Commencement stage in fall

Guidelines for Activities and Use of College Spaces

Background

Very Low-Density Plans for Fall Term 1

Due to current trends in infection rates surging across the country, in Iowa and the I-80 corridor, the college is planning for a “very low-density” population on campus for the first fall term, and all classes will be offered remotely.  The college will continue to evaluate density plans for subsequent terms based on trend data.   

  • Students: Current very low-density plans anticipate approximately 350 students approved to live in Grinnell in on- and off-campus arrangements. All students approved to live on- and off-campus in Grinnell will have limited access to campus spaces and will participate in a campus-wide testing protocol.
  • Employees: With the very low-density approach, employees will be encouraged to continue working remotely if at all possible. Employees who directly serve students (or those spaces that support students) will likewise have limited access to campus spaces and will participate in a campus-wide testing protocol.

Community Life and College-Associated Activities and Spaces

Although public health concerns will always be paramount while the pandemic persists, Grinnell College is committed to supporting a dynamic campus life experience for those students in residence. The college values the importance of inspiration, respite, and connection as vital parts of community life. For this reason, the college encourages users of campus spaces to think about planning college-associated activities (remote and in-person) that can comply with public health guidelines. This guide will help you plan any college-associated activity or use of space to make it as easy as possible for you as a planner, and as safe as possible for participants.

Personal Activities

Separately, while strong protocols will be in place on campus, community spread is active in Iowa. This means that it is important for all community members to consider their activities both on campus and in the broader community. This guide also provides helpful guidance for students and employees on how to engage with a wide range of personal activities as safely as possible.

Part I: Guidelines for Planning Personal Activities

Because community spread is active in Iowa and life is a 24-7 activity, it is important for all community members to consider their activities both on campus and in the broader community. This might include social activities, fitness activities, work or volunteer activities, worship, shopping, etc. When considering your own personal activities, keep the following 10 risk factors in mind. With any activity, there will be safer and less safe ways to pursue it. Try to figure out the safest options for pursuing your own life activities.

  Safer Less Safe  
Green arrow pointing up with text "safer"
Small Crowds (fewer than 10)
Outdoor Activities
No Contact (6 ft+)
Face Coverings with Others
Short Contact with Others (less than 15 minutes)
Gentle Exhalation
Little Touching of Shared Surfaces
Strong Likelihood of Compliance
Easy Tracking of Participants
Regular Health Screening of Participants
Large Crowds (more than 10)
Indoor Activities
Close Contact (less than 6 ft)
No Face Coverings with Others
Long Contact with Others (more than 15 minutes)
Forceful Exhalation
Frequent Touching of Shared Surfaces
Little Likelihood of Compliance
Difficult Tracking of Participants
Rare Health Screening of Participants
Red arrow pointing down with text "less safe"

Scientists have also developed helpful guides so individuals can assess the risk associated with a range of different activities. This interactive guide was developed specifically for the I-80 corridor. See how your location and the characteristics of your activity affect your risk.

Part II: Guidelines for Planning College-Associated Activities and Use of College Spaces

Although public health concerns will always be paramount while the pandemic persists, Grinnell College is committed to supporting a dynamic campus life experience for those students in residence. The college values the importance of inspiration, respite, and connection as vital parts of community life. For this reason, the college encourages users of campus spaces to think about planning college-associated activities (remote and in-person) that can comply with public health guidelines.

Remote or on-line activities don’t need further review or approval. To plan a remote activity, contact Conference Operations and Events to add your activity to the campus calendar.

Faculty, Staff, and Students planning in-person college-associated activities or use of college spaces should be aware that there are guidelines to follow as you proceed. These guidelines for college-associated activities during the Fall 1 term are based on Grinnell College public health policies and known coronavirus risk factors that have been developed in consultation with the University of Iowa Public Health team. When planning an in-person college-associated activity or use of college space:

  • Review college public health policies
  • Review the risk factors
  • Evaluate next steps:
    • If your plan complies with all of the campus policies and falls in the “safer” side for each of the 10 risk factors, simply register your event with Conference Operations and Events to reserve a space, add the event to the calendar, and ensure you have proper signage.  
    • If your plan complies with all of the campus policies but falls in the “less safe” side for one or more risk factors, consult with Conference Operations and Events on how you can plan for a compliant activity.
    • If your plan does not comply with all campus policies, but you think you have a strong plan to address the key risk factors, you are invited to submit a proposal for review by the Activity Review Committee. Proposals should be submitted to Donnette Ellis. The committee will evaluate your plan based on the key risk factors, as well as potential for impact on community life. Depending on its consideration, the committee may recommend updating the policy, creating an exception to the policy for this particular proposal, or recommend not proceeding with the proposal. All recommendations will go to college executive leadership for a final decision. Because infection rates and known facts about the coronavirus change quickly, planners are encouraged to resubmit proposals if and when conditions warrant. Proposals are reviewed by Keith Archer (VP Finance), Monica Chavez-Silva (AVP Community Enhancement), Heather Cox (Assoc. Director Emergency Management), Lee Sharpe (Science Division Chair, Executive Council), Todd Shill (Custodial Supervisor, FM), Angela Voos (Chief of Staff, VP Strategic Planning), and Kaitlin Wilcox (Asst. Director Analytic Support and Institutional Research).

Faculty, Staff, and Students planning college-associated activities to take place in-person in an off-campus location should address the following guidelines before proceeding:

  • Review college public health policies
  • Review the risk factors
  • Evaluate next steps:
    • If your plan complies with all of the campus policies and falls in the “safer” side for each of the 10 risk factors, simply register your event with Conference Operations and Events to add your event to the calendar. 
    • If your plan complies with all of the campus policies but falls in the “less safe” side for one or more risk factors, consult with Conference Operations and Events on how you can plan for a compliant activity.
    • If your plan does not comply with all campus policies, but you think you have a strong plan to address the key risk factors, you are invited to submit a proposal for review by the Activity Review Committee. Proposals should be submitted to Donnette Ellis. The committee will evaluate your plan based on the key risk factors, as well as potential for impact on community life. Depending on its consideration, the committee may recommend updating the policy, creating an exception to the policy for this particular proposal, or recommend not proceeding with the proposal. All recommendations will go to college executive leadership for a final decision. Because infection rates and known facts about the coronavirus change quickly, planners are encouraged to resubmit proposals if and when conditions warrant. Proposals are reviewed by Keith Archer (VP Finance), Monica Chavez-Silva (AVP Community Enhancement), Heather Cox (Assoc. Director Emergency Management), Lee Sharpe (Science Division Chair, Executive Council), Todd Shill (Custodial Supervisor, FM), Angela Voos (Chief of Staff, VP Strategic Planning), and Kaitlin Wilcox (Asst. Director Analytic Support and Institutional Research).

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