Life on campus may look and feel a little different this academic year, as it has throughout the world during this pandemic. Promoting the health and well-being of our campus community will be done, in part, by modifying spaces and enhancing public health and cleaning protocols. But it also will require your commitment to supporting a healthy culture in which you contribute to your own well-being and the well-being of others.

The general housing selection process will begin Wednesday, Jan. 6. All students invited to be in residence for spring 2021 — including those in residence this fall — will participate in the housing selection process. Students with approved housing accommodations will be pre-housed prior to the general housing selection process. For the 2020–21 year, theme and division housing will not be an option due to the de-densification of residences. All ADA housing accommodations will remain in place, in addition to assignments within program houses.

Rooms in traditional residence halls will remain single-occupancy this spring. We will increase residential capacity in campus apartments (Acland, Farr, Market, Morgan, New and North Campus Apartments, and Taft Cottages). By permitting students to share rooms within these units, we will increase our capacity on campus without compromising the health and safety of our students; these decisions were made in consultation with local public health experts. As is consistent with our fall semester isolation and quarantine protocols, should a student in an apartment test positive for COVID-19, they would be moved to isolation housing, and their housemates would quarantine in the apartment until Knox Public Health allows them to return to normal campus access.

All students in residence this spring will move in the week of January 25-29 between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. ET. It is necessary to adhere to these hours in order to meet same-day shipping deadlines for the College’s COVID testing protocols. Each student is permitted one person to assist with their move-in. Please use this link to sign up for an arrival time on the day you plan to arrive. Slots will not be assigned, but they are first-come, first-serve. Only Community Advisors will be permitted to return to campus on Monday, January 25.

Students who will be in residence this spring should, upon their arrival to campus in January, first check in at the Lowry Center’s Toan Track (enter through the south doors facing the main parking lot). You will receive a self-administered, rt-PCR COVID-19 test produced by Everlywell as well as a flu shot, unless proof of prior vaccination or a medical exemption is provided. Please watch a video in advance to know exactly how the test will be administered. Within about 72 hours of receiving your sample, Everlywell will notify you (via the email and/or text number you provided when registering your kit) that your test result is available on their website. 

For students who have already tested positive for COVID-19: Make sure to bring documentation of your PCR test results or a discontinuation of isolation letter from your local public health authority. If you cannot produce this documentation, you will be tested upon your arrival. If this test is positive, you will be placed in isolation housing until you can provide a release from Knox Public Health or your local public health authority. 

Once your initial COVID-19 test and flu vaccination are complete, you will proceed to the Multi-Activity Court (MAC), also in the Lowry Center, to finalize documents, pick up your room key, and receive other relevant information. You also will receive a wellness kit that will include a Kinsa smart thermometer to assist with your required daily health assessment. You may then proceed to your residence hall for move-in. 

You and your helper must wear a face covering when outside of your residential space. Helpers do not need to undergo COVID-19 testing upon their arrival, but we ask that they conduct a daily health assessment, which includes a temperature check, a symptom review and an assessment of one’s personal contacts for possible exposure.

For the 2020–21 year, the College has secured additional housing for isolation of students with positive test results. This housing will be managed in close cooperation with Knox Public Health, which serves as the lead agency when any resident of Knox County tests positive for COVID-19. In most cases, students will be isolated at the Comfort Inn, a 60-room hotel located in neighboring Mount Vernon. The Inn’s only occupants during the 2020–21 year will be Kenyon students and professional staff.

If you are a student and you receive a positive test result, call Campus Safety (740-427-5000) and let the dispatcher know that you have received a positive COVID-19 test result. This call will set in motion the care process and isolation protocols that Student Affairs has developed for this academic year. In the meantime, the laboratory EverlyWell will have sent notification of the positive diagnosis to Knox Public Health and to the Cox Health & Counseling Center. If your test result is positive, you may receive a call from an Everlywell physician. You will receive a telephone call from Knox Public Health, which will oversee your care and manage the contact tracing process. 

After you call Campus Safety, several steps will be quickly taken:

1. Student Affairs will assist you in moving to isolation housing. Plan to take what you will need for two weeks, including chargers and medications. Once you are packed, Campus Safety will transport you to isolation housing. Until you have been transported to isolation housing, please remain in your room and minimize contact with others.

2. The Student Affairs staff member on call will reach out to you by phone. (Please be sure your voicemail is set up, and that you answer your phone when they call.) The Dean of Students will subsequently notify your faculty that you will be attending class remotely and, if symptomatic, that you may be absent.

3. You will be sent a link to a form that you should fill out as soon as possible. Among other things, this form will enable Student Affairs to arrange for your meal delivery, facilitated through AVI and Residential Life. (Two hours’ advance notice will be required to coordinate meal delivery, so if you receive a diagnosis at 11:30 a.m., your first delivered meal would be dinner.) 

