Vassar Announces Plans for Limited Off-Campus Travel, Including Athletic Competition

March 1, 2021

Dear all,

I am writing with another update about campus life. We have decided to support pre-approved, supervised off-campus student travel for organized activities— including athletics, field research, volunteer opportunities, and class-related trips. Such off-campus travel may begin no earlier than the week of March 22. This does not include individual travel off-campus, which is still not allowed unless pre-approved by Erika Pappas, Director of Case Management. Pre-approved, supervised off-campus travel for organized activities will be supported as long as the conditions on campus continue to be at a low to moderate risk level. 

We recognize that organized off-campus activities are important components of students’ experience. They contribute to positive mental health and intellectual growth, and they forge meaningful connections with the local community. Extensive health and safety protocols will be in place for students who participate in such off-campus activities.

The new policy will permit off-campus travel for pre-approved, supervised activities including:

  • Field research
  • Class-related trips
  • Participation in local volunteer efforts
  • Varsity Athletics
  • Visits to local cultural sites
  • Trips to local parks and natural areas for recreation and fitness
  • Historic walking tours of Poughkeepsie or other nearby cities and sites
  • Club sports competition

All off-campus travel must be pre-approved by the newly created Off-Campus Travel Review Committee; students traveling off-campus must be accompanied by a Vassar employee (e.g., coach, faculty member, college administrator). No groups larger than 50 will be permitted on a single trip, and overnight travel is not permitted. Social distancing and the wearing of masks, except for when one is eating and drinking, are required at all times. Indoor dining is not allowed.

Students taking part in these activities will be required to take a rapid antigen test within 24 hours of departing campus. Varsity athletes participating in sports categorized as high risk will require additional testing.

The procedure for applying for permission for off-campus travel will be announced within the next two weeks, as we work out needed procedures to support this activity while maintaining our health and safety.

Thank you for your continued diligence in keeping us all safe. Our community commitment, in which we live by “we precedes me” enables the opening of off-campus travel.

Take care,

Elizabeth H. Bradley, President
Vassar College
Poughkeepsie, NY 12604