Fall 2020 Reopening

Protecting. Adapting. Thriving.

Move In Fall 2020

Washington & Jefferson College plans to reopen the campus for classes and residents at the beginning of the Fall 2020 semester. We are fully committed to taking all possible precautions to maintain a safe environment while providing students with the holistic, in-person experience that is so critical to our mission. Recognizing that no institution can eliminate all risk while the COVID-19 pandemic continues, our plan is informed by the best available guidance from the federal CDC, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Health, American College Health Association, and local healthcare partners. It will be updated as necessary to reflect any new guidelines or restrictions that may be recommended in response to a future resurgence of the coronavirus.

Recent News

Updated Fall 2020 Re-opening Plans

August 6, 2020
Dear Students, I hope that you have had a chance to review the message sent earlier from President Knapp outlining a change in our plans for the fall. As you are well aware, we are preparing for a year that won’t look like any other at W&J. Many challenges lie ahead, and although we’re working to tackle all of them, we know this isn’t going to be a normal year on campus. There will be more virtual events rather than in-person gatherings, some internships will be remote experiences, and travel to-and-from campus will be limited. There will be changes to dining and housing. We’re also preparing for the possibility that we’ll have to monitor public health and state and national guidelines closely to ensure that we continue to provide you the safest learning environment possible. Nevertheless, we see opportunities to work through these challenging times together and grow stronger as a community. As always, we cherish the times when we are together as a full community. As we prepare to return to campus, we want to let you know about a major change to the start of the academic year and to campus housing that we are implementing to help keep our community safe. It is becoming increasingly evident that having students return to campus, as we hoped and planned for, presents compounding risks regarding safety. Not only have we witnessed a rise in COVID-19 cases in southwestern Pa., we know that more states are experiencing surges and are now considered hot zones. Additionally, information has emerged which highlights newly identified safety risks to people in the 18-35-year-old age range. Recently, Dr. Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, indicated that it is critical for colleges to utilize testing to ensure a safe return to campus. We are also mindful that the CDC currently classifies dense living arrangements and large gatherings as high risk. Furthermore, we know from conversations with students that there is a need and desire to be on campus to engage with in-person classes, participate in internships and off-campus athletic (albeit limited) matches. We also know that for some students, life on campus is a desirable and necessary option. In order to provide a safe living and learning environment on campus, we feel that we must adjust our plans to do more to ensure safety of our residential community members considering the elevated concerns over COVID-19. Updated Fall 2020 Re-opening Plans For the Fall of 2020, the residential configuration will be modified to provide single rooms to every student who opts in for a residential experience. We believe that single rooms allow us to de-densify the campus to safe standards. More importantly, this housing configuration allows for maximum safety as students can control their own space and, if needed, isolate with privacy and lack of exposure to others. With the exception of our approved commuter student community, will be asked to opt-in to housing starting this Friday, August 7 through Monday, August 10; you will receive follow up information from Office of Residence Life. Please know that priority will be extended to students who need to be physically on campus for a host of reasons. The opt-in process will invite you to indicate not only your interest in living on campus but also the reason why. It is critical that you know that in order to be assigned a room, each student in residence is required to sign the Pledge to Promote Safety, which will indicate agreement to follow guidelines for safety. Before opting in, it is imperative that each student understand the conditions and expectations of living on campus this fall. Students will:
  • Live in a single room (all assignments will be handled by Residence Life)
  • Follow a scheduled move in process
  • Adhere to a 10-day quarantine (meals will be provided)
  • Be required to take a COVID-19 test upon arrival (provided by the College), at the end of the 10-day quarantine and throughout the semester, as needed.
  • This means that you will not be permitted to leave your residence hall room for any reason during your quarantine period.
  • All students will successfully complete quarantine by September 4, 2020.
  • Participate in courses virtually during the quarantine at the start of the semester and at other times, if applicable. All classes will be virtual for the first 2 weeks in consideration of our students who will quarantining.
  • Complete daily screenings before attending class, work and/or leaving one’s room.
  • Refrain from hosting guests (including non-W&J community members; W&J students who are not in residence are considered guests)
  • Limit travel away from campus to essential travel (internships, work, acquiring essential items, etc.)
  • Agree to quarantine if travel away from campus involves being in a hot spot
  • Follow the guidelines as outlined in the Pledge to Promote Safety
  • Adhere to policies as outlined in the Addendum to the Student Handbook
Please note that both the Pledge to Promote Safety and the Addendum to the Student Handbook will be available within the next few days. Because of these changes to the residential housing, we have made the decision to start classes on Monday, August 24 rather than August 17. All classes will be virtual for the first two weeks of the semester and resume as a hybrid model on Monday, September 7. The faculty have been preparing throughout the summer to provide in-person and virtual learning instruction to our students. We know that agreeing to come to campus under the conditions outlined above is a major decision. I ask you to honestly reflect on the expectations being asked of you as it will take a vigilance of each individual to ensure safety on campus this fall. We believe that the conditions we have structured provide the best opportunity to mitigate risk. Of course, there is no way to completely eliminate risk. We know that this is a different experience than what you were planning for, but we believe it is the best and safest way to provide you with the high-quality academic and social experience you expect from W&J. You can find additional information about this plan on the reopening webpage. Thank you, Eva Chatterjee-Sutton Vice President of Student Life & Dean of Students Read More

