NEW WILMINGTON, Pa.-- As Westminster students begin counting down to finals, President Richardson is happy with the way students have responded to the college’s guidelines. She stated, “Across the board we’ve been very thankful for the responsible ways in which students have been in compliance with the guidelines.” She shared recent college updates over a variety of topics.
Governor Wolfe’s COVID-19 safety measures were recently ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge. The new rules allow for a maximum capacity equal to 20% of the original capacity, rather than limiting all indoor gatherings to 25 people. This change will potentially allow the college to welcome student guests at music recitals and similar events in Orr Auditorium as the weather gets colder, according to President Richardson.
Many large colleges tested all their students as they returned to campus this fall. Westminster took a different approach, only testing students if they are showing symptoms or part of an intercollegiate sports team due to the shortage of available tests. President Richardson stated, “We have been systematically testing our sports teams as they start their NCAA events.”
Westminster has not ruled out testing all students as the availability of different tests increase. However, this is unlikely to happen this semester. The college has switched diagnostic companies several times so far this semester in an effort to improve testing on campus. The current company contracting with the institution has been quicker in determining test results than previous companies.
“We (colleges and universities) were all encouraged to forego a fall break,” stated Richardson, as the risk of infection would increase due to close contact with people outside of Westminster. The main concern is keeping the campus community safe and healthy as classes take place. Richardson encourages students to take advantage of weekend activities on campus, as she recognizes the students and staff are adapting to a unique semester.
President Richardson recently walked through Hoyt Science Center to see the progress made in the new wing. She stated the building is looking great, and she is excited for students and faculty to begin use of the new wing come the fall semester of 2021. With the new athletic facilities nearing completion as well, Richardson is ecstatic about the progress at Westminster.