Past COVID-19 Updates

COVID-19 InformationPast COVID-19 Updates

Previous Communications to the Campus

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement

Naropa University requires that all on-campus students, faculty, and staff be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. This means receiving two doses of either Pfizer or Moderna OR one dose of J & J, AND any recommended booster doses (***this means at least one booster for anyone over the age of 12). Booster dose recommendations vary based on age, immunity issues, and when the initial vaccines were received. You can check your recommended doses here. Vaccine information must be verified through the Medicat system, which can be accessed with your Naropa email and password here.

Vaccine Exemptions

Naropa University students, staff and faculty may register an exemption to the vaccine requirements for medical, religious, and moral reasons. Exemptions should be processed through the Medicat system, which can be accessed with your Naropa email and password here. In general, registering an exemption to the vaccine requirement simply means you are not required to receive the vaccine and/or booster doses. It does not give any special permissions to attend classes remotely or otherwise alter delivery options. In case of an outbreak or change in the pandemic, it MAY require additional safety protocols such as additional testing or masking. Should this become necessary, you will be informed by the COVID-19 Task Force.

All students living in Snow Lion or 2333 Naropa campus housing must be fully vaccinated, including required boosters, and cannot apply for an exemption to the vaccine requirement.

Symptoms/Illness

As has been the case throughout the pandemic, anyone who feels any symptoms related to COVID-19 should stay home and take a test before returning to campus. Tests can be PCR, rapid, or at-home rapid antigen tests. Since some of the newer variants can escape the at-home rapid test, it is advisable to wear a mask when around other people even if you test negative, until symptoms have cleared up.

Isolation/Quarantine

If a student tests positive for COVID-19, they should follow CDC isolation guidelines—which means isolating for at least five days (longer if they are symptomatic or become more severely ill), and then wearing a mask whenever around other people for five more days.

Students should notify their faculty to stay on track with class work while in isolation. If a faculty member tests positive for COVID-19, and the isolation requirement will affect their ability to teach, they should contact their Program Chair and Dean to work out alternative arrangements. If a staff member tests positive for COVID-19, they should contact their supervisor to work out any needed arrangements.

Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 should inform those they have been in close contact with of the exposure risk as soon as possible. This includes people both on and off campus—for example, roommates, classmates, friends, co-workers, and others you have spent time with. It is generally assumed that a person can be contagious 2 days prior to testing positive/becoming symptomatic.

If any student, staff, or faculty member becomes aware of a COVID-19 exposure either on campus or off campus, they should follow the CDC recommendations for quarantine

Masks/Prevention

Mask wearing is optional and will remain so unless Naropa University determines otherwise based on government guidance regarding infection rates. Anyone who chooses to wear a mask is supported in doing so. Anyone who wants to prioritize extra protection for themselves is encouraged to mask when in a group or public setting. You can review the CDC’s mask and other prevention guidance here.

At this time in the pandemic, it is advisable that individuals personally manage their risk of exposure and illness by following state and federal guidelines regarding mask-wearing, vaccination, and testing. This means assuming that you have been exposed to COVID-19 any time you are in a public setting or a close contact setting unmasked. The Naropa University COVID-19 Taskforce will not provide notification of potential on-campus COVID-19 exposures.

Retreats/Intensives

Students attending retreats or intensives either on campus or at a retreat site will receive specific COVID-19 policy instructions related to their program from the program staff prior to the start of the retreat.
Dear Naropa Community, Based upon updated guidance from the CDC, and in alignment with Boulder County’s “Low” positivity rate – which was 4.4% last week, and continues to decrease – Naropa University will allow the mask requirement to expire at 5 p.m. on Friday, March 4. After that, masks will be optional in all indoor spaces. Masks, and especially KN or N95 masks, are still suggested for anyone who is immunocompromised or at high-risk for severe illness; and anyone who prefers to continue to wear a mask is supported in doing so. If you are recovering from Covid-19, you can return to campus after five full days of isolation if you are no longer symptomatic and are feeling better; however, you should continue to wear a mask when on campus or around other people for five more days. All other Covid-19 safety requirements will continue:
  • Anyone who feels symptomatic should stay home until they can get the results of a Covid-19 test.
  • Vaccinations and boosters are required for everyone.
  • Anyone not vaccinated or boosted must apply for an exemption.
  • Anyone with an exemption must submit a weekly negative Covid-19 test through the Medicat system.
  • In the event of a known exposure, anyone with an exemption will be required to quarantine for 5 days and then test.
  • Students on retreat will need to follow the requirement of their retreat and the retreat site, which may be different from Boulder County or Naropa masks requirements.
As always, the mask mandate could be reinstated should a new variant that is more contagious arise, or should community transmission rates increase to “High” per CDC data. Thank you for your care and concern for our community. Please direct question to covid19questions@naropa.edu. With appreciation, The Covid-19 Task Force

Dear Naropa Community,

We look forward to coming together in community when residential classes begin on Monday, January 24, 2022. The Spring 2022 On-Campus teaching and Community Life Plan was announced last fall and can be found on the Covid-19 Updates page of our website. Below is some important information and updates to that plan. They relate to the three pillars of risk mitigation that we are focusing on: vaccination and testing; ventilation; and masking. At all times we are operating in alignment with guidance from the following agencies: the Center for Disease Control and Prevention; the Occupational Safety and Health Administration; the State of Colorado; the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment; the Colorado Department of Higher Education; and the Boulder County Public Health Department. Naropa’s operations plan and mitigation strategies have been vetted through representatives of the Boulder County Public Health Department, with who we have been in consistent contact throughout the pandemic.

