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As We Wrap Up Module 2

A message from President Suzanne Rivera

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff:

As we end Module 2, if you’re like me, you’re probably feeling relief. This has been a challenging, pressure-filled fall semester that required huge adjustments in the way we did almost everything. The pace of the module system has been grueling for many of us. Navigating life during a pandemic while being separated from each other and from many of our support systems has produced a lot of anxiety. It’s been really hard. But, together, we did it. And I’m proud of us.

With creativity and fortitude, our faculty and staff transformed instruction and co-curricular programming in order to help bridge the distance we’re all feeling. Students have studied, participated in community events, and inspired audiences with their performances. Student/faculty research has continued. Our athletic teams have practiced cautiously and responsibly. And, as I’ve said before, the fact that we’ve had so few cases of COVID-19 in the Macalester community is powerful evidence of your dedication to keeping each other safer.

We’ve asked a lot in order to make this fall happen. In addition to relief, I hope you’re feeling a sense of accomplishment – whether you’re a student who has found a new passion, or a member of our staff or faculty who has found success in a different approach. I marvel at how much we’ve all done both on our own and as a community. 

You may also be feeling gratitude – for the students who’ve done the hard work of learning from home when they’d much rather be here in St. Paul; for those staff and contractors whose duties required a regular presence on campus even while their colleagues were able to work remotely throughout the fall; and for everyone who has sacrificed so much to keep the number of our close contacts smaller than we would prefer.  

As we complete Module 2, I hope you’ve experienced some moments of joy and connection while navigating all the challenges of this year. I wish you each a restorative winter break with space to enjoy and appreciate a more relaxed pace once finals are behind you.

Looking ahead, we’re applying what we’ve learned, looking for ways to relieve some of the pressure in the spring, and returning to a semester calendar next fall. During the week of January 4, we plan to share plans for return-to-campus testing as well as an update on the start of Module 3, both via email and on the COVID-19 website. In the meantime, please continue to share what’s working for you, and what’s not. Your input has been, and continues to be, invaluable.

Lastly, as many of us part ways over the next month, please continue to do all that you can to bring the promise of our Mac Stays Safer community commitment with you wherever you go.

December 18, 2020