COVID-19 Current Parent Information
Haverford's Office of the President and Office of the Dean have been releasing regular messages to current students, and the Campus community, with operational updates during this unprecedented time. These messages may be found below as a reference for current parents.
- May 28, 2020
- May 21, 2020
- May 14, 2020
- May 7, 2020
- April 30, 2020
- April 23, 2020
- April 16, 2020
- April 9, 2020
- April 2, 2020
- March 26, 2020
- March 20, 2020
Seniors! I’m so looking forward to celebrating you at 1pm on Saturday!
Everyone else - I hope you will join me for our joyous virtual ceremony to honor members of the Class of 2020 and their achievements, as we inaugurate their bright futures as Haverford alums! Myriad awards and honors for our seniors will be revealed online Saturday morning. Please add your own individual or group’s well wishes, today or tomorrow, with a brief video at https://flipgrid.com/
Retrieving student belongings. Next week, students will begin to retrieve their belongings from campus residences, either to take home or put into storage. In order to participate, you must sign up for an assigned date and time by Monday, June 1 via the form on the student service portal. Details are available on the ‘Move Out/Store Belongings’ dropdown on the coronavirus hub.
Chances to learn about planning for the fall. On Monday, June 1, at 11am EDT I invite all students to join me and some of your fellow students, faculty, and staff involved in continuity planning to discuss developing plans for next year. On June 3 at 9:30am all staff and faculty are invited to a community webinar. Faculty will have an additional open meeting on June 4 at 7pm. Stay tuned for separate invitations to these Zoom meetings.
Transition to ‘Yellow’. On June 5, our region is slated to enter the ‘Yellow’ phase of Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 response. When our campus turns ‘Yellow,’ only a small fraction of College staff will resume on-campus work. Our focus during this period—however long it might last—will be on readying our physical campus and its operations for the eventual return of most of our students, faculty and staff. We will repair, clean, and sanitize buildings. We will upgrade classroom technology and modify our spaces to support physical distancing. Guided by the CDC and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, we will put in place protocols and policies to support everyone’s health and safety. Over the course of the summer, as allowed, we will slowly bring back to campus more of the staff and faculty who will perform this essential work, evaluating and improving our ability to maintain a healthy, safe environment each step of the way.
Fall planning. Three campus committees are charting the path forward. Faculty, staff, and students on the Academic Continuity Advisory Group are considering curricular options, while the Operations Planning Group is readying the practical elements of what living and working at Haverford will mean. All work is proceeding in close coordination with our partners at Bryn Mawr College through the BiCo Continuity Planning Group.
We continue to be guided by our four overarching principles:
- we will provide an excellent liberal arts education;
- we will ensure the safety and well-being of students, faculty, and staff;
- we will contribute to the greater good;
- we will steward Haverford as a perpetual institution.
As we sketch out plans for the next academic year, we are focusing on:
- An academic calendar that minimizes the need or opportunity to leave and return from breaks.
- Teaching modalities that enable both in-person and remote instruction, anticipating that some students, faculty, and staff who can work remotely may opt to remain away from campus.
- Adaptations to our residential program to allow students to safely live, study, dine, and build community.
- Adaptations to workspaces that will similarly allow faculty and staff to do their work safely and participate in community life, modified as it must be.
- Heightened and realistic expectations for community members to adhere to public health protocols.
Start healthy campus habits now. This measured approach to life and work—incrementally, with the utmost care and intentionality—highlights our need to begin developing good habits that will allow us to come back safely in the fall. Doing our best to contribute to others’ well-being is a top priority. It is critical that all of us living and working on campus follow health and safety procedures at all times, now and onward:
- wear a mask when not in your own residence, even if you don’t think you will encounter anyone;
- observe physical distancing of at least six feet when in any sort of group;
- contact your medical providers if you feel unwell; and
- keep a journal of where you go and who you’ve been near, to increase the accuracy and speed of contact tracing should the need arise.
Starting now, if each of us begins building these habits, we will be ready to safeguard one another effectively when we resume on-campus learning in just three short months.
For students, returning to campus for your belongings provides an opportunity for you to test your skills at COVID-19 resistance. Please regard this limited engagement with campus—and one another—as a chance to experience, in advance, how we will work together to create a supportive and safe environment.
We are fortunate in so many ways. With our Honor Code and our best efforts to build a community of trust, concern, and respect, we have such advantages relative to other educational and work settings. I appreciate this more than words can convey.
I hope your summer starts off well. I hope that you will keep in touch on social media, by email, and at the all-student and all-staff/faculty virtual meetups we’ll have. I also want our planning committees to have the benefit of your ideas and insights as we move forward together, so if you use the ‘Submit A Question’ feature at the top of the hub page, I’ll make sure to pass it on.
Let me know what photos you long to see of campus, and I’ll do my best to post on Instagram!
This semester, now nearly complete, has touched so many emotions: inspiration, disappointment, confusion, relief, loss, love. It has been a time to reflect and plan for our uncertain future, a time to count blessings and go the extra mile to make a positive difference for others. And to think that it has barely been two months since we detoured onto this COVID-19 journey! Thank you for your companionship on this unexpected and continuing passage. I cannot imagine a finer set of fellow travelers.
I want to share details of the processes through which we continue to lay the groundwork for the upcoming academic year. For ease of navigating, you will find the following topics below my signature:
But first, I would like to send special greetings to our graduating seniors!
Commencement: Our online celebration of accomplishment takes place next Saturday, May 30, at 1 p.m. EDT. Note that I don’t call this a virtual ‘commencement’; that very real event will come, in 2021—a time for us to gather again for an in-person commencement experience worthy of this wonderful group. Many of our seniors will have already received a not-at-all-virtual care package from the College, and I invite you and your families to share photos and memories across social media using #celebrateHaverford20. We all salute your achievements and applaud your new status as Haverford alumni. Congratulations!
Dave and I had a wonderful time on Saturday welcoming on-campus seniors and friends to our lawn, replete with the tradition of taking photos in front of the hot-pink azalea at 1 College Circle. Last night, I celebrated with our Chesick Scholars; last week I laughed and applauded during the Senior Scholar-Athlete awards ceremony. It’s been fun to supply short videos and watch so many others, as we all lift up our admiration for the Class of 2020.
Comings and Goings
Dean of the College: As you now know, we are delighted to welcome Joyce Bylander to Haverford as interim dean of the College. She takes over for Martha Denney, about whom former dean Steve Watter has noted that 11 years at the helm of the Dean’s Office makes Martha the longest-serving dean in the last half-century at least! Her commitment to colleagues, students, and the well-being of all in our community demonstrates her humanity, grace, and faith in the power of a liberal arts education to change lives, and our world. Thanks, Martha, for contributing so many lasting, positive impacts as dean!
Ombuds: Steve Watter himself, who returned from retirement to serve as our pilot ombuds, is also moving on this summer, to take up a new role with the Lenfest Scholars Foundation. Steve did our community great service in developing the Ombuds Office through a year-plus experiment during which he was a resource to faculty, staff, and students. In our current context, we will not immediately seek a successor ombuds. Please join me in thanking Steve, again, for his contributions to Haverford.
Provost: We soon will say a sort-of-goodbye to Fran Blase, who will return to teaching in the Department of Chemistry following five years as our provost. At our most recent faculty meeting, we were delighted to welcome former president and long-serving English Department faculty member Kim Benston! Kim, who appointed Fran to the provost role, said he knew she would “bring passion for the liberal arts and the relationship between the faculty and the student in the drama, the great quest, of inquiry and learning.” He further pointed out that she would bring “great personal attributes, impeccable integrity, lively sense of humor, and warm generosity of spirit she brings to everything she does.” I can certainly attest to that! I am so grateful that Fran agreed to stay on an extra year through the presidential transition, and I will miss her great colleagueship. Thanks, Fran, and we know our students and Chemistry colleagues are eager to have you back.
Looking forward, I share the excellent news that we will welcome a new provost to Haverford this summer! Our offer has been accepted, our process is near completion, and our new colleague will join us in August. Next week I will be able to tell you who it is, once the new provost’s institution and we have coordinated the timing of our public announcements. Thank you to every person who participated in this national search. It was an intensive and collaborative endeavor which, much to my delight, proceeded and concluded with enormous success even without any in-person interactions.
Thank you. Thank you for all you have attempted in these most unusual times. Thank you for all the ways you have persisted, all the vulnerabilities you chose to face, and all the learning you have achieved. Thank you for encouraging and supporting one another. Thank you for your energy and optimism, even through our shared grief and fears.
Thank you for inviting me into this wondrous place and community called Haverford. When I joined you last summer, little did any of us know that we would be on this kind of journey together. I couldn't have chosen better partners for the ride. You—students, staff, and faculty (equal in my admiration!!)—have my utmost respect, my ongoing gratitude, and my continuing enthusiasm for all you do and are. Thank you.
As students finish exams and theses, faculty continue with grading, and staff move essential projects forward, I am pleased to offer a few campus updates. Below my signature, you will find answers to a few common questions that have come my way recently.
Commencement. Please join me in celebrating the Class of 2020 on May 30, with live video beginning at 1:00 p.m. EDT! The live-stream will run about a half hour, accompanied by terrific website additions that celebrate and recognize the accomplishments of the amazing Class of 2020. More information (along with invitations to submit congratulatory messages) will follow later this week. I look forward to welcoming the class and their families back to campus for an in-person Commencement in 2021, once it is safe and possible to do so.
Information for families. Many students’ family members have expressed interest in keeping up with relevant news from Haverford through the COVID crisis. Students, feel free to let your loved ones know that a new info hub [this page] now contains our messages to students coming from me and various campus colleagues.
Return-to-Work: As we wrap up the spring semester, many of our faculty, staff, and students have turned their attention to summer and next year. The first step of any large-scale return to campus will come after the COVID-19 case level in Montgomery and Delaware counties reaches “green” status, as defined by Governor Wolf. Our new Operations Planning Group is developing plans for a safe and methodical return of staff and faculty to campus. These plans will necessarily include changes in how we work together on campus in order to provide for community health and safety. If individual circumstances require it, and work can be conducted remotely, we will continue to allow employees to telecommute even after the campus has reopened.
