January 2, 2022
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
I hope you are all enjoying the final week of break and I look forward to your return to campus. Students are reminded that classes begin on Monday, January 10th. The residence halls open and meal plans begin on Sunday, January 9th (on-campus students will find their keys in their campus mailboxes).
Given the high transmissibility and rapid spread of the Omicron variant, today I share a number of updates regarding our health and safety protocols. Holy Cross is committed to in-person learning while at the same time is also committed to keeping everyone on the campus and local communities as safe as possible. In particular, there is a need to show extra diligence during the first weeks of the semester as it is during this time that Omicron is expected to peak. I am confident in our ability to adapt to changing circumstances so that we can remain here at Holy Cross and flourish in a learning environment that offers an education of the mind and heart. I thank you all in advance for your ongoing flexibility and your care for the common good as we work together to navigate the current challenges.
As was announced in December, Holy Cross College is requiring of all students the booster because of its ability to prevent serious illness. As we approach the first day of classes on January 10, please receive a vaccination booster as soon as possible, as it takes 10-14 days for the booster to take full effect. The deadline for booster verification has now been set for Friday, January 21. You are highly encouraged to receive the booster before returning to campus. Those that have recently had COVID (within the last 90 days) or have only recently received the original vaccine have an extended deadline.
• Please share your booster verification information with Tom DeHorn ([email protected]) or Marie Oliva ([email protected]) by January 21st.
• If you are not able to receive the booster before returning to campus, please plan to schedule one in the South Bend community as soon as possible. Many of the local stores (CVS and Walgreens) have daily appointments and they can easily be scheduled on-line.
• For information about a booster exemption please email me ([email protected]). Those who have already received an exemption from the vaccination requirement are exempted from the requirement to receive a booster. Those that are not fully vaccinated (both vaccinated and boosted) will be required to participate in weekly surveillance testing.
• If you have tested positive for COVID over break, you are encouraged to share that information as it will delay your deadline for the booster. You are also encouraged to receive a negative COVID test before returning to campus. Do not return to campus if you are in isolation because you have tested positive for COVID or have any COVID symptoms.
Guests (anyone not a member of the tri-campus community) will be required to mask when indoors on campus.
Please be aware that there are areas in the tri-campus that will require masks when indoors even if you are vaccinated and boosted. Please follow all tri-campus and community masking policies and carry a mask at all times.
As has been true throughout the pandemic, we strongly encourage anyone who feels more comfortable masking—for any reason and without needing to offer an explanation—to do so.
Throughout the semester, we urge anyone experiencing cold or flu-like symptoms to stay at home, call their medical provider, contact Nurse Susan ([email protected] or 917-386-4103), and, as appropriate, get tested. Even if you are negative for COVID, please wear your mask indoors on campus while symptoms persist to avoid spreading illness.
As was true in the Fall Semester, fully vaccinated students will not be subject to regular mandatory weekly COVID testing. However, any student who is asked to report for a COVID testing must report as requested. Those who are not fully vaccinated are required to report for weekly COVID testing.
Isolation and Quarantine Protocols
Given the recent updated guidance from the CDC and in consultation with public health officials, Holy Cross has modified its isolation and quarantine protocols as follows:
• Fully vaccinated individuals who test positive for COVID will be required to isolate for five days (adjusted from the previous requirement of 10 days). Assuming they are symptom-free, they may return to their normal activities after five days, while masking for an additional five days. Unvaccinated individuals who test positive for COVID will be required to isolate for five days and required to test on day 5. Assuming symptoms are resolving and the day 5 test is negative, they may return to their normal activities while masking for the next five days. If the day 5 test is positive, an additional 5 days of isolation is required.
• Fully vaccinated individuals who are deemed close contacts no longer need to quarantine but will be required to mask for five days while monitoring for any symptoms, and test on the fifth day.
• Those not fully vaccinated who are deemed close contacts will be required to quarantine for five days and will need a negative test before returning to normal activities.
• Those that test positive for COVID and live on-campus will be given the opportunity to isolate in a space designated by the college. However, students that need to isolate (or quarantine) that live in the geographic area (within 150 miles) will be encouraged to isolate at home or a family approved location. If you live in the region please take time now to consider if you would be able to isolate at home or with a family member should it be necessary.
We realize that many of us are weary of following COVID protocols. I also want our community to remember and know that our sensible and reasonable response to COVID has in fact kept our community healthy and safe. The number of students that have contracted the virus has remained low, and most importantly zero students have experienced serious illness or have required hospitalization. Thank you for your continued resilience and your efforts to be Scholars, Citizens, Leaders, and Disciples. Know of my prayers for you and your loved ones as you make final preparations to return to campus.
