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A Message from the Vice President of Student Affairs

Vice President for Student Affairs, PJ Boggio, March 16, 2020

Dear Students;

Thank you, first and foremost for your truly incredible patience and positive attitudes as we maneuver along these new paths together.  To say that the situation is “rapidly-changing” has, after only one week, become rather cliché.  Unfortunately the reality of the situation is that we have little choice but to react to the changing directives and the changing conditions.  With that said, over the weekend Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has issued new directives as it pertains to allowable sizes of gatherings (under 25 only).  He has also issued strong guidance as it pertains to eating establishments.  Both of which have an impact on our ability to serve our student population in the foreseeable future.

Therefore, as of this notice on Monday, March 16, 2020 and following the latest guidance from the Governor; Nichols College residence halls will remain CLOSED through April 3, 2020 and we can no longer allow students to return right after the spring break period as they transition to online only classes.

As stated in the email sent from President Engelkemeyer, beginning with classes on Monday, March 23, 2020 and extending through Friday, April 3, 2020, Nichols College will conduct classes via online methods only. 

Residence halls will NOT remain open during this time for those students who want to have access to campus; this is a change from our previous position based on the Governor’s new guidance.  Students needing access online for classes should respond to tomorrow’s forthcoming email from Academic Affairs, regarding other campus locations that may become open to you.  That email should be finalized and sent sometime on Tuesday.

As of this notice, we are hopeful that students will be allowed to return on April 4th/April 5th and details regarding that return will be released in the coming week.  We must all consider that this may not be a possibility.

Understandably, due to the precautions we as a campus community must take to prevent COVID-19, the campus will be moving toward our College State of Emergency Protocol within our residence halls.  These regulations are enacted to ensure absolute compliance of policies and are meant to help our campus operate as responsibly as possible with as few resources engaged as necessary.  Thank you in advance for understanding their purpose.

The following will begin effective immediately for all residential students currently residing on campus for Spring Break and including those residential students returning to campus on April 4th/5th, continuing until further notice.

Policy Updates Below-Effective March 16, 2020 and will continue until further notice.

GUEST POLICY UPDATES

There is an imperative need for policy enforcement.  There is to be absolutely NO Guests at any time in the Residence Halls. This includes Nichols students who do not live in Residence Halls (current commuters) or any outside guest including family members.

Precautionary measures encourage social distancing. Social gatherings are not permitted in common spaces or in individual rooms.  Other violations of the Student Code of Conduct are also subject to stricter enforcement.  

For example:

QUIET HOUR UPDATES

Our current policy of 24hr courtesy hours is still in effect. However, each night quiet hours will begin at 11pm, including the weekends.

ALCOHOL POLICY UPDATES

Alcohol, regardless of age, is not permitted and the campus is deemed a “dry campus” during the College State of Emergency.

As stated in the Student Code of Conduct, 3.n. Dry Campus State of Emergency: During certain weather-related and emergency events, the College will declare a Dry Campus State of Emergency.  In such an event, students are strictly prohibited from consuming alcohol regardless of age.

WHY ARE WE USING COLLEGE STATE OF EMERGENCY PROTOCOL?

The College believes that as citizens of Nichols and of Dudley, MA, we have a responsibility to local Emergency Services to not utilize already sparse, valuable resources.  Additionally due to the guidelines from Governor Baker the campus will also have limited staff, etc.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I DO NOT FOLLOW THE UPDATED POLICY?

During this College State of Emergency, the Office of Student Life will adopt a zero tolerance position for any student who is found to violate the Student Code of Conduct.  This means that students who are found to be violating policy will be immediately removed from Campus at the student’s expense for the duration of the College State of Emergency. If a student is removed for violating a policy during this time, an appeal for return to campus will be reviewed before a student is allowed to return.

To be clear, a student who is found to be violating a policy will be immediately sanctioned to, removal from housing, without the Conduct Process being initiated.

WHAT IF I AM STAYING ON CAMPUS NOW FOR SPRING BREAK?

Students remaining on campus during Spring Break must make plans to leave campus no later than Sunday, March 22nd at Noon, and may return on April 4th/April 5th (as noted above more information to follow). We are strongly encouraging any student who is here for Spring Break to make alternate arrangements as soon as possible and please communicate all changes to Reslife@nichols.edu .

RETURNING TO CAMPUS IN APRIL 

At this time, Residence Halls are scheduled to open on April 4th/April 5th. Details on the move-in process will be released in the coming week.

If you have extenuating circumstances to remain on campus before April 4th/April 5th an appeal must be sent to Reslife@nichols.edu outlining your need(s), reasoning, etc. and will be reviewed by committee.

WHEN WILL THE DINING HALL BE OPEN?

The dining hall will resume operations the weekend that halls reopen, specific meal times and details will be provided in a follow up email.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I WANT TO GET MY BELONGINGS DURING THIS PERIOD?

Please contact Reslife@nichols.edu to make an appointment and plan to gather your belongings during normal college business hours (M-F; 8:30am – 4:30pm).  Staff on campus will be extremely limited as we are also encouraging staff to work from home as much as possible during this time.  Students arriving outside of your appointment may face conduct charges.  Appeals for alternate times must be made in writing ahead of time at Reslife@nichols.edu.    

QUESTIONS?

If you have a question regarding staying on campus please email Reslife@nichols.edu directly.

We appreciate your cooperation and understanding while we navigate this rapidly changing situation. You will continue to receive updates and information to your Nichols College email address.

Bison, our absolute hope is that our campus will be able to be open and we can finish the semester here on the Hill together.  We promise to notify you of the changing situations as soon as we are able and while not ideal for any single one of us; we do thank you again for your patience and understanding in this really confusing time.  There are many more answers to come; please work with us and communicate with us as we put many facets of our normal campus life into a new dynamic model that will surely test us in many new ways. 

Be safe out there and know we are doing all we can from campus to help you through these trying times.  Remember we are Bison, we adapt and we persevere and we look out for each other.

Sincerely,

PJB

PJ Boggio

Vice President of Student Affairs
Dean of Students & Title IX Coordinator

She/Her/Hers

Nichols College

Learn. Lead. Succeed.

121 Center Road
Dudley, MA  01571-5000

Phone:  508 213-2480

Fax:  508-213-2432

pamela.boggio@nichols.edu


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