Planning for 2020-21. We continue to plan for the 2020-21 academic year, expecting that we will resume on-campus instruction in the fall. Simultaneously, our Academic Continuity Advisory Group is exploring alternative plans should on-campus learning not be possible in September. I feel encouraged and energized about possibilities developing through these student-faculty-staff conversations, such as a later start to the semester, or a remote beginning of instruction and community-building (should the course of the COVID virus or restrictions by Pennsylvania regulations preclude a campus return in late August). The group is also creatively rethinking—along with Bryn Mawr counterparts—the educational experience based on what we’ve learned this spring about working remotely, including the importance of small class sizes, and the advantages of spreading student course loads over the academic calendar to make workloads more manageable. The Academic Continuity group will reach out to all students in early June in an effort to begin a collaborative reimagination of the 2020-21 academic year that will accommodate the realities and uncertainties of our COVID world.
Public Health Expertise and Support: In making return-to-work plans as well as preparing for the fall, Haverford and the Tri-Co have engaged alumni and regional experts in public health. An ad hoc advisory council led by Dr. Robert Bollinger ‘79 of Johns Hopkins University will advise the Tri-Co’s implementation of campus health and safety protocols. Simultaneously, the Tri-Co has been invited into conversation with colleagues from our Quaker Consortium partner, the University of Pennsylvania, and its world-class medical school, as all our schools prepare for COVID-19 testing and contact tracing.
I offer my hearty and heartfelt congratulations to all our students, faculty, and staff whose semesterly work will conclude tomorrow! Hooray! I hope you will catch your breath, give yourself a break, and take time for self-care.
What are the revised dates and deadlines for the end of the semester?
Final exams/papers are due tomorrow, Friday, May 15, for all students. Students can see other academic dates and details here. Faculty should remember to submit their grades by noon, Friday, May 22.
How is Haverford affected by Governor Wolf’s recent June 4 “red” time frame for southeastern PA?
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has extended the stay-at-home order through June 4 for our region of the Commonwealth. This timeline is guiding our path forward regarding a wide range of return-to-work matters. Much is subject to change in the current environment, but we should not expect a general return-to-work on campus until Montgomery and Delaware Counties are both “green,” which is likely no sooner–and perhaps much later–than two weeks after achieving “yellow” status, which is slated not to occur before June 5. Therefore our working assumption is that most employees will not return to campus before the second half of June at the earliest, except for those staff members who continue to report to campus to support a critical need. We will continue to update the campus as we learn more about the status of our counties and we prepare Haverford-specific plans for returning to work. As always, please refer to the Haverford College website hub for COVID-19 materials and policy updates.
What is the revised policy on employee vacation rollover for the summer of 2020?
Due to the numerous disruptions of and effects on so many facets of our lives caused by the COVID-19 crisis, the College is creating an exception to the vacation rollover policy for this academic year. Employees unable to use their allocated vacation time before June 30, 2020 may be in direct contact with their supervisor and/or senior staff member to request a vacation rollover. The College has authorized that up to five (5) days of unused vacation can be rolled forward, to be used through August 31, 2020. You must submit the request to your supervisor or senior staff member for the (up to) five unused vacation days prior to June 15, 2020. See the Employee Scheduling and Pay section of the COVID website hub.
As the College considers summer furloughs, is there a focus on non-exempt positions in particular?
No, we are systematically analyzing all positions and are minimizing the number of furloughs in a variety of ways. Should any employees be furloughed for a portion of the summer, they will retain their healthcare benefits and be able to apply for unemployment benefits; the latter would allow recipients to receive additional financial support through CARES funding.
What will happen with athletics next year?
It is too soon to say what kinds of athletic opportunities Haverford or any college will be able to offer next year. As with all our decisions, we will be guided by our foundational principles around safeguarding the safety and wellbeing of our community. The Centennial Conference, the NCAA, and member institutions are working together to chart a path forward based on our plans for the academic calendar and program. The NCAA offers its perspectives here about resocializing college sports.
You’ve almost made it to the end of the semester! Thank you for all you’ve invested in getting this far. Good luck on exams and theses, on teaching and grading! On continuing to offer delicious food in the DC to carry our on-campus students through!
The end of the spring semester is always an emotional time: a time of high stress and high hopes, of dread, anticipation, love, loss, exhaustion, and exhilaration. Every spring! And now we have experienced this normally-intense time through a pandemic. Through all this, you continue to inspire me. I feel inspired in new ways, every day, by every one of you and by the community we make.
I know all too well what this reality has cost us, even as many among us have moved forward gamely. I want to acknowledge that I see your struggles. And I see them in the context of pain you have endured and that may last, and of positive change you may not yet recognize, and muscles you may not yet feel.
I invite us all to hold each other in the light and to make our connections felt across the distances. Despite our physical separation, we remain a community in which friendship binds us in each other’s joys, disappointments, and hard-won accomplishments.
Commencement Update. I hear many emotions—happiness and pride counterpointed by disappointment and grief—expressed by our seniors, and by the faculty, staff, family, and friends who have supported them on their Haverford journeys. Our seniors deserve a true celebration, and my heart breaks that it cannot take place this year in its traditional form. I’m pleased to share that our resourceful Commencement Committee of students, staff, and faculty has framed a plan for a celebratory virtual event on Saturday, May 30, informed by the more than 280 seniors who shared their thoughts via a recent survey. In advance, we will be shipping Commencement packages to each graduate with their diploma, cap, tassel, and other mementos. The Committee will announce further details as they become available. Please know that we remain eager to invite our seniors back to campus for a celebration in 2021 that we can embrace as a more fulfilling Commencement, incorporating treasured Senior Week traditions.
Planning for Fall Semester. Many of us will soon turn our attention to academic year 2020-21. As you know, we expect to return to campus together if we can do so safely, while also planning for potential alternatives. Several working groups of faculty, students, and staff are creating and considering options for academic and campus life: a BiCo Continuity Planning Group to move us forward in partnership with Bryn Mawr, a Presidential Advisory Group on Academic Continuity, and a new Operations Planning Group. We are drawing on a range of expertise from public health to digital pedagogies, with the understanding that even a complete academic year on campus will need to be different than it has been in the past. It is too soon to share any of the ideas that these groups are already discussing, for their work is only just beginning. But early ideas give me much confidence in our ability to imagine these paths forward and in our shared commitment to responsible action.
In that spirit, I’d like to thank all the faculty and staff who came together in virtual meetings in recent days to discuss financial planning around this pandemic. Your many questions help guide our thinking. So please note the new ‘Submit a Question’ link at the top of the coronavirus hub, which is the best way to let me know what is on your mind—so we can try to address it in future meetings or email updates. I have received a number of recurring questions over recent days, and you’ll find versions of these queries posed and addressed below this message.
We will get through this together because we are going through it together. We Fords—students, faculty, staff, alumni, families, friends—stick together, while we also continue to question our assumptions, ask questions of one another, and learn through seemingly impenetrable layers of complexity and not-knowing. Whatever may come, we know from experience how collaboration opens minds and doors. And our shared contributions and work today will lead us to the better, shared, days that await.
Thanks for all you do! Take care.
What is the current policy around accessing campus and the Nature Trail?
In light of current public health concerns and for the health and wellbeing of students and families residing on campus, Haverford College has taken the unfortunate but necessary step of closing the campus and Nature Trail to all non-campus-residents. As Governor Tom Wolf has emphasized in ordering the temporary shutdown of all non-life-sustaining business activity, social distancing is our strongest weapon against the virus.
That’s why access to campus is limited to campus residents, life-sustaining Haverford College employees coming to work, and approved vendors. All individuals on campus must wear a mask or facial covering at all times unless in their own campus residence.
COVID-19 can and will be overcome, but only if we all do our part to thwart its spread. Thanks for your cooperation. We look forward to welcoming everyone back to campus—including the countless friends and neighbors for whom the Trail (in particular) is a treasured aspect of local life—when the COVID-19 danger has passed.
When will campus reopen?
Whether for work or recreation, reopening our campus is guided by Governor Tom Wolf’s ‘Process to Reopen Pennsylvania’. The state is conceiving of the journey ahead as governed by a series of metaphorical red-yellow-green traffic lights. These differing levels of access and engagement span all aspects of life, from business activity to social gatherings, and are organized geographically. (The Inquirer has published a helpful Q&A about the restrictions.) Currently, we are in a ‘red’ condition, with our eyes set on moving to ‘yellow’ (as some parts of the state will be as of tomorrow, May 8). Here at Haverford, the College’s current plan calls for us to continue working remotely until both Delaware and Montgomery Counties, are in a ‘green’ mode, though some individuals who are not in life-sustaining roles at the College may indeed be able to return to campus work while we are under ‘yellow’ conditions.
What if I have concerns about coming back to work on campus?
All faculty and staff should address concerns about returning to work to Human Resources by emailing or phoning Donna Hawkins (610-896-1241). All supervisors are encouraged to collaborate on solutions that work for everyone, whether our circumstances are red, yellow, or green. For example, we know and understand that with so many camp cancellations, those who have children at home are facing tremendous challenges this summer; for them, a ‘green’ light is not necessarily a return to normalcy and, in some ways, will create new problems.
What if I have been unable to do my job remotely because of the nature of the work?
The College has continued to pay base salary to any employees who have been unable to work because their jobs depend on being present on campus. Continuation of pay has been extended through Sunday, May 31, as we work as a community to minimize furloughing for June and July. Our friends in Human Resources and the Office of the Controller are working tirelessly to reconfigure and reallocate work assignments and, in so doing, retain staffing levels. Our goal is simple: keep as many people as possible working through the summer. Please see the updated section on Employee Scheduling & Pay on the coronavirus hub for more information.
Today, I offer thanks for:
Wendy’s Wirtual Worner,
Fall planning, and
Academic Continuity Presidential Advisory Group, and
The end of the semester!
I loved my first Pinwheel Day! Thanks for sharing the fun through your tweets and Instagram posts. A Philadelphia Inquirer photographer, Jose Moreno, came to campus early on a brilliantly sunny morning to share our tradition with the wider world.
