College Urges Students, If Able, to Come to Campus ‘As Soon As Possible’ to Retrieve Belongings

(Photo Allyson Frantz/The Gettysburgian)

(Photo Allyson Frantz/The Gettysburgian)

By Benjamin Pontz, Editor-in-Chief

Dean of Students Julie Ramsey emailed Gettysburg College students and parents Tuesday morning with a direct message: “If you are able to travel safely and legally, come to campus as soon as possible to pick up all or some of your belongings.”

Otherwise, the college will send students a medium box of their essential belongings or continue to accept petitions to remain on campus through Wednesday, Mar. 18.

The message came a day after President Donald Trump issued new federal guidance that urged Americans not to congregate in groups of 10 or more and after Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf urged a statewide shutdown of non-essential businesses.

“In response to the communication you received yesterday, some of you have asked why we are encouraging students to come back to campus in such a short time frame, particularly now that President Trump has discouraged any groups larger than 10 people to congregate,” Ramsey’s message said. “Others of you have indicated that you feel it is unsafe or unwise to travel at this time or you are unable to return to campus by Saturday.”

Acknowledging the fluidity of the situation, Ramsey said that the college will try to remain available to students through Saturday as planned, but that may not be possible if new developments arise.

The college made no hard commitments about what will happen to items left in rooms if students are unable to return to campus or unable to take all of their belongings with them.

“Items left in your rooms will remain there until we decide on next steps,” the email said.

Hey Gettysburgians: Tell us how this news is affecting you and what questions you have for the college (anonymously if you’d like) in this web form.

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Author: Benjamin Pontz

Benjamin Pontz '20 serves as editor-in-chief of The Gettysburgian. Previously, he served as a staff writer, event coverage coordinator, news editor, and managing news editor. During his tenure, he has written more than 200 articles on topics ranging from sports to faculty meetings (which, truthfully, are not all that dissimilar). He led the team that won first place in the 2017 Keystone Press Awards for ongoing news coverage of Robert Spencer's visit to Gettysburg College, co-wrote the package of editorials that won first place in the 2018 Keystone Press Awards, and led the coverage that won both first and second place for ongoing news coverage in the 2019 competition. His review of a Sunderman Conservatory Wind Symphony concert, an ensemble in which he formerly performed, also won accolades. He has interned with "Smart Talk" at WITF in Harrisburg and with PA Post. Ben is a political science and public policy double major with a minor in music, he reads up to seven newspapers daily, and his next step is law school. Follow him on Twitter @benpontz.

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