Additional Information

Reopening Campus

The W&J COVID-19 Response Team began meeting in March to plan for a wide range of future scenarios, and more recently expanded this work with the appointment of several subcommittees. We have collaborated closely with many other colleges and universities, as well as experts in relevant fields, to develop the best practices we have adopted. As our plan was drafted, we sought input from leaders of our board of trustees, our faculty, and our student body. All decisions were made with the following priorities at the forefront:

  1. Ensure the health and safety of students, faculty and staff.
  2. Maintain continuity and quality of instruction for the greatest number of students.
  3. Provide a holistically developmental experience to the greatest number of students.
  4. Sustain essential operations.
  5. Safeguard the college’s financial stability and ability to compete.
  6. Support a culture of trust and shared commitment to continuous adaptive change.

As the Fall semester resumes, you can expect some of our policies and procedures to evolve based on our ongoing assessment of effectiveness and any changes in the external environment. The COVID-19 page will be kept up to date to provide accurate and timely information. We will also continue the practice of communicating updates by email; therefore, it will be important for you to continue to monitor your W&J email.

Returning to Campus
Remote Instruction & Work
Cleaning Procedures
Physical Distancing
Visitors

Questions and Answers

Will the academic calendar be different in Fall 2020?

Classes will begin Monday, Aug. 24 and the term will end Tuesday, Nov. 24. To accommodate required contact hours and to minimize travel away from campus, classes will be held on Labor Day and the Fall Break will be eliminated. Reading Day is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 30; final exams will begin on Tuesday, Dec. 1 and end on Saturday, Dec. 5.

The new calendar will allow us to complete the coursework before Thanksgiving. This new end date avoids the risk of students and employees traveling throughout the country over Thanksgiving and possibly being exposed to Coronavirus, then returning to campus and exposing others.

How will courses be delivered in Fall 2020?

All classes will be virtual for the first two weeks of the semester and resume as a hybrid model on Monday, Sept. 7. Please check WebAdvisor for your Fall 2020 Class Schedule. All class schedules are now posted so you can learn which classes are in-person or remote as of Sept. 7. Please review the column marked Meeting Information on your course schedule. A notation of online denotes courses taught remotely; Jay Flex denoted hybrid instruction (combination of remote and in-person) or, if a meeting room is listed, the courses is taught in person. If you have any questions please contact the Registrar’s Office (wjregistrar@washjeff.edu). Students will be able to make changes to their schedule. We will send out an announcement with instructions on how to make changes in the near future.

For courses delivered in person, classrooms will be utilized and maintained based on CDC and DOH guidelines for safety for classroom settings (physical distancing and cleaning). Numbers of seats, based on physical distancing, have been determined for each classroom. As such, courses may have a limited number of students permitted in the classroom, due to implementing appropriate social distancing. If that is the case, a portion of the class may attend virtually on some days.

How will the College ensure that all courses, regardless of instruction method, are robust?

Since the Spring 2020 semester, ITS has made upgrades to the campus network infrastructure and to our campus internet service. Both upgrades should improve the experience for all students, whether they are studying in-person or online. We have added Zoom video conferencing as a second option for courses and Sakai has been upgraded. Classroom technology has been enhanced to allow students who are studying remotely to participate synchronously in courses. These upgrades include OWL cameras for videoconferencing and lecture capture, additional webcams, and document cameras.

In addition to all of these technology upgrades, a faculty-led Remote Learning 2.0 workgroup has been offering extensive professional development opportunities for faculty. They have covered logistics, best practices in online teaching and learning, and preparing educational materials for all students. Their sessions have been well attended, which bodes well for our ability to offer all W&J students a strong faculty presence, personal attention, and a sense of community.

What is the process if I need to complete the Fall 2020 term remotely?

Students will be able to transition to remote learning at any time during the semester, should they need to. They will contact Student Life to inform them of the change and to work out move out plans, if applicable.

What support will be in place for technology needs such as internet access or equipment?

To the extent possible, we will work with students who need to study remotely to support their technology needs.

What are the JayTerm and Spring 2021 plans?

We will determine and communicate plans for JayTerm prior to the registration period. We anticipate in-person classes on campus for Spring 2021, but will follow public health guidelines in determining plans for the spring semester.

Will I be able to take my course Pass/Fail in Fall 2020?

We plan to use our standard grading options for the Fall 2020 semester.

How will academic advising be impacted?

Academic advising will continue to be an integral part of being a W&J student. During the Fall 2020 semester, academic advising may be done via MS Teams meetings regardless of whether a student is on campus or studying remotely. Individual advising appointments may also occur in person with social distancing and the wearing of face masks if the student and the professor are comfortable doing so. More information will be provided prior to the advising period. A student should feel free to contact their academic advisor whenever they need assistance.

