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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

All Grinnell College Students must vacate campus by Monday, March 23


A special campus memo sent out this afternoon announced that Grinnell College will be holding online classes for the remainder of the semester and all students must vacate campus by Monday, March 23. The cancellation is occurring in the hopes of preventing an outbreak of COVID-19 (popularly known as the “novel coronavirus”) on Grinnell’s campus.

Students with extenuating financial, geographical, or personal circumstances can appeal to remain on campus via a form included in the email that all students have been instructed to fill out, even if they are leaving campus. The College has not yet provided detailed information regarding students’ room-and-board payments or lost work-study wages for the remainder of the semester.

The email also noted that the College is considering cancelling large-scale events at the end of the year, including commencement and the alumni reunion.

Students reacted to the news with a mixture of shock and sorrow. Asked for a comment, Francesca Dalla Betta ’22 said, “Is ‘what the fuck?’ acceptable?” Sophie Mero ’22 said, “I’m really sorry for the fourth-years. That’s the main thing – I would be really upset about it.” Scott Lew ’22, who is from Los Angeles, California, said that he was somewhat concerned about traveling back to a place with many documented COVID-19 cases, but added, “I guess it’s better to be back home where there’s more medical capacity.”

Outside, students gathered in common areas and on campus lawns to discuss the news. Some classes found it difficult to concentrate in the wake of the announcement. As they walked along a sidewalk with their friend, one student said, “I am going to be so fucking drunk the next few days.”

Dining Services staff members in the Marketplace also expressed shock (Dining Services will be having a staff meeting later today to discuss future plans up to May 15).

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