All students are required to complete COVID-19 training on D2L the week of August 10. This training contains information about the Covid-19 pandemic and the policies and procedures we have carefully crafted to open for an in-person semester. New students will complete the module during orientation. Returning students should complete this on your own, but before August 17.
In addition, prior to participation in any campus activity, you will be required to read and sign an addendum to the Student Code of Conduct, which includes a self-screening checklist and an agreement to abide by COVID-related policies.
All new students (first-years and transfers) living in campus housing are required to have completed health forms and immunizations prior to check-in.
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.
Residence hall move-in will be highly controlled and phased in compliance with physical distancing guidelines. Move-in for incoming students is scheduled for Thursday, August 13 and for returning students August 14-16. See Plan 2020-2021 / Fall Arrival Dates for more information.
Each student has been assigned a 90-minute window to unload vehicles. To see your move-in day and time, check https://my.westminster.edu (Look for the Community tab, then find the Housing & Roommate Information link). Students and their families are asked to:
Public Safety will direct traffic and manage parking lots.
Please be aware, volunteers to help carry items, handcarts and dollies will not be available.
Parents/families will be asked to leave at the end of the 90-minute window so that the next group of students can begin their move-in process.
You will find a check-in tent outside your assigned residence hall.
Under the tent, there are three check points:
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 will serve as a primary support system for residential students which will be 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 will be provided a list of recommended cleaning and disinfecting products and supplies, along with instructions on how to properly clean bathrooms.
Additional cleaning protocols can be found by contacting Physical Plant.
For health and safety reasons, access to residence halls will be restricted. Only persons living in a residence hall will have access to that building. No visitors will be permitted in the residence halls and students are required to stay in their assigned residence hall. 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 will not be open to guests who are not members of the organization. Refer to Student Engagement section for information on recruitment events and social activity. Each chapter will be required to submit a Health & Safety Plan to Student Affairs. The Assistant Director of Student Engagement can assist fraternity leadership in the development of those plans.
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 Assistant Director of Student Engagement will support the work of student organizations and will provide creative outlets and alternatives for their standard operations.
Student Affairs will provide approval for in-person student organization events in compliance with proper use of on-campus spaces and physical distancing and 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 the 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. 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 (members seated 6 feet apart and masked).
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. The Assistant Director of Student Engagement will educate student organization leaders on the approval process and will provide the associated forms.
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 Walker Fitness Center and the Weight Room will be open. The equipment in each location 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.
Student Affairs has suspended the airport transportation and campus shuttle service for the 2020-2021 academic year.
Vespers, Chapel & Mass services will be conducted in the Anderson Amphitheater through October as the weather allows. If services are held in Wallace Memorial Chapel, 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 will monitor 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 will be 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 students’ 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 for more urgent matters.
College counselors have been temporarily relocated to McKelvey Campus Center, Rooms 353, 355 and 356. Students attending counseling appointments can check in at Student Affairs (McKelvey 341). Counseling appointments will be primarily conducted via telehealth. Wellness coaching will continue to be offered by the counselors.
When you arrive on campus, you will be provided a care kit to support self-screening and to prepare for the possibility of illness. The care kit will include:
Students should bring the following injury and illness care items:
All students are also highly encouraged to receive the flu vaccine and the COVID-19 vaccine when available.
Student testing will be determined and updated based on current federal, state and local public health department recommendations. The Wellness Center and Residence Life will coordinate to ensure that students have met health documentation requirements prior to move-in.
The Wellness Center staff will evaluate and test symptomatic students who meet the current CDC and Pennsylvania Department of Health criteria for testing. Any symptomatic testing done in the Wellness Center will be administered in an exam that meets the recommended levels of air exchange and a UV light will be used for disinfection between patients. In the event the student does not have health insurance, the Wellness Center staff will work with the local public health department and the College Student Emergency Fund to access free testing.
While students await results of testing, they will be required to isolate or quarantine.
Isolation is a term used to separate students who have tested positive for COVID-19 or students who are presumptive positive and awaiting test results. Quarantine is a term used to separate students who have been identified as close contacts and should be separated from others.
Westminster College recommends students remain on campus for isolation and quarantine and will provide appropriate housing, medical treatment, and supportive measures. Students requiring isolation will reside in Thompson House until they are released from care (see details below). Symptomatic students who have not yet received test results will reside in one of three single rooms with private bathrooms in other residence halls. Students who have been identified as close contacts will reside in Hillside Hall for the duration of their quarantine. Students may choose to return home for isolation or quarantine so long as they abide by quarantine expectations and complete the daily health check at the direction of the Wellness Center.
Students in isolation will remain so until at least 10 days have passed since the onset of symptoms, they have had no fever for 24 hours, and all their other symptoms have improved. Students who are identified as close contacts to positive patients will be asked to quarantine for a 14-day period.
See Virus Mitigation & Containment for more information about the measure the College will take in the event any member of the College community tests positive for COVID-19.