In order to keep the Naropa community as healthy as possible, we each need to know the below information and how it applies to us personally and to the community.

Vaccination and Testing:
All Naropa students and employees must be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and must submit proof of their vaccinations prior to the start of in-person classes. Naropa will also require boosters for all vaccinated students and employees. You will be required to submit verification of your booster shot by February 15, 2022 (see Medicat information below). THIS IS A NEW REQUIREMENT that aligns with new state guidelines and the practices of the private and public colleges and universities across Colorado.

Those who choose not to or are unable to be fully vaccinated (including boosters) based on religious, moral, or medical reasons may apply for an exemption. Unvaccinated persons with an exemption must submit a negative Covid-19 test result every seven (7) days in order to access campus. The first test is due BEFORE returning to campus and should have been administered no more than 72 hours prior to returning to campus. You may not access campus if you are not in compliance with this requirement. Please refer to the Spring 2022 On-Campus Teaching and Community Life Plan for more detailed information.

New employees and incoming students will be required to submit their vaccine verification or apply for a legal exemption to this requirement prior to the start of in-person classes. We have vaccine verification and exemptions on file for anyone who submitted that information during the summer and fall of 2021, so those people will not need to resubmit. In addition, anyone who previously submitted vaccine verification will need to submit verification of booster shots.

In order to securely collect vaccine and booster verification, exemption requests, and required test results, Naropa has partnered with Medicat, an electronic health records system. All Naropa community members are enrolled in and may access the Medicat system using their Naropa email login credentials. A link to access the Medicat system can be found on MyNaropa, on the Covid-19 Resource page of our website, or here: https://naropa.medicatconnect.com/.

Ventilation:
During the winter break, Naropa worked with Global Plasma Solutions (GPS) to install technology referred to as needlepoint bipolar ionization (NBI), which works to eliminate Covid-19 and other viruses and bacteria from recirculation through HVAC systems. NBI has been installed in Sycamore, Wulsin, Paramita, Lincoln (first floor), Nalanda (with the exception of the recording studio, some practice rooms and the atrium which already have separate, dedicated HVAC systems), the Pamela Krasney Pavilion, the Performing Arts Center (PAC), the Allen Ginsburg Library, the Cultural Center, the 1st floor of the 2111 offices, and the common areas of the 2333 residence hall. NBI was installed in the areas determined to be the highest risk, highest usage, and highest density. Close/prolonged contact in other areas, such as individual offices, can be minimized through the reduction of staff working in-person at any given time, as well as the continued use of remote technology for meetings.

Masking:
Naropa University will continue to require the proper use of masks. Masks must be worn indoors at all times except when actively eating or drinking, and must cover both the nose and the mouth. N95 or KN95 masks have been shown to offer the best protection against the Covid-19 Omicron variant. Use of these medical-grade masks is highly encouraged. The use of masks with ventilation holes and clear face shields is not allowed. Use of gaiters and bandanas is not recommended.

The State of Colorado is rolling out a plan for residents to be able to pick up free N/KN95 masks at libraries and community centers. Right now, they are only available at selected libraries – with Broomfield and Louisville the closest to Naropa, but locations are being updated. You can see details and sites here: https://covid19.colorado.gov/freemasks. N/KN95 masks are also available on sites like Amazon for about $1 per mask.

Covid-19 Resources:
Naropa has a detailed Covid-19 Resources page where you can find up-to-date information about Naropa’s Covid-19 safety procedures, important Frequently Asked Questions, information about what to do if you are feeling ill/miss class, information regarding isolation and quarantine protocols and requirements, as well as local and state resources.

Please familiarize yourself with the information found on this page. Anyone with questions related to Naropa’s Covid-19 response should go to this page first. Please reach out to the Covid-19 Taskforce at covid19questions@naropa.edu if you are unable to find the answer to your question on the resource page.

Best Wishes,

Charles G. Lief

President

Dear Beloved Naropa Community Members,

In light of the many impacts of the devastating wildfires in Boulder County, as well as the omicron surge, Naropa University will be moving to remote learning for all classes, retreats, and events for the first two weeks of the semester. Nonessential staff will work from home during this time as well. If you are a staff member and have questions, please consult with your supervisor. We will return to in-person learning and work on January 24, 2022.

We have a number of staff, faculty, and students who have been affected by the fires; and Naropa sustained some damage to our campuses from the wind that sparked the fires. We want to create as much ease and healing space as possible for the many people dealing with numerous impacts – which includes loss of homes, loss of heat and water and electricity, and road closures.

In addition, as we are all aware, Covid-19 numbers are currently surging with the spread of the omicron variant. While many cases seem to be mild, particularly for those who are vaccinated, ICU beds are in short supply in many areas of Colorado. In addition, testing access has become challenging, with high numbers of people using testing sites. Some experts expect the variant to peak in the next three weeks, and delaying an in-person start would assist with some of these issues.

When we return, we will continue to focus on the three pillars of risk mitigation – vaccination, ventilation, and masking; and the Covid-19 safety policies which were outlined for Spring 2022 will be in place. These policies include: 1) all Naropa community members are required to be fully vaccinated; 2) any community members who cannot be vaccinated for health, religious, moral, or ADA reasons must apply for and receive a vaccine exemption; 3) unvaccinated community members will be required to submit weekly Covid-19 testing and will be required to quarantine following any known Covid-19 exposure; and 4) all community members will be required to wear masks indoors at all times except when actively eating or drinking, until further notice. In addition, we highly recommend that all community members receive a booster shot and wear N95/KN95 masks whenever possible.

We know that this will be a relief to many, and a disappointment to some. As always, we are using the best information we have to make wise decisions to help keep our community safe.

