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Important Information for Students in Residence During the Extended Remote Learning Period

Dear Students,

As we work through this difficult time, we wish to acknowledge that even in periods of uncertainty, as a community we continue to remain resilient and adaptable, and to work to support one another. With that in mind, we are writing to provide you with important information regarding the expectations the College has of you during this extended remote learning period. It is important to note that this will likely be the first of several messages you will receive conveying important information you will need during this period of modified operations. As such, it is essential that you regularly review your email for these important updates and fill out this Extended Remote Learning Period Student Contact Form by Wednesday, March 25, by 5 p.m. 

 As we transition into the extended remote learning period, the College’s staff and faculty are working tirelessly to quickly make adjustments. Given the unprecedented nature of this situation and the need to take every precaution to support the health and safety of the College community — most especially those of you who continue to live on campus — the manner in which you experience life on campus during this period will be very different from Swarthmore during normal times. 

None of us wants to be in the position in which we currently find ourselves. The disruption to our normal operations is deeply regrettable, and we are profoundly sorry that it has affected the community and each of you in the way that it has. But the COVID-19 crisis is a public health emergency and we are committed to taking every precaution at our disposal to provide for your safety and that of all members of the Swarthmore community. 

 It is important to remember that the COVID-19 pandemic impacts EVS, Dining Services, Facilities, OSE, and Public Safety staff and their families in the same ways that it impacts everyone else. As such, the College is actively restricting and monitoring who we have in campus housing, which increases our ability to ensure that residence halls are properly cleaned, that you are fed, that building systems function as needed, and that Public Safety can perform its crucial functions. 

 It is vital that you understand that your permission to continue to live on campus during this period is conditioned on the expectation that you will comply with all of the guidelines and expectations described below — as well as any additional requirements that may be implemented in the future — to ensure for the safety and well-being of the community. Failure to comply with these conditions may result in the revocation of your permission to stay on campus and may subject you to disciplinary action through the Student Code of Conduct.

 Social Guidelines:

The permission you have been given to remain on campus during this period only applies to you. You may not allow guests and/or students who have not been given permission to stay on campus to stay with you at any time during the extended period of remote learning. In order for us to provide for the safety of everyone on campus, and to respond appropriately to any confirmed cases of COVID-19 that may appear in the student community, it is absolutely essential that we know exactly who is here and where they are staying. As such, we will be checking to make sure that only authorized students are on campus. Any unauthorized person who is found to be staying in your room or other locations on campus will be removed from campus immediately, and your permission to remain on campus may be revoked. 

 Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf outlined new mitigation measures, including a directive that all non-life-sustaining businesses must cease physical operations. His directive applies to colleges and universities, with limited exceptions that allow for us to continue to provide you with housing and take-out food service.

In light of Governor Wolf’s guidance and in consideration of these unprecedented times, students must practice social distancing and limit the number of people in gatherings as much as possible. Additionally, alcohol is prohibited on campus at this time; Alcohol Permits will not be approved, and alcoholic beverages may not be served at any gatherings or other events that take place during the extended period of remote learning. 

 These restrictions may change if the Governor issues new guidance or if there are other changes that affect campus operations. Below is current information, and we will communicate any changes. 

Campus Facilities and Services

Academic and Administrative Buildings: All academic and administrative buildings on campus are closed until further notice.

Residence Halls: In the interest of social distancing, students who have been approved to remain on campus will only have OneCard access to their own residence hall and may not congregate in large groups. Additionally, all group gatherings are restricted to no more than 10 participants in the same physical space, including in outdoor locations. 

As the College assesses the best way to support all students remaining on campus and to prepare campus to best respond in the event of a potential exposure of COVID-19 on campus, all students will likely be relocated to a consolidated residential location. More information will be shared with you later this week. 

Dining: The College will provide students who must remain on campus access to meals at Sharples on a limited basis. All meals in Sharples will be served using compostable paper products. In the interest of social distancing, we may limit the number of students in the dining hall at any one time. For now, all meals will be take out in accordance with the Governor's orders. Sharples will be closed between each meal period to clean and sanitize the facility. 

Sharples Dining hours are as follows (meal swipes):

  • Monday through Friday
    • Breakfast: Essie Mae’s from 8-10 a.m. Pre-Set options, meal swipe. 
    • Lunch: 11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m.
    • Dinner: 5–7 p.m. 

Essie Mae’s dining hours are as follows (points only, students will not be able to use a meal swipe, except for breakfast):

  • Monday - Friday: 
    • 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.
    • All items will be take-out only. 

Kohlberg and Science Center Cafe:

  • Closed until further notice.

Care and Keeping of Your Residence & Shared Spaces: It is essential that you take particular precautions and care in your personal residence and in shared spaces such as lounges, restrooms, Sharples, outdoor spaces, and places you frequent while practicing social distancing. This includes cleaning up after yourself and cleaning surfaces by thoroughly wiping down spaces and places that you use.

