At the third Senate meeting of the Spring 2021 semester, Sophomore Senator Christopher Demarkey presented a resolution regarding clarity around the phases of reopening. The resolution states the following, “Be it resolved, that the Student Senate, requests that school administrators provide information regarding the necessary conditions and/or requirements in order to transition between the colored operating phases implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Senator Demarkely verbalized that there is “no information what-so-ever” on the guidelines to move out of Phase Orange and into a new phase. He also argued that it would be helpful for Saint Anselm students to know what these conditions are so students can know what to advocate for and encourage their peers to do. When Dean Finn, the advisor to the SGA, was asked if she had any comments on this resolution, she told the Senate that she “didn’t have anywhere to point students to” regarding any sort of guidelines and she wished to provide no further comment on this resolution.
After President Rit Flandreau and others expressed concerns that Covid-19 is just too unpredictable for a set list of conditions to move phases to be created, Welfare Committee Chair Tyler Cullen replied, “All we are asking for is a rough sketch… no definitive numbers. We are completely in the dark right now.” Vice President of the Class of 2022, Jackson Peck, expressed a similar sentiment and said that “there is no benchmark.” Academic Committee Chair Aidan Pierce pointed out that it is the Covid Analytics Team (CAT) that evaluates what phase the campus should be on and one of their major concerns is the quarantine and isolation rooms filling up. Given the limitations of available quarantine and isolation spaces on campus, if cases continue to rise it will only reduce the potential for loosening of restrictions and movement between phases. The resolution passed through the Senate with 18/20 Senators in agreement.
When Senator Demarkey was asked, “What made you want to create this resolution and propose it to the Senate, he responded, “I wanted to create this resolution since many people, including myself, have no idea how we can advance out of the orange phase. I figured the Senate would be the best forum to voice this concern while also letting administrators know that we are always checking out what is going on and what they say and do. In bringing this to the Senate and discussing it with a member of the higher-ups at this school present, I was looking to apply pressure for some change.” In speaking about his resolution, Senator Demarkey also said,, “What I think and hope will happen is this news will be relayed to CAT, who will begin to provide some rough outline of what the standards are. As I said when discussing the resolution, I don’t expect nor do I care if there is/isn’t a phase change immediately- I just wanted more information about the process CAT goes through.”