Latest Updates

Allegheny students may now sign up for the COVID-19 vaccine!

Dear Allegheny College Campus Community,

Students may now sign up online for the COVID-19 vaccine administered by Meadville Medical Center.

Transportation to the vaccination site will be offered by the Crawford Area Transportation Authority (CATA), and the schedule will be available next week. Any questions about transportation can be emailed to gbeck@allegheny.edu. Please remember to bring a photo ID and thank everyone that you meet.

In an effort to support Allegheny’s commitment to an excellent in-person educational experience for Fall 2021, the College is strongly recommending that all students receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine prevents serious illness, hospitalization, and death. Benefits specific to the Allegheny community include:

  • Additional face-to-face classroom interactions and academic experiences
  • Permission to work and volunteer in the local community
  • Expanded athletic practices and competitions
  • A wider range of activities offered at Allegheny, including live music, guest speakers, and school-sponsored trips
  • Augmented dining options
  • Greater interpersonal collaboration among faculty, students, staff, and administrators

COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. As I have mentioned, millions of people in the United States have received COVID-19 vaccines under the most intense safety monitoring in U.S. history.

Join me in moving us forward to a better tomorrow. Gator strong.

Dr. Morrow

Allegheny College CARES Act Student Aid Report – April 9, 2021

In accordance with Section 18004(e) of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act” or the “Act”), The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (“HEERF”) contained in Section 18004 of the CARES Act, and the guidance issued by the United States Department of Education, including Office of Postsecondary Education’s guidance dated May 6, 2020, Allegheny College submits this report concerning the first award Allegheny College received under the HEERF consisting of funds for Emergency Finance Aid Grants to students.

1. Acknowledgement of Funding and Certification

Allegheny College reviewed, signed and returned the U.S. Department of Educations’ Certification and Agreement for these funds on April 14, 2020. Allegheny College received a grant award notification on April 23, 2020. As required by the certification, Allegheny College will use no less than fifty percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants directly to students.

2. Funds Awarded for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students

Allegheny College received $871,541 under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act designated for distribution to students impacted by campus disruptions due to COVID-19.

3. Emergency Financial Aid Grants Distributed to Students to Date Under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act

Of the $871,541 Allegheny College received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act designated for distribution to students impacted by campus disruptions due to COVID-19, Allegheny College had distributed $790,714 as of December 31st, 2020, and an additional $12,598.76 as of March 31st, 2021, bringing the total to $803,312.76.

4. Eligible Students

Allegheny College has had approximately 1,850 students as of the date of this report that may be eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 by filing a valid FAFSA for the 2019-2020 and/or 2020-2021 academic year and, thus, may be eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

5. Eligible Students Receiving CARES Act Aid

Allegheny College has distributed funds it received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act designated for distribution to students impacted by campus disruptions due to COVID-19. A total of 1,187 awards were given to 983 eligible students as of March 31st, 2021. Some students received multiple awards.

6. Distribution Method

Funds Already Distributed

In order to qualify for Emergency Financial Aid Grants under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act, Allegheny College students must first be eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and incur expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus. Of those students that qualified, Allegheny College chose to provide an initial disbursement of Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students who qualified for needs-based room and board grants under Allegheny’s internal criteria because it determined those students were most in need those and necessarily incurred COVID-19 pandemic related expenses following the loss of on-campus room and board.

In order to calculate these students’ COVID-19 related expenses, Allegheny College used its institutional policy for estimating needs-based commuter student room and board costs for the remaining 40% of the spring semester. This calculation resulted in an Emergency Financial Aid Grant maximum award of $800 per student.

In order to distribute this grant as expeditiously as possible, beginning on April 13, 2020, Allegheny College provided Emergency Federal Aid Grant relief to students in the same manner as it had previously provided institutional need-based aid, through students’ online accounts. Because Allegheny College began providing qualifying relief funds to qualifying students prior to Allegheny College’s receipt of any CARES Act funding, in accordance with United States Department of Education guidance, Allegheny College reimbursed itself from a portion of the CARES Act funding it received in the amount it advanced to its students in accordance with the above methodology.

