Thank you to those who have submitted questions regarding on-campus learning and living for the St. Mary’s College 2021-22 academic year. Frequently asked questions and answers are posted below grouped by subject matter. This page will be updated regularly so please check back for more information.
Will we still need to wear masks inside when we return for spring 2022 semester?
Yes, our face coverings policy has not changed. Face coverings are required to be worn indoors unless you are eating or drinking or in your private space.
Is the fall 2021 vaccination policy the same for the spring 2022 semester?
No, St. Mary's College has updated its vaccine policy to require all eligible students and employees to receive COVID-19 booster shots.
I have already been vaccinated against COVID-19, do I need to get the vaccine booster shot?
Effective Monday, January 17, 2022, all vaccinated students and employees will be required to receive a booster shot within 30 days of becoming eligible.
Students and employees must upload a copy of their updated vaccination card, reporting the date on which they received their booster shot, to the Wellness Center confidential Medicat Records by January 17, 2022 (or 30 days after becoming eligible for a booster if eligibility is after December 21, 2021). Uploading instructions can be found HERE.
I’ve already filed an exemption for the COVID-19 vaccination, do I need to do anything for the spring 2022 semester?
Employees who have already filed an exemption from COVID-19 vaccination must notify Human Resources to confirm their intention to continue the exemption. Students who have filed an exemption must notify the Wellness Center of their intention to continue the exemption.
Will unvaccinated students or employees continue to be tested for COVID-19?
Yes, twice weekly testing for all unvaccinated students and employees will continue during the spring 2022 semester.
Will random surveillance testing take place during spring 2022 semester?
Yes, a random sample of our community will be subjected to surveillance testing during the first six weeks of the spring semester regardless of vaccination status.
Uploading Covid-19 Vaccine Proof to MEDICAT
Do I have to upload my proof of vaccination to Medicat if I already provided it to the Wellness Center?
Yes. The Wellness Center did not store your vaccination card. Please upload it through Medicat, which is a HIPPA compliant, confidential site.
When is my proof of vaccination due?
Please have the vaccine card uploaded or an exemption form filed two weeks before you plan to return to campus.
Can I upload a copy of my official digital vaccine card [Vaccine Check in Maryland]?
Yes. Please take a screenshot and ensure we can see your full name and all other identifying information.
How can students and employees request an exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine requirement on campus?
Students must email the Student Exemption Form to the Wellness Center via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by fax 240-895-4937. If you have any questions please call the Wellness Center at 240-895-4289. Employees who file a COVID-19 vaccination Employee Exemption Form will submit their signed form as a hard copy or electronic copy via email@example.com.
What if I haven’t received my second dose?
Wait to upload your card until you have completed all the required doses.
Can I just upload the dates on the medical record in Medicat?
No. We are only accepting a scan/picture of the vaccine card.
What if I have other questions/concerns?
How do I upload my proof of vaccination?
- Navigate to https://smcm.medicatconnect.com on a computer or smartphone.
- Enter your user name (first part of your firstname.lastname@example.org email address WITHOUT the @smcm.edu) and password you use to access your Google accounts/email.
- Click on the Login button.
- On the next page, click on Upload.
- Choose COVID vaccine documentation from the drop down box.
- Choose the file from your phone or computer that is a picture/scan of your card by clicking the Select File button.
- You can double check the upload under Documents Already on File and click on View File.
Community Health and Safety
Will masks be required?
As of June 1, 2021, masks are no longer required in any outdoor spaces.
Based on the current CDC and St Mary's County Health Department guidance (as of July 30, 2021), the mask requirement continues for all indoor spaces, regardless of your vaccination status. If future conditions and federal, state, and county guidance permit, we will consider possibly relaxing the indoor mask mandate.
If lifted indoors, wearing masks will be a personal choice for those who are vaccinated. If you are unvaccinated, you are required to wear a mask indoors at all times and while outdoors in crowded space. Also, you are required to comply with twice weekly on-campus COVID-19 testing.
Will the campus community continue to monitor their temperature and health daily with the SMCM Daily Symptom Checker?
As of Friday, September 10, the daily symptom checker is not a requirement.
Should we continue to maintain six feet of social distance from others whenever possible?
No, there are no distancing restrictions.
Will there be capacity and space restrictions, indoors or outdoors?
No, there are no capacity restrictions. Indoor space capacity is dictated by the fire marshall code.
Will College-sponsored international travel be permitted?
Yes, as long as the traveler is fully vaccinated and adheres to CDC, State, County, and State Department guidelines. The CDC considers individuals fully vaccinated two weeks after the 2nd dose (Pfizer/Moderna) or two weeks after the only dose of (J&J’s Janssen vaccine).
Will College-sponsored domestic travel be permitted?
Yes, SMCM will permit the resumption of domestic business travel.
SMCM travelers must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 in accordance with the College’s vaccination policy and follow current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) domestic travel guidance. Currently, this requires fully vaccinated (for COVID-19) domestic travelers to self-monitor for symptoms, wear a mask, and take other COVID-19 safety precautions when traveling domestically.
