Page 20 - BusinessWest July 20, 2020
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The usual mix of masks, distancing, and plexi-
glass will be in play, and on-campus students will be expected to monitor and record any COVID- like symptoms they might have. As is the case
at other campuses welcoming students this fall, any positive symptoms must be reported to the Health Center for consultation, and the college will have a separate living space for any student in need of quarantine.
“Safety is our number-one priority,” Breau told BusinessWest. “We know students want to come
“We’re really asking them to be a responsible community member, first and foremost, and to be a part of the bystander intervention. When you see someone without a mask, remind them.”
back. How to keep them safe while doing that has been the prime goal of reopening. Our task force made sure safety was always number one on the list.”
To that end, students will need to review safe- ty-training materials when they return to campus. “It’s going to be a team-based effort. It’s not just administrators, faculty, and staff, but students have to be a part of the process as well. We’ll cer- tainly rely on them to help us stay safe.”
There’s a safety net built into the ‘HyFlex’ model as well, Breau noted, in that it wouldn’t be difficult to transfer all learning online if the region’s infection rates soar.
“We learned a lot in the spring when we had to go online — we understand what we did well and what we can do better. If a second surge hap- pens and everyone decides to move online, the Elms flex model allows that to happen; it’s built into the syllabus and the way instructors plan the courses.”
American International College is also seri- ously considering a HyFlex model, and plans to announce its detailed fall strategy by the end of July, said Nicolle Cestero, chief of staff, senior vice president for Human Relations, and Title IX coor- dinator. She said a group of campus leaders has been meeting for several months and are doing all they can to give students an on-campus option.
With more than half of its undergraduate stu- dent body first-generation college students and more than 50% also Pell Grant-eligible — mean- ing they come from low-income families — AIC doesn’t want to add additional challenges to their lives, she noted.
“We need to make sure we’re providing them with some sense of security, and do everything that we can to make this experience one where they are able to continue their studies and get to graduation,” Cestero said, noting that the HyFlex option is an ideal model in that it allows students to access their education in a way that best serves their needs in this most difficult year.
Plus, there’s value in the on-campus experi- ence that can’t be replicated remotely, she added. “Maybe your roommate becomes your best friend for life. Or you’re participating in a conversation
Nicolle Cestero says the value of the campus experience shouldn’t be minimized, but a hybrid flex model might be the smartest way to go this fall.
that you never would have participated in — on race or gender or power and privilege, or whatev- er it is — and you don’t necessarily get to do that if you’re not on campus. You develop so much in these years — it’s your first time away from home, and you’re teaching yourself how to do things, how to manage your own time and finances, all that stuff.”
       In a letter to the Springfield College family, President
Continued on page 25
  Women of IMPACT
Nominations are now
 being accepted!
Nomination Deadline: Aug. 21, 2020
BusinessWest has created the Women of Impact awards to celebrate and recognize the successes and achievements of women from all industries and professions in western Mass.
Nomination information & requirements are available at:
 3rd Annual
Women of Impact Awards
Sponsorship Opportunities Available.
Call 413.781.8600
1441 Main Street Springfield, MA 01103 413-781-8600 •
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