An Update From the GSAS Dean: March 6, 2020

March 6, 2020

This message was sent to Graduate School of Arts and Sciences students from Dean Burgmayer on March 6, 2020.

Dear GSAS students,

Yesterday you received an email for the entire BMC community regarding policies and procedures put into place to address a possible COVID-19 outbreak. I write to you today to provide additional points of clarification.

Unlike college sponsored travel that has been restricted, graduate students planning travel to attend conferences or for research which may be supported through GSAS funds must go through the travel review process for assessment and approval.  The following points should be observed:

  • Grad student travel, both international and domestic, must be registered with the Bryn Mawr College travel registry and will be reviewed for approval.

  • The State Department advises that no one travel to countries with a level 4 destination.  If you do so, you may be prevented from returning to the United States. Anyone visiting these locations will not be permitted to return to campus until they complete the CDC-recommended 14-day self-isolation and are symptom-free.

  • Many cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed around the U.S., and it is likely that the virus will spread to additional regions. Please approach any travel with abundant caution and weigh the benefits of travel against the risks to yourself and to the community. Given the changing nature of the situation, domestic travel could also result in the need to self-quarantine.

  • Students may check the Health Center website for details about possible open hours during Spring Break.

It is also critical to follow the recommended procedures for post-break and the remainder of the semester as outlined in President Cassidy's email of Mar. 5.

I understand there are additional concerns among you including anxiety about increased exposure while using public transportation for commuting, worries regarding possible interrupted travel this coming summer and how that impacts living arrangements if you must remain in the US, and concerns about access to the Health Center at Bryn Mawr and whether student health insurance will cover all expenses should the risk arise.  The College is monitoring the spread and severity of COVID-19 and has begun preparations for various scenarios that might affect students, faculty, and staff, including students and faculty who are studying or conducting research abroad.  Your concerns are included among the many aspects that will need consideration in the coming weeks and months.   

This is a stressful time. Many of our community are coping with acute anxiety for their personal and family situations in light of COVID-19.  I ask all of us to be kind and considerate of one another, and alert to mindless acts of discrimination that can contribute to fear and anxiety in this difficult time.

Dean Burgmayer

Sharon J. Nieter Burgmayer
W. Alton Jones Professor of Chemistry and Dean of Graduate Studies

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