Community Pledge

Community Pledge | COVID-19 Health and Safety

Being in community — living, learning, and working together on the Hill — is vital to the mission of St. Olaf College. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 global pandemic and the risks posed to our community require that each of us observe heightened health and safety precautions in the coming academic year. 

Our goal is to have every community member understand how interconnected we all are, especially when it comes to managing through COVID-19. Most of us are not medical professionals, but we all have a role to play in providing for the health and safety of our community. It is up to each of us to conscientiously do our part.

To align the College’s health and safety expectations with the well-being of each member of our community, and to provide all Oles greater assurances as to what they can expect from each other in terms of a commitment to these standards, all students, faculty, and staff of St. Olaf College are required to acknowledge their agreement with the pledge as a condition of their return to campus this academic year. 

Attached and incorporated into this Pledge are the St. Olaf Health and Safety Standards for the 2020-21 Academic Year. This “Community Standards” document is intended to provide detailed guidance on the measures community members will be expected to observe to minimize the incidence and spread of COVID-19 on campus. Other departments and divisions within the College may adopt additional guidelines consistent with the Community Standards. The Community Standards document is a living document; expect it to be revised throughout the academic year as understanding of the virus continues to deepen, best practices change, and therapeutic measures become available. Changes made to the document will be announced to the community, and each community member is expected to remain apprised of these changes as they occur. More information on any of these areas outlined in the pledge below can be found in the Community Standards document.

The Pledge:

I agree to following:

  • Avoid Bias Based Discrimination The current COVID-19 outbreak has provoked cognitive bias and discriminatory behaviors against people of certain ethnic backgrounds as well as anyone perceived to have been in contact with the virus. We know that the virus is not a respecter of race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, or physical ability. During this time of great uncertainty based on the COVID-19 Pandemic, I will treat my peers, faculty, and staff with the respect every human being deserves and not promote, participate in, or allow my own bias to impede the access and opportunity of others in my community
  • Provide Support — Recognizing that this is a stressful and overwhelming time, I will also do what I can to support others in my community by listening and assisting when I can. I will employ patience and understanding, knowing that this is a dynamic situation. I will make efforts to be part of the solution.

Monitor and Care

  • Daily Health Monitoring, Testing, and Contact Tracing Protocols — I will monitor my health and report COVID-19 symptoms, exposure, and positive test results through the College’s reporting system to determine whether it is appropriate for me to be moving about campus or whether to come to work. If I have a change in my health status, I will follow the reporting protocol requirements and provide accurate and complete information.
  • Training — I will complete and comply with all required COVID-19 related online training modules.
  • Stay Home — I will stay home or in my residence hall room if I am sick with COVID-19 symptoms or know that I have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. I will follow the College’s protocols for isolation or quarantine.
  • Practicing Daily Self-Care — To the best of my ability, I will support my overall wellness. 


  • Face Covering — I will adhere to the guidelines for wearing a face covering (or mask when required).
  • Hand Hygiene and Respiratory Etiquette — I will practice proper hand washing and respiratory etiquette (e.g., cover my cough).
  • Social Gatherings — Recognizing that some people without symptoms may be able to spread the virus, I will avoid crowded places and avoid mass gatherings on and off campus. I will practice physical distancing when meeting in smaller groups and will wear my face covering.
  • Leaving Campus — I will mirror the requirements of on-campus living/working (face coverings, physical distancing, etc.) when going off campus and will follow the College’s rules for approved off-campus activities. I will observe local city and state policies regarding safe physical distancing.
  • Travel — I will comply with the non-essential travel restrictions.
  • Guests to Campus — I will follow the College’s rules and, when allowed, ensure that any guest I bring to campus will be aware of and comply with the standards for not being on campus if sick or symptomatic, physical distancing, hand hygiene, and social gatherings.

Providing Space

  • Physical Distancing — Recognizing that strict adherence will not always be possible, practical, or necessary, I will take daily precautions to keep space between myself and others (6 feet of physical distancing, which is about two arm lengths).
  • Observing Space Restrictions — The College has established guidelines for the use of campus buildings. I will adhere to the guidelines for the use of spaces on campus.

The pledge is available for acknowledgement by which every student, faculty, and staff member is expected to sign electronically prior to returning to campus.