Updates from Aquinas College about COVID-19 are at aquinas.edu/coronavirus.  Updates on our academic plans are at aquinas.edu/saintstogether.

Communication and Information

Aquinas College will share the latest information via the Saints Together website, the primary source for information, guidance and answers about the fall semester. Information about the coronavirus can be found at aquinas.edu/coronavirus, including the Aquinas College COVID-19 Dashboard.

We will provide printed and digital signage across campus to instill a culture of personal and shared responsibility for the community, educate the community about expectations, and provide reminders about the importance of remaining vigilant in our actions to protect ourselves and others.

Faculty and staff may access employee communication on Acorn.

In addition, we will communicate important information about the Saints Together plan via AQ email and the College’s social media accounts.

  • Facebook: @aquinascollegegr
  • Twitter: @AquinasCollege
  • Instagram: @aquinascollegegr
  • LinkedIn: linkedin.com/school/aquinas-college-gr
  • YouTube: AquinasCollegeGR

Questions? Send a message to saintstogether@aquinas.edu.


Community Communication


June 22, 2021: COVID-19 mandates lifted

Dear Members of the Aquinas College Community,

Today (June 22) the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services lifted its epidemic orders and the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration lifted its emergency rules for non-health care employers.

As a result, the College’s COVID-19 protocols are also lifted:

  • Masks and social distancing are no longer required indoors or outdoors regardless of vaccination status.
    • Anyone, regardless of vaccination status, may choose to continue to wear a mask or practice social distancing based on individual needs, preferences or circumstances.
  • Campus activities may return to full capacity.
  • Healthy Roster or a COVID-19 symptom self-screen is no longer required.
    • Please note, it may take up to a day for Healthy Roster notifications to stop. If you receive a Healthy Roster message, you do not have to complete the screen.
  • Travel for College business may resume.

Buildings will remain swipe-access only until further notice.

We will be removing campus COVID-19 signage, floor decals and plexiglass barriers during the next few weeks. We will also be updating the Saints Together website.

COVID-19 vaccines and healthy habits

The College also continues to strongly encourage those who are medically able to do so to get a COVID-19 vaccine. It continues to be the best way to protect our AQ community, mitigate the spread of the virus and beat COVID-19.

We are sensitive to the fact that some individuals might be unable to be vaccinated due to medical reasons. Anyone in this situation who has safety concerns should talk to their supervisor or Lynda Group, director of Human Resources.

We also encourage the community to continue general healthy habits such as frequent hand washing, covering sneezes and coughs, and staying home when you are sick as best practices.

Thank you

We are all grateful to be able to return to a sense of normalcy, albeit in a changed world. Our campus community has worked tirelessly for more than a year to ensure that we delivered on our mission, provided a valuable College experience for our students and created as safe an environment as possible. You have navigated through these public health updates and other challenges with dedication.

As we prepare to return to our offices on July 6, I can’t help but think of how joyous it will be to see all of you on our beautiful campus again.

Thank you for being Saints.

God bless,

Kevin G. Quinn
​President, Aquinas College


May 25, 2021: Updated campus health and safety protocols

Dear Members of the Aquinas College Community,

This week, the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) updated its COVID-19 Emergency Rules to reflect the state’s public health guidance, so we are providing information below to help you understand how these changes affect our campus.

Masks and Social Distancing

  • For people who are fully vaccinated, masks and social distancing are optional (not required) indoors and outdoors.
  • For people who are unvaccinated, masks and social distancing are required indoors and optional outdoors.

Campus COVID-19 signage will be updated to reflect the changes to the mask and social distancing protocols.

Please remember that anyone -- regardless of vaccination status -- may choose to continue to wear a mask or practice social distancing based on individual needs, preferences or circumstances.

Daily COVID-19 Symptom Self-Screening

  • Employees who are approved to work on campus -- regardless of vaccination status -- are required to complete the COVID-19 symptom screen each weekday morning either through Healthy Roster or through Campus Safety before entering a building.
  • Summer residential students who have provided to the College documentation of being fully vaccinated are not required to complete the COVID-19 screen.
  • Summer residential students who are not fully vaccinated or who have not provided documentation of being fully vaccinated are required to complete the COVID-19 screen through Healthy Roster every day.
  • Anyone using the fitness center -- regardless of vaccination status -- must show the attendant that they have completed the COVID-19 screen either through Healthy Roster or by accessing the COVID-19 screen through the QR code posted at the entrance.
  • Campus visitors/guests are required to check in at Campus Safety but are not required to complete a COVID-19 symptom self-screen. 
    • Visitors/guests are required to observe campus masking, social distancing and hygiene protocols, including staying home if they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, have tested positive for COVID-19, or have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Other Health and Safety Protocols

All members of the campus community should continue to practice healthy behaviors and good personal hygiene both on and off campus.

  • Get vaccinated. The College strongly encourages those who can to get vaccinated. Remember that those who are fully vaccinated do not need to wear masks indoors and do not need to quarantine if they have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
    • If you are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms, contact your supervisor and the director of Human Resources.
  • Stay home when sick.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • The College will continue to follow new MIOSHA and CDC guidance for cleaning and disinfection.

COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan

The Aquinas College COVID-19 Exposure Prevention, Preparedness and Response Plan continues to be available on Acorn as well as the Saints Together web page.

MDHHS June 1 Gatherings and Mask Order

The state health department also announced a new Gatherings and Face Masks order, which begins June 1, 2021. The new order generally eliminates outdoor capacity limits and increases indoor gatherings to 50 percent. It also continues to require masks indoors for unvaccinated people. The state health department plans to lift broad epidemic orders on July 1, 2021, but as of today, MIOSHA rules will continue beyond that date.

We know that this has been long, stressful, and at times confusing. We appreciate your patience as we adjust to this rapidly evolving situation. Thank you for doing your part to keep our community as safe as possible so that we can keep working to fulfill our noble mission. 

God bless,

Kevin G. Quinn
​President, Aquinas College


May 18, 2021 - Updated mask guidelines

Dear Members of the Aquinas College Community,

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its guidance on mask wearing and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services updated its Gatherings and Mask Order.

As of this moment, the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration has stated that it intends to align with the new order from MDHHS, but it has not yet announced its new rules. Therefore, Aquinas College employees must continue to follow current MIOSHA rules, regardless of vaccination status.

This is a fluid situation, so we have outlined how these updates affect our campus below. We will continue to update the campus if MIOSHA’s rules are updated, which could be as soon as this week.

Who is required to wear a mask indoors?

  • Per current MIOSHA rules, faculty, staff and student workers are required to wear masks in indoor settings when they cannot consistently stay six feet apart, are in shared spaces and common areas (e.g., hallways and restrooms), and in meetings -- regardless of vaccination status.
  • Per the MDHHS new order, all others (non-faculty, non-staff and non-student workers) are required to wear masks indoors unless they are fully vaccinated. (Please note that masks are not required for people engaged in a religious service regardless of vaccination status.)

Who is required to wear a mask outdoors?

  • Per the MDHHS new order, masks are not required for anyone in outdoor settings regardless of vaccination status.

Who is required to complete Healthy Roster?

  • Per current MIOSHA rules, faculty, staff and student workers working on campus, regardless of vaccination status, are required to complete the Healthy Roster COVID-19 symptom screen each weekday morning. Employees who are not on Healthy Roster, are required to complete the COVID-19 symptom self-screen at Campus Safety before entering a building.
  • Residential students who have provided to the College documentation of being fully vaccinated are not required to complete Healthy Roster.
  • Residential students who are not fully vaccinated or who have not provided documentation of being fully vaccinated are required to complete Healthy Roster or the COVID-19 symptom self-screen every day.
  • Non-residential students who use the fitness center are required to complete Healthy Roster or the COVID-19 symptom self-screen.
  • Campus visitors/guests who will be entering campus buildings are not required to complete a COVID-19 symptom self-screen, but are required to check in at Campus Safety. Guests/visitors are required to observe campus health and safety protocols, including staying home if they are ill, if they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, if they have tested positive for COVID-19, or if they have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Who is required to follow other health and safety protocols?

  • Both indoors and outdoors, all people should continue to practice social distancing, practice good personal hygiene including frequent hand washing, and staying home when sick.
  • The College also encourages those who can to get vaccinated. Vaccine appointments are readily available and some clinics are offering walk-ins. Schedule an appointment at https://vaccinatewestmi.com.

Please remember, anyone -- regardless of vaccination status -- may choose to continue to wear a mask based on individual needs, preferences or circumstances.

Thank you for continuing to keep our campus safe as we move forward and for your patience as we manage this rapidly evolving situation.

More information

MDHHS May 15 Gatherings and Face Mask Order

MIOSHA COVID-19 Workplace Safety Guidance (as of 4 p.m. on May 18, 2021)

Questions? Email saintstogether@aquinas.edu.


May 4, 2021 - Our plans for fall 2021

Dear members of the Aquinas College community,

As we end this academic year and celebrate our achievements, we are also looking ahead with excitement for the future at Aquinas College. It is with great optimism that I share our intention of welcoming students back to normal in-person classes and student activities this fall. We will plan for these activities responsibly and to the fullest extent possible while complying with state guidance.

Fall 2021

This year our campus showed its resilience and dedication to our noble mission by coming together to deliver both in-person and virtual instruction as well as student activities as safely as possible. Those efforts coupled with the state’s vaccination plan for returning to normal will provide a pathway for Aquinas College to offer a return to a more traditional campus experience including the following:

  • Face-to-face instruction
  • In-person student activities
  • Open on-campus housing
  • In-person AQ Athletics practices and competitions (held with spectators)
  • Alumni activities in person, including Homecoming 

Our students are at the core of our mission, and our plan for fall centers around providing them with the best experience possible as safely as possible.

We look forward to seeing our newest Aquinas Saints on campus this summer for Student Testing, Advising and Registration (STAR). The June 10, 16 and 22 dates will be held virtually with a June 25 on-campus event. We plan to hold the July 29 and August 20 STAR dates in person.

We will welcome our new residential students for Move-In on August 21, returning students for Move-In on August 23, our newest Saints at New Student Orientation on August 22-24, and all of our students for the beginning of classes on August 25.

We also plan to offer other traditional campus programs in person and will make more detailed announcements about those activities in the future.

Staff return to campus

To prepare for fall activities, we anticipate a full return to on-campus work for all staff by July 6 contingent upon the state’s vaccination-based milestones.

It is possible that some employees may be allowed or required to return earlier, depending on state guidance. Details will be provided as soon as they are available in coordination with the vice presidents of each area. Meanwhile, employees are notified to begin planning as necessary for their return to on-campus work.

I am looking forward to seeing the energy, creativity and joy that comes from the relationships on our campus and the personal support that our employees provide to our students. That is what makes Aquinas unique.

Looking ahead

As excited as we are to see our students, faculty and staff fully restore the vibrancy of our beautiful campus this fall, we recognize that the world is different, and we are different.

