Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates →

Please click here for the latest information regarding Benedictine University's response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

July 2, 2021   |  Campus Communication

A Message from the Provost and Chief Student Engagement Officer: A New Beginning!

 

To all Benedictine University Students:

As we all get ready to celebrate the Fourth of July during what we hope is a very enjoyable summer for all of you, it is time to start preparing for what will be one of the most extraordinary school years in our lifetime.

For more than a year we have lived through a pandemic that upended our individual lives, our community, and the world. And while it has not come to a definitive end, and some concerns remain, we are rapidly moving toward a life that is close to, dare we say it…normal.  The light we all hoped and prayed for is bright and straight ahead. The close-knit Benedictine campus community that is our trademark will be back.

As this transition occurs, please know our goal above all else is to make sure you are safe, healthy, and feel comfortable in all elements of campus life. To make that happen, we have installed safety protocols that treat every student with care and respect.

Consider this the beginning of a dialogue that will continue over the next few weeks, as we prepare for the start of the new academic year. You can expect additional communications with details on course delivery and campus life.

As the State of Illinois is now in Phase 5 of the Restore Illinois Plan marking a full reopening of all businesses and activities, we are announcing a requirement of masking and regular testing for all community members who are not fully vaccinated. To Protect the Flock and return to a more robust campus environment, we strongly encourage all students, faculty, and staff to be vaccinated.

In true Benedictine fashion, we are implementing policies to protect our community, while understanding there are some among us that still feel vulnerable. If you provide proof of your completed vaccination, you will receive a #bandtogether bracelet which allows you access to all campus areas with no mask requirement.  You are always welcome to wear your mask, along with your bracelet.  We understand it took time to acclimate wearing a mask, and it may take time to feel comfortable without one.

We will host the MIDC vaccination clinic on Monday, July 19 from 9 a.m.  to 2 p.m. in the lobby of Goodwin Hall, for all community members and their families.  MIDC administers the Pfizer vaccine and will return to campus on Monday, August 9 to complete the vaccination process with a second dose for those who receive their first dose on July 19. The following link can be used to schedule a vaccination with MIDC at their Burr Ridge location moving forward:  https://www.zocdoc.com/doctor/metro-infectious-disease-consultants-burr-ridge-317343

If you are uncomfortable receiving the vaccine at this time, you will be required to wear a mask and practice social distancing inside all buildings on campus. The CDC has advised that masks are not required of unvaccinated individuals while outdoors, except when in crowded environments where social distancing is difficult. We ask that our community members make no judgement on those masking.  There are a variety of reasons that one elects to wear a mask and we must respect everyone for the choices they make to remain safe and healthy. 

Individuals who are fully vaccinated with a COVID vaccine do not have to quarantine after exposure to an individual who has tested positive for Covid-19. Important: You are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after your last shot. If you are fully vaccinated, update your immunization records with this information and upload a copy of your vaccination card at www.ben.edu/healthform.

If there has been one constant during the COVID outbreak, it is that change can occur at any time. It is important that we all remain flexible should a modification in safety protocols be necessary. Any questions related to Student Life can be directed to the Dean of Students, Marco Masini at mmasini@ben.edu, or Colleen Hanna, Senior Executive Assistant to the Provost for Academic Affairs at channa@ben.edu, if it relates to academics.
 

We look forward to welcoming all to campus.

Kenneth Newbold, Ph.D.
Provost and Chief Academic Officer

Mark McHorney
Chief Student Engagement Officer