Personal Choices Can Impact Entire Population
In a letter to students on Friday, August 14, Interim Vice President of Student Affairs Gloria Roldán Jenkins stressed the importance of personal responsibility, and how the behavior of a few people can affect the entire Saint Mary’s community. In the letter she also presented the College’s 2020/21 Code of Conduct, which includes additions related specifically to the pandemic.
Jenkins said she is overall pleased with the cooperation of students on campus to abide by the safety mandates. “You’re masking up while in class, and I see great examples as I walk the campus of students wearing face coverings properly over their noses and mouths while gathering,” she said. Yet, she said, she’s also witnessed behavior that can negatively impact the rest of the population.
“Students who inadvertently or willfully disregard the safety plans we have enacted pose a threat to the health of our community and destabilize our efforts. Therefore, it is imperative to the success of our semester that you adhere to our safety precautions,” she said.
Saint Mary’s College has a Code of Conduct by which all students must abide, Jenkins said. In it, students will find language which states the College’s expectations for behavior, as well as possible sanctions for those not in compliance. New this year are expectations specific to this pandemic.
Simultaneously, students are encouraged to file a Student Concern Report using the College’s Maxient system to report questionable behavior from students, faculty, or staff. “Students have the option to remain anonymous,” Jenkins said, and noted all reports are reviewed by her office.
Jenkins then outlined several important areas where she sees students can continue to improve:
- In the dining areas, she asked that students not move chairs, as they are set to safety standards. She reminded students that once they finish their meal, they must mask up immediately when they continue to visit.
- Socializing in large numbers is too risky this fall, Jenkins said. “Our on-campus precautions will not be as effective if students attend off-campus parties where masking and physical distancing are not being observed. This behavior poses a predicament for all of us, therefore we urge you to make good choices, or reconsider attending.”
- Students are required to complete daily health checks, even on the weekends. She said during the first week, compliance is around 80%, adding the College requires every student participate whether they are on campus or not, and that students only report new, unusual, or unexpected symptoms.
- Bullying behavior will not be tolerated. Jenkins reminded students that if members of our community are or become infected with COVID-19, it is a serious health concern. However, when they come back, they will be in good health. This serves as a reminder that shunning or shaming a person for having been ill is contrary to Saint Mary’s College’s values.
“Belles, remember, your choices really do matter,” Jenkins said. “Wear your mask. Reconsider going to that party, especially if you know it will be unsafe. Encourage one another to follow protocol. As Saint Mary’s works diligently to provide an environment that seeks to protect your health and wellbeing, we look to you to do the same. By holding yourself and each other accountable, we can have a safe, full semester of in-person campus time.”