Working through COVID-19
Sofia Rositani – Arts & Entertainment Editor
Associate Vice President Dean of Students, Jules Tetreault, oversees about 10 departments on campus such as health counseling, wellness, violence prevention, student conduct, recreation fitness and many more.
The main focus since the pandemic began was working with the COVID-19 coordinator to oversee the testing sites, the dashboard and data and monitoring the positivity rates and trends. Tetrault is also tasked with overseeing the contact tracing program, which in addition is new for Tetreault.
“I am currently working with the COVID coordinator and our student conduct person to make sure that our students are following their new guidelines. But I would say majority of our work, my work, has changed and increased around the proactive stuff,” Tetreault said. “So, to surveillance testing, the contact tracing and all of that for the most part our students have been very compliant for those particularly on ground with what we have asked of them. So, we have spent some time but not nearly the amount of time that some might think around dealing with behavior. It has been primarily focused on our proactive work around surveillance and tracing and keeping the community safe.”
Since the pandemic started, Tetreault is usually on campus three to four days out of the week. The rest of the days he is works remotely from home.
“The difficulty, I would say, is just getting used to not having as many students in and out of your office, and even when I am on site it is still all of this [virtual]. That just happens to be how we need to operate right now and as long as we’re able to keep in the back of our mind, or even in the front of our mind, we’re doing this to keep our community safe, we are doing this to keep each other safe so it helps to negate any of those kinds of negatives that might come from having to communicate virtually,” Tetreault said.
He said a normal day for him looks like sitting at his computer and going in and out of meetings conversing with people on his computer or around him.
“That’s the life of an administrator, sitting in meetings. So much of that hasn’t changed. The focal has changed. So, the focus of those meetings a lot is around not only our kind of COVID response, but also how to facilitate experiences and manage departments in a time that is virtual,” Tetreault said.
While the conversation has changed slightly, the work itself has not. In the meetings, Tetreault and others work to support students, but in a COVID-19 world. One example Tetreault used was how Week of Welcome took place virtually.