Interim President Laurie Quinn’s Message to Champlain College On-Campus Students, Their Families, Faculty & Staff

Hello, Champlain College community.

Interim President Laurie Quinn here, with a video message for our students, our faculty, and our staff.

Before I begin with some important updates, I want to share with you how incredibly proud I am of our students, and our faculty, and our staff, for the way that this community has responded to the Covid-19 crisis. None of us could have guessed how quickly we would have to adapt to these unprecedented conditions.

And over and over again in this community, virtually, I am hearing stories of students, faculty, and staff rising above expectations, doing more than is required, staying connected to the members of their community, and doing their very best to show up as the best of Champlain, students, faculty, and staff, during these really difficult times. And so I want to say thank you for everything that you are doing quietly in your individual days and as the whole community. I’m proud of how strongly we are hanging together in these really hard times.

My updates for you today include the announcement that we will continue with remote instruction and remote work for the remainder of the semester. This was a difficult decision based on State and national public health guidelines. And what it means, is that for students and faculty, the remote learning and instruction period will now take us through the end of the spring semester, while for our staff, remote work will continue. We are very committed to continuing the Champlain College spring semester in this new way with success.

I want to assure students that we are actively working on plans for your ability to come to campus and move out of residence halls. However, it is very important that you and your families understand that at this time you are not permitted to return to campus. I want to be very clear with you: we are unable to allow you to access a residence hall regardless of where you might be driving from at this time. In order to comply with our Governor’s orders, we need to wait and make a thoughtful plan for the residence hall move-out. I promise you, you will have that plan from us just as soon as we are able to map it out fully, and do so safely.

And in the meantime, let me repeat, please, do not come to the Champlain College campus. It’s difficult for me to tell you that. Your campus misses you. We all miss you. But this is the reality right now, and I ask for your patience and your compliance with it.

I want to let you know that we have also reached the very difficult decision to have a virtual Commencement, and to cancel the in-person spring Commencement that we have all looked forward to. Seniors, it is especially hard for me to share this news with you. I know how difficult this is. I want you to know that you are very much in our thoughts, and that the difficult milestone that we’re reaching together will not be the only story that you will remember from your last year at Champlain College.

We are committed to an amazing virtual Commencement and an event that, yes, will be very different, but that will capture so much of the spirit of this graduating class and the love that your institution feels for you as we graduate you. You will receive your diploma in the mail in a timely fashion, and we welcome your ideas for how you want virtual Commencement to look and feel and be.

I also want you to know that we are very committed to an in-person celebration that allows you to honor your achievements on campus, allows you to welcome your loved ones to celebrate with you, and, of course, allows you to celebrate with your fellow students, your faculty members, and all those who have supported you in your Champlain journey. I promise you that just as soon as we are able to release plans for an in-person celebration, although deferred, we will do so.

I know that there have also been some questions about Champlain’s plans with respect to refunds and credits for your housing and food costs. I want to let you know that we are working on a process that will allow us to issue those refunds and credits to our students and their families in a timely manner now that we know that remote instruction will be our status for the rest of the semester. Please keep an eye out for more detailed information about that process and know that we’re working diligently to ensure that we can stand that up quickly for you and your families. 

I’m also aware that many of our students who work campus jobs, either through federal Work Study or non-Work Study, have been concerned about their continued pay. I want to let you know our intention at the College is to continue to pay you through the conclusion of the spring semester within your federal Work Study award or in keeping with your regular hours as a non-Work Study student. More information about that is also forthcoming, but I wanted to let you know our plans at this time. I hope that will help relieve some of the concerns that some of our students who depend on that income from their student jobs may have been feeling at this time.

And I have two more updates for you about College communications.

First, I want to let you know that our Covid-19 updates site, available right off the main page, has been restructured recently to allow us to put the three most recent communications from the College at the top of the page for your convenience. So that when you check the site, which I hope you will continue to do frequently, you will see the most recent and relevant communications, and can more easily navigate the site.

As I mentioned earlier, it will be important to continue to check the site for more details about the refund process, the move-out process, virtual Commencement, and other important events as they unfold during our management of the Covid-19 crisis.

I also want to let the community know that I’ll be holding virtual office hours to be announced in the very near future so that anything that’s on your mind can be shared with me in a virtual appointment. I want to stay available to you. I want to stay connected to my Champlain community, and I know that you do, too. Students, faculty, and staff, thank you for all that you are doing to keep Champlain strong during this crisis.

We will become a stronger Champlain as individuals and as a community for having weathered this together.

And to our students, I remind you to keep your eyes on the long-term goals of your Champlain College education, even though day by day things are really difficult for many of you right now. I want you to know you remain in our thoughts, and that the faculty and staff community continues to put you at the center of every decision that we make, even the hardest of those.

Let us dare to keep strong for the rest of the Champlain College semester.

Thank you, and I look forward to staying in touch.