All students, residential and commuter, are required to follow all health and safety policies. We highly recommend that you self-quarantine for 14 days prior to returning to campus.
All students will also be required to take a COVID-19 test when they arrive on campus for the spring semester. A schedule will be provided. Residential students who test positive will be isolated on campus for at least 10 days. If you are traveling from a long distance, consider being tested for COVID-19 14 days prior to your scheduled arrival date. If you receive a positive result from a test performed at home within 14 days of your scheduled arrival date, contact the Wellness Center as soon as possible.
Students are strongly encouraged to review their insurance plans prior to returning to campus. Many insurance plans offer after-hours telehealth which is covered under your plan. Be sure to know if your plan covers care in the state of Pennsylvania.
All students are also highly encouraged to receive the flu vaccine and the COVID-19 vaccine when available.
Prior to participation in any campus activity, returning students receive a reminder of the addendum to the Student Code of Conduct, which you signed in August and which includes a self-screening checklist and an agreement to abide by COVID-related policies.
All new students, first-years and transfers, will be required to read and sign the addendum to the Student Code of Conduct prior to their participation in any campus activity. You will also be required to complete a series of online health and wellness training sessions the week of January 19.
Additionally, all new students who are living in campus housing are required to have completed all health forms and immunizations prior to check-in.
Residence hall move-in will be highly controlled and phased in compliance with physical distancing guidelines. Students will be notified by email when they have been assigned a move-in day and time. This information will also be posted to check https://my.westminster.edu (Look for the Community tab, then find the Housing & Roommate Information link).
On move-in day, students and their families are asked to:
Public Safety will direct traffic and manage parking lots.
Please be aware that handcarts, dollies and volunteers will not be available.
Parents/families will be asked to leave at the end of their time slot so that the next group of students can begin their move-in process.
During move-in, we will meet with you to:
The residence halls are living spaces that need to provide both a safe place to live and a respite from the maintenance of daily safety procedures. Residence Life aims to deliver the College’s mission while protecting the health and safety of our students and minimizing the potential spread of disease within our community. As a residential student, COVID-19 will impact your housing experience; however, our ability to give you an in-person education hinges on your ability to work within the confines of these policies.
Westminster College Residence Life has adopted a family pod framework in which students living within close proximity and sharing a bathroom are identified as a “family pod.” When in the physical location of the family pod, students may remove face coverings and relax use of physical distancing. This model does require a shared responsibility for personal hygiene, disinfecting of shared spaces and communication about symptoms and illness.
Additionally, family pods serve as a primary support system for residential students, and are nurtured and facilitated by the pod’s Resident Assistant (RA).
Physical distancing in the residence halls is a critical mitigation strategy. As such, the following adjustments to standard residence hall policy have been made.
Students are responsible for cleaning and disinfecting their living space. Common bathrooms in Browne, Ferguson, Galbreath, Russell and Shaw will be disinfected twice daily by PPO custodial staff. Additionally, cleaning supplies will be provided in each bathroom and students are encouraged to disinfect areas before and after use. Each family pod will be encouraged to assign bathroom fixtures to residents on a given floor.
Residents are responsible for cleaning bathrooms in suite-style living which includes Eichenauer and Berlin Village. Students are provided a list of recommended cleaning and disinfecting products and supplies, along with instructions on how to properly clean bathrooms.
For health and safety reasons, access to residence halls is restricted. Only persons living in a residence hall will have access to that building. No visitors are permitted in the residence halls, and students are required to stay in their assigned residence halls. Visitors include off-campus guests, including family and friends; students living off-campus; students assigned to other buildings; and students assigned to other family pods.
Fraternity houses are not open to guests who are not members of the organization. Each chapter was required to work with the Assistant Director of Student Engagement to develop a Health & Safety Plan, which is on file in the Office of Student Affairs.
Involvement in campus activities and the resultant sense of community are important components of a college education and hallmarks of Westminster College student life. The Office of Student Affairs supports the work of student organizations and collaborates with students to provide creative outlets and alternatives for their standard operations.
