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Dickinson College updates on Spring 2021

Week of February 8, 2021

Update on Spring Athletics

Sent: February 8, 2021

To the Dickinson community: 

I know many of you have been eager to return to athletic competition. While athletes currently will be able to work with their team and practice with coaches, you understandably want to get back to competing with athletes and teams from other schools.

Unfortunately, the continuing pandemic and the quickly spreading and more contagious variants make that impossible at this moment. However, the Centennial Conference Presidents Council recently voted to defer a decision on spring sports for several weeks. We want to gauge the impact of vaccinations and to watch how the new variants impact the spread of COVID-19.

I know this is disappointing, but I assure you that we will gather again to consider this decision. In the meantime, it is vital that all members of our community continue to stay vigilant and follow the health and safety protocols. Here is the conference decision, which was issued earlier this morning:

Centennial Conference Update on Spring Sports

With the health and safety of students, faculty, staff and campus communities as its top priority, the Centennial Conference Presidents Council continues to evaluate the possibility of spring conference competition amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Following extensive discussions, the Presidents Council has agreed that it will defer any judgment for the moment to provide additional time to evaluate conditions on campuses and the evolution of the virus.

While the number of COVID cases has begun to decrease regionally and nationally, conditions are worse now than they were at the beginning of the fall semester. Additionally, new variants of the virus appear to be more contagious and more easily transmitted. The Presidents Council will closely monitor and evaluate the public health climate along with federal, state and local guidelines in considering the potential for spring competition.

Centennial Conference athletic directors, sports medicine professionals, and conference officials are developing guidelines and protocols for a safe return to play, should circumstances permit. Alternate scheduling formats for conference play and championships are also being created. If conditions improve and a spring conference season takes place, it would likely not begin until late March and feature a truncated schedule.

Athletics is a valuable component to the student experience, and institutions will continue to find meaningful ways to engage student-athletes in athletic activities. The Presidents Council remains dedicated to evaluating all facets of this extremely complicated issue while making a final decision on spring conference competition in late February.

As the statement above indicates, we value athletics and we look forward to the day when we can compete again and cheer on our Red Devils.


Margee M. Ensign

Semester Update

Sent: February 12, 2021

To the Dickinson community: 

Now that all of our students for the first half of the semester have arrived, our campus has come back to life. Thank you to our students, faculty and staff for reporting for COVID-19 testing when scheduled, and for following all the safety and health protocols we have in place. While there are many hopeful signs, we must continue to follow all precautions to protect our community.

I want to remind you of the importance of adhering to our COVID Compact and following simple safety measures such as wearing masks and refraining from large gatherings. The success of this semester depends on each one of us. The more contagious variants of the virus continue to cause concern and we all must do our part. I know we have asked one of our students to vacate the residence halls as a result of their failure to comply with our policies. While this is an unfortunate situation, actions must be taken to maintain a healthy campus community. Any serious violations of our guidelines will be dealt with swiftly and decisively.

You can follow our testing results on our COVID dashboard. Other information is available on our campus reopening pages.

I know we are eager to get clarity on the availability of vaccines, and that process is still a bit unorganized. Community officials have indicated that more vaccines should be available to individuals covered by the first phases by mid-March. You can find out when you qualify for the vaccine at this Department of Health website. Through our Community Action Network, we are working to help our community prepare for large-scale vaccinations.

This has been a challenging year for our entire community. Please mark your calendars for Wednesday afternoons at 5 p.m., and plan to participate in Dickinson Copes, a program that allows our community to come together virtually to acknowledge our shared experiences of the pandemic and other issues we have all been facing. Remember that we are stronger when we come together as a community.

Thanks to your cooperation, this semester is going smoothly so far, and after some challenges last week, our students are back in their original residence facilities. Please note that the coffee shop at Hartman House has been closed due to a lack of customers.

Please continue to be Dickinson strong. Thank you to all of you working so hard to ensure a successful spring semester.


Margee M. Ensign