Letter for off-campus students

Message sent on September 29, 2020

Keira S. Kant, Associate Dean of College Life, informs off campus students about the updates to the student health agreement and corresponding behavior rubric.

Dear Students Residing Off-Campus,

I hope this letter finds you well. As a student living in the local Gettysburg community, I know this time is particularly difficult as you study remotely and seek new opportunities to engage virtually and to safely socialize with friends and housemates. I have received a number of questions about being a remote student in town regarding the Student Health Agreement and associated Rubric and I write today with important information that will hopefully clarify the College’s position on masking, distancing, and hosting guests.

Student Health Agreement and Rubric Update

Prior to de-densifying, we encountered a number of issues related to the Student Health Agreement, particularly, we found that some students were not in compliance of wearing masks and not maintaining physical distance of six feet. The lack of masking and distancing was a significant factor in the increase in positive cases and, ultimately, the decision to de-densify the campus.

Earlier today you should have received an email from Dean Ramsey outlining amendments to the Student Health Agreement and to the associated behavioral rubric with sanction. I call your attention to the following provision:

  • An Off-Campus student residence may host no more than 25 guests at any one time on their property, indoors or outdoors. If one or more guests are present at an off-campus residence, including the outside areas of the off-campus residence, then all residents and guests are required to wear face coverings AND maintain a physical distance of six feet from one another at all times. A guest includes anyone who is not a tenant or owner of the off-campus residence. All residents of any off-campus residence and any guests who are College students will share responsibility for any violation of this requirement.
  • Masking and Distancing at Off-campus Residences: Masking and social distancing requirements do not apply when the residents of an off-campus residence gather at their residence without a guest present.

The addition to the student health agreement and the changes to the rubric are focused on ensuring events at off-campus residences follow masking and distancing policies when guests are present. Please carefully review the COVID-19 Behavior Rubric which is now in place and effective immediately.

Socializing Safely

We want students to be able to spend time together and socialize with one another in a safe and healthy manner:

  1. Students can socialize with roommates, apartment-mates, and housemates without masking and distancing.
  2. You can have guests to your apartment or house but all present, including residents and guests, must be appropriately masked and distanced.
  3. If you are socializing outdoors, you can have up to 25 people IF all are properly masked and distanced (6 feet apart).
  4. If you are socializing indoors, you can have up to one resident or guest for, approximately, every 40 square feet of living space in your house or apartment – again, all must be masked and distanced. You may want to consult the owner of your property regarding square footage.

Compliance and Enforcement

We have also increased enforcement and reporting. DPS will be monitoring campus, particularly high-traffic areas. In addition, DPS will be responding to complaints of non-compliance from the local neighbors (many of whom are College community members as faculty and staff). DPS will document students who are not in compliance, which could be in the form of a detailed report and/or photographs. If you observe a violation of the Student Health Agreement, please submit a Community Concern Form.

Follow Up

I am hosting “Neighborhood Meetings” at the end of this week to review the provisions to the Student Health Agreement, the associated rubric, and any other associated topics. Representatives from DPS, OSAGL, and Athletics may be present as well. The meetings are listed below and I would ask that you try to attend the meeting associated with where you live in town. My hope in creating smaller neighborhood groups is to allow for greater opportunity of questions and answers.

  • Carlisle Street area (including Washington Street)
  • Lincoln Avenue area (including Barlow)
  • Stratton Street area (including Middle and Chambersburg Streets)
  • Water Street area (including Mummasburg and DeLap)

As always, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of continuing to wear masks and maintain physical distancing of six feet. Masking and distancing are critical in prevention of the spread of COVID in both the campus and local community. Any documented violations will be addressed through the College’s conduct process.

I look forward to seeing you at the Neighborhood Meetings later this week!

Be safe and be well,

Keira S. Kant, ’95, Associate Dean of College Life