At this time, we do not expect to continue remote learning, except for online programs, beyond the January 24 return to in-person learning.

Please direct any questions or comments to covid19questions@naropa.edu.

If you are a student who needs assistance with access related to the fires and/or the remote start, please contact studentconcerns@naropa.edu. If you are a staff or faculty member with needs related to the fires, please contact my office.

With appreciation,

Charles G. Lief

President

Dear Naropa Community,

We hope that this message finds you well a month into our fall semester. I am writing to you with important updates about how we plan to operate next semester. Starting in January with the spring 2022 semester, Naropa University will hold all residential courses in-person on our Boulder campuses and partner retreat sites. While we were hoping to return to pre-Covid operations with Covid-19 eradicated, it is clear that our lives will continue to be impacted by this virus for an unknown amount of time. To the hundreds of students who are enrolled in our residential university, we have made a commitment to provide an in-person learning community, and we are taking many steps to further enhance that experience for the next semester.

As is always the case in the face of the pandemic, this plan is based on the current data; and no one can predict any modifications which might be required because of unexpected changes in the impact of the virus.

At the start of the pandemic and through the fall of 2021, we have used technology to support hybrid learning. We are so grateful to our faculty and staff for their resilience and willingness to teach and support our students through this remote learning technology. However, knowing that in-person learning is at the core of our residential university and that Covid-19 remains with us, we will return to residential course delivery effective on the first day of classes, January 10, 2022. This will align Naropa with the vast majority of our fellow education institutions, including all of the Colorado colleges and universities. In order to continue to offer as safe an environment as possible, we are focused on three pillars of risk mitigation, to reduce the likelihood of transmission of Covid-19: Vaccination, Ventilation, and Masking.

Vaccination:
Naropa University requires (subject to the limited exceptions stated below) that all students and employees receive the Covid-19 vaccination and strongly encourages all parties to adhere to any recommended booster schedules. This requirement put into place on August 1, 2021, has been effective in ensuring that our community has high vaccination rates. As of September 12, 2021, the national average of adults who have received the full dosage of the Covid-19 vaccination is approximately 54%. The Colorado average is 69.5%. The vaccination rate for the residential Naropa student body is 82% and growing, well above the national and Colorado averages.

Vaccination against Covid-19 remains the most effective tool for reducing the risk of transmission, serious illness, hospitalization, and death. Naropa will continue to require that all students and employees be vaccinated against Covid-19. We have information on file for all current students, staff, and faculty; and we will collect new information for incoming students and employees through the admissions and hiring processes.

Some community members have sought and received an exception to the vaccination requirement. These exceptions are based on documentation of a medical, religious or moral objection to the vaccination. Incoming students and employees will maintain the legal right to seek an exception to the vaccine requirement. Receiving an exception means that students and employees may attend in-person Naropa-sponsored activities without receiving the Covid-19 vaccination starting January 1, 2022, but such exempt persons will be required to meet several additional safety precautions as detailed below.

For the fall semester of 2021, we are not allowing unvaccinated students, faculty, or staff to be physically present on our campuses. This decision was more rigid than that of other Colorado colleges and universities, which have also mandated the Covid-19 vaccination but have allowed unvaccinated persons with legal exceptions to the mandate to attend programs in-person while taking additional safety precautions. It was a prudent decision we needed to make last spring while we collected vaccination data for our community. Now that we are mostly vaccinated, CDC, state, and local guidelines allow for a move back to in-person learning for our residential community.

Vaccination or Exception Information:

  • Incoming students and newly hired employees must submit proof of vaccination or apply for a legally eligible vaccination exception.
  • Beginning in the spring semester of 2022, persons who apply for and receive an exception to the vaccination mandate based on stated legal grounds will attend Naropa classes and work in-person and may attend Naropa sponsored co-curricular programming in-person, subject to the safety conditions outlined below.
  • We will honor all exceptions to the vaccine mandate that were submitted and approved for the fall 2021 semester, and there is no need to resubmit the information.
  • Receiving an exception to the vaccination mandate means only that you will not be obligated to vaccinate as a condition of employment or study. However, we want to be clear that the exception does not grant special permission to teach or learn remotely – this was the accommodation made for exception recipients who were otherwise not able to physically access campus specifically for Fall 2021 due to Naropa’s limited access policy for the fall semester.
  • As of January 2022, non-vaccinated parties may access Naropa’s physical spaces; and, as such, anyone unvaccinated who is teaching or learning in a residential program must attend in-person – subject to the specific requirements set out in this memo.
  • There will no longer be options for dual in-person and remote learning via OWLs; and, unless state and local mandates change, residential courses will not be delivered online. For any in-person student who tests positive and is required to quarantine or isolate as described below, individual arrangements will need to be made with faculty to maintain class progress. This is the same as would be the case if a student was obliged to miss classes as a result of any other illness or other temporary situation. Examples of such arrangements may include using Zoom on a short-term basis if the faculty member agrees, completing course assignments over a longer period of time, taking an incomplete in the event of more extended absence, or arranging for a note-taker or other such accommodations. It is the responsibility of the student to work with the faculty to determine the arrangements. Faculty and advisors will be supported by the Academic Affairs division, Deans and department chairs to create these accommodations.

While more information will be provided prior to the start of the Spring 2022 semester, below are the safety precautions that are required of all unvaccinated students, staff, and faculty*:

  1. Mandatory testing, at least weekly, and reporting of results to university officials (testing protocols and options will be detailed as we get closer to January);
  2. Masking at all times while indoors regardless of whether or not this is required by public health order;
  3. Unvaccinated students may not reside in the residence halls;
  4. Mandatory quarantine for documented or disclosed classroom exposures; and
  5. Naropa reserves the right to restrict access to campus locations for unvaccinated community members in the event of an outbreak.

