General Update on Fall Planning

Dear K Students and Families:

I write to provide a comprehensive update on our planning for the fall, with a focus on three important areas—student health and safety, course offerings and campus housing. Our priorities for fall planning are to protect student health and safety, and to provide a robust student experience, even in the midst of unusual circumstances.

We at K may be approaching these issues differently from other institutions due to our size, location and academic calendar. We are working to balance the desire for concrete information (about housing, for example) with the changing face of the pandemic. Our fall term classes start on September 14, later than many other institutions, and we will conclude the first term prior to Thanksgiving as always. This gives us time for preparation that may be unavailable to other colleges. Even so, our extended timeline for planning may cause anxiety as other institutions are announcing their plans while you still have decisions to make.

Student Health

Our priority in planning for the fall is doing as much as possible to ensure student health and safety. We will continue to rely on current public health guidance as we make decisions. It is clear that physical distance will be a key element in preventing and mitigating the spread of the virus, along with related practices like hand washing, mandatory wearing of masks/face coverings, and monitoring our health. Campus custodial staff will employ enhanced cleaning practices throughout, and it is also clear that each of us who work and learn at K will have responsibilities for further sanitizing spaces that we occupy. As a community, we have a shared responsibility for engaging in these behaviors for the well-being of all.

Classes

To provide appropriate physical distance, classes will be offered in a variety of ways in the coming year. For the fall, we plan to offer courses in a hybrid of in-person and online components that will reflect a range of instructional formats, from those with significant in-person components to others that are completely virtual. The goal of this approach is to enable students to have interactive, relatively small classes in the K tradition whether they are able to physically access campus resources or must take their full course load from a distance. It also ensures that we can nimbly adapt to changes in public health that may occur during the term.

Now that the spring term has ended, faculty are working on details about which courses will be offered in which format. Faculty will also be spending time this summer refining the virtual aspects of courses, taking into account their experiences during the spring, survey and other student feedback, and information from colleagues, so that the educational experience is engaging and rigorous regardless of format. Information about the format for specific courses will be available by early August and students will have the opportunity to adjust their fall course schedules if needed. While there will be an array of online-only course options for the fall, students taking courses remotely will not be able to register for some courses with significant in-person components. In addition to the work faculty are doing to prepare courses for fall, we are also reducing classroom capacities and looking at traffic flow and time between classes to promote physical distance.

Housing

Student housing will be very different from previous years. We cannot safely have a full residential system, so we have to make difficult decisions. As mentioned in a recent communication, the College is prioritizing first-year students and visiting international students for campus housing. First-year students are a priority given the important process of acclimating to life at K. While we hope to accommodate sophomores who seek campus housing, we cannot guarantee that space will be available. I encourage sophomores to seek housing off-campus, whether in Kalamazoo or at home if you prefer to learn from there. In addition to providing needed certainty for planning, this will also enable sophomores to establish desired environments, including choice of roommates. Please also remember to opt-out of housing via the form by July 12, 2020.

While the current pandemic has created many challenges for all of us, I continue to be impressed by the commitment of every member of our community to do whatever it takes to make sure that the education of our students continues. Despite having to adjust to a different environment and to high levels of uncertainty, our single focus has not moved from our mission of preparing our graduates to better understand, live successfully within, and provide enlightened leadership to a richly diverse and increasingly complex world. I will continue to communicate with you as the start of the fall term approaches and our plans evolve.

Saludos,

Jorge G. Gonzalez

President

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Frequently Asked Questions for Students (Updated 6.26.20)

I have yet to retrieve belongings I left in the residence halls. May I still retrieve them? 

The retrieval process will resume the weeks of July 6 and 13, and you can sign up through the pre-existing scheduling forms. This will be the last opportunity to retrieve items, with Friday, July 17, being a hard deadline. While the original deadline for ShipMyDorm has passed, this is still an available option. Visit https://shipmydorm.com/ for more information.  

I signed up to use ShipMyDorm in June. When will my items be shipped? 

We worked with ShipMyDorm to ship your belongings on Thursday, June 25. 

I left items in my residence hall room that I won’t claim. What should I do? 

If you want to have items discarded or donated, please let us know by e-mailing housing@kzoo.edu. Indicate in your message where you lived. 

