A Message From the President on Campus Arrival Protocol and Website

Dear all,

I am writing to share the VassarTogether website, developed to detail our fall plans and policies has been created, and I encourage you to visit and explore it for valuable information and updates.

PLEASE NOTE: All new and returning students must provide a negative FDA Emergency Use Authorized COVID-19 molecular assay for detection of SARS-COV-2 RNA to the Vassar College Health Service prior to arrival. Later this month, you will receive more information on how to submit these results. The test must be taken as close to arrival on campus as possible, in accordance with the student’s local COVID-19 testing availability, and no later than seven days prior to the scheduled arrival date. This is a change from the previously communicated window of five days to accommodate areas in which testing results take more time to be returned. Students who are unable to access a test or have questions should contact the Vassar Health Service, Bridget Romani, (845) 437-5801 or health@vassar.edu.

In addition, in the context of the growing incidence of COVID-19 outside New York, we have modified the day of drop-off and move-in process. While we understand that this is a meaningful milestone in the student’s educational journey, we will sadly not be able to allow parents and other visitors to enter students houses/dormitories to assist with move-in. Please plan to say your goodbyes before drop-off, as parents may not tarry on the campus for any length of time. Students must be dropped off outside their houses/dormitories, and parents and visitors must then immediately exit the campus. If you are from one of the states on the NYS travel advisory and will remain in New York, you must self-quarantine while in the state. State financial penalties for not complying are substantial. We appreciate how disappointing this situation is and wish it could be otherwise. Again, the students’ health and safety our top priority.

Finally, we know many of our students will be coming from states with increased rates of COVID-19 transmission. To protect New York’s successful containment of COVID-19, Governor Cuomo has recently enacted a travel advisory. Anyone arriving in New York from states that have a significant degree of community-wide spread of COVID-19 must self-quarantine while in the state. A list of the 22 states and the travel advisory currently on the list can be found here. This means parents, families, and friends accompanying students must self-quarantine while they are in the state. We are working with the local health department to ensure students from these states are well supported on campus and able to start classes on time.

The excitement and anticipation typical of a new semester may feel different in this atypical year, but it is in these moments that we discover our resilience, passion, and temerity. Adventures await, and we look forward to sharing them with you.

Many thanks, and keep in touch if you have questions,

Elizabeth H. Bradley, President

Poughkeepsie, NY 12604