How will office hours be held?

Office hours can be held in the mode that both student and professor are most comfortable. In-person meetings can take place with the use of social distancing and wearing face masks. Office hours can also be held by utilizing our campus MS Teams platform.

What do I do if I need an academic accommodation?

Students who need an academic accommodation should contact Richard Barber, Director of Academic Success (rbarber@washjeff.edu).

Will support services be available to remote learners?

Yes, all support services including tutoring, counseling, and career services will be available remotely.

Is there a chance we will need to return to fully online classes?

There is always a chance that conditions will change. We will be following CDC and PA Department of Health recommendations. The College will remain constantly alert for changing conditions that impact our campus.

What happens if students violate the Pledge to Promote Safety?

Students who violate the expectations outlined in the Pledge to Promote Safety will be required to leave campus.

Will student activities and student organizations continue in Fall 2020?

Student activities and student organizations will continue to be active in the fall, although many events and meetings will be held virtually. If a meeting must happen in person, leaders will incorporate social distancing, mask wearing, and other health and safety practices.

If I plan to study remotely, can I change my mind in the middle of the semester and join classes on campus and reside in a residence hall?

If you are interested in joining the community after the start of classes, and there are spaces available, this may be possible. You will need to work with the Office of Residence Life and plan to undergo testing upon arrival and a 14-day quarantine period.

How will orientation be impacted?

Orientation will be delivered virtually, initially; traditional orientation activities have been postponed, and more information will be provided to First Year students in the coming weeks.

Will the College hold its traditional matriculation ceremony?

At this time, we are working on adapted plans for Matriculation.

Which athletic facilities will be available to the campus community?

Please see the Athletics FAQ section for information about Athletics facilities.

Will the Pittsburgh Pipeline for students be operating?

For the Fall 2020 semester, the Pittsburgh Pipeline will be temporarily suspended until it appears safe to offer travel into the city and other locations. Please know we will offer limited trips to local shopping centers during the weekdays and specifically low exposure times.

How will classrooms be adjusted to ensure social distancing?

Classrooms have been evaluated to ensure accurate capacity of each classroom while adhering to physical distancing. If necessary, furniture will be moved or removed to ensure the appropriate measures are in place. The number of students permitted in classrooms will be limited. The Remote Learning 2.0 workgroup is planning for this limitation and the Registrar’s Office will be working with department chairs to reassign classrooms to allow for maximum in person attendance and to the extent possible.

What precautions are being taken to ensure proper cleaning and sanitization of classrooms and public spaces?

Since we moved to online instruction in March, deep cleanings for all our academic and administrative buildings has been completed. Specific attention has been given to cleaning and sanitizing offices, classrooms and high traffic areas.

We implemented a 7-step cleaning method for uniformity and standardization to our processes. This is meant to provide the same high-quality cleaning standards in all areas of campus. Cintas is laundering, sanitizing, and delivering fresh cleaning cloths and mops each week to prevent any cross-contamination or improper sanitization. Ecolab is now our provider of cleaning supplies, which includes an EPA certified disinfectant that has reduced the required dwell time from 10 minutes to 2 minutes. We are securing several electrostatic sprayers for applying disinfectants. These devices have been praised for their ability to provide even coverage to areas that are typically tough to reach with traditional spray bottles, i.e. back sides of handrails, doorknobs, faucets, etc.

The cleaning processes at W&J have been re-engineered through new cleaning techniques, supplies and equipment to achieve greater effectiveness. Sanitation frequency is increased from once per day to three times per day in Admissions, Campus and Public Safety, the Campus Center, the Commons, the Hub, the Clark Family Library, the Lodge, the Ross Family Recreation Center and Henry Gym, and the Tech Center. Frequency of cleaning is doubled throughout the rest of campus. Each building will have a checklist provided to the custodians to reference cleaning methods and frequencies for daily and weekly cleaning tasks. In addition to the cleaning methods, we will also be using the Maximo work order system to track and monitor the maintenance of our HVAC systems. This will include the changing of necessary filters in accordance with manufacturer’s guidelines and CDC recommendations.

What precautions are being taken to allow for social distancing for workspaces?

At least six feet of distance from co-workers and between workspaces will be maintained where possible. Face masks must be worn while in a shared workspace. Sharing of work materials will be limited or eliminated.

Will the Clark Family Library be open?

Yes, the Clark Family Library will be open and will operate at half capacity with social distancing and mask wearing. Hours may be limited and some services may be impacted.

Will we install plexiglass in any locations on campus?

Plexiglass has been installed in a number of locations around campus.

How will we manage social distancing in elevators?

One person should use the elevator at a time. Masks should be worn in elevators. If you utilize the elevator, you are encouraged to wash your hands or use hand sanitizer upon departing the elevator.

What precautions are being taken regarding air ventilation in campus buildings?

