Dean of Students Sheilah Shaw Horton updated students on the College’s COVID-19 protocols for the spring semester. She mentioned that the spread of COVID-19 has been significantly reduced on campus, and as a result, testing is now optional, in accordance with national protocols. The testing center is still located at the College Club and will be open three days a week, with hours varying each week. Horton noted that students who opt to self test are strongly encouraged to notify the Health Center to ensure the College’s efficiency in tracking positive cases.
Horton also reminded students of the COVID-19 bivalent booster requirement, stating that there are a number of students who have not uploaded documentation of receiving the booster. While students returning from study abroad have a later deadline to upload their documentation, all other students who have not uploaded their documentation will be notified to do so as soon as possible via email in the coming weeks. As with last semester, Horton reminded students that those who test positive may still go to the dining halls to get meals to go with their OZZI boxes, but they should refrain from group gatherings both on and off campus.
In light of the recent news regarding Tyre Nichols’ death, Horton expressed her grief and concern with the ongoing crisis of police brutality. She encouraged students to share with her ideas of programming that would be helpful to provide a space to help students process through this hard time.
Updates were given on the state of the upcoming renovation plans for the Clapp Library. As students were notified last semester, the renovation plans have been postponed due to budget constraints and the extent of work that needs to be done. Two options are being explored in the meantime: a proposition to limit the extent of the repairs at the start and gradually progress one phase at a time, or provide additional resources such as additional thesis carrols and areas conducive to collaborative work in existing buildings while the library is closed for renovations.
After last weekend’s dangerously low temperatures, HPs reminded students to contact facilities regarding any issues with radiators and/or pipes in the residence halls.
Students reported experiencing communication issues with the Title IX Coordinator last semester. Horton mentioned that the current Title IX Coordinator is split between both Wellesley and Olin College and is present on campus on Mondays and Wednesdays, which may have been contributing to the delays in communication with students. She affirmed that any future issues with effective communication be brought to her attention so that it can be formally addressed. Students also expressed concern for the defunct Bike Share Program, stating that many students had issues with securing bikes or never received bikes despite registering for the program last semester. In response to Horton stating that the program has stopped running due to struggles with hiring a new coordinator, students at large proposed making the position a student work study job permanently or temporarily until a new coordinator is selected. Horton said that this is a possibility that can be looked into in the near future.
Orgs Chair Sofia Rubio ’23 announced that the second Spring Orgs Fair will be held on Feb. 9 in Tishman Commons. Cultural, religious and spiritual organizations, social justice, health and wellness and special interests organizations will be among those present at this week’s orgs fair. The next orgs fair on Feb. 23 will host club sports, recreational sports, societies, class councils and media/production organizations.