St. John’s College, Santa Fe has welcomed students back for the fall semester.
Understand the metrics and guidelines that guide our decision-making at our Santa Fe dashboard. Go deeper into the details of our full plan by visiting the links below.
Dear Campus Community,
Last week, we updated the community on our anticipated shift to a mask-optional policy tomorrow, Tuesday, March 1. This date was selected to give us a full week to monitor public health trends and to hear feedback from the community. We have spent the week doing just that. On the public health front, we are happy that trends continue to move in positive directions on campus and in our region; for the second week in a row, we have had no reported positive campus cases and our student, staff and faculty vaccination rate is 95%. On the community engagement front, we have received dozens of emails and have engaged in many one-on-one and group conversations with students, tutors, and staff; the feedback here has been more nuanced.
We are slightly modifying our mask policy, which will go into effect tomorrow, March 1; it will remain in effect until after spring break, at which time we will revisit our policy through the lens of health trends and community input. We hope that we are striking a healthy balance between those who desire a more open campus environment and those who remain concerned about community spread in a mask-optional environment. Please read the information below very carefully to understand how this shift will occur and what will be expected of us all.
Mask-Required Environments through Monday, April 4
Mask-Optional Environments through Monday, April 4
As we return to a norm in which individual discretion drives many masking decisions, it is important that we treat others and their choices respectfully, even when we might have differences of opinion. We know that many in our community will continue to wear masks, and it is essential that we respect this decision.
Revisiting Future Mask Policies
The college will host a town hall for students with college leaders upon return from spring break, at which time we will revisit our public health trends and hear community concerns to determine our mask policy moving forward. It is our hope that health trends will allow us to continue moving toward greater personal choice, and we look forward to continuing our conversation with you on this front.
Quarantine and Isolation Requirement
At this time, no changes have been made to our quarantine and isolation requirements.
All unvaccinated students are required to continue with their weekly testing. In addition, every member of our student body is required to test upon return from spring break. We will provide tests to students who need one prior to their departure for spring break. Please be on the lookout for additional communication regarding this testing requirement as well as details regarding the distribution of tests.
We have had remarkable success as a college community in working to navigate the ever-changing public health landscape over the last two years. Your patience with and commitment to the policies and strategies put in place have allowed for low case counts and a return to many pre-COVID activities. While nobody can predict the future, we remain ready to respond should there be an unexpected increase in cases or a new variant that requires a different strategy. We hope this will not be the case.
Thank you all for your input – we look forward to more discussion at our town hall in April.
Mark Roosevelt, President
Walter Sterling, Dean
As projected, SJC Santa Fe will be returning to in-person classes on Monday, January 24. I hope you all find this to be good news!
As was the case throughout the fall semester, we ask that you are mindful of the minimum technology requirements should a class, or classes, be required to pivot online. While we hope that the need for specific classes to shift online is minimal, it may be required on occasion should tutors or a large number of students need to isolate. Tutors will be in communication with their respective classes about the transition to in-person classes next week, so please be looking for those emails.
In order to avoid large gatherings, our to-go dining will continue and our common spaces will remain closed for a short period. Based on current data, and assuming case counts are manageable, we anticipate returning to regular dining and common area usage in another week. The SAC will continue to be open by appointment until the Omicron surge is behind us.
Beginning on Monday, classroom spaces will be open outside of regular class times for those students seeking an alternative place to study. We anticipate being able to provide an update on the library in the coming days.
For those of you who have not yet returned to campus, please remember to complete a rapid-antigen test within 48 hours prior to your arrival. Residents will be asked to show evidence of their negative test to their RA. If you test positive, please report that positive result to me immediately and do not come to campus.
If there are any questions about our booster requirement and updated mask policy , or general questions about the return to campus, please feel free to reach out to me directly at christine.guevara(at)sjc.edu.
Take care and welcome back!
Christine Guevara, Ed.D
Executive Director of Campus Health and Wellness
We hope this message finds you and your loved ones well, and that you’ve had a restful winter break.
Because of rapidly worsening national and regional health conditions due to the Omicron variant of COVID-19, St. John’s College, Santa Fe will be moving to online classes for the first week of the spring semester, January 17–21, to allow health conditions to improve. Our goal is to begin in-person classes on Monday, January 24, assuming case counts on campus are at a manageable level.