Tomorrow is my last Wendy’s (Wirtual) Worner, 4-5pm ET. Peanut gets to join in the fun, now that I work from home. Students - please check your inbox for the Zoom address, and check in for a few minutes to say hello or stay the full time to enjoy the company.
The Commencement Committee, which includes seniors Kate Silber, Emily Shutman, Brittany Robinson, Harika Dabbara, and Luke Aylward, is hard at work planning our celebrations of seniors’ accomplishments in and out of the classroom throughout their time at Haverford. The committee is pursuing two separate opportunities for recognizing and honoring the Class of 2020: virtual celebrations this spring, and an in-person event in 2021.
Because academic deadlines have been extended for seniors this spring, virtual commencement activities will occur later in May than our original “Commencement date” of May 16. This later date will allow us to determine our customary honors and prizes, so richly deserved. The Commencement Committee will soon send surveys to seniors and their families to gain input about various aspects of our upcoming virtual Commencement.
After those plans are finalized, the committee will turn its attention to planning an in-person celebration in 2021, when it is safe to return to campus. Though we are heartbroken not to be able to celebrate together on campus this spring, we look forward to our future virtual and on-campus celebrations.
As I mentioned in last week’s message, we are starting to think ahead to the fall and a range of possible scenarios. It remains our expectation that we will begin the fall semester together on campus, provided it is safe to do so, and together we will plan for any adaptations we might need. For example, we will need to anticipate appropriate accommodations for students, faculty, and staff who might face heightened health risks and thus not be able to participate in the same manner they would have prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Simultaneously, we will prepare for the possibility that we will need to start the fall in a remote mode, or to be able to switch from on-campus to remote learning if circumstances change. Additional permutations we will explore include changes to the academic calendar, or what to do if we are able to host some—but not all—of the student body on campus.
These decisions of course will impact all of us. Our combined energies and talents together shape Haverford’s vibrant learning environment, and my colleagues and I have begun some early conversations with the faculty-led Academic Continuity Presidential Advisory Group. I expect collaborations will fan out from there. As our continuity planning takes shape, in concert with our counterparts at Bryn Mawr College, it will draw in faculty, staff, and students through the many shared-governance structures and practices we already know well, including Students’ Council and our many standing committees. I ask your patience over the near term as we iterate this process to imagine different possible future versions of Haverfordian and BiCo life. It will draw on our very best, multidimensional, rigorous, creative, humane, liberal-arts-infused thinking—and there is no community better suited to this work than ours!
To our students: good luck with the end of the wackiest semester you have ever experienced! I thank you for all that you have invested in yourselves, your courses, and one another.
To our faculty and staff, good luck with your own end-of-semester work. I thank you for all you have poured into educating and supporting our students, yourselves, and our communities. As a reminder all staff and faculty colleagues are invited to Monday’s 9:15 All-Staff Meeting via Zoom: https://haverford.zoom.us/j/98532508743, at which I’ll be glad to take your questions and continue discussions from yesterday.
As our final week of classes approaches, we near the end of a journey we never thought we’d take: learning together while apart. Students continue toward the finish line with hard, smart, and creative work, while continually adjusting to disorienting circumstances. Closer to campus, our faculty and staff are equally committed to teaching and supporting all our students. Thank you for all of it.
In continuing to update you on a number of topics related to the global COVID-19 pandemic, I find myself returning to our mission and values, They guide every step of our decision-making, manifesting themselves in four principles:
- We will provide our students an excellent liberal arts education.
- We will safeguard the health and well-being of Haverford students, faculty, and staff.
- We will contribute to the greater good.
- We will steward the College as a perpetual institution that has a responsibility to future generations of students as well as today’s.
Decisions taken with such guidance are serving us well as we navigate the current challenges, and they inform a number of elements of policy and operations that I’d like to present here in a Q&A format. In the spirit of that approach, I invite you to reach out to me with questions you would like to see addressed in upcoming weekly messages. We will post (and continue to build) the resulting FAQ, which will reside in our redesigned online coronavirus hub.
What are the plans for the fall semester? We expect on-campus learning to resume for the fall semester. We cannot yet predict how the fall will play out at Haverford until the world knows more about how COVID-19 will affect public health. Our goal is to bring everyone back to campus to a safe learning and living environment.
When will we know whether we will be back on campus in the fall? In the event that we will not be able to begin classes at our customary point in late August/early September, as we currently anticipate, we will notify the community no later than August 1.
What will happen if we are unable to begin the fall semester on Haverford’s campus as planned? While we hope to be together in person this fall, we are also actively and creatively developing a range of contingency plans, in tight coordination with Bryn Mawr College. This includes considering modifications to the calendar, a blend of virtual and in-person learning, and ways to apply our longstanding educational strengths within remote learning experiences should exigencies require them. While no decisions have been made to move to remote learning in the future, we are guided by the goal of designing a program that maintains the high quality and personal nature of a Haverford education.
Can a current student take a leave of absence in the fall? Yes, we do not plan to alter the current process for requesting voluntary leaves for students in good standing.
Can a prospective student defer enrollment? We will allow requests for deferral of enrollment through August 31, 2020. To make such a request, please reach out to Jess Lord, Vice President & Dean of Admission and Financial Aid.
Will fees be adjusted depending upon whether we are on campus or remote for the fall semester? In the event that significant portions of the semester must be conducted remotely, we will pro-rate applicable charges including room and board.
Who–and through what sort of groups and committees–is involved with decision-making in response to COVID-19?
- Haverford Emergency Response Team (HERT) (standing)
- Membership: Department heads and colleagues overseeing College operations
- Duties: manage emergency response issues in real time; raise policy questions to Senior Staff.
- Senior Staff (standing)
- Membership: See https://www.haverford.edu/president/governance/senior-staff
- Duties: Support the development and implementation of plans at the divisional level and advise the president on institutional policy decisions.
- BiCo Continuity Planning Group (revised / ad-hoc)
- Membership: Presidents, provosts, deans, chief financial officers, chief information officers, and chiefs of staff plus 2-3 faculty members from each campus
- Duties: Ensure BiCo alignment of planning efforts on each campus, andco-development of plans as needed to ensure continuity of our shared academic program. Recommend administrative decisions to presidents and curricular decisions to HC and BMC faculty.
- Presidential Advisory Group on Academic Continuity (new / ad-hoc)
- Membership: Faculty, students appointed by Students’ Council, and presidentially-appointed staff in relevant areas
- Duties: Begin envisioning and developing potential academic plans for Fall 2020 and Spring 2021, including considering academic calendar changes to maximize possibilities for on-campus learning when public health conditions allow our safe assembly on campus.
- Operations Planning Group (new)
- Membership: TBD
- Duties: Develop, recommend, and ultimately implement operational and administrative continuity plans in support of the academic mission. Coordinate with Presidential Advisory Group, BiCo Group, HERT, and advise the president and Senior Staff on institutional policy questions.
Have there been any COVID-19 cases on campus? To our knowledge, there has been only one confirmed case of COVID-19: an employee present on campus. Due to our rigorous health and safety protocols, we believe that it is highly unlikely that anyone else was exposed. All members of the community who we believe could conceivably have been in proximity to the employee have been notified. To our knowledge, no other staff member, faculty member, or student has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
How and when will current students get the belongings they left on campus? Currently, Pennsylvania, and thus our Haverford campus, remains under stay-at-home orders through May 8, with the Philadelphia region being told to expect that date to be extended. Thus for public health and safety reasons, no students will be allowed to return to campus to retrieve belongings until June 1. We are considering several alternative options, including ways that belongings can be packed and shipped. Students will receive another survey this week asking for their input on various options.
I hope the answers to these questions–and, indeed, the questions themselves–are helpful as you plan for the coming months. I acknowledge and share the frustration that a number of major issues, which depend on information not yet known by humankind, cannot yet be conclusively resolved. Feel free to reach out via our Q&A web form in the event that you have been unable to find answers in the hub or through the customary channels such as your dean, advisor, department head, and/or supervisor. As a reminder, I will also be holding a webinar update for all faculty and staff, 9:30-10:30AM on Wednesday, April 29, at this link: https://haverford.zoom.us/j/99142309433.
Tomorrow I welcome our Board of Managers to a Zoom-fest in lieu of their annual on-campus spring meetings. Like so much of what we are experiencing at the moment, it will unfold as never before and teach us much that we didn’t anticipate learning.
And the same can be said about so much of the Haverford experience of the moment. This is the same Haverford we have known and loved for so long and in so many ways, even as it presents in unfamiliar ways at the moment. This public health crisis will pass; Haverford will endure; we, and the College, will be changed...upon the foundations of our abiding mission and values. It is up to us, together, to learn, to adapt, to reimagine–and to find new ways to support the communities we serve.
In order to do all of this, please be gentle with yourself. I know that the stresses at the end of a semester are considerable. Please spend a moment finding pleasure in a new discovery or a familiar touchstone. Connect with a friend. Or make a pinwheel. I thank you for sharing yourself–your questions, your fears, your quirks, your talents–with me and with others in our Haverford community, who care so much.
In the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, we talked a lot about the principles that should guide our community through the unknown: our focus on community health and well-being, on our academic excellence, on contributing to the greater good, and on stewarding Haverford’s resources as a perpetual institution. I was moved today when I saw Students’ Council living out Haverfordian values with their announcement that they will reallocate up to $300,000 of their 2019-20 budget toward LIFTFAR (Low-Income and First-in-Their-Families Assistance and Resources). This infusion of funds will allow LIFTFAR to support many more students who previously might not have fallen under its auspices, and to provide different categories of financial support to students. I offer my heartfelt thanks and appreciation to Students’ Council for their trust in their staff colleagues to work together for the common good, for their concern for Haverford students in need, and their respect for the Haverford community and the shared commitment we have all made to support each other through this challenging time.
There has also been strong support of our students through our alumni, who created a $250,000 challenge match two weeks ago to raise money for LIFTFAR and financial aid. The challenge will run through the end of the semester (May 17, 2020) and has already raised nearly $70,000 for LIFTFAR, in addition to funds for financial aid and unrestricted current support.
