Wheaton College Dean of Students, Zack Irish, announced a change to Wheaton’s guest policy in an email sent to the Wheaton community today that will go into effect on Mar. 22, 2021. The email mentioned that Wheaton students are allowed to have anyone “on-campus residential student” in their “private bedroom” at a time coming from any residence hall, house, or suite. This is an increase in allowance from the standard policy in place this semester, which only allowed students from the same residence hall to visit one’s room.
Dean Irish’s email noted that Wheaton’s Covid Task Force came to this decision following Governor Charlie Baker’s announcement that Massachusetts would be moving to Stage 4, part 1 of its reopening plan. Irish’s email clarified that a “cleared [status] on CoVerified” is necessary for both the host and the guest and that “face coverings… and proper social distancing are [still] required.” Wheaton mentioned that it “would not be regularly monitoring guests” and that it is up to the Wheaton community to “self-monitor” to “ensure compliance with” the guidelines announced.
Mae Flibotte ‘22, a Lead RA, hopes that the changes are able to alleviate residents’ “increased levels of stress and anxiety” from “being unable to see their friends for the last two months.”
Matt DeAngelo ‘22 also felt the guest policy was a positive change overall but noted that “the threat [of Covid] is still out there.” DeAngelo urged the school to reconsider the guest policy on a rolling basis.
The email also announced changes to indoor dining, noting that indoor dining table capacity has been increased from one person per table to four people per table. It also mentioned an increase of capacity for indoor and outdoor events, with the new caps being placed at 20 and 40 participants, respectively.
Lastly, the email announced the opening of outdoor recreation facilities to the campus for use, noting the opening of the “outdoor basketball court [by Meadows] and the outdoor beach volleyball court.”