FAQ Index

  1. Academic calendar and schedule
    1. What will the break schedule be?
    2. I am a senior; with the changes in schedule, will I still graduate on time?
    3. I had planned to take a class that requires a lab; will I still be able to take it?
    4. Will we still have Interim in January?
    5. How does this revised schedule impact spring semester?
    6. Will the grading policy for drops and S/U and P/N courses change?
    7. What is the plan if we leave campus at the end of fall semester and then can’t return?
    8. Will class schedules and locations change?
    9. Will any of the classes be online? I am a high-risk student, can I take the classes online if offered?
    10. Will off-campus study be an option for Interim?
  2. Faculty and staff returning to campus
    1. When can I return to campus?
    2. What campus buildings will I have access to?
    3. Will campus services such as the Post Office, Print Store, Bookstore, and the Cage be open to faculty and staff?
    4. Will Skoglund be open for faculty and staff to exercise?
    5. I’m traveling outside of Minnesota in early August — will I have to quarantine if I do?
    6. I’m planning to travel — will I have to self-quarantine if I do?
    7. Do I need to sign the Community pledge?
  3. New students moving to campus
    1. When can I move into my residence hall?
    2. In previous years, there has been the option to attend Drop-off/Drop-by, the Friday before moving in on Saturday — will there be that option this year?
    3. Can my family help me move in?
    4. Will there be an orientation program for first-year students?
    5. My family didn’t have a chance to visit campus yet, could we stop by sometime this summer, prior to our scheduled move in date?
    6. How will returning to campus work for international students who are traveling to St. Olaf from outside of the U.S.?
    7. Which hotels do you recommend for pre-moving in?
    8. I’m a new first-year or transfer student. May I defer my enrollment to February 2021 or September 2021 because of the changes to the fall semester?
  4. Returning students moving to campus and move-in guidelines 
    1. When can I move into my residence hall or honor house?
    2. How will move-in be structured to reduce risk?
    3. What if I’m unable to return to campus early because I can’t arrange travel plans on short notice or I’m committed to a job or internship beyond August 20?
    4. Will campus services such as the Post Office, Print Store, Bookstore, the Cage, and Stav be fully open to students?
    5. Some students will be living at hotels this year; how will move-in work for those students and how will they get to campus?
    6. How will returning to campus work for international students who are traveling to St. Olaf from outside of the U.S.?
    7. Will students be permitted to stay on campus during the extended winter break, particularly if they don’t have anywhere else to go?
  5. Events
    1. My department or organization had events planned for the fall semester. How does this impact those events?
    2. Will the college hold routine in-person events like Daily Chapel?
    3. Can I plan events for the fall? What are the guidelines and processes for planning events?
    4. What resources are available to support virtual events?
    5. Will large campus events still take place (e.g., Homecoming and Family Weekend, Christmas Festival)?
    6. What are the limits on crowds and gatherings?
    7. Are off-campus events going to be held? How will we approach alumni events, etc.?
  6. Visiting and coming to and from campus
    1. Will prospective students be able to visit campus?
    2. Will the campus be open to the general public?
    3. Will students, faculty, and staff be allowed to attend off-campus events and then return immediately to campus? Will we take into consideration whether these events are held in areas with COVID-19 outbreaks?
    4. Can students travel away from campus on the weekends?
  7. Student orgs and co-curricular activities (athletics, ensembles, etc.)
    1. Will varsity sports and athletics practice and compete this fall?
    2. What recreational activities, intramural, and club sports will be available?
    3. Will music ensembles be able to rehearse and perform? What about choral ensembles in particular?
    4. Will my student organization be allowed to program? What are the guidelines and restrictions for student organizations?
  8. HR policies and employee concerns
    1. What steps do I need to take if I need a high risk accommodation?
    2. Is there required training or other steps I need to take if I have been approved by my supervisor to return to campus?
    3. If I see a faculty or staff member who is not adhering to the policies and community pledge, what should I do?
    4. What do I do if I am sick or someone in my household becomes sick?
    5. What do I need to know if I am working remotely?
    6. If I’m working remotely, do I still need to report my daily health status?
    7. How can I find out more information about downloading and using the ProtectWell app?
    8. How would an employee be paid during a need for self-quarantine for 14 days, due to their own, or their family member’s, exposure to someone with COVID-19?
    9. Will I get paid if I become ill or need to self-isolate after being exposed to COVID-19?
    10. Does our health insurance plan cover COVID-19 testing?
    11. What is the expectation for employees whose children are unable to return to daycare or school?
    12. When will Summer Hours end?
    13. Will Labor Day remain a college-paid holiday?
    14. Many school districts, including the Northfield School District have not decided how K – 12 classes will be taught. Is St. Olaf making any special childcare arrangements to try to accommodate employees who may be impacted by later school district decisions?
