Letter about family visits

Dear Colby Families,

Greetings from Mayflower Hill, where we are experiencing a glorious start to autumn. We are also approaching the weekend that would have been Family Homecoming, and to say that it’s disappointing that we cannot welcome our families to campus is an understatement. Seeing you interact with your students at that time is so joyful and we regret that it’s not possible this year.

With that said, and with full appreciation for how you miss your students and would love to see them and show them your support in person, I am writing to remind you of the risks that visits pose to our community. As you know, we have established a high degree of safety through our ability to test students, faculty, and staff frequently. This allows us to detect the virus in someone who may have tested negative just a day or two earlier, and to isolate them and quarantine those who have been in close contact. This frequent testing, combined with our restrictive visitor and student travel policy, are significant factors in our ability to stop the spread of the virus.

If you are considering an off-campus visit with your student, please remember that because of the time it takes for the virus to appear in a test, it is possible to test negative immediately before arriving, show no symptoms during a visit (or at all), and then test positive in the days following, having potentially spread the virus to your student and anyone else who came into contact with you. We have had this happen at Colby, resulting in students being isolated and quarantined. We fully understand families’ good intentions and desire to see their students, but visits, even those fully in compliance with Maine CDC guidelines, introduce serious risks.

These risks have the potential to create major consequences for the health of our community and our ability to continue on-campus learning. Please remember that there are absolutely no visits to campus, but even traveling to the area to see your students in off-campus locations can have far-reaching effects. Please help us maintain the high level of safety that is essential to completing this semester and the entire academic year on Mayflower Hill.

I also want to remind you that students are not permitted to travel out of state for visits except for extenuating circumstances, including during Fall Recess, and are required to obtain advance permission for out-of-state-travel. If you have questions about our policies, please visit covid19.colby.edu or contact [email protected]. If you have concerns about your student, please do not hesitate to reach out to Director of the Dean of Studies Office Steve Moran or the class dean listed below. As always, we will reach out to students and work with them to help ensure their success and well-being.

I look forward to the day when we can all be together on this beautiful campus. Until then, I appreciate your support and understanding.

With gratitude,
Karlene Burrell-McRae ’94
Dean of the College

Dean of Studies Office

Steve Moran, Assistant Dean of Students/Director of the Dean of Studies Office: [email protected]

Ray Grant, Class Dean for First-Year Students and Programs: [email protected]

Heather Pena, Class Dean for Sophomore Students and Programs: [email protected]

Chanda Long, Class Dean for Junior and Senior Students and Programs: [email protected]