Message on Reopening: Mass of Remembrance; exit and reentry testing; Clemson game reminder

Main Quad Aerial

Dear Colleagues:

This evening at 8 p.m., the Notre Dame community will gather in Notre Dame Stadium for a Mass of Remembrance for first-year students Valeria Espinel and Olivia Laura Rojas. Though we will be physically separated and masked during the service, we will be united in prayer and by the special bonds that characterize our Notre Dame family. For those unable to attend in-person, the Mass will be live-streamed here.

With less than a month left in this semester, here is a brief update.

The Numbers

We continue to see positive cases of COVID-19, and we are ramping up our surveillance testing yet further. As we near the end of the semester, wearing masks and physical distancing remain the keys to protecting ourselves and those we care about.

Students in Quarantine and Isolation

In the next week or so, instructors will receive access to a web-based reporting tool showing the students enrolled in their classes who are in quarantine or isolation. The purpose of sharing this information is to help instructors plan course activities and assessments in ways that include students who cannot participate in person. This system will be in place for the entire spring semester as well.

Exit and Reentry Testing for Students

As previously announced, we will be scheduling all students for exit testing at the end of the semester. Similarly, we are developing plans for entry testing before or as students return to campus for the spring semester.

Additional Course Instructor Feedback Questions

As you well know, the COVID-19 pandemic has required significant adjustments to our learning environments and teaching methods. To help understand how these adaptations shaped the student learning experience in individual courses, several questions have been added to the University’s Course Instructor Feedback (CIF) survey instrument. These questions will not be considered as part of tenure and promotion decisions, but rather are designed to help the University understand the experience of students in our courses.

Increased Scrutiny of Clemson Game Access

One of the hottest tickets this college football season will be our November 7 home game against Clemson. Given the enthusiasm surrounding this game and our emphasis on maintaining health and safety protocols, the University plans to increase scrutiny on those entering Notre Dame Stadium to ensure only those with Notre Dame ID cards and (local) immediate family members of the ticket holder are admitted.

Election Day Flexibility

This coming Tuesday, November 3, is Election Day, and we know many of you have already voted. We encourage those of you who have not yet voted to do so. In support, we are asking managers and supervisors to provide flexibility in allowing their employees time to vote.

Closing Thoughts

The heartbreaking and tragic loss of Valeria and Olivia, and the injuries suffered by Eduardo, make a challenging semester yet more difficult for all of us – especially our students. We know you will keep these young people, their families, and their friends in your thoughts and prayers in the days and weeks ahead. Make sure to be generous with yourselves and each other, as well.

Please remember: 

  • Wear your mask
  • Practice physical distancing
  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Complete your daily health check
  • Show up when selected for surveillance testing

Yours in Notre Dame,

Marie Lynn Miranda, Provost

Shannon Cullinan, Executive Vice President

Originally published by John Slott at here.nd.edu on October 28, 2020.