Living & Learning Pods
Home Away From Home
Sterling has always prided itself on community values, and this sense of shared responsibility will be brought to the forefront as we navigate our safe reopening.
There are seven residences on campus which are set up in classic dormitory style, with shared bathrooms on each floor. For the 20/21 academic year, each residence hall will become a Living & Learning Pod, each housing 7-18 students. Students will eat, sleep, dine, learn, and work as self-contained units in their areas of study with small teams of dedicated faculty and staff. Housing assignments will be made after course selection has been finalized.
The advantages of Living & Learning Pods are multiple. They will allow students to have close, meaningful interactions amongst their group in a low-risk environment, which also creates a healthy space that our faculty and staff will be able to work within. Should someone on campus test positive, disruption of instruction will likely only be experienced at the pod-level, rather than the whole campus. To monitor the health of the Sterling community, students can expect regular wellness checks and/or testing on a schedule as yet to be determined. Here’s our thinking at the moment!
All houses respect self-identified gender and are co-ed. Wellness adaptations to the buildings will include the establishment of kitchen and dining facilities for each pod, where meals delivered from the Sterling kitchen will be eaten and snacks can be prepared. Each Living & Learning Pod will establish their own community norms and culture, allying them with best practices related to COVID-19, as communicated by Sterling administration using state and federal guidelines. Students may have the option to live off campus after consulting with the Dean of Students.
Am I able to request to move to another Residence Hall?
No. Because we are adopting the new cohort model, residential halls will be designated to specified pods. Please work directly with the Dean of Student Life if you have any particular concerns or issues and they will be able to assist you to the best of their ability.
What is a commitment to shared responsibility? Why do I need to sign it?
In order for us to maintain a low risk campus environment, all community members (students, faculty, and staff) will need to commit to the shared responsibility of keeping ourselves and others safe. The Commitment to Shared Responsibility is a list of required behaviors that will decrease potential spread of COVID-19 and will be established under the guidance of the CDC, the Vermont and Kentucky Departments of Health, and other regional colleges. By signing it, you are indicating that you have read and understand them and are agreeing to follow the new set of guidelines.
The Dean of Student Life will be holding a series of Student Life Council Meetings (via Zoom) at the end of June and beginning of July to solicit student feedback and to create dialogue about students concerns regarding the Commitment to Shared Responsibility.
Still have questions?
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Community Advisors (CAs) are student employees through the Sterling College Work Program. CAs are trusted liaisons between the College and the students, and as such hold a great responsibility as role models and leaders who exemplify ethical, caring, and compassionate Sterling culture.
Students selected to fill this critical role are knowledgable and experienced guides who teach (and learn) through commitment to the growth of individuals and the Sterling community. They are trusted advocates who work with and for the students, and on behalf of the community’s best interest and goals. They are first responders in many situations on campus, and are trained in basic counseling and crisis management skills, CPR & first aid, and conflict resolution
The position of the Community Advisor is unique and demanding. It requires the ability to balance many complex roles and responsibilities. Community Advisors are expected to be available to students with questions, concerns, and emergencies at all hours, and they work closely with the Dean of Community to ensure safety, equity, and accountability on campus. CAs foster a culture in which all students have the opportunity to thrive in their academic, work, and personal lives.
Our Community Advisors for the 2020-21 academic year will receive additional training in COVID-related health and safety, according to best practices established by the CDC and state health agencies.