On Friday, March 13, the Response Team issued five action statements in an email to St. Olaf students, faculty and staff, which included the immediate cancellation of all College-sponsored events through April 5.
This sweeping cancellation impacted numerous student organizations and music groups across campus. St. Olaf Habitat for Humanity and Ole Spring Relief were forced to cancel their respective service trips due to the coronavirus. International Night and Drag Ball were halted, and the Institute for Freedom and Community cut their “State of the Presidential Election” event.
In addition, both the Norseman Band and the St. Olaf Orchestra saw their respective spring concerts cancelled.
St. Olaf’s Music Entertainment Committee (MEC), which planned on hosting the Minneapolis-based singer Humbird for a concert in the Lair the evening of Friday, March 13, was forced to cancel the event, notifying the guest performer of the cancellation in the middle of their sound check.
Following a meeting by its President’s Council, the MIAC decided to cancel the remainder of the regular season and postseason tournaments for all spring sports. On campus, all intramural sports were suspended.
To help limit the possible spread of the coronavirus around campus, the College made changes to the operations of Stav Hall, which included the decision to remove all trays.
Alterations to policies were also implemented to increase the viability of social distancing and other mitigation measures. All rooms on the third floor of Buntrock Commons were opened for students to eat meals, and McDowell encouraged all students to wash their hands before entering the cafeteria.
These changes were communicated to the campus via emails from McDowell on March 12 and 13.