Dean Kromm confirmed the return of all students to campus for the fall 2021 semester in an email to CC and SEAS students this afternoon.

Dean of Undergraduate Student Life Cristen Kromm confirmed the return of all students to campus for fall 2021 in an email to Columbia College and SEAS students this afternoon. Dean Kromm outlined what students can expect as well as what the University is reviewing for the reopening of campus. Included in the email are updates on fall academics, community building, move-in and NSOP, and health requirements for fall 2021. 

Fall academics are expected to be conducted primarily in-person, with the University currently configuring capacities for classrooms. The University recently changed the start date of classes to Thursday, September 9, 2021 with the shopping period running until September 21.

The University is configuring guidelines on group sizes, social distancing, and face coverings for indoor and outdoor gatherings. University Student Life will offer a mix of in-person and virtual opportunities for students to build community and connect with their peers. More information on these topics will be provided later this summer.

Incoming first-year students will move in beginning on Sunday, August 29, and they will receive updates in June about New Student Orientation Program (NSOP). Transfer, visiting, and combined plan students will move in on Tuesday, August 31 and begin NSOP then. Rising sophomores will move in beginning on Wednesday, September 1, and will also have orientation programming. This adjusted orientation experience will be the first time that non-transfer sophomore students receive orientation programming. All other students living in on-campus housing will move in on Saturday, September 4. Students will receive information about move-in times at a later date.

In mid-April, Columbia decided to require students to be vaccinated for the fall 2021 semester. The University said in the email below that they will support international students with visa and travel questions through the International Students & Scholars Office. More information on how to submit your vaccine record can be found here

It is not yet clear how the updated CDC guidelines for vaccinated people will impact quarantine protocol, social distancing, capacity or crowd size, and masking, how housing and guest policies will operate, whether certain activities will continue to have a virtual option, whether classes will be recorded, whether mobile dining ordering will continue, or how clubs and club sports and division 1 athletics will operate. Bwog has reached out to Columbia Communications seeking answers to these questions and will update this post as we receive responses.

Email sent to students from Dean Kromm on May 26 at 4:32 pm:

Dear Student,

I hope that wherever you are and whatever you are doing, your summer is off to a wonderful start. We have reached a momentous new stage of the pandemic, with thousands of people being vaccinated, creating new possibilities and an overall feeling of optimism, despite continued caution. I hope that you and your loved ones are healthy and perhaps, even enjoying some of the new opportunities to reconnect with a more normal life.

With that in mind, I’m writing to confirm that Columbia will welcome all students back to campus for the fall semester. We are elated that we can all finally come together in person, as one united community. While many of the details of fall semester will be finalized in the weeks and months ahead, I am sharing what we do know, to help you begin to prepare for your return to Columbia.

Fall Academics

The University is planning towards the goal of primarily all in-person classes and they are actively reviewing classroom spaces and capacities to appropriately prepare. Please note that the University recently moved the first day of classes to Thursday, September 9, 2021 with the change of program period running until September 21.

Community Building

We expect that the guidelines around gathering sizes and protocols will continue to evolve through the summer. In the fall, you can expect that indoors and outdoor gatherings will have updated guidelines (group sizes, social distancing, face coverings) as Columbia continues to promote the health and safety of all members of our community. Undergraduate Student Life will offer a mix of virtual and in-person opportunities for students to connect; more will be shared later this summer.

Move-In and Orientations

Reuniting as a residential community is a momentous milestone and the details of how to do so safely are a top priority. Columbia Housing will continue to be your main resource for housing details but below are some preliminary dates that relate to how we are planning for orientations.

Incoming students – The Class of 2025 will hear more about their New Student Orientation Program (NSOP) experience in June through the Countdown to Columbia series.  Move-in for NSOP will begin on Sunday, August 29 and may span two days.

Transfer, Visiting, and Combined Plan Students – Students who are joining us as transfer, visiting or combined plan students this year will be invited to move in Tuesday, August 31 and begin their orientation programming.

Rising sophomores – The Class of 2024 will also be invited to attend an orientation experience on campus, when we’ll offer social and community-building opportunities that support this class’ first collective residential experience. Move-in for this class will begin Wednesday, September 1 and may span two days.

All other students may move into their residence halls beginning on Saturday, September 4 and we look forward to celebrating their return as well.

Student leaders supporting orientation will hear from administrative program coordinators about their early arrival date.

Lastly, please note that students will at a later date be assigned an exact move-in time.

Health Requirements

As you know, returning to campus depends on our community being vaccinated. Columbia has made vaccination a requirement for all students, faculty and staff. You can find details about where to get a vaccine, how to upload proof of your vaccination, and other vaccine-related questions on the University’s Covid-19 website.

I know that international students have an additional set of complications to consider, as travel and visa guidelines fluctuate based on the global status of the pandemic. International students with visa questions should contact the International Students & Scholars office. For other questions, contact us for support for your individual circumstance.

More updates will be shared as soon as we are able. In the meantime, I encourage you all to make this summer as restful and restorative as possible. We’ve all experienced a truly unusual fifteen months and our minds and bodies deserve a period of recovery, rest and joyfulness.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out.

In Community,

Cristen Kromm

Dean of Undergraduate Student Life

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