We know there is still uncertainty, and you may feel anxious about the road ahead. I assure you that, just as we have done all year, we will continue to monitor the pandemic, remain in close contact with the health department, and may continue to require certain public health measures to ensure that we keep our campus as safe as possible. We will adjust our plans as needed.

That is why our decisions and their effects deserve thoughtful consideration and planning. We have much to prepare for and will continue to provide updates to the campus.

I hope that you are as excited as I am to begin this next phase and to welcome the next generation of Aquinas Saints who are eager to discover their God-given gifts in their pursuit of truth and the common good.

Go Saints!

God bless,

Kevin G. Quinn
​President, Aquinas College


March 30, 2021 - Update on vaccine availability

Dear members of the Aquinas College community,

Last month we provided a COVID-19 vaccination survey to our campus regarding the possibility of receiving vaccination on campus. We have continued working with Metro Health over the past several weeks, but vaccine availability has been challenging.

At this time, we encourage members of our campus who are interested in getting vaccinated to register for an appointment at the West Michigan Vaccine Clinic at DeVos Place, which is now allowing self-scheduling for all people 16 years of age or older. Please visit www.spectrumhealth.org/vaccine to register for an appointment.

Appointments may fill quickly, but more appointments will be added as clinics are scheduled.

Please note that individuals who are 16-17 years old must call to ensure that they are scheduled for a clinic that is providing the Pfizer vaccine. The other two vaccines are not currently authorized for 16-17 year olds. If this applies to you, please call 833-755-0696.

Please keep in mind that vaccination of individuals 16 years of age or older is only for the West Michigan Vaccine Clinic or Spectrum-run facilities. Other clinics in the community still may have other restrictions on who they are currently vaccinating.

Please visit vaccinatewestmi.com/register if you are interested in getting vaccinated at other facilities in West Michigan.

Additionally, if you are interested in being included in the non-clinical volunteer pool for the West Michigan Vaccine Clinic, please fill out the information in the West Michigan Vaccine Clinic Volunteer Interest Survey (qualtrics.com). Shifts are typically 4-5 hours long.

God bless,

Kevin G. Quinn
​President, Aquinas College


March 30, 2021 - Update on COVID-19 cases in our community

Dear members of the Aquinas College community and families,

Today, my core message is brief: It is important that our community stay vigilant with healthy and safety protocols both on and off campus, particularly as we enter Easter vacation.

With five more weeks of classes, your actions will have a significant impact on our ability to complete the semester in person, hold in-person commencement ceremonies for the Class of 2020 and Class of 2021, and keep our community as safe as possible.

Over the past several weeks, the state of Michigan and Kent County have seen a rapidly escalating number of COVID-19 cases.

Similarly, Aquinas College has experienced a sharp rise in the number of cases on our campus. Needless to say, this community spread, which we believe has been principally driven by off-campus activities with friends and family, is concerning.

Let me be clear: We have not seen any cases related to in-classroom activities, athletic practices or competitions, or College-sponsored co-curricular activities.

That said, in the span of one week we have gone from zero active cases and one person in quarantine/isolation on campus to 15 active cases, 37 people in quarantine/isolation on campus and even more in quarantine/isolation off campus.

We are taking swift action with the information from Healthy Roster in order to curtail spread in our community and protect our campus. We will continue to monitor the situation, but we are asking for your help.

Public health experts strongly recommend following health and safety measures, limiting residential and nonresidential gatherings, and considering steps to protect yourself and others if you must travel.

We are in a critical time for our campus and for the pandemic. Vaccinations are becoming more widely available, but we recognize that our community is experiencing elevated fatigue after a long year.

We know this has been hard, and we are all tired. But we are a resilient community, and I know we can finish this semester strong. Please do not hesitate to reach out to our campus resources below if you need support.

Thank you for your all you are doing to support your fellow Saints.

God bless,

Kevin G. Quinn
​President, Aquinas College

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If you must travel or if you have attended a gathering

  1. Prior to participating, please consider public health recommendations related to travel and gatherings.
  2. If you must travel or attend a gathering, please follow public health recommendations.
  3. If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, test positive for COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, please stay home and complete your daily COVID-19 symptom self-screen through Healthy Roster.

Healthy Roster protocol

If an individual experiences symptoms of COVID-19, tests positive for COVID-19 or reports exposure to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 in Healthy Roster, the following steps will occur:

  1. A College representative will communicate with the individual under the direction of AQ Counseling, Health and Wellness or Human Resources to gather information and initiate contact tracing.
  2. The College will communicate with the Kent County Health Department.
  3. Guidance will be provided to the individual for next steps related to testing, quarantine and isolation as needed.
  4. The College will communicate internally to assist the individual with academic and work progress as needed.

Spiritual, health and mental well-being resources

Visit our spiritual, health and mental wellbeing page and reach out to Campus Ministry; Counseling, Health and Wellness Services; and other resources if you need support.


January 22, 2021 - Updates to Healthy Roster and Gatherings on Campus

Dear AQ Students,

I hope you had a great first week of classes on campus or from home. I hope you enjoyed seeing a little sunshine this week.

For those attending in-person classes, thank you for completing your arrival testing or shelter-in-place protocols. We are working as quickly as possible to provide you with clearance to return to campus, and your cooperation and patience is appreciated.

Today I wanted to provide you with some new information about Healthy Roster and our protocols for gathering on campus.

Updates to Healthy Roster and the COVID-19 Call Team

Beginning Monday, Jan. 25, faculty, staff and students who have been approved to be on campus and are completing Healthy Roster daily will see an updated COVID-19 daily symptom screen.

The updated questions are designed to keep you as safe as possible and are based on the most updated CDC screening questions. The revised screen is listed at the end of this email. Please read it carefully so you are familiar with the questions when they appear on Monday.

As before, a YES answer to any of the first five questions will indicate you must not come to campus for health and safety reasons. If this occurs, a member of our COVID-19 Call Team will contact you to help you with next steps. You can call the Campus Safety Office at (616) 632-2462, but they will only be able to forward your name to the call team.

We do ask that you call Campus Safety at (616) 632-2462 immediately if you filled out Healthy Roster in the morning and find out later in the day that you have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or have developed symptoms of COVID-19.

The call team will contact you as quickly as possible, but please be advised that it may take a few hours depending on the volume of calls and other factors. We thank you for your patience and understanding.

Update to Gatherings on Campus

After reviewing current Michigan Department of Health and Human Services epidemic orders, the College has updated its protocols for gatherings as listed below:

Activities held or sponsored by the College are permitted indoors and outdoors as long as the gathering encourages and maintains social distancing practices and the use of masks.

Social gatherings in on-campus housing are limited to five people. Social gatherings in other spaces on campus are limited to 25 percent of room capacities, which are posted in each space.

All gatherings must follow campus protocols for cloth face coverings, social distancing, cleaning and disinfecting, personal hygiene and health monitoring.

We will continue to evaluate gatherings and will communicate updates with the campus.

COVID-19 Vaccine Information

You can find helpful information about the COVID-19 vaccine at aquinas.edu/saintstogether. We have included information from public health agencies, health systems and religious leadership.

Today we have added information about the new West Michigan Vaccine Clinic, a large-scale community vaccine clinic that will begin vaccinations at DeVos Place by appointment only on Monday, Jan. 25. Please visit wmvaccineclinic.org to register or call (833) 755-0696 if you do not have access to online tools.

The College is also working with Metro Health on a plan to offer an on-campus vaccine clinic in the future.

Information about the availability of the vaccine is changing rapidly, so please check back regularly for updates.

Be Vigilant

As always, your vigilance is appreciated by all. It is your actions that help protect our community. Please continue those efforts by completing the daily screen, wearing your face masks, practicing social distancing and following good hygiene practices.

You can find the latest information through AQ email, aquinas.edu/saintstogether, social media, the new Engage AQ student portal and the AQ C.A.R.E.S. app. If you have questions, please email saintstogether@aquinas.edu.

Go Saints!

Nick Davidson
Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Athletics


January 18, 2021 - Instructions for students who have not completed arrival testing options

Dear Aquinas College Students and Families,

As we begin classes this week, we want to provide you with some information to help support a successful start to your semester.

As previously communicated, for the spring semester, students are required to complete one of two arrival testing options in order to be cleared to receive swipe-card access, attend in-person classes and participate in other on-campus activities.

If you have not received and submitted your negative COVID-19 test results or have not completed your shelter-in-place protocol, please email your instructors directly to notify them that you have not been cleared to return to class because you have not completed your arrival testing.

For this week only (Jan. 18-22), you do NOT need to notify the Registrar’s Office, Sharon Smith (director of counseling, health and wellness) or Matt McWilliams (head athletic trainer) that you need to attend classes virtually.

Students who are 100% virtual are not required to provide a negative test result or participate in the shelter-in-place protocol.

For more information about how to complete the arrival testing options, please refer to the Jan. 5 letter from President Quinn, Jan. 11 return to spring semester information, and Jan. 15 reminders for spring semester.

If you have questions, visit aquinas.edu/saintstogether or email saintstogether@aquinas.edu.

Have a great semester!

Nick Davidson
Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Athletics


January 15, 2021 - Reminders for Spring Semester

Dear AQ Saints and Families,

With the start of classes next week, I wanted to send a few reminders to help you have a successful spring semester. Thank you for all you are doing to protect the Aquinas community and ensure that we can continue to offer in-person classes and activities on campus.

  1. Mask up: Wear a mask in all public indoor settings and in public outdoor settings when in the presence of others, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
  2. Practice social distancing: Maintain at least 6 feet of space between yourself and others.
  3. Limit gatherings (except for academic classes and approved athletic activities): Gatherings in on-campus housing are limited to five people. Non-residential indoor gatherings are not permitted at this time. Outdoor gatherings are limited to 25. All gatherings must follow campus protocols, including use of masks and social distancing. The College will continue to evaluate gatherings and will communicate any updates.
  4. Complete arrival testing options: For students who will be coming to campus, provide either a negative COVID-19 test result within five days prior to returning to campus or participate in a 10-day shelter-in-place protocol prior returning to campus.
  5. Submit Healthy Roster: For students who will be coming to campus, submit Healthy Roster every day by 11 a.m. or before you come to campus, whichever is earlier.
  6. Enter here: Follow adjusted traffic flow and entrance procedures
  7. Carry your Aquinas ID: All buildings are swipe-access only.
  8. See what’s open: Check for up-to-date information about buildings and services.
  9. Update your calendar: Make sure you have adjusted your planners for the revised spring semester academic calendar.
  10. Find support: Reach out to our campus spiritual, health and mental wellbeing services.

As the semester begins, don’t forget our MLK Day activities and resources, which have been compiled by the Library and the Center for Diversity, Inclusion and Equity.

Most importantly, I hope you have a great semester. If you have any questions, email saintstogether@aquinas.edu

As a final reminder, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services epidemic orders are in effect through Jan. 31. We will communicate any changes or updates to the campus as necessary. You can also visit aquinas.edu/saintstogether for the latest news on campus protocols and visit aquinas.edu/coronavirus to see the COVID-19 Dashboard.

