Guided by a comprehensive set of public health protocols, Albion College will return to full operations, including on-campus housing and dining services, academic and student support and co-curricular activities, this fall. Over the coming weeks, we will be updating this page regularly as more information about our plans for campus life in fall 2020 becomes available.
Albion College and the Department of Residential Life are working around the clock to create plans for move-in and beyond that focus on the health and safety of our residential students. One of our goals is to foster community environments that are defined as “pod” or “clustered” family living units, where together, residents can create and honor expectations for living in a shared space. We anticipate that you will have the ownership of creating a sense of security and comfort amongst your family.
Listed below you will find answers to frequently asked questions. We will provide updates as appropriate and will continue to follow national, state, local and college guidance as we update our plans.
When will students move back to campus?
Move-in is scheduled by building, and there will be no early arrival move-ins. The move-in schedule below limits the number of students moving in on each day to accommodate physical distancing and to allow healthcare staff to conduct the required COVID-19 testing. Every student will receive an email confirmation of their move-in date on Wednesday, July 29, which will contain a link that can be used to reserve a move-in slot during one of two time blocks (either 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. or 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m). Students will also receive an email reminder 48 hours before their scheduled move-in slot with reminders and updates about check-in procedures. Students can arrive anytime during their scheduled time block. Please know that space is limited each of the time blocks.
- Monday, August 10 - Students returning to Albion from outside the U.S. (primarily international students) to observe the CDC-recommended 14-day isolation period.
- Wednesday, August 12 - Wesley Hall 2nd and 3rd floors, Seaton Hall 2nd and 3rd floors.
- Thursday, August 13 - Wesley Hall Ground and 1st floors, Seaton Hall Ground and 1st floors.
- Tuesday, August 18 - Whitehouse Hall 2nd and 3rd floors, Mitchell Towers 3rd and 4th floors.
- Wednesday, August 19 - Whitehouse Hall Ground and 1st floors, Mitchell Towers 1st and 2nd floors, Ingham Hall, Fiske House.
- Thursday, August 20 - Apartments: Mae, Munger, Burns, Briton, 416 Erie, 507 Erie, Munger House.
- Friday, August 21 - Fraternity Houses.
Students are allowed up to two helpers to assist them in moving in. Say your goodbyes and good lucks before leaving home, and only travel with the people who are absolutely necessary to help you bring your belongings into your residence hall, apartment or fraternity house. Make sure you share a selfie or two with your families once you’re moved in!
Students who are unable to move in during their assigned move-in date will not be permitted to move in early. Students who miss their move-in date should email . Students who show up to campus outside of their scheduled move-in dates will not be allowed to move in.
What precautions are students and helpers expected to take during move-in?
The following expectations are required of students and their helpers during the move-in process:
- Students will be required to receive a COVID-19 test during the move-in process. Testing will be conducted with nasal swabs with a three-day turnaround, and will be provided with no direct cost to students. More information on the testing protocol here.
- Students and their helpers will be required to wear masks/face coverings at all times during the move-in process, and are asked to do their best to maintain six feet of physical distance from other students and helpers, to protect each other from illness.
- Students are reminded to limit the number of personal belongings they bring to campus. Students are prohibited from bringing large items (like furniture, large televisions, or wall-to-wall floor coverings), and only one mini-fridge and microwave are permitted per room. Remember that elevators will not be in operation and moving carts will not be available, so students should limit their packing to what they and their helpers can reasonably carry during their move-in time block.
Summer storage items will be delivered to student rooms before students return to campus. Students should email with questions related to items stored over the summer.
What safety procedures will be in place during move-in?
In order to provide a safe environment for students to move back to campus, the move-in process for Fall 2020 will include the following procedures:
- Drive to the central check-in station at the Ferguson Hall parking lot (E. Erie St.) for contactless health screening and check-in process.
Remain in your vehicle for contactless health screening which will include:
Answering three questions related to COVID-19 symptoms:
- In the past 24 hours have you experienced: a) Fever (100.4° or higher), b) Cough (excluding chronic cough due to known medical reasons), c) Shortness of breath, d) Sore throat, e) Diarrhea (excluding diarrhea due to known medical reasons) or f) Loss of taste or smell?
- Have you had close contact in the last 14 days with an individual diagnosed with COVID-19?
- Have you traveled on an airplane internationally in the last 14 days?
- Have your temperature taken by a no-touch thermometer (must be under 100.4°).
Students and helpers who are cleared will receive paper armbands to indicate they have passed the health screening.
- Students who answer yes to one or more of the questions above or who show symptoms will not be allowed to move in.
- Helpers who answer yes to one or more of the questions above or who show symptoms will be asked to remain in their vehicle while the student moves in.
