Intending to remedy this issue while also discouraging travel during the pandemic, President Foster announced in an email that a “Recharge Week” would take place from March 29 to April 2. She described it as a “more relaxed week [that] is intended to relieve the stresses of a long semester,” alongside another Spring Day Off on Tuesday, March 30.
On March 12th, President Foster’s follow-up email regarding Covid cases on campus brought a hopeful message to students. After over a year in lockdown, many students have begun to feel trapped with a routine that involves sitting in front of a computer screen for the majority of the day.
Peace Corps regional recruiter Sarah Price was joined by President Kathryn Foster, professor Donald Hirsch of the chemistry department and College alumna Jasmine Miller in a panel event on Wednesday, March 3 to celebrate 60 years of service with the Peace Corps.
“I think that what I constantly think about is a balance, it’s a balancing act,” Foster said. “We’re living in a world of trade-offs right now. So you could say alright, what we did in the Fall essentially, say we’re not going back, we’re not giving choice to students or faculty this semester, and we could do that. But what we also know is that the cost of doing that will be on students, mental health in terms of desperate to come back, yearning to be here, in particular, difficult circumstances at home that would make the cost of being off-campus even greater than the risk of being on-campus."
As the virtual fall semester comes to a close, students are left wondering what the future holds for them on the College campus. A start to the Spring Flex plan was outlined in October, but an email from President Foster yesterday aimed to clarify outstanding questions.
After months of back-and-forth movement on decisions regarding the fall semester, a definitive announcement came on Aug. 3 reverting from a hybrid structure to online-only instruction, leaving many students with unanswered questions. President Kathryn Foster and other administrators addressed these students and families in virtual town hall meetings on Aug. 5 and Aug. 6 that live-streamed to over 400 students and their families.
The federal government announced on July 6 a new mandate for temporary international students, where nonimmigrant students must take in-person courses to remain in the United States, according to the ICE website. But after a nationwide uproar from colleges — of which students and administration from the College participated in — the Trump Administration revoked its previous mandate.
The College’s American Federation of Teachers (AFT) union members wrote a letter to President Kathryn Foster, highlighting both financial and professional concerns with dividing furlough dates, as announced in her most recent community-missive on July 2. The union requested Foster to consider consolidating the two mandated five-day furlough periods in the month of July for all faculty members rather than a select few, thus allowing 12-month professional staff members access to CARES funding.