Buildings were inspected to identify opportunities for enhanced air ventilation. Specific precautions taken are that 1) new ventilation equipment was installed in specific areas on campus; 2) air handlers have been adjusted to increase the amount of external air brought into our building; and 3) air filters were upgraded throughout the campus as needed.

Will large events be held on campus?

We will follow CDC and PA DOH guidelines to determine whether and how we can hold various sized events. These will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Will performing arts and cultural events take place during Fall 2020?

For the Fall 2020 semester, all performance events at Olin Fine Arts Center have either been postponed or will be held in a virtual format. At this time, art exhibits will be held in Olin Fine Art Gallery, but artist talks will be held in a virtual format.

Will computer labs be open?

Computer labs will be available at half capacity. Cleaning supplies will be available in each computer lab so that students can sanitize keyboards and workspaces while using the facility.

What approach is being taken for faculty and staff to return to campus?

Various safety protocols across the campus are being instituted, including health screening procedures, personal protective equipment procurement, cleaning and sanitization, physical distancing, visitor contact protocols, and information regarding employee health and response to positive COVID-19 cases and related symptoms. Each campus office is developing a staggered return to work process for staff to ensure that we are phasing people back into the workplace safely.

Can meetings be held in person?

In-person meetings should be limited to small groups and held at the comfort level of those involved. Physical distancing and wearing masks are required at all in-person meetings. At this time, we encourage meetings to be held via an online platform whenever possible.

Will the College provide masks and personal protective equipment?

The College will provide a W&J-branded reusable mask to each employee. Additional disposable masks will also be made available for faculty and staff.

What do I do if I need to work remotely?

We realize that some of our employees may need to work remotely for health-related reasons involving themselves or others within their household. If you fall into this category, please contact Sharon Kolesar, Director of Human Resources, (skolesar@washjeff.edu, 724-503-1001, Ext. 3539) to arrange a confidential conversation about your potential need for a reasonable accommodation due to health-related reasons.

What if I have a condition that puts me at higher risk of contracting COVID-19?

If you fall into this category, please contact Sharon Kolesar, Director of Human Resources, (skolesar@washjeff.edu, 724-503-1001, Ext. 3539) to arrange a confidential conversation about your potential need for a reasonable accommodation due to health-related reasons.

Will we follow our current health and leave policy?

Yes, W&J will continue to provide the health and leave policy that we currently have in place.

Is College-related travel permitted?

College-related essential travel is permitted. Determine if your travel is considered essential or non-essential based on the nature of the work. Consideration for other travel will be made on a case-by-case basis, by the VP in each area.

We encourage all W&J Community members to follow recommended travel guidelines according to State of PennsylvaniaU. S. Department of State, and the CDC guidelines. See our Travel Guidance document for more information.

According to the PA Department of Health, if you travel to these states you will need to quarantine for 14 days upon return. We ask that you coordinate with your supervisor for the ability to work remotely during this time.

Can the College guarantee that I will not be exposed to COVID-19 while on campus?

The College is following the guidelines of the federal CDC, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Health, and local healthcare partners to implement the appropriate measures to mitigate the spread of the disease. No institution can eliminate all risk while the COVID-19 pandemic continues. In addition to the measures the College is instituting, the students, faculty and staff are expected to take the necessary precautions, and to be mindful and respectful of each other to help mitigate the spread of the virus.

Is W&J following the guidelines of CDC and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for safely reopening the campus?

Yes, W&J is following the current guidelines in place for the federal CDC, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Health, and local healthcare partners to safely reopen the campus. We are continually monitoring the situation as it develops and will continue to update our procedures to continue to follow guidelines.

Has W&J been in touch with local medical professionals for guidance on plans?

Yes, our senior administration has been working with Washington Health System physicians to ensure that we are following appropriate health and safety precautions.

Will I be required to wear a mask when on campus? If so, when and where?

All W&J employees who are on campus must wear a mask, scarf, or protective covering unless they are in a private office or while eating or drinking. Students must wear a mask, scarf, or protective covering when in public areas, including campus buildings and while obtaining their meals from The Commons.

How will my health and the health of others be monitored?

All employees are required to sign the Pledge to Promote Safety before returning to campus to work. Employees are also required to complete the Symptom Checker form before coming to campus each day. If an employee is exhibiting symptoms, this information would be shared with our healthcare staff and determinations can be made as to whether further testing is needed.

What do I do if I think I have COVID-19?

If you are learning remotely, contact your healthcare provider for the best course of action. If you are a student residing on the W&J campus, please contact Student Health Services to be advised of the appropriate measures.

What will happen if someone tests positive for COVID-19?

Students who test positive for COVID-19 are required to stay in their rooms and work with Student Health Services virtually to determine what kind of care is needed.

In the event that a student needs to quarantine, food will be delivered to their room. Residence Life, Student Health and Counseling and Student Life staff will be checking in on students regularly, as will peer leaders (Resident Assistants, LINK mentors and our Prez2Prez Peer Health Educators).

