Fall planning updates for students

Message sent July 27, 2020

Keira Kant and Danielle Phillips from College Life sent additional details to students about the process for Move-In, COVID-19 testing and education, how dining services will work, and Fall 2020 Orientation.

Dear Students,

We hope that this email finds you healthy and well. This communication continues our series of institutional announcements meant to provide additional details regarding the upcoming fall semester and return to residency for many of our students. Please read the following letter carefully as it includes important information concerning:

Drop-and-Go appointment sign up

To reduce the number of people on campus during Move-In and to provide additional flexibility for our students and families, the College will open the residence halls Tuesday, August 4 through Thursday, August 6 for a scheduled drop-and-go appointment. For those who choose this option, you will be able to drop your belongings in your fall housing assignment and then travel home. Students who utilize this option will then return back to campus on their assigned Move-In date and time.

In order for the College to manage the number of students arriving on campus at one time, and to prepare card access and residence hall keys in advance of your arrival, students who arrive on campus without a drop-and-go appointment will not be permitted to enter their residence hall.

The deadline for signing up for a drop-and-go appointment is Wednesday, July 29. Students who wish to sign up for a drop-and-go appointment should click here.

Please be sure to arrive on campus at your drop-and go appointment time (which will be confirmed after you complete the form). Residence hall key pick-up will be located in front of the College Union Building on the Bullet Hole Patio. Each student may bring one parent/support person to assist with dropping off their belongings in their fall housing assignment. Avoid bringing anyone with you who may be of greater risk of COVID-19. You will have a two-hour time period to drop your belongings off.

While on campus for your drop-and-go appointment, it is required that you wear a mask at all times while moving in your items and that you maintain six-foot physical distance from anyone who is not assisting you with your move. When you have finished unloading your belongings to your room, please return your residence hall key to the same location on the Bullet Hole patio. You will then pick up your key for the semester when you return to campus for your move-in date.

Additional notes

  • If you have items stored by the College from the spring semester, you may retrieve those items when you arrive for your drop-and-go appointment. You will be notified of the location of your items when you pick up your residence hall key at the Bullet Hole Patio. You can then go to that location where staff will be waiting to assist you.
  • If you have been assigned to Aberly Hall, Baughman Hall, Heiges Hall, or the Hotel Gettysburg, you will be unable to take advantage of the drop-and-go option as the College will be utilizing that week to prepare those spaces for your arrival during Move-In. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience this may cause in your planning for Move-In.

If you have questions about drop-and-go appointments, please contact Residential & First-Year Programs at residencelife@gettysburg.edu.

Testing and Move-In Process

The Move-In process will be phased over the course of a week, beginning on August 10. Each day, approximately 500 students will arrive on campus at assigned times in order to promote physical distancing and lower density during the actual moving in process. Appointments will begin at 8:30 a.m. and conclude at 3:30 p.m. Students will have three hours to complete the move in process.

Move-In Timeline

Tuesday, August 11 and Wednesday, August 12 – All first-year and transfer students will be tested and move in to their residence hall.

Monday, August 10 through Friday, August 14 – All sophomores, juniors, and seniors will move in.

  • Students who will be commuting will be assigned a testing time on Monday, August 10. They will need to check-in, be tested, and quarantine at home even though they will not need to pick up a residence hall key or move in.
  • Students who will be living off campus in town will be assigned a testing time on Friday, August 14. They will need to check-in, be tested, and quarantine in their off-campus house/apartment even though they will not need to pick up a residence hall key or move in.

Move-In Assignment

Your Move-In assignment information will be sent to your Gettysburg College email address by 5 p.m. today. If you do not receive a Move-In date and time, please contact the Office of Residential & First-Year Programs at residencelife@gettysburg.edu.

In order for the College to prepare to test and move students into their spaces in a safe and orderly fashion, we will not be able to provide you with a test or a residence hall key to your room if you arrive outside of your Move-In date and time. If you cannot arrive on your assigned Move-In date or time due to circumstances beyond your control, you may request a change in your Move-In date or time by completing this form by Friday, July 31, at noon. The College will be reviewing these requests on a case-by-case basis, so please provide as many details as possible as we cannot guarantee that each request will be approved. You will learn of the status of your request within five business days of submitting the request form.