Go Saints!

Nick Davidson
Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Athletics


January 11, 2021 - Return to Spring Semester

Dear Members of the Aquinas Community,

As I promised in my last communication, this letter contains details about how things will work on campus this semester. There is a lot here, but we want to provide you with as much information as possible to help you have a successful experience.

Additionally, the current (Dec. 18) Michigan Department of Health and Human Services epidemic orders remain in effect through Jan. 15. If the extension or rescission of those orders results in changes to our campus protocols, we will update you as quickly as possible.

Things still look a little different, but it is critical that we remain steadfast in our efforts to follow all health and safety protocols both on campus and at home so that we can have an even better semester than we did in the fall. Our region is still at risk, so please continue to do your part to mitigate spread by wearing a mask, practicing social distancing, avoiding gatherings and completing Healthy Roster daily.

With the state and national vaccine rollout underway, I have great hope for the future. The pandemic has demonstrated the importance of a strong community. I am grateful every day to be part of such a community. One that is guided by God’s love for us and our individual responsibility to reflect that love to one another.

Although we are starting a new year with great hope, I know the burden of the public health, political and economic crises is a heavy burden. Visit our spiritual, health and mental wellbeing page and reach out to Campus Ministry; Counseling, Health and Wellness Services; and other resources if you need support.

As always, please keep up-to-date by checking your AQ email, aquinas.edu/saintstogether, social media, AQ Engage (students), Acorn (faculty and staff) and the AQ C.A.R.E.S. app. If you have questions, please email saintstogether@aquinas.edu.

Thank you for all you have done and continue to do to protect our campus. I am so glad that you are here and part of our AQ family. Go Saints.

God bless,

Kevin G. Quinn
​President, Aquinas College

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CAMPUS HEALTH AND SAFETY PROTOCOLS

In order to protect our campus community and maintain our ability to hold in-class instruction and other campus activities, our ongoing campus health and safety protocols should be followed at all times. Please wear a mask, practice social distancing, avoid gatherings and complete Healthy Roster daily. We will update our protocols based on guidance from public health and government agencies as well as other experts.

ARRIVAL TESTING OPTIONS

As my Jan. 5 letter described, for the spring semester, students will be required to provide either a negative COVID-19 test result or participate in 10-day shelter-in-place protocol in order to gain swipe-card access, attend in-person classes and participate in other on-campus activities. Students who are 100 percent virtual are not required to provide a negative test result or participate in the shelter-in-place protocol.

Please refer to the letter for the full requirements for both options.

HEALTHY ROSTER

As my letter also stated, all students who will attend classes in person or participate in on-campus activities will resume Healthy Roster on Monday, Jan. 11. Students will begin receiving daily Healthy Roster reminder messages and should begin submitting their symptom self-screens by 11 a.m every day (including weekends) or before they come to campus, whichever is earlier.

Employees who are approved to return to work on campus will also resume Healthy on Monday, Jan. 11. They will begin receiving daily Healthy Roster reminder messages and should begin submitting their daily symptom self-screens by 11 a.m. each weekday or before they come to campus, whichever is earlier. See Acorn for full details.

COVID-19 CONFIRMED CASE PROTOCOL AND DASHBOARD

Any student who has COVID-19 symptoms, has tested positive for COVID-19 or has been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 should submit that information through Healthy Roster and notify Sharon Smith, director of Counseling, Health and Wellness Services, at smithsha@aquinas.edu.

Any faculty or staff member who has COVID-19 symptoms, has tested positive for COVID-19 or has been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 should provide that information through Healthy Roster and notify Lynda Group, director of Human Resources, at lgk001@aquinas.edu.

College personnel will provide guidance and support to students, faculty and staff, to assist them with healing, protect the community and ensure as little disruption to their academic progress or work as possible.

The College’s COVID-19 Dashboard provides data to inform and support the community about the number of reported cases on campus. Data from the fall semester will be archived on the dashboard and data from spring semester will be updated daily.

COVID-19 VACCINES

I know many of you have questions about the distribution of vaccines and what it means for our campus. On Monday, Jan. 11, the state of Michigan will begin Phase 1B of its distribution plan and will continue making supplies of the vaccine available to an expanded list of health departments and other organizations. We are working in close collaboration with the Kent County Health Department, Metro Health (which operates the AQ Health Center) and the West Michigan COVID-19 Vaccine Collaborative to determine what the College’s distribution plan will look like.

Additionally, we will be surveying campus to gauge interest in receiving the vaccination so that we can determine quantity for each phase of the vaccine rollout.

The state reports that it is 11th in the country for distribution of first doses, and encourages citizens to consult Michigan.gov/COVIDvaccine, vaccinatewestmi.com, or your local health department for information on availability and eligibility.

Because information about vaccine distribution is changing rapidly, we will keep the campus informed as we gather more information.

SURVEILLANCE TESTING

I know many of you also have questions about an ongoing campus testing plan. Just as the College implemented an arrival testing/shelter-in-place protocol, we will be establishing a surveillance testing plan for our campus.

This approach is in response to the current state of COVID-19 in our region, guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and discussions with KCHD and Metro Health. Our goal is to ensure that we can provide as safe an on-campus experience as possible for the duration of the academic year.

We are finalizing the plan and will communicate details to you soon.

ATHLETICS

We appreciate the patience and cooperation of our student-athletes. The College is working closely with Metro Health and WHAC leadership. Per MDHHS epidemic order, student-athletes are required to participate in specific testing protocols. Details will be shared directly with coaches and teams.

ON-CAMPUS HOUSING AND DINING

We are excited to welcome our residential students home! On-campus housing will reopen on Saturday, Jan. 16. Full details about the return to on-campus housing were sent directly to residential students. If you have questions, please contact Residence Life at (616) 632-2944 or reslife@aquinas.edu.

Wege Cafe will reopen for dinner on Sunday, Jan. 17. Hours for the Moose Cafe and the Corner will be provided soon. Please check the What’s Open page for hours of operation.

For information about campus dining’s health and safety protocols, visit the On-Campus Housing and Dining page.

AQ HEALTH CENTER

The AQ Health Center, operated by Metro Health and located in the lower level of Wege, will resume operations on Monday, Jan. 18. Please check the What’s Open page for hours of operation.

BOOKSTORE

The AQ Bookstore is open in the lower level of Wege and is also taking online orders. Check the What’s Open page for hours of operation.

STURRUS AND ALKSNIS

Sturrus Sports and Fitness Center and Alksnis Athletic and Recreation Building will reopen on Monday, Jan. 18. Sturrus and Alksnis will operate in compliance with current MDHHS epidemic orders for indoor fitness and recreation facilities. Please refer to the What’s Open page for hours of operation and details about safety protocols.

OTHER SERVICES AND FACILITIES

Our goal is to continue to provide as full an experience and support for our students as possible. Most on-campus services and facilities will resume full-time on Monday, Jan. 18, although some hours may vary and some services may be offered virtually. Please continue to check the What’s Open page for up-to-date information.

TRAFFIC FLOW AND ENTRANCE PROCEDURES

On Jan. 11, we will resume the traffic flow and entrance procedures that were established in the fall. The Fulton St. E main entrance will be a one-way entrance, with two lanes of traffic.

Campus exits will be located at Robinson Rd. and the Mayfield Lot, which will both be converted to one-way exits. Directional signs have been installed and barriers are located at the exits to help direct traffic flow.

Upon entrance to the Aquinas College campus, all faculty, staff, students and visitors are required to stop and show their daily Healthy Roster checkmark to the Campus Safety officers or pull over and take a COVID-19 symptom self-screen and temperature check. 

BUILDING ACCESS

On Jan. 11, we will resume swipe-card access procedures that were established in the fall. Remember to carry your Aquinas ID with you on campus. Campus buildings will be "swipe access" only. All visitors/guests must register at Campus Safety before entering a building, even if accompanying an Aquinas faculty member, staff member or student. 

Students who have completed their arrival testing or 10-day shelter-in-place protocol will be granted swipe-card access. Faculty and staff who are approved to return to work on campus will be granted swipe-card access.


January 5, 2021 - Update on COVID-19 Testing Options for Spring Semester

Dear Aquinas College Students and Families,

Happy New Year! I hope you all had a restful holiday and are just as excited as I am about the start of spring semester whether you are participating in person or virtually. Our fall semester was so successful because of your dedication, and I thank you for that.

Soon we will be providing a lot of details about the spring semester, which will begin with evening classes on Jan. 18 and daytime classes on Jan. 19, but today I want to share an update about Aquinas College COVID-19 testing.

Based on the current state of COVID-19 in our region, guidance from CDC and discussions with the Kent County Health Department and Metro Health, we are adjusting our approach to testing to ensure that we can provide as safe an on-campus experience as possible.

For the spring semester, students will be required to provide either a negative COVID-19 test result OR participate in shelter-in-place protocol in order to gain swipe-card access, attend in-person classes and participate in other on-campus activities.

Students who are 100% virtual are not required to provide a negative test result or participate in the shelter-in-place protocol.

Option 1: Arrival Testing

Students who will be taking in-person classes and/or will be participating in other on-campus activities must provide a negative COVID-19 test to begin in-person activities.

  • The date of the test must be within five days prior to the student’s return to campus. (Example: If a student plans to return to campus on Jan. 16, the date of the student’s test must occur between Jan. 11-15.)
  • Students will shelter in place until they receive a negative test result.
  • Negative test results must be submitted prior to coming to campus.
    • Please use the following subject line in the email: Arrival Testing.
    • Student-athletes may provide results to Matt McWilliams, head athletic trainer, at mcwilmat@aquinas.edu.
    • All other students may provide results to Sharon Smith, director of CHWS, at smithsha@aquinas.edu.
  • Tests must be arranged by the student at the testing facility of their choice. Please refer to KCHD’s COVID-19 Testing Locations to find free sites or use their testing locator.

Option 2: Shelter-in-place Protocol

Students who choose not to get tested for COVID-19 may follow shelter-in-place protocol instead.

  • Shelter in place for 10 days prior to coming to campus. (Example: If a student plans to return to campus on Jan. 16, shelter-in-place protocol would begin on Jan. 6.)
    • Stay in your place of residence, limit exposure to others and only leave for essential activity.
  • Submit the Shelter-in-Place Protocol Form (see email for link) prior to starting the 10-day shelter-in-place protocol.

If you test positive for COVID-19

If a student tests positive for COVID-19 during the 5-day testing window or during the 10-day shelter-in-place protocol, they should not return to campus.

