October 22: Parent Notice for Holiday Plans

Dear CSB/SJU families,

As we prepare for the upcoming holidays, we will all have to make personal decisions on what will be best for our families' health and safety. To that end, CSB/SJU has prepared the following plan for students, as copied below this message.

We write to you today with the good news that our campus has been able to manage our COVID cases in a manner that has allowed students to remain on campus. As of this writing, our positive case numbers are quite low, and we continue to monitor local and state numbers. We appreciate the efforts of everyone in our community to make this work. We especially want to thank you, our families for your on-going support of your student and for the campus team managing COVID protocols. We have received several notes of encouragement and prayers from so many of you, and they have buoyed us in difficult times. Thank you for your kindness and support.

There are two key things to note. First, students are strongly encouraged, but not required, to stay on campus over Thanksgiving break. If they do go home, they should try to keep their exposure to a minimum. Second, the campuses will be closed over the winter break period. Everyone, including employees, are all being asked to leave campus. Students who truly cannot get home can request to stay, and appropriate arrangements will be made for these very few exceptions. Please note, student-athletes will receive information about a return date once the MIAC conference has made a decision about winter sports.

Please connect with your student and help them determine their plan for these breaks. Some of you have contacted us already, so we know the timing of this is very important.

We wish you blessed and peace filled holidays, however you may celebrate them this year.

Mary Geller
Vice President for Student Development
College of Saint Benedict

Michael Connolly
Interim Vice President for Student Development
Saint John’s University

Dear CSB and SJU Students, 

As we look forward to the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, your safety and the safety of our faculty and staff are our top priority, and we want to make sure that we are doing everything we can to mitigate an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases on campus. We want the in-person, on-campus experience to continue for our students following Thanksgiving break and through the end of fall semester. Each one of you is an important part of this plan.

Read this e-mail carefully. Everyone needs to fill out the first Thanksgiving form, the second form is only for those who need to stay over the long winter break.

Thanksgiving:

Thanksgiving is a traditional time for many of our students to return home and share important time and traditions with family. However, in this odd year, if you are interested in remaining on campus through Thanksgiving, we welcome and encourage you to stay.

Classes will end at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 25, and resume at 8:00 a.m. on Monday, November 30. Our campuses will remain open over the Thanksgiving break, and we welcome and encourage students to remain on campus.

Dining services will be open on both campuses and a number of activities will be planned for you during the four-day break, including a special Thanksgiving dinner on each campus. 

Students who choose to leave campus for Thanksgiving are asked to limit interactions with others (such as beyond your immediate family) to keep your risk of exposure to the virus as minimal as possible. This will help you remain healthy and reduce the chances of virus spreading on our campuses when you return.

Students who do not go home are asked to remain on campus and limit interactions to those who are also staying on campus for the break.

The Guest Policy over Thanksgiving will be one guest (from either campus/your home campus) per room per occupant if you can remain socially distanced and masks are worn. No outside guests (those not enrolled at CSB/SJU) will be allowed on campus.

To help us plan for the Thanksgiving break, please fill out this form or copy this link into your browser: https://www.csbsju.edu/forms/857MNXL194 to provide information regarding your intended plans for the break. We ask that students complete and submit this form no later than October 31. 

Christmas:

The last day of classes before Christmas will be Friday, December 18, and students should make plans to leave campus by Dec.18 for the duration of the five-week break. Students who absolutely need to stay on campus must apply for permission to do so. Please be aware that the campuses will essentially be closed during the Christmas break (December 18, 2020 – January 24, 2021). Dining services, LINK buses and other services and activities will be closed or significantly limited. Classes resume January 25, and housing agreements allow for students to begin returning on Saturday, January 23, at CSB and Sunday, January 24, at SJU.

No guests will be permitted during the Christmas break. Those remaining on campus will be expected to abide by behavioral expectations that will be put in place for the break

To request to remain on campus for the Christmas break, you must complete this form or copy this link into your browser: https://www.csbsju.edu/forms/CSE0KNZFYY. Requests must be received by Friday, December 4. You will receive written notice indicating whether or not your request has been approved. 

CSB and SJU have been able to continue providing an in-person, on-campus experience because on-campus cases of COVID-19 have stayed under control. It is clear that the great majority of students are taking the situation seriously. We appreciate seeing so many students wearing masks and social distancing; this makes us hopeful about the efforts we are all taking together.

Please continue to be vigilant and follow all health and safety measures for the wellbeing of the entire CSB/SJU community. Please wear a mask, get a flu shot, wash your hands and socially distance.

Thank you for your on-going cooperation.

Mary Geller
Vice President for Student Development
College of Saint Benedict

Michael Connolly
Interim Vice President for Student Development
Saint John’s University