If a SMCM traveler has an approved medical or religious vaccination exemption then they must follow CDC guidance for non-vaccinated travelers. This requires that they self-monitor for symptoms, wear a mask, and take other COVID-19 safety precautions when traveling domestically. In addition, non-vaccinated domestic travelers must be tested one to three days prior to travel and tested three to five days upon return and self-quarantine for seven days if tested or self-quarantine 10 days if not tested for COVID-19.
Will events be permitted to take place on campus?
Yes. Questions can be addressed to Peggy Aud, director of events and conferences at email@example.com.
Will random surveillance testing continue?
Yes, random surveillance testing will continue for all students, faculty and staff. For those who are not vaccinated, surveillance testing will be on a regular basis.
When it says "Visitors, consultants, and guests are fully permitted on campus, provided SMCM protocols are followed, including doing the symptom tracker." Is there some general guest tracker link we have access to or is every department responsible for creating their own?
- As of Friday, September 10, the daily symptom checker is not a requirement.
Campus visitors must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and be able to present proof of vaccination upon request by College officials when attending indoor events or large gatherings outside when social distancing cannot be ensured. If campus visitors are not vaccinated or cannot show proof of vaccination, they must present proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of arrival to campus. Face coverings must be always worn indoors.
How do I share proof of vaccination status or an exemption?
Students, faculty members, and staff may upload a picture or scan of their vaccine card (or a screenshot of their official electronic vaccine card) to https://smcm.medicatconnect.com More information can be found on the Fall 2021 Reopening Site under “Vaccine Policy”.
Will the Wellness Center distribute PPE (masks, hand sanitizer, thermometers, gloves) to students?
The Wellness Center has a supply of PPE available to students upon request at the Wellness Center, Ethel Chance Hall.
Will the Wellness Center be offering COVID-19 testing?
Yes. Anyone who is experiencing symptoms may request testing at the Wellness Center.
Can I see my counselor via video counseling (Zoom)?
Counseling sessions will be held in person. Zoom sessions may be offered for some services as deemed appropriate by the Wellness Center staff.
Are there restrictions on indoor capacity for attendance at events (e.g., academic lectures/colloquia, music/theater performances)?
As of July 1, 2021, there are no further capacity restrictions on event attendance other than those set by the locations themselves (e.g., room capacity). Wearing face coverings will be per the College's policy.
Are there restrictions on outdoor capacity for attendance at events (e.g., convocation, athletics)?
As of July 1, 2021, there are no further capacity restrictions on event attendance. Wearing face covering will be per the College's policy.
What are the hours of operation for the library?
Sunday 12 p.m.-10 p.m.; Monday-Thursday 8 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday 8 a.m.-7 p.m.; Saturday 12 p.m.-5 p.m.
Are there occupancy restrictions for the study rooms?
The study rooms will return to regular occupancy (see Group Study link for individual room details).
Can we continue group study at the study tables? (social distancing)
Yes, study tables will return to regular seating.
Will any collections/sections be off limits to patrons?
No, all our collections will return to pre-COVID granted access.
Will access to reference librarians be limited to virtual or in-person only?
Reference/research sessions with librarians will be offered both in-person and virtually. Librarians will have on-call hours and students will have the ability to schedule appointments outside of on-call hours.
Will access to all collections through USMAI be open?
Most collections should be open for borrowing, but is determined by each institution. Any limits on access to other USMAI collections will be notated in the catalog.
Can students attend classes remotely?
All Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 courses will take place via face-to-face instruction. The College will work with students who require accommodations to support their return to face-to-face instruction.
Will students who arrive to attend SMCM from abroad or out-of-state be required to self-quarantine in their on or off-campus residence upon arrival?
People arriving on campus from other areas will follow the most updated CDC guidelines. The Wellness Center offers testing for anyone who would like to be tested after travel.
Will indoor and outdoor gatherings, on-campus or off-campus, be permitted?
Yes. Visitors and guests will be fully permitted on campus, provided SMCM protocols are followed, including completion of the symptom tracker.
Are we limiting outdoor on-campus gathering group sizes to capacity posted on the grounds?
If students do not have an exemption on file or proof of vaccine, will they be permitted on campus?
Students must submit either proof of vaccination or an exemption form in order to be on campus and attend classes. Those who are exempt will be subject to regular testing. This is a public health issue and these requirements are in place to protect our community. The College continues to remain consistent with its ongoing approach throughout the pandemic and in accordance with The St. Mary's Way.
Will events and programs happen on campus?
Yes, we are planning a fun and engaging year of programming for the campus.
How can I get involved in campus clubs and organizations?
Our annual Involvement Fair will take place on Friday, September 10. This is a great way to get involved on campus. You can also check out the SMCM Engage website which will show all of the events happening around campus everyday, throughout the semester.
Will events and activities happen virtually or in person?
Events will primarily be in person however virtual options may be available.
Are we allowed to bring guests?