  • Student-athletes should provide the test results to Matt McWilliams (mcwilmat@aquinas.edu); all other students should provide results to Sharon Smith (smithsha@aquinas.edu).
  • College personnel will then notify the Registrar’s Office to accommodate the students’ need to participate in class virtually.
  • Students who test positive should isolate until they meet all the criteria below (per the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services):
    • It has been 10 days since your positive test date or 10 days since you began showing symptoms.
    • You have been fever-free for 24 hours without taking fever-reducing medication.
    • Other symptoms have improved (including cough or shortness of breath).
    • Provide Sharon Smith (smithsha@aquinas.edu) with documentation of clearance from a medical provider to participate in in-class instruction and other on-campus activities.

Daily Symptom Self-Screen (Healthy Roster)

The College paused Healthy Roster at the end of the fall semester. All students who will attend classes in person or participate in on-campus activities will resume Healthy Roster on Monday, Jan. 11. Students will begin receiving daily Healthy Roster reminder messages and should begin submitting their daily symptom self-screens.

Students who develop symptoms of COVID-19, test positive or who have been exposed to someone who has tested positive should follow the protocols initiated by Healthy Roster.

If you are a global student, please contact Nisha van Laar, Coordinator of ESL and Global Student Services, at nisha.vanlaar@aquinas.edu if you have any questions. All other questions can be emailed to saintstogether@aquinas.edu.

We look forward to welcoming you back soon.

God bless,

Kevin G. Quinn
​President, Aquinas College


December 18, 2020 - COVID-19 Update - Updates to State Epidemic Order

Dear Members of the Aquinas College Community,

I write in hopes that you are having a restful holiday break and to share updates from the updated epidemic order from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

Today (Dec. 18), MDHHS issued an order that lifts certain restrictions and reinforces others. The order is effective beginning December 21 and lasts until January 15.

Additionally, the state has provided information to colleges and universities regarding recommended move-in dates, start dates and testing protocol in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19 as campuses reopen for the start of the spring semester.

At this time, we are working in close collaboration with the Kent County Health Department to adjust to the updated order and finalize our plans for students, faculty and staff to return to campus in January. We will communicate those details to you soon.

We will also determine how the updates to the epidemic order affect our athletics programs. We know many of you are planning for early move-in and preparations for your seasons, so we will provide you with more information as soon as possible.

In the meantime, faculty and staff should continue to work from home unless their jobs cannot feasibly be performed from home. Campus health and safety protocols remain in place, including required use of cloth face coverings indoors and practicing social distancing. Cloth face coverings are required outdoors when in the presence of others.

Thank you again for your continued patience, diligence and care as we work to update our plans to have another successful in-person semester on campus. I wish all of our AQ Saints a blessed and peaceful Christmas and a happy new year. We will see you in the new year!

God bless,

Kevin G. Quinn
​President, Aquinas College

-------------

Helpful Resources

MDHHS December 18 Epidemic Order

Health and Wellbeing 

Visit our spiritual, health and mental wellbeing page for information from Campus Ministry; Counseling, Health and Wellness Services; and other resources.

Please continue to check your AQ email, the Saints Together website, social media or the AQ C.A.R.E.S. app (campus emergency alerts) for updates. If you have questions, please email saintstogether@aquinas.edu.


December 7, 2020 - COVID-19 Update - State Epidemic Order Extended

Dear Members of the Aquinas College Community,

Our fall semester has just ended, and I already miss seeing all of you on our beautiful campus. Even though we are apart, I want to keep you apprised of important updates regarding COVID-19 and their effect on Aquinas College.

Today (Dec. 7), the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced a 12-day extension of the epidemic order that restricts indoor gatherings and other group activities as well as reinforces the consistent use of masks.

The order, which continues through Dec. 20, allows colleges to continue remote learning with no in-person classes.

Faculty and staff must work remotely unless their jobs cannot feasibly be performed from home.

Cloth face coverings are required on campus indoors. Cloth face coverings are required outdoors when in the presence of others.

Athletics will remain paused through Dec. 20, and at that time, we will determine next steps for the Dec. 27 scheduled move-in of student-athletes.

Residential students who have been approved to remain on campus should continue to follow campus health and safety protocols.

The state health department announced that it also will monitor the percentage of hospital beds with COVID-19 patients, the number of COVID-19 cases and the positivity rate to help determine how to slowly reopen industry sectors at the end of the 12-day extension.

We are excited for the spring semester and are finalizing our plans for the return to campus in January. The pandemic situation continues to rapidly change, so we will follow developments closely and will adjust our contingency plans accordingly.

As of now, we have made no change to the previously announced spring academic calendar, which is scheduled to begin with evening classes on January 18 and daytime classes on January 19 as well as elimination of the traditional spring break period. We will provide additional details soon.

I know this has been a long and difficult year, so this Advent season, I hope you find strength and hope for the new year. Stay safe and well.

God bless,

Kevin G. Quinn
​President, Aquinas College

---------

Helpful Resources

MDHHS November 18 Epidemic Order

Health and Wellbeing 

Visit our spiritual, health and mental wellbeing page for information from Campus Ministry; Counseling, Health and Wellness Services; and other resources.

On-Campus Services

Please check our What’s Open page for the latest updates.

Please continue to check your AQ email, the Saints Together website, social media or the AQ C.A.R.E.S. app (campus emergency alerts) for updates. If you have questions, please email saintstogether@aquinas.edu.


November 15, 2020 - Urgent COVID-19 Update - Transition to Distance Learning

Dear Members of the Aquinas College Community,

I am writing with important and urgent updates regarding COVID-19 and the end of our fall semester.

Today (Nov. 15), the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced a new epidemic order limiting gatherings, which they identify as the source of a very serious and very rapid rise in COVID-19 infection rates in the state. The three-week pause of social and business gatherings takes effect on November 18 and concludes December 8. As part of the order, face masks are required and colleges are required to end in-person classes. The order also reinforces previous orders that require most employees to work remotely.

Therefore, the last day for in-person instruction will be Tuesday, November 17. Aquinas College will transition to distance learning on Wednesday, November 18.

Cloth face coverings are required on campus both indoors and outdoors.

All faculty and staff are required to work from home, insofar as activities cannot be conducted remotely. Please work with your immediate supervisor, vice president or human resources regarding work arrangements.

As previously planned, we will conclude the semester with a week of distance learning (November 30-December 4) following Thanksgiving break.

For some residential students, the transition to distance learning may accelerate your plans for departure. Please remember, the state has strongly recommended specific actions to ensure that you leave campus for holiday break as safely as possible for you, your families and your home communities.

As previously planned, residential students may remain on campus until 5 p.m. on Friday, November 20. Wege dining will remain open through lunch on November 20. 

For students who have been approved to remain on campus during the holiday break, we will continue to support your stay on campus.

As I stated in my letter last week, I thank our Saints community for the extraordinary job you have done to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on our campus so that we could hold in-person instruction for the duration of the fall semester.

To date, no exposures have been directly linked to Aquinas classes. That is a direct reflection of our Dominican values, and the care and responsibility that our students, faculty and staff have for one another.

This is not the way we had hoped to end in-person instruction, but as the pandemic continues to rapidly change around us, we will continue to do as Saints do. We will follow scientific and public health guidance as well as act with the health and safety of our community and the larger community in mind.

I encourage you to read the information provided in the MDHHS November 18 epidemic order. As this situation evolves, we will communicate with you through AQ email, the Saints Together website, social media, or the AQ C.A.R.E.S. app (campus emergency alerts). If you have questions, please email saintstogether@aquinas.edu

Please travel safely and continue to be vigilant with health and safety protocols. We will be thinking of you often during the holiday break and look forward to seeing you next semester.

Have a blessed and safe Thanksgiving.

God bless,

Kevin G. Quinn
​President, Aquinas College

---------

Campus actions, effective immediately

  • All in-person instruction will transition to distance learning beginning Wednesday, November 18.
  • As previously announced, all in-person and on-campus student activities are suspended as follows.
    • In-person social gatherings are not permitted.
    • The fitness center, weight room and recreational facility are closed.
    • In-person student programming through Student Affairs will be moved to virtual or postponed/canceled.
    • In-person athletic practices or meetings are not permitted through December 4. When practices resume, they must follow health and safety protocols.
  • Students may continue to
    • Visit the AQ Health Center for appointments and COVID-19 testing.
    • Access Wege dining, the Corner and the Moose Cafe for grab-and-go and cafeteria dining.
    • Access the library through November 17.
  • As announced last week, students are strongly encouraged to stay in place.
  • Departure from campus
    • Residential students who wish to depart early can contact Residence Life. All students departing campus should follow instructions from Residence Life to winterize your rooms.
    • Students who wish to transition to distance learning before November 18 can contact the Registrar’s Office at registrar@aquinas.edu. Please send your email with the subject “Remote Participation Notification.”
    • When preparing for travel, all students should take any technology, textbooks and other important resources to be able to continue your coursework via distance learning. All students should bring home important personal items or items of either monetary or sentimental value.

Helpful resources

If you have questions or need support as we make the transition to distance learning, please contact the following resources. All other questions can be directed to saintstogether@aquinas.edu.

MDHHS November 18 Epidemic Order
Gatherings and Face Mask Order
Epidemic Order Infographic (pdf)
Social Gathering Guidance Infographic (pdf)
Safe Social Pods Guidance Infographic (pdf)

Academics
Office of the Registrar
(616) 632-2871
registrar@aquinas.edu

Accessibility Services
AQ Accessibility Services
(616) 632-2177
accessibility@aquinas.edu

COVID-19 and Campus Operations
aquinas.edu/coronavirus
aquinas.edu/saintstogether
What’s Open
AQ C.A.R.E.S. app (campus emergency alerts)

Emergency and Safety
Campus Safety Office
(616) 632-2462
cso@aquinas.edu

Financial Information
Office of Financial Aid
(616) 632-2893
financialaid@aquinas.edu

Student Accounts
(616) 632-2864
studentaccounts@aquinas.edu

Global Students
Global Student Services
globalstudentservices@aquinas.edu

Health and Wellbeing 
Visit our spiritual, health and mental wellbeing page for information from Campus Ministry; Counseling, Health and Wellness Services; the AQ Health Center and other resources.

Residence Life
Office of Residence Life
(616) 632-2944
reslife@aquinas.edu

Campus Technology
ITS
(616) 632-2050
techhelp@aquinas.edu

Work Arrangements
For questions about your work arrangements or job tasks, please contact your immediate supervisor or vice president.

Human Resources (on Acorn)
HR@aquinas.edu


November 13, 2020 - Reminders and New Campus Protocols

Dear Aquinas Students and Families,

Earlier this week, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services sent guidance to colleges and universities to strongly encourage students to take actions to help protect themselves, their families and friends as cases of COVID-19 surge in the state.

President Kevin Quinn communicated that guidance in his November 11 letter to the campus.

As we enter the weekend and the last week of in-person instruction, below is a brief reminder of recommended actions as well as changes the College is making through the end of the fall semester.