I don’t need to retrieve anything else, but I still have my room key. How may I send it back? 

Place the key in a padded envelope, tape it to cardboard or wrap it in paper to prevent it from bouncing around. Loose keys are highly susceptible to becoming lost in transit. Mail the envelope, attention Residence Life, to 1200 Academy St., Kalamazoo, MI 49006. Please email housing@kzoo.edu to let us know you’re doing this. We will confirm when we’ve received them.  

Are storage lockers available? 

Please email housing@kzoo.edu for information on renting a DeWaters storage locker. The assignment process may be coordinated electronically without in-person contact. Storage lockers are 4 feet x 4 feet x 4 feet. The cost is $25 per term. Given demand, students are limited to one locker.    

Will the Kalamazoo College residence halls be open this fall? 

Public health guidance indicates that we will not be able to safely have full residence halls in the fall. For the fall term, the College will prioritize incoming first-year students and visiting international students for campus housing. Knowing that sophomores had planned to live on campus, we will do our best to house as many as we can considering public health guidance; however, we encourage sophomores to seek housing off-campus. We will not house juniors and seniors on campus. 

How will classes work? 

To provide appropriate physical distance, classes will be offered in a variety of ways in the coming year. For the fall, we plan to offer courses in a hybrid of in-person and online components that will reflect a range of instructional formats, from those with significant in-person components to others that are completely virtual. The goal of this approach is to enable students to have interactive, relatively small classes in the K tradition whether they can physically access campus resources or must take their full course load from a distance. It also ensures that we can nimbly adapt to changes in public health that may occur during the term.  

 Now that the spring term has ended, faculty are working on details about which courses will be offered in which format. Faculty will also be spending time this summer refining the virtual aspects of courses, taking into account their experiences during the spring, survey and other student feedback, and information from colleagues, so that the educational experience is engaging and rigorous regardless of format. Information about the format for specific courses will be available by early August and students will have the opportunity to adjust their fall course schedules if needed. While there will be an array of online-only course options for the fall, students taking courses remotely will not be able to register for some courses with significant in-person components. In addition to the work faculty are doing to prepare courses for fall, we are also reducing classroom capacities and looking at traffic flow and time between classes to promote physical distance. 

Do these decisions apply for the entire 2020-21 academic year? 

Our residential planning will focus on one academic term at a time, so winter and spring might look different from the fall. Public health information will guide our subsequent decisions and we will stay in communication with you as appropriate. We do encourage you to plan for the whole year, given lease cycles. 

Do first-year students and sophomores have to live on campus this fall? 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, first-year students and sophomores may opt out of campus housing. To opt out, please complete a brief form by Sunday, July 12, 2020. We will provide more information on housing processes in the coming weeks.    

What will be done to support student safety if there’s a return to campus? 

Physical distance will be a key element in preventing and mitigating the spread of the virus, along with related practices such as hand washing, a mandatory wearing of masks/face coverings, and monitoring our health. Campus custodial staff will employ enhanced cleaning practices, and each of us who work and learn at K will have responsibilities for further sanitizing spaces that we occupy. 

Who may I contact if I have more questions? 

Please send your questions to info@kzoo.edu. They will be answered as soon as possible.  

What is the status of the upcoming LandSea trip?

Due to COVID-19 developments, LandSea will not take place in the Adirondacks in New York this summer. This was a difficult decision, and it is easily the most significant change in the program’s 47-year history. However, we do still plan to have LandSea this year; we have immediately pivoted to offer a local LandSea option. We will be updating registered students and the LandSea website with all the details. The preliminary plans for this trip include a week-long experience at a local, Kalamazoo-area camp, and we’re looking into activity options of low ropes initiatives, paddling, hiking or biking, and possibly a solo or service experience.

This decision to implement local LandSea programming was independent of any College decisions regarding fall term. Because of the in-depth nature of the LandSea program, our LandSea staff would ordinarily be undertaking major planning and preparation in order to be ready to leave for the Adirondacks in August. The current Michigan “stay home” order necessitated an earlier decision about summer programming than the College itself will be required to make. We are prioritizing student safety via conservative decision-making; instead of putting a decision off until later in the summer, we wanted to be able to communicate with you about these changes as early as possible.

Due to these changes, we will be extending registration, deposit, and scholarship application deadlines. We are also adjusting our cancellation policy and are willing to refund deposits if a student chooses not to participate in this local program. Since this trip is shorter and closer to campus, the price of the program will also be adjusted. In the coming weeks, we will be updating our website to include these deadlines and details.

If you have any questions, you may contact the LandSea staff OutdoorPrograms@kzoo.edu.

What is the status of K’s Commencement?

College leadership is working with the leadership of the Kalamazoo College Council of Student Representatives (KCCSR) and with the Office of Alumni Engagement to evaluate possible dates. This group will be seeking input from recent grads.

As more details become available, information about Commencement will be emailed and found at kzoo.edu/alumni/commencement/.

When will the library and fitness center reopen?

This answer was updated March 23
The Upjohn Library Commons and the Fitness and Wellness Center have been closed by executive order of the Governor of Michigan. These facilities will remain closed to everyone except employees who work in those facilities until further notice.

Will the mail center be open and will it hold/forward packages?

This answer was updated March 26.
The Mail and Copy Center is open Monday–Friday from 9 a.m.–1 p.m. There will be one outgoing United States Postal Service pickup at approximately 10 a.m. Monday–Saturday. All USPS mail should be sorted and in the correct mailboxes by 10:30 a.m. daily. Any package needing UPS overnight shipping needs to be received by 12 p.m.

As Kalamazoo College complies with the statewide “Stay Safe, Stay Home” order, students living off campus will not be able to access the Mail and Copy Center to retrieve mail and packages. Students are encouraged to avoid added time and expense in retrieving their packages by specifying their correct current addresses on future online orders.

If students have packages and mail currently in the Mail and Copy Center, they should call 269.337.7252 between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. to arrange forwarding. The Mail Center can accept credit card information over the phone to process the shipping charges for this service.

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Planning for Employee and Student Re-Entry to Campus

Dear Campus Community,

The purpose of this message is to update you on the ongoing work of the Fall Planning Group that is planning for the return to campus for faculty and staff currently working remotely, as well as for the return of students. In addition to the members of the President’s Staff, this group includes representation from health services, facilities management, campus safety, residential life, human resources and communications. The group is also coordinating with the Academic Planning Group, which is addressing course instruction models going forward. Information from the governor’s office, local public health officials and consortia discussions (e.g., Great Lakes Colleges Association (GLCA), Michigan Independent Colleges and Universities (MICU) and Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA)) are forming the basis of discussion and decision making.

Some of the planning tasks currently underway include:

  • Drafting a Return to Work Plan as required by the State of Michigan, which includes faculty, staff and student training; requirements for daily health monitoring; reporting requirements; and assessment of each workspace for potential modifications to reduce risk of exposure to COVID-19. (This plan must be in place and available for review by employees for two weeks before employees begin a phased return to campus.)
  • Drafting protocols for individuals at higher risk for COVID-19 due to underlying health conditions.
  • Identification and purchasing of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) for faculty, staff and students based on their positions, and determination of quantities and recommended inventory of PPE items to have on hand so that we are prepared for fall.
  • Assessment of appropriate phasing for returning faculty, staff and students to campus.
  • Square footage measurement of all classrooms and other public areas to establish density guidelines.
  • Establishment of cleaning guidelines (frequency and type of cleaning) for various spaces on campus, including offices, classrooms, labs, bathrooms and residence halls.
  • Identification of potential quarantine spaces for residential students should any become ill with COVID-19

There are many issues and details that need to be put into place before faculty, staff and students can begin to return to campus; however, the Fall Planning Group is working diligently and hopes that a phased return to campus for employees can begin no later than mid-July. We will continue to keep you updated on our progress. You should also continue checking the College’s COVID-19 website for updates.

For the Fall Planning Group,

Sarah B. Westfall

Vice President for Student Development and Dean of Students

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How to Retrieve Belongings in Campus Housing

Dear Students:

As promised, bellow are links to the scheduling forms by residence/area for setting up a time to retrieve your belongings from an on-campus living space. In general, most students will use the form for the residence hall that they resided in. All of the houses will use the LLHU form, which includes Trowbridge because it has a private entrance.  If you have items in a DeWaters storage locker, you should schedule a time through that form, which unfortunately may need to be in addition to another appointment if you have things in multiple areas.  

