Regrettably, due to a number of significant factors, including the pandemic, the weekend is moving to all virtual
Scheduled attendees will be refunded accordingly and any purchased items will be shipped to them.
Why must I obtain a COVID vaccine in order to attend Alumni Weekend?
Requiring Covid-19 vaccination as a prerequisite to attend the Alumni Weekend Residency was not an easy decision for our office, and one that we weighed very carefully.
Since January, we have been meeting with the Alumni Weekend planning committee to discuss various options for this year’s event. While organizing this type of large event is never an easy undertaking given our small staff, limited resources, and the requirements of advanced logistical planning, this year has proven especially challenging given shifting guidance as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve. Our default plan throughout this winter centered on a fully virtual event similar to that offered last year. In addition to the issues related to COVID, there are additional concerns relating to the Plainfield, VT campus having been closed for over a year and the decision not to host the majority of in-person residencies this Summer and Fall. The fact that we are now able to offer an on-campus option for Alumni Weekend, albeit limited to those who have obtained vaccination, is a significant step forward toward resuming normal operations.
In arriving at this decision, we consulted the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Vermont Department of Health guidance, staff union survey feedback, and the Campus Safety Planning Committee. The following issues were identified which argued against a fully open campus for Alumni Weekend this Fall.
- Potential travel restrictions/risk of exposure for out-of-state attendees that are not vaccinated
- Staff capacity to track and support required quarantine and Covid testing for non-vaccinated attendees prior to the event
- Cost barrier for the College to provide Covid testing to non-vaccinated attendees at start of event
- Liability risks for the College in the event of an exposure or significant outbreak on campus at the event
- Staff Union concerns about returning to a mixed campus
- General trajectory of the pandemic which guidance suggests will see another spike in transmissions come Fall
We respect the decision to get vaccinated as a deeply personal one and we are committed to finding a way in 2022 for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people to safely participate in Alumni Weekend.
Can my registration be reimbursed if I cancel?
Yes, if you need to cancel, please do so by September 17, 2021. Cancellations by this date will receive a reimbursement minus a $50 processing fee. Cancellations must be made in writing to firstname.lastname@example.org . Cancellations after September 17 will not be eligible for a refund; however, individuals may request reconsideration on a case-by-case basis for extenuating circumstances.
Is there a registration deadline?
Yes. The final registration deadline for on-campus attendees is September 17, 2021 in order to allow sufficient time for planning meals and housing.
Virtual attendees can register as late as the day before the event, October 8, 2021.
If the final registration deadline has passed and you are interested in attending on campus, it is suggested that you email email@example.com to be placed on a waiting list in the event space becomes available due to a late cancellation.
Why does the weekend cost this much?
Every effort is made to keep costs to a minimum and ensure access for as many alumni as possible who wish to attend. The registration fee covers the cost of meals, housing, supplies, technology, IT support, transportation for keynote speakers, and associated staffing for the weekend. Goddard College is not profiting from this event.
What if I can’t afford the registration fee?
Every effort has been made to keep the registration fees as affordable as possible. On-campus fees include housing and meals so they are considerably higher than the virtual event option. We encourage all individuals who are unable to travel to Vermont for financial reasons to consider the virtual registration option.
Limited funding may also be available to support virtual participation in this year’s Alumni Weekend. If you are interested in participating in the virtual program and are unable to afford the virtual registration fee, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
If I’m local, can I attend for just Saturday or Sunday?
Yes. If you reside in Central Vermont, you may attend for one or both days. Contact us at email@example.com to discuss how to register for the event. All single-day registrants must check-in at the help desk on arrival to campus and prior to departure.
Staying on Campus
Can I request a double room if I don’t have a selected roommate?
Our COVID-19 safety protocols guarantee each guest a separate room. Exceptions will only be made for individuals who reside in the same household and who wish to room together. Thank you for understanding.
Can I bring a guest with me?
Yes! A partner, spouse, or friend is welcome to accompany you to Alumni Weekend and should register with you on the same registration form. However, due to our COVID-19 safety protocols, if you reside in different households we will assign you and your guest separate rooms.
Can I bring my child(ren)?
We are unable to provide childcare or offer specific programming for children. However, if you have someone to help look after your child(ren), you are more than welcome to bring them for the weekend. Children must be attended by an adult all weekend. If you have any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
There is no registration fee for child(ren); however, a la carte charges do apply for meals and housing. The cost to cover meals is $105/per child for the full weekend. No additional housing charges will be assessed if your child(ren) is staying in your room. In the event you require an additional room, the cost is $180/per room for the full weekend.
Can I bring my dog?
Dogs are not allowed on campus unless they are your service dog.
What’s the deal with meals/food?
Eating meals together, as you know from residency, fosters a sense of community and connection. Your registration fee covers the cost of three meals a day, with multiple dietary options at each meal. All considering, that’s quite a deal! The cost for the meals goes directly to paying the kitchen staff as well as covering food ingredients/products.
We will be following COVID-19 safety guidelines to keep everyone safe during mealtimes. More information will be provided closer to the event.
What if I have dietary restrictions?
You will have an opportunity to register your dietary restrictions prior to the event and no later than September 17. Please be sure to submit your form in a timely manner so that the kitchen staff has ample time to prepare you a tasty meal.
Getting to Campus
The Plainfield campus in central Vermont is about a 15-minute drive from Montpelier, the Capital of Vermont, and an hour from Burlington, one of Vermont’s largest cities.
