De-densifying Campus

[Last updated September 3] 

On August 3, F&M announced that we must further de-densify our campus population during the upcoming fall term and perhaps also during the spring term. Read the announcement on de-densifying campus. 

F&M made the difficult decision to reduce the number of students in our on-campus residential halls, which primarily house first-year students and sophomores, as follows:

Fall term (Module 1 and Module 2): 
  • First-year students are living in on-campus housing

  • The sophomore cohort are required to continue remote instruction, with the exception of sophomore HAs, who are permitted to live on campus. The sophomore cohort is defined as any student who started at F&M as a first-year in fall 2019, and is NOT based on credits earned or expected graduation year.

  • The small number of sophomores who currently are approved to live in off-campus housing are still allowed to do so and attend the in-person portion of classes in which they are enrolled. 

  • New transfer students living in on-campus and off-campus housing were permitted to come as planned.

  • Juniors and seniors living in on-campus and off-campus housing were permitted to come as planned.

If conditions continue to make it necessary to have a reduced campus population in spring 2021, our plan is to then prioritize the sophomore class as follows:

Spring term (Module 3 and Module 4):
  • First-year students will be required to complete the year with remote instruction.

  • The sophomore cohort will live in on-campus housing. Sophomores approved to live in off-campus housing will still be able to do so and attend the in-person portion of classes in which they are enrolled.

  • Juniors, seniors, and transfer students living in on-campus and off-campus housing will still be able to do so.

 

FAQ

See below for answers to the following questions:

Can sophomores petition for permission to live in on-campus housing?

We will create a petition process for sophomores in such circumstances to apply for permission to live in on-campus housing. Please be aware that petition approval will be extremely limited. It is an unfortunate reality that demand to return to campus this fall considerably exceeds the number of students we can house safely in the current circumstances. For the health of all concerned, we have no choice but to strictly curtail our on-campus population.

Will sophomores be billed for room and board?

No. Students with remote learning status will not be charged room and board. 

Will the College be offering reimbursements for travel expenses already incurred by some sophomores who had been intending to return to campus?

We recognize that some sophomores may have already incurred expenses, such as airline tickets, for a return to campus. We will make reimbursement funds available and ask that you submit requests and documentation of those expenses using a form that we will send soon to sophomores affected by this decision. 

What other ways is the College de-densifying campus?

For Fall 2020, F&M is occupied at significantly lower density levels. In addition to requiring all members of the sophomore cohort (excluding HAs and those few approved to live in off-campus housing) to continue with remote instruction in the fall, a number of other students chose to continue learning remotely for personal reasons or due to travel restrictions, which also reduced our residential population. Where possible, students are housed in single rooms, and separate isolation and quarantine spaces were created. We also used the guideline of 36 sq. ft per person to de-densify the classroom, which resulted in the capacity of most classrooms being reduced by 50%. Wherever possible, employees whose presence on campus is not essential for the day-to-day operations of the College will continue to work from home.