Student Guidelines for Living During COVID

As indicated in the Code of Conduct’s section “Philosophy & Authority,” students who choose to attend Ursinus College “assume the obligations (including standards for conduct) imposed by the College.” These obligations and standards extend to the guidelines put in place in the College’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

By choosing to return to campus, students agree to abide by the College’s guidelines to mitigate the risk of spreading COVID-19. These policies may change as new information becomes available or situations at the College change, and students are responsible for remaining up to date and following all procedures. Those students who violate or refuse to abide by the College’s COVID-19 guidelines will participate in the campus conduct process.

Student Guidelines for Living During COVID

Bears Bounce Back…Together! Ursinus’ strength is its community. In these uncertain times, personal responsibility within one’s community is more of a priority than ever. Returning to campus in the Fall of 2020, in the midst of a pandemic, will be a challenge. Success will require daily actions that emphasize safety, health, and the collective understanding that each individual’s choices affects all of us.

The principles and guidelines set forth in this addendum to the Student Code of Conduct asks you, as a member of the community, to commit to a strong regimen of personal hygiene, including handwashing, cleanliness in one’s common spaces, and the wearing of personal protective equipment, such as masks, in common and public areas on campus. Ursinus College has developed plans to support your actions with a commitment to sanitizing and cleaning classrooms, residence halls, and other campus spaces. The College will also help protect its students, staff, and faculty by providing PPE and posting signage that reinforces the expectations around personal health and safety.

Accountability is an essential element in keeping this campus safe. We are requiring all community members to present evidence that they are COVID-19 negative prior to the start of the academic year. This requirement provides all of us the chance to exhibit care for public health and to demonstrate that we are taking these issues seriously. Further, we ask you to adhere to strict physical distancing and use of facial coverings for the 14 days prior to your return to Ursinus.

We must all work together to ensure the safety, health, and well-being of our community and campus in these trying times. This guide for Student Conduct is one element of our ongoing mission to build and sustain a culture that makes the health and safety of others its top priority.

This COVID-19 Student Code of Conduct remains effective as an addendum to the Ursinus College Student Code of Conduct starting August 1, 2020 until otherwise noted by the College. The College reserves the right to update and make edits to this document to be in line with the guidance that comes from local, state, and national public health agencies as well as government officials. All material updates to the document will be communicated to the College community.

Failure to follow these guidelines may result in a charge of failure to comply (Community Expectations and College Policies IX) and may include additional policy violations of the Student Code of Conduct. The student will go through the conduct process and if found responsible, receive sanctions. Please know that students’ health, wellness and safety is the College’s top priority.

Testing Prior To Returning To Campus

All campus community members will be required to submit results of a COVID test (taken within two weeks of their return date) to Ursinus. Instructions on this process were provided via email and on the Bears return pages. The test result must be negative for the student to return to campus. If this pre-return test is positive, see below for further instructions: “College Notification of Positive COVID Test”.

  • Any student who does not provide these results prior to returning to campus will be sent home. Additionally:
  • Students who have not provided negative results to the college will not be permitted to move into or visit their dorm room.
  • A student living over 300 miles from campus who feels they cannot return home, may request to utilize campus quarantine housing if available See “Quarantine” section below for the request process.
  • If a student is unable to return to their home for quarantine due to other reasons besides distance, it is the student’s responsibility to make other arrangements for appropriate quarantine. See “Quarantine” section below.
  • The student will not be permitted to move into their residence hall and must remain in quarantine. See “Quarantine” section below for more information.

College Notification if Possible Exposure /Awaiting Covid-19 Test Results

The College requires that all remote students notify the College immediately (no later than 8 hours after you have been tested) if you are awaiting a test for COVID-19 by any health care provider in any jurisdiction.

In order to notify the proper College entities, please email wellness@ursinus.edu for further directions and support.

