Can the Vans: A look at CC’s fall field trip policies

Plus, what you missed at Friday’s Town Hall on Housing and Dining

Good morning, and happy Tuesday. On this pre-pandemic date last year, Colorado Springs residents were celebrating the second day of the annual Pridefest in America the Beautiful Park. In these socially distant days, organizers this weekend held a “virtual drag show live on Facebook.”

Today, we explain CC’s new field trip policies for the fall, and we recap some highlights from Friday’s town hall about Housing and Dining on campus in the fall. 

➡️ICYMI: Yesterday, Phoebe Lostroh gave her weekly COVID-19 forecast for El Paso County (SPOILER: It was dire) and tamped down expectations for the Moderna vaccine trial.

Bye Bye Baca: New fall field trip policy will close the satellite campus and CC Cabin to academic courses

The Colorado College Cabinet recently approved a new fall field trip policy, which, among other guidelines, announced the closure of the Baca Campus and CC Cabin to academic trips. Last Thursday, The Colorado College COVID-19 Reporting Project caught up on Zoom with Drew Cavin, CC’s Director of Field Study, to talk about what the policy means and what types of field trips might or might not be allowed this fall.  

📜 Breaking down the new field trip policy

Types of trips

  • Outdoor day trips are allowed, and participants may travel by foot, by bike, or by campus bus.

  • Any indoor trips must follow all state guidelines for the location but are generally discouraged.  

  • No overnight trips. The college will close the Baca Campus and the CC Cabin to academic courses.

Transportation 

  • Trips may only use the large buses, which will be capped at 25% capacity.

  • As for vans, Cavin says transportation supervisor Bob Winkelblech told him: “From the driver’s headrest to the headrest of the backseat is eight and a half feet. So at the most, you could have the driver and one person and be six feet apart.”

  • Trips should remain within a 45-minute radius of campus.

Food

  • Going to a restaurant is prohibited. Participants should bring their own food or get boxed lunches before they leave campus. 

🌿 How field trips this fall could look  

Professors can still take students on outdoor trips, as long as they follow the above guidelines. Trips to indoor locations, such as art museums in Denver, will likely not be allowed. 

In a typical year, Cavin usually tracks between 200 and 225 field trips leaving El Paso County. Those could be day trips, overnight trips, or longer trips to New Mexico or Wyoming. Many of them use 12-passenger vans, which during this pandemic are no longer allowed.

In an unofficial survey Cavin sent to about 45 faculty members, 18-19% responded that they still intend to have at least one field trip as a part of one of their fall classes. The largest section of responses, 37.5%, said they do not intend to have field trips this fall. An additional 31% said they might want to have a field trip, and the rest of the respondents put in other answers, like “unlikely.” 

Cavin says some possible field trip locations for the fall include: Red Rocks Open Space, Garden of the Gods, and the Manitou Experimental Forest. 

“Hopefully there are still some things that are possible, but everything is still so uncertain,” Cavin says. “So we’ll have to see what faculty come up with.” 

Per the policy, classes that are mainly taught online will likely still be allowed to have in-person field trip components. Cavin says he does not expect field trip participants to have to enter into a mandatory quarantine period upon their return to campus. 

Town Hall on Housing and Meals: No indoor seating in dining halls, and no housing refund 

Friday marked the end of Colorado College’s Town Hall series. The last hurrah, which focused on Housing and Meals, featured the following panelists: Associate Vice President for Student Life John Lauer; Housing and Conference Manager Rochelle Taylor; Director of the Residential Experience Bethany Grubbs; and Bon Appétit Executive Chef Cody Rodgers. 

Here’s what you missed:

  • SUPPLEMENTAL HOUSING: The college has acquired around 300 beds in supplemental housing options. We reported July 7 that the options would be for third- and fourth-years, but the Office of Housing has since announced that supplemental housing options will be open to second-years, as well. 

  • DINING: Colorado Coffee is currently open, and Rastall will open Aug. 1. Dining halls will open in Phase 1, with no indoor seating and only takeaway meals. Dining halls will no longer accept cash, only cards. Rastall will move from self-service to full-service; staff will wear masks and gloves and hand out food on disposable containers. A dedicated team will go through every 30 minutes to clean high-touch areas, and ambassadors will direct people through the dining halls and encourage social distancing. 

  • BILLING: Lauer said the college will continue to bill for housing per semester, as they did last year. What this means for CC second-, third-, and fourth-years: students won’t be receiving a rebate for their time spent off campus during Block 1. The fall semester will include Blocks 1-4 and J Block, and the spring semester will include Blocks 5-8 and Block A. Of each five-block semester, the college will still consider three blocks on campus as “full-time,” according to Lauer. “Unless the college restricts a student from living in on campus housing for more than two blocks, there would not be a rebate in those scenarios,” Lauer said.

  • HOUSING SELECTION: About 580 housing assignments have already been confirmed. Second-, third-, and fourth-year students who don’t yet have assignments will receive their time-slots on July 21. The online selection process for those students will take place from July 22-28, starting with fourth-year students on July 22. The Office of Housing is currently about 40% done with first-year and transfer assignments, and will post those assignments to Banner on July 31.

  • QUARANTINE & ISOLATION: Currently, 45 spaces are available for quarantine and isolation, according to Taylor. Those spaces will have full bedding and linens, a TV, routine delivery of meals, medications, and other essentials, and access to on-call staffing.

  • RESIDENTIAL LIFE: “Parties as students may know them on a college campus are not going to be a thing this year,” Grubbs said. “We have a guest policy that is proposed that would have no more than one guest in a student’s room.” A “guest” would include anyone who is not assigned to that room. 

About the CC COVID-19 Reporting Project

The CC COVID-19 Reporting Project is a student-faculty collaboration by Colorado College student journalists Miriam Brown and Arielle Gordon, Visiting Assistant Professor of Journalism Corey Hutchins, Assistant Professor of English Najnin Islam, and Journalism Institute Director Steven Hayward. Work by Phoebe Lostroh, Associate Professor of Molecular Biology at CC and National Science Foundation Program Director in Genetic Mechanisms, Molecular and Cellular Biosciences, will appear from time to time, as will infographics by Colorado College students Rana Abdu, Aleesa Chua, Sara Dixon, Jia Mei, and Lindsey Smith.

The project seeks to provide frequent updates about CC and other higher education institutions during the pandemic by providing original reporting, analysis, interviews with campus leaders, and context about what state and national headlines mean for the CC community. 

📬 Enter your email address to subscribe and get the newsletter in your inbox each time it comes out. You can reach us with questions, feedback, or news tips by emailing ccreportingproject@gmail.com.