October 29, 2021
I hope you all have adjusted back to campus life after fall break. The remainder of the semester will go very quickly and so it is important to stay focused on your goals. I have a number of items and updates to share with you.
- Although our COVID 19 cases remain very low (we had 1 on-campus positive case this week), it is important to continue to be aware of our personal wellness and be attentive to behaviors that we know can prevent or decrease the risk of transmission. If you experience any COVID symptoms or if you are informed that you have been exposed to COVID (even if you are vaccinated) please contact Nurse Susan ([email protected] or 917-386-4103).
- With another home game tomorrow and Halloween this weekend, there will be many opportunities to again enjoy social interaction. Enjoy the fellowship that comes with these experiences, but I also ask that everyone consider their own safety and the safety of others. Always stay with friends, avoid locations where others are making unsafe or poor decisions, and do not accept drinks from strangers. Staying home in the tri-campus is one the best ways to reduce the risk of finding yourself in an unsafe situation. If you find yourself in an unsafe situation call campus safety/security (574-239-8312) or 911.
- Every Sunday night at 8:30 p.m. in the Student Union kitchen, and every Wednesday night at 8:00 p.m. in the dining hall, there is a free late night snack. Feel free to make these events part of your routine. They are great opportunities to eat food and share in fellowship. You do not need to be on a meal plan to partake.
- The Spes Unica Retreat begins tonight and continues through the day on Sunday. Please keep the members of our college community on this retreat in your prayers.
- This coming Monday the Church celebrates All Saints Day. May the Saints in heaven intercede for all Holy Cross College Saints. Additionally, on Thursday of next week (November 4th) at 7:00 p.m. in the Driscoll Auditorium, Dr. Anne Maloney will be given the Mind & Heart Lecture. The title of her talk is You Say You Want a Revolution: What the Hook-Up Culture Has Done to Women.
- Each year Holy Cross completes the EADA (Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act) survey. Completion of this survey is a requirement of the federal government for any institution of higher education participating in a Title IV, federal student financial assistance program, and have an intercollegiate athletic program. The annual report, submitted to the Department of Education, includes information on athletic participation, staffing, and revenues and expenses, by men’s and women’s teams. The 2021 EADA can be found here. A paper copy of this report can be requested by sending an email to me ([email protected]).
I pray that your hearts and minds continue to be open to the formative experience of Holy Cross and that you all have an enjoyable and safe weekend.
September 24, 2021
Fall is knocking on our door. I am looking forward to the change of season and have even noticed a few red leaves on the maples on O’Connor Commons.
- Monday and Tuesday are our Flu Shot clinic. If you have not yet signed up for an appointment, please do so ASAP. Make An Appointment
- If you are an on-campus student, including Holy Cross U-Edge, you will soon receive an email about Fall Break from housing coordinator Marie Oliva, which will include information as to how to request permission to stay on campus during the break.
- On Wednesday morning of next week (September 29th) at 6:00 a.m., there will be another scheduled brief power outage. The outage is scheduled to be no more than a minute or two.
- Tomorrow, Saturday, there will be a campus game watch in the Student Union for the Notre vs. Wisconsin football game (Noon).
- Late-night snacks will once again be available on their regular nights of Sunday at 8:30 p.m. (after Mass) in the Student Union and again on Wednesday in the dining hall at 8:00 p.m.
I am also happy to report that there were no new COVID cases at Holy Cross this week. Thank you for all that you continue to do to keep our campus healthy. Have a fun, safe, and enjoyable weekend.
September 17, 2021
It looks to be another beautiful weekend here in Notre Dame, Indiana. Please enjoy all that the weekend has to offer, but please do so in a safe manner. I am happy to report that we have had no new COVID cases since my email last week (our total for the year is 1 positive case). Please continue to monitor your own health and follow all COVID protocols.
Flu Shot: As announced last week, Holy Cross will be requiring the flu vaccine. The flu shot clinic will take place in the Pfeil Tent on Monday, September 27th and Tuesday, September 28th. The vaccine is offered free of charge to all students. Please sign-up today! Flu Shot Sign Up.
Building Hours: On Saturday and Sunday, the Vincent and Driscoll building will open at 10:00 am. Every day of the week the building remains open until 1:00 am. Please note that in the evening the building can only be accessed by the doors near the Driscoll auditorium, the Driscoll lounge, and Ave Brew. The Dining Hall and Chapel building will be locked at 12:00 am Sunday – Thursday and 1:00 am on Friday and Saturday.
Late Night Food: Evening snacks will be offered every Wednesday evening at 8:00 p.m. in the dining hall and Sunday evening at 8:30 p.m. in the kitchen area in the Student Union. Meal plans are not required to partake in these snacks.