*Additional information will be provided prior to the start of the spring 2022 semester.

Risk Mitigation Strategies

Evidence shows that vaccination, ventilation, and masking are strong risk mitigation tactics that reduce the transmission of Covid-19. Naropa is currently working with a ventilation expert who will assist us in assessing available options for upgrades to our buildings that will improve airflow. Boulder County, at this time, is under a public health order which requires masks to be worn at all times while in indoor, public spaces such as Naropa University. Community members should anticipate that the masking requirement, regardless of vaccination status, will remain in effect through the spring 2022 semester.

Additional strategies for the University, regardless of vaccination status, include:

  1. Reduced staff presence on campus, with area Vice Presidents’ determining whether staff will work from home, while also meeting our basic service commitments to the community;
  2. Required Covid-19 testing prior to all retreats and intensives;
  3. Continued adherence to state recommendations on quarantine/isolation protocols. Unvaccinated students with a known Covid-19 exposure will be required to quarantine for a period of 10-14 days from exposure. In accordance with guidelines, vaccinated students will not be required to quarantine after a known exposure but should take a Covid-19 test 3-5 days post-exposure and isolate for 10 days should they receive a positive result;
  4. Following quarantine/isolation the person who tested positive may resume on-campus activities. A COVID-19 task force member will establish specific further protocols with the returning community members in accordance with the CDC guidelines effective at the time.
  5. Community members should continue to report confirmed cases of Covid-19 to covid19questions@naropa.edu for limited contact tracing purposes;
  6. Staff meetings, committee meetings, and faculty office hours may all continue to be held remotely;
  7. We will continue to suspend rentals and public events on campus;
  8. Social distancing should be followed whenever possible; and
  9. We will continue the use of classroom sanitation stations.

As with any policy or protocol decision arising from the current pandemic, we are balancing a number of priorities, including reasonable health and safety protocols, honoring our commitment to residential students to provide the residential experience they expect, maintaining reasonable retention rates, protecting Naropa’s financial sustainability, and following the science as best we can.

All of us have our own personal concerns and abilities to tolerate the risks that we face from Covid-19. While many in our community may cheer the return to residential learning, others may meet this news with caution. Faculty should bring any concerns to the relevant school Dean, who will bring them to the Chief Academic Officer or Human Resources as appropriate. Employees should discuss any concerns they have with the Human Resources Department. Students are encouraged to speak with their academic advisors or academic leadership.

Questions may be sent to: Covid19questions@naropa.edu.

With appreciation,

Charles G. Lief

President

Dear Naropa Community,

We are enthusiastically and energetically planning for the beginning of the new academic year while continuing to navigate the Covid-19 pandemic and the ways in which it has impacted our lives over the last 18 months. Naropa, like many other colleges and universities across the country, strives to meet high safety standards for our students, faculty and staff. We are proud of the way that our community has stepped up and minimized the number of Covid-19 cases at Naropa.

This announcement outlines the steps we are taking to protect us all, and to minimize the risk of Covid-19 spread on our campuses and at our sponsored activities. As had been the case throughout the pandemic, the protocols outlined below are subject to change as the pandemic situation changes. We will post timely information, including any changes to campus protocols, on the Covid-19 page of our website.

On April 30, 2021, I announced that all students, staff and faculty must submit proof of Covid-19 vaccination in order to access Naropa’s campuses or otherwise attend in-person, Naropa-sponsored activities. The vaccination policy, along with information on how to submit your vaccination information or how to seek an exception, may be found on the Covid-19 page of our website. This policy is in line with higher education institutions throughout Colorado (including our neighboring University of Colorado) and across the country.

All members of our community must submit proof of vaccination or file for an exemption prior to the start of the semester. You will receive follow-up emails, texts and/or telephone calls until you have submitted your information. If we do not have any information on file for you by August 23, you will automatically be listed as a “remote” student or staff person, and will not be able to access campus. Remote students will be given remote options for course attendance and will continue to have access to student support services, but must make appointments to meet with staff via Zoom or another online platform. As we have noted in prior communications, staff are not guaranteed that their job is one that we will support being done remotely; and any staff member seeking exemption must address that with their supervisor. Anyone may amend their information should they choose to become fully vaccinated, at which time they will be able to attend classes, events or work in person. Students in our fully online programs do not need to submit proof of vaccination or apply for an exemption.

Remote learning is only for students who have applied for a legal exemption to the vaccination requirement or students in our fully online programs. Remote learning allows these students access to courses while also creating in-person classroom learning-filled solely with vaccinated participants. Organizing and scheduling hundreds of online and in-person classes has involved many staff and faculty over the course of the spring and summer, and any late changes impact the entire academic schedule. We have also assessed all staff positions to determine which might be suitable for work at home and which require on-campus presence to meet the expectations of our students and fellow faculty and staff. For that reason, we cannot accommodate any late shifts between remote and in-person learning or individual staff decisions to work from home which are not coordinated by the appropriate supervisor. Specifically, residential, vaccinated students may not switch to remote learning at this time. Vaccinated Faculty currently slated to teach in person may not alter their course delivery modes at this time and vaccinated staff members, whose job responsibilities require an in-person presence, may only work from home with the permission of their department supervisors. The Covid-19 Taskforce continues to monitor all Covid-19 developments and will make decisions regarding broad university operations as the situation warrants.

