Welcoming Staff and Faculty Back to Campus

Welcoming Staff and Faculty Back to Campus

Categories: COVID-19

UPDATE: Union staff can read the Vaccination Policy Here

Dear Faculty and Staff,

We hope that you have all found some rest this summer, as we prepare to return to in-person education for the fall. I’m excited to share some important information below, about the policies and guidelines that will help keep us safe. And we are grateful for all the ways that you will partner with us in that work! Policies are only as effective as our collective willingness to live by them.

This information will also be posted on our website, so you’ll have a place to review them yourself, as well as to share them with students who ask. One important note: All of these policies are subject to change, as we follow best-practice advice from the CDC. We are extremely grateful for the many ways you have adapted to the various changes last year and this summer, and for all the ways we’ll continue to adapt over the course of the coming year.

Effective the first week of August, Union becomes a “vaccinated” institution as all students, faculty, and staff are required to be vaccinated for COVID-19. Those with medical or religious exemptions (please contact me directly as soon as possible) are respected, but with additional testing, mask and social distance requirements – to be detailed in the near future. If you have not yet been vaccinated, please make arrangements for the vaccine and two-week post-vaccination period prior to August 2. I will be in touch within the next two weeks to outline the process to confirm your vaccination status.

The facilities department, who has done an incredible job keeping our campus clean throughout the pandemic, will continue regular cleaning and disinfection of the building. Before the community returns to campus, they will be conducting a more thorough cleaning of spaces that have been unoccupied since March 2020.

Plan for Staff Return to Campus

Currently, campus is open to employees who would like to return to work in the office, and we strongly encourage those who have not yet spent a day on campus to do so before the first week of August. Subject to any changes in public health conditions, our intention is to have staff in the office at 50% of their weekly work schedule (50% = 2.5 days or 17.5 hours per week). Managers need to work out the details of the work schedule for each of their direct reports; for example, a staff member might work two days one week and three days the following week which would equate to 50% of their work schedule over the two-week period. We anticipate that beginning in October, we’ll transition to a 100% in-person work schedule. Union’s employee work policies will shift as protocols change over time.

Plan for Student Return to Campus

We plan to resume all regular in-person activities beginning in Fall 2021, and we eagerly await welcoming our students back to campus. Following are key points which Serene announced to students regarding our Fall return to campus:

    • Union’s campus officially reopens for in-person education and community life. Community activities such as Chapel, Community Lunch, Pub, study groups, and student gatherings will resume on campus.
    • Union requires students to be COVID-19 vaccinated before entering campus including proof of vaccination or proof of medical/religious exemption.
    • With respect to COVID-19 protocols, Union continues to carefully observe state and city mandated restrictions.
      Campus life policies will shift as protocols change over time.
    • Approximately two-thirds of courses are planned for in-person and one-third online. Course registration is already open for returning students.
    • Both the newly renovated Hastings Residence Hall and McGiffert Residence Hall are open and ready for student occupancy.

As you are most likely aware, federal and state guidelines with respect to COVID-19 change rapidly. As such, our return to campus policies evolve in response to new guidelines as well as any upcoming changes that are introduced.

Lastly, we ask for your patience with updates, communication and implementation of related policies and protocols. We will continue to be in touch and are happy to answer any questions you have.

I am delighted to see you in person soon – you have all been missed!

Stay safe and healthy!