NEW WILMINGTON, Pa.-- Westminster College will not mandate face coverings for students returning to campus for the fall semester.
Classes begin on Aug. 30 and the administration says any student or employee who has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will not be mandated to
wear a mask. However, those individuals who have not received the vaccine will need to wear masks in class or indoor public settings.
"Westminster will return to fully in-person instruction for the 2021-2022 academic year, with no requirement for virtual or hybrid instruction," said
Academic Dean and Vice President Jamie McMinn.
Nearly 70% of employees have been vaccinated and this number is increasing daily. While the College does not require everyone to get the vaccine, officials are strongly encouraging it. Incentives are being offered to students,
including eligibility for prize drawings that include Apple Air Pods and other gifts.
"The Physical Plant team is in the process of returning classroom spaces to
their pre-pandemic capacities and we will manage distancing through
enrollment caps so that students may maintain three feet of distancing.
As we work through adjusting classroom capacities, we will move classes
out of the Witherspoon Rooms and several other non-traditional academic
spaces; please check your fall schedule before your first class to
verify where your classes are located."
Below are the entire pandemic guidelines released by the Academic Dean:
The academic year will proceed along the following guidelines, with adjustments made as necessary to comply with Commonwealth and CDC recommendations:
- All students are strongly encouraged to be fully vaccinated before the beginning of fall classes and upload their vaccination status to the student health portal. The College's goal is to have at least 85% of all students fully vaccinated. Students who do not upload their status to the portal are assumed to be unvaccinated.
- In-person attendance is expected for all classes, labs, seminars, and performances unless they are designated as Online in the schedule of classes. Faculty members will not be required or expected to provide virtual or hybrid instruction via Zoom or similar technologies, though they may do so at their own discretion.
- Students who do not attend classes, labs, or other academic activities will be held to the principles of the College's attendance policy, as described in the Catalog. Faculty members may have additional attendance requirements that are outlined in their course syllabi.
- As always, reasonable accommodations will be offered for students who are working with the Office of Disability Resources, noting that COVID infections and related quarantine/isolation do not require academic accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Again, we encourage all students to receive a COVID vaccine and to continue taking appropriate hygiene measures (e.g., washing hands regularly, disinfecting spaces, covering coughs and sneezes, monitoring health daily).
- Though the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania no longer requires physical distancing, enrollment capacities for academic spaces will be based on three feet of distance between students.
- Fully vaccinated students and faculty members are not required to cover their mouth and nose while inside academic spaces. Students and faculty who have not been fully vaccinated must continue to wear a covering over their mouth and nose while inside College spaces, including classrooms, labs, and performance/exhibition venues. Some students and faculty members may feel more comfortable wearing a facial covering while on campus, and the College respects vaccinated individuals' choice to wear facial coverings.
- Facial coverings may be required in specific academic programs or courses as is appropriate for disciplinary guidelines (e.g., music programs). At their discretion, faculty members may require universal masking in their courses, regardless of students' vaccination status, understanding that universal masking can help protect the community. Students should always have a facial covering available if they encounter an academic space or campus office where masking is required.
- Students who are studying abroad or participating in College-sponsored travel (e.g., conferences supported by Drinko funds, travel courses, field trips) must upload their proof of vaccination to the student health portal before the College will approve their course of study or travel plans.
- Students participating in internships, field experiences, student teaching, and clinical rotations should consult their site supervisor about COVID regulations and policies that exist at the site.