The following statement was sent to the student body of Saint Anselm College on Monday, January 11, 2021 by the Student Government Association:
“Dear Saint Anselm students,
The Student Response Task Force has completed its work in collecting student feedback regarding COVID-19 policies for the fall 2020 semester. This group, under the purview of the Student Government Association presents a comprehensive report on the student response to the college policies regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Student Response Task Force was established in order to give Saint Anselm students a forum to voice their thoughts and opinions regarding Saint Anselm College’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only was this Task Force meant to efficiently collect and present student feedback to the administration, the Task Force was created and run by students so as to allow fellow students to express their opinions and concerns in a more comfortable setting. Furthermore, the Task Force has come together to supply student feedback to college administrators, so that they might use the student body’s perspective during preparations for our upcoming return to campus. The Task Force plans to be a continuous presence on campus, to work with the school administration, the student government, and the student body as we adapt to the strange time we find ourselves in. Readers will find the full report prepared by the Task Force attached directly below along with a short summary of the report’s recommendations.
Firstly, the Task Force recommends changes in a variety of college policies. For example, the reinstatement of intervisitation on campus. The Student Senate has already unanimously approved legislation endorsing the revival of limited intervisitation for students within dorm halls. The Task Force supported this legislation, and will continue to push for action from the Student Government on this, as well as other issues ranging from building hours to a reexamination of the academic calendar.
Second, the Task Force found a need for more student representation in the decision-making process. While it is understandable that the college was faced with a high-pressure situation to return students to campus, it is regrettable that students were not consulted initially. Moving forward, the Task Force recommends the administration continue to prioritize student input on decision making committees in regards to decisions being made on COVID policy which affect the student body. Be they from athletics, student government, or another student program, a variety of students should be consulted throughout the spring semester. Thirdly, the Task Force has placed an emphasis on the need for transparency from the college administration on COVID policy. This may be in a variety of forms, such as expounding upon policies that are chosen by the school, as well as a formal notice to students regarding any and all policy changes. Transparency will be a necessary step for continued student engagement with the rules that are enforced, and an ongoing mutually respectful partnership between administrators and students.
The Task Force is encouraged by the engagement we have already received from the student body, and if this is the first you are hearing from us please feel free to reach out, as we will be active on campus for the foreseeable future. This will be in various capacities, through the Student Government Association, social media, and various other avenues should the need arise. We look forward to working with the administration as a conduit for student feedback and as a partner to craft policy moving forward.
The entire report is attached to this email for review by the reader, and if you have any questions regarding this report, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Student Response Task Force wishes you all well, and looks forward to returning to campus for the spring semester.”