If an employee tests positive for COVID-19, they will be required to isolate within their home residence for a period of 10 days and will not be permitted to work on campus. Human Resources will also work with the employee to conduct contact tracing, as will the Pennsylvania Department of Health. Neither Human Resources or the Pennsylvania Department of Health releases the names of individuals who have tested positive. If an employee does test positive, W&J encourages them to utilize the contact tracing process rather than providing this information directly to others. This will ensure HIPAA and privacy are followed.

What happens if I need medical care?

The Student Health & Counseling Center staff and services are available. Counseling will operate as a Telehealth service. Some basic medical care will be offered through the Center; we continue to collaborate with Washington Health Center Clinic where W&J students are prioritized for care.

What will on-campus housing accommodations be for Fall 2020?

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the College is modifying housing operations for the Fall 2020 semester. All students, with the exception of approved commuters, will be classified as remote learners unless approved for housing by the Office of Residence Life. Approved students will be assigned rooms by the Office of Residence Life. All housing will be in single rooms with a maximum of four (4) students sharing a bathroom area. Students will be tested with a PCR test upon arrival and required to quarantine upon arrival for 10 days in their room.

To qualify for housing, students must complete a petition they received via email in its entirety and it must be approved by the Office of Residence Life. Dates and times will be set by Residence Life to stagger students coming to campus to move into the residence halls. This information will be sent to every student’s W&J email account. If you have any questions, please email reslife@washjeff.edu.

This modified housing model is for the Fall 2020 semester only. At this time, the College plans to resume normal operations and be fully residential in the Spring. For the Spring, students would move to their originally assigned rooms. Pending new developments in the COVID-19 outbreak, this is subject to change.

How can I be assured that my peers and I have the same living expectations regarding health and safety?

Agreements will be completed and include questions about health and safety management. Additionally, students living communally (floors, Presidents Row Buildings and Chestnut Street houses) will complete community agreements to agree upon preferable living/cleaning arrangements.

How will common areas, such as bathrooms, be cleaned?
  • We are instituting a 7-step cleaning method for uniformity and standardization to our processes. This is meant to provide the same high-quality cleaning standards in all areas of campus. Cintas is laundering, sanitizing, and delivering fresh cleaning cloths and mops each week to prevent any cross-contamination or improper sanitization. Ecolab is now our provider of cleaning supplies, which includes an EPA certified disinfectant that has reduced the required dwell time from 10 minutes to 2 minutes. We are securing several electrostatic sprayers for applying disinfectants. These devices have been praised for their ability to provide even coverage to areas that are typically tough to reach with traditional spray bottles, i.e. back sides of handrails, doorknobs, faucets, etc.
  • The cleaning processes at W&J have been re-engineered through new cleaning techniques, supplies and equipment to achieve greater effectiveness.
  • Sanitation frequency is increased from once per day to three times per day in Admissions, Campus and Public Safety, the Campus Center, the Commons, the Hub, the Clark Family Library, the Lodge, the Ross Family Recreation Center and Henry Gym, and the Tech Center. Frequency of cleaning is doubled throughout the rest of campus. Each building will have a checklist provided to the custodians to reference cleaning methods and frequencies for daily and weekly cleaning tasks. In addition to the cleaning methods, we will also be using the Maximo work order system to track and monitor the maintenance of our HVAC systems. This will include the changing of necessary filters in accordance with manufacturer’s guidelines and CDC recommendations.
Am I requested to self-quarantine before I arrive on campus?

Students are asked to self-quarantine for 10 days before moving into campus housing. This will help reduce the chance of spread of COVID-19.

What does it mean to quarantine?

When you are asked to quarantine, it means that you remain in a separate room from others for the period of time of 10 days. When you are quarantined, you may not leave your room except for the following activities: using the bathroom, taking a shower and accepting your meals at your designated location in your residence hall. You also cannot have visitors to your room even if they reside in the same residence hall as you.

We ask that if you have any appointments such as a doctor’s appointment that you schedule those after the 10-day quarantine period or prior to arriving on campus. If you have an employment or an internship, we ask that you request to work virtually during that period of time. You are not permitted leave your room for any reason except what is stated above, you will be required to quarantine again.

Once the 10-day quarantine period is over, are students permitted to leave campus?

Students will be permitted to leave campus for essential activities, including jobs, internships, and athletic events. Students are expected to follow the same protocols they agreed to in the Pledge to Promote Safety on and off campus. Following these guidelines will help to maintain a safe campus community.

Can I have visitors to my dorm room?

Only students who are living on campus may enter the residence halls; students are limited to one visitor at a time. This is being done to maintain efforts to limit the number of individuals entering and exiting the residences and to be mindful of the health and safety of those who reside in those buildings. Visits from off-campus and non-W&J community members are not permitted; W&J students who do not reside on campus are considered guests. Special circumstances will be considered by request to the Office of Residence Life.

How will resident students access food services on campus?