Arriving on Campus

When you arrive on campus at your Move-In time, you must report directly to Bream Gym in order to check-in and begin the Move-In process. Bream Gym is located inside the Jaeger Center, which is at the intersection of Lincoln Avenue and Constitution Avenue. A parking lot is located next to the Center. You may park there and walk into the gym. Directional signage will be posted, and staff will be located around campus to answer your questions. Only students are permitted inside the gym for this process, and we ask those who traveled with you to remain in your vehicle. The process at the gym includes the following:

  • Registering at a check-in table
  • Receiving a COVID-19 throat swab test
  • Residence hall key pick-up (including ID cards for new students; upperclass students should bring their ID card with them or obtain a replacement card using the instructions listed below)

When test results become available students will be notified via their Medicat portal. Students who test positive will be notified by phone from the Case Management Team in Health Services. These student will then be relocated to an isolation hotel off campus. The Case Management Team will be coordinating support services for the student (i.e. dining, academic) and will provide daily phone and physical evaluation. Close contacts of positive cases will then be notified of their need to quarantine in their rooms for 14 days. They will receive additional instructions at that time.

After you have completed your check-in process at Bream Gym, you will have the opportunity to move into your room and complete any essential campus errands before beginning your initial quarantine period. Students should ensure they have completed the following;

  • Move their items into their room. We ask that you unload your vehicles entirely before starting the unpacking process.
  • Pick up any items you have shipped to the Gettysburg College Post Office.
    • Post Office Hours: 9am–5pm beginning August 10
  • Pick up books from the Gettysburg College Bookstore.
    • Hours: 9am–5pm beginning August 10
  • Retrieve any items that you had stored on campus over the summer. When you pick up your key, you will be instructed on where your belongings are located. You can proceed to that location where staff will be waiting to assist you.
  • Have a new I.D. photo taken if you need a replacement I.D.
    • ID Office hours: 8am–4pm
    • For contactless service and to have your replacement ID ready with your residence hall key, please follow these directions.
  • Check-in with business offices regarding Financial Aid or tuition billing questions.
    • Student Accounts window hours: Monday – Friday, 8:15am–11:15am and 1:45–4pm
    • Financial Aid Office: Virtual appointments only

In the Residence Halls

Each student may bring one family member/support person to help them move into their room. While moving into your room, everyone is required to wear a mask/face covering and to maintain a distance of six feet from others who are moving in as well. Face coverings or masks (covering the nose and mouth) are required on campus, even where a plexiglass barrier is present. The only exceptions to this rule are the following:

  • When a student is in their residence hall room, suite, or apartment with their assigned roommate(s)
  • When a student is in their residence hall bathroom
  • When a student is exercising outdoors
  • When a student is eating

When finished moving your belongings into your room, you will be able to say goodbye to your parents or others who accompanied you to campus to move-in, and then you are expected to remain in quarantine until test results are received by the College and you are cleared. During your quarantine time, you are required to remain in your room at all times with the exception of using the bathroom and going out for essential needs, such as picking up meals at designated grab-and-go locations on campus. Anytime you are out of your personal room, you are required to wear your mask/face covering and maintain at least six feet of distance from others.

Reminder to Pack Lightly

We encourage all students to pack lightly this fall and focus on bringing only essential and important items to campus; to have a bag of essential items organized in the event that we need to relocate students or if students need to leave campus on short notice; and finally, to work with your family to have a plan for vacating campus quickly should the need arise. Bringing fewer possessions will also make for a smoother and faster Move-In.

Dining during quarantine and throughout the semester

Dining Services has been working diligently to maintain its long-standing, award-winning dining services even in the midst of the pandemic. Building on a long history of strong food safety and sanitation practices, Dining Services is prepared to meet the unusual circumstances presented by the COVID-19 virus.

As is the case throughout campus, Dining Services will look different this fall, so we ask that you please be patient as we continue to make changes based on the direction we continuously receive from the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control.

Below we answer a number of questions raised by students over the past few weeks:

How will I eat during my initial quarantine after arriving on campus and awaiting my test results?

