CCCE Response to COVID-19 (Community Partners)

12 March 2020

Dear Community Partners,

Like many of you, we are following the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. We are writing to you today for help in preparing for how the virus impacts our work together.

Carleton College has just released the following decision relating to the coronavirus pandemic, “As a result of extensive conversations among College leadership—including faculty governance, the College Council, and the Board of Trustees—we are moving to limit the number of people on campus and to teach at least the first half of Spring Term 2020 courses remotely, helped by a one-week extension of spring break. We believe—based on the most current information available—that this is the best way to protect our students, faculty, staff, and neighbors, and mitigate the spread of COVID-19.”

We recognize that this will impact our community partners. Community engagement staff from both Carleton College and St. Olaf College are requesting information from organizations like you to help us better understand whether your organization works with people particularly vulnerable to infectious disease transmission, how you’d like our students to interact with your organization during this time, and how we can best prepare to minimize disruption to our work with you. Carleton hopes that students can return to campus and that we can resume face-to-face classes after midterm break on Tuesday, May 5. We value your work and its role in our community’s well being — and we know an effective response to this pandemic includes all of us. It is important to note that the coronavirus situation is changing on a daily basis, and it may be that our institutions will make decisions we cannot foresee that will also shape whether and how we work together.

Short Survey:

If you’re willing, please complete this short survey addressing the above, which we will use to guide and educate our campus regarding how we can best work together while coronavirus spreads. When completing the survey, please consider the many ways that you are involved with students from the colleges (work study employees, volunteers, ACE courses, etc.). There will be no direct contact with Carleton student volunteers until May 5th at the earliest. Please note that anything you share will be shared with community engagement staff at both St. Olaf and Carleton. If you’ve already received this message and completed the survey via the other campus, you do not have to complete it again, unless there is additional information you’d like to provide specific to the ways you work with one particular campus.

Strategizing Together: 

We have heard from some of you that it would be helpful to have a space to learn and strategize together. To support information and resource exchange among partners, we will be hosting a Zoom web conference call on Monday, March 30 from 11am – 12 pm. Please email if you’re interested in participating.

For More Information:

If and when additional information impacting our work together becomes available, we will work to share that with you in a timely manner. You may also visit Carleton’s COVID-19 website at any time for the most up-to-date information regarding Carleton’s response.

If you would like to discuss the specifics of Carleton’s work with your organization please contact Sinda Nichols at For St. Olaf specific conversations, please contact Alyssa Melby at

We appreciate you, your important work, and your understanding during these uncertain times.

Thank You,

Sinda Nichols, Director

on behalf of the Carleton College Center for Community and Civic Engagement Team