That sort of support for Haverford underscores our community’s faith and allegiance to the principles of a Haverford education, in whatever form it may take. As we wrap up the first month of our remote-learning journey, all of us are acquiring hard-won knowledge about what we have been able to create together, and how well it’s working–or, in some respects, not working. To help us all learn more, today Students’ Council launched a survey designed to learn about the distinctive challenges students are experiencing because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the kinds of support students would appreciate now and through the fall. I look forward to joining the next Students’ Council meeting on Monday to explore how we can respond promptly and effectively to the survey’s findings.
I appreciate the work that so many of you have been doing to resolve how we will move forward together, and I know we are all eager for clarity regarding many different questions. In my efforts to communicate fully and in a timely manner, I look forward to creating an FAQ document to provide answers to questions you have raised, even if the answer might be, “We cannot know that yet.” I will soon review our emerging plans with the Board of Managers at their April 24 all-virtual meeting, where I will be joined by my senior staff colleagues as well as staff, faculty, and student representatives to the Board. With our plans refined thanks to the Board’s insights, we will then be in a position to communicate the details to all faculty, students, and staff, including at an all-staff-and-faculty meeting at 9:30AM on April 29–a “first” for Haverford. Thank you for both your hard work and patience!
As we work to finalize the path forward for so many aspects of the Haverford experience that have been disrupted by the pandemic and the necessary response to it, I do have news with respect to summer programming. Like others before it, the summer of 2020 had been planned chock full of opportunities for students. Nearly all of those plans have changed–with some outstanding virtual internship, research, and employment opportunities replacing previously on-site experiences–as detailed in a new memo about Haverford Student Summer Internships, Research Assistantships, and Employment from Dean of the College Martha Denney and Provost Fran Blase.
Another area of considerable focus is Commencement. We are all tremendously disappointed that we will not be able to host this annual celebration in May. ‘Heartbroken’ is the operative word. Even though little is unfolding this spring as we would have preferred or initially envisioned, we continue to adapt so that we may wholeheartedly celebrate the achievements of the Class of 2020 and the support of their friends, families, and communities.
To that end, the Commencement Committee is working on two approaches. The first involves possible dates in 2021 to reconvene the class and invite their loved ones to campus for a rescheduled Commencement and, if possible, include an opportunity for Senior Week-style fun in the days leading up to such an in-person celebration. In the meantime, without being able to gather physically, we are planning a virtual celebration after the close of the current spring semester to recognize the Class of 2020’s accomplishments and the granting of degrees–but just to reassure, let me restate that we don’t expect that to be a substitute for the in-person experience we all want and hope to have in 2021!
Another springtime tradition is also going to unfold differently this year: Pinwheel Day! Though the exact date of the Secret Squirrels’ annual rite of spring is kept secret, I am told it always seems to happen in April. The Squirrels will not let the current circumstances prevent us all from celebrating their day, so please keep an eye on social media channels–and students, watch your snail mail for a little advance ‘reading’ material that will help make this year’s event both memorable and joyous.
Please be gentle with yourself. You are working hard, and in isolation from so much that you love and miss. I stand in support of you all! And I look forward to seeing your pinwheel :)
I hope the past week has been a safe and productive one for you all, even with the challenges created by being physically apart. As I look across our community, I am so impressed by the hard work everyone is investing in our shared endeavors, while I remain aware of and concerned about the hurdles we are encountering in doing this hard work.
I admire your resourcefulness and resilience; I empathize with the struggles these changed circumstances have imposed. Community conversation and consensus-centered processes–hallmarks of the Haverford approach–are unlike anything I’ve ever experienced, and I'm inspired by your creative application of these strategies in the face of our current circumstances: elevated levels of care for students disproportionately burdened by disconnection in our new circumstances, academic department Zoom “lounges” for students to gather casually, synchronous in-class learning by students across the globe who told their professors that meeting as a group via Zoom at 1:30am local time was far better than asynchronous learning, other professors adapting to asynchronous learning because that is what suited their students best. One professor arranged for pizza delivery for all their advisees during the same lunch hour so they could dine and chat together; the Office of Student Engagement has set up mechanisms for students to contact one another to arrange to have lunch together while maintaining safe physical distances. With all of us re-building community from afar, or building community from scratch, screen-to-screen, these creative approaches address varied situations to bring us together.
My appreciation and gratitude goes out to all of you.
I’d like to share a few updates.
- The College is beginning a three-year trial of going “test optional” for admission.
- Strategic Planning continues! Hundreds of ideas gathered in community charrettes are being distilled into potential strategic goals by the Strategic Planning Steering Committee, and these will soon be shared with you for feedback and revision.
- Earlier this week, professors Carola Binder, Darin Hayton, Rachel Hoang, Judy Owen, Giri Parameswaran, and Anna West led an improvised virtual symposium about the Covid-19 pandemic from a range of disciplinary perspectives. Hundreds of community members joined them for a thoughtful and stimulating exploration of the issues that are shaping our new shared reality.
- Some summer camps normally held on campus have cancelled plans to be at Haverford this year due to Covid-19 concerns. We are in the process of determining whether any on-campus student research and work opportunities will be possible, and we will update you about this on or after April 22.
- Our MakerSpace resources have become part of the local COVID-19 response. With leadership from Kent Watson in VCAM, we have provided personal protective equipment (PPE) to first responders, and made available our sewing machines for community members interested in producing masks, and even our 3-D printers to a local group that is fabricating face shields.
- The global Haverford community is doing their part, too. A group of current parents in China shipped the College a donation of additional face masks to ensure we have sufficient supply to meet the needs of our residential community, especially now that we have transitioned to more rigorous face-covering practices for students, faculty, and staff on campus.
Like all of our higher education peers, we are eager to bring the Haverford community back to campus as soon as it is safe to do so. We also recognize that we need to continue to live with considerable uncertainty, such as with the currently unknowable future of the state of public health and economic environment. At Haverford, we are fortunate to be able to do this planning work from a position of strength. I am embedded in these contingency planning conversations with campus leadership, the Board of Managers, Tri-Co presidents Kim Cassidy and Val Smith, and other national higher education leaders. I will keep you all apprised of this work, and I will invite more of you into the conversation as it progresses. I look forward to engaging our collective best thinking in the weeks and months ahead, for it is that coming together - even at a distance- that characterizes Haverford’s way forward.
In case you might enjoy some notes from my own experiences of late, please read below my signature.
A pause for the lighter side, all made possible because of Haverford community members:
I hosted a fun and for me, wonderful, happy hour with faculty last Friday via Zoom (such great faculty!).
I enjoy spending a few minutes on Instagram each day to appreciate the beautiful campus photos @haverquarantied and @haverfordcollegearboretum, and the at-a-distance fun @haverfordwsoccer, @hcfords_wlax, and @hcfh_squirrels. Please send me what gives you a smile, because I seek all the smiles I can get!
And some meaningful experiences that uplifted me:
I enjoy learning from staff and faculty members about their experiences; last week, that included engaging with Jeff Gladney in Dining Services about how our DC’s operations continue to support our students. I also like to set aside 10 minutes to watch a new “Fords on the Front Lines” interview.
A Haverford student invited me into an “email collective for an uplifting exchange,” through which a Haverford staff colleague shared Mary Oliver’s prose poem, Don’t Hesitate. I share it with you in the hope that receiving it might boost your spirits and offer reflection, as it did for me.
If you suddenly and unexpectedly feel joy,
don't hesitate. Give in to it. There are plenty
of lives and whole towns destroyed or about
to be. We are not wise, and not very often
kind. And much can never be redeemed.
Still, life has some possibility left. Perhaps this
is its way of fighting back, that sometimes
something happens better than all the riches
or power in the world. It could be anything,
but very likely you notice it in the instant
when love begins. Anyway, that's often the
case. Anyway, whatever it is, don't be afraid
of its plenty. Joy is not made to be a crumb.
As we close our second full week of remote learning, I feel deep admiration, respect, and gratitude for all you are doing–for one another, for Haverford, and for our world. First- and second-hand, through Zoom meetings, phone conversations, email exchanges, and social media posts, I see the positive differences you are making, even as you face profound challenges in day-to-day life. What seemed unimaginable a month ago is now embedded in how we live and work and build community. I am inspired by your adaptability, creativity, and resilience. Dave, Peanut, and I are so grateful to be here, and with you.
The Haverford community–whether on campus or at home–has responded quickly and proactively to public health and social distancing guidelines, and I would continue to urge us to model that kind of responsible behavior in all of our networks and communities. Gov. Wolf’s stay-at-home order includes Haverford College, and it extends through April 30. Staying at home except to gather food and health supplies and to get outdoor exercise is our best current hope for containing the virus, and people’s adherence makes a difference. Even though this means few workers are on campus–only those providing life-sustaining efforts–all our employees continue to be paid whether they are working from home or unable to work from home. This is a lonely and disorienting time for almost all of us, including the 132 students currently living on campus. I thank you for your efforts to reach out in mutual support.
Our physical separation from one another and our immersion in remote learning has intensified our understanding of the preciousness of our work and relationships. One faculty member said that “class is like a structuring lifeline.” Another professor poignantly described how glimpses of one another’s bedrooms, family members, pets, and surroundings have forged unanticipated new bonds. I’m eager to learn about the varied ways in which students and faculty continue to explore what is, in any mode of delivery, a rich and robust curriculum. You will find a few such conversations in a growing gallery of video clips (also linked from the College homepage), which includes interviews with faculty members Ben Le, Paulina Ochoa, and Tetsuya Sato. This week, we also added the first in a series of alum-to-alum interviews, called “Fords on the Front Lines,” that showcases friends leading the way through this crisis. I encourage you to check them out.
Last week, 260 staff members joined an All-Staff meeting via a Zoom webinar–an all-time record attendance. I hope that those of you who attended the Friday session found it helpful and informative. I have new respect for TV news anchors, for the experience of connecting with people by staring into a camera is no substitute for seeing you in person!
That said, I thoroughly enjoy seeing groups of you and individuals on my screen in my home office at One College Circle. A group of students surprised me last night with a spontaneous invitation to Zoom, and my spirits soared! We chatted, Peanut joined in, and I posted a selfie with them on Instagram @prezraymond. Peanut and I continue our social media efforts to share our Arboretum’s springtime beauty with the many students asking for those tethers to campus.
