Update on Preparation for Fall Term - Undergraduate Students

To: W&L Undergraduate Students
From: Sidney Evans, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students
Date: Wednesday, August 12

Below is an update on a variety of topics related to undergraduate students' return to campus. While Student Affairs staff will continue to provide regular updates by email, please also remember to check the COVID-19 Resources website, which includes the latest campus messages, a variety of resources, and FAQs that are being updated regularly, and to submit your questions to covid19@wlu.edu.

Reminder - Statement of Student Life Principles and Expectations

President Dudley introduced the Statement of Community Expectations in his July 10 communication to the W&L community. All students and employees are required to review and sign an agreement to abide by these Community Expectations, which outline our collective responsibility as a university community to foster the creation and stewardship of a healthy environment in the face of COVID-19. Choosing not to follow policies and guidelines may result in sanctions. The University's Community Expectations clearly state that W&L's guidance may in some cases be more stringent than public health recommendations and will ultimately be what we, as a community, follow. Students have a unique responsibility in applying this agreement within the student social experience, which is described in this Statement of Student Life Principles and Expectations.

Reminder - COVID-19 Testing for Students and Self-Quarantine Protocol

At this point, all students returning to campus for Fall Term instruction should be doing daily self-monitoring for fever and other possible COVID-19 symptoms before their arrival, conducting self-quarantine to the best of their ability (minimize close contacts with anyone outside of their current residential group) in advance of their arrival, and should adhere to public health practices during travel to campus. Any student with possible COVID-19 symptoms when they are scheduled to travel to campus should stay home and contact Student Affairs.

Students coming to campus should complete the COVID-19 arrival testing pre-registration and scheduling process. COVID-19 arrival testing is taking place in Evans Hall, 8:30 AM-3:30 PM daily through Saturday, Aug. 22. You should schedule testing for your day of arrival to campus. If you will arrive after the testing site is closed for the day, please schedule for as early as possible the next day.

If you are planning to study entirely off campus this fall, you are exempted from this arrival testing. You do not need to seek an exemption from the Student Health Center, as your Fall Term registration status should take care of that. Anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 (positive SARS-CoV-2 PCR or antigen test, not an antibody test) in the past three months should not be re-tested on arrival. Students will need to provide a copy of positive test results to the Student Health Center to be exempted. You may also be exempted from arrival testing if you present a copy of negative test results, collected within five days of arrival, to the W&L Student Health Center. You may fax results to the Student Health Center for review to 540-458-8404 or by e-mail to studenthealth@wlu.edu.

Daily Health Attestation

On Aug. 10, all faculty, staff and students should have received an email announcing the launch of the daily attestation application. All students should:

  1. Visit the attestation website at: https://attest.wlu.edu and bookmark the site, which is designed to work on all types of devices, from desktop/laptop computers to personal mobile devices (iOS and Android instructions are available).
  2. Review the Statement of Community Expectations and the Affirmation and Agreement to Community Expectations statement. Click "I Acknowledge" to continue. You will only have to do this once.
  3. Answer the two daily attestation questions, then click "submit."

Once students return to the Lexington/Rockbridge area, the daily attestation must be done each day before students take part in activities on campus (e.g., going to class, a dining facility, the library). Faculty, coaches and staff with student employees will have access to a daily report that indicates whether the students have completed the attestation. Students may not attend in-person activities on campus until this daily health check has been completed. All students residing in the Lexington/Rockbridge area are encouraged to complete the symptom/exposure check daily as a part of their own regular health monitoring routine, even if they are not scheduled to come on to campus.

Campus Building Security and Access

To limit visitor access and minimize unnecessary in-person contact on campus, all buildings will remain secure at all times. Most academic and administrative buildings will be accessible using your University ID card, and card access privileges have been set to give everyone the access they are accustomed to having. Some locations, such as Leyburn Library, Hillel House, and Athletics buildings, will be accessible by card access only during their posted hours. We are working to install card access at locations that do not currently have card readers, such as the Science Center and Reid Hall.

If you find you are not able to enter a building to which you need access, or if you have a question about door access, email dooraccess@wlu.edu. Please note that this email will not be monitored 24/7, so if you have a more urgent need contact Public Safety at 540-458-8999. If you need a replacement ID card, please visit the Student Affairs office (Elrod Commons 247) during normal business hours. If you are living on campus, Residence Hall access will be activated on the day you are approved for move-in.

University Library Update

The University Library, the undergraduate library composed of Leyburn and Telford Libraries, continues to support student needs regardless of their physical location. The library created a guide to answer commonly asked questions: Fall 2020: Library Access, Services, and Instruction. The library will keep this guide updated with changes as they happen.

Within the larger guide, the following information is particularly relevant to students:

  • During Fall 2020, Leyburn and Telford libraries will ONLY be accessible to W&L students, faculty, staff, and retired faculty-this includes Special Collections & Archives. A W&L swipe card will be required for Telford and Leyburn building entry at all times.
  • Leyburn and Telford Libraries will open August 17, with an abbreviated schedule.
  • While in Leyburn or Telford, masks must be worn at all times, ​except for quick snacks ​or sips of beverages.
  • Full meals should not be eaten in Leyburn or Telford.
  • The library will not check out carrels during Fall Term 2020. Carrels can be used temporarily by individuals. Personal materials should be removed upon departure.
  • The library has an extremely limited number of locked studies and large list of applications. Locked study applications are due on the first day classes each Fall Term. Interested individuals must fill out the locked study application form.

For questions not addressed in the guide or for further clarification, reach out to Research & Outreach Librarian Emily Cook at cooke@wlu.edu.

Travel from Campus

Once students have returned to campus, personal travel should be limited, where possible, to the State of Virginia. If you plan to leave the State of Virginia, enter your travel in your Daily Attestation at least 72 hours ahead of your departure. To learn more about current COVID-19 hotspots within and outside of the state of Virginia, see https://www.kff.org/coronavirus-covid-19/issue-brief/state-data-and-policy-actions-to-address-coronavirus/. Please keep in mind that circumstances may change while you are traveling, and we recommend you check this website frequently. In all circumstances, the University reserves the right to require a 14-day self-quarantine requirement upon your return.