Family Units

Ursinus “Family Units” will be students who are grouped together to live communally based on their residence hall assignments. Within one’s Family Unit, students can socialize more freely, practice less physical distancing, and remove masks . This provides students the opportunity to engage with residential acquaintances in a less restrictive manner. Information on how Family Units are grouped was sent to students prior to the start of the semester. A student should never be with members of another family unit without wearing a mask and practicing physical distancing.

Residence Hall Room/Common Room Occupancy

  • All residence hall rooms cannot have more than twice its occupancy.
  • Common rooms cannot exceed posted occupancy and resident students from outside your family unit are permitted if you ALL are abiding by the occupancy limit, physically distancing, and wearing mask.  (UPDATED 9/21/20)

  • Resident students from outside your family unit are permitted in your residence hall room if you ALL are abiding by the occupancy limit, physically distancing, and wearing masks.

Face Masks

All students must wear a mask while on Ursinus’ campus. All students will be provided with an Ursinus cloth mask upon returning to campus. Not wearing a mask properly (i.e. fully covering the nose and mouth) is the equivalent of not wearing a mask.

The following are exceptions to when/where one is required to wear a mask (unless it is requested by another individual):

  • Residential student in your bedroom with just your roommate/roommates
  • Residential students when showering or washing their face in the floor/communal bathrooms
  • In Wismer dining when physically eating your meal
  • When students are in their family unit in private and can physically distance
  • When participating in physically distanced outdoor recreational activities

Even where these exceptions may apply, we recommend that students wear masks at all times.

All Ursinus College students, faculty, and staff reserve the right to ask that students and other community members wear a face mask if they are not wearing one in a required setting. The expectation is that this request will have prompt compliance.

It is recommended that all students carry an extra face mask while on campus. If a student does not have a face mask to put on in that moment, disposable masks will be available in all buildings or they can be directed to visit Campus Safety, the Wellness Center, or other departments on campus that have face masks. Non-disposable masks must be regularly and properly washed and maintained.

A student may be asked to leave a building or classroom (by faculty, staff, or other students) if they are not properly wearing a mask.

Health Monitoring/Reporting

Students are encouraged to monitor their health for any symptoms associated with COVID-19 (which includes temperature checking) on a daily basis. When asked, students must accurately and honestly report symptoms or risk factors for COVID-19. Students who have any of the symptoms below may not attend class/events and must contact the Wellness Center (Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm) or Campus Safety for further instruction. The College will give additional instructions about health monitoring/reporting in the future as appropriate, and students will be required to follow any such instructions. Such monitoring may require use of technology (such as telephone apps) or may entail other means of monitoring. Even if not required, when available, students are strongly encouraged to utilize technology (such as telephone apps) that is made available through state and local government to assist in contact tracing and resource sharing.

According to the CDC, people with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness.

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills
  • New loss of sense of taste or smell
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

This list does not include all possible symptoms. Please refer to the CDC for a more updated list as new symptoms continue to be determined. Again, if you have any of these symptoms, do not go to class, do not leave your housing unit, but instead immediately contact the Wellness Center or Campus Safety before taking any further action.

Student ID And Lock/Key

In order to enhance the safety and security of all persons on the Ursinus College campus, all Ursinus College students will be asked to keep their College ID on their person when outside of their residence in order for them to be identified. For that reason, it is recommended that Ursinus College students keep their College Student ID on their person at all times while on campus so that they may be identified if asked.

As the health and safety of all Ursinus College students, faculty and staff is our highest priority, it is vital that the College knows who is on the campus at all times, and that if needed, contact tracing may occur. For that reason, a new Guest Policy has been implemented. More information about the Guest Policy can be found below.

No bias profiling of individuals will be tolerated by the College. If you are asked by an individual if you are a Ursinus College Student and/or to please present your Ursinus College ID, we ask that you please assume the best intentions of that individual and that they are ensuring all guests are registered for health and safety purposes. Those most likely to ask individuals to display their College ID are Campus Safety Officers, Resident Advisors (RAs), Residence Life Staff, and Student Affairs Staff Members as their position and duties are student support and success. If you believe that you were the victim of bias, please fill out the Discriminatory Acts Reporting Form so that the College is made aware of the incident and can follow up accordingly.

