It is hard to believe that we are nearing the end of the Fall 2020 Semester. We are so proud of the W&J Community, especially students, for the due diligence, care and commitment to maintaining a safe environment. It is because of the collective dedication of the W&J community that we have been able to mitigate thus far the effects of COVID-19 on our campus.
Student Residence Housing
The safety and security of our students, faculty and staff are always our top priority. While we had hoped that the course of the pandemic or the availability of a vaccine would have made it possible to bring all our students back to campus, the state of our global public health continues to present risks. The health risks are compounded by the onset of flu season and we are witnessing spikes in many areas of the country.
The current circumstances have prompted us to modify our move-in and academic schedules for JayTerm and Spring Semester. As we did in the fall, we will maintain our single rooms for every student who opts in for a residential experience. Our experience this Fall to de-densify the campus helped us to mitigate COVID-19 infections and allowed for maximum safety as students were in control their own space, and if needed, isolate with privacy and lack of exposure to others. Therefore, we believe that implementing this practice for another semester is the best option. We will do our best to accommodate those students who need to be on campus for the spring semester.
Students who opt in for residential housing for the Spring Semester will move in on January 9 and January 10, 2021. We will follow the same protocol of a 14-day quarantine period with PCR testing on the day of arrival. More information on the opt-in process will be sent out soon from Student Life. In-residence students are expected to sign and follow the Pledge to Promote Safety guidelines and the COVID Student Safety Policy and Guide as well as policies outlined in the Student Handbook.
JayTerm will begin on Monday, January 11, 2021. All courses will be virtual for the two-week instruction period so that students can maintain quarantine protocols. The Spring Semester is will begin on Monday, January 25, 2021 rather than Wednesday, January 27, 2021 as originally scheduled. The immediate start of the Spring semester ensures that students will have safely completed their quarantine and can attend classes in-person and/or online. Because of the earlier start of the Spring Semester, faculty will be given an extension period for submitting grades for the JayTerm session.
To maintain safety protocols and reduce the risk of COVID-19 exposure, Spring Break has been canceled. However, we will be introducing “days off” in the Spring Semester to provide students with a break from their academic classes. These ‘days off’ will be scheduled sporadically throughout the semester. Faculty and students will be given advance notice of the “days off” schedule.
The Washington & Jefferson College Department of Athletics will continue to work with the Presidents’ Athletic Conference (as well as our affiliate conferences), the NCAA, and local health officials to determine a potential return to competition for the Spring 2021 semester. Minimally, W&J athletic teams will conduct practices and team workouts similar to the fall semester, under the supervision of their coaches, while complying with all health and safety standards currently in place. Practice or athletically related activity will not be conducted on campus between Thanksgiving Day and New Year’s Day. More information will be provided to our student athletes as the PAC confirms the return to play protocol.
We encourage you to frequently check your email and the intranet pages for additional communications about the opt-in process, class scheduling, textbook adoptions and more. We continue to have great confidence in the commitment each of you to ensuring that W&J community is a safe and inviting campus community.
Vice President for Student Life & Dean of Students
Vice President for Academic Affairs & Dean of the College