By Elijah Radoncic
Following the outbreak of 77 total COVID-19 cases on the Saint Michael’s campus, over 150 students have been placed in either quarantine or isolation. In order to contain the virus and prevent its spread to other members of the community, these students are not able to leave their residences, which means that food must be delivered to them.
For quarantined senior Andrew Jones, that meant very regular delivery times, something he welcomed to break up the monotony of long days inside. “We got lunch around 12:00 every day. Dinner and breakfast came together around 5 p.m. Dinner always has a salad and the meal changes between a stir fry and pasta. Breakfast is a bagel and muffin, and lunch is a sandwich and chips,” he said.
The Associate Deans on campus play a major role in both the delivery process of meals, and the relocation of students for quarantine/isolation as necessary. “Once the Associate Dean on Duty hears from Bergeron Wellness that a student needs to isolate or quarantine, the Associate Dean will make contact with the student to assist in their relocation to isolation or quarantine,” said Meghan Ohler, director of residential operations & systems, and senior associate dean of students.
During the initial process of a student’s transition to either quarantine or isolation, their dietary needs are discussed with the Associate Dean. “Part of the conversation is around whether or not that person has any allergies or dietary restrictions. Once we know that information, we make a note so that we can notify Sodexo,” said Ohler.
“We have a system that tracks who we have and where,” added Jeffery Vincent, associate dean of students and director of residence life and community standards.“It takes a little while to put that document together because unfortunately, every morning that list is changing. Then that goes to Sodexo, and to the volunteers for the day. Sodexo uses that document to put the meals together. For example, it may say 45 meals to Joyce, 20 to Ryan, and 5 to Senior Hall. The volunteers divide that list up, and then they go disperse the meals. That happens every day, twice a day. It’s a real testament to the communal aspect of Saint Michael’s College,” said Vincent.
“Everybody is trying to do their best to meet students where they are at. The volunteers who are students, staff and faculty, the residence life and student life staff who are organizing it, and the Sodexo employees who are putting their best foot forward. It is truly an effort of everyone,” Vincent said.