St. Olaf College | COVID-19

May 1, 2020 at 11:32 a.m.

To St. Olaf College studentsFrom Pamela McDowell, Associate Dean Of Students For Residence Life

Hi everyone,

I hope you are doing well and enjoying May Day! Minnesota Governor Tim Walz has extended the statewide stay-at-home order until May 18. Although the governor has increased flexibility for some businesses so long as protocols are in place to mitigate the transmission of COVID-19, the St. Olaf College campus will remain closed until May 18. We know that many of you are eager to make arrangements for a date and time to return to campus to retrieve your belongings, and need time to plan to do so.

We are implementing an appointment-based process for families to begin returning to campus on Monday, May 18, to retrieve belongings. The form to make an appointment will be available early next week, and I will send a separate message with further information as soon as you are able to sign up.

For everyone’s safety, we will be limiting the number of people returning each day to campus and the number of people allowed in each residence hall at any given time. I have outlined the process below. You must follow this process in order to be allowed to return to campus.

  • Each student will sign up for a 3-hour appointment slot to return to campus to pack and retrieve their belongings. Each student will be allowed only one time slot, and may bring one person to help pack.
  • This Tuesday, May 5, students will be sent a link to the sign-up calendar for their hall. You will login and select a time slot. You may change your appointment until the day before you are scheduled to arrive.
  • When you arrive on campus, you must check in at the front desk area of your hall.
  • If you have already returned your room key staff will be at the halls to unlock room doors.
Dates and Times:
  • Appointment times will be available daily from May 18 to June 21.
  • The 3-hour time slots you may choose from will be:
    • 9 a.m. – Noon
    • Noon – 3 p.m.
    • 3-6 p.m.
    • 6-9 p.m.

We are allowing 10 students to sign up per time slot in each residence hall — this will allow for a maximum of 20 people packing in each building at one time, which enables us to ensure appropriate social distancing.

We are assuming most students will be taking their items with them. However if you do need to store items, Residence Hall storage rooms will be open daily from 11 a.m.–12 p.m., 2–3 p.m., 5–6 p.m., and 8–9 p.m.


Students and their one designated packing partner will need to follow social distancing guidelines while on campus. Everyone returning to campus will be expected to bring and wear a cloth face covering and gloves while on campus. This is for the safety of students currently living on campus and for people returning to campus. Students will be able to access their residence hall, but all other buildings are locked and not accessible. If you need to pick up athletic equipment, please contact your coach to coordinate pick up. Holly King will be reaching out to music students about the process for picking up items from the Music Building.

We know some of you may want to say goodbye to faculty or staff mentors in person when you return to the Hill, but for the health and safety of everyone that won’t be able to be arranged.

If you have not yet filled out the form letting us know if you want your items stored or you will be returning to retrieve them, please do so this weekend.

Room draw:

We are working on room draw and will have a plan out soon. The specific room draw dates we are planning for are:

  • June 3 — Ytterboe Pods
  • June 8 — All other specials (singles, suites, triples, quads, sextets, octets)
  • June 10 — Doubles

I will provide more information in future communications, but wanted to at least provide you with an outline of the timeline for room draw.

I hope you and your family are well. Good luck with the last weeks of classes. Please let me know if you have additional questions — 0ther than about room draw  🙂  Thank you for your patience as we figure this out!