Funds Reserved for Future Distribution

Allegheny College has reserved $186,192 for eligible students that incur other additional expenses related to the disruption of on-campus instruction as a result of COVID-19. The reserve amount in Emergency Financial Aid Grants for students under Section 18004(a)(1) may be applied for using the Success Grant application available on the Allegheny College’s Dean of Students webpage. As of March 31st, 2021 the balance in the reserve for eligible students is $68,228.24. Allegheny College has not finalized its distribution methodology for these funds and reserves its right to modify this report as needed.

7. Communication to Students Concerning the Emergency Financial Aid Grants

All students who were enrolled in the 2020 spring semester, as well as those enrolled in the 2020 fall semester, were notified of the opportunity to apply for this funding via email. Students are asked to include in the application the amount and brief description of the expense incurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is used to determine an award amount. For students already issued Emergency Financial Aid Grants under Section 18004(a)(1), the expense must be in addition to the expense for which they already received funds.

COVID-19 vaccines to be available for all Allegheny students

Dear Allegheny College Campus Community,

I am thrilled to announce that Meadville Medical Center (MMC) has agreed to administer the COVID-19 vaccine to all Allegheny students as part of their mass vaccination efforts starting April 19! This includes students who are residents of other states and those students who hail from other countries. ALL OF YOU.

MMC has been selected as a “preferred vaccine provider” and thus expects to receive a steady supply of Pfizer vaccines moving forward, therefore having no issues vaccinating everyone who wants to be vaccinated. MMC is working hard to plan for this vaccination effort; as soon as they post sign-up links on their website, you may sign up. I will also email those links to all students.

  • Sign up ASAP for your first dose, to ensure that you get your second dose three weeks later before the semester ends. It is very hard to get your second vaccine dose at an alternative vaccination site.
  • Don’t miss your appointment! This opportunity is precious!
  • Bring a photo ID.
  • Thank everyone at the site; feel free to bring a handwritten note of gratitude about what the vaccine means to you.

The Allegheny College administration encourages everyone to get vaccinated as soon as possible, as do the CDC and ACHA. Vaccinated persons are less likely to contract COVID-19, become severely ill from COVID-19 or transmit COVID-19. They do not need to quarantine after most travel and do not need to quarantine if exposed to a COVID-19 positive person. COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. Millions of people in the United States have received COVID-19 vaccines under the most intense safety monitoring in U.S. history.

Want to help? Meadville Medical Center is looking for volunteers to help with vaccine distribution. What a great way to help others and be part of history! Students, employees, and families — anyone and everyone — are welcome to sign up here. I will forward the list to MMC, and they will follow up with you.

So — here we are. Students are getting vaccinated and even helping with the effort. WOW. Talk about Gator Strong.

Dr. Morrow

Reason to hope — but we are not done yet

Dear Allegheny College Campus Community,

Last week was another successful week at Allegheny College, with very low COVID-19 transmission on campus. Amid a global pandemic, with colleges around us experiencing high transmission rates, Allegheny students are on campus, learning in person and keeping COVID-19 at bay. This is not luck: students and employees wear masks and keep physical distance.

Vaccines continue to be administered to the local Crawford County community. I mentioned in a prior email that if one can get the vaccine, I recommended accepting it. I should clarify: when you qualify. There are still vulnerable people who have not yet been able to obtain the vaccine in Pennsylvania; make sure you are eligible before you sign up.

To quote the new CDC director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, we have “so much reason to hope.” But we are not done yet. COVID-19 is continuing to ravage our country: the national case rates for the last two weeks are equal to last October’s numbers. President Biden is urging people to continue to wear masks. While this is usually the time of year when we all start looking forward to summer, we don’t know what summer will hold. Even if fun events exist, safety continues to be a question.

One of the challenges of the pandemic is living with uncertainty. As we muddle through, it is critical to hone our coping skills. I recommend finding what works for you, and if or when it stops working, try something else. Netflix is a good distraction. Brisk walks, with or without earbuds, are great for stress relief. Enjoy lunch outside with a friend. Offer gratitude to an essential worker. Call the Counseling Center or send me an email.