- Students: Complete COVID-19 nasal swab.
- Students: Complete the Residential Life check-in process including verification of cell phone number and other important student information, and receive a new student ID encoded with your Fall 2020 room assignment. Cell phone numbers are vital to help the College to maintain a safe and healthy environment as students may need to be notified of positive COVID-19 tests or that they have been identified as a ‘close contact’ to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
- After completing the check-in process, proceed to the residential building and park where instructed. Staff will direct you to the door nearest the student’s room.
- Once the student has completed move-in, helpers will be expected to leave campus and not return until the end of Fall semester to assist their student in traveling back home.
How can students prepare for move-in to campus?
As we continue preparing for fall 2020, each member of the Albion College community will be asked to sign the Albion Community Commitment before they return to campus. This social compact highlights the commitment each of us must make to each other, the College, our local community and our own personal health. Later this summer, students will be required to complete an online public health training and will be asked to sign the Community Commitment as part of that training. Additionally, the Contingency Planning Team, a group of faculty, staff, and public health experts, has developed COVID-19 Health Guidelines, a 4-phased model that guides public health measures on campus based on the condition of the pandemic as it relates to the ongoing operations of the College.
To help keep one another safe, students should plan to quarantine at home for at least 7 days before their move-in date. During this time, we ask that students;
- Wear a mask when not at home.
- Enjoy time with family at home! (And, do not get together with others outside of your household.)
- Avoid restaurants, stores and other public indoor spaces as much as possible.
Students or their helpers who have tested positive for COVID-19 or who are experiencing symptoms should not return to campus on their scheduled move-in date. You should email to make other arrangements to return after you have been cleared by health officials.
Finally, Albion College will be implementing new resources to help students navigate insurance coverage, and will require that all students provide the necessary documentation for Medicaid and verification of insurance prior to arrival.
Will students be expected to self-isolate after moving onto campus?
Yes, after students have moved in they will be required to isolate in their assigned living space for three days, or until they have received the result of their COVID-19 test. As you plan for your self-isolation experience, think about what entertainment or activities you may want to do while remaining in your assigned living space. We know that students arriving on campus are eager to make connections with their peers, so virtual community-building opportunities will be offered throughout move-in week. Make sure to pack your favorite snacks, a fan for hot days, or a board game or puzzles. If you test positive, the College will work with you on next steps.
During the three-day self-isolation period, students are expected to follow these guidelines to limit contact with other community members:
- Remain in your assigned living space as much as possible.
- Wear a mask/face covering any time you are not in your assigned living space, including inside all campus buildings, and any time outside when physical distancing is not possible.
- Pick up meals from Baldwin or other designated on-campus dining locations. Meals should be eaten in your assigned living space or in an outside area away from others.
- Do not associate or get together with other students except with their roommates, suitemates, or apartment mates.
Students who receive a positive COVID-19 test will be moved to a designated isolation space on campus and will be required to remain there until approved by the Calhoun County Health Department. Roommates without symptoms will be allowed to isolate in their room for a 14 day period provided that they do not test positive for COVID-19 or experience symptoms.
What health and safety precautions will students be expected to take once they arrive on campus?
Your full participation in all public health measures implemented by the College will be a requirement of your participation in our on-campus community. If you’re not practicing these already, we strongly urge you to begin to incorporate them into your daily routine, both to prepare yourself for life on campus and to reduce the risk of bringing the virus to our campus community.
- Wearing a face covering on a regular basis. This continues to be one of the best tools available to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. When you return to campus, face coverings will be required in all campus buildings and indoor residential spaces (including entrances/exits, hallways, stairwells, community bathrooms, common areas, lobbies, lounges, laundry rooms, area coordinator office, and resident assistant office) and all outside spaces when two or more individuals are gathered and six feet of physical distancing can not be maintained. Wearing a mask in public is still the expectation from the state of Michigan, and most organizations and businesses in the city of Albion are strictly enforcing this requirement.
- Washing hands and personal hygiene. This is an essential behavior to fight infectious diseases, whether it is COVID-19, the flu or the common cold. When you return to campus you will come into more regular contact with high touch surfaces like door handles, desks, tables and chairs, and it’s important to make a habit of regular, thorough hand-washing.
- Physical (social) distancing. Public health experts agree that physical (or social) distancing of six feet or more is the ultimate tool to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. We use the term physical distancing because even though we need to remain physically separate, maintaining our social connections is now more important than ever. Right now, do your best to maintain physical distance when outside your home. When you return to campus, you will be expected to spread out in classrooms and meetings and choose virtual options, when possible. High risk areas tend to be close, densely-populated spaces like restaurants, bars and other social spaces, and this is where we’re seeing examples of the greatest possibilities of transmitting the virus. Be vigilant, and learn from the mistakes of others.