While scheduling may seem overly complex, it is our effort to promote low density and social distancing in accordance with public health standards. You and your party will be required to bring and wear a mask or facial covering while indoors. To be clear, we will not be providing these, so it is important to keep in mind. Overnight lodging in campus housing is prohibited. The time blocks are relatively short so that we can accommodate as many people as possible, so you will need to move quickly. You will only be granted access during your scheduled time and non-housing facilities (e.g. Hicks) will remain closed.           

Upon move-out, you should return your keys at the following express checkout box locations by writing your name on a key envelope and depositing it in the box (directional signage will be posted):

  • Crissey: basement on the RA office door
  • DeWaters: first floor on the RA office door
  • Harmon: lobby/near main entrance facing Academy
  • Hoben: even-side/north-side entrance (closest to Harmon) near RA office
  • Severn: basement on the RA office door
  • Trowbridge: lobby/near main entrance facing Academy
  • LLHU: Lovell/Monroe Street houses should use the DeWaters box; Catherine Street houses should use the Crissey box

If returning to campus personally is not an option, we have partnered with ShipMyDorm, which is a company that provides move-out solutions to colleges, universities and students, particularly during the fallout from spring and the COVID-19 pandemic. See their flier for more information. If you are interested in learning more, you should contact them directly about options and pricing using the phone number or e-mail address listed. You would need to make arrangements through them by June 1.    

We recognize that this crisis has placed a serious hardship on students and families, as it has colleges and universities, and this may be yet another hurdle. However, please understand that leaving items where they are until students are back on campus is not feasible. If neither of the above options seem appropriate, you are welcome to designate friends and/or others you lived with who are more local to take possession of items if you wish, and you can e-mail us if you need help with the logistical details. That being said, it will really be a matter of what is left behind, as it is unlikely that anyone will be able to take over an entire room of items.

It is possible that this process may need to be an initial, albeit significant, first step. If the schedule fills up, we will amend and extend it as appropriate so that all students and families have the opportunity. We will have a better idea of where people stand as we approach June. As we roll into summer, we will need to move more aggressively in clearing out spaces based on what remains in the hopes of having some semblance of a normal fall term.  

If you have additional questions that are not addressed in this message, you can email housing@kzoo.edu. We will get back to you as soon as possible. Thank you.  

Sincerely,

Office of Residential Life

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2020 Commencement Postponed

Dear Campus Community,

The following message was sent this morning to members of the Class of 2020 and their families.

——————————————————-

Dear Class of 2020,

With a heavy heart, I am writing to you today to announce that Kalamazoo College’s Commencement will not take place as scheduled on June 14, 2020. This has been a tremendously difficult decision for us to make; however, public health experts continue to advise against large group gatherings as we head into summer. While the tradition of Commencement is sacred and dear, your safety and the safety of your families must come first. Nevertheless, I want to reassure you that we will have a Commencement ceremony for the Class of 2020 on campus once it is safe to do so.

I know the rescheduling of the Commencement ceremony is extraordinarily disappointing for you. We have been working with the leadership of the Kalamazoo College Council of Student Representatives (KCCSR) and with the Office of Alumni Engagement as we evaluate the different options available to us. You will be hearing from them as we seek your input to ensure that rescheduled events reflect your hopes and expectations. Our plans are to organize a weekend of activities that will include the different events normally associated with Commencement (e.g., Senior Toast, Baccalaureate, Posse Celebration, etc.). We will also be seeking your input regarding the best dates for this Commencement celebration. We will communicate details as they become available, so that you can plan accordingly.

While holding our regular Commencement ceremony is not possible this June, we do not want the current public health crisis to affect the date when you were expecting to receive your degree. Consequently, on June 14, we will hold a virtual Conferral of Degrees ceremony so that you will officially be a graduate of Kalamazoo College. More details about this event will be forthcoming via email and on the Commencement page at kzoo.edu.

