Five Important Things to Know About Gettysburg’s Decision to Go Online

By Benjamin Pontz, Editor-in-Chief

Gettysburg College announced earlier Monday that it will move to remote instruction for the remainder of the semester. The college has released a series of FAQ pages segmented by audience and by topic that contain several dozen questions and answers. We’ve reviewed them all, spoken to the college, and compiled this list of five important things to know.

1. Remote instruction will begin on Monday, Mar. 23.

No course work can be required to be completed this week, and online instruction will begin next week. Students should receive information from professors soon.

2. Students need to move out of campus by Saturday, Mar. 21 at 8:00 p.m.

Unless students receive a waiver from the college to stay on campus or complete a form explaining why they cannot return to campus, students will need to come back, retrieve their belongings, and surrender their keys. Residence halls will be open this week from 8:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m., and students will have three hours between the time they check in with Residence Life staff and when they must leave campus.

3. Students leaving campus will receive a partial refund of spring semester room and board, not tuition.

The college will issue a 50 percent refund for room and board charges of those students leaving campus. The refunds will be applied to student accounts by April 6, and students (including seniors, for whom a student account post is not helpful) can request retrieval of that money thereafter.

4. No decision has been made about Commencement.

Commencement is currently scheduled for Sunday, May 17. That would fall just outside of the eight-week window during which the CDC yesterday recommended restricting large public events. The college says no decision has been made at this time about whether Commencement will proceed. Get Acquainted Day, the college’s annual gathering for admitted students, also remains in flux; it is currently scheduled for Saturday, Apr. 18.

5. The college has not determined whether college employees will face reduced hours or layoffs.

“We take seriously our commitment to our employees,” a statement on the college’s website says. “The College has a long tradition of supporting its employees, and we are going to honor that tradition to the very best of our ability during these turbulent times.”


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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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