Hang in there.

Dr. Morrow

Fall 2021 Planning Update

To the Allegheny College community:

For 206 years, Allegheny College has been a residential liberal arts college offering students the opportunity to learn in the classroom from engaged faculty. In fall 2021, we plan fully to return to this mission.

During the academic year 2021–2022, all classes will be held on campus and in person. While we have had to adapt to the pandemic with remote learning options beginning in March 2020, students and faculty alike have made it clear that in-person learning and the residential campus experience are far more effective for the engaged hands-on learning that is a hallmark of an Allegheny education. Therefore, beginning fall 2021, unless unexpected health conditions should mandate otherwise, we expect that no remote classes will be offered. Residence halls will return to regular occupancy. Athletic practice and competition will proceed per NCAA and ACHA guidelines. Beginning August 1, 2021, all administrative offices will be fully staffed, in person.

We will continue to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission on campus with directed strategies following the most current public health recommendations. After extensive consultation with our local and national experts, however, we have confidence that we can educate our students in person, safely, beginning in the fall. Our track record speaks to our ability to succeed: we have seen no transmission of the virus from employee to student, or student to employee. No Allegheny community member has had to quarantine based on classroom interactions. Additionally, all employees have been offered the vaccine; it is our expectation that by August the majority of our students will also have been offered the opportunity to be vaccinated.

More detailed information will follow, as well as a document including FAQs. In the meantime, we hope you are as excited and proud to receive this message as we are to send it. We are confident in making this announcement due to the College’s success to date in keeping our community safe while remaining open for in-person living and learning. This success is a result of the incredible efforts, dedication, and at times personal sacrifices of our students, our faculty, our staff, our families, and so many others. We thank you for all you do each and every day to make our campus and our College safer and better. Go Gators!

With all best wishes,

President Link and her Cabinet

Cabinet members:

  • Ian Binnington, Dean of Curriculum and Registrar
  • Ron Cole, Provost and Dean of the College
  • Kristin Dukes, Dean for Institutional Diversity
  • Ellen Johnson, Incoming Vice President for Enrollment Management
  • Jennifer Padlan, Director of Human Resources, Payroll and Title IX Deputy
  • Bill Ross, Director of Athletics and Recreation
  • Meg Ryan, Interim Vice President for Enrollment Management
  • Susan Salton, Strategic Communications Advisor
  • Matt Stinson, Vice President for Institutional Advancement
  • April Thompson, Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students
  • Linda Wetsell, Chief Financial Officer and Vice President for Finance and Administration

Thank you for making safety a priority!

Dear Campus Community,

In Emergency Medicine, there is great superstition around the word “quiet.” The irrational rationale is that if one acknowledges that there are very few patients at any given time, we will be overrun with critically ill patients. If we follow that logic, I might advise you to avoid looking at the Allegheny College COVID-19 dashboard this week. However, superstitions are based on the belief that events are outside of our control, and I have confidence in our campus community’s ability to control the spread of the virus. Therefore, I write it proudly: COVID-19 has been quiet on our campus! Credit goes to the Allegheny College students and employees who work hard and sacrifice comforts to make safety a priority. Thank you for keeping us together, in person, safely. Thank you, families and parents, for supporting our community during this difficult academic year.

In other news, President Biden recently encouraged states to make vaccines available to all adults by May. I continue to lobby Meadville Medical Center to vaccinate our students and am hopeful this opportunity will arise. In the meantime, if you can get the COVID-19 vaccine on your own, I recommend that you accept it. Being vaccinated decreases the risk of serious illness and death if a vaccinated person contracts COVID-19. It also means fewer travel restrictions, less frequent testing, and less likelihood of quarantine. Also, students who are vaccinated are welcome to volunteer or work in the local community. Please make sure that ACHA has your completed vaccine card on record by uploading it here.

On the wall of my office, I tape up cheerful memes. One shows a man with his hair sticking up and his eyes crossed, with the caption, “frontline provider trying to figure out the 35th policy change in one week.” With that caveat, please see the updated travel policy on our website.

