To: All Commuter Students:
As part of the seminary learning community, we are sharing with you the COVID protocols for our return to in-person learning for the Spring 2022 semester. Classes begin on Tuesday, January 18th. The seminary administration has been in discusson with local medical professionals, and we are confident that, with your cooperation, we will have a safe start to the new semester.
The following points from the President-Rector’s letter to the seminarians are also applicable to all commuter students who come on campus. With his permission, I am excerpting or adapting Father Latcovich’s letter as it applies to all commuter students:
As we prepare to return for the beginning of a new semester of formation, the faculty and staff have been reviewing the most recent COVID-19 protocols for the health and safety of everyone on our campus. We have also reviewed what other colleges and universities in our area are asking of their communities at this time.
We continue to encourage everyone in our community to get vaccinated or to receive a booster shot, if you have not already done so. For those who are not vaccinated but have had COVID in the past, we simply want to remind you that your immunity to the virus does wane over time. The best defense against COVID-19 and its variants is being vaccinated. If you have concerns about the vaccine, you should discuss these with your medical professional.
When you return to campus for the start of the new semester, we will require you to wear a mask in all public places (e.g., chapel, classrooms, the dining room, the student lounge, hallways, etc.). We will be following this protocol until Monday, February 7, at which time we will re-evaluate the need for masks. Unless you are alone in your room, masks should be worn in all public places—including classrooms– or when you are gathered in groups.
Please monitor your general health, especially over the next few days. Again, a persistent cough, sore throat, headache, fever, runny nose, or any type of symptoms that resemble a cold, the flu, a sinus infection, or seasonal allergies will require you to self-report and quarantine. If you show any of these symptoms or have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus, please notify the Sister Brendon and do not come to class. Email your instructor to be given an independent study assignment to keep up with the coursework. If you exhibit any of these symptoms before your first class next Tuesday, you should perform a COVID test. If you develop any of these symptoms during the semester, we will ask you to be tested for the virus and to quarantine at home until you are symptom free and have tested negative.
As in the past, we will be insistent about the importance of observing layers of protection: wearing facial masks, frequent hand washing, and the regular disinfection of frequently used surface areas, especially the tabletops in classrooms and the dining room. We will observe these measures as we begin the new semester and continue to evaluate their usefulness as the semester progresses. We are requiring all seminarians, commuter students, faculty, and staff members to observe these protocols when we return. This includes seminarians living at St. Casimir and Ss. Robert and William.
Please continue to monitor your health during these five days before classes begin.
Please continue to pray for one another and for the faculty and staff as we prepare for the new semester. Enjoy the remaining days of our Christmas break. All of us look forward to seeing you soon.
Fr. Mark Latcovich, PhD
If you have any questions, please contact Sister Brendon. Additional important information will be sent to commuter students before the weekend. Please be alert to any emails from the seminary.
Thank you for choosing to study at Saint Mary Seminary and Graduate School of Theology. May God bless us all in this new year of grace.
Assistant Academic Dean, Registrar