Updated October 30, 2020

The policies and practices below apply to the fall 2020 housing term.  Policies and procedures specific to the winter and spring 2021 housing terms may be different.

Closing Information | Living on Campus


Fall Semester Closing

Do I have to move out at the end of the fall semester?

Yes. Any student living on campus for the fall semester must leave campus following the end of classes (by Nov. 22), unless individually approved for extended occupancy. Students who were reassigned for the fall semester, will be required to move out all belongings at that time so the room can be prepared for the spring (original) occupant.  

Can I remain on campus between the fall and spring semesters?

Students who are unable to leave campus at the conclusion of the fall semester (Nov. 22) may request permission to remain on campus through the end of the final exam period (Dec. 6) by requesting a Fall Extended Stay in MyHousing. For housing during the period between Dec. 6 and the start of the spring semester, students must also complete a Winter Housing application in MyHousing.  

Can I be tested for COVID-19 before I go home?

The Health Center is offering testing Nov. 16 and 17 with no charge. If you are not registered for Fall Extended Stay, you will receive a link via email to sign up for a testing appointment. Results will be available before you depart campus.

What time period is covered by the Fall Extended Stay approval?

Fall Extended Stay period runs from Sunday, Nov. 22 through Sunday, Dec. 6. Applications must be submitted for students who need to remain in college housing through the Fall final exam period. (Travel guidelines included in the COVID-19 Addendum will remain in place.) Extended stay students are not permitted to travel outside the Lehigh Valley during the week long break between the end of classes and the start of final exams. Move out is no later than Sunday, Dec. 6. A housing fee will not be assessed for this time period. Students must register for Fall Extended Stay through MyHousing by Nov. 1. Students who do not pre-register for Fall Extended Stay and remain on campus are subject to improper move-out fines and sanctions. Please note that campus services will be limited during this period.

What if I need housing after Dec. 6, when Fall Extended Stay ends?

Students who apply for Fall Extended Stay through Dec. 6. will receive a direct communication from Residence Life regarding registering for Winter Housing.

What is the time period for Winter Housing?

Winter Housing runs from Sunday, Dec. 6 through Friday, Jan. 22. The application for Winter Housing will be available in MyHousing to students who have registered for Fall Extended Stay through Sunday, Dec. 6. and need to continue living in College housing during the semester break. The policies included in the COVID-19-Related Addendum remain in place during winter housing, including restrictions on travel outside of the Lehigh Valley.

I am remaining in my current room for the spring semester. What steps should be taken when I move out?

Before you leave for break make sure you:

  • Close and lock doors and windows (including window limiters, where installed).
  • Disconnect all electrical appliances and turn off lights.
  • Clean and disconnect personal-sized refrigerators (full sized fridges in McCartney North and off-campus houses should stay plugged in). Leave door partially open for ventilation and place towel at bottom to soak up water.
  • Discard all perishable food.
  • Empty trash and recycling into dumpsters.
  • Put small items into drawers.
  • Pack all items needed for the duration of your time away from campus including electronics, IDs, medication, etc.
  • Return your room key(s) at a key drop box (keep your fob unless you are graduating).

Why do I have to return my key if I’m living in the same room for the spring semester?

Key collection and redistribution is part of the process to ensure testing compliance when students return to campus for the spring. Please use the pre-labeled key envelope you receive and drop your key in the closest key return box. Failure to return keys will result in a fine in addition to the regular lock change fee.

My room assignments will be different for the spring semester. Can I drop off items in the spring room?

Students who were reassigned will have the opportunity to sign up for an appointment to drop off and store items in their spring room. Drop off is by appointment only on Thursday, Nov. 19 through Sunday, Nov. 22. A link to the scheduler will be sent directly to students in early November. Students who are unsure of their spring room plans (i.e. may be changing rooms or not returning) should take all belongings home. Students approved for Fall Extended Stay, drop off appointments will also be available during exam week.

My room assignments will be different for the spring semester. What steps should be taken when I move out?

