November 16: Post-Thanksgiving Options - Employee Message

Dear Colleagues,

First and foremost, we want to thank you. We’ve seen our employees work so hard to accomplish our crucial mission this fall. Thank you for your flexibility, hard work, patience and trust.

The pandemic has called on us to balance care for our students, faculty and staff in new ways. To promote the highest safety on campus, we are offering students the opportunity to remain at home after Thanksgiving and receive a prorated room and board refund.

During the first week after Thanksgiving, we hope to test all students who return to campus. We anticipate that these students will participate in classes remotely as well through Friday, December 4.

Please see below a message sent to all CSB/SJU students this afternoon, outlining their choices from now until Christmas break. Encourage them to use the form found here to indicate their plans.

In addition, the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University will be holding a free COVID-19 testing event (self-administered PCR saliva test) on both campuses from 10am to 4pm on Wednesday, November 18, open to employees. This large-scale testing event is important for Saint Ben’s and Saint John’s, for your families, and for the public health of Minnesota. Please refer to the FAQ link for further details about this testing event. Register for a testing time here.

Know that we see and value your ongoing and dedicated work. We are grateful for your understanding and support as we navigate these challenging times.

Sincerely, 

Laurie Hamen, J.D.

Interim President
College of Saint Benedict

Eugene McAllister, Ph.D.

Interim President
Saint John’s University

 

Dear Bennies and Johnnies,

First and foremost, we want to thank you. Thank you for wearing masks and practicing social distancing. We have not had a single case of the Coronavirus being transmitted in a classroom. Our libraries and dining facilities have also been very safe.

We hear you tell us you want to remain on campus for the completion of the semester. Your preference is heartening and important to us. Yet, the Thanksgiving holiday poses a significant challenge if students return to campus after several days seeing old friends, spending time with family, and being socially active.

To promote the highest safety on campus, we are offering students the opportunity to remain at home after Thanksgiving and receive a prorated room and board refund. Students who remain at home would complete the semester online and receive a prorated refund of room and meal expenses, beginning November 29. We would apply the refund to second semester charges.

Students who return to campus will be asked to commit to staying on campus as much as possible between their return and December 18 (no parties in town or traveling on the weekends). Current CSB/SJU mitigation policies will be in effect for the remainder of the semester.

During the first week after Thanksgiving, we hope to test all students who return to campus. We anticipate that these students will participate in classes remotely as well until Thursday, December 3.

We have developed these mitigation strategies in response to COVID-19 numbers on campus. We recognize that the measures are complicated, and we applaud our students who are working hard to live in community within these expectations. For students who choose to live on campus after Thanksgiving: we will be asking you to be even more conscientious of our community expectations.

Please fill out this form to let us know your plans. Responses must be received by Friday, November 20. To help inform your decision, answers to frequently asked questions will be posted here by noon on November 17.

Finally, anticipating the next questions: Yes, we are still offering free COVID-19 testing to students on November 18. Sign up here. And yes, our campuses and classes will be open to all students for the spring semester, beginning January 25. That will be a joyous day as all of us are together again.

Sincerely,

Laurie Hamen, J.D.

Interim President
College of Saint Benedict

Eugene McAllister, Ph.D.

Interim President
Saint John’s University