I write today with disappointing news. Because of the dramatic and widespread rise in COVID-19 cases, including in the Memphis area, we have adjusted the schedule for returning to campus. This decision was made in consultation with our medical experts and is grounded in our responsibility for the well-being of our community while ensuring that we provide the best education possible with minimum disruption. Here is how things will proceed:
Classes (including labs and studios) will start on schedule—remotely—on Wednesday, January 12, and remain remote through Friday, January 28. As of Monday, January 31, all classes (including labs and studios) will resume in person.
Campus operations will be very limited through January 28:
- Campus dining will be take-out only and limited to certain venues.
- Barret Library will offer reduced in-person service.
- BCLC will be closed.
- Campus events and meetings will be held remotely.
Residence Hall Access
Residence Halls will reopen Saturday, January 29. Students who need to return prior to January 29 should submit their early return requests using the Spring 2022 Early Return Request Form. Such requests will be reviewed by Wednesday, January 5.
Room & Board Fee Reduction
The college will provide a $500 reduction of room and board charges for those residential students arriving on campus as of Saturday, January 29. The reduction will be posted as a credit to student accounts. Students approved to return to campus prior to January 29 will not receive a reduction in the room and board charge.
Off-campus students with commuter meal plans will be permitted to pick up their meals from the Refectory during the remote period. Students with a commuter meal plan
who will not be using it until January 29 should contact Rhodes Express at firstname.lastname@example.org between Monday, January 3, and Monday, January 10, to request a reduction in the commuter meal plan charge.
Credits are expected to appear on student accounts no later than Friday, January 14. If the room and board credit results in an overall credit balance, students have the option of requesting a refund or retaining the credit to apply against future charges. Specific instructions about refund requests will be provided once credits are posted.
Students requesting early return to campus are advised of the following updated COVID-19 Care Protocols. Furthermore, isolation and quarantine protocols have been updated to reflect revised CDC guidelines.
Please note these important changes in our isolation and quarantine protocols:
- Students who test positive for COVID-19 will be required to isolate and are encouraged to return home if able to do so.
- Students who test positive will be asked to notify close contacts. Students who test positive should relay their concerns directly to Health Services.
- Isolation and quarantine will occur in place, which means students and their roommates will remain in their assigned room for the duration of the isolation/quarantine period.
- Students will continue to pick up their own meals in the Refectory.
COVID-19 booster shots are strongly encouraged. Please update your vaccination record accordingly via Medicat. Click here for information on local booster shot availability: https://covid19.memphistn.gov/
Students are required to submit their flu shot records via Medicat no later than Monday, January 31.
Until conditions warrant a change, masks will be required in all campus buildings regardless of vaccination status. We recommend medical grade masks, given omicron’s highly contagious nature. Masks can only be removed in private office spaces with full walls and doors or in residential rooms. For the time being, masks will be required in common spaces of all residential halls. The mask requirement will be re-evaluated at the end of January.
All students, regardless of vaccination status, should complete a COVID-19 test 48-72 hours prior to returning to campus. Please contact Health Services at Healthemail@example.com if you test positive and plan to isolate at home before returning to campus.
If you have any cold, flu, or COVID-19 symptoms and you cannot obtain a test, please do not return to campus. More information will be provided about the COVID-19 spring testing requirements later in January.
We appreciate your patience and understanding under these extraordinary conditions. Please refer to our Spring 2022 Return to Campus FAQ page for additional information: https://www.rhodes.edu/coronavirus-updates.
We look forward to welcoming everyone back to campus in a few weeks. Until then, best wishes for a safe and happy break.
Carroll D. Stevens, JD