Fall Term Update

The following message was sent earlier today to students and families.

Dear Students and Families:

Planning for the fall quarter at K continues and we are eager to welcome students back for the new academic year. This message provides a comprehensive update on where we are with fall planning, including some information that we have already shared with you and additional details about other areas of campus planning.

As we have shared previously, the College’s priorities remain: a) the health and well-being of our students and employees and b) assisting students in progressing toward graduation with coursework that reflects the K experience of small classes and deep engagement with faculty and staff. We continue to monitor the public health situation in southwest Michigan and will let you know as soon as possible if we need to modify plans for housing or classes in response to the developing public health situation.

Fall Term 2020 Classes

The College will offer classes in person, in a hybrid (partly in person and partly virtual) format, and in a virtual format. Students who wish to take a full load of courses remotely will be able to do so, as nearly half of fall courses will now be offered in a virtual format.

Information about the final mix of classes in each format (and directions on how to search the course schedule by format) is now available on the College website. As a reminder, the add/drop period reopens for returning students on August 3 so that students have several weeks to adjust their schedules as needed before the start of fall term.

Faculty have been working throughout the summer to prepare fall courses that are engaging and intellectually rigorous, regardless of the mode in which they are offered. During the month of August, faculty will be discussing the issue of fall term grading and determining whether modifications should be made to published grading policies in the Academic Catalog. Any faculty-approved changes will be shared before the fall term begins.

Academic Calendar

The academic calendar for the fall term remains as published previously. Fall term courses will begin on September 14 and classes end on November 20, with final exams scheduled for November 22-24. At this point, all academic deadlines (e.g., add/drop, course withdrawal) remain as published.

First-Year Students Housing and Orientation

We look forward to welcoming new students to campus this fall! First-year students will start engaging virtually with their Peer Leaders and seminar group by mid-August. In addition, new students will be invited to watch a faculty/staff panel discussion about the broader themes of the Summer Common Reading. More information about both will be forthcoming.

First-year students will receive their housing assignments via their K email during the first week of August. Students will move into the residence halls on Tuesday, September 8, and Wednesday, September 9 (9 a.m.–4 p.m. on both days). Early move-ins cannot be accommodated. Students will be permitted to bring up to two people to assist them with move-in. Everyone must wear masks and we will be engaging in physical distancing practices. After moving their students in, we invite families to stop by the Information Table outside the Hicks Student Center (or inside in the event of rain) to pick up their welcome bag that will contain an abundance of helpful information. Families will then be required to depart campus. Family orientation sessions will be entirely online this year.

Formal Orientation activities for first-year students will begin Wednesday night, September 9, and run through Sunday, September 13. Orientation is required for all incoming first-year students. Virtual options will be made available for students who are studying remotely. Students will be engaging in a variety of sessions to help them know what it means to be a Kalamazoo College student and be successful academically, gain useful information, and engage socially. They will spend time with their Peer Leaders in their small seminar groups, and there will be many opportunities for fun experiences both in-person and virtual. The full schedule will be emailed to new students in early August.

Transfer Student Orientation is scheduled for Friday, September 11, from 9 a.m.–5 p.m. This one-day orientation is required for all transfer students. There will be optional activities scheduled for Saturday, September 12. More information will be emailed to transfer students in early August.

In the event we are entirely online for fall, all Orientation activities will be offered virtually. Questions about orientation can be directed to Jon Collier, Director of Student Activities (Jon.Collier@kzoo.edu).

Sophomore Students

We understand that this is an especially challenging time for you, both because of the disruptions to the final term of your first year and the inability to live on campus this year. We are currently exploring possibilities for additional sophomore-focused programming and will share additional information as it becomes available. Our website for off-campus living may also be a useful source of information.

Dining

Campus dining will be limited to students living in the residence halls. This is the best way to ensure physical distancing and compliance with public health mandates about the density of interior dining spaces. We anticipate that a significant proportion of dining will be of the “grab and go” variety whereby students will select items “to go.” Dining Services is exploring and refining a system to order ahead online, and we’ll share more when we know more details. We anticipate that students will be able to “grab and go” from a variety of locations across campus to minimize queuing and crowding. Should public health guidance change and enable a larger number of students to safely participate in campus dining (via commuter meal plans, for example), we will share that information. More specific information will be provided as the academic term approaches.

