October 04, 2021

The VPSL Column | October 4, 2021

The weekly message from the Vice President of Student Life, Robin Holmes-Sullivan.

The Bark – VPSL Column | October 4, 2021

Happy Monday, students!

We are only a few days away from fall break, which will happen from October 7–10. We asked those of you who live on campus about your plans for and questions about the break. Here is the top feedback we received:

Why do we have fall break? Fall break is intended to give students and faculty the opportunity to refuel as you buckle down and get ready for midterms and the second half of the semester.

Why can’t it be longer? Lots of you asked about this! Although taking time away from school can be helpful and rejuvenating, we still have to put in a certain number of days per semester to keep our accreditation and award you your degrees.

What will I eat? By far the biggest question among the residential students was, “Will there be food service over the break?” The answer is yes! Fields will be open for brunch and dinner Thursday, October 7 and Friday October 8. Maggie’s will be open beginning at 8 a.m. on both Thursday and Friday. We will have normal weekend hours and service for Saturday,October 12 and Sunday.


What do students do over the break? That depends. Some of you will utilize the break to catch up on some much needed sleep. Others will take advantage of one of the many College Outdoors Fall Break Trips, some will be watching a lot of TV, visiting family, exploring Oregon and downtown Portland, going to the pumpkin patch, and much more. As a reminder, the CDC states that people who have been fully vaccinated can do things that they had stopped doing because of the pandemic. This is your time: do what feels right for you mentally and physically.


Will we be conducting COVID-19 tests on individuals who travel out of town over the break? No. Per CDC guidelines, there is no need to test vaccinated individuals who have been fully vaccinated. We will, however, continue our regime of testing unvaccinated students, staff and faculty.


We are still holding our own as a campus in terms of COVID-19 and community transmission. Here is the latest:


  • COVID-19 cases: As of October 1, of the 1335 tests conducted on campus in September, there were 6 positive on-campus and 12 positive off-campus cases which equates to a positivity rate of 0.47%.


We should be extra vigilant as we make decisions about how to spend our time over the break. Most importantly, recharge, connect with friends and loved ones, and take care of yourselves.


Robin H. Holmes-Sullivan
Vice President of Student Life and Dean of Students