Atchison and Benedictine: Stronger Together | Benedictine College

“Atchison and Benedictine: Stronger Together” Agreement

Effective Sept. 5 - Sept. 18, 2020

Benedictine College and Atchison County officials have been meeting to create new COVID-19 mitigation efforts that will reduce cases on Benedictine College’s campus and in the city of Atchison.

Atchison County has requested that the college take further mitigation steps to avoid stricter measures. Our watchwords are: Protect the Flock, keep COVID cases low, and be good neighbors for Atchison, allaying local concerns.

In a spirit of cooperation and mutual trust, we are hoping Benedictine College Ravens can help lead the way to a safer future looking forward, always forward.

New 14-Day “Atchison and Benedictine: Stronger Together” Mitigation Measures

Students who reside on campus are not to leave campus, except for scheduled or emergency medical or mental health appointments, to fulfill academic requirements, to work or to obtain essential goods (e.g., groceries, medications, and household products) for an outside pick-up order at a local business.

Off-campus students are not permitted on campus except for authorized athletic practices, religious services, work study, labs, or other necessary academic purposes.

Athletic teams that maintain no active cases may hold practice in smaller groups, determined on a team by team basis and authorized by the Athletic Director. Teams with members who are in isolation due to active COVID cases are prohibited from practicing until Sept. 12, 2020.

Temporary Emergency COVID-19 Mitigation Measures, UPDATED 9/4/2020

(These measures will be regularly reviewed.)

We have consistently reiterated that we must adapt to changing conditions. Due to the number of cases of COVID-19, primarily among undergraduate students, our ability to offer a safe and healthy on-campus experience this semester is in serious jeopardy. This document contains information regarding modifications that must be enacted at this time.

Health and Safety Modifications

  • All students shall practice social distancing at all times. Social distancing, also called “physical distancing,” means maintaining a safe space between yourself and other people who are not from your household in both indoor and outdoor spaces. Each “household” shall be defined consistent with the definitions in Appendix A from the September 1 mitigation update. 
  • Masks/face coverings must now be worn on campus at all times and in all places. (Exceptions: when walking alone outside, exercising outside, or when students are in their assigned residence hall rooms as households).
  • Knowing that socialization outside of households has contributed to spread, physical distancing must be more vigilant.
  • Students who have returned from quarantine or isolation must still adhere to all college health and safety guidelines.

On-Campus Student Experience

  • Students who reside on campus are not to leave campus, except for scheduled or emergency medical or mental health appointments, to fulfill academic requirements, to work or to obtain essential goods (e.g., groceries, medications, and household products) for an outside pick-up order at a local business.
  • Mass and Confessions will continue to be offered as scheduled in St. Benedict’s Abbey with all health and safety protocols in place (masked and distanced). Adoration in Memorial Hall will continue as planned in accord with the safety measures.
  • The Haverty weight room and Amino Center weight room will be closeduntil further notice.
  • Students are asked to reduce density in common spaces (e.g. Haverty Center, Library, JPII Student Center). Staff will monitor these locations and may require students to relocate.
  • The Dining Hall and other food service locations will only be grab-n-go until further notice. Students shouldeat exclusively either outside at a strict physical distance, in a location at a strict physical distance, or in their residence hall rooms. 
  • Student clubs and organizations must demonstrate that they can carry on their activities in accord with physical distancing and mask wearing or plan on meeting remotely.
  • Athletic teams that maintain no active cases may hold practice in smaller groups. Teams with members who are in isolation due to active COVID cases are prohibited from practicing until Sept. 11, 2020 — 14 days after the college’s August 28 mitigation efforts began.
  • Winter and spring sports practices are suspended until September 11.
  • Pastoral visits to quarantined or isolated students are being evaluated on a case-by-case basis to make sure they can be done safely.

Off-Campus Student Experience

  • For these 14 days, off-campus students are not permitted on campus except for authorized athletic practices, religious services, work study, labs, or other necessary academic purposes.
  • A significant number of the college’s COVID-19 positive cases have been linked to off-campus gatherings. Transmission has occurred due to parties, dining in restaurants or bars, and even in cars where occupants were unmasked. The common thread among cases is a lack of mask wearing and physical distancing.
  • Like on-campus students, off-campus undergraduates should not gather inside with anyone who does not live in their apartment unit or home.

Addressing Violations

  • Faculty or staff should report those who are not wearing masks or who are engaging in unsafe behavior with specific names and details to the Student Life Office email at studentlife@benedictine.edu. Violations will be referred to the conduct process.
  • Students found responsible for violating our COVID-19 policies will face disciplinary action, up to and including removal from campus housing, dismissal from the College, etc.

Care for Our Members in Quarantine and Isolation

  • Students in quarantine or isolation are being cared for in many ways, including the new RB-36 plan, based on the Rule of St. Benedict, to add even more care for students in quarantine and isolation. To learn more, go to Benedictine.edu COVID-19 “Information and Resources” online.

Conclusion

The COVID-19 virus is formidable, and the health and safety of all students, faculty, staff, and the local community remains our top priority. These are difficult times, so students should be attentive to both their physical and emotional well-being. The mitigation practices that we began on August 28 are working because of student efforts, and if we continue to Protect the Flock, then the end is in sight!

Preventing further spread requires urgent action from everyone. In addition to what’s been outlined above, please commit to wearing masks, practicing physical distancing, and proper sanitization practices. This shared commitment and the success of these measures will determine whether we can remain together.

Benedictine College and Atchison are not two communities in conflict, but one community. If we stay Stronger Together then, once again Ravens Will Rise.

APPENDICES FROM PREVIOUS MEASURE REMAIN IN FORCE

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