Campus dining will be open and available to students. Take-away and dine-in will be available and meal delivery will be provided for students who need to quarantine. To ensure ample access to food, all students will have a 19-meal plan for the Fall 2020 semester. During the initial quarantine period, meals will be delivered to student rooms.

Campus dining will be open and available to resident students. Take-away and dine-in will be available and meal delivery will be provided for students who need to quarantine. To ensure ample access to food, all students will have a 19-meal plan for the Fall 2020 semester. During the initial quarantine period, meals will be delivered to student rooms.

How can faculty and staff access food on campus?

Take-away is available in all three dining venues. Please note that all transactions, in all venues will be electronic – Jay Cash or credit card.

What precautions will W&J Dining’s employees be taking?

W&J Dining is taking precautions to ensure the safety of its staff. W&J Dining will require daily temperature checks of all employees as they punch in for the day and require masks and gloves for all employees. All employees will be required to complete targeted training regarding safe work habits and procedures to keep guests safe.

 

Access to W&J Dining locations will be limited to necessary personnel only. We will take a quick “pause” from services every 30 minutes. During this pause each station will change serving utensils in use and follow proper sanitizing procedures for their station using recommended sanitizing products, in particular those that are peroxide-based for virus control. This will also include possible common stations such as beverage fountains if they are in use, and door handles where necessary. All cashier stations will include “shields” to separate space from guests, and reduced contact swiping will be done for all student IDs.

Will W&J offer delivery services?

W&J Dining’s service provider is presently working with various companies for delivery options or pre-order options.

During the initial 10-day quarantine period, meals will be delivered to student rooms.

We will share more information when it is available.

How will these precautions impact W&J Dining catering services?

All catering events will be served or pre-packaged. Catering setups will follow social distancing and event capacity as mandated by the state of Pennsylvania.

Will international students and/or exchange students come to campus for the Fall 2020 semester?

Assuming students can obtain a visa and secure travel, they are permitted to be on campus for the Fall 2020 semester. They will follow the same guidelines as all residential students.

Can new international students begin their study at W&J remotely?

Yes. If you are unable to enter the U.S. with an F1 visa and arrive at W&J before the start of the Fall 2020 semester, Monday, August 24, you are encouraged to consider studying remotely. Please contact Dana Poole (dpoole@washjeff.edu) in the Office of International Initiatives to learn next steps.

Please be aware that if W&J returns to in-person instruction without a remote learning option for the Spring 2021 and you are unable to come to campus, you will likely need to defer further study until you are able to join us in person.

How will the July 7, 2020 U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Agency announcement affect international students?

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Agency has rescinded an announcement made in early July that would have prevented international students from returning to the United States to complete online-only educational programs.

As of July 27, guidance from the Federal Government indicates that students who are continuing their studies at an institution in the United States, regardless of whether the program is in-person or online, can return to those institutions as long as they have maintained their immigration status.

ICE has published the Clarifying Questions for Fall 2020 Based On March 9 Spring Guidance Broadcast(PDF) and Frequently Asked Questions for SEVP Stakeholders about COVID-19 (PDF) for additional guidance. NAFSA: Association for International Educators, the world’s largest nonprofit association dedicated to international education, has also published SEVP COVID-19 Guidance for Fall 2020 on its website. Please see guidance from these organizations for the most recent information on this topic.

If you are a new or returning international student at W&J, please contact Dana Poole (dpoole@washjeff.edu) in the Office of International Initiatives for assistance.

Will W&J students be able to travel abroad for the Fall 2020 semester?

No. Study abroad is cancelled for the Fall 2020 semester.

What is the tuition rate for the fall term?

The tuition and fees rates for the 2020-2021 academic year can be found here.

What are housing and dining costs for the fall semester?

The housing charge is at the lowest rate, $3,894, for all students in residence, for the Fall 2020 semester. Additionally, all students in residence will be required to have the 19-meal plan, at the cost of $2,742, for Fall 2020.

Is the activity fee remaining the same?

No. There will be a 20% reduction in the activity fee for all students for the Fall 2020 semester.

Will student work and work study opportunities be available for the Fall 2020 semester?

Yes, we will have student worker and work study opportunities during the Fall 2020 semester.

How was the campus engaged in crafting the plan for reopening?

A COVID-19 Response Team was formed in March 2020 as the College prepared to make decisions and put plans in place for our campus community in the middle of the Spring 2020 semester. This team has continued to meet regularly to make decisions about the coming school year. In addition, subcommittees have been created to investigate specific topics such as academics, travel, and technology moving forward. These subcommittees have shared detailed information with the COVID-19 Response Team in order to make the best decisions to keep the health and safety of our College community at the forefront of our processes.

Will I be required to sign a waiver of liability or other agreement upon returning to campus?

Prior to returning to campus, each member of the W&J community will sign a Pledge to Promote Safety agreeing to monitor one’s health and to follow the guidelines set forth by the College designed to promote safety and security of our collective community. Our decisions about safety precautions (social distancing, wearing masks, hand washing, etc.) will be governed by CDC and PA Department of Health guidelines. An addendum to the Student Code of Conduct has been posted and distributed that includes modified policies for the Fall 2020 semester.

