May 26: Fall 2020 Announcement

Dear Bennies and Johnnies,

March 13, 2020, the day we announced the need to move classes online, seems so long ago. During the past two months, we have learned a lot – about COVID-19, shelter-in-place, Zoom, and disappointment. We have also learned a great deal about gratitude, hope, compassion, and the need to care for our families and neighbors.

The most important thing we learned, however, was how much we loved dwelling in community on campus: learning together and growing together. Right now, we all feel a little displaced as we look toward the future and think about where we need to be; where we want to be. That place, of course, is the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University.

Today, we are formally announcing that Saint Ben’s and Saint John’s plan to return to our on-campus community in the fall with the first day of classes as planned on August 31, 2020, subject to federal and state health and safety guidelines.

We are planning to open campus for the 2020-21 academic year as scheduled because we need to be together. We learn many things in community at Saint Ben’s and Saint John’s, including things about ourselves. Under the inspiration of our Catholic beliefs and guidance of our Benedictine values, we become good women and good men.

In preparation for fall 2020, we are creating a detailed protocol to protect each member of our community. The centerpieces of the protocol are testing, tracing and, as needed, separating. We have identified places for isolation and quarantine if necessary. We are putting in place rules for physical distancing and building access, and we are following exacting standards of cleanliness in residence halls, common spaces, dining facilities, and bathrooms. Medical professionals on each campus are informing good decision-making. And consistent with our values, our students, faculty and staff will join in a contract of personal responsibility.

Campus leaders are meeting regularly to plan scenarios for fall, and more information will be available for students and families soon. Further, we are also planning regarding employees’ return to work, and more information will be shared with employees in the coming days.

As we begin the fall semester, our students will see some differences on campus: social distancing, enhanced use of technology in all courses, and increased expectations of personal responsibility. Despite these requirements, you will recognize the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University. We look forward to welcoming you back to campus.

Mary Dana Hinton                                                                           Eugene McAllister
College of Saint Benedict President                                          Saint John's University Interim President