Student organizations can hold in-person events by working with Student Affairs to ensure compliance with proper use of on-campus spaces, appropriate physical distancing safeguard and adherence to state-mandated large group gathering guidelines. Facial coverings are required at gatherings whether held indoors or outdoors. Food provided at events and activities must be individually packaged using disposable containers. Tabling opportunities in McKelvey Campus Center (TUB Tables) will be suspended, as activities cannot be held in compliance with physical distancing requirements.
We strongly recommend the use of virtual meetings and programming. When the weather permits, we also encourage the use of outdoor space for events. Anderson Amphitheater can be reserved through Reserve a Campus Location on My.Westminster.
Approval for campus events hosted by academic and administrative departments will be granted by the area vice president.
Student Affairs strongly recommends the use of virtual meetings. In-person meetings are permitted so long as physical distancing and health and safety guidelines are followed.
Organization activities must follow the guidelines for Campus Events and must be approved by Student Affairs. Student organizations are asked to complete a health and safety plan for events as part of the approval process. Student Affairs provides the associated forms and is available to answer any questions student organization leaders have about the approval process.
Student organization-sponsored travel is suspended for the 2020-2021 academic year.
Student organizations are encouraged to use digital signage to promote events and meetings. TUB Banner paper and markers cannot be properly disinfected and will be temporarily unavailable. Submit your digital signage request through the Marketing Form.
All social activity must be held on campus and comply with guidelines for Campus Events. Virtual chapter meetings are encouraged. The Assistant Director of Student Engagement will assist chapters will the development of a creative alternative to traditional recruitment events in compliance with National Panhellenic Council, National Interfraternity Council and each chapter’s headquarters.
Gatherings and visitation, including recruiting events and parties, at fraternity houses are suspended until further notice. Additionally, all fraternity houses are required to submit a health and safety plan to the Office of Student Affairs.
The equipment in the Walker Center and the Field House Weight Room has been spaced to provide for appropriate physical distancing. Participants will be required to wear cloth face coverings as possible. Now more than ever, a thorough disinfecting of fitness equipment after use is critical.
During the academic year, workout times in the Walker Center are available by reservation.
Because vehicles cannot provide adequate space and airflow for physical distancing, the airport and campus shuttle program has been modified for the 2020-2021 year to minimize risk to the community. The shuttle will not operate at the beginning of each semester, but will operate at the end of each semester. Students will be provided with alternative transportation offered by Pittsburgh Airport ground transportation.
Vespers, Chapel & Mass services will be conducted in the Anderson Amphitheater as the weather allows, and will move indoors to Wallace Memorial Chapel in November. In both locations, participants must comply with physical distancing and face covering requirements.
The Wellness Center is an integrated health care facility that provides general health services for illnesses and accidents, short term mental health counseling services and wellness promotion for the students of Westminster. Clinical services are available for undergraduate students who pay the student activity fee.
Westminster College Wellness Center regularly monitors guidance from American College Health Association, Pennsylvania Department of Health, local department of health and the Centers for Disease Control.
In order to minimize exposure and control traffic flow, students are required to call ahead to schedule visits to the Wellness Center.
Westminster College is offering after-hours care via telehealth. Students who are sick should contact the Resident Assistant on duty, who will evaluate their needs and contact the nurse on call. The nurse on call, via telehealth, will assess symptoms, provide advice for symptom management and will schedule the student for a next day appointment at the Wellness Center, as needed. Area Coordinators will be instructed to contact an ambulance to transport urgent cases to a local health care facility.
College counselors have been temporarily relocated to McKelvey Campus Center, Rooms 353, 355 and 356. Counseling appointments will be primarily conducted via telehealth. Students attending in-person counseling appointments can check in in the Student Affairs office (McKelvey 341). Wellness coaching will continue to be offered by the counselors.
We recommendation that students bring the following injury and illness care items to campus: