Margaret Hazlett

Thu, Aug 6, 12:48 PM

Dear Students,

Earlier this week, President Altmann shared with you all the difficult news that, in order to de-densify the population of students living and learning on campus, we have made the decision to require that all sophomores (excluding HAs) continue with remote instruction for the fall semester. We understand that this announcement has naturally spurred many follow-up questions, and we will be communicating with first-years and sophomores soon with more information.

For students who are still intending to live in F&M-approved on- or off-campus housing or to commute to campus, I write now to share with you significant updates to our reopening plan for move-in, testing, and housing. If you are studying remotely or taking a leave of absence, you will not need the information contained in the rest of this email.

This message provides only a brief overview; more information on these topics and frequently asked questions are available on the fall 2020 reopening plan website, which we are in the process of changing to reflect these updates. I encourage you to visit the following sections of the fall 2020 reopening plan page to learn more:


I thank all of you for your cooperation as we meet new guidelines for public health and safety. While we at the College are excited to have students, faculty and professional staff back on campus, we are still in the midst of a global pandemic and need to prepare accordingly. Part of those preparations include a pre-return screening questionnaire; please complete it as soon as possible.

Based on the results of this screening, Student Wellness Center staff may contact you by email or phone to recommend or require that you obtain a COVID -19 viral antigen test prior to your arrival back on campus. All students will be tested upon arrival. In accordance with the F&M Pledge, which will be sent to you shortly, everyone must minimize exposure to others as much as possible for two weeks prior to returning to campus to minimize the risk of bringing the virus to campus.

For more information about SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19, as well as key preventive measures, please see this document


  • After checking in and completing your COVID-19 test, you will move your belongings into your room. Only you will be permitted to enter the residence hall at move-in. Staff will not be available to assist, but we will provide hand carts and rolling carts to assist you. Elevators will also be operable where possible.
  • Immediately after moving in, you will be quarantined in your room until College officials inform you of your test results. We currently estimate the turnaround time to be within 72 hours. Students coming from states with high numbers of COVID-19 cases as determined by the Pennsylvania Department of Health will need to quarantine for 14 days or until they receive the results of their second test (we will test students again one week after their first test). Students living in off-campus housing will also need to be tested and then quarantine in their residences until they receive their results. Visit the COVID-19 quarantine and isolation section of the website for more information on quarantine.


  • We are de-densifying the campus by reducing residential capacity, offering single rooms to many students and utilizing only larger double rooms.
  • New students (first-years and transfers) who have chosen to live on campus for the fall semester will receive their Housing Questionnaire in advance of arrival. All first-years will be housed in a College House. While many new students will be housed in single rooms for the fall semester, some will be assigned double rooms and new students should expect to have a roommate during the course of the year. New students should expect to receive their housing assignment soon.
  • Students returning to on-campus housing who were housed during the lottery will be placed into their fall housing by the Housing Office. We will communicate any changes to individual housing assignments via email in early to mid-August.
  • Students who are currently on the waitlist will be assigned rooms as spaces are identified on campus. This process is currently underway and will continue until all students are housed.
  • Students returning to campus to live in single rooms with a shared living experience such as special interest houses, campus suites, small residential houses, and New College House apartments will remain in the room they selected during the Spring Housing Lottery, although students who selected Schnader Hall in the lottery will be moved as Schnader has been designated for quarantine and isolation. 
  • Students who selected off-campus housing and Greek housing retain their housing assignment as arranged.

As you plan for your return to campus, I urge you to review the information available on the website with your families. More details and answers to frequently asked questions will continue to be added to the fall 2020 reopening plan website, which should be your main source for the most comprehensive, detailed, and latest information.

Thank you for your attention to these important updates, and for your unending patience. Our campus will be different this fall, but the essence of Franklin & Marshall will be unchanged. All of us at the College are confident that we can create a rich and worthwhile residential experience on campus this fall as long as each of us makes a personal commitment to the health and safety of our community based on shared values and practices. I look forward to seeing you soon.

All the best,

Margaret L. Hazlett

Vice President and Dean of Student Affairs