Students, as always, are strongly encouraged to lock their room and suite doors (if applicable). In addition, students should carry their Ursinus keys on them at all times. This is always important for safety and security purposes for personal belongings, but this is especially crucial during the pandemic to minimize the likelihood of spreading COVID-19.

Physical Distancing

Physical distancing is designed to limit the spread of a disease by reducing the opportunities for close contact between people. Everyone should maintain a safe physical distance of 6 feet or more in all settings except as elsewhere specifically provided in these guidelines.

We recognize that maintaining 6 feet of physical distancing may not be possible in all unforeseen and informal situations but students must abide. For everyone’s health and safety, face masks must be worn at all times except as outlined under Face Masks.

Entrance/Exit Of Public Spaces

Please be aware of any guidance regarding entrance and exits for classrooms and buildings. Students should utilize designated entrance and exit doors and continue physical distancing throughout various indoor areas, including hallways and staircases.

Residence Halls and Guests

Only resident students are permitted in the residence halls. Students must wear masks in all residence halls and hallways even if they are in their own residence halls and/or family units. Students can take masks off in their bedrooms and private common spaces. (Reference Residence Hall/Common Room Occupancy) Students should always have masks nearby in the event that an RA, Campus Safety, facilities, or a member of the cleaning staff needs to enter.

Resident students will not be permitted to have guests on campus during the Red and Gold phases of the return. During the Black phase, on campus students are allowed to have family visit them during the day-time hours of 8 a.m. to - 8 p.m. Guests are not permitted to enter any campus buildings.

All family guests will be required to wear a face mask while on campus. If a guest does not have a face mask, they will be able to obtain one from Campus Safety.

For contact tracing purposes, all family guests who are visiting a student on campus must be registered online using the COVID Health and Safety: Daytime Guest Registration Form. It will be the responsibility of the Ursinus College residential student (host) to register their family guest before or once they arrive to campus. If a family guest is on campus and identified as an individual who was not registered on the COVID Health and Safety: Daytime Guest Registration Form, the Ursinus College student host will be asked to complete the form for health and safety purposes. Failure to register a family guest may result in being charged with a policy violation of the Student Code of Conduct that may result in sanctioning.

Per the Overnight Guests/Visitors Policy below, no non-Ursinus College Student can stay overnight in a residence hall room.

Overnight Guests

Until further notice, on campus residents will not be allowed to have overnight guests or visitors who do not attend Ursinus College.

Commuter and Remote Students

Students who are taking remote courses only, or who are commuting, are not permitted in residence halls and should maintain physical distancing and mask-wearing around all members of the Ursinus community if on campus. Students who will be commuting to campus and participating in in-person classes will be expected to engage in weekly testing.

Commuter students may use public spaces (masked and physically distanced) They may also use the classrooms (Olin 008, 009, 103, Bomberger 228, and Thomas 323) designated for commuters only.

Common Spaces

Congregating in indoor communal areas of campus in groups is prohibited in any spaces that cannot allow for 6 feet physical distancing.

This includes, but is not limited to: residence hall lounges, kitchens, lobbies, corridors, study rooms/spaces, dining tables, etc.

Events

Ursinus College has determined that registered social events on campus in the residence halls will not be possible to be hosted safely, given the CDC guidelines and space constraints of campus. Students will be asked to socialize within their family unit when in their residence hall. Students wanting to gather outside of their own family unit may only do so in common spaces that can always allow for 6 feet physical distancing and must wear a mask.

Students hosting unregistered events are in violation of this policy.

Students who are 21 years old can consume alcohol in their own room and with their family unit while abiding by the guidelines. As always, alcohol is not permitted in the first-year centers and underage students found consuming alcohol will be documented and subject to the student conduct process.