Hosting fewer students on campus and in dormitories during the projected Omicron peak will further strengthen our public health efforts; therefore, we encourage students who are able to delay their return to campus to do so. At present, we can accommodate a delayed return as late as January 23 and will keep students updated if a later return may be possible.
We apologize for our late decision and communication, which is brought on by the extremely high transmissibility of the Omicron variant. We are grateful to all of you for the seriousness with which you and your peers have taken our public health measures in the past; this is what made our successful in-person fall semester possible. We hope to replicate this success in the spring and believe that these measures will help us do so.
Below are some additional details regarding this delay:
Apart from a delayed Convocation for incoming January Freshmen and Graduate students, we are not anticipating additional significant changes to the academic calendar. Classes will begin on Zoom on Monday, January 17, for at least one week. Your tutors will contact you with links to your classes.
Whether you are at home or on campus, every student is responsible for meeting our Minimum Technology Requirements. If you are in our residence halls, consider acquiring an ethernet cable to augment your wifi access. If you are sharing space with others, consider acquiring headsets to avoid noise across classes. The college’s default communication methods are email and Teams chat, audio, and video conferencing. Please use your assigned SJC email account for these purposes. If you need technical assistance, you can create an ITS Help Desk ticket by emailing user.support(at)sjc.edu. If meeting tech requirements causes you significant financial hardship or exigency, you may request emergency financial assistance request emergency financial assistance.
Please remember that your college email address is our official means of communication, and you are responsible for monitoring it regularly. Please check email daily for information from the Dean’s Office, the Assistant Dean’s Office, and your tutors for further updates on the academic calendar and semester.
CAMPUS ARRIVAL OPTIONS FOR RESIDENTIAL STUDENTS
We are encouraging residential students, whenever possible, to delay their return to campus until closer to the anticipated start of in-person classes on January 24. If you have questions about your housing or plans to return to campus, please contact Sarah Reeve at sarah.reeve(at)sjc.edu.
TESTING AND BOOSTER PROTOCOLS
All students must test 24–48 hours prior to campus arrival. If you have a positive rapid antigen test result, please isolate and seek a PCR test to confirm your results. In many parts of the country, the supply of at-home tests is diminished, and the results of PCR tests can be delayed, so please plan accordingly. Regardless of these challenges: if you test positive, you must delay your return to campus until you have completed your isolation period. If you have COVID-like symptoms, do not return to campus without a negative test.
All students who are now eligible for booster shots must provide proof of your booster by January 17. Booster proof can be submitted to the student health portal. If you have questions regarding the booster requirement, please contact Christine Guevara at christine.guevara(at)sjc.edu.
Be safe and well,
Mark Roosevelt, President
Walter Sterling, Dean
Christine Guevara, Executive Director of Campus Health and Wellness
After careful consideration the college has decided to implement a COVID-19 booster dose requirement for all students starting in the spring semester. We feel strongly that our high community vaccination rate led to very few disruptions this fall, and we want to continue that success in the spring, as the Omicron variant is likely to surge across the country during the winter break.
Research shows that immunity to COVID wanes significantly six months after full vaccination and that the two-dose vaccine provides less robust protection from the newest variant than from earlier variants. The good news is that new research strongly indicates the booster substantially improves immunity to Omicron and dramatically improves outcomes: those who are infected and who have had the booster will most often have mild-to-moderate symptoms.
Waning immunity and the mutations of Omicron are two important reasons that the New Mexico Department of Health and the CDC strongly recommend that all eligible individuals get the booster.
Boosters are currently available to all individuals 12 and older who have had the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine series more than six (6) months ago, or the J&J vaccine more than two (2) months ago. Please do not wait if you are eligible, as you will be required to provide us with proof of your booster by January 17, 2022. You can find a booster shot online at the CVS or Walgreens websites, and if you are in the state of New Mexico you can visit vaccinenm.org to schedule your booster.
All students are required to provide us with updated COVID vaccination documentation prior to January 17, 2022 on the student health portal. Students with approved exemptions do not need to take any additional steps at this time.
Questions about how to upload your documentation should be directed to the Student Health Center via email at santafe.studenthealth(at)sjc.edu.