Fall Break: The break begins after classes on Friday, October 15th. Anyone that plans to stay on campus past Saturday, October 16th or return prior to Saturday, October 23rd will need to request permission (details regarding how to request permission will be shared at a future point). Those that are part of a team that will be on campus for break will not be required to individually request permission to stay (coaches will be submitting rosters).
I pray that you all have a relaxing, fun, and safe weekend.
September 10, 2021
We are now a full 3 weeks into the semester and many of you are settling into a good routine of academic work balanced with your many other obligations.
This week our campus saw its first positive COVID case. Whether or not you are vaccinated, please continue to be mindful regarding your personal health, follow COVID policies, and practice mitigation efforts. If at any point you experience COVID symptoms, please message me, the Hall Director/Assistant Hall Director on Duty, or Nurse Susan ([email protected] 917-386-4103).
Once again Holy Cross will be requiring the flu shot for all students. On September 27th and 28th there will be a free on-campus flu shot clinic that will make receiving the shot easy and convenient. More information regarding logistics and sign-up will be shared in the coming weeks.
Tomorrow will be a beautiful day to enjoy the first home game for Notre Dame football. Cheering on the Irish is exciting and will include many opportunities for recreation and social activities. However, I also remind everyone of the importance of safety and the need to have a plan for good decision-making. This weekend is an opportunity to stand out as a Scholar, Citizen, Leader, and Disciple. We are all share responsibility when it comes to the promotion of the common good. May we all model what it means to be a Saint in the coming days.
Holy Cross College will commemorate and remember the events of 9/11 today. Please consider attending the 2:00 p.m. event at the flagpole in the front of Vincent Atrium. On Sunday, you are encouraged to end your weekend by gathering for prayer at the 7:30 p.m. student liturgy in St. Joseph Chapel. All are welcome.
My only housekeeping item for the week is the need to be more attentive to dining hall expectations. The amount of food on the floor and the number of dishes being left on tables are not appropriate. Students are responsible for the cleanliness of their area and for ensuring that dishes are properly placed at the dish window. Thank you for giving extra attention to this particular matter.
Have a great weekend. Go, Irish! Go, Saints!
August 18, 2021
It has been so good to see the buzz around campus the last few days. Faculty are making final preparations for their courses. Resident Assistants have prepared their halls and are ready for the arrival of students. Our soccer teams have begun play. New students have much to look forward to as move-in and Welcome Weekend approaches. Also approaching quickly is our first day of classes and HoCro Nation on Monday the 23rd, culminating with a firework show at 9:00 p.m.!
Welcome Weekend details, including the full schedule, can be found here: Welcome Weekend – Holy Cross (hcc-nd.edu).
All students are reminded that COVID vaccine documentation needs to be on-file with the college before move-in or attending any classes. For those that have received an exemption from the vaccine, masks will be required when indoors. Of course there are many reasons to wear a mask and it will be important for students to have a mask at all times in case you enter a location where it is required. During Welcome Weekend, all guests, whether vaccinated or not, will be required to wear a mask while indoors.
Beginning Monday, August 23rd, to help keep our residential spaces safe, no outside guests (which includes ND and SMC students) are permitted in the dorms or University Edge. However, Holy Cross students are allowed to visit any dorm on campus (including UEDGE).
Although there will not be a daily health check sent to your phone each morning, each student should evaluate their own health on a daily basis. If at any point you experience COVID symptoms, please email or call Nurse Susan Feeley (917-386-4103 or [email protected]). Until you are cleared by the Nurse or directed to receive a COVID test, you should wear a mask and not be in close contact with others.
If you are looking for an on-campus job, the dining hall is in need of several student workers. If you are interested in a position, which pays $12 per hour, please contact Bill Krusniak ([email protected]). If you are interested in working as the student mail-clerk, please message Marie Oliva ([email protected]).
All new students are required to complete our education video program regarding a positive community experience, and the consideration of self and others. The Safe Colleges Training Videos, which have already been sent to your email inbox, must be completed before your arrival to campus. Please let me know if you have questions about this requirement.
I pray that you all have a safe trip to campus and I look forward to seeing you soon.
August 9, 2021
Dear Students and Families,
Educating the mind and heart is at the center of all that we do at Holy Cross. We do this best when we are in-person gathered around seminar tables, together researching in the lab, competing on the field and court, sharing a meal, and praying together as we strive to become the Saint that God calls each of us to be. The COVID vaccine has created a pathway for our return to normal and it is good that we can look forward to these opportunities.
Most students will be arriving to campus vaccinated or in the process of being vaccinated. We are thankful for this as it shows care for your health and the health of the community. If you have not already done so, please submit your vaccine documentation today. Those that have not submitted documentation will not be allowed to move-in.
As I indicated in my email from last week, masks are not required for students, faculty, and staff that are vaccinated. Those that are exempt from the COVID vaccine will be required to wear masks when indoors and physical distancing is not possible. If we do have any positive COVID cases on campus, those that are traced to be a close contact but are vaccinated will not be required to quarantine.