  • Lock doors and windows (including window limiters, where installed).
  • Clean the room (sweep, wipe surfaces, etc).
  • If you moved or disassembled furniture, return to original configuration.
  • Empty trash and recycling into dumpsters.
  • Return your room key(s) at a key drop box.

Will my room be secured over the long semester break?

The residence halls will be secured over the break period. Checkpoints for all unregistered students will be deactivated. Public Safety officers and Residence Life will make safety inspections in each unoccupied student room (and all common areas of suites, houses, and apartments). Unoccupied buildings will be secured and monitored. You are encouraged to take all valuable and irreplaceable items home. Please note that the College is not responsible for any items found missing or damaged upon your return.

Can I access my room during the semester break?

Students will not be permitted to come back to campus to pick up or drop off items during the semester break so be sure to remove all the items you think you may need while you are away from campus. Only students registered for Winter Housing may access their fall/spring semester room. In emergencies, students may contact the Office of Residence Life for special permission. Public Safety will assess a fee for this service.

What if plans for the spring semester change?

Please keep in mind the College’s plan for the spring semester may be adjusted if guidance related to the virus is updated. Individual plans may change as well. Students who don’t/can’t come back to campus for the spring, will be required to remove any personal belongings left in College housing at their own expense including storage/shipping.


Living on Campus

Do I have to wear a mask in my residence hall?

Within their own residence hall, students are not expected to wear masks in their bedroom or designated bathroom. In all other areas in the residence hall, students should wear masks as often as possible, especially when social distancing may be difficult to maintain and in the presence of anyone who is not part of their residential cohort (e.g student guests, College employees). There are some common areas designated as spaces where masks are required due to the size of the space and/or the inability to social distance. Signs are posted in areas with specific expectations.

What are the expectations for social distancing in the residence halls?

Students should follow guidance about the size of group gatherings and the recommended space between self and others, especially in building lounges and common areas. There will be some common spaces in the halls where use will be limited to one person at a time due to the size of the space and the inability to social distance within them (e.g., elevators, small laundry rooms, small kitchens). Signs will be posted in areas with specific expectations.  

What is the arrangement for bathrooms?

Specific bathrooms are designated for use by each residential cohort. Similar to a household, limiting the individuals in this space reduces risk of infection to/from students. In addition, based on the size of the residential cohort and restroom configuration, occupancy in bathrooms may be limited. Signs are posted with specific expectations.

May I visit friends in other buildings?

Students who are approved to access campus may visit friends in other buildings as escorted guests.  Face masks for guests are required in building common areas.  Residential students only have checkpoint (fob) access to their own hall.  

May I have guests in my room/suite/apartment?

With the permission of their roommate (if applicable), students may invite other students who live in their building into their bedrooms/suite/apartment. The number of guests should be limited to enable adherence to social distancing guidelines.
Students may host student guests from other buildings under the following conditions:

  • The hosting student has no more than 2 guests at any one time.
  • The hosting student remains with the guest(s) for the duration of their visit.
  • Student guests must wear masks in building common areas.  
  • In multi-person units (e.g. suites, apartments), hosting is contingent on agreement between roommates. 

Residential students are not permitted to host non-student guests or students who are not approved to access campus (and are not part of the College’s testing protocol).  


How will the residence halls be cleaned?

The custodial team will clean residential common spaces on a scheduled basis consistent with CDC and other public health guidelines. Common spaces include hall bathrooms, building kitchens, lounges, hallways, stairwells, and elevators. Unchanged is students’ responsibility for cleaning their own bedrooms, apartments, en-suite bathrooms, and other private spaces. Students are responsible for bringing appropriate cleaning supplies. It is recommended that roommates/suitemates devise a plan for cleaning/sanitizing.

What are the expectations for students living in off-campus houses?

The COVID-19 related addendum and the Student Handbook include policies for both private and College-owned off-campus houses.

Are there other new policies for Fall 2020?

The COVID-19 related addendum to the Student Handbook includes policies for the entire campus, including the residential areas.