I’ll host another webinar-style presentation next week, this time for alumni and parents. I’ll remind them–and you!–to stay current by checking our coronavirus hub for the latest developments on campus. These include last week’s announcement of our pro-rata room and board credits plus paying student workers for the second half of the semester, even with most of our students unable to continue their work remotely. It turns out that many parents have not yet received this good news from their students. :)
In the context of all of us connecting in myriad and new ways, I see this as a time when we are bringing more ‘Haverford’ to the world. Your kindness to yourself and to others in the face of fear and uncertainty speaks volumes about our collective grace and fortitude. Your honesty about your struggles and grief, and your openness to others’ difficulties, can deepen connections that otherwise might not have even been made.
While there is so much that we do not know and cannot know right now, this much is sure: the students, faculty, and staff of Haverford College are meeting and will continue to meet the challenges before us. Thanks, as always, for all you do. It is a privilege to live and work with you.
I know I have been in touch frequently over the past two weeks during this enormously unusual time–unusual perhaps in human history, and certainly in each of our lives. Today I first wish to say that I hope that you and yours are doing well, all things considered. And yet even as I say that, I know that some of us have not yet found a semblance of balance, and some of us fear not being able to ground ourselves in these ever-changing conditions. Some of us have family members who have died of COVID-19. Some of us have family members or friends ill with COVID-19, and some of us are at great risk to become ill. The list of tough scenarios expands to include so many. I hope that those of us who are able will lean into knowing and “seeing” this diversity of experiences. Our realities are complex, and the variation in our lived experiences these past weeks can be overwhelming in its breadth, while also overwhelming for each individual. I offer my undying gratitude to those of you who have the capacity to share your compassion and your care toward one another, and I offer my empathy and recognition to all who are struggling.
As we transition together into what we hope is a steadier “new normal” for the remainder of the semester, I plan to keep in touch with you all by email each Thursday, starting today. You can count on hearing from me, as part of my effort to keep us all connected.
While there’s no way for us to have the same springtime-at-Haverford experience that we’re used to, I have been uplifted and inspired by seeing students, faculty, and staff putting their hearts and minds into doing all they can to maintain and support our community through the COVID-19 crisis.
Thanks to everyone’s tremendous efforts, we find ourselves in an incredibly fortunate position right now, where teaching and learning continue–albeit very differently–as does the critical work of the College, with all of our workers still being paid, whether they are able to work or not. I greatly appreciate the hard work that is making this possible, from the individuals working at home under challenging circumstances (childcare, technological barriers, loved ones or themselves at risk, students doing their best to learn, faculty doing their best to teach, and the sheer struggle that daily life can represent right now), to those who have had to reinvent the way Haverford works in their areas, to those few who are still on campus keeping our resident students healthy and the physical plant safe for the community’s eventual return. I am amazed and energized by all of you, and I hope you will take a moment to appreciate your own role in keeping our community safe and strong.
With the College’s mission intact, and teaching, learning, and core operations continuing, I know many of you are starting to think about what lies ahead this semester. How can we feel community from afar? How can we talk about and learn from what’s happening around us? How can we support people in need? (And what will happen to Pinwheel Day??*) I am so heartened by the creative ideas and proposals that are beginning to flow around these questions, as friends turn adversity into opportunity and stay centered by trying out new ways to create community. So I encourage you all to keep talking to one another, whatever the medium: try a virtual meeting, keep your club or organization going, or just “meet up” for lunch with a few peers now and then. As one example, I am going to host tomorrow’s previously scheduled All-Staff Meeting as a Zoom webinar–a first. Wish me luck! And Wendy’s Worner (now Wendy’s Wirtual Worner) will also happen by Zoom tomorrow.
Many community members are also starting to think ahead to the summer. What will be possible? Will that job or internship still happen? Will students be able to stay on campus? To travel? The short answer is that we do not and cannot know yet. But we know everyone needs to start planning, and so the College is working to be able to provide an update about international summer programs by April 1, and about domestic summer programs (including campus programs and housing) by April 8. We might not have total clarity by those dates, but we will try to provide guidance in order for everyone to begin making plans.
For those of you who have questions about what the “new normal” this spring means for you, please refer to our growing online COVID crisis resources. If those don’t have the answer, please be in touch–students with their dean, faculty with their department chair or provost, and staff with their supervisor or Human Resources colleagues. Feel free to drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org, or reach out to our ombuds, Steve Watter, who like so many of us remains “on duty” from home. And remember that some of us will have a hard time taking the initiative to reach out for help, so please, when time allows, take a moment to reach out to students and colleagues you have not heard from lately.
Thank you for all you are doing. It matters.
Take care, and stay safe.
P.S. *I have been told by those in contact with the Pinwheel Day Secret Squirrels that COVID-19 is not going to prevent this wonderful tradition from happening, if in a new and different way!
As we all rise to the challenge posed by COVID-19 and the resulting upheaval to so much in our lives, I’d like to share multiple updates regarding the path forward for us at Haverford.
Though we had planned (and hoped!) to resume on-campus learning on April 6th, it is now clear that we must complete the semester remotely and will not be able to hold on-campus Commencement as originally planned. We take these regrettable but essential steps in order to safeguard the extended Haverford community while contributing to global efforts to stem transmission of the virus for the benefit of all.
This decision comes after extensive consultation with students, faculty, and staff here at the College and in concert with leadership at Bryn Mawr College and Swarthmore College, with whom our plans align. We believe that these steps comply with Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s order of Thursday, March 19 regarding business closures.
A number of key points flow from this development, and our shared path forward comes as each of us navigates daily uncertainty and formidable challenge. Please know that you have my empathy and support. Just a short time ago, none of us anticipated the heartbreak of not gathering with beloved classmates for Commencement in May, or the deprivations of a 14-day quarantine, or the high anxiety of working from home while in isolation with young children, or the stress of competing with siblings for technology access, or the worry about a loved one with Covid-19 or who risks becoming severely ill from the new coronavirus. In this unfamiliar terrain I find strength in connecting with others, and take comfort in their kindness and concern.
Remote Learning To Continue
Faculty and students are moving forward in inspiring ways.
- Students and faculty will complete their courses, the College will award credit, and our seniors will graduate.
- Students will continue to learn via synchronous and asynchronous means through the end of the semester. Thank you to our innovative and creative faculty; thank you to our flexible and engaged students. Though the courses will likely be modified, they will continue to offer intellectually engaging and rigorous explorations of their fields of study.
- Tech support is available through the ProDesk; these IITS troubleshooters can help with issues relating to College computing and provide guidance regarding more general concerns, such as free or discount wifi services nationwide.
- Please contact your dean if you would like to learn more about financial support and the availability of technology resources (such as laptops).
- The Educational Policy Committee, informed by faculty and student feedback, is considering a possible pass/fail option for spring 2020 courses. We will announce details in the very near future.
Student Life, and Remaining on Campus
I want to reiterate and underscore our commitment to helping our students at this extraordinary time. Everyone in the Haverford family the world over has you in their thoughts and hearts.
- A relatively small number of students had been granted permission to stay on campus during what we thought would be a temporary period of remote learning. Any student in that group who wishes to remain on campus through the end of the semester may do so but must first notify their dean of their plans. (Please note that while the College has every intention of maintaining this residential option for students who need it, we would be obligated to comply with any future public health directives that might limit how many students we are able to accommodate, or where they might be accommodated, such as in the case of a COVID-19 outbreak on campus or related health emergency.) If travel home and/or remaining on campus presents a financial hardship, you should let your dean know.
- The current limited access to campus facilities and basic support services shall continue, though particulars of the on-campus experience could change in the event that there is a COVID-19 outbreak here at Haverford.
- Our original plan to resume on-campus learning in April means that most students will need to return to campus at some point in order to move their belongings out of College residences. Because we want to avoid the stress associated with harsh timelines for move-out, we’ll soon announce an orderly and systematic plan for enabling students to return to campus for their things, one consistent with community efforts to practice social distancing and that therefore incorporates a relatively extended time period for the pickup schedule. Students who have remained on campus but now plan to leave will be best-served by taking their belongings with them. If you are already off-campus, please do not return to move out during the next two weeks: health officials are asking us to limit movement, and those of us on campus are focusing on myriad changes that affect so many community members. Our friends in Residence Life will be in touch.
- As before, the campus remains ‘open’ in the sense that some students are permitted to remain in their rooms, with essential services provided by limited numbers of staff members cleared to work on campus. However, we strongly discourage a return to campus at this time, even to meet up briefly with friends, because physical proximity increases risk to ourselves and, indeed, to all humanity. We each have the power to help arrest the disease, and reducing in-person connectedness is an essential part of doing so.
- The College’s 14,000+ alums are friends that current students just haven’t met yet. They would welcome the chance to advance your career interests, and virtually all of them have lived and worked through economic downturns. This week, we again invited them to help with career mentoring and networking via the new CCPA ‘Haverford Connect’ website. Please check it out.
Working at Haverford
The College’s Department of Human Resources has developed an extensive website that aims to answer questions faculty, staff, and student workers may have about the many operational changes that are impacting your work experience.
- Please bookmark their special web page and make it your initial and regular go-to for news and information. While we expect to push out community emails at least once a week (and possibly more often), not every development will result in an email.
- Don’t hesitate to contact HR leadership with suggestions for material that should be included or issues that should be addressed on that site. We thank you for your ideas!
- We remain supportive of student workers, and this extends to wanting the HR website to address students’ questions and concerns–so don’t be shy about asking HR about adding helpful detail.
- You may have noticed new limits on public access to campus. No doubt this is disappointing to those in the surrounding community who see Haverford as an inspiring, restorative, and restful place in their lives; it’s certainly a disappointment for me, as I find great joy in making friends with dog-walkers and nature-lovers as we take in the spectacular beauty of our arboretum home. However, as we have explained on social media and elsewhere, we regret this necessary step and hope it can be short-lived. It does not affect students, faculty, staff, and approved vendor access, all of which must pass through the Lancaster Avenue entrance to campus until further notice.
Room and Board Charges
Haverford is developing a formula for returning a portion of room and board charges. We will be sharing details of that soon and thank you for your patience in this regard.
There have been no identified cases of COVID-19 among those living and/or working on campus.