As Welcome Weekend approaches, we would like to share some important updates. With increasing COVID cases and the concern over the Delta variant, family members and friends that are not vaccinated or at risk to COVID may at this time want to give careful consideration to travel plans. Not only do we want individuals to be attentive to what is best for their own health, but we also expect guests to consider the health and well-being of our campus community. Welcome Weekend is a special moment for all of our students, but it is important that prudence prevails in decision making so that we can begin the school year in a safe manner that will ensure our ability to remain in-person throughout the duration of the entire semester. A good start is important to a strong finish! Here are some important things to consider as you each family considers their own plans for move-in.
All guests will be expected to wear masks when indoors and physical distancing is not possible (except when eating or drinking).
Although a negative COVID test is not required this year by Holy Cross to come to campus, it is certainly encouraged. Particularly it is encouraged for those that may be traveling by airplane and for those not vaccinated.
We are not limiting the number of guests at move-in, but each family ought to carefully consider what is safe and what helps to protect our college community.
Our Friday dinner will not include a formal program this year and will instead provide the option of eating outdoors and will include some staggering and spacing to help limit the number of people eating at one time.
In general, we hope guests will limit the amount of time spent indoors gathering in groups.
Students should be aware that certain places at Notre Dame that have a large number of guests regularly present (like the Bookstore and Duncan Student Center) will be requiring masks and so it is a good idea to carry a mask at all times.
We continue to pray and hope for an end to the challenges and very real sufferings created by COVID. I know our community to be resilient. I know our community cares for the common good. I pray for your safe travel to campus and I look forward to welcoming you to campus as our newest Saints!
July 29, 2021
In just a few short weeks we will all be on campus to begin a new semester together. I have enjoyed the summer months, but like all of you I am excited about our upcoming year.
The pandemic has been challenging for all of us in a variety of ways. Although we still need to be mindful of our health and wellness, we are hopeful that much of the day-to-day experience of the campus community will be without many of the restrictions that were necessary last year. It has been welcome news that areas with high vaccine rates have resulted in lower COVID cases and deaths. This data shows that receiving the vaccine helps to keep communities safe and protects the most vulnerable. The COVID vaccine is important to the health of our community and so if you have not already received the vaccine please make plans to do so as soon as possible. If you have received the vaccine but have not yet submitted documentation to the College please, do this as soon as possible (documentation should be sent to Mr. Tom DeHorn [email protected]).
Students will not be allowed to move-in or attend classes if appropriate documentation has not been submitted. Any questions about the required COVID vaccine or exemptions from the vaccine can be directed to me ([email protected]).
Because of our high rates of COVID-19 vaccination, it is our plan that those who are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 no longer need to wear masks on campus. Those that have received a COVID vaccine exemption on-file with the college will be required to wear a mask when in-doors when physical distancing is not possible. In addition to not being vaccinated, there are a number of additional reasons why someone might continue to wear a mask. Some additional reasons to wear a mask include a need to protect an at-risk family member, personal peace of mind, or working with people from outside the community. It is important that we continue to be welcoming and respectful of each others’ decisions and personal circumstances, so please keep this in mind as you meet others throughout Welcome Week and the entire fall semester.
To continue to keep our campus safe, Holy Cross will also promote wellness through appropriate health checks, symptomatic testing, effective cleaning of campus spaces, quarantine and isolation according to national guidelines, and an encouragement of personal hygiene efforts.
Holy Cross will continue to monitor the state of COVID, particularly the new and concerning updates regarding the Delta variant, as well as the federal and state recommendations and guidelines. The College will continue to consult with national and local health officials as well as with our tri-campus partners to review and adapt our policies as needed to keep the College community safe.
Soon I will send another letter containing Welcome Weekend information as well as other exciting updates from the summer and what to expect on campus for the fall semester.
Enjoy these final weeks of summer!
June 23, 2021
We are looking forward to our students returning to campus in August for the Fall 2021 semester. We are so pleased to put many of the concerns related to COVID-19 behind us when we come back together. Students are reminded that they are required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine prior to returning to campus. New Students can upload documentation of the vaccine through their new student portal while returning students should send documentation to Mr. Tom DeHorn ([email protected]). For those wishing to receive an exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine because of medical or health reasons, please email Dean Polaniecki ([email protected]) to initiate the process.
The vaccine requirement is centered on a concern for the common good and is the key factor that will allow our campus to return to a normal day-to-day rhythm of learning. Being together, forming healthy relationships, staying safe and healthy, and growing to be scholars, citizens, leaders, and disciples is the work of Holy Cross College. Thank you for doing your part to help make this possible for everyone.