Academic Year 2022-2023 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 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 full vaccination and receipt of a recommended booster dose 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 further booster doses are recommended by public health guidance and Bates updates its vaccination requirements for enrollment, students will be required to provide proof of receipt of further booster doses in accordance with these requirements. 

Once on campus, all students are required to adhere to all COVID-19 policies communicated by the college; descriptions of policies that may be implemented are included 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.
  • 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.
  • All students must provide proof of full vaccination and receipt of a recommended booster dose against COVID-19 prior to arrival on campus or have a medical exemption reviewed and confirmed by the Director of Bates Health Services.

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.