Undergraduate Access to Campus

July 30, 2020
Dear Colleagues,
 
We are preparing for a fall semester unlike any we have previously encountered. Over the past several months, we have engaged hundreds of colleagues in considering how best to return to campus, with the health and safety of our community as our primary consideration. Now, as our planning goes into practice, we need your help to implement new procedures.Our campus will look very different this fall. The majority of our undergraduates will not be living on campus and all instruction will be conducted remotely. Student access to physical facilities will be very limited. Students who live on-campus will be required to undergo high cadence viral testing and faculty and staff who come to campus will be required to follow enhanced safety measures as well.
 
We believe we can open campus in accordance with our announced plan, but must do so cautiously and in a phased approach. This will enable our campus community to gain experience with Harvard’s required public health practices and to monitor key indicators to judge the effectiveness of our approach in containing the spread of the virus. Our ability to expand on-campus opportunities and access for students later in the semester, something we aspire to do, will be determined by our ability to open successfully at the beginning of the term. Building on the information we shared on July 6, we are writing today to provide more details so that you can help communicate our shared priorities and approach to students who may contact you directly.
 
Dining Halls and Dormitories

We expect to welcome to campus most first-year students and a small number of upper-level students whose learning environment necessitates they return to campus in order to learn successfully. Students living on-campus will have access to only their assigned dormitory and dining hall. Students living off-campus will not have access to any dormitories or dining halls. 
 
Classrooms, Laboratories, and Libraries
Most students will not have access to physical learning spaces, including classrooms, laboratories, and libraries. A few exceptions have been granted. All undergraduate students were invited to submit a Learning Environment Questionnaire if they believed they did not have the needed conditions to learn successfully in their current environment. A committee reviewed these questionnaires to determine what, if any, follow-up might be necessary, including providing needed technology equipment for remote learning and inviting some students to return to campus. A number of students were approved to return to campus in order to access resources for the successful completion of senior theses. All requests from students who stated that they had a need to be on-campus for a senior thesis were vetted by the Directors of Undergraduate Studies of the relevant department and were approved by the committee if the department approved the request.
 
Athletic and Performing Arts Facilities
Large performances, competitions, and other gatherings are prohibited. The Ivy League has canceled all competition for the fall semester. While we hope to make some performing art and recreational facilities available to students later this term, we are unable to do so at this time.
 
Student Employment
Faculty members may continue to employ registered students as in the past. However, all student employment must be completed remotely. We need your help in creating remote opportunities for students and ensuring that everyone abides by our de-densification plans. The Student Employment Office can provide best practices and other information about creating remote student employment opportunities (seoweb@fas.harvard.edu). In accordance with our normal policies, students who take a leave of absence are not eligible for student employment.
 
As was announced in our fall plan, students receiving financial aid have been relieved of the term-time work expectation in the fall, replacing it with scholarship in the calculation of their financial aid award.
 
While placing these restrictions on campus access will be challenging, we believe they are necessary for the health and safety of our students and our community. Thank you in advance for your partnership in these efforts.
 
Sincerely,
 
Claudine Gay
Edgerley Family Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences
 
Rakesh Khurana
Danoff Dean of Harvard College