Enhanced Sanitizing Protocols

Enhanced sanitizing protocols will be in place across campus for fall. Common spaces such as classrooms, restrooms in non-residential buildings, and group restrooms in residential buildings will be disinfected daily. Common touch points (e.g., doorknobs, faucets) will be disinfected on a more frequent basis. In classrooms, materials will be provided for individuals to disinfect their own area (e.g., chair, desk, table) upon entering the space. Classrooms will also be cleaned and disinfected daily by custodial staff.

Community Expectations for Promoting Health and Hygiene

Before returning to campus, all students and employees must complete the online COVID-19 educational modules that were shared via email in mid-July. This program consists of two 10-minute modules and associated assessments.

As part of our commitment to shared community responsibility, every person on campus who is medically able will be required to wear a face covering when in indoor common spaces such as hallways, restrooms, classrooms, lounges, and study/meeting areas. Face coverings are also required in outdoor spaces when social distancing is not possible and in personal spaces (residence hall rooms and individual offices) when more than one person is present. Students should return to campus prepared to self-monitor their health daily and to remain six feet away from others whenever possible. Students should bring a personal thermometer back to campus or to Kalamazoo when they return for the fall.

Everyone should follow CDC and College guidance on regular handwashing with soap and water and, when soap and water are not available, use of hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizer will be provided in stations across campus.

Student Health Center Services

The Student Health Center is available for all enrolled students’ healthcare needs this fall through phone triage, video visits and in-person visits. All students must be enrolled in MyChart and call 269-337-7200 to be pre-screened prior to an appointment. We will not be seeing walk-in students this fall. We plan to test scheduled, pre-screened students for COVID as needed. We are working closely with our local county health department on this dynamic situation and are doing our very best to mitigate risk to all of our campus community. We have on campus designated isolation and quarantine spaces available to campus residents.

The College requires all students living in the Kalamazoo area to have health insurance that is valid in the local area. Please enroll in or waive the College Student Health Insurance Plan.

If you are living away from the Kalamazoo area/only taking virtual classes and do not plan to enroll in the insurance plan, please waive health insurance.

Student Employment

Students will follow the College’s usual processes to attain employment on campus. Students may begin the process by visiting the campus employment website. All employees, including student employees, are expected to complete a pre-work health screening with a temperature reading, wear facial coverings and sanitize their workspace(s).

International Students

The Center for International Programs (CIP) staff are communicating with new and continuing F-1 visa and J-1 students throughout the summer regarding options for fall. For any F-1 student with additional questions, please email ISA@kzoo.edu. We will welcome visiting international students (J-1 visa holders) in the fall and winter, pending availability of travel options from outside the U.S.

Campus Offices and Services

As part of our efforts to maintain physical distance and reduce the density of individuals in campus spaces, many campus employees will continue to work remotely throughout the fall term. Offices and services will remain available to students, but hours for in-person interaction and drop-in access to services will be more limited than in terms past. As we get closer to the beginning of the fall term, specific hours and contact information for each office will be available to the campus community.

Study Abroad

Expanded options for 2021 long-term study abroad during the winter and spring terms and for short-term winter programs are being developed by the Center for International Programs (CIP) in collaboration with our partners around the world. Students who were approved for fall 2020 study abroad have already received information about winter and spring options and should contact cip@kzoo.edu if they have further questions. The CIP will continue to monitor the global travel and health situation and will make a final determination on winter study abroad by October 1.

Intercollegiate Athletics

As announced yesterday, K is postponing the fall intercollegiate athletic season. A decision on winter sports will be made later this fall. The Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) also announced that the President’s Council has voted to postpone fall conference competition and conference tournaments for football, cross country, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s soccer, and volleyball. The Conference will develop schedules for these sports to take place later in the academic year.

We look forward to welcoming students back to campus and remain committed to providing the small classes, engagement with faculty and staff, and opportunities to participate in activities with the larger campus community that are hallmarks of the K experience. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to test our resiliency and nimbleness. I am so proud of the work that has been done by our students, faculty, and staff over the past few months. Their resolve to move forward despite many challenges has been inspiring. I have no doubt that we will overcome our current public health crisis and that our community will be stronger as a result of this experience.

