Hello, Colgate Community. 

As of yesterday, no new cases of COVID-19 have been identified on campus. If you visit the dashboard today, you’ll see that the quarantine and isolation box on our metrics grid is trending in the right direction.

Testing continues, however, as does our vigilance. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, it is vital that you both sign up and show up for your surveillance testing appointment. I know that 17 students failed to show up on Monday. Do not be lulled by the good news (though you should certainly be proud). A lapse of commitment can quickly shift the tide or slow our progress through Gates.

After enjoying a few days in Gate 1, I wouldn’t blame you for wondering about Gate 2. Last fall, we spent a minimum of two weeks per Gate, then moved up once health data supported it. The Task Force on Reopening, EOC, and HAT have increased testing this semester so that we can move through Gates more quickly (yet just as safely). This semester. We will still need enough testing data to show it’s safe to move between Gates and hope that testing more people, more often, will make that possible.

The move to Gate 2 will still be based on science. I will join the HAT meeting tomorrow so I can hear more about how and when they plan to form their recommendations. I will report back to you on Friday. Until then, keep following those Gate 1 guidelines and congratulate yourself for the hard work you have done so far. You’ve earned it, and it’s COVID-safe to pat your own back.

Laura H. Jack
Vice President for Communications

Take Note

Counseling center director Dawn LaFrance sends this winter greeting: It has been a difficult time for everybody, and I have been impressed with your resilience. Yet, I am sure there are many students suffering in silence, and I ask you to reach out. Counseling and Psychological Services and Haven continue to have no wait lists; students are currently able to schedule an appointment within a week. We are available each day for crises and consultations. To keep our Commitment to Community Health, we have transitioned to a telehealth approach, and nearly 20% of students utilized our services in fall 2020. Students frequently note the progress they achieve in our group therapy program. Use your support system and this remarkable community to help you during this difficult time. I work with an amazing group of mental health professionals who want to help.

Moodle will be unavailable Friday morning from 12:30 a.m. to 6:30 a.m. for maintenance software updates. These updates will not significantly change system functionality, but will correct security issues and various minor software issues and take us up to the latest version of the application. The official list of Moodle v3.8 changes can be found on the Moodle website. We appreciate your patience and support. If you have any questions or issues after this maintenance, please call 315-228-7111 or email itshelp@colgate.edu.

Director of Sustainability John Pumilio writes: On Saturday, Jan. 30, a handful of cold but determined volunteers tapped 700 maple trees in 2.5 hours at the Bruce Selleck Sugaring Project at the Rogers Center in Sherburne. Before Professor Selleck passed away unexpectedly in 2017, our beloved colleague and friend was working with the Rogers Center to realize one of his dreams of creating a sugaring project to serve as an important educational and environmental resource for our local community. After his passing, the Colgate and the Hamilton communities stepped up to make this project a reality. Be on the lookout this spring for fresh maple syrup from the Selleck Sugaring Project.

Congratulations to the winners of the snow sculpture competition: 

1st Place: Turtle Supreme, by Sean Kennedy, Adam Limoges, Noelle Harrington, Richard Casey, Victor Nino, Nicholas Blake, Chris Maffeo, Vani Kanoria and Paul Criscione

Turtle snow sculpture

After decades of pollution and plastic waste destroying its habitat, the famed Loggerhead sea turtle was forced to migrate from its historical feeding grounds and take up a new home in Hamilton, N.Y. Our sea turtle sculpture doubles as a fully functional quinzee, or snow hut. Sit on the nearby snow couch and admire the beauty of the turtle or keep warm from inside. Location: Field of Dreams, next to the cemetery.

Snow fort

2nd Place: Little Gloo, by Estelle Kelty, Jinui Thomas, Morgan Van Kestren, Brooke Smith, Abby Douglas, Olivia Johnston, Kate Mostow, Sophie Clark, Nicole Weiss, Katie Brunell and Kate Connelly

To take advantage of quarantine and motivate ourselves to get outside every day, we set a goal of building an igloo tall enough to fit our tallest house member. Little Gloo is named after our house, Little Blue. 
Location: 72 Broad Street, side yard


3rd Place: Build-a-dogoo, by Christina Weiler and Sophie Karp

Snow dog sculpture

We crafted a snow sculpture of a life-size, masked Emrys, following the Commitment to Community Health. Emrys sits in a socially distanced 6-foot-radius circle. Our sculpture of Emrys was inspired by a dog’s selfless, unconditional acts of loyalty and love to his community and, ultimately, family. The sculpture is complete with Emrys’ signature floppy ears, wagging tail, twinkling eyes, and adorable hunched back. We hope this sculpture will amuse and inspire our neighbors in these trying times. We enjoyed playing in the snow and making this — as we imagine Emrys does every day. Thank you!! Location: Middle Island in University Court Loop, in front of buildings 8, 9, 10

A Closing Thought

Stay hydrated! Men should consume 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluid each day, while women should be consuming 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) per day. These recommendations include fluid from water and other beverages, as well as solid food. Try to limit the consumption of sugary sodas and juices.

Upcoming Events

Heretics Club: "The Exile's Return? Studying Religion at the Capitol Siege" 
Feb. 11
Please join the Office of the Chaplains in welcoming Lauren Kerby, religious literacy specialist and lecturer on religious studies at Harvard Divinity School and author of Saving History: How White Evangelicals Tour the Nation's Capital and Redeem a Christian America. All are welcome.

Encounters of the Terrestrial Kind - Vis Lab Virtual Show
Feb. 12
7 p.m.
Join us for a virtual tour of alien worlds in our own solar system.  All are welcome.