I began my tenure here at K in the fall of 2016, making the Class of 2020 my inaugural class. You are the first group of students I have been with for all four years. For this reason, your class and this Commencement hold special meaning for me. I hope you will take a moment to listen to a video message I recorded regarding Commencement, as well as a message from your classmates and KCCSR leaders, Karina Pantoja and Mya Gough. I am very proud of what you’ve accomplished in your four years at K, and how you’ve handled adversity this term. I look forward to awarding your degrees in June and celebrating your accomplishments together on campus once we can safely gather on this fair Arcadian Hill.

Saludos and lux esto,

Jorge G. Gonzalez

President

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Frequently Asked Questions for Staff (Updated 4.27.20)

Staff Working on Campus

  • If I am on campus, do I need to wear a face covering?

Effective April 26, the order states that any individual able to medically tolerate a face covering must wear a covering over his or her nose and mouth—such as a homemade mask, scarf, bandana, or handkerchief—when in any enclosed public space. With the majority of campus working and learning from home, this may be of limited necessity; however, please wear a face covering when entering any enclosed public spaces where others may be present and social distancing may be difficult.

Remote Work and Pay

  • Who should be working from home under Governor Whitmer’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order?

In an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19 throughout the state of Michigan, the governor’s office has issued an executive order requiring Michigan residents to remain at home to the maximum extent feasible. Kalamazoo College will follow the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order to our utmost ability, allowing on campus only those employees who must be physically present to provide essential services. Under no circumstances should a person who is ill come to campus.

These are the services that require employees to be on campus:

  • Campus Safety
  • Food, custodial and health services for the very few students still on campus
  • Direct and technical support for teaching and learning
  • Payroll and other essential business functions

With the exception of Campus Safety, other services will be limited. The main phone line, 269.337.7000, will continue to be answered.

  • Will we receive pay and benefits through this Stay Home period?

The College intends to pay employees and maintain benefits for as long as possible into the future.

  • What resources does the College provide for working remotely?

The Kalamazoo College Information Services website provides information and instructions on resources that can help you work remotely, including access to collaboration tools like Microsoft Teams. They are also regularly updating their page with announcements.

If you are unable to find the information you need from the IS website, you may contact the Help Desk. Please understand that the Help Desk team is experiencing a high volume of calls and requests and response times may be longer than usual.

  • What if items I need for remote work are still at the office?

Staff who need to come to campus to retrieve equipment may do so; however, please coordinate the timing with your supervisor and practice social distancing. Please ensure that return visits to campus are only for essential items in keeping with the governor’s order.

  • How should we track time for hourly employees working from home?

Hourly employees must track all time worked. No untracked work should be performed. Employees may not work overtime without express, written approval from the supervisor. Time spent performing work should be recorded as work time, regardless of your physical location. We anticipate that there may be funding sources available to help offset costs related to the COVID-19 outbreak. Properly tracking this time will aid the College in providing documentation on COVID-19 response expenses.

Hourly employees should use the special code ‘C19’ on their timesheets to note time that they were available to come to work but were unable to do so because of social distancing requirements or the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order.

The C19 code should be used to fill in for hours that you would have worked if COVID-19 response were not at play. Here’s an example.

Typical, pre-COVID-19 schedule: 8 a.m.–5 p.m. with one-hour unpaid lunch:

  • In: 8 a.m.
  • Out: 12 p.m.
  • In: 1 p.m.
  • Out: 5 p.m.
  • Total hours worked and paid: 8

Current COVID-19 response situation: Work three hours in the morning.

  • In: 8 a.m.
  • Out: 11 a.m.
  • C19: 5
  • Total hours paid: 8

Employee Health

  • What if I’m sick during this Stay Home period?

In the event you are ill, taking care of someone who is ill, and you are an hourly worker, please use the “Break Day” code rather than Emergency Time.

While the College expects you will honor your work commitments and share childcare duties with other adults in the household (if applicable), if you are caring for a school age child because school is closed due to COVID-19, or taking care of a child whose daycare is closed, you may use the “Break Day” code rather than Emergency Time for hours spent caring for your children.

  • If I am diagnosed with COVID-19, who should I notify and what are my leave benefits?