Saludos,
Jorge G. Gonzalez
President

Return to all Coronavirus Information and Updates

Update on Housing, Classes

To Students and Families:

Planning for the fall quarter at K continues. Here are some important updates:

Housing

As communicated earlier, the College is prioritizing the housing of first-year students and Visiting International students. Students living on campus will reside in rooms or in individual bedrooms by themselves, with no roommates. This is the most effective way to create physical distance in a group living environment. Residential student expectations in the context of the coronavirus and logistical details will be communicated later in the summer, once the housing process is underway. Residential students will be charged the double room rate.

After reviewing the “opt out” data from first-year and sophomore students, it is clear that there will not be space to house sophomore students on campus, including those who had planned to live in Living Learning Houses. This means that sophomores should make plans to live off campus (in Kalamazoo or at home). This is not what we had hoped would happen, but it is now clear that we must greatly minimize the number of students in residence in the interest of student health and safety.  

Classes

The College will offer classes in person, in a hybrid (partly in-person and partly virtual) format, and in a virtual format. Students who wish to take a full load of courses remotely will be able to do so. The mix of courses offered in each format will be informed by the very short survey of student preferences regarding classes that students received on Friday. Please take the time to complete the survey if you have not already done so. Not every course will be available in every format, but our goal is to provide a full load of courses that will enable each student to continue making progress toward their degree, whatever format they choose.  

Information about the final mix of classes in each format (and also directions on how to search the course schedule by format) will be available by the beginning of August when the add/drop period reopens for returning students so that students will have several weeks to adjust their schedules as needed before the start of fall term.

As we continue to navigate through the pandemic, the College’s priorities remain: a) the health and well-being of our students and employees and b) assisting students in progressing toward graduation with coursework that reflects the K experience of small classes and deep engagement with faculty and staff. The housing information and mix of course formats above reflect those dual priorities. We continue to monitor the public health situation in southwest Michigan and will let you know as soon as possible if we need to modify plans for housing or classes in response to the developing public health situation.

We appreciate your patience as we continue our planning efforts. We will communicate again soon with more information.

Sarah B. Westfall
Vice President for Student Development and Dean of Students

Danette Ifert Johnson
Provost

Return to all Coronavirus Information and Updates

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

Return to all Coronavirus Information and Updates

Frequently Asked Questions for Students (Updated 7.14.20)

How will classes work? 

This answer was updated July 14
The College will offer classes in person, in a hybrid (partly in-person and partly virtual) format, and in a virtual format. Students who want to take a full load of remote courses may do so. Not every course will be available in every format, but our goal is to provide a full load of courses that will enable each student to continue making progress toward their degree, whatever format they choose.  

Information about the final mix of classes in each format (and also directions on how to search the course schedule by format) will be available by the beginning of August when the add/drop period reopens for returning students.

Will the Kalamazoo College residence halls be open this fall? 

This answer was updated July 14
As communicated earlier, the College is prioritizing the housing of first-year students and visiting international students. Students living on campus will reside in rooms or in individual bedrooms by themselves, with no roommates. This is the most effective way to create physical distance in a group living environment. Residential student expectations in the context of the coronavirus and logistical details will be communicated later in the summer, once the housing process is underway. Residential students will be charged the double room rate.

After reviewing the “opt out” data from first-year and sophomore students, it is clear that there will not be space to house sophomore students on campus, including those who had planned to live in Living Learning Houses. This means that sophomores should make plans to live off campus (in Kalamazoo or at home). This is not what we had hoped would happen, but it is now clear that we must greatly minimize the number of students in residence in the interest of student health and safety.    

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. 

What will be done to support student safety on 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. 

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.    

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 K’s Commencement?

This answer was updated July 14
The on-campus Commencement for the class of 2020 will be May 29, 2021. Watch kzoo.edu/alumni/commencement/ for details as they develop.

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.

Return to all Coronavirus Information and Updates

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

Return to all Coronavirus Information and Updates

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

Return to all Coronavirus Information and Updates

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

Return to all Coronavirus Information and Updates

Frequently Asked Questions for Staff (Updated 7.14.20)

Staff Working on Campus

  • What is K’s reopening plan for faculty and staff?

K has adopted a phased-in approach to the re-engagement of in-person work for employees. The reopening plan covers how to keep our valuable human resources safe while we perform in-person work as permitted under the State of Michigan’s orders related to emergency management of the COVID-19 crisis. Find more on the reopening plan.

  • 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.

Return to all Coronavirus Information and Updates

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

Return to all Coronavirus Information and Updates

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