Can prospective students and their families visit campus? Will they be able to tour campus?

Prospective students can visit campus while following our campus guidelines, including wearing a mask and social distancing. The W&J Admission team can share guidelines with visiting students and their families, as well as plans for a guided tour of the campus.

Will W&J hold Homecoming 2020 celebrations on campus?

With an abundance of caution, we have made the difficult decision to cancel on-campus Homecoming & Reunion Weekend events. We did not come to this decision lightly, as our alumni family is very special to us, and we always look forward to celebrating together each fall.

If your class was celebrating a reunion this year, your milestone celebration will be rescheduled for Homecoming & Reunion Weekend 2021. Members of the Class of 1970 will celebrate their 50th Reunion and induction into the Presidential Guard during Commencement 2021. We will be working with reunion committee members to ensure that your reunion celebrations, while delayed, will be filled with wonderful memories.

This decision is consistent with that of many western Pennsylvania colleges and universities and follows current state-wide restrictions on social gatherings. More information will follow regarding virtual offerings during the intended week of Homecoming, including lectures, reunion get-togethers, and more. Questions can be directed to Kerri Lacock ‘09 (klacock@washjeff.edu), Director of Alumni Engagement and Annual Giving.

What should I do if I plan to travel personally?

If you plan to travel personally, you will not need to register your personal travel plans with W&J.

We encourage all W&J Community members to follow recommended travel guidelines according to State of PennsylvaniaU. S. Department of State, and the CDC guidelines. See our Travel Guidance document for more information.

According to the PA Department of Health, if you travel to these states you will need to quarantine for 14 days upon return. We ask that you coordinate with your supervisor for the ability to work remotely during this time.

Will athletic facilities be open for students to use in the Fall 2020 semester?

Following federal, state, and institutional, guidelines and recommendations, the Department of Athletics will make the following health-related modifications to facilities and programs:

  • Planning for a staged opening of the facilities and programming
  • Implementing physical distancing to reduce capacity of activity areas and modifications to facilities and equipment
  • Enhanced cleaning practices. This will include shared responsibility by those using the spaces (wiping down areas and equipment before and after use), cleaning by staff members at increased regular intervals, and an increased number of sanitation stations throughout the facilities
  • Locker rooms will not be open for campus community usage during the Fall 2020 semester

Hours will be adjusted to limit exposure and allow time for enhanced cleaning throughout the day. An online reservation system is in the development process to ensure the entire campus community has the ability to utilize the Eaton Fitness Center (capacity of 15 during Fall 2020 semester).

Will I have to wear a face covering during athletic activities?

In accordance with the College’s Pledge to Promote Safety, face coverings are required in all shared spaces on campus, including the Eaton Fitness Center. Exceptions may include when community members are in a room alone or when one is outside and can maintain a 6-foot physical distance.  If the distance cannot be maintained, mask/face coverings are required.

Will outdoor facilities/spaces/fields be open for student-led workouts and practices?

All activities will observe state and institutional guidelines for gatherings, including physical distancing and limitations on group size and contact sports. The Department of Athletics will assist students with scheduling needs when possible. Limited facility availability should be expected and safety restrictions will be in place.

Who will be allowed to use athletic facilities?

Our public health practices in athletic facilities include physical distancing, which will significantly limit the number of people within the facilities at any given time. As a result, only students, faculty, and staff will be allowed to use athletic facilities. The Eaton Fitness Center will be limited to 15 users at a time, while the current indoor gathering rule of 25 will be adhered to for the James David Ross Recreation Center and Salvitti Family Gymnasium.

What can student-athletes expect in Fall 2020?

After considering all of the health and safety factors involved with competition, our conferences have canceled the fall seasons for soccer, football, cross country, field hockey, volleyball, and men’s water polo. Individual return-to-play protocols will be in place for varsity sports to offer an athletic experience without competition within the parameters of federal, state, and institutional public health guidance. Our hope is for teams to be able to practice and gather this fall under the supervision of their coaches, as long as we observe physical distancing and comply with all safety standards in place for the state of Pennsylvania and our campus. The practice decision and the safety protocols necessary during varsity practices will be announced in the weeks ahead.

Will winter and spring teams be able to participate during the Fall 2020 semester?

As with the fall sports, we are considering practice opportunities with the respective coaches in attendance for winter and spring sports.  The NCAA has provided additional flexibility in terms of playing and practice seasons which will guide our decision-making for all sports.

Will student-athletes have access to the athletic training staff?

Our sports medicine team will be taking the necessary precautions for risk mitigation including increased cleaning, distancing when possible, and masking. The sports medicine team will announce appointment-based scheduling due to space considerations in the Henry Memorial Center athletic training room. Our hope is to utilize the athletic training rooms at all athletic facilities in order to maintain proper social distancing between different varsity teams. The sports medicine teams recommends all varsity student-athletes to bring their own water bottle to campus to use this academic year during practices or competitions.