- Contact Tracing. When an individual tests positive for COVID-19, contact tracing determines who else may have been exposed to the virus. This helps ensure you don't unknowingly spread the disease to others. If it’s possible that you were exposed to COVID-19, a contact tracer may reach out to you to assess your risk and provide recommendations on testing, self-isolation or quarantine. The college will be engaging in proactive strategies to facilitate contact tracing via a smartphone app, which you will hear more about soon.
- Testing. Periodic diagnostic testing will be required for all students, faculty and staff returning to campus. A robust testing program will allow the College to keep a close eye on infections that may be occurring on campus, and facilitate a quick response to prevent community spread. This testing will also inform Public Health Protocols on campus. Don’t worry, the molecular diagnostic test is quick, simple and painless.
- Vaccinations. Beginning fall 2020, all members of the Albion community will be required to have a flu vaccination unless a waiver is approved. The County Health Department will provide on-campus immunizations when the vaccine is available.
While some of these practices will require change to our on-campus experience, we recognize that this is what’s required of us to continue to operate in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
What housing changes can I expect in the fall in order to accommodate safe physical (social) distancing?
Student involvement and support is essential to provide a safe and healthy living environment and to keep as much physical distancing as possible to have a safe and successful semester. Along with the health personal hygiene steps laid out above, the following adjustments have been made to residential spaces on campus:
- Lofting or bunking beds or moving furniture will not be permitted in most student rooms to ensure appropriate physical distancing.
- Furniture in the main/larger residence hall lobbies/lounges will be reduced to allow small groups of students to physically (socially) distance.
- Smaller residence hall study lounges will be off-line.
- Computer labs will be off-line in Wesley, Seaton, Whitehouse, Mitchell Towers Halls.
- Kitchenettes in Wesley, Seaton, Whitehouse, Mitchell Towers Halls will be off-line.
- Laundry rooms in Residential buildings will have designated washers and dryers off-line to ensure distancing in these spaces.
How will movement around campus buildings be adjusted to accommodate physical/social distancing for Fall Semester?
- Entrances to buildings will have signs as reminders for physical distancing to stop the spread of COVID-19.
- Students should not hold open or prop open exterior doors to admit others.
- After entering a building, residents should sanitize their hands at the nearest sanitizer station.
- Follow all signage and physical/social distancing guidelines throughout the building.
- When inside residential buildings, please keep to the right in stairwells and hallways and make every effort to maintain 6 feet of distancing.
What activities will occur in the residence halls?
Residential Life staff will work to create an environment where social engagement is possible while practicing physical (social) distancing and other health measures. As mentioned above, within your “clustered” family living unit, residents will create and honor expectations for living in a shared space. The Residential Life staff will provide guidance and direction for each “clustered” family living unit in all residence halls, apartments and fraternity houses with the goal of ensuring a sense of both security and comfort in the living unit.
The Residential Life Staff are planning for specific events and programs to develop communities by “clustered” family living units that include a combination of virtual and in-person activities.
Am I allowed to have guests and visitors?
Albion College will not allow guests or visitors, including overnight guests, from outside of the College in any residential facilities, including apartments and fraternity houses, for the Fall 2020 semester. This and all regulations related to health and safety will be reviewed prior to the beginning of the spring 2021 semester, and modifications may be made if it is deemed safe to do so.
Residents will only be allowed to host in their assigned rooms, suites, or apartments where fellow residents are living in close proximity ( “pod or cluster family living unit”). The wearing of masks/face coverings will be required in assigned rooms, suites, or apartments during such times.
What items should I bring to campus?
Students enjoy having many personal items and amenities in the rooms and apartments to make these spaces feel more like home. Given that students will be living and learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, we strongly encourage all students to bring the following items to support your health and safety.
- Personal protective equipment - at least seven washable face-covering/masks (one for each day of the week) or disposable masks if you have access
- Bathroom toiletries - especially soap for frequent hand washing; extra toilet paper for suite and apartment-style housing
- Hand sanitizer - for your room and to carry with you outside of your room
- Laundry supplies - as you will want to wash your clothing and bedding frequently
- Cleaning supplies - paper towels, disinfectant wipes, disinfectant/cleaning products to regularly clean your room, suite bathroom, or apartment
- Facial tissues
- Wastebasket and liners for disposing of used cleaning supplies and personal hygiene items in your room
- Medicine - over the counter and your prescribed medications
- School supplies
- Laptop, tablet - electronic instruments that have visual and audio capabilities for participating in Google or Zoom meetings for classes and student organization meetings and activities
- Personal chargers for electronic instruments
- Umbrella, boots, raincoat and warm winter outerwear
- Extra glasses/contacts
- Personal health insurance card
- Items needed for on-campus student employment (personal ID such as driver’s license, birth certificate and social security card)
Why can’t I bring large personal items to campus during COVID-19?
