Update for first-year students

Message sent on January 22, 2021

Jeff Foster, Interim Vice President for College Life and Dean of Students, updates students about the availability of single bedroom housing on campus.

Dear First-Year Students,

I hope this message finds you safe and well. I am writing to provide an update about the residential cohort for the spring semester.

As we approach the start of the semester, we have been keeping a close eye on the number of students who have elected to return to residence. Our goal remains to house students in single bedrooms, providing us increased flexibility to quarantine students throughout the spring and to help decrease the transmission of COVID-19 on our campus.

In reviewing our latest residential housing totals, the College has a limited number of additional single bedrooms available. Consistent with our commitment to providing a residential educational program to as many students as we safely can accommodate during the pandemic, we are opening these spaces to a limited number of first-year students using a structure akin to that which we have previously used. Please note that the majority of these spaces are in the President’s Inn, located on York Street, with a few additional rooms available in first-year halls.

As you would expect, and regrettably, there are not enough single rooms to invite every first-year student to study in residence.

If you have been invited to return to campus, you should have already received an email from me. As we hear back from students about their intent to return to residence, we may be in a position to invite additional first year students to join the residential cohort as space permits. I want to share with the entire first-year class how we apportioned the rooms that became available:

  • We started with the list of the first-year students who petitioned to remain on campus in light of personal extenuating circumstances but whom we could not initially accommodate.
  • Another set of first-year students were identified who have unique academic and co-curricular needs due to the nature of their involvement on campus. This group of students includes some students with particular academic needs to be in residence, as well as a group of first-year spring student-athletes, with the priority given to teams who, without first year student-athletes, would be constrained and would compromise the experience of all of the students on the team.

Even within each of these cohorts, the constraints on the number of available spaces made it impossible to accommodate everyone.

While we are pleased that we have been able to expand room availability to some members of the first-year class, we wish we could have everyone back and recognize the disappointment this will cause for others. Whether you are residing on campus this spring or not, we will do everything we can to ensure that you can have a vibrant educational experience this spring.

If we might help answer any questions, please email covidupdates@gettysburg.edu.

Thank you, and please continue to look out for yourself and for others.


Jeff Foster, D.Ed.
Interim Vice President for College Life and Dean of Students