Per the Student Code of Conduct, purposeful binge drinking through drinking games, binge drinking paraphernalia, and shared smoking paraphernalia are not permitted at any time. Given what we know about Covid-19 being transmitted via oral secretions and droplets, students found participating in drinking games or using binge drinking paraphernalia (such as beer bongs, etc.) or engaging in communal shared smoking paraphernalia (such as bowls, blunts, bongs, etc) will be viewed as especially egregious now given the ease of contamination through shared containers, cups or other items.

Culture of Reporting

As the College is concerned about threats to personal or collective health and safety, all reports of symptoms will be taken seriously and reviewed promptly. If a student may have violated another aspect of the Student Code of Conduct (such as consuming alcohol underage, attending an unregistered event, etc.) and is concerned about consequences when reporting CoVid-19-related symptoms, the reporting student should be assured that the College’s interest is in maintaining the health and safety of individuals and the campus. Pending no serious threat to safety or other compelling reasons, other behaviors may be addressed through alternative means (such as informal discussions, education, and/or referrals to counseling, etc).

Recorded Classes

In order to allow students to attend classes remotely, classes may be recorded (both audio and video). The likeness and voice of students and faculty will appear in these recordings. Use of these recordings will be solely for educational purposes and may be accessed only by the instructor and students assigned to the particular course on its designated Canvas site. Students are asked not to copy, download or redistribute classroom recordings.

Off-Campus

Students are strongly encouraged to minimize their travel and continue to practice all necessary health and safety behaviors while off-campus.

Covid-related Accommodations

If you have a health related condition such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, or immunocompromised conditions that put you at a higher risk* for COVID-19 that may require supports or accommodations including academic, residential, and dining supports, please feel free to contact Dr. Dolly Singley, Director of Disability Services, to discuss your impacts and requested supports.

*Note – It is important that anyone with an underlying medical condition consider that there exists heightened and unpredictable health risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Those risks include exposure to asymptomatic carriers of the COVID-19 virus and the transfer of the virus through interpersonal communications and sharing spaces with others. Your personal situation may mean that you are at an even higher risk of contracting a serious illness should you contact the COVID-19 virus. Remote options are available for students and students should discuss their risk and options with their family members to decide on the best option for them. Dolly Singley is available for consult to discuss options.

Contact Tracing

All students are expected to fully cooperate with the Ursinus College Health Corp’s contact tracing team. Students should respond to their requests and answer questions fully. This is meant to protect the entire Ursinus community and the health and welfare of all on campus.

Isolation

A student must go through the proper protocols of notifying and being in communication with the College if they have tested positive for COVID-19 or are symptomatic and awaiting test results. (See COLLEGE NOTIFICATION OF SYMPTOMATIC AND AWAITING COVID-19 TEST RESULTS and COLLEGE NOTIFICATION OF POSITIVE COVID-19 TEST RESULTS).

These students will likely be asked to isolate themselves from the campus community.

The responsibilities of that student are to:

  • Follow all instructions given by medical personnel and the Montgomery County Department of Public Health
  • If the instructions given by the medical personnel are to isolate, and if the student is a residential student who lives on campus, the College will likely not be able to offer the student a place to isolate.
  • If a student lives within 300 miles of the campus, students will be expected to return to their home for isolation
  • If a student is unable to return to their home for isolation due to distance, they may request to utilize the College’s designated isolation space. However, this space is limited and may not be available at the time of the request.
  • If a student is unable to return to their home for isolation due to other reasons besides distance, it is the student’s responsibility to make other arrangements for appropriate isolation.

If a student is requesting to isolate on campus or seeks housing from the College, the student will need to work with Campus Safety to determine the possibility to safely isolate that student. The student must be approved to safely isolate on campus, or any housing provided by the College, and they must abide by all policies in the Student Code of Conduct and the Guidelines for Living during COVID-19. In addition to the policies, the following are other policies they must abide by:

  • Respond to all phone calls, voicemails, emails, and texts from Ursinus College staff members, including but not limited to: Campus Safety, Dean of Students Office, Wellness Center, and Residence Life within 8 hours or within the time specified in that communication
  • Remain in the specified isolation location until the student meets the criteria for discontinuation of isolation
  • A student may discontinue their isolation under the following conditions*:
  • At least 10 days have passed since symptom onset AND
  • At least 24 hours have passed since resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications AND
  • Other symptoms have improved.