Strongly recommended guidance for holiday break

  • Stay in place: The state’s guidance strongly recommends that students stay in place except to attend classes, go to work, pick up food or go to medical appointments in order to minimize exposure.
  • Know before you go: Consider getting a COVID-19 test before travel. Contact your doctor for guidance. Please note that there may be delays in testing due to increased volume across the state.
  • Delay travel if you are sick: Delay travel if you feel ill, test positive for COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Stay safe while at home: Quarantine for 14 days after arrival at your destination and consider getting a COVID-19 test at least 5-10 days after departing campus.
  • Follow health and safety protocols (even around family), avoid close physical contact with others and monitor your symptoms twice a day.

New campus protocols (effective immediately through December 4)

  • In-person social gatherings are not permitted.
  • The fitness center, weight room and recreational facility are closed.
  • In-person student programming through Student Affairs will be moved to virtual or postponed/canceled.
  • In-person athletic practices or meetings are not permitted.

We are also continuing our on-campus health and safety protocols of required cloth face coverings, social distancing, good personal hygiene, cleaning and disinfecting, etc.

As a reminder, although we have seen an uptick in cases among our faculty, staff and students, it is believed that the majority of the reported cases are not related to each other and are the result of exposures that occurred off campus, rather than the result of community spread on campus. To date, no exposures have been directly linked to Aquinas classes.

Check your messages

While you are away from campus, please continue to check your AQ email, the Saints Together website and social media. We will send information about plans for your return to campus for the spring semester in the next few weeks. If you have questions, please email saintstogether@aquinas.edu

We also recommend that you download the AQ C.A.R.E.S. app to ensure that you receive campus emergency alerts.

Take care of yourself

This has been a semester unlike any other. Combined with the pandemic and the normal stress of travel and the holidays, we know that this has been a challenging year. We thank you for your continued cooperation and understanding as we adjust to the rapidly changing pandemic situation.

You have shown care, compassion, responsibility and resilience during this time. You have been examples to the world of what it means to be an Aquinas Saint. Be proud of what you have accomplished so far.

But now we hope you can take some time to rest and practice self-care for your physical, spiritual, mental and emotional wellbeing. Please reach out to your healthcare professionals at home or reach out to AQ resources if you need support.

Have a safe, happy and peaceful holiday break. We look forward to seeing you for spring semester.

Sincerely,

Nick Davidson
Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Athletics


November 11, 2020 - Important Information about Holiday Break

Holiday Safety for Colleges and Universities (PDF)

Members of the Aquinas College Community,

Thank you for your commitment to protecting your fellow Saints and making this a successful semester. As we approach the end of the fall term, we are providing you with important information in preparation for Thanksgiving break (Nov. 23-27) and the holiday break. Please read this information closely and carefully.

COVID-19 cases are surging in the local Grand Rapids community and across the state, resulting in increased risk of exposure and community spread in our region. Although we know that you are looking forward to returning home, we also know that you do not want to put your families and friends at risk.

As of yesterday (Nov. 10), the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has strongly encouraged colleges and universities to adopt recommendations about returning home for the holidays. These actions are included below.

As listed in the MDHHS request, we are strongly recommending that Aquinas students take actions to stay in place until the end of in-person instruction by only leaving your place of residence to attend class, go to work, get food and go to medical appointments.

We encourage you to continue following health and safety protocols (and after you leave campus). Wear a cloth face covering, practice social distancing, practice good hygiene and avoid gatherings. Do not travel if you are ill.

As a reminder, after in-person instruction ends on Nov. 21, on-campus activities and some services will be limited or provided remotely. Please check our What’s Open page for details. Following Thanksgiving break, Aquinas College will engage in distance learning for one week (Nov. 30-Dec. 4).

Additionally, the MDHSS guidance has recommended testing and additional protocols upon return to campus for the spring semester. We will provide details about Aquinas College’s plans in advance of students’ return to campus.

If you have any questions, please email saintstogether@aquinas.edu

Most of all, we wish you a happy Thanksgiving and hope you take this time to rest, recharge and reflect on the things you are grateful for this year. We look forward to your return for spring semester.

God bless,

Kevin G. Quinn
​President, Aquinas College

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PLAN FOR TRAVEL

Travel is known to increase risk of COVID-19. Please consider the prevalence of COVID-19 in the local community and in your final destination, consider the level of risk during your travel, consider your own physical and mental health, and your ability to leave campus when making your travel plans. If possible, consider contactless or virtual alternatives to Thanksgiving travel.

Continue to wear a cloth face covering, practice social distancing, practice good hygiene and avoid gatherings that present higher risk of transmission.

Step 1 -- Now until departure

  • From now until you depart campus, reduce the number of people with whom you have close contact with and minimize risk of exposure by only leaving your place of residence to attend class, go to work, pick up food, and go to medical appointments.
  • Always wear a mask while around others, practice social distancing and wash your hands regularly.
  • Practice a healthy lifestyle and consult your physician and CDC guidance about the best health care practices for you, including getting the seasonal flu vaccine.
  • Review state and country travel regulations related to your departure and arrival.
  • If you are in isolation or quarantine within 10 days of your departure, test positive for COVID-19 or are exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, we strongly encourage you to delay your travel plans until you have been cleared by the health department and/or have completed the quarantine or isolation period.

Step 2 -- Two-three days prior to departure

  • If you would like to get a COVID-19 test prior to departure, but do not have symptoms or have not been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, please contact your primary care physician for guidance.
    • With guidance and a recommendation from your doctor, you can get a test at the AQ Health Center or one of Kent County Health Department’s free COVID-19 testing locations or one of the MDHHS testing locations.
    • Please note that insurance is not covering the cost of tests for patients who are not symptomatic, so patients will be responsible for payment.
    • Please remember that a test only reflects a single point in time. There can be false negative results and the virus could be contracted during travel. A negative test is not a license to end other preventative measures such as mask wearing and social distancing.
  • If you are in isolation or quarantine within 10 days of your departure, test positive for COVID-19 or are exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, we strongly encourage you to delay your travel plans until you have been cleared by the health department and/or have completed the quarantine or isolation period.
  • For residential students, follow the move-out procedures provided by Residence Life to winterize your room prior to departure. Residence halls will close at 5 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 20.

Step 3 -- Day of travel

  • Delay travel if you are sick or have been exposed to COVID-19. If you feel ill, test positive for COVID-19 (within 10 days) or have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 (within 14 days), isolate and follow guidance from your health care provider regarding travel.
  • Reduce the number of stops on your trip. Pack food/snacks for car trips; take a direct flight if possible.
  • Follow health and safety protocols during travel, especially if using public transportation. Wear a cloth face covering (and also consider wearing a face shield with your mask), practice social distancing or sit as far away from other passengers as possible, regularly wash hands or use hand sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol).
  • Private transportation by yourself or with members of your household has the lowest risk. If you are traveling in a car with individuals from another household, wear a mask and sit in the back seat. If weather conditions permit, open the windows.
  • Use a disinfecting/sanitizing wipe to clean surfaces inside your mode of transportation. 
  • Re-check requirements or restrictions at your travel destination.

Step 4 -- Arriving at your destination

  • Quarantine for the first 14 days after arrival. This is especially important if there are vulnerable, higher-risk individuals living in the home and because you are departing from the Grand Rapids community, which currently has a high prevalence of COVID-19.
    • Wear a mask at all times around anyone you weren’t living with on campus (even around family).
    • Where possible, stay 6 feet apart from everyone, including family, particularly if anyone must remove their mask (such as during meals).
    • Use separate serving ware, utensils, glasses and plates.
    • Use a separate bathroom from others. If not possible, disinfect the bathroom after each use.
    • Avoid close physical contact with others including hugging, kissing and shaking hands.
    • Do not attend gatherings outside the home (e.g., meeting up with high-school friends) and generally restrict movement within and outside the home.
  • Monitor your symptoms twice a day. Check your temperature and review CDC’s symptom checklist.
  • Get a COVID-19 test at least 5-10 days after departing campus or if you become symptomatic at any time. Consult your doctor for guidance. Isolate if you develop symptoms or have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Assess the risk level of in-person gatherings, including the behaviors and risk levels of those attending.
    • Ask guests to strictly avoid contact with people outside of their households and follow other health and safety protocols for the 14 days prior to the gathering.
    • Avoid gatherings and activities in which social distancing and other protective measures cannot be maintained.
    • If weather permits, host activities outdoors instead of indoors as much as possible. Avoid self-serve food or drink options. Use single-use options or identify one person to serve shareable items (e.g., salad dressings, food containers, plates, utensils and condiments).
  • Wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds before and after preparing, serving and eating food.
  • Consider placing HEPA filter units in the home and opening windows to increase air circulation.

STUDENTS REMAINING ON CAMPUS

Residential students who have been approved to remain on campus after Nov. 20 or students who have been approved to be on campus during the winter break are strongly encouraged to avoid travel and gatherings. Consider staying in place and having a virtual celebration instead.

If you are a residential student who needs to delay travel plans in order to quarantine or isolate on campus after Nov. 20, please contact Residence Life at reslife@aquinas.edu.

All campus health and safety protocols will still be in effect, including required use of cloth face coverings, social distancing, good hygiene practices and limits on gatherings.

Please contact Residence Life at reslife@aquinas.edu if you have questions.

MEDICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH AND WELLBEING

Contact your primary care provider, psychologist/mental health clinician, AQ Counseling, Health and Wellness Services or AQ Health Center if you have feelings of sadness, anxiety, or hopelessness or if you feel emotional distress of any kind.

If you develop symptoms of COVID-19, contact your home primary care provider, especially if you have any pre-existing conditions.

We will continue to provide spiritual, health and mental wellbeing resources to our students after Nov. 20. Please check our What’s Open page for details.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Consult CDC guidelines for additional information on travel and safer ways to celebrate the holidays with family and friends.

Consult your state and local health departments for information about the prevalence of COVID-19 in your community.


October 28, 2020 - Update on COVID-19 Cases on Campus

Members of the Aquinas College Community,

Today the College is providing an update on recent COVID-19 cases on campus. Please read this information closely. If you have questions, please email saintstogether@aquinas.edu.

Update on COVID-19 Cases

There has been a recent surge in positive cases around the world, including in our region, and our campus has seen an uptick in cases in October. As reported in the COVID-19 Dashboard, today (Oct. 28) we received notification that four employees tested positive for COVID-19. Yesterday, we received notification that two students tested positive for COVID-19. This follows a few weeks of increasing cases as shown in the table below.

  Active Cases Cumulative Cases Persons in Isolation / Quarantine on Campus
October 11, 2020 3 22 5
October 19, 2020 4 25 4
October 28, 2020

10*
*5 students and 5 employees

33 9

Although our cases have increased, it is believed that the reported cases are unrelated and not the result of community spread on campus. To date, no exposures have been directly linked to Aquinas classes.

That is why it is extremely important for all of our faculty, staff and students to follow our health and safety protocols diligently whether they are on campus or not. Cloth face coverings, social distancing, good hygiene practices, avoidance of large gatherings and thorough cleaning continue to help us protect our community.

