Residential update - March 16

The following message is being sent on behalf of Julie Ramsey, Vice President for College Life and Dean of Students.

Dear Gettysburg Students and Families,

As noted in President Iuliano’s email to the campus earlier today, the College has made the difficult decision to move to remote education beginning March 23 and extending through the remainder of the 2019-20 academic year. This decision was made after consideration of the unprecedented public health crisis facing our nation and the many unknowns that accompany that crisis. This is incredibly disruptive for all of us and we recognize the challenge that it presents for students and families particularly. We firmly believe this decision is best for the health and safety of each individual student and for the entire community.

This decision raises many questions about the logistics moving forward, particularly the completion of coursework from off campus and plans for students to obtain personal belongings. Below I will address some of these details; please know that the College has been consulting with the Pennsylvania Department of Health and following guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as we have worked to develop the following instructions.

The College is requiring all students to move out of their residential space by Saturday, March 21 at 8 PM. Students will no longer have access to their rooms beyond that point. During this window, we ask students to return to campus to pack, move or store all your belongings.

Please see the College’s resource page for Coronavirus Information.

Moving out of your room

  1. If you or others planning to come with you are not feeling well, please do not come to campus.
  2. Students who are arriving to campus who have traveled from or through a CDC Level 3 country in the last 30 days are required to contact Health Services at 717-337-6970 to discuss their circumstances BEFORE coming to campus. You must have consultation with the Health Center before returning.
  3. Prior to March 21 at 8 PM, please arrange to come to campus to pack up your belongings.
  4. Given this unprecedented public health crisis we need you to pack your belongings and depart as soon as reasonably possible. Upon arrival you will need to check in at the RFYP tent on the Bullet Hole patio or at DPS at which time you will be granted access to your room for a three-hour periodto pack your belongings.
  5. Effective immediately, residence halls will be open 8am to 8pm. You will not be able to access your hall outside of these hours.
  6. We ask that you coordinate with roommates to stagger your arrival to campus in order to minimize contact with others while on campus. We understand the desire to see friends, however, we ask you to consider our shared responsibility to minimize social contact.
  7. Your student ID card will permit you to enter only your residence hall and we ask that you do not go to other buildings while you are on campus. If you need to pick up mail before you depart, please visit the CUB Post Office at their available hours:
    • Monday – Friday: 8am – 4pm
    • Saturday, March 21: 10am – 4pm
  8. Please check out by turning in your room key to the RFYP Office at tent located on the Bullet Hole Patio (8am to 8pm) or DPS (24 hours).

The College has issued an FAQ document, posted on the following website. Please review this if you cannot follow the process listed above.

Students with extenuating circumstances

The College understands that some of our students are unable to go home. The College is strongly encouraging students to leave campus because our campus is not equipped to handle a health crisis such as COVID-19. We are uncertain about what support and services may be available in the future and we ask that you please consider all possibilities including friends and family with whom you could arrange to stay.

In addition, the College is offering financial support through the Emergency Fundfor those in need of assistance with arranging travel. We are prepared to ship one box of essential belongings (i.e., books, computer, or medications) for those of you who cannot return to campus.

Students who would like to submit a petition to remain on campus for the spring semester must submit a Petition Form and complete a no-charge health screening through Health Services using Medicat. All students requesting permission to live on campus for the remainder of the semester must submit a petition, including those who were previously given permission to return for the extended break. Please be specific when providing a reason for needing to stay. If you prefer to discuss in person, please note that in your submission.

The College is using specific criteria to determine which requests will be approved. Please note that examples of students who are likely to be granted permission to stay include those with no permanent address and those from countries classified by the CDC as Level 2 or 3. We understand there are other hardships faced by students and we will carefully consider each request on a case-by-case basis. A multi-departmental committee will review each request. Questions regarding extenuating circumstances and Emergency Funding can be directed to RFYP staff at the tent on the Bullet Hole patio.

Please review the FAQ provided by the College on this website.

Provost Zappe and members of the College faculty are working diligently and quickly to support remote education for the remainder of the semester. Please monitor your email carefully for further instruction.

While students are coming and going from campus, we strongly encourage you to practice the social distancing that we have all been reading about. I recognize that for many of you, this will be an emotional time and there will be an enormous temptation to embrace one another as you say goodbye and tears may be shed, but please be aware that students are coming from all parts of the country and social distancing (along with handwashing) is the most responsible position to take in this situation.

I want to acknowledge that we, as Gettysburgians, are all entering uncharted waters as we implement this plan. We ask for your patience as we work through many decisions knowing we don’t have all of the answers at this time. We are, however, committed to working with you to ensure your health, safety, and ability to complete your spring 2020 coursework remotely. Members of the College staff are here to assist you and I encourage you to contact us at 717-337-8800 if you have any questions or concerns.

I wish that you will remain safe and healthy over the coming weeks and encourage you to take care of yourselves and your loved ones.

Sincerely,

Dean Julie Ramsey, Ed. D.
Vice President for College Life and Dean of Students