- Your health and well-being continue to be our top priority. Nothing matters more.
- Students experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 infection (cough, fever, shortness of breath) should contact Haverford Health Services via the HaverHealth portal or by calling (610) 896-1089; faculty and staff should contact their healthcare provider and supervisor (staff) or the provost (faculty). Please do not report for work if you feel unwell.
- Students coming to Health Services should ring the front door bell for admission; your OneCard will not unlock the door at this time.
- Our best defense against infection remains the practice of social distancing coupled with good hygiene: please wash your hands for 20 seconds, and sneeze (or cough) into the crook of your elbow.
A Look Ahead
The decision to extend remote learning through the end of the semester affects several marquee events here at Haverford, starting with Commencement.
- I am greatly saddened that we will not be able to hold on-campus Commencement this spring for the Class of 2020. Our seniors, who have come so far and worked so hard deserve a celebration of their achievements and the opportunity to join in community. That is why I am working with student, faculty, and staff leadership on possible alternatives for marking their graduation and saluting the tremendous Class of 2020. We will be in touch with families and friends of members of the Class of 2020 about the path forward; meanwhile, I invite students to contact Franklyn Cantor ’12, chair of our Commencement Committee, and/or their class representatives to Commencement Committee (Luke Aylward ’20, Emily Lin ’20, and Emily Shutman ’20) with ideas and suggestions for honoring our newest alums through innovative modes and/or at future dates.
- Alumni Weekend 2020 is being cancelled, though we plan to invite ‘reunion Fords’ to campus this year. Details to come from our Office of Alumni and Parent Relations.
- With so much uncertainty, we cannot predict how summer at Haverford–which normally hums with research, internships, and camps–will unfold. Students should proceed with planning in concert with relevant faculty and staff members; our Office of Conferences and Events will post the HCA housing application and provide news and information on their site.
I hope that this update has anticipated your questions, though no doubt many remain unaddressed. I anticipate that most days will bring new issues requiring engagement and response. We need to get this right at each step along the way, and your collaboration is vital to our continued success. So please don’t hesitate to ask questions, propose solutions, and pass along concerns. In many cases, those closest to an issue–your professors and work supervisors–are best-positioned to initiate and implement a response. But please know that our whole community including members of our Senior Staff are also eager to partner and help.
Our online coronavirus hub is the go-to for information and resources. We update it regularly with vital information regarding workplace policies and procedures, as well as health and wellness information. It also includes a running inventory of official communications to date.
Like many of you, I feel moved by the ways, large and small, that this crisis is affecting our lives. And I am also quite certain that the Haverford community can meet–and overcome–the challenges before us, and I am awestruck by your dedication to the College and to the principles for which it stands. Thank you so much for all you bring to our community, as together, we continue to educate our inspiring, talented students through the liberal arts.
I would like to close, for now, thinking of how each of us can make a difference in the course of events.
Let’s persist in staying connected, even as we respond to society’s need for each of us to practice physical isolation.
Let’s bring humanity, compassion, and inclusivity to all we do, including recognizing that many if not all of us are struggling with unexpected challenges.
Let’s show generosity toward every person, starting with those most at risk for becoming seriously ill or dying from this disease. Done in the framework of acting toward the greater good, seemingly self-centered acts–such as maintaining safe distances with others and adopting virtual modes of connection–become actions that help safeguard humanity.
Let’s let our lives speak of trust, concern, and respect. You inspire people like me to want to join this community, a community we sustain through shared values that transcend borders and create connection.
- May 22, 2020
- May 11, 2020
- March 31, 2020
- March 27, 2020
- March 23, 2020
- March 18, 2020
- March 12, 2020
- March 11, 2020
- June 5th - June 14th: Students return to campus to pack their belongings
- Students must sign up for a date and time slot via their student service portal (www.haverford.edu/housing). Sign ups will open on Friday, May 22 and close on Monday, June 1. Sign up requests via email will not be accepted.
- There will be four, 3-hour time slots for which to sign up:
- 6am-9am and 9am-12pm - HCA residents only
- 12pm-3pm and 3pm-6pm - Non-HCA residents only
- Time slots will be capped to ensure the safety of students, their family/friends, and those who are still residing/working on campus.
- Students may not bring more than TWO adults with them to help pack belongings. Please fill out this form so that we know who is coming to campus. Students who are having friends or family come to campus on their behalf should also use the form above to share those names.
- Students should plan to bring their own moving supplies with them.
- Trash bags will be available in the Fieldhouse. Trash bags should be left on the curb outside of the residence hall - do not leave trash or trash bags in rooms, hallways, bathrooms, or public spaces.
- Everyone coming to campus must wear an appropriate face covering at all times while on campus. Anyone with a fever or other COVID-related symptoms should not come to campus.
- Students will not be permitted to return to campus and/or enter the residence halls without a scheduled appointment. No exceptions.
- Students and their friends/family should enter campus from the main entrance, off Lancaster Avenue. All other entrances into campus will be closed.
- Students are expected to travel back to campus with their OneCard and room key in order to access their building/room.
- June 15th - June 21st: Storage companies will be on campus to pack/store non-LIFTFAR student belongings
- Students can choose the services of two, College-approved storage companies: Ultimate College Storage or The College Butler.
- Companies coming to campus will be practicing appropriate safety protocols.
- Companies can use a video-conference option to aid in packing (i.e. for students in a shared space). Students can discuss this option further with the company they choose.
- All costs and fees associated with packing and storing are the responsibility of the student.
- Students who inquired about grant monies will be contacted individually.
- June 22nd - June 26th: A student move-out crew will pack and store LIFTFAR-eligible student rooms and store on campus
- The student crew will be practicing appropriate safety protocols.
- The student crew can use a video-conference option to aid in packing (i.e. for students in a shared space).
- During this week, students will be informed where on campus their items will be stored so that they can retrieve them in the fall.
- Trash bags
- Belongings from other spaces on campus
- Room key (failure to return the key will result in a charge; if a student forgets to drop off their key while on campus, they may mail it before June 26th - see details in the FAQs below)
- Textbooks, library materials, bookstore materials
- Mini-fridges (for any student who wishes to donate it)
- What are the associated costs with packing and storing from either of the moving companies? Exact costs will need to be discussed with the moving company students choose to use.
- Can I leave my belongings in my room over the summer? Due to the stringent cleaning required for COVID-19, all belongings must be removed from all student rooms.
- If I plan to come to campus to pack my own belongings, can I come at some other time other than June 5th - June 14th? In order to minimize the number of people on campus at one time, minimize cross-contamination between those who live and do not live on campus, and prepare for summer/fall housing, all students who plan to come to campus must do so during those dates, or arrange to have items packed and stored.
- What if I want to come to campus and pack some of my items, but also have some items packed/stored by one of the moving companies? Students can do both. Students will need to schedule a time to come to campus as well as schedule a time with one of the moving companies.
- Can I have one of the moving companies pack my items and then either pick them up, or have someone else pick them up, from campus? If a student would like their items packed and picked up, they will need to call one of the companies and discuss this arrangement.
- How should I get any mail or packages that are still on campus? Students with mail and/or packages should email Central Services (hc-centralservices) to make arrangements. Please include in the email whether or not you'll be on campus to gather your belongings so the appropriate arrangements can be made.
- I have belongings in other buildings on campus, how do I get those items? Students with items from other, non-residential buildings need to fill out this form. Student-athletes will be permitted to access the GIAC locker rooms and equipment rooms during their scheduled time slot. Questions can be directed to Melynda Link in the Athletics Department. Items from other buildings will be kept in the Fieldhouse for students to collect.
- I have belongings in another person's room, how do I get those items? Students will need to discuss with their peers how to transfer/store those items. Students will not be allowed in another student's room while on campus.
- What if I don't move out or pack/store my belongings during June? Students who fail to move out or pack/store their belongings by June 26th will have their belongings packed and stored by a third-party provider. All costs associated with this process will be charged to the student's account.
- How do I return my room key if I've already moved off campus, or forget to return it while I'm on campus? Keys must be returned to campus by June 26th or a charge will be placed on the student account. Students can mail their keys (a sturdy envelope is preferred, or that the key be wrapped in paper, so the key does not rip the envelope in transit) with their name and room number written on a piece of paper to:
RE: Key Return
370 Lancaster Avenue
Haverford, PA 19041
As you're in the final stages of completing your coursework, I'm writing with an update on behalf of Commencement Committee. I'd also like to add a personal note, sharing my disappointment and sadness that we can't convene in-person as we had planned to celebrate your accomplishments and successes. We will do our very best to still make this graduation moment celebratory and special for you, your families, and your communities, even in these circumstances.
Thank you for your thorough responses to the survey sent out last week. The many responses helped inform our discussions and frame our priorities as we move forward with plans for both the virtual celebration and in-person Commencement in 2021.
The virtual celebration will take place on May 30, with live video beginning at 1:00 p.m. EDT. We regret that this cannot be sooner, but this later date is necessary to accommodate the extended deadlines for senior work, and the corresponding deadlines for faculty and staff to submit senior grades/select prize and honors recipients. In addition to the live video, which we expect will run approximately a half hour, there will be a range of web content released at 1:00 p.m. that celebrates and recognizes the accomplishments of the class. More information (along with invitations to submit reflections, content for feature on Instagram, and more) will follow this week.
We are also working on a process for mailing diplomas, along with caps, tassels, and a few other special mementos, with the hope that these packages will reach most (if not all) of you by May 30.
We will be following up on this message with a note to family and friends, whose email addresses you submitted to receive Commencement information. Please let me (or any of the senior representatives on Commencement Committee, cc'ed on this note) know if you have any further questions. Thank you, and I wish you the best as you finish up.
Franklyn Cantor '12
Special Assistant to the President
Dear Haverford Students,
Greetings from your friends in the Dean's Office, and more generally from Haverford - the campus is becoming more springlike every day, but it still looks sad and lonely without all of you here. (However, rumor has it that there may be a virtual Pinwheel Day in the offing!) I write to remind you of some of the resources available to you, and to bring to your attention some clarifications of information previously shared.
1. Grading policy
Many of you had questions about the temporary grading policy adopted by EPC for this semester; you can see a useful FAQ here.
