Oct. 1: Important Update for Bates Students — Timely Action Required

Dear Students,

I write today with several updates. This blogpost addresses six important topics:

  1. Declaring your intentions for the winter semester by Oct. 8
  2. Changes to the COVID-19 Testing Center schedule
  3. New access to campus and programming spaces
  4. Campus departure in November
  5. Winter break information for international students currently in residence
  6. Anticipated move-in date for the winter semester

Declaring Intentions for the Winter Semester

If public health conditions permit, it is our plan to welcome students back to campus in January for the winter semester. Just as we did over the summer, we ask that you declare your intention to engage in either remote learning or in-person learning for the winter semester. 

  • All students must complete the Winter Attendance Questionnaire by 5 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 8, to declare their intention to either study on campus or study remotely for the winter semester. 
  • We understand that your plans may change following the submission of this questionnaire.
  • The Winter Attendance Questionnaire may be found on your To-Do list in Garnet Gateway. 
  • Students currently studying on campus this fall semester who do not complete this form by Thursday, Oct. 8, will be switched to remote learning and removed from their housing assignment for the winter semester. 

If you have questions about completing this online form, please contact Administrative Coordinator Faith Hauger at studentaffairs@bates.edu.

COVID-19 Testing Center

Thank you for your participation in the college’s COVID-19 testing program. As you know, frequent testing is one of our strategies to help prevent the transmission of the virus on our campus. We continue to refine Testing Center operations and administration to make it operate as smoothly as possible and to make it more efficient. As part of these ongoing efforts, Nick Cooke, director of the COVID-19 Testing Center, wrote to you earlier this week to inform you of an important change to the testing center schedule, which requires your attention. 

Starting Monday, Oct. 5, the Testing Center will move to a four-day weekly schedule and be closed on Fridays. As part of this change, all Thursday testing times will be moved automatically to Wednesday, and all Friday testing times will be moved to Thursday.

Testing days will be adjusted in Garnet Gateway to reflect the following:

  • Monday & Wednesday: 7:30am–12:30pm, 1:30pm-5pm
  • Tuesday & Thursday: 7:30am–12:30pm, 1:30pm–5pm

Note: The Testing Center staff will send you an email within the next couple of days providing directions on how to change your testing time should you wish to do so. If you have any scheduling difficulties, please email testingcenter@bates.edu.

Given how important testing is to our COVID-19 management strategy, please remember that you must comply with this testing program. This includes showing up for your scheduled testing times and being tested twice per week. Failure to do so is a violation of the Public Health Agreement. Students who miss more than two scheduled tests will be referred to student conduct, switched to remote learning, and will return home. While these measures may seem excessive, they are necessary to ensure the health and wellbeing of the Bates community.

New Access to Campus and Programming Spaces

We understand that there is great interest in gathering with other students from your academic courses and for student clubs and organizations to have meeting space, particularly as we approach colder months. 

We have recently identified a number of spaces for students to use for small group studying and programming, as well as private spaces for telehealth appointments. Please remember that all campus health protocols, including masking and distancing, apply in these indoor spaces, and please be aware of hours these spaces and others are available.

Students are encouraged to utilize resources available to support student-led programming and events. Late at Bates provides funding for any individual student, club, group, or organization with the tools to host events and programs. Every weekend, the Office of Campus Life hosts in-person events on campus and also virtual programming. Student clubs and organizations are actively providing students with opportunities to connect over shared interests. Follow Bates Campus Life on Instagram.

I hope that expanding access to more spaces on campus helps you build community in creative, meaningful, and safe ways.

Campus Departure in November and Contingency Planning

As we announced in June, we will all transition to remote learning as we head to the November break, completing the final week of the semester and exams remotely. 

  • The final day of in-person classes is Tuesday, Nov. 24.
  • The last day of student COVID-19 testing will be Tuesday, Nov. 24.
  • The college’s dining program will end with brunch on Wednesday, Nov. 25. 
  • Students are required to depart campus by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 25

While we hope to be in a position to welcome you back to the college in January for a continuation of in-person learning, you should make contingency plans if this ends up not being possible, including these actions:

  • Taking with you any essential and valuable personal items from your residence hall room (e.g. computer, jewelry, textbooks, musical instruments)
  • Organizing, packing, and labeling for shipping all items left behind in your room. 
  • Packing your belongings “ship-ready,” in boxes, luggage, and containers sealed and labels with accurate information securely attached.

I am sharing this information with you early so that you have plenty of time to make plans to pack your belongings. To assist with this process, Post & Print will provide you with labels, boxes, tape, and other supplies. Your belongings will remain labeled and packed safely in your room. Should public health conditions make it not possible for you to return in January, these labels will help us easily identify your belongings. If you wish to store your belongings offsite, you may wish to consider these storage options

Should we be unable to return in January, we expect that students who are within driving distance would be able to schedule times to retrieve their belongings. For those students further away, Bates will facilitate shipping at the student’s expense for those further away. The college would provide need-based financial assistance for those students who do not have the resources necessary to ship their belongings at their own expense. 

Questions about the move-out date and packing and labeling your belongings should be directed to the Office of Residence Life and Health Education at housing@bates.edu.

International Students Currently in Residence

Recognizing the unique issues facing our international students, including travel restrictions and concern about the ability to re-enter the U.S. if you depart, international students may petition to remain in residence from Nov. 26 to the beginning of the winter semester. 

If you are an international student who wishes to make such a request, you can learn more and submit a petition here. The deadline to file such a request is Monday, Oct. 12. Questions about the petition process should be directed to Senior Associate Dean of Students Carl Steidel at csteidel@bates.edu

Anticipated Move-In Date for Winter Semester

Assuming it remains safe to do so, we plan to welcome students back to campus on Friday, Jan. 8. 

  • This date is subject to change as we complete our planning efforts.
  • We anticipate updating students with confirmation of this date in early December. 
  • We will have only one move-in day for all students.
  • Like this past fall, the first place you will go upon arrival is the COVID-19 Testing Center.
  • We will provide more details about January plans as they become available.

In closing, I want to thank you for your continued assistance in doing your part to keep yourself and others healthy by following our public health measures. I am proud of how hard Bates students have worked and the ways the community has pulled together. You should be proud, too.

Given the COVID-19 outbreaks happening on college campuses across the country, our strict adherence to these measures is of utmost importance. Our collective efforts have placed us in the current position where we are fortunate to be able to offer an on-campus experience. Thank you for your continued partnership.


Joshua McIntosh
Vice President for Campus Life