OR

  • The student produces TWO negative COVID-19 PCR tests with at least 24 hours in between administrations

*These do not apply to those who have severe symptoms. See Discontinuation of Transmission-Based Precautions and Disposition of Patients with COVID-19 in Healthcare Settings (Interim Guidance).

Persons infected with SARS-CoV-2 who never develop COVID-19 symptoms may discontinue isolation and other precautions 10 days after the date of their first positive RT-PCR test for SARS-CoV-2 RNA.

Quarantine

A student must go through the proper protocols of notifying and being in communication with the College if they have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. (See COLLEGE NOTIFICATION OF SYMPTOMATIC AND AWAITING COVID-19 TEST RESULTS and COLLEGE NOTIFICATION OF POSITIVE COVID-19 TEST RESULTS)

These students will likely be asked to quarantine themselves from the campus community.

The responsibilities of that student are to:

  • Follow all instructions given by medical personnel
  • If the instructions given by the medical personnel are to quarantine, and if the student is a residential student who lives on campus, the College will likely not be able to offer the student a place to quarantine
  • If a student lives within 300 miles of the campus, students will be expected to return to their home for 14 days
  • If a student is unable to return to their home for quarantine due to distance, they may request to utilize the College’s designated quarantine space. However, this space is limited and may not be available at the time of the request.
  • If a student is unable to return to their home for quarantine due to other reasons besides distance, it is the student’s responsibility to make other arrangements for appropriate quarantine.

If a student is requesting to quarantine on campus or seeks housing accommodations from the College, the student will need to notify Campus Safety to determine the possibility to safely quarantine that student. The student must be approved to safely quarantine on campus, or any housing provided, by the College and they must abide by all policies in the Student Code of Conduct and the COVID-19 Student Code of Conduct. In addition to the policies, the following are other policies they must abide by:

  • Remain in direct communication with their case manager
  • Respond to all phone calls, voicemails, emails, and texts from Ursinus College staff members including but not limited to Campus Safety, Dean of Students Office, the Wellness Center, and Residence Life within 8 hours or within the time specified in that communication
  • Remain in the specified quarantine location until the student meets the criteria for discontinuation of quarantine
  • A student may discontinue quarantine under the following conditions:
  • 14 days have passed since the last contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19
  • Student must be without symptoms
    • If a student develops symptoms at any time during their quarantine period, it is required that they be tested for COVID-19 to determine if they will need to engage in isolation protocol and be monitored by a physician. If off-campus, test results must be shared with the Wellness Center
  • Upon student’s return from quarantine, they will receive a COVID test from Wellness or with the weekly on-campus testing event, depending on the timing of their return.

Conduct In Online/Virtual Settings

As always, students are expected to act civilly and respectfully, in all environments, including on-line, social media, and virtual settings. Students should be mindful of their communications (phone, videoconferencing, email, etc.) with faculty, staff, and other students.

Weekly Testing

In order to protect our campus and keep our community safe, all students will be required to participate in weekly COVID-19 testing on campus.

Attestation

By returning to campus in the 2020-2021 academic year, you agree to adhere to the expectations detailed above.

I understand, as a member of the Ursinus community during the 2020-2021 academic year, that I am an important part of Ursinus and that we are stronger when we all do our part to keep our campus safe. I understand that the health and safety measures I am being asked to undertake are necessary to protect the health and safety of others in my community and beyond. I agree to abide by all federal, state, city, and Ursinus College mandates, policies, protocols, and procedures related to COVID-19, and I agree to participate in any required training.

I understand that violations of these guidelines may be considered violations of the Student Code of Conduct and may also be grounds for disciplinary review and action.

Information about the College’s response to COVID-19 is available and updated on the Bears Return page.