  9. Prevention practices (physical distancing, face coverings, etc.)
    1. Are face coverings required at all times on campus?
    2. If I cannot wear a mask for health reasons, what should I do?
    3. What will the safety practices be for food venues on campus (Stav, King’s Dining Room, The Pause, The Cage)?
    4. What safety practices will be in place during classes?
    5. What will the practices be for residence halls and honor houses?
    6. What will the practices be for non-residential campus buildings (Buntrock, Tomson, Regents, etc.)?
    7. Will there be changes to spaces (e.g., use of plexiglass) and different cleaning protocols for campus buildings?
    8. Will Skoglund be open for students to exercise?
  10. Safety and well-being (monitoring, isolation, testing, mental health, wellness, etc.)
    1. If I’m a student living on campus and start to feel sick, what should I do?
    2. Do I have to go home if I get sick?
    3. What physical health resources are available? Will there be additional resources available?
    4. When will students be isolated? Where on campus will they isolate?
    5. My roommate/classmate/colleague seems sick — what should I do?
    6. How will COVID-19 testing and contact tracing be handled on campus? And will I need to pay for it?
    7. What will the procedure be if there is a COVID-19 outbreak on campus?
    8. What mental health resources are available?
    9. In what situation would St. Olaf need to send students home/transition back to remote learning?
  11. Student policies and compliance
    1. Will students be allowed to leave campus to socialize or work in surrounding communities? Do they need to take safety precautions upon their return?
    2. Will students be able to complete off-campus academic internships?
    3. What if off-campus study or work experience is required for my degree?
    4. Will students be allowed to travel and return to campus? Do they need to take safety precautions upon their return?
    5. If I see a student who is not adhering to the policies and community pledge, what should I do?
    6. Can I bring a car to campus if I am living in a hotel? Do I have to pay for a parking pass? Will there be enough parking?
    7. Do I need to sign the Community pledge?
  12. Financial aid, student work, student accounts, and registrar
    1. If some classes or parts of classes are held online, will the tuition remain the same?
    2. Will the college address additional financial burdens for international students and others?
    3. Will work study opportunities be offered on campus this academic year?
    4. Who can work in-person?
    5. Who can work remotely?
    6. Are there students who cannot work this year?
    7. Will off-campus work study opportunities be offered this academic year?
    8. What if I have to make a change to my class schedule? Will the Registrar’s Office in Tomson be open?
    9. If St. Olaf decides it is no longer safe for students to reside on campus, what will happen to my charges?
  13. Student support non-health related (Piper Center, Center for Advising and Academic Support (CAAS), Taylor Center)
    1. Will I be able to meet in person with various advisors and staff members for career coaching, academic support, tutoring, etc.?
    2. Will the Piper Center be open for students?
    3. Will the Taylor Center be open for students?
  14. Study abroad and off campus study programs
    1. Will the college offer any study abroad programs? If so, will participants need to take certain steps before they’re allowed to return to campus?
    2. Will I be allowed to travel for conferences or other work for the college? Will participants need to take certain steps before they’re allowed to return to campus?
  15. Testing and contact tracing
    1. What is quarantine?
    2. What is isolation?
    3. How and when will the College administer “baseline testing?”
    4. How will we be tested for COVID-19?
    5. I don’t want to be tested or I already have COVID-19 antibodies, do I really need to be tested?
    6. How long will students be required to quarantine on campus after arriving in August?
    7. Will testing be administered throughout the school year?
    8. How will the college report the number of positive cases to the campus community?
    9. What should I do if someone I have been in contact with tests positive for COVID-19?
    10. When will students be isolated? Where on campus will they isolate?
    11. When can a student be removed from isolation?
    12. Who is being tested?
    13. What test are we using?
    14. When can I expect results?
    15. What if I test positive?
    16. What happens with results?
    17. Why did I have to sign an informed consent form prior to testing?
  16. International Students
    1. I am an incoming international student. When can I come to campus?
    2. What if I’m a new student who can’t get their visa on time, or otherwise make it to campus by September 13th, 2020?
    3. Can my classes just be online?
    4. What if I’m an international student living on campus and classes transition to only online, as they did in Spring 2020?
    5. Who can I talk to directly if I have questions about my plans for the fall as an international student?
  17. Music
    1. How will lessons for wind instruments be conducted?
    2. How will lessons for vocal music be conducted?
    3. Where will musicians rehearse?
    4. Will music ensembles be able to rehearse and perform? What about choral ensembles in particular?
    5. Has the St. Olaf Christmas Festival been cancelled?
    6. What about my music scholarship?
    7. Will ventilation be an issue in CHM and HOM?
  18. Face Masks & Face Shields
    1. When and where must I wear my face mask?
    2. How do I wear my face mask properly?
    3. Are single-use disposable face masks ok to use?
    4. What face mask materials should I consider for reusable masks?
    5. Can the face mask have exhalation valves or vents?
    6. How often should I wash my reusable face mask?
    7. How many face masks should I have with me during the day?
    8. How many face masks should I own?
    9. What are some guidelines for handling face masks?
    10. Are religious face coverings acceptable as a face mask?
    11. Who is exempt from wearing a face mask?
    12. If I can not wear a face mask for health reasons what should I do?
    13. Is a face shield the equivalent of a face mask?
    14. Can I wear a face shield instead of a face mask?
    15. Are there times when I can wear a face shield instead of a face mask?
    16. Are there circumstances when I may need to wear a face mask AND a face shield?