From the Interim Dean of Students: Welcome Back and Important Campus Safety Information

August 25, 2020

Dear Westminster Students,

Now that we are officially starting the first full week of classes, I want to welcome you to the new academic semester. Last week was full of energy – the energy that makes our campus great. We are all doing our part to ensure that we can maintain the small community experience we have come to love. Below you will find important reminders; please read them all carefully.

Academic Information

Add/Drop Date

The add/drop date is Wednesday, August 26; dropping a course by this date will ensure that it won’t impact your tuition bill. Please keep in mind that add/drop is now automatic and that you need to be enrolled in at least 12 credits by Wednesday, August 26 to be at full time status and eligible for financial aid.

Calendar Change

The academic calendar no longer includes a separate term for May Term. Instead, the 12-week Summer Semester includes configurations for courses to occur in either 4, 8, or 12-week sessions. We will still informally refer to the first 4 weeks of Summer Semester as "May Term," and you will still get to take May Term classes and May Term Study Experiences (when travel is permitted).

This change allows Westminster more flexibility in course offerings, and greater opportunities for students in the packaging of financial aid. A significant benefit of this new arrangement is that eligible undergraduate students can use up to 4 earned discount credits for any portion of the summer semester without having to register for additional credits. That means that eligible students may now take a summer class with no additional tuition charge. It is important to note that, while still eligible to participate in the May commencement ceremony, students who finish their course requirements during the first 4 weeks of Summer Semester (May Term) will not graduate until the end of the term, August 2.

COVID-19 Reminders

Physical Distance

It is great to see that mostly everyone is wearing masks; thank you! But what we really need to work on now is physical distance. Please know that I understand that we are asking you to do something that may feel unnatural or antithetical to the community experience which makes our campus great. But it is because we want to preserve our community that we must practice physical distance. I heard from a lot of you that March and April were difficult because of the quarantine guidance; I agree, it was tough. Being cooped up at home and isolated from our friends can exasperate feelings of loneliness. Let's not go back to that and do our part to keep our campus open, please.

Face Coverings

Please keep in mind that a reusable cloth face covering must be made of double-layered fabric and completely cover both nose and mouth. Medical masks are also acceptable. Face coverings with exhalation valves or made of fleece or knit material are not acceptable.

Reusable cloth face coverings should be washed between each day of use or when they become visibly dirty. Disposable face coverings cannot be effectively cleaned for re-use.

Face coverings should always fit snugly against your face and fitted to cover above your nose and below your mouth.

Contact Tracing and Quarantine

Here is the reality of ensuring that we keep everyone safe: If you come in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19, you will be asked to quarantine for 14 days. The contact tracing process asks to name people who the individual was with for more than 15 minutes and less than 6 feet apart regardless of face covering. If you enjoy your ability to move through campus and attend in-person learning, please keep physical distance.

Guest Policy in the Residence Halls

Please know that residential students are not allowed to have guests—that also includes parents. For more information about the residential housing policies, please refer to the Housing Handbook.

Library

Face coverings are required in all public spaces in the library. It does not matter if no one is near you; you need to have a face covering while you are in the library. Your face covering needs to cover both your mouth and nose. If you do not have a face covering on or it is on improperly, an employee will ask you to put your face covering on or adjust it. Upon a second infraction, you will be asked to leave the building.

Weeks of Welcome

Westminster welcomes new and returning to students to campus with Weeks of Welcome—a series of activities happening during your first 6 weeks on campus. Events take place both in person (with COVID-19 protocols) and virtually. Weeks of Welcome events are a great way to make new friends, develop academic skills, join an ASW student club, find a campus job, learn wellness skills, and have fun! Check out the Weeks of Welcome schedule to learn more.

Important Campus Policies

Westminster College takes your safety and security seriously, and sends out this information to make all faculty, staff, and students aware of its content at the start of the fall, spring, and summer semesters; after the add/drop deadline; and within a timely period upon new employment at Westminster. I encourage you to read this information and visit the hyperlinks.

Student Handbook

Westminster’s Student Handbook contains important college policies and procedures related to students, and students are responsible for what it includes. It contains a great deal of information for employees as well, and will answer a number of questions both students and employees may have. This link includes the information for Westminster’s Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Program (DAAPP), which is also important for all members of the Westminster community, as it discusses the prohibition of drug use on campus and misuse of alcohol on campus for students, faculty and staff. It also includes the college’s discipline for violations of drug and alcohol policies for students and employees. The Student Handbook also includes the Student Code of Conduct (rules and regulations), security and retention information, important contacts for students, and academic information. Please contact the Dean of Students Office in Shaw if you would prefer a printed version of the Student Handbook or the DAAPP.

Annual Campus Security and Fire Safety Report (ACSFSR)

Westminster College shares the Annual Campus Security and Fire Safety Report (ACSFSR) each year by October 1, for the prior calendar year. Westminster chooses to distribute this report to all current students and employees by posting it online. In accordance with the Clery Act, its contents include all the crime and safety statistics for the previous calendar year. In addition, this document contains important information about college policies and resources related to safety, as well as the means for reporting crimes on campus. The Missing Residential Student Policy is found within the Annual Campus Security and Fire Safety Report (usually around page 35). For questions or concerns regarding the Annual Campus Security and Fire Safety Report, contact Tony Russell, director of campus security, or Bri Buckley, director of campus safety. A paper copy of the Annual Campus Security and Fire Safety Report will be provided upon request. Please come to the Dean of Students Office directly (or email the Dean of Students) for a paper version.

Emergency Management Plan

Westminster College also would like everyone to be aware of the Emergency Management Plan. Again, please contact the Dean of Students Office directly should you like a paper copy of this document.

Title IX Policy

Westminster’s Policy on Sexual Assault, Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment, Gender-Based Discrimination, and Interpersonal Violence (Title IX Policy) can be found online.

Equal Opportunity Policy

Westminster’s Policy on Preventing and Addressing Discrimination and Harassment Based on Race, Color, National Origin, Religion, Disability, And Other Protected Categories (Equal Opportunity Policy) can be found online.

Sex Offender Listing

I would also like to remind you of the sex offender listing for our area. Visit the webpage and make sure to check the box in the middle of the page that you agree to the terms and conditions. On the next page, click the "search for offenders in your area" box, type in Westminster's address (1840 South 1300 East, SLC, UT 84105) and you can then expand the search from 0.25 miles to 2 miles, or search for specific names.

Daniel K. Cairo, Ed.D
Interim Dean of Students

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