Additionally, immediately after the College receives notification of a positive case, we engage our COVID-19 Confirmed Case Campus Plan and work in close collaboration with the health department.

In accordance with our protocols, individuals that the health department determined to be close contacts were immediately contacted and placed in quarantine as a proactive way to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on campus.

No spaces on campus needed to be closed and the College will continue its thorough daily cleaning and disinfecting protocols.

Upcoming changes to the COVID-19 Dashboard

The College will be updating the COVID-19 Dashboard to include historical data to provide further transparency and information to our campus community.

Important Reminders

  • Privacy: Confidentiality laws prohibit the College from disclosing identifying information about affected individuals (including to faculty, staff and family members), unless permission is granted by the affected individual.
  • Health and Safety: Please remember to adhere to the public health guidance on aquinas.edu/saintstogether.
  • Spiritual, Health and Mental Wellbeing: Faculty, staff and students can contact Campus Ministry, Campus Safety, the Health Center and Counseling resources listed on aquinas.edu/saintstogether.

We will continue to monitor guidance from government, public health agencies and other experts, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Kent County Health Department.

We will continue to provide information and updates about COVID-19 through aquinas.edu/saintstogether, aquinas.edu/coronavirus, AQ email and social media.

We are in the home stretch of our fall semester, and I am grateful to our community for the care and concern you have demonstrated. Thank you for all that you are doing for each and every Saint.

God bless,

Kevin G. Quinn
President, Aquinas College


October 14, 2020 - Revised Spring 2021 Academic Calendar

Dear Members of the Aquinas College Community,

As we reach the ninth week of the school year, we are planning for the end of the fall 2020 semester and the beginning of the spring 2021 semester.

Today we are sharing the revised academic calendar for the spring semester. Following are important dates and information to help you prepare. The full academic calendar, including drop-add dates, is available on the Office of the Registrar web page.

Revised Academic Calendar

In-class instruction will begin with evening classes at 6 p.m. on Monday, January 18. Please note that daytime classes are canceled on that day in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

All daytime classes will begin on Tuesday, January 19.

The traditional spring break period has been eliminated to accommodate the later start to the spring semester. Easter vacation will begin on Thursday, April 1, with classes resuming at 6 p.m. on Monday, April 5.

Final exam week will be held Thursday, April 29, through Wednesday, May 5.

Spring Registration and Instructional Modality

Registration for spring classes begins on October 15. Check the academic calendar for specific dates based on class status.

We will continue to offer classes in three modes -- in-person, hybrid and fully online. Notification will follow the same process as the fall 2020 semester. Students who are unable to attend class in person due to direct or indirect health concerns must notify the Registrar’s Office at registrar@aquinas.edu with the email subject “Remote Participation Notification.”

Instructors will decide how classes will be offered based on class size and classroom capacity. They will notify students before the first day of classes. Please note that this information will not be listed on the course schedule with the exception of a small number of classes.

Health and Safety Protocols

As of now, current health and safety protocols will continue during spring semester. More information about campus protocols and for the return of residential students will be provided soon along with additional information about the end of the fall 2020 semester.

Employee Holidays

There are no changes to the employee 2020 holiday schedule, which is available on Acorn. Friday, January 1, will be a holiday, and employees will return to work on Monday, January 4. The full 2021 holiday schedule will be provided to employees soon.

Thank you to the AQ Opens Task Force and the Academic AQ Opens Committee for their continued work and planning as we look ahead. We will continue to monitor the public health situation and review our plans in collaboration with the health department and will make adjustments as necessary.

Please regularly check aquinas.edu/saintstogether, AQ email, Acorn (faculty and staff) and social media for updates. If you have a question, please email saintstogether@aquinas.edu.

Thank you for your continued patience and cooperation. Thank you for being a member of the Aquinas community.

God bless,

Kevin G. Quinn
​President, Aquinas College


October 12, 2020 - Spring and Summer Study Away Canceled

Aquinas College Community,

After very careful thought and consultation, the College has made the difficult decision to suspend its Study Away program through the spring and summer terms due to ongoing global concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic and current surges in cases in European countries.

All students, faculty and staff who were registered to participate in one of these programs will be notified and provided with guidance on next steps. Students who have already been accepted into study-away programs will be offered a spot in the 2021-22 academic school year and will not need to re-apply.

This decision was not made lightly. Since the pandemic began, the Study Away staff has been closely monitoring and consulting with health, travel and security experts. Several factors prompted the decision to suspend these programs, most importantly, the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff and the ongoing risks and complications associated with global travel, including the following.

  • As of September 2020, all program locations were under a “Level 3: Reconsider Travel” advisory by the U.S. Department of State.
  • According to CDC and other experts, there are continued global health risks associated with COVID-19. 
  • Issuing this decision now provides flexibility for students to register for spring and summer courses. 
  • Issuing this decision early limits financial impact to students and the College.

The College will continue to monitor and make decisions based on its Study Away decision-making process, which consults recommendations from the State Department, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, international travel organizations and other sources.

This is a significant disappointment and challenge in a year that has been filled with many of them, and we understand the profound disappointment that our students, faculty, and staff will feel.

Study away is part of the fabric of an Aquinas experience because it provides opportunities for our students to explore, discover and grow. We know the outstanding reputation of our programs and our mission to provide an education with a global perspective means that many of our students look forward to studying and serving in another country.

We hope that our students will continue to have unique and valuable experiences on campus and will continue to look forward to participating in new adventures with study away in the future.

If you have questions, please contact Ramil Collier or Tim Ramsay at studyaway@aquinas.edu. 

God bless,

Kevin G. Quinn
​President, Aquinas College


October 9, 2020 - Sturrus and Alksnis to Reopen on Oct. 12

Dear Aquinas College Students,

Thank you for your patience and dedication to keeping Aquinas College as healthy and safe as possible. As a result of our community’s commitment and after consultation with the Kent County Health Department, we are able to open the Sturrus Sports and Fitness Center and Alksnis Athletic and Recreation Building beginning Monday, October 12. We will continue to monitor the public health situation and review our protocols in collaboration with the health department, and we will make adjustments as necessary.

In order to ensure that we continue to use these spaces as safely as possible for our community, we have provided the following information and protocols.

Hours of Operation

Monday-Thursday: 6 a.m.-11 p.m.

Friday: 6 a.m.-8 p.m.

Saturday and Sunday: Closed (will reevaluate on October 17)

Capacities

Coach Bo: 20 students (or two functional athletic units)

Alksnis: 20 students (or two functional athletic units)

Fitness Center (indoor): 10 people (first come, first served; no scheduled groups except for academic instruction)

Fitness Center (outdoor): Remains available (subject to change if there is low participation) [October 16 Update: Due to low participation and changing weather conditions, the temporary outdoor fitness area located on lower level Alksnis will be closed starting Monday, October 19.]

Health and Safety Protocols

  • Cloth face coverings are required at all times even while working out.
  • Safe social distancing is required in all spaces.
  • Good personal hygiene practices are required.
  • Facilities are swipe-card-access only via faculty, staff and student ID.
  • A Healthy Roster "green check mark" is required for the day you are visiting.
  • Users participating in non-athletic-program activity are required to
    • Present Aquinas ID
    • Present Healthy Roster "green check mark"
    • Log your information during your visit for contact tracing purposes (i.e., full name, date/time of visit, phone number)
  • Coach Bo open gyms will be scheduled through the athletic department and will begin October 17.
  • Fitness Center staff will clean and disinfect equipment at least once during every shift.
  • Fitness Center users will be required to use the provided sanitation wipes before and after they are done using equipment.
  • Fitness equipment that is not movable will be rotated on a schedule for social-distancing purposes. For example, treadmill #1 will be used on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Treadmill #2 will be used on Tuesday and Thursday.
  • Athletic practices/activities are required to follow the Athletic Training COVID-19 Protocols.
  • All users must follow all COVID-19 related signage (e.g., traffic markers, social distancing, equipment offline, etc.)
  • Locker rooms will remain offline until further notice.

Sincerely, 

Nick Davidson
Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Athletics


October 5, 2020 - Impact of Michigan Supreme Court Decision

Aquinas College Campus Community,

As you may have seen reported in the news, on October 2, 2020, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that the Governor did not have the authority to issue executive orders under emergency declarations after April 30, 2020.

We want to provide information about how that ruling affects Aquinas College.

As of today, there is no change to Aquinas College’s personal safety and campus health protocols, which can be viewed on the Saints Together web page.

Today (Oct. 5), the Kent County Health Department issued a statement stressing the continued importance of following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that will reduce community spread of COVID-19. The College’s close collaboration with the health department has proven effective thus far, and the College will continue to support COVID-19 mitigation efforts through health and safety practices such as the following:

The health department also noted that orders for isolation and quarantine are not affected by the court’s ruling because they are authorized under the Michigan Public Health Code. Aquinas College will continue to work closely with the health department regarding quarantine and isolation protocols related to our campus.

The AQ Opens Task Force consistently reviews campus protocols as they relate to information from various public health, government and higher education experts and will keep doing so in light of the court’s decision.

The College will provide updates through the Saints Together web page, AQ email and social media. Questions may be directed to saintstogether@aquinas.edu.

We appreciate your continued commitment to protecting the health of our community so that we can provide a valuable on-campus experience for our students as safely as possible.

God bless,

Kevin G. Quinn
​President, Aquinas College


September 21, 2020 - AQ C.A.R.E.S. Alert: Update on COVID-19 Cases on Campus

This is a timely warning to all Aquinas College community members to comply with the federal Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act).

Members of the Aquinas Community,

As part of our commitment to the health and safety of our community, the College is providing an update on COVID-19 cases on campus and new health and safety protocols.

Please read this information closely. If you have any questions, please email saintstogether@aquinas.edu.

Update on COVID-19 Cases

As reported on the COVID-19 Dashboard, on Friday, September 18, the College was notified that four students tested positive for COVID-19. It is believed that their exposure was from a single non-Aquinas source.

A few days later, on Sunday, September 20, the College was notified that one additional student tested positive for COVID-19. It is believed that the student had been in close contact with the previous four students. 

Four of the students are isolating on campus and one student is isolating off campus. We have been in contact with the students to provide guidance, support for their health and wellbeing, and support to continue their academics through distance learning.

As with all reported positive cases, the College is taking these case reports seriously. As soon as the College received notification, we took swift action using our COVID-19 Confirmed Case Campus Plan and worked in close collaboration with the health department.

In accordance with our protocols, individuals that the health department determined to be close contacts were immediately contacted and placed in quarantine as a proactive way to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on campus.

The health department determined that no spaces on campus needed to be closed and that the College’s thorough daily cleaning and disinfecting protocols should continue to be followed. To date, no exposures have been directly linked to Aquinas classes.

Changes to Health and Safety Protocols

Out of an abundance of caution and to mitigate community spread, the College is announcing the following protocol for gatherings on campus, effective immediately and until further notice. These changes have been developed in collaboration with the health department and will be re-evaluated in 14 days.