In such an event, you should notify Jenn Williams at Jennifer.williams@kzoo.edu. She will work with you to identify the leave benefits for which you might be eligible. When you provide notice that you have been confirmed positive, please also provide a list of any members of the Kalamazoo College community who you recall being in direct contact and close proximity to during the previous 14 days.

  • What if someone in my family is diagnosed with COVID-19? Do I need to notify the College? Can I take time off to care for them?

Please notify your supervisor and plan to self-quarantine for the recommended 14 days. You may take time off to care for a member of your household as a result of COVID-19.

  • How is the College supporting the health and safety of essential staff on campus?

The College has taken important steps in support of social distancing so that those who must remain on campus have minimal contact with others. Faculty and staff are strongly advised to stay away from campus as much as possible during the “Stay Safe Stay Home” order in order to minimize contact for essential services  staff who must be on campus. Custodial services are limited to occupied residence halls, reduced bathroom cleanings, centralized garbage pick up for essential service employees, and other limited services. Only a member of President’s Staff can designate an essential service employee who must be on campus to fulfill their duties.

  • What resources are available for employee well-being?

Please be reminded that the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is designed to help navigate through many of life’s ups and downs. A licensed professional counselor can help with stress and anxiety, relationship issues, and more. The work/life specialists can help to find resources in the community on many topics including elder/child care and financial services.

Learn more about this free and confidential program by visiting https://hr.kzoo.edu/current-employees/eap/

Human Resources and Payroll Support

  • How do I contact HR or the business office if I have questions about pay or benefits?

Please email payroll@kzoo.edu or HR@kzoo.edu, and someone will follow up as soon as possible.

  • What if I need to pick up a paycheck?

Employees are strongly recommended to register for direct deposit. Checks may not be picked up.  The Business Office is closed to all walk-in traffic and the building is locked.  Checks are being mailed.

  • I have a job posted in my area—can I continue through the hiring process?

Yes, the selection process may continue if circumstances permit. There is a message on the staff searches pages that indicates that search processes may be delayed as a result of COVID-19 response. Questions about searches may be directed to Renee Boelcke at renee.boelcke@kzoo.edu.

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Kalamazoo College Responds to “Stay Home, Stay Safe”

Dear Campus Community,

In an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19 throughout the state of Michigan, the governor’s office has issued an executive order requiring Michigan residents to remain at home to the maximum extent feasible. Kalamazoo College will follow the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order to our utmost ability, allowing on campus only those employees who must be physically present to provide essential services. Under no circumstances should a person who is ill come to campus.

These are the services that require employees to be on campus:

  • Campus Safety
  • Food, custodial and health services for the very few students still on campus
  • Direct and technical support for teaching and learning
  • Payroll and other essential business functions

With the exception of Campus Safety, other services will be limited. The main phone line, 269.337.7000 will continue to be answered.

Employees are expected to continue working from home. The College intends to pay employees and maintain benefits for as long as possible into the future.

Faculty and staff who need to come to campus to retrieve equipment may do so; however, please coordinate the timing with your supervisor and practice social distancing. Teaching faculty are encouraged to work from home and to contact the Provost’s Office if technology is a barrier.

As additional information becomes available, the College will continue to communicate with you via Hornet Hive messages, and we will update our COVID-19 webpage.

Please remember, by staying away, you protect the health and safety of the very few students who could not go home and your colleagues who must be on campus to provide essential services. I know these are uncertain times, and the fluidity of the COVID-19 developments is not within our control. I am profoundly grateful for our faculty and staff’s exceptional commitment to our students, our alumni, our families and friends, and to one another. Together, we will get through this global health crisis.

Saludos and be well,

Jorge G. Gonzalez

President

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Kalamazoo College Moves to Distance Learning for Entire Spring Term, Employees to Work from Home

Dear Campus Community,

It is with a heavy heart that I tell you that all Kalamazoo College courses during the spring will be conducted through distance learning for the duration of the term. This difficult decision was made based on rapidly evolving recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and our local and state governments. This action is being taken with an abundance of caution. The health and safety of all members of our community and their loved ones must be paramount.