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be available at a tent on the Bullet Hole patio, as well as at the Atrium next to the Dining Center (Servo) during the time that you are required to quarantine. Face coverings/masks and maintaining the 6 foot distance are required when picking up meals at the Grab-and-Go locations. Meals will be served in a to-go fashion so that you may return to your residence.

Additionally, as students are released from quarantine following notification of their test results, they will be directed to obtain their meals in either the dining hall or Bullet Hole thereby creating less density.

What will SERVO and the Bullet Hole be like during the semester?

While the Dining section of the Better Together website has extensive information about dining during the semester, here are a few highlights to be aware of:

  • Am I required to wear a mask in all food service locations?
    • Yes, in accordance with Gettysburg College policy, masks must be worn while waiting in line and obtaining food and drinks. Please only remove your mask while eating.
  • Will there be physical distancing as students wait to enter dining locations?
    • Yes, please observe six-foot physical distancing while waiting to enter dining locations and in the serving areas. Please follow our floor markings.
  • I have a food allergy/special diet need. How will I obtain meals?
    • Students with special dietary accommodations will obtain meals in the Smart Eats Kitchen. If you have food allergies and have not notified Dining Services, please complete the Food Allergy Form. I member of the Dining Services Management Team will be in contact with you.
  • Will meals be available “to-go” from Servo?
    • With our dining room capacities being reduced, “to-go” meals will be made available. We will be posting what will be allowed to be taken out of the dining halls and ask that you be mindful not to waste food. We do encourage you to come to any of the dining locations prior to or after our big lunch and dinner rush times for a better dining experience.
  • How will I receive my food if I am isolating because I test positive for COVID-19?
    • Since you will not be able to leave the location of where you are isolating, Dining Services will deliver your meals to you. You will receive instructions once you get to your isolation room.

COVID-19 education module (found in Moodle) and pre-screening information

As the College has stated, the ability to remain on campus in the fall is contingent upon our collective support of the institution’s COVID-19 mitigation plan. In previous communications, we asked for you to review and complete the Student Health Agreement. If you have not yet completed this agreement, you must do so by noon on Wednesday, July 29. You will not be permitted to check-in, test, or move in to your residence hall until this form is completed.

We require every student returning to campus to complete the pre-screening form, beginning 14 days prior to your arrival on campus. This form, COVID-19 Initial Pre-Arrival Screening Form, can be found on your Medicat Patient Portal under “Forms – REQUIRED FORMS”, and it will need to be completed on a daily basis until you arrive on campus. Health Services will be monitoring your compliance. If you have any difficulty accessing the portal, please contact Amanda Blaugher or Sharon Birch for technical issues.

In addition to the Student Health Agreement and Pre-Arrival Screening Form, we have prepared a COVID-19 Education Module for all students to complete before the first day of class on August 17. All students have been enrolled in a Moodle course for COVID-19 Education, which you can access here. The course will take approximately 20 minutes to complete.

More information on the health expectations of our students can be found under Health Guidelines on the Better Together website.


We are currently planning to hold Orientation activities in both virtual and small group, in-person formats. Incoming first-year and transfer students will be able to access the online “Living in Our Community” series beginning August 10, and they will need to complete all modules by August 14.

“Living in Our Community” (or LIOC) is a series of programs that introduce new students to Gettysburg’s values and expectations of joining this community. Our intention with this series is to gather in small groups on Saturday and Sunday, August 15 and 16, to discuss these important topics with you. This will help to ensure a smooth transition to college and get your Gettysburg experience off to a productive start. More specific details about these sessions, small groups, and other opportunities during Orientation and the first week of classes will be forthcoming on July 31. If you have questions, please contact Orientation at orientation@gettysburg.edu.

The College continues to update the Better Together website, so please check regularly for the latest fall semester decisions and details. If you have any questions about the residential experience or housing that are not address here or on the website, please contact us at residencelife@gettysburg.edu. If you have other fall semester questions, please contact fallreturn@gettysburg.edu.

We look forward to seeing you soon, and having a safe and healthy semester with you!


Keira S. Kant ’95
Associate Dean of College Life

Danielle Phillips
Director of Residential & First-Year Programs