Instructions for the transition to remote learning

Message sent on September 4, 2020

Danielle Phillips, Director of Residential and First-Year Programs, provides Upper-Class Students with details of the process to depart campus.

Email announcement

Good afternoon upperclass students,

This email contains important information related to the College’s decision to reduce the density of the student body on campus. It outlines the information that you need to effectively and efficiently depart campus to continue your semester remotely.

Who needs to depart campus and return home?

First-year and transfer students are able to remain on campus residentially. All other class years are required to return home.

In addition to first-year and transfer students, the College has identified a cohort of students permitted to remain in residence that include the following:

  • International students will be able to remain on campus residentially. They will receive additional communication from Brad Lancaster, Director of International Student Services.
  • Residential & First-Year Programs (RFYP) student staff (RAs/CAs) will remain on campus to assist in facilitating the experience of our residential cohort. The RA and CA staff will receive additional communication from the RFYP Office.
  • Students with extenuating personal or academic circumstances (see Housing Petition section below for details).
  • Students currently in isolation or quarantine at one of the on-campus motels or off-campus hotels will remain until their isolation/quarantine period concludes. If students are at home, once their isolation/quarantine period concludes, they may return to campus to retrieve their belongings (if in the remote cohort) or to rejoin the residential community (if in the residential cohort). Health Services is tracking the time for each student’s re-entry.
  • Additional student leaders who will be contacted directly by their supervisor.

When do students need to depart campus by?

The de-densification process staggers student departures over a three-day period. Please see the schedule below. The schedule is based on your state of residence. Students must depart campus on or before the day assigned below:

  • Saturday, September 5: Students from Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Washington, D.C.
  • Sunday, September 6: Students from Delaware, New Jersey, and New York
  • Monday, September 7: Students from all other states

Please note: During the time that students remain on campus until their departure, it is expected that they will continue to uphold the Student Health Agreement. Going forward, anyone who has a documented violation of the Student Health Agreement (which includes hosting any social events) will be subject to removal from campus via remote study or suspension.

De-densification process

Similar to moving out at the end of an academic year, it will be important to pack and take home all of your personal belongings. Before leaving campus, all students must clean their room and turn in keys before departing campus. Please see the de-densification process check list below:

  • Clean your room, including taking out all trash, as well as emptying and defrosting your microfridge or refrigerator.
  • Pack all of your belongings and take them home with you.
  • Turn in your residence hall key(s) at the College Union Building (CUB) Bullet Hole patio doors between the hours of 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday, September 5 through Monday, September 7. It is very important that you do not leave campus without turning in your residence hall key(s).
  • Before leaving campus, pick up any items that may have been shipped to the campus post office located in the CUB. If you have items in transit, please work to redirect those items to your home address.
  • If you have books or other academic materials at the bookstore, please remember to pick them up prior to departing campus.
  • After all of these items are complete, you must leave campus on or before the departure date you have been assigned based upon your state of residence.
  • Gettysburg Hotel Residents: Please note that you should not bring your key to the CUB. You should return your key to the front desk of the hotel.

Students are permitted to have one helper assist them during the de-densification process. All students and their helpers must have a mask on at all times and maintain physical distancing of at least six feet from other individuals. If needed, packing supplies will be located in the Stadium North parking lot across from the Jaeger Center, former Agway Building parking lot at the corner of N. Washington and Railroad Streets, and Huber parking lot.

Have you already left campus?

If you left campus prior to today and still have belongings on campus, you should return to campus and move out, abiding by the de-densification process outlined above. However, you will be the only person permitted to return to your room to collect your belongings, and you will have a two-hour window to complete your move out. Please do NOT return to campus to move out if you are not feeling well or have tested positive for COVID-19 since leaving campus.

If you are returning from home and joining the residential cohort, you will need to return on a Monday or Tuesday, be tested, and quarantine until we receive your test results. If you can provide proof of a negative test within 72 hours of returning, we will allow you to re-enter without an additional test the week you return.

Post Office

During this week, the post office hours are as follows:

  • Saturday, 9/5 and Sunday, 9/6 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Please pick up any packages and mail prior to leaving campus.


During this week, the bookstore hours are as follows:

  • Saturday, 9/5 and Sunday, 9/6 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Saturday, 9/13 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Please pick up any textbooks, academic materials, or any other necessary items at the bookstore prior to leaving campus.


Dining is open at the following locations this week: Dining Center, Bullet Hole and Commons.

Please visit the Dining Services website for hours.

Housing petition

The College is providing a limited number of residential spaces for students that are unable to leave campus. Students with a demonstrated need to remain in residence must complete a Petition Form. Only students with significant housing insecurity or other extenuating circumstances will be approved. The petitions will be reviewed by a committee of College administrators who will carefully review and approve or deny each request. All petitions must be submitted by Monday, September 7 at noon.

Storage request form

Students must take all personal items with them when they depart campus. When preparing to return to campus in August, students were advised to pack lightly in the event of the need to depart campus quickly. Any items left in rooms will be donated or discarded. If you have extenuating circumstances and cannot take all of your items with you and need to leave some items behind, you must complete the Storage Request Form. If you do not complete the storage form, receive approval to utilize storage, or follow all instructions related to packing and storing your items, items left in a space (whether packed or not) will be donated or discarded.

Transportation services

Transportation Services will be running shuttles to mass transit centers. The shuttles depart campus at 6 a.m., 9 a.m., noon, 3 p.m., and 6 p.m. Mass transit locations include Harrisburg Airport, Harrisburg Amtrak, BWI Airport, BWI Amtrak, Dulles International Airport, and the Shady Grove Metro Station. Shuttles will practice physical distancing and masks are required. Students can book their shuttles via the Transportation Services website.

Shuttles will be free to students, but reservations are still required. Please allow a three-hour minimum between your shuttle time and your transit departure time. This will provide you with adequate time for the shuttle commute, ticketing, and airport security.

Spring semester housing

At this time, given the uncertainty of the COVID-19 global pandemic, all students will be foregoing their spring housing assignment. Once the de-densification process is complete, classes resume, and relocations occur for the residential cohort, students will receive more information regarding housing selection for the Spring 2021 semester.

Thank you for your patience, understanding, and attention to these detailed instructions. If you have any questions, please contact the phone bank at 717-337-8800 during the following times:

  • Friday, September 4: 3 - 9 p.m.
  • Saturday, September 5: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
  • Sunday, September 6: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Be well.

Danielle Phillips
Director of Residential and First-Year Programs

  • De-densification announcement – President Iuliano informs students of the decision to de-densify the College and transition students, except First-Years and a cohort of other students, to remote learning for the remainder of the semester.
  • De-densification message to First-Year and Transfer Students – Danielle Phillips, Director of Residential and First-Year Programs, provides First-Year and Transfer Students with details of the process to remain on campus through the de-densification plan.