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An Update on Move-Out Plans and Other Issues

Dear Students, Parents, and Families,

I am following up on the message I sent Tuesday regarding the College’s decision to transition to remote learning for the remainder of the semester. 

The purpose of this message is to provide you with detailed information on the move-out plan for students as well as updates on a number of issues related to ongoing support the College will provide now and through the end of the term. In the next day or two, you will receive a message from Provost Sarah Willie-LeBreton with specific information related to academics and the resumption of classes. Vice President for Finance and Administration Greg Brown will be in touch next week with information related to student employment and the College’s plans for crediting students and families for unused room and board expenses. Some preliminary information on both of those topics is available on our COVID-19 FAQ page.

We appreciate your patience and understanding as we work to address the myriad issues associated with the unprecedented need to close the campus for in-person education in the middle of the semester. 

The move-out plan detailed below endeavors to navigate these challenging times while also adhering to local, state, and federal guidelines and policies aimed at reducing the spread of COVID-19. Please note that the plan remains fluid to account for the dynamic nature of this situation.

Residence Hall Move-Out

The official residence hall closing date for the semester for all students remains Monday, May 25. The approved move-out period will begin on Monday, March 30, and conclude on Monday, May 25. In an effort to assist students who need to retrieve their belongings and officially check out of their room before May 25, we are asking all students to fill out the College’s Move-Out Registration Form to either request a scheduled time to collect your belongings and officially check out of your room, or make arrangements to have your belongings stored for the summer or shipped to you. The deadline to fill out the Move-Out Registration Form is 9 a.m. Thursday, March 26.  

  • Current Move-Out Registration Period: Those who are approved and scheduled to move out this week must do so by no later than 5 p.m. on Sunday, March 22.
  • Future Move-Out Registration Period: We are currently accepting reservations for move-out dates between Monday, March 30 and Monday, May 25.
  • No Move-Out Period: We are NOT able to approve any student to return to campus and/or move-out between Monday, March 23 and Sunday, March 29.

Again, we cannot allow students to return to campus to move-out between Monday, March 23 and Sunday, March 29. After you fill out the form, a member of the Office of Student Engagement (OSE) will contact you by Friday, March 27 to coordinate a date and time for your move out. You may not return to campus without first coordinating with the OSE move-out team.

March 26 (9 a.m.) Deadline to complete Move-Out Registration Form

March 23-March 30 No Move-outs Allowed

March 27 Date by which you will receive your assigned move-out date

March 30-May 25 Move-out period

Please note that once you have been approved to return to campus to pack your belongings and officially check out of your room, the College will not be able to provide you with overnight housing. Unfortunately, the College is unable to pay for travel-related expenses solely for the purpose of packing up your room. 

Storage and Shipping

Swarthmore College has partnered with Ultimate College Storage, operated by the UPS Store, to provide off-campus storage or shipping options for students. As a result, boxes and packing material will be provided to students who choose this option; students will be billed directly for all storage and/or shipping costs. Once you are approved to return to campus to pack up your room, you will  be able to retrieve boxes and packing tape at designated locations across campus. There is no limit on the number of boxes you may store with Ultimate College Storage. 

Once your room is packed, please leave all boxes in your secured room and the College will coordinate with Ultimate College Storage to pick up and ship or store your boxes over the summer. In the fall, Ultimate College Storage will deliver your boxes back to you on campus. 

Even if you are unable to return to campus by May 25 because of financial limitations or travel restrictions, please register so that we can coordinate with you. The College will work with you to have your belongings packed and either stored or shipped to you. 

  • Secure Storage: The College has limited storage (also called Secure Storage) which is available to international students and low-income students only. To register for Secure Storage, please email If you are approved for Secure Storage, you can pick up free boxes and tape from outside of OSE. Once approved, please label your boxes with your name and registration email and leave the boxes secured in your room. When able, the College will move your boxes to Secure Storage. 
  • Carts: The College will make available large moving bins in first floor lounges and other locations within residence halls across campus. 
  • Boxes: If you are planning to take your belongings with you, the College strongly encourages you to bring your own boxes/storage bins when returning to campus to pack your room. We can’t guarantee that boxes will be available when you return to move out. OSE currently has some boxes and packing tape available for use outside of their offices in Parrish. Once you have registered to return to campus to pack up your room, a limited supply of boxes and packing tape will also be made available at various locations around campus. 
  • Worthmore: Due to current health and safety risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, saving or sending items to Worthmore and the free store is not an option right now. That said, the College is committed to these sustainability efforts and will continue to work to try and make this option a possibility moving forward. 
  • Keys: Once you have packed and cleaned your room, please secure your room door and make sure you drop off your key to Key Centralnext to facilities, prior to leaving campus. The key drop box is available 24 hours a day.

Again, please fill out the Move-Out Registration Form by 9 a.m. Thursday, March 26.

Student Health and Wellness 

It is important to transfer prescriptions to a pharmacy near where you are staying for the remainder of the semester so that you will have continued access to your medication and refills. If you have prescriptions at the local Rite Aid and typically have your medicine delivered to the Health Center, please call 610-543-1153 to request transfer of that prescription to a new pharmacy near you. Worth Health Center will not be able to refill medicine for those who are off campus. (Students who are permitted to remain on campus can still refill medications through Worth Health Center.)

The College cannot mail medications. Please pick up prescriptions and allergy serums from Worth Health Center as soon as possible.


Effective Monday, March 23, CAPS will offer adjusted clinical services on a ZOOM-based platform through the end of classes on May 1, 2020. Current CAPS clients will be invited to indicate a need for tele-consultation by a CAPS staff member via email. Any other students requesting an initial consultation may do so via the CAPS website.

As always, CAPS On-Call is available for consultation 24 hours a day, every day of the year and can be reached by calling 610-328-7768

Student Deans 

Every student has an assigned student dean (see degree audit in mySwarthmore for information). Student deans remain available by email or video conference for consultation and academic support.

Student Code of Conduct

The Swarthmore Student Code of Conduct still applies to all enrolled students, whether the behavior occurs on or off campus. In situations where the College becomes aware of possible violations of the Student Code of Conduct by members of the Swarthmore College community, College policies may apply regardless of the location of the incident. If the College becomes aware of a potential violation of the Student Code of Conduct while a student is away from campus, the report will be investigated and adjudicated, if applicable, using the College’s Student Conduct Policies and Procedures.

We understand that this is a lot to take-in and it is coming at a time of already heightened anxiety and uncertainty. While we know that many of you are eager to get your personal belongings back, we have deliberately not instituted an arbitrary closing date earlier than the end of the term to ensure that there is no added pressure to move out within a constrained time frame. Above all, we want you to focus first on your health, safety, and well-being at this time and we stand ready to provide assistance in the ways that we are able.

With all best wishes,

Jim Terhune, Vice President and Dean of Students