The College is anticipating that in the event of a surge of COVID-19 cases in Michigan, the Governor may issue Executive Orders that require students to leave campus relatively quickly, as happened this past Spring Semester 2020. If this occurs, it will be easier for students to leave if they do not have to arrange for large items to also be moved, especially if there are also restrictions to travel that would prevent others from coming to campus to assist with the move-out. process. In addition, more furniture and other items in student rooms will make physical distancing more challenging for room occupants. For these reasons, the College is setting limitations on what students can have in their residence hall rooms, fraternity rooms, suites, and apartments. The College wants students to only bring what they need for the fall 2020 semester.
Listed below are items that students are prohibited from bringing to campus this fall.
- Large screen TVs
- Multiple refrigerators
- Multiple microwaves
- Personal exercise equipment
- Large chairs
- Coffee tables and other large tables
- Wall to wall floor coverings
- Other furniture or large items that cannot be moved by one person and would be difficult to move out in the event that the residential buildings need to be closed.
The College recommends that roommates communicate and agree to share items such as microwaves and refrigerators, and also share in the cleaning and sanitizing of these and all items in their residential space.
How are residential buildings being cleaned?
The campus sanitizing plan has been developed to provide a safe re-entry of students to campus residential spaces and a plan for maintaining a safe and sanitized environment throughout the academic year. A contingency plan has also been created in the event a case of COVID-19 is confirmed on campus. Our custodial contractor ABM has provided essential information on best practices and recommendations on the levels and frequency of sanitization to provide a safe, clean and sanitized campus. The cleaning protocols in place follow the recommendations and processes developed by ABM for their entire international organization. These protocols meet or exceed the CDC cleaning and disinfecting guidelines.
How will living on campus affect me if I have a disability accommodation request?
Students who have a disability that require special housing, transportation, academic-related, or other accommodations must contact Disability Services by emailing Dr. Pam Schwartz at or calling 517/629-0825. She will work with the Office of Residential Life, Campus Safety and the Provost’s Office to provide the appropriate accommodations.
What will happen if my roommate or I have COVID-19 symptoms or test positive for COVID-19 while living on campus?
The College has designated spaces for quarantine and a process for isolation, which includes minimally shared bathroom access, delivery of meals, laundry availability and the opportunity to continue course work remotely while in quarantine. Please become familiar with the following procedures:
- Students with symptoms of COVID-19 should go to the Oaklawn Express Care clinic to be tested for the virus.
- Students with symptoms who are waiting for test results will be moved to a designated quarantine space to limit their exposure to others and reduce the chance that they spread COVID-19 on campus.
- Students with symptoms who test negative for COVID-19 will be required to remain in the quarantine space for at least seven days after their symptoms are gone.
- Students who test positive for COVID-19 will be required to move to a designated isolation space on campus and remain there until health officials determine that they are no longer contagious or they test negative for COVID-19.
- Roommates of students with symptoms of COVID-19 or who have tested positive will be required to move to a designated quarantine space and remain there for 14 days.
- Students in quarantine or isolation will report their symptoms daily to a Student Health Services staff member.
- Students in quarantine and isolation will attend classes virtually. Meals, cleaning supplies and other support will be provided for students while they are residing in quarantine or isolation space.
Please note that all of the above procedures are subject to change based on the guidance and directives the College receives from health officials or other medical professionals for responding to students who have been exposed to or have contracted COVID-19.
As a residential college, we value eating together as a community, and we are working to keep that available and safe for all. Recently, the College partnered with a new dining vendor, Metz Culinary Management. This company has a large footprint in higher education, K-12, hospital and corporate dining as well as through restaurants that they own and operate. We’re particularly excited about the potential for more food venues around campus, more variety in cuisine, more developmental opportunities for students who work in food service (including the potential to collaborate on a culinary certificate in the future) and new ways to contribute to our growing collaboration with the local community.
Similar to the Spring 2020 semester, dining setup and accommodations will be provided based on State of Michigan Executive Orders. Robust cleaning and sanitation will also be conducted in all campus food venues. As we continue to plan for Metz engagement on campus, they are already preparing services centered around COVID-19. We will share more information as the transition begins in earnest over the next few weeks. Please visit Albion College - Metz Dining Services Frequently Asked Questions.