Healthy Campus

When will students move into on-campus housing?

Upper-level students will move in Monday, Aug. 10, through Saturday, Aug. 15. First-year and transfer student move-in will occur Thursday, Aug. 13, and Friday, Aug. 14. Please visit the Residence Life website for more details on moving in, room assignments, and more.

What type of campus engagement was there in crafting these plans?

Over the last two months various standing committees and newly appointed working groups reviewed several possible scenarios for the fall. In recent weeks an Implementation Plan Development Group focused on key aspects of a single scenario, which is to welcome students back two weeks early for the start of the fall semester. This direction was discussed with the faculty and the Board of Trustees. Additionally, more than 50 representatives from across campus have been coordinating operational plans to guide the process. Faculty, staff, students, alumni, and parents have provided input and contributed to the process through direct communication and an online form. 

Why not just go remote entirely?

At a residential college, the on-campus experience is essential to the learning environment. The opportunity for faculty-student interaction, staff support, and peer-to-peer learning is strongly preferred whenever possible by students, faculty and staff over off-campus teaching and learning. 

What happens if the campus has to go fully remote again?

As proven during the spring semester, Lafayette can be nimble enough to make a quick transition to remote teaching and learning. Additionally, this summer the College is strengthening the infrastructure for remote teaching, and the faculty are designing resilient courses that are even better able to pivot should we need to go to full-time remote instruction. Further access to laptops, hotspots, and virtual labs also will minimize risks to student success in a fully remote environment. We are also prepared to be more flexible in permitting students to remain on campus (if allowed by the state) should we need to transition to remote teaching and learning.

Why not come back after Thanksgiving?

Starting two weeks early and ending at Thanksgiving reflects the fact that the virus is more likely to resurge during the winter than in the early weeks of the semester, and limits the possibility that students bring the virus to campus after traveling home for Thanksgiving break. Combined with our traditional “late” start to the spring semester (Jan. 25, 2021), this gives us a full two months at the height of flu season when we won’t be gathered together on campus.

Will all students be tested for COVID-19 as a condition of enrollment for fall 2020? How will that testing be conducted?

Yes. Given that students will be arriving from various locations and by various modes of transportation, including common carriers such as planes, all students will be tested upon their arrival to campus. This will help rapidly identify those who should be isolated immediately, limiting introduction of the virus to campus. Combining initial testing with ongoing monitoring of a specific percentage of the student population will assist in identifying small clusters of disease before community spreading can occur. 

How do I find out more information about orientation for the Class of 2024?

Please visit the Class of 2024 website for details about orientation and other events.

How will you determine who works from home?

Divisional vice presidents (or equivalent) will make determinations on which staff members can fulfill professional obligations from home. Those who need teaching/working accommodations due to health vulnerabilities or other factors should submit this brief form to HR.

How will you implement these plans?

An operational implementation team has been assembled, featuring representation from all divisions, to implement and monitor the plans.

How firm are your plans? Might they change before fall?

The plans are based upon the continuing guidance from the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control, and Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf. The plans could change as circumstances change and this continued guidance evolves. 

How is Lafayette leadership making decisions in concert with local K-12 school districts, given that so many faculty and staff have children in schools?

We are not coordinating our decisions with K-12 institutions, but we do understand the hardship that will be created for our faculty and staff if we return to campus and schools are not open. Should that be the case, we will help employees find ways to balance competing priorities. 

What collaborations exist between the College and local community to provide information sharing should a local or college outbreak occur?

We are keeping the city and local neighborhood apprised of our plans and will make immediate notifications of COVID-19 cases on campus. Coordination with public health officials is also a state guideline for the College’s reopening.

Will students living off campus be monitored in the same way as those living in college-owned residences?


How will students be housed during the first 24 hours on campus before testing results are returned?

We are staging student returns to help manage the initial day when we need students to self-isolate. For this reason, it is critically important that students plan to arrive only on the date and time they are assigned for move in. This information will be sent later in the summer.