Creating a campus environment in which everyone physically present is vaccinated allows us to loosen some of the restrictions that were in place last year. We recognize that circumstances differ, and many people will feel safer taking extra precautions (such as social distancing or double masking). We encourage anyone to take extra precautions if they feel that is best for themselves and those around them.

The CDC is currently recommending that vaccinated persons wear masks in public settings in locations where Covid-19 is spreading rapidly. The CDC is tracking community transmissions and categorizing county transmission rates as Low, Moderate, Substantial or High. Vaccinated persons within counties with Substantial or High transmission rates are encouraged to mask in public settings. Currently, Boulder County is deemed Substantial by the CDC, as it relates to the risk of community transmissions. You may view the CDC transmission tracker HERE.

MASKS: Following CDC recommendations, as well as policies being put in place for educational facilities in Boulder County, Naropa will be requiring masks or face coverings in indoor spaces. Starting immediately, masks or face coverings should be worn in all indoor spaces regardless of vaccination status. Masks may be removed while eating or drinking in common areas and while working alone in a private office. Masks do not need to be worn when outdoors. Students residing in our residence halls do not need to wear masks or face coverings while in indoor private settings.

SOCIAL DISTANCING: Social distancing is no longer required, and our classrooms will return to pre-Covid occupancy limits. Please be respectful of anyone who wishes to continue social distancing.

TESTING: We will not be offering Covid-19 testing on campus this fall. Regular testing is no longer required of our students residing in our resident halls or for retreat participants. Anyone who is experiencing symptoms commonly associated with Covid-19 should seek a Covid-19 test. The CDC also recommends testing 3-5 days after exposure to a confirmed case of Covid-19, even if you don’t have symptoms. Local testing locations are listed on the Boulder County Covid-19 information webpage.

CAMPUS CLEARANCE PROCESS: Community members will not be required to complete the Campus Clearance Process prior to accessing campus or in-person activities. The Campus Clearance Process will be replaced with the Campus Participation Health Assessment tool. This tool is available to help you assess whether or not you should come to campus if you are feeling any possible symptoms associated with Covid-19.

CLASSROOMS/CAMPUS SPACES: Cushions will be available for use in individual classrooms. Cleaning and disinfecting practices and protocols are in place for all of our campus spaces. Students and faculty are encouraged to wipe down desks and chairs before and after use with the cleaning supplies found in each classroom.

FEELING ILL: Anyone who is feeling ill with Covid-19 symptoms should stay at home. We ask that all faculty and staff supervisors be flexible with attendance and paid time off policies when it comes to working with students and staff with Covid-19. Isolation is required for anyone with a confirmed case of Covid-19. Naropa community members with a confirmed case of Covid-19 must report their status to the Covid-19 Taskforce by emailing covid19questions@naropa.edu.

Naropa will monitor any confirmed cases of Covid-19 amongst community members. While fully vaccinated individuals are not required to quarantine if they are exposed to someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19, all individuals who are exposed should monitor themselves for symptoms for 14 days and get tested within 3-5 days after your exposure, even if you don’t have symptoms. You should also wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days following exposure or until your test result is negative. You should isolate for 10 days if your test result is positive.

Naropa may need to act and ask that people quarantine if they attended classes or retreats where a significant number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 appear. Naropa will continue to partner with the Boulder County Department of Public Health and follow local, state, and federal guidelines related to quarantine strategies.

Students, staff and faculty should be proactive and make plans as to where they can safely quarantine or isolate should they be required to do so. Except for residents at Snow Lion or 2333 Arapahoe, Naropa cannot provide quarantine or isolation space.

EVENTS: Student groups, events and gatherings may occur on campus without limitation in gathering size as long as they are scheduled, supervised and approved by the appropriate departments per Naropa’s existing Event Guidelines. Events and gatherings, however, are open only to members of the Naropa community, and all participants must have provided proof of vaccination in order to be physically present. We encourage all event organizers to be inclusive of our remote and online population when planning your event by offering remote options for participation. In addition, please note that we are not currently renting campus spaces to third parties.

VISITORS AND GUESTS: Visitors and guests to Naropa, including prospective students, who need limited access to Naropa property for business purposes, are not required to provide proof of vaccination. All guests are required to wear masks indoors at all times when they are on Naropa property.

RETREATS: Retreats, Intensives and Field Work will be held in-person and in accordance with the vaccination mandate policy. Alternate arrangements will be made available to students with exemptions as well since they will be unable to attend in person. Your faculty will make you aware of these arrangements.

In-person participants should adhere to any safety protocols established by the host site, including the following directions related to masking and social distancing. Currently, Larimer County, Colorado – where the Shambhala Mountain Center is located – is deemed to have a Substantial amount of community transmission of Covid-19. As such, Naropa retreat participants must adhere to the masking policies jointly developed by SMC and Naropa which will be shared with all retreat participants. Naropa cannot guarantee that students and staff will not interact with host site staff or other community members while on-site at a retreat. Naropa participants should wear masks and distance when in common areas or in the presence of retreat site staff or non-Naropa retreat participants.

Retreat participants with Covid-19 symptoms should leave the retreat site and obtain a Covid-19 test. The participant may return to the retreat if the Covid-19 test is negative. Positive test results should be reported to covid19questions@naropa.edu. Naropa may need to act and ask that all retreat participants return home and quarantine in situations where there are a significant number of confirmed cases of Covid-19. Faculty should consult with the Covid-19 Taskforce regarding any health concerns on retreat and prior to taking any action.

Retreat participants with a Covid-19 exposure (meaning that you have been in close contact – less than 6 feet apart, unmasked for more than 15 minutes – with someone with a confirmed case of Covid-19 within the past 14 days) should obtain a Covid-19 test within 3-5 days of the exposure, even if you do not have symptoms. You should also wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days following exposure or until your test result is negative. You may return to the retreat if your test is negative. You should isolate for 10 days if your test result is positive.

