Return to Campus Newsletter
August 21, 2020
Dear Faculty, Staff and Students,
So many have been working hard this summer in preparation for students’ return to Bentley. That work helped make this week a smooth one, as resident assistants became our first group of students back on campus. Testing and training are proceeding well. Your understanding and support are crucial to making the Bentley experience, whether on campus or remote, a meaningful one for everyone.
With move-in just around the corner, we’re fine-tuning policies and procedures at a rapid clip. This week’s updates include phased-in openings of some Bentley resources and a video preview of changes you’ll see on campus. Keeping our community healthy and safe is the top priority on every front.
Opening Campus Facilities
Testing to screen for COVID-19 began this week for the early-arriving RAs. It starts on August 26 for other students living on campus and on August 31 for non-residential students, faculty and staff. To further mitigate risk, we are providing everyone with at least one full week between being tested and gathering in enclosed spaces.
Classes, therefore, are being taught online only from Monday, August 31, to Friday, September 4. Hybrid classrooms, which support online and in-person learning, open on Tuesday, September 8.
Food at the 921, the Lower Café in LaCava and all Bentley dining locations is offered to-go only until September 8. At that time, they open for seated meals, following safety protocols such as reduced capacity and tables spaced for social distancing. The Grubhub app is up and running for online ordering from all dining locations until the campus closes for Thanksgiving break.
The Bentley Library continues to offer its services and resources virtually. The building itself opens on September 8, with capacity limits and other safety measures in place.
Following NCAA guidance for opening athletics programs, fitness facilities are closed for the first two weeks of the trimester. The scheduled opening date is September 14. There will be limits on capacity, but all equipment and areas of the Fitness Center are available to students, faculty and staff who are enrolled in the screening test program. In addition to working with varsity teams, Athletics staff are exploring intramural activities that meet state guidelines but provide competitive opportunities for students.
This slow and steady approach to reopening campus may be frustrating at times. We appreciate — and rely on — your patience and cooperation to move ahead.
You’ve no doubt heard me and others say, “Bentley will look different this fall.” A new series of videos proves the point where dining is concerned. You can take a tour of the 921 and Lower Café, learn about safety measures in both places, see what’s possible through the Grubhub app, and more.
We’ve increased communication about the screening tests, including to faculty and staff who will be on campus regularly, about how to schedule weekly appointments. A similar email with testing details will go to residential students and to non-residential students who’ve shared their intention to be on campus. Another new video offers a reassuring look at the testing process.
Take a look at the Back to Bentley video series. We hope they help offset some of the uncertainty around what to expect on campus.
Please continue to check the Back to Bentley website and associated FAQs for all return to campus details.
Marking a Milestone
This newsletter is the last one before “Back to Bentley” becomes our reality next week. I hope you’ve found the updates helpful and informative. All summer, the 60-plus members of the Return to Campus Task Force and workgroups have lent their time and expertise toward this plan’s many moving parts. Many others have worked hard to implement the plan. Bentley wouldn’t have reached this milestone without everyone’s help and commitment. Thanks to one and all!
Geoffrey C. Bartlett, CEM
Director of Emergency Management