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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information 3/16/2020

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Posted on Tuesday, July 14, 2020

In response to Gov. Wolf’s order for all nonessential businesses to close for the next two weeks and the recently announced CDC guidelines, Westminster College will ask all remaining residential students to move to their permanent residences as soon as possible. The students for whom this will cause extreme hardships have been advised to contact Vice President Vance

All classes will move to online delivery beginning Thursday, March 19, and will now continue through the end of the semester. Online registration for summer and fall terms and room reservations, which will move online, will continue as originally scheduled.

Most College employees will be asked to work from home for at least the next two weeks starting Wednesday. Only those whose work is deemed essential for maintaining services for the few remaining residential students will be asked to work on campus during this period. Supervisors will notify their employees about specific plans tomorrow. If you have concerns about working on campus Tuesday, please contact your supervisor as soon as possible.

We will announce a schedule for residential students to retrieve their belongings once we are notified by the state that we can resume normal campus activity.

Graduating seniors who are residential students will receive a pro rata refund of room and board charges at the end of the term, and all other residential students will be granted a pro rata refund as a credit toward the 2020-2021 academic year. Students with specific questions about this policy should contact the Business Office after April 1.

All public events scheduled on campus through April 30 are being cancelled or postponed. We will notify the campus about plans for formal Commencement ceremonies at a later time.

Update 2

By now you have likely seen President Richardson’s announcements regarding a more permanent move to online education for this semester. We know this news brings with it a variety of emotions and questions. We are not excited about not seeing you for extended periods of time and we are deeply saddened by the celebrations and moments we will miss. Seniors – our hearts are heavy for you.

You are NOT required to come to campus on Tuesday, March 17 to move out your belongings. You may, but you are not required.

  • Student Affairs will notify all students with specific dates and details regarding the official move out procedures. We cannot predict when this will occur and will follow guidance from the State of Pennsylvania and the CDC to determine when it is safe enough for that process to begin.
  • If you are moving out tomorrow, RAs or RDs will be available in each lobby beginning at 8:30 a.m. Please turn in keys in your residence hall lobby. We have developed key return procedures that will minimize contact, so please follow the RA/RDs lead.

Moving Out

The residence halls will remain open until Tuesday, March 17 at 5 p.m. as originally planned. Dining facilities will be open as well. After that, we are not permitting students to return to campus to clear out residence hall rooms. Once we know the risk of spreading the virus is reduced, we will announce a plan for students to return to campus to gather their belongings. At this time, we cannot predict when that will be. However, if you are here now, you should pack up all your belongings and take them with you as you return home.


We have limited storage available for students from long distances (more than 400 miles). Students leaving campus now may store up to 2 boxes and a refrigerator. Please contact your RD for details.

Shuttle Service

We can provide shuttle service, but we need to coordinate this. Please email no later than noon on Tuesday, March 17 with your departure plans.

Housing Selection for 2020-21

By April 1, you will receive an email regarding online housing selection for 2020-21.

Campus Services

Campus services will remain available. Tomorrow I will send an updated, detailed list of services for you. Please reach out as you need. As always, call Public Safety at (724) 946-7777 with questions. At this time, you should switch your mailing address back to your permanent residence so mail will come to your home.

We will continue to send email communication regularly, so stay closely connected to your Westminster email.