Posted on Tuesday, July 14, 2020
It’s been what feels like decades since I’ve written, but it is time for me to begin regular weekly communication with you again. Over the next few weeks, I will be sending emails each Friday with updates and expectations for a successful Fall semester. We are really looking forward to having you back on campus. We are also very clear about what it will take for us to be able to do so and to remain open for the duration of the semester. Westminster will need to rely on the “We” like we’ve never done before. This means that each of us will need to do our part – follow the policies we’ve carefully crafted to keep everyone safe and healthy and provide support to one another. Community is what we do well. Community is why you chose Westminster. And community is what will make this work.
As promised, you may find your assigned move-in time on My Westminster>Community>Housing & Roommate Information. Please understand that an organized and controlled move-in process is the first and most critical piece to a successful in-person semester. We cannot accommodate individual requests for arrival dates and times.
Students will be assigned a 90-minute window to unload vehicles and parents/families will be asked to leave campus at the end of that window. Public Safety will direct traffic and manage parking lots.
In compliance with physical distancing practices that diminish the spread of COVID-19, students are required to follow these instructions.
Volunteers to help carry items, handcarts, and dollies will not be available.
Students experiencing or exposed to COVID-19 symptoms will be instructed to notify Residence Life and then directed to stay home. Alternate move in arrangements will be made.
Move-In for all student populations will take place at your assigned residence hall. Report to the tent outside your hall for move-in screening. All students will be expected to participate in a temperature check and asked to read and sign an addendum to the student code of conduct which includes online self-screening and agreement to abide by COVID-related policies. Additionally, first year students must have all submitted health forms and immunizations to move into campus housing. Please contact Melissa Baron (firstname.lastname@example.org), Director of the Wellness Center, for questions about health forms. All students will be provided a COVID care kit which includes a digital thermometer, 2 cloth face coverings, and hand sanitizer.
The residence halls are a living space that need to provide both a safe place to live and a respite from the maintenance of daily safety procedures. 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. Fixtures (sinks, toilets, showers) in community bathrooms will be assigned for specific student use. Visitation in the residence halls has been suspended, including guests from within the building. Only residents within the family pod may visit one another.
If you become sick this semester or are in a high-risk category for the COVID-19 virus, you can continue to participate in the excellent Westminster education that you have come to expect online or other virtual learning modalities. If you need academic accommodations due to COVID-19, please contact Ms. Faith Craig (email@example.com) in the Disability Resources Office prior to your scheduled move-in day to identify that you need to participate in classes remotely, and she will help you work with your professors and other offices on campus, including Residence Life and Financial Aid.
May you be surrounded by love. May you be healthy and well. May you be safe. May you know peace.
Gina M. Vance
Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students