There are a number of ways to travel to the Goddard campus in Plainfield, Vermont. Driving is one of the most convenient methods. Central Vermont is also accessible by flights to Burlington, VT, Amtrak trains and Greyhound, Megabus, Yankee Trails, PeterPan and GreenMountain Transit busses to the area, with a short taxi ride to the campus.
For more information: https://www.goddard.edu/about-goddard/locations-and-program-offerings/plainfield-vt-campus/#driving-directions
Is there a carpooling system/place to post if needed?
Are you flying to Burlington (BTV) and looking for a ride to campus or driving from the NE and would like to offer someone else a ride? Click here for our rideshare board.
Several taxi services offer transport between BTV and Plainfield. Advanced booking is recommended. Suggested providers include:
Burlington Taxi – online booking available – (802) 448- 2038 – $70 to $110/per trip
Vermont Shuttle – online booking available – (802) 343-3780 – $120/per trip
Capital Car Service – 802-505-0316 – $128/per trip
Can I just show up on campus for residency?
No. Alumni and all guests must register in advance in order to attend this year’s event. Unregistered individuals will not be permitted on campus. There is no on-site registration.
Can I stay off campus?
Yes. However, we encourage all alumni to stay on campus for a more united community feel.
Just like a normal residency when you were a student, you have the option to stay off campus. Advanced booking is recommended as October is peak foliage season and local hotels and guesthouses are likely to fill quickly. You can also camp nearby at Onion River Campground or check out Airbnb in the area.
For more information: https://www.goddard.edu/about-goddard/locations-and-program-offerings/plainfield-vt-campus/#driving-directions
Do I need to bring anything?
Anything that will keep you comfortable over a weekend on campus. We provide sheets, blankets, pillows and a towel. Bring your own washcloths and toiletries – soap, toothpaste, shampoo, etc. You may also want slippers and shower sandals.
Be weather smart. It will be early October, beautiful and possibly chilly. If you are presenting, or performing in the cabaret, feel free to bring any materials you might need. Musical instruments for an impromptu fire-pit jam circle are encouraged!
What software do I need to attend a virtual alumni weekend?
All you need is internet access! The event will work best from a laptop or desktop computer, but is also accessible from a smartphone. Downloading the Zoom app onto your computer or smartphone before the event begins is also highly recommended.
How will the virtual programmed events work?
All events will be on a unique Zoom link. In the days before the event begins, you will receive a copy of the weekend’s schedule in your email. Simply click the link provided on the schedule for each event to join.
Will there be tech support during the residency weekend if I have questions?
Yes. Prior to the start of alumni weekend, you will receive an email with instructions for participating in virtual sessions and contact information in the event you have difficulty accessing the Zoom meeting rooms.
What Programming is included in the virtual Alumni Weekend?
This year’s virtual Alumni Weekend will include the following events:
- 4 Alumni Keynote Workshops, each 2 hours in length and led by the following speakers:
- choreographer, John Ollom (MFAIA-VT ’14)
- writer, Christina Gerard (BFAW ’17)
- social justice activist, Rod Rylander (BA SE ’86)
- entrepreneur and community leader, Hillary Melville (UGP ’17)
- Annual Alumni Association Meeting
- Presidential Town Hall
- Virtual Social Hours
Why are some events not being offered virtually?
We have learned through experience that some events lend themselves to the online format better than others. For example, it is difficult to offer a campus tour or cabaret in real time for live streaming. Should our technology and technical expertise evolve in the future, we will consider including more events for virtual attendees.
Will the weekend programming be suitable for children to watch?
We cannot guarantee that all events will be suitable for children. Due to the virtual nature of this event, you will have to judge on a workshop-by-workshop basis if it is suitable for your children to be in the room with you.
What is the agenda for the weekend?
A schedule of the event will be made available in the coming months. Last year’s Alumni Weekend programming highlights are available to view here: https://www.goddard.edu/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/2020-Alumni-Weekend-Highlights.pdf
Can I decide at a later date if I want to present at one of the Alumni Weekend Events?
Yes, you can decide closer to Alumni Weekend if you’d like to present at one of the events such as cabaret, pecha kucha, or the writer’s salon. If you know you want to participate in a particular event but haven’t decided on your presentation, please go ahead and sign-up so we can get an estimated count for participants. If you can’t decide now, or are inspired last minute to present, Goddard welcomes your spontaneity.
Last minute sign-ups will be dependent on time, though, and will be on a first-come, first-serve basis.
What if I live on the west coast and never went to the Plainfield campus?
We recognize this gathering favors east coast residents and those who have attended the Plainfield campus. We hope to host more alumni gatherings at other locations/campuses in the future that are more accessible to alumni in other areas of the country.
At this time, we encourage you to attend the virtual Alumni Weekend if location or travel is a barrier.
When will I receive my alumni weekend t-shirt/hat/mug?
If you are planning to attend the event in person at the Plainfield, VT campus, you will receive your items during check-in.
If you are attending virtually, every effort will be made to ensure your items are shipped to your home address to arrive prior to the start of alumni weekend although this is also dependent on USPS and the printer.
Additional Questions? Comments? Concerns?
Organizing a one-size fits all event for alumni from around the country and beyond who come from various economic and cultural backgrounds is not a simple task. We are working hard to make this event as accessible as possible and hope to meet the needs and desires of all of our alumni. If you have questions, comments and/or concerns please reach out and help us find a solution! Contact email@example.com or 802-322-1724