Update on Preparation for Fall Term - Undergraduate Students and Parents

To: W&L Undergraduate Students
From: Sidney Evans, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students
Date: Wednesday, August 5

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.

Dates and Deadlines

  • Aug. 5 - Deadline for Undergraduates to elect Fall 2020 Virtual Classes only (details below)
  • Aug. 5 - Sophomores and Juniors Virtual Town Hall (registration details below)
  • Aug. 6 - Seniors Virtual Town Hall (registration details below)
  • Aug. 10 - Upper-division students who wish to take an academic leave must file a request with Dean Leonard
  • Aug. 10 - Students returning to campus must complete pre-registration process and schedule arrival COVID-19 testing appointment date and time

Reminder - Register for Virtual Town Halls

The Office of Student Affairs is hosting virtual Town Hall sessions for undergraduate students to talk about returning to campus for the Fall Term. Click on the appropriate link to register for your class's session:

Reminder - Virtual Enrollment for Fall Term due Aug. 5

Undergraduate students confirming a decision to be fully virtual for the Fall Term need to complete this form by Aug. 5: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScCqrD3IyS1Wbx_EAwdSoyX5Do3GiAT78Sw5g6-7T4-diVnBw/viewform. The course catalog includes a listing of courses that will be taught virtually.

Reminder - Submit Your Online Order Form for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) by Aug. 10

The deadline to order your complimentary student PPE kit - two cloth face masks, one hand sanitizer, and one personal digital thermometer - has been extended. To receive your kit, you must submit the form linked below by Aug. 10. If you just want the complimentary items, simply fill out your information on the first page and then click through the form's pages to submit. You will also have the opportunity to customize your starter kit by purchasing a variety of additional PPE items that have been economically sourced in bulk and are being offered to the W&L community at cost. For students living on campus, kits will be delivered to your residence hall. Off-campus students will be contacted with pick-up options.

Fall Term Enrollment and On-Campus Housing Scenarios

Some courses have recently shifted from in-person offerings to virtual courses. Given the changing landscape and the possibility that additional courses may transition to a virtual format in the weeks ahead, the following on-campus housing exception has been made: If a student is enrolled in a course load that has shifted from in-person to virtual-only classes, but the student has not made the all-virtual election with intention, then they may live on campus as long as they agree to abide by all the terms and conditions that accompany this privilege.

Students who enroll for virtual-only courses by Aug. 5 and elect not to come to campus will not be billed for room and board charges for the Fall Term, as well as the Student Health Services Fee and a portion of the Student Activity Fee. Any of these charges that already appear on a student's account will be reversed. Tuition will be the same for all undergraduate students regardless of the mode of instruction they select.

In those cases where students enroll in virtual-only courses and they do not return to campus, their housing assignments will be released and may be used for re-assigning other students during the Fall Term. The university cannot guarantee that rooms initially assigned to students taking courses outside of Lexington for the Fall Term will be available Winter Term. In these instances, students returning to campus for Winter Term will be asked to submit a housing application during the fall (likely late October) indicating their need for housing and their preferences. If the student's original room assignment is still available, then they will be placed there. If not, then Residential Life will assign another room.

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

Last week, all students returning to campus for Fall Term instruction received directions to begin daily self-monitoring for fever and other possible COVID-19 symptoms 14 days prior to arrival, to self-quarantine to the best of their ability (minimize close contacts with anyone outside of their current residential group) for 14 days prior to arrival, and to 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.

For students coming to campus, the class deans emailed instructions Aug. 2 to complete the COVID-19 arrival testing pre-registration and scheduling process. COVID-19 arrival testing will take place in Evans Hall, 8:30 AM-3:30 PM daily from Monday, Aug. 10 through Saturday, Aug. 22. You should schedule testing for your day of arrival to campus, between Aug. 10 and Aug. 22. If you will arrive after the testing site is closed for the day, please schedule for as early as possible the next day. For students who are already in the Lexington community before Aug. 10, please schedule your appointment as early in the testing period as you can.

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. You are also exempted from this arrival testing if you are planning to study entirely off-campus this fall. You do not need to seek an exemption from the Student Health Center, as your Fall Term registration status should take care of that.

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.

Textbooks and Course Materials

Due to social distancing considerations, students will not be able to purchase textbooks and course materials inside the physical University Store during the lead-up to the term and the first week of classes. In a typical year, this process involves hundreds of students congregating in a relatively compact space over a short period of time to select and purchase their books. Instead, all purchases and rentals of textbooks between now and August 31 must be conducted online using the University Store's online ordering site.

Book orders will be processed by store staff and made available for pickup. They will also be available for shipping, for those students who elect to be fully remote. Orders will be processed as quickly as possible, but processing may take up to 2 days during the busiest periods. Faculty may want to check the online ordering site to verify that the correct information is present for their courses. For questions about textbook adoptions or ordering, email University Store Book Manager Nancy Trumps.

For Your Reference