When will decisions be made about winter and spring sports competition?

The recent Presidents’ Athletic Conference statement specifically applied to competition during the Fall 2020 semester. Decisions about winter or spring sport competitions starting in the new calendar year will be made and announced during the Fall 2020 semester.

Will there be an opportunity for fall sports to have a season in Spring 2021?

Discussions are ongoing with the Presidents’ Athletic Conference and the NCAA regarding a potential fall-to-spring season shift. Similarly, the Empire 8 (field hockey) and CWPA (men’s water polo) have initially discussed a shift to the spring semester. Our desire is to provide a championship experience for our fall student-athletes and we plan on working hard to explore all avenues to make that happen in the Spring 2021 semester. For now, our plan is to prepare our teams for that potential spring opportunity.

What impact will this have on my athletic eligibility?

The NCAA determines any changes regarding eligibility policies. The latest NCAA information on the 2020-21 season states that Division III student-athletes will not be charged with participation for the 2020-21 season if their team can complete only 50 percent or less of the sport’s maximum contests/dates of competition due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the full NCAA release.

I'm a prospective student-athlete. How will this affect my recruitment?

Recruiting practices will continue in accordance with NCAA regulations. W&J is inviting prospective student-athletes to campus and coaches will be on the road attending events. Campus visits must be scheduled through a coach or admissions counselor 72 hours in advance and visitors will be required to submit a health and wellness check-in survey.

Will intramural/club sports be offered this year?

Due to space and safety constraints, W&J will not offer intramural programming during the fall semester, but we will look to expand recreational offerings, both virtually and outdoors. Club sports listed among the low-contact category will be able to practice and compete, if proper health and safety protocols can be maintained. We will be increasing outdoor fitness and recreational opportunities for the Fall 2020 semester, as well as offering more classes and interactions in a virtual format. As we monitor the health situation in our region, intramural programs will be considered during the Spring 2021 semester.

What is being done to assist students managing their mental health while in quarantine?

Plans are in place for a great deal of virtual contact during the quarantine period. First-year students will participate in virtual orientation activities. Resident Assistants and LINK mentors will be hosting virtual check in contact daily. In addition, other peer leaders and offices are planning connection points for all our students during this time.

How can commuting students access dining services on campus?

Take-away dining is available in all three dining venues. Dining will operate using JayCash or credit cards; no cash transactions are possible this fall. Seating for non-residential students is available in the Rossin Ballroom, GnT’s, the Ski Lodge and outdoors. All of these spaces offer socially-distanced seating options.

Do commuting students have access to support services at the College?

Almost all support services will be available virtually. This includes PAL tutoring, Financial Aid counseling, Health & Counseling, Student Activities Programming, Wellness and Fitness information, and general student services support.

Can commuting students study on campus?

In addition to spaces in academic buildings, several classrooms are being identified for additional study space and/or spaces from which commuting students can participate in virtual courses. We know that some of you will have limited travel time between courses so we are working to designate private/semi-private spaces for this purpose.

What safety precautions are commuting students required to take?

Since you will be on campus, you must complete the Pledge to Promote Safety. Commuter students who violate the expectations outlined in the Pledge will be required to study remotely.

On days that you come to campus, you must fill out the daily symptom checker as well. While on campus, you are required to wear a mask covering your mouth and nose and social distance and follow the COVID-19 Student Safety Policies and Guide.

How can commuting students retrieve any packages that arrive on campus?

Any packages that a commuting student anticipates will arrive on campus have been forwarded to their address on file. This is being done at no cost to the student.

How will commuting students receive course materials provided by their professor?

Course materials provided by professors will be shipped at no cost to the student.

How will commuting students be kept up to date on information?

It is critical that commuting students check their W&J email regularly. This is the primary way information from the college will be communicated. Each Wednesday, the Your Connection newsletter will be sent to the student’s inbox and will contain important campus updates and information.

Helpful Links

Health Care Tips from the Centers for Disease Control

  1. Wash your hands often with soap and hot water for 20 seconds, and make sure you wash your thumbs, wrists, and in-between your fingers. This is the best defense against the spread of all viruses.
  2. Stay home when you are ill. This will help you to recover more quickly and decrease the spread of illness when on campus.
  3. Use a tissue or the crook of your arm when you cough or sneeze. Promptly wash your hands or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  4. Get plenty of rest/sleep.
  5. If you have not had the flu vaccine, please consider getting one. While this will not protect against the coronavirus, the vaccine may prevent against the flu.

Fall 2020 Timeline

  • August 24

    Classes begin

  • September 7

    Labor Day - in-person classes resume

  • November 24

    Classes end

  • Nov 30 - Dec 5

    Final Exams (offered online)

These modifications were made in consultation with faculty leaders and the Curriculum and Program Committee. We will determine and communicate plans for JayTerm prior to the registration period. At this point, we anticipate our Spring calendar will be in place, as planned.