  • In-person meetings and gatherings on campus for College business are NOT permitted indoors.
    • All in-person meetings must be held in outdoor spaces or moved to virtual. Attendees are required to practice social distancing and are strongly encouraged to wear cloth face coverings outdoors.
    • Examples: Faculty and staff meetings, training sessions, clubs and organizations, athletics meetings, etc.
  • Academic classes are permitted indoors following existing protocols.
  • All indoor, in-person social gatherings on campus are limited to five people. Attendees are required to practice social distancing and wear cloth face coverings at indoor gatherings.
    • All outdoor, in-person social gatherings on campus are limited to 100 people per Executive Order. Attendees are required to practice social distancing and are strongly encouraged to wear cloth face coverings outdoors.

In all of the above, existing protocols for cloth face coverings, social distancing, cleaning and disinfecting, personal hygiene and health monitoring must be followed.

As a reminder, the campus protocols for visitors and guests follows:

  • Guests in On-Campus Housing: Non-AQ student guests are NOT permitted in on-campus housing. AQ students (both residential and non-residential) are permitted in on-campus housing.
    • The College strongly encourages AQ students to refrain from visiting other campuses, particularly those that have high rates of community spread.
  • Guests on Campus: All guests (e.g., visitors, vendors, contractors, suppliers) are required to complete a symptom screening at Campus Safety upon arrival on campus. Guests who have a fever or respond “yes” to having symptoms or contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 will be required to immediately leave campus.

Updates to the COVID-19 Dashboard

In order to provide more information about COVID-19 cases on campus, we will now report Active Cases on the COVID-19 Dashboard in addition to the cumulative On-Campus Cases and the Total Persons Quarantining/Isolating on Campus.

The current number of Active Cases on campus is six. The dashboard will continue to be updated daily.

Important Reminders

  • Privacy: Confidentiality laws prohibit the College from disclosing identifying information about affected individuals (including to faculty, staff and family members), unless permission is granted by the affected individual.
  • Health and Safety: Please remember to adhere to the public health guidance on aquinas.edu/saintstogether.
  • Spiritual, Health and Mental Wellbeing: Faculty, staff and students can contact Campus Ministry, Campus Safety, Health Center and Counseling resources listed on aquinas.edu/saintstogether.

We continue to monitor guidance from government, public health agencies and other experts, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Kent County Health Department.

We will continue to provide information and updates about COVID-19 through aquinas.edu/saintstogether, aquinas.edu/coronavirus, AQ email and social media.


August 28, 2020 - A Thank-You Message from President Quinn

Dear Members of the Aquinas College Community,

As our first full week of classes comes to a close, I want to say thank you.

It brings me great joy to see our students, faculty and staff once again, whether it is on campus or virtually.

This fall I have the pleasure of teaching a First Year Experience class, and I have seen firsthand how excited our students are to be able to pursue their goals, discover their talents and find their purpose at Aquinas. 

Our students are the life of our community and the reason why we are all here. Whether we are in the Academic Building or in a video conference, teaching and learning is what we are here to do.

So many in our community have spent countless hours planning and preparing during the past six months. I know that it hasn’t been easy, but your incredible effort and dedication is proving to be worth every minute. Many students have told me that now, more than ever, they understand what makes Aquinas a special place.

I am proud to see our Catholic and Dominican values being lived out daily by the majority of our community both on and off campus. We are called to serve those most vulnerable among us, and you should be proud of the degree of care for others that you continue to show.

Please know how much your fellow Saints appreciate the mask wearing, social distancing, hand washing, avoiding of large groups, symptom self-screens, and overall attention to health and safety measures. We have all had to make adjustments and sacrifices, but we have shown great strength.

Thank you for what you have done and what you continue to do. Keep it up, and we will show the world what it means to be an Aquinas Saint!

God bless,

Kevin G. Quinn
​President, Aquinas College


August 27, 2020 - New hours for the AQ Health Center

The AQ Health Center, locatedin the Lower Level of the Wege Center, will be open this weekend in addition to its regular weekday hours.

Regular Weekday Hours

Monday-Thursday: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Friday: 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

New hours for August 29-31

August 29 (Saturday): 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

August 30 (Sunday): Please visit Urgent Care at Metro Health Park East

Metro Health Park East
4055 Cascade Rd SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49546
Hours: Monday-Sunday (9 a.m.-9 p.m.)
Students can call after hourse service via phone: (616) 252-1500

August 31 (Monday: 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

We will provide updates on additional weekend hours soon.


August 21, 2020 - A Message from President Quinn to Students and Families regarding COVID-19 Conduct

Dear Aquinas Saints,

Over the past few months, AQ faculty and staff have been working very hard to make the campus as safe as possible for in-person living and instruction. By now, you should be very familiar with the Saints Together protocols, especially about daily screening, mask wearing, social distancing, and good hygiene. Thank you to the majority of our students who are modeling these behaviors.

You probably have heard by now about a number of colleges and universities that had to shut down in-person instruction. In each of these cases, students chose to attend crowded gatherings. They took risks with their health that have had serious repercussions not only for them, but for their entire institution.

We are concluding the first few days of classes, and we have heard reports of students violating our health and safety protocols.

Let me be clear: the College will NOT tolerate these violations.

If our community does not live up to our health and safety standards, I will not allow in-person classes to continue and will not allow residential spaces to remain open.

I am serious about protecting this community, and you should be too. We will take disciplinary action against anyone who puts the health and safety of this community at risk. Disciplinary action includes going through the judicial sanction process under the Student Conduct Code and may be included in a student’s permanent record or may result in removal from campus.

I have also asked our Campus Safety Office to work with the Grand Rapids Police Department to vigorously enforce ordinances off campus, shutting down and ticketing offenders. If we learn that you have hosted such a gathering, the College will pursue serious disciplinary action.

It is definitely a different fall this year, and some of the usual activities are out of bounds until the pandemic is under control. It's not fair. But as Saints, we understand that not everything is about us -- we are all part of something bigger than ourselves.

PLEASE monitor your health, wash your hands, wear your masks, practice social distancing and do not go to gatherings that will attract a lot of people. Remain vigilant. One decision -- such as attending a party or not wearing a mask -- can and will have a lasting effect on you and others.

In the end, we can't just discipline our way to safety. That is not enough. It depends on YOU and your choices. And I hope that you continue to choose to be a Saint.

Sincerely,

Kevin G. Quinn
​President, Aquinas College

Report individuals who are in violation of the health and safety guidelines to the Campus Safety Office at (616) 632-2462 or cso@aquinas.edu.


August 21, 2020 - New hours for the AQ Health Center

The AQ Health Center, locatedin the Lower Level of the Wege Center, will be open this weekend in addition to its regular weekday hours.

Regular Weekday Hours

Monday-Thursday: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Friday: 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

**New hours this weekend: for August 22 and 23 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.**

We will provide updates on additional weekend hours soon.


August 14, 2020 - AQ C.A.R.E.S. Timely Warning -- COVID-19

This is a timely warning to all Aquinas College community members to comply with the federal Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act).

Members of the Aquinas Community,

The Dominican Pillars of prayer, study, service and community are alive on our campus in many ways, including in the development of our Saints Together plan, which serves as our roadmap for the return to campus.

Our plan includes informational updates to the campus, so we are introducing the Aquinas COVID-19 Dashboard. The dashboard will be updated daily to track the number of positive cases in the AQ community that have been confirmed by the health department and reported to the College. It also lists quarantine/isolation data.

We also have a responsibility to uphold the privacy of faculty, staff and student information. Confidentiality laws limit sharing of identifying information about affected individuals.

Today’s communication provides the required warning related to these events. Ongoing updates regarding Aquinas College’s actions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic will be posted at aquinas.edu/coronavirus.

AQ C.A.R.E.S. will be used to notify you if there is an immediate threat to the health or safety of our campus community.

COVID-19 Resources

We will closely monitor guidance from government, public health agencies and other experts, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Kent County Health Department.

We will also continue to provide information and updates about COVID-19 through the College’s coronavirus web page, AQ email and social media.

Health and Safety Reminders

Please remember to adhere to the following public health guidance:

  • Practice social distancing (keeping 6 feet of distance from others).

  • Wear a cloth face covering.

  • Practice good personal hygiene, including washing your hands often for at least 20 seconds.

  • Clean and disinfect frequently used surfaces.

  • Monitor your health for COVID-related symptoms, and stay home if you’re sick.

  • Follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop.


August 5, 2020 - New campus signage to promote health and safety

Marketing and Communication has collaborated with Campus Safety, Facilities and departments to produce and install signage in preparation for the return to on-campus living, learning and working.

The signs will reinforce campus health and safety guidelines to help inform, support and protect our campus community.

Installation of mandatory signs across campus will begin this week and will continue over the next couple of weeks. We will add new or revised signage as needed and will adjust signs to adhere to any changes in COVID-19 health and safety guidance.

What signs will be installed? Where will they be installed?

Mandatory signs fall into two main categories: campus health and directional/logistical. They will be installed in buildings and areas across campus, such as entrances/exits, classrooms, restrooms, lobbies, stairwells, hallways, common areas and some outdoor areas. A list of signs is provided below, and samples of the signs are pictured above.

Who will install the signs? When and how will they be installed?

Campus Safety and Facilities will install signs during the next couple of weeks using specific mounting adhesive that is secure, but will not damage walls and surfaces.

Facilities will be installing floor decals in departments this week.

How do I get more signs?

Please contact Kate Simons in Marketing and Communication at kms016@aquinas.edu if you would like additional signs for your department. Please note: Due to volume/capacity, we will not be taking orders for additional signs until August 17.

Signage List

Campus Health and Safety

  • General campus guidelines
  • Wear a mask
  • Clean and disinfect
  • Social distancing
  • Wash your hands
  • How to wear a mask
  • How to wash your hands

Directional/Logistical

  • Stay to the right
  • Do not enter
  • Line starts here
  • Stairs down
  • Stairs up
  • Walk this way (left and right)
  • Enter here (left and right)
  • Exit here (left and right)
  • Area closed
  • Emergency use only
  • Please allow room to empty
  • No drinking; bottle filling only
  • No public seating
  • Out of service
  • Wait here
  • Hours of operation
  • Limit 1 (elevator occupancy)
  • Max room occupancy

July 31, 2020 - WHAC postpones fall sports championships, AQ Athletics moves fall sports to spring

College will roll out plans to resume fall practice schedules and workouts

Today (July 31), the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC) office announced its decision to move WHAC championship events in women’s volleyball, men’s and women’s soccer, and men’s and women’s cross country to the spring. Championship dates for those sports will be determined at a later time.

In conjunction with those plans and previously announced plans from the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), the Aquinas athletic department announced today it has decided to postpone all fall sports competition until the second semester. The decision was made in regards to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and with the health and safety of AQ student-athletes, the campus community and broader community in mind.

