Campus reopening communication
June 18, 2020
Dear Maryville Students and Families,
I trust that you are safe and healthy as we deal with the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. My thoughts are with you as we move into summer and prepare for the fall. I am very proud of our community of students, faculty and staff who display such resilience and creativity during these unprecedented times.
Over the past several weeks, many employees have worked tirelessly on a plan for your return to campus and I’m pleased to announce that Maryville is planning for an on-campus return this fall. As always, our plan is governed by the guidelines and rules of local health officials and we will continue to monitor those issues as they evolve.
To help lessen the likelihood of COVID-19 transmission at Maryville and to insure a maximum amount of safety, our fall plan will include a variety of social distancing policies and procedures that all our students, faculty and staff will follow. These guidelines will impact everyone but they will provide the best opportunity for an on campus educational and social experience.
There are a great many details around this plan and we are here to answer all of your questions so that you have a complete picture of how your campus experience will function. All of this information will be provided on maryville.edu/SaintStrong in the next several weeks and we have a group of staff ready to answer your questions. In this letter, I’d like to highlight a few important changes:
We are moving to a flexible, hybrid academic model. In this model, many courses will have “mixed attendance,” that is, during any one class session some students will be in the classroom while others participate remotely. An example might be if you have a T/Th class on campus, you’ll attend one of those days in-person and one day virtually. Your health and safety are of utmost importance so if you feel sick or don’t feel comfortable on a given day, you will always be able to attend class virtually. Further details will be released soon.
A variety of options for lab and clinical based courses are being explored to ensure that opportunities for hands-on skills are provided. Your professors or program director will communicate attendance schedules and options when classes begin.
On-campus instruction will begin on schedule, August 24 and conclude on November 20, prior to the Thanksgiving Holiday. Students will finish the final two weeks of the semester through our remote learning platforms only, including final exams, in order to lessen the likelihood of COVID-19 transmission at Maryville.
Athletics and Recreation
At this time, we are planning for competition for all of our fall sports both scholarship and club sports. Team activities will follow social distancing guidelines and other protocols to limit the chances of infection. The Athletics and Recreation Department will communicate policies and guidelines.
We are reducing the number of students living in residential facilities by converting Saints Hall to single occupancy rooms and offering a limited number of doubles in Potter Hall. We are reserving specific buildings, such as Mouton Hall, Cove House and Ranch House, for students to quarantine if necessary. The apartments will continue with its usual occupancy.
Spreading out occupancy will reduce on campus housing availability; however, Maryville will offer supplemental housing at three local hotels, the Marriott West and the Drury in Chesterfield. Single rooms available at the hotels to accommodate students who are seeking a residential housing experience. At each hotel, rooms utilized for Maryville residential students will be grouped together and staffed by a Resident Assistant. Residential Life will contact all residential students in the next several days to discuss their individual housing arrangement.
Because we will be transitioning to our remote learning platform after the Thanksgiving break, residential students will move out no later than Sunday, November 22, 2020 and will not be permitted to return until Saturday, January 9, 2021 for the spring semester.
Please note: Billing statements for all students will be sent the week of June 29, 2020.
Health and Safety
Maryville holds the health and safety of its students as our top priority. In the coming weeks, students will be provided with information on new health and safety policies and expectations for all community members returning to campus. While we recognize that these new health and safety policies will alter the student experience in some ways, maintaining the health and safety of our campus community is a shared responsibility of all members of the university community. Also look for more details on expanded services available through the Health Center and Counseling Center in the coming weeks. Maryville will continue to monitor the orders and guidance from public health officials and agencies and will update our health and safety policies and procedures as public health guidance evolves.
As we come back together as a community this fall, I want to formalize the theme that many students, faculty and staff have been using throughout the past few months. SaintStrong is a reminder that to keep ourselves and our community safe, we must all adopt and implement new protocols and practices. Maryville holds as paramount the health, safety and welfare of every member of our community. Having said that, none of us can guarantee what shape COVID-19 will take, and none of us – including Maryville University – can guarantee an environment free of communicable disease, including COVID-19. This is simply not feasible. It would be disingenuous to suggest otherwise, and there is inherent risk that cannot be avoided by returning to campus.
We are in unprecedented times, and safety in the COVID-19 environment is a shared obligation. Every member of our community must do their part. We expect anyone who sets foot on the Maryville campus will appreciate and honor this obligation and comply with all social distancing policies and procedures. Our SaintStrong website will be a resource where you can find the most up-to-date information about Maryville’s operating approach as we continue to navigate the pandemic. You will find policies regarding on-campus interactions as well as more details about changes to academics, housing, dining, health and wellness, facilities, athletics, and more.
Everyone at Maryville is eager for your return to campus, and we have adopted a flexible approach to re-open campus that can be adjusted as conditions change. Please continue to refer to SaintStrong regularly for updates. You may also contact your Life Coach or the Solution Squad to answer questions about our plans for the fall.
Mark Lombardi, PhD