Chin up. We are doing this.

Be well,

Dr. Morrow

Staying focused on our goal

Dear Allegheny College Campus Community,

I hope this email finds you well. First, an update on COVID-19 disease on campus and a review of procedures: We currently have 13 students positive for COVID-19 and 51 students in quarantine. In the last week, approximately 50 students were assigned quarantine because of close contact with students who tested positive for COVID-19.

A note on medical care: Did you know that the ACHA nurses are frontline providers? They are all locally employed ER or ICU nurses and have been throughout the pandemic. While the 7 p.m. cheers many of us saw across the U.S. and the world last spring have stopped, please feel free to thank them for their service and ask them about their experiences. To this point, while we strive to provide students with an in-person visit every day, this is not always possible due to the nurses’ schedule. On days when students do not have a visit, there are myriad other options for support, including calls with Winslow Health Center staff, 24/7 counseling support and a dean on call. A special shout-out to Sandra Livingston, the nurse practitioner who has been providing care to Allegheny students for years, and has been providing hands-on care for students who are positive for COVID-19 since we reopened last August. She noted severe illness in two students and ensured a smooth transition to the ICU at Meadville Medical Center and provided aftercare when they were discharged.

Separately, we have received requests from Athletics to allow non-students, including families and friends, to attend competitions. We understand this is very important to parents, especially parents of seniors. We also know that other schools have been allowing spectators. Unfortunately, Allegheny College will not allow spectators at athletic events on our campus. Video will be available. As an institution, we have declined visitor requests from families, alumni and guest speakers. Many departments are hosting showcases for students at the end of the year (including seniors). These will also be observed via video feed. We understand that many of you might find this news profoundly disappointing. Unfortunately, it is necessary to make this tough decision to support the health and safety of our campus community. Our goal is to keep our students safe and learning in person until the end of our spring semester, and this measure affords us the best opportunity to achieve this goal.

I know that we are all exhausted from the prohibitions and constraints with which we have all had to live, for a full year now. While it is a joy to come together in person as we are able to on campus, who isn’t tired of masks? Yes, we are all fatigued, but we are smarter and tougher than ever. And here at ACHA, we continue to focus on keeping you here, in the classroom, studying in groups, competing athletically, dancing, singing and enjoying your Allegheny friends. After you read this, please take a moment to share a smile with your roommate, your teammate or a new friend. Because that is our goal: to keep you and your friends face to face.

Gator strong.

Dr. Morrow

Campus quarantine is officially over — stay diligent!

Dear Allegheny College Campus Community,

Campus quarantine is officially over!

Over the last two days, we tested 300 students in the wide social circles of those who tested positive earlier in the week. No connected positives were noted. Please note: close contacts are in quarantine and are not tested per CDC protocol. A handful of other students tested positive (we were also testing randomly). This speaks to the excellent choices by the vast majority of Allegheny students: you know how to stay safe.

More wonderful news: Grounds for Change is opening on Monday. ACHA and GFC worked together on a safe reopening plan and they are ready to serve you, Monday–Friday, 8–11 a.m. and 8–11 p.m. for take-out brewed coffee. If we consistently see low COVID-19 numbers on campus, GFC will open for sit-down dining in the future.

ACHA and ASG are working together to support students in isolation and quarantine. ASG cabinet members and I had a brainstorming session and came up with an anonymous gift drive. Drop off gently used or new small gifts that you believe would cheer up a student in isolation or quarantine. Nothing crazy: think a Star Wars mug, a deck of cards, or a doodle pad. Do not wrap the item and aim for a value of less than $5. Snacks are okay but should not be perishable. Printed poems, anonymous letters of support, and other creative works are encouraged that are simply of emotional value. Employees are welcome to participate. Drop off gifts at the Residence Life office between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. on weekdays.

The Allegheny College isolation and quarantine guidelines are now posted on the ACHA website. Remember that while in isolation and quarantine, we can help with gathering items from your room, deliveries of books or prescriptions, and other items that students find crucial. If you need specific items, reach out to Marko Sadikovic at msadikovic@allegheny.edu.