EVS: EVS staff will be expanding their normal cleaning routines. This will include wiping down high-touch areas in buildings and residence halls every 3 hours during regular work hours Monday - Friday, with a slightly less frequent schedule overnight and on weekends. In addition to these efforts, EVS will provide some disinfecting spray and towels in residence halls for students to use to disinfect things themselves. EVS may modify these schedules as public restrictions or campus needs change.

EVS staff are playing a crucial role in responding to all of the demands associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Like everyone else, they are concerned for their own health and that of their families. Please be mindful that adding to their already strained workload by leaving excessive trash and causing damage is antithetical to our values and not at all thoughtful of them or our community. Anyone participating in this type of behavior will be subject to the student code of conduct and will forfeit their housing privileges.

Post Office: Packages and mail will be handed out on Mondays and Fridays between 10 a.m. - 11 a.m. The Post Office will be holding all mail and packages for 24 hours before making available for pick-up. You will still receive an email notification for when you have a package ready for pick-up. Once you have received a notification, please call the Post Office at 610-328-8368, Monday or Friday between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. After you call, we will leave your mail and packages right outside of the door on the ADA ramp behind Parrish Hall. There will be a table set up and you will not be required to sign or scan for pick-up.

Please note that the Customer Service window will be closed. If you want to purchase stamps or send outgoing mail and packages, please check with the U.S. Post Office in the Ville next to PNC bank.

  • Matchbox: Due to guidance from the Pennsylvania Department of Health that facilities in Delaware County, including gyms, should close in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the Matchbox and all other athletic facilities on campus (Ware Pool, Mullan Tennis Center, Tarble Pavilion, and the Fieldhouse) are closed until further notice. 
  • Cultural Centers (BCC, IC, Interfaith, International, and WRC): Again, given the new mitigation measures issued by Governor Wolf, all cultural centers are closed during the extended spring break and remote learning period. 
  • Libraries (McCabe, Cornell, Underhill, Friends Historical Library, and Peace Collection): If you have materials in your thesis carrel, McCabe will contact you and will leave these items between the inner and outer doors of the library for you to pick up.
  • Campus and Community Store: In keeping with the College’s commitment of social distancing to mitigating the spread of COVID-19, the Swarthmore Campus & Community Store is closed to the public until further notice. 
  • Inn at Swarthmore and Broad Table Tavern: The Inn at Swarthmore will remain open for guest stays and bookings, but will be closed to public access. Broad Table Tavern is limited to carry-out service only, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. 
  • Swarthmore Co-Op: According to the Governor’s office, gas stations and supermarkets, such as the Swarthmore Co-op, which is independent from the College, may remain open. Students are encouraged to continue to monitor the Co-Op’s website for changes to their operation in the future. 

 Important Contacts

  • Public Safety:  Swarthmore's Public Safety Department operates 24/7/365 and is fully committed to providing a safe and healthy campus for the entire community. Public Safety is the first contact and first responder for all campus emergencies. If you have not already done so, we strongly encourage you to download the LiveSafe app to your personal device.

  • Student Health and Wellness: In an effort to comply with the CDC and local health department recommendations, the Health Center is taking action to decrease face to face contact, suspend in-person appointments, and preserve our health care providers in the event we are needed to cover the health care needs of the greater community in an increased outbreak situation. As of Monday, March 23, the Health Center will be closed to walk-in appointments.
    • If you are having an urgent health care need, please call the on-call registered nurse at 610-328-8548. If you are having an emergency, call Public Safety at 610-328-8333 or dial 911.  
    • If you have a non-urgent, routine question, please email and a Worth Health Center staff member will get back to you within 48-72 hours. Please refrain from leaving voicemails, as they will not be checked regularly. 
    • The Health Center website has an updated list of local resources. 
  • CAPS: In the interest of the well-being of our entire community, beginning Monday, March 23, CAPS will offer adjusted clinical services on a Zoom-based platform through the end of classes on Friday, May 1. Current CAPS clients will be invited to indicate a need for tele-consultation by a CAPS staff member via email. Students requesting an initial consultation may do so here

    As always, CAPS On-Call is available for consultation 24 hours a day, every day of the year, at 610-328-7768. In case of emergency, contact Public Safety at 610-328-8333 or dial 911.
  • Student Deans: Student Deans are operating remotely. Please be in direct contact with your dean via email. 
  • OSE On-Call: The RCCs and other Dean’s Staff will remain available after hours through the traditional Tier 1 on-call system. To access the Dean’s Division on-call system, call Public Safety at 610-328-8333 and ask to speak to Tier 1 on-call. 

We recognize that the tenor and nature of these expectations may seem unnecessarily severe and deviate significantly from our usual way of doing business. But we believe the seriousness and potential danger of the current moment requires us to be unyielding on this point in order to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our community.

Thank you for your continued patience, cooperation, and understanding during these unprecedented circumstances.

Dean Miller