Arcadia’s campus, quiet for the past 10 months, again was alive with the sounds and sights of students as 355 approved residential students moved into Oak Summit and residence halls—many at single bedroom occupancy—throughout the week of Jan. 17. In addition to those living on campus, an additional 600+ students were approved as commuters and can visit campus throughout the semester for coursework and supplemental programming.
“I really didn’t think we were going to make it back in person this semester,” said Environmental Journalism major Rikki Rosenthal ’21, who moved into Oak Summit last week after living with their family in Brick, N.J. since March. “It’s my last semester, so I’m excited to be able to see friends again without being scared or feeling guilty. With the weekly surveillance testing, it makes me feel more comfortable about safely socializing.”
Media and Communications major Josephine Mueller ’21 has been approved as a commuter student. She shared Rosenthal’s excitement about getting back to campus for her final semester.
“Being able to come back and see the campus again made me so happy since we all left so suddenly in March,” said Mueller, who commutes from Philadelphia. “As a senior, I want to make more memories, and I missed being able to come to campus.”
As part of campus access approval, residential and commuter students had to agree to the Community Compact, which includes wearing a mask, wiping in and out of locations, and participating in weekly surveillance testing. Additional restrictions for residential students include limiting the number of campus guests in a residence and no outside guests, as well as adhering to quarantine and isolation guidelines if needed.
“My team is thrilled to be able to welcome students back for the spring,” said Susanne Ferrin, executive director of Campus Life. “Our top two priorities are maintaining health and safety and best engaging our students safely in person and online. Our students have chosen to return to campus because they want to engage with Arcadia and what we’re all about, so it’s really exciting.”
“Some schools aren’t doing it,” said Ferrin. “We have about 990 students participating in surveillance testing weekly, which is critical to keeping our campus ‘bubble’ safe and healthy.”
Arcadia opened The Global Cafe on Jan. 25, the first day of classes, in Oak Summit so the 250 students living in the complex will have easy access to their favorite coffees and Metz products. The Cafe will offer Starbucks drinks, pizza, sandwiches, and salads.
For the spring, the University has launched a phased re-opening, which started in October with the partial re-opening of the Kuch Center to student-athletes. Some courses are being held in an All-Modes Ready format, allowing enrolled students to participate in the classroom or remotely for the same class. Additionally, some supplemental programming is available this semester to enhance courses and engage students outside the classroom. Any students participating in in-person activities are required to have approved residential or commuter status.
Some faculty and staff returned to campus as well. Those identified as very high, high, and moderate risk levels have also agreed to take part in surveillance testing and to the Employee Community Compact that was reviewed in the Employee Canvas course. Employees who qualify as low-risk, meaning they are not yet returning to campus on a regular basis, have also taken the Canvas course and agreed to the Employee Compact.