Because Knox Public Health (KPH) is the agency responsible for monitoring positive cases in Knox County, they will contact those in isolation housing to perform daily symptom checks, provide medical supplies, etc. and assume management of overall care. They also will work with you to trace your contacts, and your cooperation is vital to contain the spread of coronavirus. (It also is required as part of the 2020–21 Student Conduct Addendum.) KPH determines when you may be released from isolation. They will provide you a letter via email that confirms release from isolation. Once the letter is shared with the College, you can be transported back to campus and return to your classes in-person.

KPH will give you a release of information form; you must sign it in order for KPH to be able to speak with your family. We encourage you to reach out to your family, too, to let them know about your condition.  

Should conditions warrant, the College may implement a “quiet period” aimed at minimizing contact within the Kenyon community. During a quiet period, students will be required to limit movement around campus to essential activities only. 

While in a quiet period, students will be able to: 

• Attend classes (while wearing face coverings)

• Minimally interact with individuals while observing 6-foot physical distancing

• Obtain meals from Peirce Dining Hall, to be eaten outside or in their rooms

While in a quiet period, students will NOT be able to:

• Engage in in-person extracurricular activities or small gatherings

• Have guests inside residence hall rooms

• Use the Lowry Center

• Eat their meals in Peirce Dining Hall

Students must continue to observe 6-foot physical distancing and wear face coverings everywhere indoors (except while alone in their room) and in trafficked areas outdoors regardless of whether the College is in a quiet period. 

In close cooperation with our AVI partners, Peirce has been retrofitted to allow for students to obtain food in takeout containers. Students are asked to access the servery only from the atrium; please do not re-enter the servery from the Great Hall. Peirce may have adjusted hours this year; please consult AVI’s website for the latest information.

When the College is not observing a quiet period, students will be permitted to eat in Peirce at tables spread throughout the building. Tables will have strict capacity requirements and clear barriers atop them to promote safety and social distancing. Due to limited seating, we encourage students to be considerate of the time spent in Peirce to allow other students to sit down. Most dishware and utensils will be disposable, as physical distancing in the dishroom for AVI staff is a challenge. Only Kenyon students will be permitted to eat in Peirce Hall, which will be designated for dining only (no meetings or studying). Students must wear face coverings unless eating. 

All Kenyon students in residence will continue to participate in the College’s meal plan. If you are in isolation housing, food will be delivered to you. Students in quarantine are permitted to pick-up their meals from Peirce, but may not eat inside the facility.

While the College is observing a quiet period, students may not engage in in-person extracurricular activities. The Office of Student Engagement, in collaboration with Student Council, has developed guidelines for in-person extracurricular activities for times when the College is not observing a quiet period. These guidelines, which may be reevaluated as the semester progresses, currently allow for:

• Virtual meetings and events

• In-person meetings with 10 or fewer people, appropriate distancing and face coverings

• Hybrid meetings with 10 or fewer people, appropriate distancing and face coverings

• “Phase Two” activities for club sports

When planning extracurricular activities, please refer to the campus wide events and gatherings guidelines as well as the Student Handbook, Student Organization Handbook and COVID-19 specific guidelines and directives. Organizations may need to re-purpose allocated funds to work within new restrictions; contact the Business and Finance Committee (BFC) of Student Council for guidance. 

Off-campus travel may be allowed in very selective circumstances; contact student.engagement@kenyon.edu for guidance and approval. For guidance and approval regarding “Phase Three” activities for club sports, contact clubsports@kenyon.edu

In-person activities where appropriate distancing cannot be observed, or without face coverings, or with more than 10 participants are not allowed at any time. 

We recognize that these new guidelines and the dislocation of our community may present questions and challenges regarding extracurricular activities. When in doubt, please contact the Office of Student Engagement and/or Student Council.

Residence halls were designed to build community — which presents us with a challenge this upcoming year as we seek to promote public health and well-being. Lounge spaces within traditional residence halls will be configured differently this year to allow for physical distancing. Community kitchens will not be available for use for the foreseeable future. Laundry rooms will be outfitted with hand washing or sanitizing supplies and will have guidelines posted for physical distancing. We encourage you to navigate hallways with care, being sure to maintain 6 feet of distance between yourself and your fellow residents. 

Enhanced cleaning protocols will be implemented in all shared spaces, and you may be asked to wipe down some spaces after use. Every shared bathroom, lounge and community kitchen will have a maximum occupancy sign. 

Regarding visitors: Students may visit friends in other residences (and they must wear face coverings while doing so). Please note that residence hall lounges are restricted to residents of that hall, except for lounges designated as study spaces. Students will be limited to a ratio of one guest (who is a Kenyon student) per resident. Overnight guests are allowed under these guidelines: They must be a Kenyon student (no external visitors); the number of people in your room must not exceed the ratio of one guest per resident.

To protect our community, including our local neighbors, students in residence must agree to remain in Knox County for all nonessential travel. Requests to leave Knox County for essential reasons, e.g. medical appointments, must be sent to Dean of Students Robin Hart Ruthenbeck (hartruthenbeck1@kenyon.edu) as far in advance as possible, and at least 48 hours prior to the intended travel. We also ask that students limit their non-essential travel within the county as much as possible.