Will all members of the campus community be provided masks, and if so, how will they be obtained?

Yes, two masks will be provided. Faculty and staff will receive their masks through their departments; students will receive their masks when they arrive at the pre-move-in testing location. Additional/replacement masks can be purchased at the College Store. Individuals also are welcome to supplement college-provided masks with their own. 

What is the process for reporting someone who does not appear to be following the regulations outlined by the College?

The concept of collective responsibility requires that members of the community hold each other accountable for adhering to the behaviors that will help keep us all safe. We hope that our ongoing educational program will help reinforce the importance of these behaviors. However, if any member of the community has concerns, those can be best addressed by emailing

Will the fitness center be open?

We plan to phase in operation of the fitness center following guidance from the state department of health and department of education.


Academic Adaptability

Is Lafayette offering any summer classes?

Yes. Summer Session II (July 6 – Aug. 14) courses are being offered in art, classical civilization, English, film and media studies, and philosophy, as well as credit for internships. Early registration is recommended because courses may close and courses may be canceled if there is not sufficient enrollment by July 2. Full details.

Has the fall 2020 academic calendar been finalized?

Yes. The updated 2020-21 academic calendar is available on the Registrar’s website.

What will the College do to make the likely mix of on-campus and online learning experiences robust?

  • Flexible academic modalities: Faculty members are modifying their courses to accommodate a variety of modes of instruction—in-person, distance, and hybrid formats—as circumstances require and according to best pedagogical practices. Building on their experiences from the spring semester—and with the support of multiple workshops, discussions, and training offered by CITLS, Learning and Research Technologies, and others—faculty are designing courses that will make maximum use of person-to-person interactions, both on and off campus
  • Student support: Programs for student academic support—including the Academic Resource Hub’s programs for tutoring, supplemental instruction, and academic accommodations—are preparing for the semester and working to anticipate hybrid support and access to services for students throughout the fall, both in person and remotely if necessary. Further investments in student support include increased access to laptops, hotspots, and virtual labs that also minimize risks to student success in a fully remote environment.  
  • Co-curricular and extracurricular engagement: Lafayette’s signature programs supporting student-faculty research and community-based teaching and learning are adapting in preparation for the fall. Programming will be offered in diverse ways aimed at creating opportunities for relationship building, academic exploration, and peer interaction.

Will this impact students’ flexibility in course selection?

Yes. There will be adjustments to course offerings, as there always are, but these adjustments are primarily intended to continue to provide flexibility and ensure that students can progress toward their degree.

I’ve already registered for fall. Will my class schedule change?

Every summer, adjustments to some students’ schedules are necessary. We anticipate that more adjustments than usual will be required this summer as we work to align our courses and classroom capacities. Faculty members will be encouraged to be in touch with registered students before the start of the semester about specific course formats and expectations.

How will the College determine which courses will be offered in person?

Our default assumption is that courses primarily will be taught face to face, but select courses will be taught remotely. The goal of these adjustments is to mitigate risk to members of our community and offer flexibility for students. The Provost’s Office will be working with department heads and program chairs to determine the best mix of such courses. 

Will there be classes held through the Wednesday of Thanksgiving week?

No. Instruction concludes on Friday, Nov. 20. Final examinations will be conducted remotely, after the Thanksgiving holiday.

If I need or want to pursue my degree from Lafayette fully remotely in the fall semester, will I be able to do so?

There may be the opportunity to do so. Please contact your class dean to discuss this possibility.

Will there be a January interim session?

Yes, according to current plans. 


Resource Alignment

If we move to remote classes at some point in the fall (before Thanksgiving), will you adjust tuition?

Our policies regarding any potential refunds or reductions to charges in the event of disruption will be specified at the time that tuition and room and board invoices are sent.

What resources will be in place for advising and faculty office hours if I am enrolled at Lafayette but not living on campus?

Faculty members and deans are all prepared to meet with students via Zoom during the fall semester.