covid information for this week.

Here’s a quick summary for those with busy schedules and executive-gauge attention spans:

  • Vaccination will be required for summer students on campus. International students and others returning from places where vaccines aren’t available should of course come back, and will simply be asked to get their first shot shortly after arrival. College shuttles to the clinics will be available.
  • Second shots are a must. Please get one if you’re receiving Pfizer or Moderna. Your vaccination isn’t fully effective without it. Learn more on the CDC’s information page.
  • We have a few Special Testing Dates coming up 
    • Sunday, May 23, 2-8 p.m.: Required first test for seniors returning for Senior Celebration
    • Thursday, May 26, 10-2 p.m.: Required second test for same folks
    • Saturday, May 29, 12-3 p.m.: Final testing opportunity for any eligible student who needs one before departing (e.g., for travel documentation).
  • A summer campus vaccine clinic is a maybe: We’re trying to organize one for next week that will be open to students staying past graduation as well as faculty, staff and family members; and a second in the summer, for students who’ll be staying here but haven’t been able to get vaccinated before arriving. We’re not yet sure if it will work, so will let you know ASAP.
  • Please respect masking guidelines: Per the governor’s latest order, masks are still required at all times at indoor public places and also at events, regardless of whether indoors or outdoors. The college will strictly enforce this rule.
  • Options for uploading proof of vaccination (students only): Just take a picture of your completed card, go to the Ephs Portal, select the Upload tab, and upload the image using either “Immunizations outside MD or Williams” or “COVID-19 Vaccine Documentation”—both options will work. If you’re on a leave of absence you don’t have access to the Ephs portal for now, so please email the image to [email protected] instead.
  • Motorcoach: Deadlines for finalizing reservations are fast approaching, so make yours soon.
    • Seniors returning on May 23 for the Senior Celebration need to reserve a ride by Wednesday, May 19, at 9 p.m.
    • Students departing between Thursday, May 27, and Tuesday, June 1, need to reserve before midnight on May 20.
  • Attendance at Senior Celebration is by ticket only. Due to capacity limits, we can’t allow staff, faculty and community members to attend the ceremony in person this year, except as a ticketed guest or a volunteer or event staff member. Staff and faculty, contact Carrie Greene if you want to express interest in volunteering. If you’re a student who’s not graduating, Carrie will be posting a commencement job opening next Monday that you’re welcome to apply for.
  • Fall 2021 arrival/check-in schedule is coming soon. Senior Staff hope to confirm these dates for you all next week. Thanks for your patience in the meantime.

There’s a lot more brewing regarding summer programs, return to campus work plans, and more. So keep an eye out for next week’s update, and the week after that, and then who knows.

If that’s all you need to read, please enjoy the weekend ahead.

Now the other stuff for folks who’ve got time to waste:

Vaccination

Vaccine requirement for this summer: As was announced, all students will be required to furnish proof of vaccination or a medical or religious exemption to be here next fall.

The new part is that vaccinations will also be required for students living on campus this summer, unless you have one of those same exemption thingies.

International students or others returning from places where vaccines aren’t available: you can still come back! We love you! We’ll just expect you to get your first shot soon after arrival—we’ll run college shuttles to help you get there.

As described below, we’re also looking into the possibility—for now it’s only a possibility—of hosting a campus clinic. Stay tuned.

Campus vaccine clinic: Like I said. This possibility opened up once the intense vaccine demand quickly subsided. Some of you may remember that as “the time when everyone freaked out until it became obvious that there was plenty of vaccine to go around.”

Scarcity does bad things to people. There’s a thesis idea in there somewhere.

Anyway, we’re looking into hosting two clinics: one next week for students who are authorized to stay past the end of term, plus faculty, staff and family members; and another during the summer, for students who come back to campus and aren’t able to get vaccinated pre-arrival.

Right now these are a definite “maybe.” We’ll let you know if they’re for sure happening ASAP, once we have the knowing of it ourselves.

Second shots: The following news is brought to you courtesy of the People’s Handpuppet Action Collective, or PHAC (maybe that’s the Public Health Advisory Committee, I get them confused). Anyway:

  • Second shots of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are crucial for achieving full immunity. The first dose isn’t enough by itself. So please go back: it’s kinda not so brilliant to put in the effort for a first shot and not follow through. I’m editorializing that part.
  • If you want to learn more about the science behind the two-dose series, see the CDC’s information page.

Special Testing Dates: STDs are coming!

