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COVID-19 RELATED POLICIES

ADDENDUM TO THE STUDENT CODE OF CONDUCT – COVID-19 RELATED POLICIES


COVID-Related Health & Safety Policies Regarding Students

Students, residential or commuter, are required to follow these health and safety policies and will be required to complete health and wellness trainings upon return to campus. These policies are subject to change as new guidance from the State of Pennsylvania and Centers for Disease Control becomes available. Students will be notified of updated policy via Westminster College email.

Staying Home or Self-Isolating

Students, faculty, and staff who are sick or have recently had close contact with a person with COVID-19 are encouraged to stay home or in their residence hall for the time required by local health department order for self-isolation. Community members are assured there will not be reprisal for staying home.

Students, faculty, and staff should stay home when they have tested positive for or are showing symptoms of COVID-19. CDC’s criteria will be used to inform return to work/class policies.

Face Coverings

While there is ongoing community transmission of COVID-19, everyone on campus and entering any buildings must wear face coverings. Face coverings are generally made of cloth, are reusable and are not a part of healthcare personal protective equipment (PPE).

Students are required to provide their own facial coverings and wear them on campus at all times except in private offices, in family pods in the residence halls, while exercising 6 feet away from another person, or while eating and 6 feet away from another person. There may be additional instructional or curricular exclusions to this policy that will be communicated to students. Physical distancing (6-feet) is required even while wearing a facial covering.

Cloth face coverings should not be worn by anyone who had trouble breathing or is unconscious, an individual with a note from their physician excusing them from wearing face coverings, and anyone who is incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the cover without assistance.

Physical Distancing

Generally, physical distancing requires individuals to be 6-feet apart from one another. Exceptions include residential living spaces in family pods and athletic activity.

Daily Self Screening

Students and employees are required to conduct a daily symptom screening to assess their risk of being Covid-19 positive. Self-screening protocols with guidelines on identifying risk factors and appropriate contact information will be posted in each family pod. Students who screen positive for symptoms are required to self-isolate and contact the Wellness Center for further evaluation and guidance.

Respiratory Hygiene/Cough Etiquette

Respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette measures limit the transmission of respiratory pathogen spread by droplet and airborne route. Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or use the inside of your elbow. Used tissues should be thrown in the trash and hands washed immediately with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol can be used.

Campus Living

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.

Family Pods

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).

Supplemental Student Codes of Conduct and Housing Agreements

Students will be required to sign a supplemental housing agreement and will be subject to student code of conduct which outlines required safety standards. Residential students will only be permitted to move into the residence halls upon signing the supplemental housing agreement which includes a health pre-screening. New students will also be required to have completed health forms and immunizations on file in the Wellness Center.

Personal Care Kits

Students will be provided a care kit to support self-screening and to prepare for the possibility of illness. The care kit will include:

  • Digital thermometer
  • 2 cloth face coverings
  • Hand sanitizer

Students should also consider bringing the following injury and illness care items:

  • Disinfectant wipes
  • A self-care kit for illness or injury– suggestions include pain and fever reducers (ex. acetaminophen or ibuprofen), cold, cough, and allergy relief (ex. Cough drops, decongestants, antihistamines), upset stomach relief (ex. Tums, antidiarrheal), band-aids, antibiotic ointment, sore throat lozenges

Physical Distancing Guidelines Specific to Residential Living

Physical distancing in the residence halls remains important as a mitigation strategy. As such, the following adjustments to standard residence hall policy have been made.

  • Face coverings must be worn in common area spaces, including lounges, kitchens, and laundry rooms
  • Hand sanitizing stations are provided at every residence hall entrance
  • Kitchens will remain open, but students must provide their own equipment and must disinfect before and after use. A common set of cleaning supplies will be provided and cleaning instructions posted.
  • Elevator capacity is reduced to one person
  • Use of assigned restroom fixtures is highly encouraged. RAs will present this option at the beginning of the academic year.
  • 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, students assigned to other buildings, and students assigned to other family pods.
  • Residence Life programming will continue to focus on building community and creating safe living environments, but programs will be delivered through alternative methods.

Cleaning, Disinfecting, & Sanitizing Living Spaces

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.

Fraternity Houses

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.

Campus Events

Limitations will be placed on the size of events and gatherings in accordance with current guidance and recommendations from government and health officials. Maple, Lakeview, Berlin Student Lounge, and Mueller Theater have been converted to classroom space and will not be available for general reservations. We encourage the use of outdoor space for events. The Anderson Amphitheater can be reserved through Reserve a Campus Location on MyWestminster. Tabling opportunities in the McKelvey Campus Center (TUB Tables) will be suspended, as activities cannot be held in compliance with physical distancing requirements.

Gatherings may not exceed guidance from the State of Pennsylvania (250 for green phase). Physical distancing and facial coverings are required at gatherings whether held indoors or outdoors. Food provided at events must be individually packaged using disposable containers. Approval for campus events hosted by academic and administrative departments will be granted by the area vice president.

Student Engagement

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 strongly recommends the use of virtual meetings and programming.

Student Affairs will provide approval for in-person student organization events in compliance with proper use of on-campus spaces and physical distancing guidelines. The maximum size for events will follow guidelines set by the State of Pennsylvania (250 for green phase). Physical distancing and facial coverings are required at gatherings whether held indoors or outdoors.

General guidelines for student organizations


Meetings

Student Affairs strongly recommends the use of virtual meetings. In-person meetings are permitted so long as physical distancing and health & safety guidelines are followed (members seated 6-feet apart and masked).

Organization Activities

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 Travel

Student organization sponsored travel is suspended at this time.

Marketing & Promotion

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.

Fraternity/Sorority Life

All social activity must be held on campus and comply with guidelines for Campus Events. Gatherings, including recruiting events and parties, at fraternity houses are suspended until further notice. 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 NPC, IFC and each chapter’s headquarters.