We are optimistic that as the year progresses, we will see a gradual return to normal life. TCNJ will take its first steps in that direction in February when it begins its spring term. Typical of the times, however, this will not be an ordinary semester in many respects. We would like to share with the community some of the many health and safety measures that will be in place.
TCNJ is required to submit a comprehensive restart plan to the state of New Jersey detailing how it will comply with all public health mandates, including reduced density and social distancing. The state will review this plan prior to granting the college permission to resume in-person operations for the coming term.
Campus activity will be greatly reduced this spring and the college has taken steps to minimize the number of people on campus at any given time. These efforts include the elimination of external events and reducing the occupancy of campus residence halls by 44 percent. Additionally, approximately three-quarters of all classes will remain online-only and many college employees will continue to work remotely.
For those who will be residing on or coming to campus, the college has implemented a mandatory daily self-health check. Robust measures are also in place to assist with contract tracing, as needed.
All students living on or arriving to campus will be tested weekly for COVID-19. The college is working with its unions to extend testing to employees. Masks will be mandatory for students, faculty, and employees. Extensive signage has been placed in campus buildings and on campus walks to reinforce social distancing and public health measures.
All of this is underpinned by a new TCNJ health and wellness policy that allows the college to revoke access to campus to those who repeatedly and/or willfully violate these protocols. All students, including those living off-campus, are expected to adhere to these policies. Failure to do so could result in disciplinary actions per the Student Conduct Code.
Ewing and TCNJ are also working together on plans to vaccinate township residents as soon as the new coronavirus vaccine becomes broadly available. Students in the college’s nursing program will help administer the shot. The TCNJ campus is one of several sites under consideration to hold vaccination clinics.
Ewing Township and The College of New Jersey are unwavering in our commitment to the health and wellness of all residents and members of the campus community. In January we will be visiting Ewing neighborhoods, following all health and wellness protocols, to talk with students and residents about a unified effort to keep us all safe.
We hope you will join us in taking appropriate measures in your homes, work places, and during daily activities to keep yourself and your neighbors healthy.
Kathryn A. Foster
Foster is the president of The College of New Jersey
Bert H. Steinmann
Steinmann is the mayor of Ewing Township