Yeah, no, I’m talking about Special Testing Dates:

  • Sunday, May 23, 2-8 p.m.: Required first test for seniors returning for the Senior Celebration
  • Thursday, May 26, 10-2 p.m.: Required second test for same folks
  • Sunday, May 29, 12-3 p.m.: Final opportunity for any eligible student who needs one last test before departing (e.g., for travel documentation).

Testing on these dates is available for the abovementioned folks only. I know how much the rest of you enjoy an extra swabbing when you can get one. You’ll just have to pay for your own damn Q-tips.

BTW, if you need to find those dates again later, they’ll be in the Spring Guide for Students.

Masking and continued public health restrictions: If you’re feeling the urge to interpret the state’s masking guidelines to your liking—don’t. There’s an actual document you can read, that has actual rules in it, actually.

If you’re too important to bother reading them for yourself (and who isn’t?), here are the highlights:

  • Face coverings are still required at all times in indoor public places.
  • Face coverings are still required at all times at events, indoors or outdoors.
  • This includes indoor sporting events.
  • This includes Williams sporting events.

I appreciate you respecting these rules. Which isn’t about respecting rules, really, it’s about respecting people. There are plenty of folks who either haven’t been able to get vaccinated yet or can’t get vaccinated for medical reasons. Those of us in those groups don’t go around wearing big signs that say “I’m vulnerable”: The rest of us actually have to think about people’s needs without being prompted.

Thank you for making that effort. It says a lot about you.

Students uploading proof of vaccination: The ever-vigilant Robert McBain in Health Services has tweaked the submission process to give you multiple ways to submit. Once you’ve been vaccinated, take a picture of your completed card, go to the Ephs Portal, select the Upload tab, and upload the image using either “Immunizations outside MD or Williams” or “COVID-19 Vaccine Documentation”—both pathways will work.

You’ll then be cleared for return in the fall, with no additional vaccine paperwork required (but we’ll still require a thousand million other paperworks, out of sheer administrative sadism).

You might want to keep a secure copy of that card photo in case you need to show proof of vaccination somewhere else.

BTW, if you took a leave of absence this term you won’t regain access to the Ephs portal until Monday, June 14, so instead please email your proof of vaccination to [email protected].

End of semester and Senior Celebration

Motorcoach: Deadlines for finalizing motorcoach reservations are fast approaching, so please make yours.

  • If you’re returning on May 23 for the Senior Celebration, reservations will close on Wednesday, May 19, at 9 p.m.
  • If you’re departing anytime between Thursday, May 27, and Tuesday, June 1, reservations will close at midnight on May 20.

Students, instead of emailing to ask me whether “midnight” means the first minute of the 20th or the last, how’s about just not waiting until the last day to reserve? I’m thinking way outside the box here.

Attendance at Senior Celebration will be strictly limited: For everyone’s safety, only graduates, ticketed guests and college volunteer workers will be allowed to attend the May 31 celebration at Weston Field. No bindlestiffs, emus or lard poachers.

Unfortunately, due to safety-oriented capacity restrictions, also no staff, faculty or community members who aren’t ticketed guests of graduates or event workers.

No one likes having to say that, so they asked me to be the messenger… I mean, to find the nicest possible way to say it. Here’s one nice way: Carrie Greene relies on a lot of volunteers to make Commencement work as wonderfully as she does. If you’re willing to put in a little time to help her, it’s a great way to get past the bouncers. Contact Carrie to express interest.

If you’re a student who’s not graduating this spring and you want to work the event, Carrie will also be posting a commencement job opening next Monday. To apply you just need to be authorized to be on campus through Memorial Day weekend.

And you also need to really show up, and really to work. For real.

The rest of us will always have Paris. By which I mean: we’ll always have the webstream. By which I mean: check the homepage or the Commencement page on May 31 for a link, so you can watch from the comfort of your personal Foldable Dog Pet Bath Pool Collapsible Dog Pet Pool Bathing Tub Kiddie Pool for Dogs Cats and Kids.

Fall 2021

Arrival/Check-In Dates: Senior Staff are hoping to confirm next fall’s arrival/check-in dates during next week’s meeting in our reinforced bunker on Evil Island. Thanks for your patience while we maximize our evildoings. It’s a lot of work, but we do it because we care.

Other stuff

Swimming holes: Someone suggested I let people know the rules about swimming holes. So here goes: the same rules that apply to all other parts of not-campus also apply to the places not on campus that are holes full of water. Etch that in your permanent memory.

Questions? I have plenty myself. Answers? Not so much. We’ll keep working on them, though, and meanwhile you guys try to stay one step ahead of us. You’re doing a fine job of it so far.

Jim