Novel Coronavirus Update 

March 12, 2020

Dear Harvard Debate Council Summer Workshop Registrants —

We want to update all of our expected attendees about the workshop in light of recent events surrounding the novel Coronavirus. Although Harvard has suspended in person classes, along with many other universities around the country, there are no current plans to extend the suspension into the summer. Harvard’s decision was made in line with a general trend across the country and not because of a particular instance of transmission at Harvard. At this moment, we have been cleared to proceed with the summer workshop.

We take the health and safety of our students seriously and are therefore planning a number of extra precautions for our residence halls, instructional spaces, and food service. We will be distributing hand sanitizer to each classroom, providing hand soap in all bathrooms in the dormitory, and wiping down the public areas of the dorm each night with disinfectant. As we have every year, we will have thermometers in our camp office and other over the counter medicine. Workshop staff will remind students regularly to wash their hands, avoid touching each other, and avoid sharing writing equipment.

Nevertheless, we are developing contingency plans to deliver an online instructional package in the event that Harvard does require us to cancel the workshop. This package will provide lectures from our faculty, online workshops for arguments, as well as a way to record speeches and receive personal feedback.

With regards to payment, we are also making a few modifications to our policy. At this time, any families who wish to delay their payment schedules may do so. We also want to assure you that should Harvard require us to cancel the workshop, we will refund tuition payments or credit any payments for attendance at next year’s workshop.

We are happy to answer any questions you have. Please write to [email protected] and we will respond as soon as we can. You can also call our office at 617-495-4822. You may also reply to this email.

As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, we will closely monitor guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local health officials around the country. We will continue to rely on their recommendations and expertise to inform our decisions.

We look forward to another great summer workshop.

Sherry Hall and Tripp Rebrovick
Harvard Debate Council