March 17, 2021: New Commencement, COVID-19 Updates

Dear students, faculty and staff,

We have made updates to our COVID-19 protocol at St. Thomas as it relates to commencement and other campus gatherings (see chart below). These updates are based on the latest COVID-19 guidance from the governor and the Minnesota Department of Health.

First, we are very optimistic that the university will be able to hold in-person, outside commencement ceremonies!

Ceremonies are anticipated to take place:

May 16 - School of Law Commencement
May 22 - Baccalaureate Commencement
May 23 - Dougherty Family College Commencement and Graduate Commencement

We also have updated our COVID-19 guidelines and Common Good Capacity for different types of gatherings at St. Thomas. Please see below. All changes take effect immediately unless otherwise noted in the chart.

Thanks for your attention to these important updates.
Stay healthy and safe!

Karen M. Lange, Ed.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs
Co-chair, Campus Preparedness Plan

Wendy N. Wyatt, Ph.D.
Vice Provost for Academic Affairs
Co-chair, Campus Preparedness Plan

COVID-19 Guidelines

Gathering Type Guidelines
Social Gatherings
  • Indoors: Up to 15 people from any number of households
  • Outdoors: Up to 50 people from any number of households
  • Wear masks and practice social distancing at all times
  • Applies for on- and off-campus events
Residence Hall Visitors

No change to current guidelines:

- On-campus residents may visit other on-campus residents
- Occupancy of residency room plus two people allowed in a room
- No off-campus visitors permitted in residence hall rooms
- Adhere to Common Good Capacity in shared spaces

Campus Club or Organization Events and Meetings

(Officially recognized student clubs and organizations through the Department of Campus Life)
- Limited to Common Good Capacity of each room with a maximum of 50 people
- Wear masks and practice social distancing at all times
- Approval from Department of Campus Life if food/beverage is served
Department Sponsored Events
(All activities sponsored by a department e.g. STAR events)
- Limited to Common Good Capacity of each room
- Wear masks and practice social distancing at all times
- At least one St. Thomas employee must be present per 50 attendees to monitor COVID-19 guidelines
- Approval from Dean, VP or Department of Campus Life for all food/beverage
Department Meetings - Virtual meetings still strongly encouraged wherever possible
- In-person meetings must be limited to Common Good Capacity
- For in-person meetings, wearing masks and practicing social distancing is required
- Approval of Dean or VP is required if food/beverage is served
Exercise, Recreation and Athletics Competitions - Capacity is up to 50% in all campus exercise and recreation facilities, subject to social distancing requirements
- After Spring Break, club and intramural sports will increase:Indoors: up to 25 people from any number of households
- Outdoors: up to 50 people from any number of households
- In basketball gyms:Six people per hoop, one-on-one and two-on-two games now permitted
- Masking required at all times
Worship Services at Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas

No change to current guidelines

- See details of current guidelines here.
Summer Camps - Summer camps will be allowed – details to be determined following Minnesota Department of Health guidelines
- Event hosts should contact Conference and Event Services with questions
Commencement - We are optimistic that we will be able to hold in-person, outdoor commencement ceremonies with minimal risk to graduating students and their families.
- View more information on the Commencement web page, which will be updated as details become available.