In examining how to best return to campus, the fundamentals of what have kept us safe, individually and collectively, remain a top priority for us all: wearing a cloth mask, maintaining proper physical distancing standards, frequently washing our hands and maintaining good hygiene, taking good care and ensuring the cleanliness of our private and public spaces, answering the daily wellness questions before going to class or work, and staying at home or in the College residence when we don’t feel well.
It is also important that the College maintains regular and open contact with our constituencies — our students and employees the most prominent among these. This has been a priority since the profound impact of the pandemic on Beacon College and the country became evident in late February, well before the community was forced to pivot to remote instruction and support. The RCI cannot be executed without the College’s reaching out openly to inform and allow for feedback from students, parents, employees, and others whose interest are embraced by Beacon’s mission. Prominent among our comprehensive communication efforts (both prior to the RCI and now with its implementation) have been:
- From late February of 2020 on, Beacon maintained an updated web presence, readily accessible from its homepage. Originally designated as the “COVID-19” site, the portal from the homepage icon was renamed in late June to the “Fall 2020 Opening” site. This College-authorized site provided a broad range of timely, comprehensive, and detailed information, including:
- Scheduled community letters from the President that provided the most up-to- date announcements on Beacon’s actions with respect to the College calendar, programming modifications and logistics, campus safety precautions, and other essential information evolving from the circumstances of the COVID-19 emergency;
- A substantive list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) that were itemized for the following audiences: current students, new students, parents, and Beacon employees;
- Beacon’s comprehensive COVID-19 Policy, an electronic document that is regularly monitored and updated as new guidance becomes available from the CDC and state health officials; and
- This RCI document.
- The effective use of the College’s social media platforms, including the Beacon College Facebook page, the Beacon College Parents’ Facebook page, Beacon’s Instagram platform, and, occasionally, Twitter. This information draws much of its substance and focus from the documents contained within the Fall 2020 Opening page detailed in Item #1, to assure consistency and accuracy in reporting.
- Employing the College’s preferred virtual communication platform, Zoom, to conduct the internal operational functioning of the College, when social distancing or other COVID guidelines cannot be safely implemented.
- Using the Zoom platform as well for consistent communication with the multiple constituencies of the College, including (but not limited to):
- Parent information sessions individualized for the families of incoming students, sophomores, and juniors/seniors;
- Student forums at which our undergraduates can communicate and interact virtually with Beacon representatives on an array of “top of mind” subjects; and
- Regularly scheduled community forums for all employees when social distancing constraints (limitations on large groups) are in force.
- The launch of the MyBeacon App, available for downloading from the AppStore (for iPhones and iPads) and the Play store (for Android devices). This application for mobile devices will serve students (and others) interested in Beacon as well with navigating the College’s campus and resources, with its homepage devoted to COVID-19 information and reporting.