January 28, 2022

Dear students,

A big snowstorm is expected to roll in this weekend, posing challenges for staff to reach campus safely. Expect closures, so take care of any needs today that you might have been planning for tomorrow or Sunday. Please be alert to messages from dining about modified hours. Check websites or call ahead before you venture out (to the gym, library, pharmacy, for example). And be sure to bundle up; it’s going to be cold out there!

Beyond the weekend, there is a lot to look forward to, since the pace of reinstating activities and reopening spaces is expected to move quickly.

It's still too early to know many of the particulars, but so far the signs are looking good: thanks to your pre-arrival testing, hundreds of you have been able to isolate at home, dramatically reducing the number of infections arriving on campus. You have also been very consistent with testing once you have arrived, minimizing transmission and keeping the positivity rate low. Thank you.

Earlier this week, Provost Scott Strobel wrote to the faculty, reaffirming the commitment to resume in-person classes starting on February 7. The improving public health conditions also mean that some in-person activities will begin even sooner: some faculty-led music lessons and theater rehearsals have begun, and there are in-person study spaces in colleges, classrooms, and cultural centers. Starting Monday morning, you will be able to eat your meals in the dining halls — that permission has come earlier than expected, on the condition that you will wear your mask except when you are actively eating (more on this in a second), that you will not linger, and that you will socially distance while you eat wherever that’s possible.

Also starting Monday, and in partnership with the Yale College Development team, Yale College is hosting a week-long Food Truck Fest across all 14 residential colleges, with 2-3 trucks per day at multiple locations providing free food. Please enjoy this opportunity to get out, move across campus, and reconnect with friends in other colleges. You do need to register to take part. Each truck is limited to the first 200 students who sign up; you may sign up for a maximum of two trucks.

Beyond February 7, if all continues to go well, permissions for events and gatherings may expand rapidly. So much of this relies on you, and you are doing very well.

I do have one request, and it's an important one. Please work on those mask-wearing practices. By now you know the drill: cover both your nose and mouth. I am hearing about relaxed mask wearing, including in common areas, and if you can address that you will help keep things moving in the right direction. Please be gracious if someone reminds you to fix your mask, or if you are reminding others.

You are doing a great job of avoiding risks and making it possible for campus life to resume. With your continued care, we will get there.

With best wishes during these opening days,


Melanie Boyd
Dean of Student Affairs
Senior Associate Dean, Yale College
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