Saint Mary’s to continue in-person classes with new restrictions in place
Observer Staff Report | Wednesday, August 19, 2020
In an email to the Saint Mary’s students body Tuesday evening, President Katie Conboy addressed questions about the future of in-person classes after Notre Dame announced two weeks of remote learning.
Conboy opened the email by thanking both students and faculty members who have worked to maintain a quality experience at the College.
“We can see so many [students] complying daily with our masking and distancing protocols,” Conboy said in the email. “Thank you. We hope you, in turn, can see that faculty and staff have moved mountains to create a learning environment that not only aligns with our safety protocols, but also cares for those students who may require remote learning.”
However, Conboy and her leadership team have concerns about growing infection numbers attributed to off-campus gatherings.
“Right now, while we have only three positive cases among the Saint Mary’s College community, we are growing concerned,” Conboy said. “The trends on other campuses — high infection numbers that are largely due to off-campus activities — are undermining our own campus precautions.”
While in-person classes will continue for the time being, Conboy said she will pursue preventive measures if cases continue to rise. She also urged students to stay on campus.
“While we are not announcing such extreme measures at Saint Mary’s yet, we will not hesitate to do so if our positive cases spike,” Conboy said. “For now, your coursework will continue as scheduled, but we implore you to stay on campus.”
To support Notre Dame’s decision to limit off-campus visitors, tri-campus dining and the Transpo sweep will be temporarily suspended. Blinkie will also only provide service to students on campus.
Conboy reminded students that their behavior will determine any decisions by the College to transition to remote learning.
“Our operational plan for the fall includes provisions to pivot our classes to fully remote, but no one wishes to make that decision — and I hope we won’t have to do so,” Conboy said. “Our ability to stay together will depend on your ability to adhere to these requests.”