The primary fall sports of men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s cross country, and women’s volleyball will not compete this fall. Additionally, two-semester sports such as men’s and women’s golf and men’s and women’s tennis - which have limited competition in the fall,  but are considered spring sports due to the timing of their championships - will also not compete during this time. Next week, Aquinas will roll out plans for these teams to resume practice and workouts in the fall semester to support AQ student-athletes as they prepare for competition in the spring.

“The past few months have obviously been a very difficult time for everyone in our AQ Saints community - our student-athletes, coaches, staff, and supporters,” commented Nick Davidson, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Athletics. “We did not make this decision lightly and we are aware that this will not be easy for those involved. We know our teams want to get stronger and compete and we are committed to helping all of our student-athletes get prepared to the best of their abilities to resume competition in the spring. The health, well-being, and safety of our student-athletes is always most important in any scenario and it was the driving factor in this decision.”

On Tuesday (July 28), the NAIA announced that the national championships in men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s soccer, and women’s volleyball will be postponed to spring 2021. There are also ongoing discussions among the NAIA, WHAC, and Aquinas College about winter sports and their competing seasons.

More information and further details will be provided on AQSaints.com. 


July 17, 2020 - A Message from President Quinn about Saints Together: A Plan for Fall 2020

Dear Aquinas Community,

In early June we shared Saints Together: A Plan for Fall 2020 to provide you with information about our return to on-campus instruction. The plan is guided by our Dominican heritage and focuses on the health and wellbeing of our campus community.

Today we are sharing even more details about our plan to help you prepare. We ask that all Aquinas Saints together fully participate in these efforts and approach these changes with an open mind, understanding, care and grace.

As this public health situation evolves, our planning and protocols will also evolve in accordance with guidelines from public health and other experts.

Please visit aquinas.edu/saintstogether to view information that will help make this fall successful and as safe as possible for every member of the Aquinas community. If you have a question, please email saintstogether@aquinas.edu.

We are excited to see you on campus soon.

Go Saints!

God Bless,

Kevin G. Quinn
​President, Aquinas College


June 5, 2020 - Aquinas College announces plans for return to campus for fall semester

In the Saints Together: A Plan for Fall 2020, launched today (June 5), Aquinas College provides a roadmap for students, faculty and staff to return to campus. The College will welcome students back to campus in August and will begin in-class instruction on Aug. 19, one week earlier than originally scheduled. 

Classes will continue through Nov. 21, which will be the last day of face-to-face instruction. The traditional Fall Break in October will be shifted to the week of Thanksgiving. The combined Fall Break and Thanksgiving Break week will be held Nov. 23-27. Following the break, students will not return to campus and will engage in one week of distance learning from Nov. 30-Dec. 1.

“Aquinas College’s Dominican identity compels us to prioritize the health and wellbeing of our campus community,”,President Kevin G. Quinn said. “We want to have our community of Saints back on campus, but that is a complex process that we must do as safely and responsibly as possible.”

The AQ Opens Task Force and other members of the campus community have been working since early May to develop a plan informed by guidance from the Kent County Health Department and other public health, higher education and government experts.

The College launched a new website, Saints Together: A Plan for Fall 2020, available at https://aquinas.edu/saintstogetherto share details about the plan.

It includes a variety of precautions, protocols and guidance for social distancing, proper use of face coverings, good hygiene and hand-washing practices, enhanced cleaning and disinfecting procedures, quarantining and isolation, training, education, communication and a variety of other actions.

President Quinn expressed the need for everyone to have personal responsibility for committing to full participation in the plan.

“We are a community of caring, so we each have individual responsibility to others on our campus,” he said. “It will require the cooperation of all of us to ensure that we can return to and remain on campus this semester.”

Faculty and staff who need to conduct work on campus will gradually return to the workplace in a phased approach throughout the summer. Employees will be required to complete a series of training modules and conduct a daily symptom self-screen. The rest of the College’s employees will continue to telecommute.

Class offerings will closely reflect teaching delivery models traditionally offered with considerations made for health and social-distancing protocols.

“Our goal is to provide our students with as normal a College experience as possible as safely as possible, but this is a new world and there are things that will look and feel a little different this year,” President Quinn said. “Aquinas College’s promise is that we will continue to deliver on our core mission of a high-quality education and valuable learning experiences in line with our Catholic and Dominican heritage with the utmost care and concern for the students we serve.

In the coming weeks, additional information will be added to the Saints Together website and communicated to the campus community through a variety of touchpoints.

The College will also continue to monitor the broader public health situation and refer to guidance or directives from public health and government officials in case the College needs to change course and engage in contingency plans.

“This past spring, our campus community quickly adapted to the rapidly evolving situation around COVID-19,” President Quinn said. “We will remain nimble enough to respond while addressing the academic, social and emotional needs of our students, faculty and staff.”

Academic Calendar

As described above, the academic calendar has been adjusted. Further information about drop/add dates and more will be added soon.

Move-in and Orientation

By June 19, the College will outline the details of a move-in plan that will adhere to social distancing guidelines per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Kent County Health Department and state government officials. Move-in will most likely occur with a staggered approach up to a week-and-a-half prior to the start of classes. 

Details about the new move-in process will be posted on the Saints Together website and the Residence Life website, and information will be sent to residential students via email.

Students who may need to move in early (e.g., resident assistants, diversity assistants and Bridge program students) should contact their program coordinator or Residence Life and watch for communication updates on the College’s web pages and email.

Information about international student move-in will be communicated soon. Plans will be subject to guidance from CDC, U.S. State Department and individual countries.

For new students and transfer students, New Student Orientation will begin on Aug. 16.

On-campus Housing and Dining Services

Aquinas College is committed to providing a safe and healthy on-campus housing and dining experience for our students. The College is outlining details for physical distancing in on-campus housing and dining locations, which will be communicated soon.

Details will be planned in accordance with guidance from the Kent County Health Department.

The College has fewer students living on campus than previous years, and this year the College has increased the number of single-occupancy rooms, which will assist in physical distancing in on-campus housing. Isolation and quarantine plans for on-campus residents who test positive for COVID-19 will be shared soon. 

The College is also working with our dining vendor to outline protocols in line with CDC and state guidelines. This may include adjusted seating and traffic flow, new health and safety protocols for dining services employees, and more.

Athletics, Student Activities and Campus Events

More details about the plan to enable student-athletes to resume practice and competition in the fall will be announced soon on the AQ Saints website. Final plans for all sports will be subject to the decisions made by the NAIA and the WHAC, in line with directives from public health and state government officials.

Student activities and campus events will also follow guidance from CDC and the Governor’s office.

Personal Safety and Campus Health

In the coming weeks, the College will provide a Returning to Campus guide for students that will provide information about personal safety, campus health and healthcare resources. It will also outline the expectations for students living, learning or working campus. The College is also engaged with the Kent County Health Department and on-campus healthcare provider regarding health and safety protocols on campus.

All students will receive a Saints Health Kit, which will contain personal protective equipment (PPE) and cleaning and disinfecting supplies. 

Mental health and wellbeing resources are also available through Campus Ministry and Counseling Health and Wellness Services.

The College will provide details for social distancing in offices, residence halls, classrooms, dining hall and other common areas and shared spaces on campus. Each space has unique uses, needs and challenges. Actions may include adjustments to room layout and usage, installation of social-distancing apparatus, other physical changes, limits on capacity, etc. Details will be shared on the Saints Together website.

The College will also focus on enhanced cleaning and disinfecting of public spaces, including restrooms, with a focus on increased frequency of cleaning, in line with guidance from CDC and EPA.

In classrooms, high-touch surfaces will be cleaned each morning during the week, including disinfecting of tabletops. Disinfecting wipes will be provided in each classroom to allow students or employees to clean surfaces in between classes. The College will also use disinfecting sprayers.

Other public spaces and high-touch surfaces (e.g., door handles, railings, light switches, elevator buttons, stairwells, meeting rooms and break rooms) will be disinfected daily.

The College has also added new hand-sanitizing dispensers at or near the entrances to most buildings on campus.

Additional training and health monitoring protocols will be communicated soon.

Phased Return to Campus for Employees

As described above, some faculty and staff will return to on-campus work gradually. The rest of the College’s employees will continue to telecommute.

Employees that return to the workplace will be required to complete a series of training modules and conduct a daily symptom self-screen.

Communication and Information

Aquinas College will continue to update the Saints Together: A Plan for Fall 2020 website with the most up-to-date information about the College’s approach.

The College will also communicate to our community via virtual and face-to-face meetings, email, social media, campus signage, digital signage across campus. We will also continue to partner with student leaders, RAs, faculty and staff to provide regular information, education and reminders about health and safety practices.

The College will also provide information to our community partners and neighbors in order to engage in the protection of the health and safety of the broader community.

“Even with our detailed plans, we recognize that some members of our campus community may have specific circumstances or needs that should be addressed with care and compassion,” President Quinn said. “We will continue to work with students and employees individually to provide solutions for those that need it.”

It has taken the hard work of our entire campus to develop this plan, and it will take the continued efforts and vigilance of our entire campus to execute it throughout the year,” President Quinn said. “I am grateful to all those who are upholding the values of this institution so that we can serve the needs of our students and help them achieve their goals.”


May 6, 2020 - Aquinas College forms task force for safe return to in-class instruction

As the 2019-20 academic year concludes, Aquinas College is looking ahead to the fall semester. President Kevin Quinn has formed the AQ Opens Task Force to develop comprehensive and coordinated planning for students to return to campus for in-class instruction and other on-campus activities.

The group, which represents all areas of campus, has begun activities to articulate scenarios for a return to campus and has started developing action plans for those scenarios. The task force will work in collaboration with members of the campus community, state and local health officials and other experts.

Like many other institutions, Aquinas College shifted to distance learning, began telecommuting arrangements and reduced operational core services on campus in March.

“This spring, Aquinas College faculty and staff quickly transitioned to distance learning to ensure as little disruption as possible to our students’ academic progress while keeping our community safe,” President Quinn said. “Their efforts were nothing short of remarkable. In addition, their attention and care for the needs of our students combined with the perseverance of our students is an expression of the strength and values of the AQ community.”

Plans for the fall semester will include new measures and precautions, health-monitoring protocols, cleaning, disinfecting, communication and clear guidance about how to return to in-class instruction while preventing the spread of COVID-19 and being prepared for any future surges in the disease.

“We intend to begin classes on time this fall,” President Kevin Quinn said. “The most important matter facing us now is how to do that thorough planning for our safe return to on-campus work and the establishment of our operational footing for the fall semester in a way that is safe for our community and the broader community.”

President Quinn noted that guidance from public health officials will play an important role in the planning process, and that the College’s activities will be nimble enough to pivot to stricter safety protocols if necessary.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on society and the way we will interact with one another going forward,” President Quinn said. “The world has changed, but we intend to provide as close to a traditional experience as possible for our students, while keeping our community and the broader community safe. There are many details to work out, but the health and safety of our employees and the community will be paramount in our planning.”