2. Financial Information
Some of you also had questions about the message that I sent on behalf of our CFO, Mitch Wein, last Friday. We'd like to clarify and elaborate on two of the specific items. First, if you worked on campus in multiple positions during the first half of the Spring semester, the one-time payment "stipend" you will receive, if you are not continuing to work, is the aggregate total of the amount earned from all of the Haverford positions. Second, the minimum room and board credit (of $500) is calculated individually for both room and for board. So if you participated in either the Traditional or Black Squirrel plan, and if you resided on-campus, the minimum refund credit would be no less than $1,000.
Please reach out to email@example.com with questions about work on campus, and to
firstname.lastname@example.org with questions about refunds. Your parents and/or guardians may also have questions about these issues, so please do forward them this update and the on-campus contact information as appropriate.
I also want to stress that students who have financial concerns that impact their ability to complete their work this semester should not hesitate to be in touch with their deans. Here is a summary of the LIFTFAR program to which eligible students can apply, but even if you are not LIFTFAR-eligible or believe you have maxed out, please be in touch with your dean. This is an important time to seek help in negotiating your personal circumstances and your ability to thrive as best you can academically, and we are eager to be of service if we can.
3. Processes in Progress
As you know, the College is looking into the best way to reunite you with any belongings you may have left at Haverford, and the Office of Residential Life sent you a survey about this recently. Please bear in mind that our ability to have anyone come back to campus at this point is extremely limited, and this is likely to continue through the month of April. Central Services is also developing a form through which you can request that packages that have arrived for you in the mailroom here be forwarded on to your current location; this should be available shortly.
And as you already know, pre-registration, major declaration and room draw processes have been delayed; please be sure to read carefully any communications you receive on the timing of those processes.
Student Health and Learning Resources
You@Haverford provides personalized and confidential resources for all students. The platform has incredibly useful Covid-19 resources for students and is updated daily. Topics include tips for virtual learning, managing stress and anxiety, and supporting loved ones.
Counseling and Psychological Services
CAPS is available to students (virtually). Students should continue to submit a form to request counseling or email email@example.com.
Students can speak to a practitioner from 10-2 (M-F) by calling (610) 896-1089. The after- hours nurse-on-call service can also be reached at the same number outside of these operating hours.
If students are struggling to navigate resources or supports (on or off campus), please contact
The Office of Academic Resources
The physical office is closed, but the OAR staff will be available online for any academic coaching needs. Please feel free to email staff individually or use this link.
The Writing Center
The Writing Center continues to offer its services online; please use this link to make a virtual appointment.
The Marilou Allen Office for Service and Community Collaborations
Here is a link for students to sign up for the OSCC mailing list and stay connected.
The Center for Career and Professional Advising
Read CCPA's blog for a reminder of their remote services. They are holding their appointments and events virtually. Learn about fellowships by watching the Fellowship 101 Video Series.
Religious and Spiritual Life
All-community Worship will be held Wednesday, April 1, 4:15 – 5:15pm and continue weekly on Wednesdays, until May 7, 2020 (https://haverford.zoom.us/j/207611639).
All are welcome, no particular experience required, just an interest to be together in community and compassion.
International Student Support
Updates from ICE for F-1 students can be found here.
IITS can best be contacted through the ProDesk: firstname.lastname@example.org; a great deal of useful information is also available here.
If any of you have trouble accessing and/or affording internet resources, we are poised to help. Please contact the ProDesk with any specific questions, but below are some resources you may find helpful as you try and find options that work for you in your current location: links here and here.
In closing, on this last day of a very strange month of March, I send you all of our very best wishes from the Haverford campus, which misses you deeply!
Take good care of yourselves and your loved ones,
Martha J. Denney
Dean of the College
I write to share some practical information that students and families may have been contemplating in this time of uncertainty and hope this letter provides a helpful update on various topics. The COVID-19-related health crisis confronting our communities, locally, nationally and globally, has caused significant disruptions and anxiety around the world. Please know that Haverford remains committed to its mission and to our shared values through good times and bad. Our concern is first and foremost for your well-being, health and safety, that of your families, neighbors, and friends, near and far, and that of our Haverford community, students, faculty, and staff.
The College also wants to remain true to its values in developing a plan to provide financial support for student employment, a return of monies paid for room and board, and, we hope, a helpful resource regarding your student health insurance, if you are covered through the College’s Student Health Insurance Program.
The College is aware that many of you have worked at various positions on campus during the school year and will no longer be able to do so. Further, many of you had assumed a portion of your earnings as necessary income for self-help and work study expectations for educational expenses. If you had a Spring 2020 Haverford position and are unable to continue working remotely for the College (which is true for the great majority of you), we will be providing an allowance in lieu of foregone earnings for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester. Only a limited number of student positions have been designated for remote work for the remainder of the semester, and your supervisor will contact you if your position is in that category.
Since approximately fifty percent of the semester passed at the point the academic program became virtual, Haverford will be paying you an amount that is equal to what you earned from your campus job(s) in the first half of the spring semester. This support will be provided as an additional one-time payment, or “stipend.” We are planning to process these one-time payments through student payroll in April. For the very few students continuing to work Haverford jobs this semester, your earnings will be calculated based on the hours you actually work during this second half of the semester, and you should discuss with your supervisor what to do if your earnings for hours worked during this period are less than the pay you might have otherwise received. Questions related to student payroll can be emailed to email@example.com.
Room and Board
Room: The College will credit a pro-rata amount (approximately one-half) of the funds you paid for residing on campus (room costs) for the spring semester. For the portion of the spring semester that you were not permitted to reside in College housing due to the enactment of safety protocols related to trying to slow the spread of the coronavirus, these funds will be returned to you as a credit on your student account, prorated based on a family’s contribution to the cost of attendance.
Board: Similarly, for students enrolled in a full meal plan (e.g. the Black Squirrel or the Traditional Plan), the College will provide a proportional credit for the amount paid by the student for the spring semester. For students enrolled in a Block Meal plan, those meals will not expire next year and are retained on your OneCard for the fall semester of 2020 and thereafter. Graduating seniors will receive a pro-rata refund of the amount of unused meals relative to the amount purchased, and at the same rate per meal as was paid by the student.
In sum, for all students who left campus, a prorated portion of the charges related to the spring’s room and board (non-Block plans) costs will be credited to you on a basis that is in proportion to your family’s contribution relative to the College’s published cost of attendance. We have also established a minimum room and board (R&B) credit amount of $500 for all students who departed campus.
Student employment support referenced above would be provided in addition to R&B credit.
Credits and Refund Process: Credits for both R&B will be applied to student accounts within the next two weeks. If the adjustment creates a credit balance on your account, you may request a refund. Refunds may be requested by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you do not request a refund, we will maintain the credit balance on your account and apply it to future charges, except as follows: graduating students and/or any student who received Federal Financial Aid will automatically receive a check based upon the calculation outlined above and do not need to request a refund.
Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP)
For students enrolled in the College’s Student Health Insurance Plan, our https://www.firststudent.com/school_page/haverford-college/home-haverford-college/ site has useful information and will likely address many of the questions you may have.
Some individuals have inquired about donating refunded monies. While that is quite a generous thought and sincerely appreciated, it is a separate process. If you would like to learn more, please contact Diane Wilder via email at email@example.com or https://www.haverford.edu/giving.
We wish you the very best and invite you to send all questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.
Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance, Treasurer
Dear Haverford Students,
I write on behalf of EPC (the Educational Policy Committee) to share the temporary grading policy of Haverford College for Spring 2020, which you will see below. Also included are the policies adopted by Bryn Mawr College and Swarthmore College.
With all best wishes,
Martha J. Denney
Dean of the College
Temporary Grading Policy
For all courses taught during Spring 2020, the expectation is that instructors will determine a final numerical grade for all students, but the recorded grade will either be Pass or Fail. Although P/F will be the default value on students’ transcripts, students also have the option to uncover a P grade (for the numerical grade) in any of their courses, up until September 4, 2020. These default P grades will not count toward any of the four that students are allowed to take during their matriculation at Haverford. Furthermore, the option to uncover a P grade can be exercised only once for a given course; students will not be allowed to reverse this decision once it has been made. For this reason, students should carefully consider their decision and seek guidance from their faculty advisor in advance.
Under this grading policy, a P grade is defined as a numerical grade corresponding to 1.0 - 4.0, and an F grade as 0.0. All P grades will count toward a student's major, minor, concentration requirements as well as courses satisfying either a General Education requirement or prerequisite for another course. While P grades will not affect a student’s GPA, numerical grades will be factored into one’s GPA as is true under our current policy.
Although instructors are expected to determine numerical grades for their courses, and to make a good faith effort to do so, there are exigent circumstances (e.g., the instruction of courses in the second half of spring semester; those involving a practicum, lab, or studio component; or extraordinary personal circumstances) that may prevent a faculty member from doing so. After consultation with their students, instructors are allowed to decide to grade any of their courses in a strict Pass/Fail format by a deadline of April 6. A P grade in any such courses may count toward a student’s program or graduation requirements.
Bryn Mawr College
Temporary Grading Policy
Undergraduate students will be allowed to choose to take one or more of their courses Cr/NC in the spring of 2020, with a deadline of the end of the exam period to decide which courses will be Cr/NC. There will be no limit to the number of Cr/NC courses a student may take this semester, and these would not count as any of the 4 that students are allowed to elect over their four years. If a student elects to take a course Cr/NC and the underlying grade is a merit grade, then the course can count towards the major.
In addition, instructors will be allowed to decide and announce by April 1 that they will be grading one or more of their undergraduate courses Pass / Fail (where Pass = 1.0 - 4.0 and Fail = 0.0). If the professor elects to teach a course pass/fail, a student may count it towards the major or towards a graduation requirement as long as the student earns a Pass.
Temporary Grading Policy
On the recommendation of the Curriculum Committee and the Council on Educational Policy and with the approval of the President and the Provost, the College has moved to a Credit/No Credit (CR/NC) semester for all students, with the option of uncovering grades at the semester’s conclusion.
