Welcome to Gettysburg College Students

Message sent August 12, 2020

Dean Julie Ramsey welcomed First-Year Students to campus with information about the new Student Success Advocate program, health and safety, policies, and campus services.

Dear Gettysburg Student,

Gettysburg is a college that prides itself on a strong sense of community and we are eager for the beginning of the fall semester. The COVID-19 pandemic has been the focus of most of the communications and information the College has been sending you as we prepare to begin this academic year. COVID-19 will certainly remain at the center of our shared campus experience for some time yet. I encourage you to re-read the attached Student Health Agreement and to follow the College’s Better Together website for important information and updates.

It is important to also recognize the rich history, intellectual challenge and co-curricular opportunities that Gettysburg provides, both virtually and in-person. Please carefully review the information below which outlines opportunities and important campus resources available to you. While the first section is focused on first-year students, it is important for all students to read the sections that follow.

New program for first-year students

Student Success Advocate (SSA) for First-year Students: The SSA program is new for the fall 2020 semester. Each incoming first-year student will be assigned a Student Success Advocate (SSA). SSA’s will consist of a group of trained, professional staff member who will serve as the contact person for students to reach out to regarding questions or issues they may having including social engagement, adjustment to college, and personal, family, or similar issues. Combined with the Resident Assistant and Faculty Advisors, each student’s “team” will collaborate and provide holistic, wrap-around support for each student.

Students should contact their SSA for assistance with:

  • Adjusting to college and balancing academics with other areas of interest.
  • Personal, family, and issues from home impacting academics and engagement.
  • Seeking to find points of connection on campus including engaging with students and student organizations as well as finding mentor(s).
  • Significant health issue impacting academics and consideration of a leave of absence.

SSAs have been assigned by First Year Seminars and everyone in your seminar will have the same SSA. Your SSA will be contacting you directly to introduce themselves. If you have any questions, please contact Jeff Foster, Associate VP of College Life at jfoster@gettysburg.edu.

Health, safety, and policy information for all students

Monitoring for Symptoms of COVID-19: Daily monitoring of symptoms in the Student Medicat (EMR) Portal is required and will be monitored for compliance. Health Services has expanded staffing to include a Case Management team to guide students through the testing, isolation and quarantine process, as an important system in controlling Covid-19 on campus. Partnering with students and the College Community, Health Services is working diligently to ensure a safe, healthy and open campus for the semester.

Violations of the Student Health Agreement: In a letter to students and parents on July 20, President Iuliano conveyed, “the effectiveness of our structural changes will depend on all of us accepting the responsibility that comes with adopting a set of behavioral changes designed to enhance community health.” Students have reviewed and signed a Student Health Agreement that outlines the essential behavioral expectations around COVID-19. In addition to the Student Health Agreement, the College has implemented two COVID-19 Behavioral Rubrics in order to be sure students and student organizations are fully informed of the consequences for violating the Student Health Agreement. You will receive additional information from Ron Wiafe, Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities, and Jon Allen, Director of Student Activities and Greek Life, in coming days.

Health Services: Health Services has developed a guide, Navigating a Healthy College Experience, to assist you in preparing for the coming year including services available, reviewing your insurance coverage, use of apps to store health information. Health Services is advising all students and parents to carefully review updated recommendations from the CDC and the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases regarding meningitis vaccination. A vaccine for the serogroup B strain is now available and all students are required to receive this important vaccination. For more information, contact Health Services at (717) 337-6970 or your healthcare provider.

Measles Vaccination: Cases of the measles have been reported in a number of states, including Pennsylvania. Although no cases have been confirmed at Gettysburg College, we want to ensure that all members of our campus community understand how to protect themselves against this preventable and potentially life –threatening disease. The CDC recommends that students in colleges and universities get the MMR Vaccine to protect against Measles, Mumps and Rubella. This is part of the required immunizations at Gettysburg College.

Mental Health and Substance Abuse Support. Counseling Services is an important resource for students with concerns about substance abuse or mental health of themselves or others. Our licensed mental health providers are prepared to help students with adjustment, identity, depression, anxiety, grief—the range of human experiences. Services are confidential and offered without additional fees.

This year, we are piloting a Peer to Peer support program, as well: “PEEPS.” Students who would prefer speaking with a trained upper-class student may arrange to do so. This can be especially useful for students who feel that their problems aren’t “serious enough” to warrant meeting with a staff counselor.

Students can also access a variety of confidential self-help services via the Counseling Services website. Counseling Services offers trainings throughout the year to help members of our campus community learn to recognize and respond to signs suggesting someone is thinking of suicide: watch for “QPR” (Question Persuade Refer) trainings this year.

Counseling Services will be providing most services virtually this year. Students are encouraged to contact us for an appointment to meet with a staff counselor or a PEEP peer supporter. Counseling can be reached by calling 717-337-6960.

CARE group: It is important for all members of our community to support one another and I want you to be aware of the College’s CARE group. If you have concerns about a fellow student, particularly if you have observed disturbing behaviors, we encourage you to use the Community Concern Form to report concerning behaviors or contact Associate VP Jeff Foster at (717) 337-6908 or jfoster@gettysburg.edu.

Sexual Violence and Relationship Violence Education & Prevention and Title IX: Sexual violence, including sexual assault, and relationship violence are prohibited at Gettysburg College. The College continues to take all reports of sexual misconduct seriously and encourages reporting of such incidents to ensure that the affected party is connected to resources and procedural options available to them. All students need to understand our policy, the importance of and how to obtain consent to engage in sexual activity, how to intervene and prevent sexual violence, and how to report any inappropriate behaviors that you may witness or experience on campus. The College has designated Amanda Blaugher, Title IX Director as the institutional Title IX coordinator. She is located in room 220 of the College Union Building and can be reached at (717) 337-6907. Please see the Sexual Misconduct Resource Site for more information.

Alcohol Use on Campus: An issue that impacts students and the community negatively is the abuse of alcohol. The Alcohol and Drug Policy Point Systemis designed to help our students make informed decisions and to avoid the potentially damaging consequences of alcohol or drug abuse. It is important to note that students reaching 10 points will be required to leave campus for at least a semester or more. Our Handbook of Student Rights and Responsibilities contains information regarding alcohol and drug policies, health effects of alcohol and drug use, and treatment resources available to our students.

Additional Resources

Office and location Contact information
Academic Advising and Student Support Services
Dr. Charmaine Cruise
Health Center
Dr. Kathy Bradley
Health Services
Health Center
Judy Williams, CRNP
International Student Services
ISS Building, N. Washington St.
Brad Lancaster
LGBTQA Advocacy and Education
Women’s and LGBTQA Resource Center in Apple Hall
Shantanique Johnston
Multicultural Engagement
OME, 102 West Water St.
Dr. Darrien Davenport
Religious and Spiritual Life
RSL House, Stevens Street
Rev. Dr. Kristin Largen
Public Safety (DPS)
51 W. Stevens Street
available 24 hours for emergencies
Bill Lafferty
Women’s Center
Women’s and LGBTQA Resource Center
Valentina Cucuzza

For more information on our policies the most up to date version of the Handbook of Student Rights and Responsibilities and the Points System can be found online at www.gettysburg.edu/studenthandbook. Please take some time to review this information before you come to campus.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

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


COVID-19 Student Health Agreement:

Download the Student Health Agreement (PDF)