Students, staff and faculty should be proactive and make plans as to where they can safely quarantine or isolate should they be required to do so. Naropa will not provide quarantine or isolation space for anyone not residing in our residence halls. Naropa will not provide transportation to and from a retreat or intensive locations, and students should make plans should they need to leave a site in order to obtain testing or to quarantine or isolate.

RESIDENCE: Residence halls will return to maximum occupancy this fall. Residents should work with residence hall staff to understand cleaning and disinfecting protocols within the halls.

Thank you for helping to keep our community healthy. If you have any questions, please send them to covid19questions@naropa.edu and we will answer or direct them to the correct person, as needed.

With appreciation,

Charles G. Lief

President

Beloved Naropa Community,

I write to you today on behalf of the Naropa University Board of Trustees.

Each member of this Board is deeply committed to the health and safety of our campus community. Together, we are dedicated to Naropa being a place where all people feel heard and are safe, to the greatest extent possible. When a conducive environment exists, growth and learning can flourish in all parts of our community. This goes to the heart of our mission, is a goal we can all support and is why I am writing you today.

As Trustees, our role is governance-related, and we don’t typically participate in operational decisions. It is appropriate to leave such decisions to the administration to design and implement. That said, the global pandemic – amidst other layered crises – has presented deeply personal challenges for so many of us, especially those who are most vulnerable and at risk.

Given this context, and the careful weighing of all voices, factors, and the science that went into the decision regarding the Fall 2021 vaccine requirement, I felt compelled to write about the Board’s support for Naropa’s vaccine policy.

To be clear: amidst diverse opinions, the Board of Trustees is in support of the Naropa University vaccination requirement for Fall 2021. Here you can find the plan and further information as developed by the Naropa administration.

I want to publicly thank the Naropa staff who have done incredible work listening to and caring for our diverse community via our COVID processes and action over the last year and a half. The board trusts you and is deeply grateful for your respectful listening and skillful means.

Wishing each of you, and your families and friends, a healthy and safe summer and start to the coming academic year.

Sincerely, Tyler

Tyler Norris, MDiv (’12) (he, him)

Chair, Board of Trustees

Naropa University

Throughout the pandemic, the safety and wellbeing of our campus and community have and will continue to be our highest priority. We have therefore determined to require that all Naropa University students, faculty, and staff receive the complete COVID-19 vaccination prior to the beginning of the Fall 2021 semester in order to study, teach, work or attend any Naropa-sponsored activities.

We have made this decision in accordance with the clear science-based advice from the Governor’s Office, state and local health departments, and the Colorado Department of Higher Education; and we are acting in concert with hundreds of other universities around the country, including the growing majority of schools in Colorado. We are very aware that there are different views about COVID-19 policies and especially about vaccination mandates. We can say that most of the communication we have received about the issue supports this decision.

In this announcement, you will find the following:

  • Information about and the link to access the Vaccine Verification Form
  • Information about and the link to access the Application for Exception to the Vaccination Requirement
  • Update on Summer (June 1 – August 1) 2021 Campus Safety Protocols


Mandatory Vaccination Policy: Verification Process

Beginning June 1, 2021, students, staff and faculty will be able to submit proof of vaccination online. Vaccination verification is due NO LATER THAN August 1, 2021. However, you are encouraged to submit verification as soon as possible. The verification portal may be accessed by clicking HERE. Please note that you must be logged in with your Naropa single sign-on credentials to access the form. You will be prompted to log in if you are not otherwise.

Parties will be asked to upload a picture of their vaccination card – showing completion of two rounds of vaccination for persons receiving the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, or one round of the Johnson & Johnson vaccination.

Submitted vaccination verification information will be received by:

For Students: Your Academic Advisor

For Employees: The Human Resources Department

Student-provided information will be shared only on a need-to-know basis in compliance with the Family Rights and Educational Privacy Act (FERPA).

International students may submit proof of the Covid-19 vaccination that was obtained in their home country. International students who have not been able to access the vaccine in their home country will not be precluded from attending classes on campus provided that you work with the International Student Advisor to schedule vaccination upon arrival in Colorado.

Students residing in the residence halls will need to upload proof of vaccination through the portal in order to proceed with moving into the resident halls. Your submission will be shared with the Director of Campus and Residential Life.

Application for Exception to Vaccination Requirement

Any incoming or returning student, staff, and faculty may seek an exception under this policy. Exception requests must follow the outlined process and must be made in a timely manner. Late requests will not be granted. This is because each exception is individual and requires considerable work by faculty, the registrar, and facilities staff and cannot be completed under too much time pressure. As specified below, all applicants will be notified in a timely manner as to whether their requests have been approved.

Seeking an exception to this requirement means that Naropa will not require you to receive the vaccination and will offer to you reasonable accommodations related to accessing your education and employment remotely. While we respect all personal decisions regarding whether or not to vaccinate, unvaccinated persons may not access Naropa’s physical spaces, programs or events in-person through at least December 31, 2021, but may do so utilizing remote options as provided by the university.

Eligibility:

Students, staff and faculty may seek an exception in the following circumstances:

You are unable to receive the Covid-19 vaccination due to:

  1. Sincerely held religious beliefs;
  2. Moral or philosophical objections to vaccinations;
  3. Disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or medical condition impacting ability to obtain vaccination; and
  4. Pregnancy, pregnancy-related medical conditions and/or breastfeeding.

The application for seeking an exception may be found HERE. Please note that you must be logged in with your Naropa single sign-on credentials to access the form. You will be prompted to log in if you are not otherwise.

