Covid Updates


Between the Lines: Identity and Belonging 2022

The following policies and procedures will be implemented by the International Writing Program for the in-person session of the 2022 Between the Lines: Identity and Belonging program to guard against infection and transmission of Covid-19. These policies and procedures may change and evolve as the pandemic does.

  1. First and foremost, we highly encourage all students who attend an in-person session to be fully vaccinated. We cannot require vaccination. We will highly encourage our adult staff to be vaccinated and boosted.
  2. Each student will live in a double room with a roommate. In our view, housing students in single rooms to reduce the risk of infection is not worth the lost opportunities to spend time with roommates and connect.
  3. Masks will be highly encouraged (but not required) in certain crowded indoor areas such as classrooms, meeting rooms, and the dining hall.
  4. Social distancing may be required in certain crowded indoor areas such as classrooms, meeting rooms, and the dining hall.
  5. All classrooms and meeting rooms in which BTL events occur will have ventilation with high quality (MERV-13) filtration. Portable HEPA air purifiers will be used in situations where additional ventilation is required. The dormitory where students will live, and the dining hall where they will eat, are both located in Catlett Hall, a new (2017) building with excellent ventilation and air purification.
  6. Classes and other camp events may be held outdoors if weather permits.
  7. The University of Iowa cleans and disinfects all campus facilities—classrooms, dormitory rooms, restrooms, common areas—according to the CDC “Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting.”
  8. Any symptomatic student will be put in contact with UI QuickCare and asked to take a PCR test. If the test is positive, the student will be moved to a dedicated isolation room where they will be housed and looked after until they can be picked up by their emergency contact (see 9).
  9. Every student who attends an in-person session will be required to designate an emergency contact who can pick them up from the program within 24 hours of a positive PCR test. The University of Iowa cannot provide isolation rooms for infected students for more than 24 hours.
  10. Any student who fails to adhere to these policies, or who recklessly or deliberately poses a risk of infection to another student or to a staff member, will be sent home from the program.

Happening Now

  • Our congratulations to 1986 Fall Residency writer Kwame Dawes, who has been named the new poet laureate of Jamaica.

  • Congratulations to our colleagues Jennifer Croft and Aron Aji, who are among those serving as judges for the National Book Awards this year, in their case in the category of translated literature.

  • Ranjit Hoskote’s speech at the 2024 Goa Literary Festival addresses the current situation in Gaza.

  • In NY Times, Bina Shah worries about the state of Pakistani—and American—democracy.

  • “I went to [Ayodhya] to think about what it means to be an Indian and a Hindu... ”  A new essay by critic and novelist Chandrahas Choudhury.

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