Although events are primarily for students, guests are permitted at certain large events.
Teaching & Learning
Will College-affiliated international programs (study abroad, study tours, etc.) be allowed for the fall?
Yes. Study Abroad will be open to destinations that meet CDC, State Department, and destination country risk and safety guidelines. Current CDC guidance is to allow international travel to individuals who are fully vaccinated. The College will be assessing risk and authorize proposed international trips on a case-by-case basis.
Will domestic experiential learning opportunities (field trips, internships, etc.) be permitted for the fall? Will students be required to participate or be given alternatives?
Yes, within the guidelines set forth by the CDC and WHO. Please see FAQ response to domestic travel under “Community Health & Safety.”
Will advising sessions take place in person?
Advising sessions will take place face-to-face. Remote technology may be used when desired by both the faculty member and the student.
Will any exemptions be granted to teach remotely this fall?
For all full-time faculty, fall 2021 and spring 2022 courses will be delivered through in-person, on-campus instruction. The current eligibility requirements for the teleworking policy are directly Covid-19 related (see Human Resources website); requests to teach remotely for the purposes of scheduling convenience, child care, commuting issues, etc., cannot be accommodated. Individual questions should be addressed to the interim Dean of Faculty for review.
Will I be required to teach a hybrid course due to student accommodations?
Faculty are asked to respond with empathy to student efforts to remain engaged in classwork while recovering from COVID-19, and to provide some access to in-class content (e.g., record part of lecture, put a camera on showing the class, etc). There is no expectation that the instructor will resort to a full hybrid learning situation in this case.
Will I be required to be masked when teaching my in-person classes?
All faculty and students will be masked in the classroom and in other indoor spaces.
When is the new first-year and transfer students move-in /check in (for those commuting)?
Check-in for first year students will be on Wednesday, August 25th and for transfer students on Friday, August 27th. Signup sheets will be distributed in August to all residential students to assist with the check-in process. More information will be sent out by the Residence Life and Student Activities staff!
Will returning students be able to sign up for a check-in time to move into their residence hall using Sign-Up Genius?
Yes. In August, students will be sent a Sign-Up Genius link for their area to sign-up for a check-in time. This signup will be required so that the college can limit the amount of students/guests on campus in a specific area at any given time.
Will students have card access only to their own residence hall?
Students will have card access only to their own residence hall to better ensure the security and safety of students living in our residential spaces.
What is the residence hall guest policy?
Residents will be allowed to have guests that comply with residential guest policy that was established prior to the COVID-19 pandemic; this number varies by area and size of room. Residents should always be present while their guests visit as students are responsible for the guests they bring into the building.
Other than move-in day and move-out day, will students be permitted to have non-student guests in the traditional residence halls, Waring Common blocks, Townhouses, Lewis Quad units, or laundry rooms or study spaces?
Students will be permitted to have non-student guests visit them in their residential spaces during the year but all guests are to comply with procedures and restrictions associated with the college-wide guest policy, including completion of the symptom tracker.
Will students be allowed to have overnight guests?
Students will be allowed to have overnight guests in compliance with the College’s published policy. It is recommended that students talk to their roommates, suitemates, and housemates before inviting and hosting overnight guests.
Will students return to their assigned residence hall, hallway, or unit to use the restroom?
It is still recommended that residential students return to their assigned restroom. Non-residential guests should use the designated guest restroom for each area.
Athletics & Recreational Sports
Will athletic and recreational facilities be open?
Yes, our facilities will be operating as normal and at full capacity.
What are the hours of operation for the Athletics and Recreation Center?
The MPOARC anticipates being open from 6 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Friday and 10:10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. Patrons will have the opportunity to reserve a 1.5 hour period to workout.
What will the cleaning procedures be in the cardio and fitness areas?
Patrons will be issued a spray bottle and towel to wipe their equipment before and after use.
Will I have to wear a face covering while working out?
At the present time, face coverings will be required to workout indoors.
Will athletes be able to practice and compete?
Currently, athletes will be able to practice and compete at both the club and varsity level.
Will guests be allowed to attend competitions?
Will spectators have to wear a face covering at outside events?
Will there be in-person group fitness classes?
Yes, at the discretion of each instructor and supplement it with a virtual option. Reservations will be required for the in-person classes.
Will the MPOARC be open to the public during the academic year?
Will dining facilities and operations return to normal?
Dining operations will return to normal beginning August 16. The Great Room, Breakfast Nook, Brew’d Awakening, and Solomons Kitchen will resume pre-pandemic operations. All food stations and buffet style dining will return and there will be no limit on capacity. Cleaning and sanitizing of all dining and food distribution areas will be done in accordance with health and safety regulations.
What will be the hours for dining facilities?
Please see the Bon Appetit webpage for specific hours of operation.
How will the dining hall work with indoor masking?
All patrons must enter the Great Room and go through the food line with a face covering. The face covering can be removed while eating and drinking at a table. When patrons depart the Great Room they must exit wearing a face covering. This policy is consistent with County health department guidance.