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The Spring 2021 semester will follow a similar process as seen this past fall. In-person, on-campus events will be restricted at the start of the semester and will reopen with a gradual approach to help limit any potential exposure or spread of the virus early in the semester. Our goal is to hold some smaller-scale, in-person programming as the semester progresses and changes to the restrictions will be reviewed throughout the semester. All updates for campus events will be announced in late January.
Student Clubs and Other Engagement Opportunities
At the start of the Spring semester all meetings, events and gatherings will be held virtually. This includes student programs, academic activities and staff meetings. Throughout the Spring semester, the goal will be to gradually offer in-person gatherings for student clubs and organizations. Once in-person events are approved, they must offer both virtual and limited capacity, in-person opportunities to comply with federal, state and local guidance.
We use the safety standards established by Massachusetts as a guideline to determine the in-person, on-campus capacities for events. The safety standards will be reviewed in early January to determine all guidelines for the start of the Spring semester.
As of November 6, 2020, all indoor campus events were reduced to 10 people and 25 people for outdoor gatherings, along with a curfew that all events must conclude by 9:30 p.m. At this time, in-person, off-campus college-sponsored events are also not permitted.
All in-person, on-campus events must follow these guidelines:
- Each event must be approved in advance by Conference and Event Services through the 25Live online scheduling system.
- Event host(s) and sponsor(s) must complete the COVID-19 Campus Events & Gathering Safety Training
- All in-person events will require pre-registration as well as a check-in process at the event
- The in-person event must also offer a virtual option to allow participation from those unable to attend
- Attendees will be expected to adhere to all other college policies and protocols currently in place (social distancing, wearing masks, complete testing/screening protocols, etc). Failure to comply with the policies may result in the student conduct process for all participants involved.
Virtual events should be booked through the Conferences & Event Services 25Live scheduling system and Engage (for student events). Virtual events can be publicized via the campus events calendar and Engage and the event will be listed on the availability grid within 25Live.
On-campus Events & Gatherings
As of November 6, 2020, all registered in-person events or gatherings must follow the updated protocols and adhere to these restrictions:
- Indoor events/gatherings permitted
- Maximum of 10 attendees
- Time limit of 1 hour for indoor event
- Outdoor events/gatherings permitted
- Maximum of 25 attendees
- Time limit of 2-1/2 hours for outdoor event
Athletics and Recreation
Varsity and Club Sports
On November 2, Director of Athletics and Recreation Gavin Viano shared the NEWMAC announcement that NEWMAC-sponsored winter sport competition will not be taking place during the spring semester of spring 2021. No decision has been made on NEWMAC-sponsored spring sports at this time. While there will be no NEWMAC-sponsored competition, member schools have been given autonomy to choose to participate in intercollegiate competition as an “independent” for all winter and fall sports, if they are able to find a way to safely do so. As a college and in Athletics, we have thus far been able to successfully navigate through the challenges of this fall semester. As a result, as of this point in time we are committed to exploring options to find like-minded institutions to safely compete against for both fall and winter sports early next semester. This is subject to any changes in conditions that might occur at the college, community, state or national level. The college will continue to follow guidance and restrictions for participation in varsity athletics and club sports when they are put forth by the NCAA, NEWMAC, Massachusetts Department of Public Health and CDC.
Starting Tuesday, September 8, Varsity Athletic Teams were permitted to start with structured team practices while adhering to NCAA and state guidance as well as college policies. This includes smaller groups, social distancing, and the use of face coverings.
Pappas Fitness Center
The Fitness Center reopened for the fall semester on September 8, 2020 with safety precautions in compliance with Massachusetts, CDC, and NCAA guidelines to allow community members to utilize the space and equipment safely. Participants are expected to wear masks and will have the option of removing their mask while exercising to get enough oxygen and stay safe. Additional capacity limits, cleaning protocols, and policies will be implemented for participants coming and going from the fitness center.
The Fitness Center will be closed every 3 hours and on Sundays for a deep clean done by members of the Department of Athletics and Recreation, including utilization of electrostatic technology and the CDC recommended disinfectant. Participants will be expected to wipe down all equipment and touch points with disinfectant wipes before and after use. Exercise equipment will be spaced six feet apart and participants will not be permitted to share equipment.
Participants are expected to adhere to all other college policies and procedures including maintaining social distancing and good personal hygiene. Additional hand sanitation stations and disinfectant wipes have been added to the Fitness Center. Participants will be expected to bring their own water bottles as the touchless water bottle station will be the only water fountain in operation. No guests will be allowed to access the Fitness Center. Additionally, the use of locker rooms to store personal belongings will be prohibited; locker rooms will be used only for the restrooms.
Additionally, it should be noted that the Balfour Natatorium (pool in Haas Athletic Center) will continue to be closed at this time.
Recreation and Intramurals
Recreational Services plays an important role in supporting the physical and mental well-being of Wheaton College students. During a national health pandemic, physical and mental health are more important than ever. To that end, recreation is committed to providing both virtual options as well as in-person options when in compliance with CDC, Massachusetts and Wheaton guidance.
- Video Gaming Leagues (Esports)
- Walking Challenge, walking bingo, and Walking Club
- Virtual 5k
- Badminton Tournament
- Basketball Hoops Hype Contests
- Cornhole and Kan Jam Tournaments- (both in person and virtual vs. other schools)
- Fishing Tournament
- Sports Trivia
The college encourages the use of outdoor space for walking and running during the fall months with the expectation that community members adhere to social distancing and facial covering policies and procedures.
Additionally, the Department of Athletics and Recreation is committed to providing students with fitness classes throughout the semester. These classes will be a combination of virtual and in person options when in compliance with CDC, Massachusetts and Wheaton guidance. Participants will be practicing physical distancing, classes size capacities will be reduced, and classes will be limited to low-intensity exercising. The college will look to provide these classes in locations that are bigger to provide adequate space for all participants. Pappas Fitness Classes programs will also be offered virtual for all students who wish to remain active, but do not feel comfortable or are not able to participate in person. These classes will also be recorded and can be distributed at the request of students.
Visitors include vendors, contractors, family members or friends of a student or employee, prospective students and their families, alumni, and guest speakers.
Visitors will be restricted unless they have prior approval from:
- Vice President for Finance and Administration for any contractors or vendors
- Vice President for Enrollment and/or Director of Athletics for prospective students and families
- Associate Vice President for Human Resources for any interviewees
- Provost for any guest lecturers or speakers
Admission tours will be limited in the number of registrants, conducted with staggered start times and locations, and will be restricted to outdoors.
All visitors to campus are expected to comply with college safety guidelines, including face coverings, symptom checks and social distancing.