This is a modification of a current Swarthmore policy for Credit/No Credit work. Grades for all courses completed during the Spring 2020 semester will be recorded as CR/NC and will not count against the four credits students may optionally elect as CR/NC after the first semester of students’ first year. This includes all courses completed at other institutions and for other programs that were pre-approved by the Office of Off-Campus Study.
Modeled on our current policy for first semester-first year students, faculty will award letter grades that will remain unseen on the transcript. As the grades come in, students (and faculty) will be able to see them, but they will be converted to CR or NC on the official transcript unless the student opts out of the CR/NC policy and wishes to have some or all of the grades uncovered.
The handling of D grades and NC grades: After the first semester of the first year, a student who chooses to take a course CR/NC and yet who earns any version of a grade of D (D+, D, or D-) will earn degree credit but forfeit the ability to have the grade covered. For this Spring 2020 semester, however, all grades of D- and above will remain covered unless a student chooses to uncover them. A course earning NC (No credit) will receive NC on the transcript and not receive degree credit.
Uncovering the CR/NC: Faculty will still award grades, but the default grades for students will be to receive either a CR or a NC. Once grades are turned in, students will have the opportunity to uncover any of their courses' grades from this semester for their official transcript. Students (except spring semester graduating seniors) will have until the end of the second week of the following semester to uncover their grades; for spring semester graduating seniors, the deadline to uncover the underlying shadow letter grade is the Tuesday prior to commencement.
Dear Haverford Students,
It's been a week since I last wrote to you as a group, and to all of us here on campus that week feels like a lifetime. So much has changed on the COVID-19 landscape, and so much is still changing and unknown. I am writing to update you on a few issues that the College is working on, and that I know are of importance to you.
First, within the next few days a decision will be made on the rest of the semester and whether it will be conducted online. I realize that you have been patiently awaiting an update so that you can plan, and I am as eager as you are to see this overarching issue resolved.
Second, please know that the College, specifically the Educational Policy Committee, is working on the complex issue of how courses this semester will be graded. The details of their determination will be communicated as soon as possible
Third, many of you have asked about the potential return of room and board charges for this semester. This, too is an issue being actively discussed, with news to come shortly.
Fourth, many of you are concerned about lost wages from work that you would have done on campus. The College is developing a strategy for financial support for impacted students, and will apprise you of the specifics once they have been established.
Finally, with regard to online work, we understand that some of you may have trouble accessing and/or affording internet resources. Please contact the ProDesk at IITS with any specific questions, but below are some resources you may find helpful as you try and find options that work for you in your current location.
We are thinking of you all the time, and wish we had been able to share more specific information with you before now. But we are confident that many issues will be clarified in the very near future, and we appreciate your forbearance as we work through them with Haverforidan thoroughness, and under challenging circumstances, given local restrictions on gathering in workplaces, including Haverford. All of us in the Dean's Office would be happy to hear from you by email at any point, of course!
With trust, concern, respect - and gratitude! - during these difficult times.
Martha J. Denney
Dean of the College
Dear Haverford Students,
This is not the email I thought I would be sending today, but then nothing in this process has been predictable! I know it is stressful for all of us, and we are trying to make the best possible decisions and plans under difficult circumstances. Please do take the time to read this email thoroughly.
Today the Governor of Pennsylvania ordered that schools and many other facilities in Montgomery County, in which we are located, be required to close for at least two weeks, beginning tomorrow, due to a high incidence of COVID-19 in the area. We initially thought that Haverford College might have to close as well, but that does not appear to be the case at this time. Nevertheless, the fact that we are located in a vulnerable, high-density, high-traffic location for COVID-19 with a concerning number of cases has meant that we need to - and you need to - rethink some of our plans and assumptions.
We are still planning to offer online instruction until April 6 and are hopeful that we can revert to in-person instruction thereafter. However, with regard to students' ability to stay on campus during this period, the picture has changed considerably and I will be approving far fewer requests than I had hoped. This is for a number of reasons: 1) you are arguably better off elsewhere, even if there is COVID-19 in your home area, so the "hot spot" criteria is no longer determinative; 2) we are not allowing any requests in which your rationale is pursuing jobs or placements off-campus, as we need to avoid that kind of movement to and from campus, and 3) with the expectation that staff presence on campus will be more limited than expected, our ability to provide you with services is diminished. We do not anticipate that you will have access to labs and academic and administrative buildings, including the library and the fitness center.
We will understand if you had planned to come to campus this weekend to retrieve items and are no longer comfortable doing so. We will allow you to come to campus as previously described, but are ready to work with you if there are items you need and you now prefer to stay away. We cannot promise that we will be able to send you your items within a specific time frame, but will do what we can as things evolve.
As I indicated in a previous email, all F-1 visa holders may stay on campus if they wish. However, given this new situation in our area, more may want to leave the country than had previously planned. We will work with you to the best of our ability to preserve your status during your time away, and will not move at this point to withdraw you and terminate your enrollment status. However, we still remain very concerned about your ability to re-enter in April if we resume in-person instruction, since travel restrictions to the US have clearly been an option that the current federal administration is willing to exercise; where these may be imposed and in what time frame are unpredictable moving forward. A more detailed email to international students will follow tomorrow, but I encourage you to begin to think this decision through carefully.
I suspect that my emails to date around COVID-19 have sounded unwelcoming, and I plead guilty to that charge - I am trying to tell you in the strongest possible way that I want you to be off-campus for your own safety and that of your families and communities, if at all possible. We have no cases of COVID-19 on our campus now, so you can feel comfortable about going home even if there are vulnerable family members there. If you wait a few weeks and COVID-19 hits Haverford, that will no longer be the case, and your options may be severely limited if we can no longer house you on campus because of an outbreak. That sounds dire, but it is a possible scenario that you need to consider. Haverford College is not a space that is somehow protected from COVID-19 as we have valued staff members and others who constitute part of our community and we are an open campus, so I do not want you to feel a false sense of security as you envision staying here.
So forgive another long and depressing email, but I want you all to make the best possible decisions with the information we have at this time. No matter where you are, what your internet access is, where your books have ended up, the Haverford faculty will work with you toward the best possible semester under these conditions. Your professors will be reaching out to you next week to understand your situations and to assess how they can best conduct the most inclusive courses possible, so please do not despair if you think your circumstances will prevent your success. We are all in this together.
And let me reiterate, finally, that if financial concerns are preventing you from going home, wherever that may be, please be in touch your dean, as we have resources available to help you. That should be the least of your worries as you weigh options and make difficult decisions.
With all best wishes,
Martha J. Denney
Dean of the College
This will be a lengthy email as it addresses many issues and questions, so please take the time to read through it.
First, thanks for your patience and your understanding while Haverford - and every other institution! - works through the details of our response to COVID-19. Please keep in mind that your health and that of others is paramount in all of our decisions.
I want to underscore the fact that our best avenue to help dampen the spread of COVID-19 is to have as few of our students on campus as possible. Therefore, only students with very specific circumstances may remain on campus, if they are already here, or return, if they have spent Spring Break elsewhere; those circumstances are detailed below. If a specific financial determination - the cost of transportation - is the only thing preventing you from returning to your home if you are currently on campus, that is not a sufficient reason in itself for us to allow you to remain, and we will work with you to provide financial support (this includes LIFTFAR-eligible students). Please understand that this is in your own best interest as well as the interest of the rest of the Haverford community, as the fewer individuals we have on campus, the less risk there is for everyone. If you did not specify financial concerns to your dean already, please let them know that you would like to/are able to return home but need help with finances.They will work with you to make the necessary arrangements.
Please know that you are not required to return to campus to retrieve your belongings! You are permitted to do so this weekend if that is feasible, but we will do our best to help you get access to any materials you might need to complete your coursework. The processes by which that will be accomplished are still being formulated, and the faculty and academic support personnel here at Haverford are committed to developing the materials and mechanisms needed for students in a variety of contexts. If you want to return briefly to campus and retrieve your belongings before this Sunday evening, March 15, you can do so without notifying anyone. Thereafter, you MUST notify your dean so that you can be given access to your room. *Special note: if you have medications and/or laptops containing ongoing course work (notes, papers) in your room, please let me know this directly.
Like Bryn Mawr and Swarthmore Colleges and many of our other Centennial Conference peers, we anticipate that as of March 15, we will not be hosting athletic events or sending our teams to events on other campuses, at least for the duration of the three-week period we have outlined. Members of athletic teams currently traveling and scheduled to return to campus will need to leave this weekend, unless they meet any of the criteria described below. Athletic participation will thus not be a reason to stay on campus
The College will be working to develop a plan to compensate student workers for earnings that they were relying on for financial aid purposes, so expectations for your campus job are not a reason to remain on campus. We do understand that finances are a source of worry to a number of you and want you to know that the College is attending to this consideration..
Many of you have already contacted your deans requesting permission to stay; if you have not addressed your eligibility to remain as detailed below, please follow up with an additional explanation. If you are already on campus and will not be permitted to stay, we will require you to depart before Wednesday, March 18. I will make every effort to let you know of my decision on your case before the end of the day on Friday, March 13.
Any of the following are grounds to request to stay on campus:
1. You hold an F-1 visa and are currently on campus and do not wish to return home, or are currently in transit in a third country and do wish to return.
2. You cannot return to your home country due to its risk level as outlined by the State Department/CDC (3 and 4).
3. You cannot return to your domestic or international locality as it is currently a hot spot of confirmed cases (please note that your state having declared a State of Emergency is not a sufficient threshold).
4. You do not have a stable home to which you can return (and this is already known to your dean).
5. You are currently experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.
Some students have expressed a desire to stay on campus because they have elderly or ill relatives at home. While this concern is commendable, the time to return home is now, unless you are symptomatic. If you are not, you currently do not pose a risk to those family members, but if you were to stay at Haverford and contract the virus at some later point, you would be. Your best contribution to your family's health would be to return home now.
Thank you again for your help in keeping yourselves and each other safe and healthy. This is a challenging time for all of us, and I am grateful for the understanding and resiliency you have shown to date. It is heart-breaking for us in the Dean's Office to encourage you to stay away from Haverford, but we all have to accept the need for these measures, for our own safety as well as that of those around us.
In gratitude (as well as trust, respect and concern!),
Martha J. Denney
Dean of the College