While the last few weeks have been very busy with many students in isolation and quarantine, it has allowed me the pleasure of talking to a lot of students whom I have not previously met. Many of you made me laugh (humor is an excellent coping skill for stress), several of you made me tear up (it is heartbreaking to worry that you may have infected family or friends), and two people sent me art created in isolation. Thank you for allowing me to know you. During this stressful time, Allegheny students remain kind and thoughtful.

We are not out of danger — there are a high number of students in isolation and quarantine, and worsening spread is possible. Stay diligent; email us or call Winslow right away with concerning symptoms. We are here to help.

Be well.

Dr. Morrow

Campus Quarantine Extended

Dear Allegheny College Community,

I am writing to inform you that the campus quarantine will unfortunately not be lifted tomorrow, March 4.

Right now, there are 67 students in quarantine and isolation. Fifteen students are currently positive for COVID-19; this is higher than our total at any time in the fall.

We have noted several small clusters among students positive for COVID-19. In the next two days, we are testing the students who may have been in proximity to these students. We are also testing other students randomly, so if you are invited to test in the next two days, it does not necessarily mean that someone near you tested positive. Contact tracing has been completed, and all exposed persons have been notified and are in quarantine.

As I have mentioned before, coronavirus is easily transmitted, especially to students on a college campus. This is why we follow the CDC’s guidelines for Institutions for Higher Education, which are different than the guidelines for the general public. The goal of extending the campus quarantine is to prevent an outbreak that would force us to shift to fully remote education either temporarily or permanently. We will reconsider when we can lift the campus quarantine at the end of this week.

Wear your mask, watch your social distancing, and stay safe. I will be in touch.

Gator Strong.

Dr. Morrow

Keep up the good work!

Dear Allegheny College Campus Community,

Last week, 1,184 students participated in COVID-19 PCR testing. Six students were positive.

This bodes well for a safe in-person semester. Congratulations, Allegheny students!

When evaluating the students who tested positive, I primarily noted common living situations and proximity/physical connections to students who tested positive during prior testing sessions in the past several weeks. I did not find any egregious behavior among those who are positive, so if you find yourself ascribing poor motives to COVID-19 positive students, please reconsider. The reality is that this is a highly contagious virus — far more contagious than influenza with a longer incubation period — so people who live in close proximity to each other are likely to infect each other.

There are rumors that dining service lines are causing COVID-19 outbreaks. As mentioned above, I am aware of where our students caught COVID-19; it was not from waiting in line. However, we hear the concern, and we want everyone to be as safe as possible on campus. Therefore, Parkhurst staff spent the weekend refining their processes. Thank you, dining staff, for working hard to keep our students safe.

Rapid Antigen Testing

The rapid antigen testing site is now open. We will be testing approximately 120–160 people daily. You need an invitation to test; there are no walk-ins. Please keep your appointment time. Also, plan for a positive result, just in case: employees should bring keys, wallet, and phone, and students should bring supplies for a potential 10-day isolation. No one who tests positive may return to their workspace or living space. We have a quiet room reserved at the Wise Center for those who test positive to gather their thoughts, call family, and plan their isolation.

Travel Restrictions

The Pennsylvania Department of Health lifted its travel restrictions today. However, the CDC still recommends limiting travel. Allegheny College is a small community in which we strive to keep students living in a congregant setting as safe as possible. Therefore, for now we are keeping our travel policy for employees and students in effect. We will continue to evaluate this on an ongoing basis.

Campus Quarantine

Campus quarantine is planned to continue through March 4. The CDC recommends that Institutions of Higher Education test students who are socially connected or live near any positive students. Over the next few days, we will be administering rapid tests to a random sampling of students and also to students who might have shared a bathroom or other space with a student who is positive for COVID-19. If we feel that we have uncovered and managed all possible areas of contagion before March 4, we will happily lift the campus quarantine earlier.

Students of Allegheny College: congratulations on your low positivity rate thus far. Well done.

Dr. Morrow