Completed application forms will be received by the Exception Review Panel consisting of the Director of Human Resources, the Special Advisor to the President, and the Associate Dean of Students. All applications are due no later than July 15, 2021, and determinations will be communicated back to the applicant by July 28, 2021. Information submitted with your application will not be shared and communication about approval of an exception request will be shared only on a need-to-know basis.

Summer 2021 Campus Safety Protocols

We will continue to ask community members accessing campus or other in-person Naropa-sponsored activities for Summer 2021 (June 1 through August 1) to follow the following safety procedures:

  1. Continue to wear masks both indoor and outdoor while on Naropa property UNLESS you are fully vaccinated AND have completed the Vaccine Verification Process.
  2. Continue to practice social distancing UNLESS you are fully vaccinated AND have completed the Vaccine Verification Process.
  3. Continue to utilize the Campus Clearance Process (found at www.naropa.edu) each time you access campus UNLESS you are fully vaccinated AND have completed the Vaccine Verification Process.
  4. At this time, we will continue to reduce access to our campus facilities and will not host third-party rentals or events.
  5. Events hosted by students or employees should follow the above safety guidelines. While there are no longer caps on the number of people allowed to gather, anyone hosting an event with more than 25 people estimated to be in attendance should contact the COVID Taskforce (covid19questions@naropa.edu) for support.

NOTE: Safety protocols for the Fall 2021 semester will be announced in August.

Please send any questions to covid19questions@naropa.edu.

Mandatory Vaccination Exception: Eligibility Policy & Application Process

Throughout the pandemic, the safety and wellbeing of our campus and community have and will continue to be our highest priority. We have therefore determined to require that all Naropa University students, faculty, and staff receive the complete COVID-19 vaccination prior to the beginning of the Fall 2021 Semester in order to study, teach, work or attend any Naropa-sponsored activities. We encourage all who are participating in the Naropa community fully online to receive the vaccine as well, understanding that failure to do so means we cannot welcome you to campus, even briefly, at least through December 31, 2021.

We have made this decision in accordance with the clear science-based advice from the Governor’s Office, state and local health departments, and the Colorado Department of Higher Education; and we are acting in concert with hundreds of other universities around the country, including the growing majority of schools in Colorado. We are very aware that there are different views about COVID-19 policies and especially about vaccination mandates. We can say that most of the communication addressed to Naropa about the issue supports this decision. Out of respect for personal views to the contrary, or health issues making vaccination inadvisable, exemptions can be sought. Below is information outlining how to apply for an exception to this requirement.

Any incoming or returning student, staff, and faculty may seek an exception under this policy. Exception requests must follow the outlined process and must be made in a timely manner. Late requests will not be granted. This is because each exception is individual and requires considerable work by faculty, the registrar, and facilities staff and cannot be completed under too much time pressure. As specified below, all applicants will be notified in a timely manner as to whether their requests have been approved.

Seeking an exception to this requirement means that Naropa will not require you to receive the vaccination and will offer you reasonable accommodations related to accessing your education and employment remotely. While we respect all personal decisions regarding whether or not to vaccinate, unvaccinated persons may not access Naropa’s physical spaces, programs or events in-person through at least December 31, 2021, but may do so utilizing remote options as provided by the university. As we have consistently noted, as the scientific advice changes and evolves our policies will also be updated and modified as appropriate.

Eligibility:

Students, staff and faculty may seek an exception in the following circumstances:

You are unable to receive the Covid-19 vaccination due to:

  1. Sincerely held religious beliefs;
  2. Moral or philosophical objections to vaccinations
  3. Disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or medical condition impacting ability to obtain vaccination; and
  4. Pregnancy, pregnancy-related medical conditions and/or breastfeeding.


Process For Seeking an Exception:

Beginning June 1st, an application form to apply for an exception online will be made available. Completed application forms will be received by the Exception Review Panel consisting of the Director of Human Resources, the Special Advisor to the President, and the Associate Dean of Students. All applications are due no later than July 15, 2021, and determinations will be communicated back to the applicant by July 28, 2021. Information submitted with your application will not be shared and communication about approval of an exception request will be shared only on a need-to-know basis.

Mandatory Vaccination Policy: Verification Process

Beginning June 1, 2021 students, staff and faculty will be able to submit proof of vaccination online. Vaccination verification is due NO LATER THAN August 1, 2021. However, you are encouraged to submit verification as soon as the portal opens. Parties will be asked to upload a picture of their vaccination card – showing completion of two rounds of vaccination for persons receiving the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, or one round of the Johnson & Johnson vaccination.

Submitted vaccination verification information will be received by:

For Students: Your Academic Adviser

For Employees: The Human Resources Department

Student-provided information will be shared only on a need-to-know basis in compliance with the Family Rights and Educational Privacy Act (FERPA).

International students may submit proof of the Covid-19 vaccination that was obtained in their home country. International students who have not been able to access the vaccine in their home country will not be precluded from attending classes on campus provided that you work with the International Student Advisor to schedule vaccination upon arrival in Colorado.

Students residing in the residence halls will need to upload proof of vaccination through the portal in order to proceed with moving into the resident halls. Your submission will be received by your Academic Advisor and shared with the Director of Campus and Residential Life.

Please send any questions to covid19questions@naropa.edu.

Dear Members of the Naropa Community,

Throughout the pandemic, the safety and wellbeing of our campus and community have and will continue to be our highest priority. We have therefore determined to require that all Naropa University students, faculty, and staff receive a COVID-19 vaccine prior to the beginning of the Fall 2021 Semester in order to study, teach, work or attend any Naropa-sponsored activities. We encourage all who are participating in the Naropa community fully online to receive the vaccine as well, understanding that failure to do so means we cannot welcome you to campus even briefly.

