Letter to students

Message sent on September 29, 2020

Dean Julie Ramsey, Vice President for College Life and Dean of Students, informs students about the updates to the student health agreement and corresponding behavior rubric.

Dear Students,

As I write to you in late September, a few weeks after the College made the decision to de-densify, I recognize that this has been a very challenging month for all of you. I hope that you have been able to settle in to your studies over the past couple of weeks.

During this time, we have been listening to students and parents who have provided a great deal of feedback about the College’s decisions to date and how we might move forward. I have paid particular attention to the many parents and students who asked for tougher—and clearer—sanctions for COVID violations. I am writing to you now to update you on some changes to both the Gettysburg College Student Health Agreement and the Sanctioning Rubric for COVID-related violations that were developed at the beginning of the year. These changes apply to students studying on campus currently, students living in the local community, and students who may return as guests to the local community.

The Gettysburg College Student Health Agreement was developed at the start of the academic year to maintain a safe environment for all students and to adapt social and interpersonal interactions to the COVID environment. The Agreement was intended to anticipate the major issues that would be likely to arise when our entire student population returned to campus. We anticipated that there might have to be adjustments to the Agreement based on evolving conditions and we promised that updates would be emailed directly to all students if we needed to implement a significant change in protocols.

After careful consideration, we are issuing an update to both the Health Agreement and the Rubric. Both revised documents are attached to this email. I would like to draw your attention to two key changes:

  • Student Health Agreement: Provisions added addressing guests at off-campus houses in Gettysburg with a focus on masking and distancing.
  • Rubric: Removed warning-level sanctions, resulting in more immediate and serious consequences for violations. This document also has revised rules for off campus social events and a clearer sanctioning approach for the residential and remote student cohorts.

Our goal in reissuing these documents is to provide a fair and clear set of rules for students, as well as transparency around sanctions students can expect if in violation. The motivation of these updates is in support of providing for the health, safety, and well-being of all students and our entire Gettysburg community. These changes will go into effect immediately.

I recognize that this information will apply differently across members of the residential and remote student cohorts. It is important to note that the Health Agreement and Rubric apply to all students with a particular focus on those of you who would like to host guests while living on campus or in the local community. A separate communication with more in-depth information for students residing off-campus in the Gettysburg community is forthcoming from Keira Kant, Associate Dean of College Life. She will also host a series of conversations for students living in the Gettysburg community to respond to questions and provide clarification as needed.


Dean Julie Ramsey
Vice President for College Life and Dean of Students