No in-person finals will be offered after 9 p.m. tonight, Monday, March 16, 2020. Please watch for communication from your faculty member regarding exams previously scheduled for Tuesday, March 17, 2020. Face-to-face interaction between students and faculty is at the heart of a Kalamazoo College education. The education during the Spring Term will be different. Learning and advising can take place remotely, and I have full confidence that our faculty and students will engage in meaningful ways from a distance. I appreciate the extra work and effort involved from faculty and students. Thank you.

While students will be billed for Spring Term tuition, the College will not charge room or board to anyone not living in the residence halls. Special course and lab fees for the spring semester will be waived. The activity fee will also be waived. The College is working on a mechanism to refund or reimburse already paid Spring Term room and board, as well as special course, lab and activity fees.

The College expects students to vacate the residence halls for the entire spring term. In addition, the employees are encouraged to work from home until further notice.

Students must vacate the residence halls by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, March 18, 2020. (This is an extension of the original noon deadline).

  • Only international students, who cannot return to their home countries, will be allowed to remain on campus. This criterion supersedes any previously published criteria.
  • Students should take what they can from their rooms. Rooms with belongings still inside will be locked and remain untouched until students have time to properly vacate them. Please place a priority on taking valuables (whether monetary or sentimental) with you.
  • Students who have already departed the residence halls may not return to campus at this time. The College will develop a process for gathering belongings that remain when it is safe to do so. We will communicate with you on this topic at a later date.
  • We hope to hold Commencement ceremonies as scheduled. It is simply too soon to know if this will be possible. We will hold a ceremony at some point, if not in June.

Faculty and staff who can conduct their primary work functions from home, should do so beginning no later than Thursday, March 19, 2020 at 8 a.m. and continue indefinitely.

  • The intent is to maintain College operations and to keep employees financially whole as long as possible. By financially whole, we mean the College plans to pay employees in full during the period of time we will be working from home. Benefits will also be maintained.
  • The College recognizes not everyone can conduct their main work functions from home. Please talk to your immediate supervisor regarding arrangements.
  • Some employees may work on alternating schedules, allowing the College to maintain critical functions while practicing social distancing.
  • We are all in this together. It is safer for those who must come to campus if those who can work remotely stay at home.

The Upjohn Learning Commons and the Fitness and Wellness Center will be closed at 3 p.m. today, Monday, March 16, 2020, by executive order of the Governor of Michigan. These facilities will remain closed to everyone except employees who work in those facilities until at least 11:59 p.m., Monday, March 30, 2020.

I know there are many unanswered questions. You may send your questions to info@kzoo.edu, and we will address them as best we can. We appreciate your patience as we address the most pressing concerns first.

As additional information becomes available, the College will continue to communicate with you via Hornet Hive messages, and we will update our COVID-19 webpage. I am grateful to the faculty and staff who have worked and will continue to work incredibly hard to address this national health crisis.

The College recognizes this action is particularly challenging for seniors. We know there will be no final spring athletic season, no final performances or presentation, no last Day of Gracious Living at the beach, just to name a few. We know students cannot get the spring of senior year back.

The COVID-19 pandemic reminds us that we are one. Our humanity is global, and so must be our response. We must think of each other as well as ourselves. I encourage you to be open to the changes we must now all adopt, stay healthy, and be mindful of the safety of others. I look forward to the day that we may all gather together again on our fair Arcadian hill.

Saludos and lux esto,

Jorge G. Gonzalez

President

K Begins Spring Term with Distance Learning

This message has been sent to Kalamazoo College students, faculty and staff:

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Kalamazoo College’s decision-making process has been science-based and informed by our local health department, state government and the Centers for Disease Control. Based on the evidence of how this virus spreads and the patterns identified in other communities, it is with an abundance of caution that Kalamazoo College will start the spring term on Wednesday, April 1, 2020, with distance instruction.

  • Winter term finals will continue as planned from Sunday, March 15, 2020 through Tuesday, March 17, 2020
  • Residence halls will close on Wednesday, March 18, 2020
  • Academic courses in distance learning formats begin Wednesday, April 1, 2020
  • The residence halls will open on Sunday, April 12, 2020
  • In-person instruction resumes on Monday, April 13, 2020

The only students who may request to stay on campus during Spring Break and during the distance learning period are international students, student-athletes (as long as conference competitions are scheduled), students who are employed by the College or in the local community (pending employment verification), and domestic students whose permanent residence is more than 450 miles away.    

