Public Health Agreement & Acknowledgement of Shared Responsibility and Risk

Academic Year 2021 – 2022 Public Health Agreement

In light of the continued presence of COVID-19, Bates College asks all students to do their part to protect themselves and other members of the campus and surrounding communities. All students have a responsibility to their peers, to the faculty and staff of the college, and to the Lewiston-Auburn area and beyond to follow the directions of public health and college officials to keep our communities and those we care about as healthy as possible.

In addition to individual actions and expectations, we also have a collective responsibility as members of the Bates College community. This responsibility includes mutual support and respect in addition to accountability to each other for the collective health and wellbeing of all members of our community. At Bates, we pride ourselves on a culture of mutual caring and respect, and given the current circumstances, these attributes must be even more amplified.

In order to enroll at Bates College, each student is required to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19. The only exception to this requirement is the existence of a medical contraindication for receiving a vaccine as certified by a qualified healthcare provider and reviewed by the Medical Director of Bates Health Services. Additionally, if a booster is recommended by public health guidance all students will be required to provide proof of receipt of a booster in accordance with updated Bates vaccination requirements for enrollment.

Once on campus, all students are expected to adhere to the policies outlined below. These policies should be followed at all times, including while on campus, in off-campus housing, and when off campus in the community. These policies are subject to change as the local and global situation evolves and as public health guidance is updated. Updates will be emailed to students as soon as they are available.

As we implement public health protocols, we will follow two guiding principles: (1) maintaining the safety and health of the entire Bates Community – students, staff and faculty; and (2) creating the best and least restrictive student experience possible for all of our students. We will modify specific policies and restrictions as appropriate based on how the public health situation on campus and in Maine evolves over the course of the academic year.

These restrictions and policies may include or impact the following:

● Physical distancing requirements.
● Wearing of masks or face coverings.
● Limitations on the size of informal student gatherings.
● Limitations or restrictions on travel off-campus or out of state.
● Limitations or restrictions on accessing other residence halls or spaces on campus.
● Full participation in population screen testing for COVID-19, contact tracing, and to self-monitor for symptoms for COVID-19.
● All students must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 upon arrival on campus or have a medical exemption reviewed and confirmed by the Director of Bates Health Services.
● Adherence to all dining policies regarding meal locations, timing of meals, and public health restrictions.
● Compliance with any public health directives issued by college officials. This includes directives related to quarantining, isolating, completing and keeping current a campus evacuation plan, pre-arrival symptom screening, and following all policies listed in this document.

Although we anticipate that all students wish to do their part to keep our campus safe, students who choose to put the health and wellbeing of their peers and the faculty and staff of the college at risk by not adhering to these policies will be referred to the student conduct system.

The college takes seriously its responsibility to our own community and to the wider world. As such, the college cannot tolerate violations of these policies. A first violation will likely result in a referral to the student conduct process where the likely outcome will be that the student will be placed on probation. Subsequent violations will likely result in a referral to the Student Conduct Committee where a minimum of a one semester suspension will be the likely outcome. Such students may also be placed on an immediate interim suspension in order to protect the wellbeing of our community.

Students should also be aware that egregious or intentional violations of these policies will likely result in an immediate interim suspension followed by a referral to the Student Conduct Committee where a minimum of a one semester suspension will be the likely outcome. Egregious or intentional violations of these policies include, but are not limited to: hosting a gathering or party above maximum gathering size guidelines at your on- or off-campus residence and not following directives regarding quarantining or isolating when required to do so. Hosts are defined as those students assigned to the room or suite if in on-campus housing and tenants for off-campus residences who were present for the party or gathering in question.

Acknowledgement of Shared Responsibility and Risk

I understand that the coronavirus pandemic has temporarily, but significantly, altered the Bates College academic and residential life experience.

I understand and accept that the college is implementing many changes in response to the pandemic, including but not limited to class scheduling, classroom density, instructional methodology, residence hall occupancy and behaviors, and extracurricular programs.

I understand that information relating to academic and financial policies, curriculum and courses may be found in the Catalog.

I understand that it may be necessary at any time for the college to implement prevention and mitigation measures including health screening and testing, social distancing, use of face-coverings, hygiene, and when necessary, isolation and quarantine. I understand that prevention and mitigation of the spread of the coronavirus is a community responsibility, and that I will be required to comply.

I agree to comply with all required actions relating to infectious disease prevention and mitigation. I understand that I may be required to undergo COVID-19 testing, including immediately upon my arrival on campus as a condition of enrollment, and again at intervals to be determined by the college for the duration of the academic year.

I agree to undergo all testing as may be required by the college. I understand and accept that my failure to comply with any required actions relating to such prevention and mitigation may lead to discipline up to and including suspension and even expulsion.

I understand that the risk of becoming exposed to or infected by COVID-19 at the college may arise from the actions, omissions, or negligence of myself and/or others, including, but not limited to, college trustees, employees, agents, contractors, volunteers, and students.

I acknowledge that the college is an open campus, which limits the college’s ability to control students and visitors on campus. I recognize that the college cannot limit all potential sources of COVID-19 infection.

I acknowledge that I have asked for and/or been given any information that I may need to determine the risks associated with returning to the college campus and to make an informed assumption of those risks. I alone have to determine the sufficiency of any precautions that I am required to take, or that I decide to take, to minimize the risks of exposure and infection.

I have not relied on representations or warranties from any party related to the college, including any officer, employee, agent, volunteer, or student, regarding the safety of, or the risks of, returning to campus. I have relied instead on my own judgment as to whether to undertake the risks.

I acknowledge and agree that by committing to attend Bates College, I am voluntarily assuming any and all risks that notwithstanding the college’s best efforts to implement and require compliance with these prevention and mitigation measures I may be exposed to the coronavirus and may become ill with COVID-19, and that such exposure and illness may result in personal injury, illness, temporary or permanent disability, or even death.