Cooldown Period

From the beginning of the pandemic, the Monmouth College community has pursued the twin goals of safeguarding each other’s health and delivering our educational experience as effectively as possible.

Over the last few weeks, we have been carefully watching the rise in Warren County cases of COVID-19, as have so many in our community. As a result of the increase in the number of cases in our area, effective November 4, the Illinois Department of Public Health has instituted Tier 1 mitigation restrictions for Region 2, which includes the City of Monmouth and Warren County. Of late, we have also watched a rise in campus cases.

Schools, colleges, and universities are exempt from the Tier 1 restrictions, which apply primarily to bars, restaurants, and limiting gatherings to no more than 25 persons. However, as a result of these developments and in pursuit of the twin goals stated above, we have decided it would be prudent for Monmouth College to enter into a cooldown period that will begin on Monday, November 9, and last until the end of the semester, Tuesday, November 24.

The cooldown will help our students, faculty, and staff mitigate the increases we have seen and prepare students for returning to their home communities in good health at the conclusion of the semester.

This step is being taken after consultation with leadership of the Board of Trustees, COVID Operations Group, the Faculty Senate, and the chairs of the academic programs.

Instructional Program

Classes

In the instructional program, the cooldown mode means the following:

  • During this period a majority of classes will be offered remotely. Because this is a cooldown and not a quarantine, there will be some educational exceptions to the remote-only policy. Labs, music ensembles, studio classes (including art and theatre experiences), as well as exams can still meet in person as long as the strict mask, social distancing, and fewer-than-25-gathered rules are met. Should faculty choose to do so, they may begin teaching remotely prior to November 9; as of that date, however, they must do so, unless they fall within the above exceptions. Faculty may continue to use their offices and classroom spaces to conduct remote classes if they so choose.
  • If a class would like to avail itself of these exceptions, the faculty member should notify the Registrar’s Office so that they have a record of who is continuing to utilize instructional spaces; this will help us continue to guarantee those spaces conform to the highest standards of cleanliness. The faculty member’s name, class, room number and affected day(s) and time(s) should be included in the message.
  • Students who desire to study from off campus at any point prior to the end of the semester must consult with their faculty members prior to departure. If their classes involve labs, music ensembles, or studio classes (including art and theatre experiences) we highly recommend that they continue to live on campus until the semester’s end.
  • If faculty members need help moving to remote pedagogies, please remember that Kyle Martin remains the best person to facilitate the shift.

Campus Facilities

Campus facilities, both academic and student life, will remain open on their current schedules. However, these schedules may be altered if circumstances dictate.

It is imperative that masking and social distancing requirements be observed, and that any gathering be limited to no more than 25 persons.

Office Staffing

During the cooldown period, it is intended that administrative offices remain staffed using current mitigation methods such as rotating schedules. Related questions or concerns may be directed to Mike McNall, Director of Personnel.

On-Campus Student Employment

For the remainder of the semester, all non-essential on-campus student employment will terminate with limited exceptions. Limited exceptions allowing the continuation of specific student-employment assignments may be made for certain areas deemed critical to overall operations. Contact your direct supervisor to discuss employment. Students with questions regarding how such an early termination of employment may impact their financial aid should contact the Monmouth College Office of Student Financial Planning at 309-457-2129.

Residential and Cocurricular Life

During the cooldown period we want residential and cocurricular life on campus to be as safe and enjoyable as possible for the remainder of the semester. To mitigate risk, we urge students to be even more diligent in abiding by following policies:

  • No Guests/Visitation — Continue to abide by the Guest Policy. In addition, residents may not visit other residence halls.
  • Face Masks/Coverings — Continue to abide by the Mask Policy.
  • Dining Locations on Campus — All campus dining facilities will remain open for take-out meals only. This includes Einstein’s in the Hewes Library and the POD in the lower level of the Center for Science and Business.
  • Social Gatherings and Campus Events — During this time, social gatherings are restricted to no more than 10 people in any one public area and individuals must be able to appropriately social distance. All in-person campus events will be limited to 25 individuals. Student organizations must have virtual meetings.
  • Limit Travel Off Campus — Students may leave their residences during the cooldown period to spend time outside, run essential errands (such as medical provider visits, pharmacy, grocery store), attend work off-campus (after confirming with employer), and engage in off-campus learning experiences (i.e. internships with approval of their advisor and the internship employer). All other travel off campus should be limited as much as possible.
  • Campus Facilities — As stated above, all campus facilities, both academic and student life, will remain open on their current schedules. However, these schedules may be altered if circumstances dictate. It is imperative that masking and social distancing requirements be observed, and that gatherings be limited to no more than 25 persons.
  • Student Employment — For the remainder of the semester, all non-essential on-campus student employment will terminate with limited exceptions. Limited exceptions allowing the continuation of specific student-employment assignments may be made for certain areas deemed critical to overall operations. Contact your direct supervisor to discuss employment. Students with questions regarding how such an early termination of employment may impact their financial aid should contact the Monmouth College Office of Student Financial Planning at 309-457-2129.

Students who desire to study from off campus at any point prior to the end of the semester must consult with their faculty members prior to departure. If their classes involve labs, music ensembles, or studio classes (including art and theatre experiences) we highly recommend that they continue to live on campus until the semester’s end.

This campus community — students, faculty, and staff — have done extraordinary work in this most unusual of semesters. It has not been easy, but each member of this community has risen to the occasion, and shown themselves to be Noble Scots. Let us continue to do all we can over these next days to continue to give ourselves the gifts of each other’s health and of time together on this campus.