The health of our students, faculty and staff is our utmost concern, and we believe this approach to social distancing is in the best interest of our campus community. Recognizing circumstances can quickly change, we will continue to monitor COVID-19 developments. Should plans for the spring term change, we will notify you no later than Monday, April 6, 2020.

We recognize the alternative formats used in distance learning will not replicate the in-person classroom experience for students and faculty. It will be different. We are confident meaningful teaching and learning experiences will occur, and the goal is to return to in-person instruction as soon as possible.

During this period of distance learning, Kalamazoo College offices will remain open and employees will report to work on their regular schedules. Employees should discuss with their supervisors options for working from home when appropriate. Please remember it is in your best interest and that of your colleagues to stay home if you are ill. We are aware Michigan public schools will be closing on Monday, March 16, and we understand some of you may have childcare concerns. Please work directly with your supervisors.

In addition, K is suspending all non-essential college-sponsored travel, effective immediately. Travel may only occur with the approval of the appropriate vice president.

For students with campus employment, the College is exploring ways to ensure you are kept financially whole during the extended break from campus. In addition, for those who live in the residence halls, room and board charges will be adjusted. Additional communication on this topic is forthcoming.

Please know this extremely difficult decision was made with the intent to protect the health and safety of our entire campus community. We appreciate your patience, your resiliency and your flexibility. I know this news is disappointing, and that you will have many questions. The situation is fluid, and we will continue to communicate with you. The College’s COVID-19 webpage is an additional resource for you. We care about your well-being and urge you to take care of yourselves and one another during this public health crisis.

Saludos,

Jorge G. Gonzalez

President

Return to all Coronavirus Information and Updates

COVID-19 Update 3.12.20

As many of you are aware, in the past 24 hours, the state of Michigan and the United States Government have issued new public health and travel guidelines that inevitably have an effect on the Kalamazoo College community.

There is a great deal of information in this message. Please take the time to carefully read the entire communication. Additional information is available on K’s COVID-19 webpage.

• Based on the recommendation of the Michigan Governor’s office, effective tomorrow, March 13, 2020, through a 30-day period, Kalamazoo College will cancel events with expected gatherings of more than 100 people. In addition, no outside groups of any size may use Kalamazoo College spaces during the specified time frame.

Hornet Athletic teams will not engage in team travel during spring break, and the Athletic Department has cancelled all non-conference games for the spring season. Hornets spring teams plan to participate in MIAA conference contests, which begin in late March.

The College has made the difficult decision to cancel Spring Short-term Study Abroad. The Center for International Programs (CIP) will continue to provide individual support to students transitioning from programs abroad. In addition, during the next few weeks, the CIP will be researching other international opportunities for students who are unable to study abroad this spring.

Regarding Spring Break, regular policies and procedures apply. The only students who may request to stay on campus during Spring Break are international students, in-season athletes, students who are employed by the College or in the local community (pending employment verification), and domestic students whose permanent residence is more than 450 miles away.  

As you pack for Spring Break, please anticipate the possibility of a longer break than is currently scheduled. If the Spring Break schedule is amended, the College will ensure time for students, faculty and staff to make arrangements and will make adjustments for extenuating circumstances.

Cleaning contact points such as doorknobs is a priority of the custodial staff, as is ensuring soap and hand sanitizer dispensers are filled. Please understand that as a result of the sanitizing efforts, dusting and vacuuming may be less frequent.

• For faculty, staff and dependents covered by the College’s health plan, K has enhanced our insurance plan to include 100 percent coverage of COVID testing.

• Faculty and staff are encouraged to renew their business continuity plans. The College is committed to exploring ways to keep employees financially whole in the event of a College-wide work schedule variation.

We are deeply disturbed by reports of racism on our campus related to COVID-19. Discrimination harms public health. Let’s fight this public health concern with compassion and science, not fear and discrimination. Students with concerns may contact the Student Development Office at 269.337.7210.

Thank you for paying close attention to the contents of this message. Given the rapidly evolving nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, this information could quickly change. We urge you to continue to watch Hornet Hive emails for updated information.

Sincerely,

President’s Staff

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