Move-in Procedure

[Last updated September 14] 


  • F&M committed to a staggered return to campus that began in mid-August.

  • Students who were sick, symptomatic, or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 were not permitted to return to campus. All students were expected to travel as directly to campus as is feasible and exercise reasonable precautions (use of face coverings, hand hygiene, as much physical distancing as possible, etc.) en route.

  • We informed students as soon as possible if there were any changes. If they were purchasing airline, bus, or train tickets, we recommended students consider travel insurance or changeable tickets, if possible.

  • Due to the extensive check-in requirements this fall, we were not able to accommodate arrivals outside of scheduled times. Individuals who arrive outside of their appointment time were not given access to their room. 

  • Students were not able to arrive earlier than the date and time scheduled. Students who needed to change their date and / or time had up to 48 hours prior to their arrival to change their appointment. 

  • Students selected a move-in date and time through an online form, based on their residential assignment. These dates were dependent on testing availability.


House Advisors (HAs) began to return to campus on August 14 for their testing, quarantine, and training. These students received specific instructions about their return. No other students were able to arrive early.

NEW STUDENTS            

August 20: Bonchek College House, Weis College House, and New College House First-Years    August 21: Brooks College House and Ware College House First-Years; all new Transfer Students


August 22-24: College Houses, Thomas Hall, Dietz Hall, Harbaugh House, Sustainability House, Wellness House, Phi Kappa Psi, 534 W. James, and college houses on College Ave (#729, 731, 733)  


  • Upon arrival in Lancaster at their selected time, students reported to the Alumni Sports and Fitness Center (ASFC) to receive a COVID-19 test. Get more information on COVID-19 testing and screening. Here, they also picked up room keys and health kits (including face coverings, a thermometer, COVID-19 handout, and other information) and then went to their assigned residence halls to move belongings into their rooms.

  • Family or friends who accompanied the student to campus were able to park at the ASFC while waiting. Bathrooms and a Welcome Area were open.

  • Only students were permitted to enter the residence hall at move-in and staff were not available to assist.

  • Handcarts and rolling carts were available to assist students with move-in. Some buildings will have elevators (not all), and one person was allowed in an elevator at a time. 

  • Immediately after moving in, students were quarantined in their rooms until their test results were received. We expected that the room quarantine would end as soon as negative testing results were received — within 72 hours was anticipated. Get more information on quarantine.


See below for answers to the following questions:

If you have a question that is not answered below, please submit it here.

How did students prepare for their return to campus?

Prior to arrival, students received health and safety educational materials, including self-screening instructions, along with important information about the F&M Pledge and the shared responsibility each individual has for the health of the whole community.

Before coming to campus, students were required to:

  • Submit ID photo online

  • Review the F&M Pledge

  • Complete health questionnaire

  • Recommended quarantine at home or in Pennsylvania or another unrestricted state for 14 days prior to arrival

  • Begin daily screening two weeks prior to returning to campus and continue to do so once they arrive on campus

  • Make a plan to depart campus by November 22 or in case of a sudden campus closure

Why was move-in staggered?

F&M committed to a staggered arrival on campus beginning in mid-August so that the number of students arriving on a given day aligned with our estimated testing capacity. In order to manage the number of students arriving on campus on a given day and conduct move-in more safely, we used a move-in reservation system in which students reserved time slots on the specified move-in dates.

Will all students be tested when they move-in and have to quarantine?

Yes. Learn more about the move-in testing process.

How did the College help students returning from states with high numbers of COVID-19 cases quarantine in accordance with Pennsylvania guidance or orders?

The Commonwealth of PA has established quarantine restrictions for travelers from certain states. We will continue to monitor the list of states with high numbers of COVID-19 cases as determined by the Pennsylvania Department of Health. Students coming from states with high numbers of COVID-19 cases as determined by the Pennsylvania Department of Health needed to quarantine for 14 days or until they received the results of their second test (we tested students again one week after their first test).

What should students bring?

Students could plan what to pack using this list

Please note that students should not bring all of their possessions to campus. We understand that decorating your dorm room is an exciting part of college, but again we ask students who want to live and learn on campus to “pack light” in case they need to relocate or vacate.

Planning your exit strategy is an essential part of arriving on campus this fall. As a reminder, if campus must close early, all students in on-campus housing will need to vacate their rooms. The College also plans to close on Sunday, November 22 for winter break and ALL students (both domestic and international) will need to leave campus and remove all items from their room. That will be far easier for students and their families if they have made judicious decisions about what to bring to campus. Learn more about winter break housing.

Were parents or family members able to help their students move into their residence halls?

No. Each student was the only one permitted in the building and needed to move in all their own belongings themselves. While we understand helping students move-in is a valued part of the college-going experience, this restriction was essential to de-densify the space, adhere to PA state guidelines for indoor capacity requirements, and limit individuals coming from quarantine states from entering residential space.

What if a student required assistance due to a physical medical need?

Students requiring assistance at move-in due to a physical medical need and who have registered with the Student Accessibility Services were permitted to have one family member or friend assist with their move-in. All individuals had to be asymptomatic, wear face coverings, and adhere to physical distancing guidelines and had to leave campus after their move-in time slot in order for the next group to arrive.

How will students who stored their belongings over the summer in Groff’s storage be able to retrieve their items?

We will have a process in place for students to retrieve items from Groff’s Storage when they move-in. Due to testing and quarantine restrictions, access to Groff’s for returning students may be limited and delayed. We encourage students with items stored with Groff’s who are able to pick up items from the storage center to do so directly before arrival.

If a student couldn't return to campus until a date closer to the start of classes, but had to quarantine due to testing or state guidelines, did they have to miss their first few days of classes?

Students were able to take their classes online until they could start attending the in-person components again.

Will there be College shuttles available from nearby transportation hubs?

Due to COVID 19, F&M did not offer College shuttles upon student arrival in the Fall of 2020. For convenience, we compiled a list of area providers who are available for hire.

The College will be offering shuttle service from campus back to PHI, BWI and MDT at the end of the semester. Check the transportation website for dates once the Fall schedule is confirmed.