We are making this decision in accordance with the clear science-based advice from the Governor’s Office, state and local health departments, and the Colorado Department of Higher Education; and we are acting in concert with hundreds of other universities around the country, including the growing majority of schools in Colorado. As with our established vaccination policies, exemptions can be sought. Information about eligibility and how to apply for an exemption will be provided by May 19th. Please continue to check your Naropa email even after the semester ends, for important information. There will be a deadline by which exemption requests must be made. Adjustments may be made to the delivery mode of certain courses.

All students, staff and faculty will be required to show proof of vaccination by August 1st, 2021 in order to have access to Naropa’s campuses, buildings or to participate in Naropa-sponsored academic and co-curricular activities. All students who choose to live in our on-campus residence halls will also be required to be vaccinated.

This decision affirms the science behind vaccinations and their effectiveness in lowering infection and transmission rates of the COVID-19 virus. We believe this requirement will not only benefit our on-campus community, but it is also vital for the public health and the wellbeing of the surrounding community of which Naropa is a part. An important part of the in-person Naropa educational experience is being together on campus, and it is our goal to ensure that we can do that as safely as possible this fall. This will require everyone to be a part of ensuring the safety of our community.

More details and resources for the Naropa community will be forthcoming in the coming weeks. In the meantime, questions can be directed to covid19questions@naropa.edu.

We are grateful for the commitment and resilience from all in the Naropa community who have continued to show up with service and compassion in the face of extraordinarily difficult circumstances. We believe this decision will help move us forward and bring us together, as we continue to provide a contemplative and inclusive education for all who seek it.

Sincerely,
Charles G. Lief

President

Community Announcement Re: Fall 2021

Naropa University is planning to welcome students in our residential programs back to campus for in-person course delivery, with some exceptions, for the Fall 2021 academic semester. As we have learned over the course of the past year, we must adapt and pivot as necessary to account for changing conditions. However, with the advancement of the COVID-19 vaccination and the likelihood that the vaccine will be available by late summer for those seeking to obtain it, we can forecast a return to pre-COVID operations – modified to maintain good health and wellness practices.

We believe it is prudent to plan for social distancing guidelines to continue to be in place for this fall. The sizes of our classrooms, coupled with room occupancy limits, poses an impediment to our ability to offer all of our residential courses in person. As such, courses which historically enroll 20 students or more will be taught online or hybrid (with predetermined in-person sessions to occur in the Performing Arts Center, Nalanda Events Center, or another appropriately-sized space). Of the 418 fall course offerings, 100 will be delivered in an online or hybrid format. On March 15th, details of the fall course offerings will be published. In the meantime, the Registrar’s Office and faculty leadership are working together to specify the 100 courses that will be offered online or hybrid.

Students should prepare to attend classes in Boulder this fall. Beginning with the Fall 2021 semester, residential courses will no longer accommodate remote participation. We will discontinue the use of OWLs for this purpose. We found that the OWLs worked reasonably well given the urgent need for options, however, most students and faculty prefer a learning environment where all students are participating by the same means – all in-person or all online. If an individual student needs or prefers to study remotely, they should speak with their Academic Advisor to determine whether transferring into one of our fully online programs makes sense for them. Advisors are prepared to work with any student seeking a way to earn a Naropa degree virtually. Students with qualified disabilities seeking academic accommodations should work with the Office of Accessibility Resources to determine reasonable accommodations.

At this time, we do not foresee making changes to the academic calendar, meaning that courses will begin on August 23, 2021, in the mode of delivery stated during registration. Breaks and holidays will not change from what is stated in the 2021-2022 academic calendar.

While we encourage community members to get vaccinated when it is possible, we do not foresee Naropa requiring that students, staff and faculty receive the COVID-19 vaccine unless it is mandated. Discussion is ongoing as to whether or not this will be a requirement of living in university-sponsored housing, and no decision has been made to date.

Campus safety precautions will remain in place until we are able, based on the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s guidance, to lessen them. This means that social distancing (remaining at least 6 feet apart), mask-wearing, and adherence to campus clearance procedures will continue for the time being. We are exploring what additional safety precautions may need to be enacted or enhanced to best support an increase in community members on campus.

At this time, we anticipate being able to bring our residence halls back to full occupancy and again are discussing whether vaccination against Covid-19 will be required to maintain residency.

Retreats, intensives, or field trips may happen in-person provided safety precautions continue to be followed.

More information will be forthcoming this summer regarding our ability to hold on-campus or Naropa-sponsored gatherings, as that depends on state and city ordinances. External rental of Naropa space will continue to be suspended throughout the fall. At this early stage, we don’t yet have a firm decision as to the location for either the Winter 2021 or Spring 2022 graduation ceremonies.

A staff working group has been formed to discuss how to maintain the flexibility afforded by remote work while continuing to provide high-quality services to our students. The pre-COVID presence of staff on campus may look different this fall, and more detail will be provided once decisions are made.

Please know that with this announcement, we are attempting to provide certainty in the midst of uncertainty; and things may still need to adapt. Thank you for your commitment to remain nimble. As always, questions may be sent to covid19questions@naropa.edu, from which they will be directed to the right person.

With appreciation,

Charles G. Lief

President

Please send any inquiries to: covid19questions@naropa.edu

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YOU ARE READY.

This is where experiential learning meets academic rigor. Where you challenge your intellect and uncover your potential. Where you discover the work you’re moved to do—then use it to transform our world.

“*” indicates required fields