Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this semester will look a little bit different at Ripon College. Our largest concern is the safety of everyone on our campus. We understand there will be several questions regarding everyone’s return, and we’ve done our best to answer some of our frequently asked questions. You can get started by picking from one of the following categories:
- Self-screening/COVID-19 symptoms
- Student Life
If you aren’t sure which category to choose, please scroll through the FAQs below. If you can’t find the answer you’re looking for below, please call 920-748-8351. Let’s have a safe semester together!
Are there different scenarios for operations, given current COVID-19 activity?
Yes. We have adopted a Green/Yellow/Red framework that will allow us to have flexibility should positive cases occur on campus.
How will the campus community be made aware of COVID-19 cases on campus?
We will update a community dashboard on a weekly basis with current COVID-19 data, including the number of active cases, percentage of isolation and quarantine beds in use, and current campus planning phase.
What is the College’s mask policy?
Cloth masks or approved face coverings are required in all indoor spaces and in outdoor spaces where 6 feet of physical distance cannot be maintained. The full policy, which includes more details about possible exceptions, can be found here.
What cleaning precautions will we be taking?
Housekeeping and college staff will be cleaning and disinfecting (one step better than sanitizing) each facility daily. We are disinfecting each classroom in between every class using electrostatic technology. We are disinfecting high-touch surfaces three times a day and restrooms and showers at least twice a day. Over the next few months, we will be installing needlepoint plasma technology that purifies the air and builds ions in the air that actively attack the coronavirus, kills it and makes it heavier than air so it drops to the ground. We are utilizing proactive and reactive technology to maintain a clean and healthy environment.
Will college-sanctioned travel for employees or on-campus visitors be allowed?
No college-sanctioned travel will be allowed except with pre-approval of your vice president. It is possible to have on-campus visitors for admissions and essential third-party vendors. All other visitors to campus are strongly discouraged.
Will campus events be open to the community?
All on-campus events, including classes and other meetings, are restricted to currently enrolled students, faculty and staff. Events like Catalyst Day will be held online and will be available for parents and the community to view virtually.
Do I have to monitor and report my symptoms every day?
The CDC and the Fond du Lac County Health Department recommend the use of daily self-screening as an important tool in preventing the spread of the coronavirus. In the Campus Community Pledge, all members of our community asserted that they would monitor symptoms on a daily basis.
In order to make that process easier and to ensure that community members are symptom free before entering certain buildings, Ripon College has adopted the #CampusClear app, which can be downloaded to your smartphone or can be accessed via a web browser. You can access #CampusClear in your app store on your mobile device, or by following the links below:
More information can be found on the Reunite Ripon tab of my.ripon.edu. The #CampusClear interface is a daily single question asking you to enter any symptoms you may have or to certify that you are symptom free. If you are symptom free, you will be given a FastPass for the day that can be shown to gain access to Pickard Commons and Willmore Center. If you are not symptom free, you will be given instructions as to how to proceed.
What should I do if I suspect I have COVID-19?
If you are a student, we ask that you call Health Services at 920-748-8141. For any call that needs to be made after hours, please call Ripon Medical Center at 920-748-3101. A healthcare provider will give you instructions on how to proceed. If you are a faculty or staff member, please contact your local health provider.
Will students be allowed to travel off-campus for college-sponsored programs or activities?
College-sponsored off-campus trips involving groups of students traveling together in vans or buses are generally prohibited for the fall semester 2020.
Organizations and faculty members may request an exception to this prohibition. Exceptions must be granted by either the Dean of Students (for student groups or Student Life needs) or the Dean of Faculty (for class field study or trips). Requests for exceptions must be made at least seven days in advance of the planned trip.
Will I be permitted to leave campus?
The College strongly discourages travel off campus during the fall semester. We understand that extraordinary circumstances may arise. The College asks community members to carefully consider the potential impact of personal travel, especially over weekends, on individual and community health.
In addition, some states or local governments have implemented travel restrictions that must be followed. These restrictions include stay-at-home or shelter-in-place orders, mandated quarantine upon arrival and possible state border closures. For up-to-date information and travel guidance, check the website for state or local health departments where you are, along your route, and at your planned destination.
Will visitors and outside speakers be allowed on campus?
Visitors will be significantly limited on campus. Events with outside speakers are expected to be held remotely.
Can I opt out of the meal plan?
The meal plan is required unless you have been released through an accommodation.
Will kitchens be available in the residence halls?
Yes, we expect that kitchens will continue to be available in residence halls, with some modifications.
Will students be able to eat together in the dining halls?
Yes. Campus dining spaces are set up to accommodate physical distancing. Students will be assigned a time for eating lunch to limit the number of people in Pickard Commons at one time.
What will campus dining be like this fall?
As of July 2020, Ripon College is under contract with SAGE Dining Services. Over the course of the past few months, the administration has been working hard to ensure a smooth and healthy transition. SAGE will provide a variety of fresh grab-and-go and hot meal options for campus this fall. Physical distancing and structured eating times will be enforced to ensure the safety and health of SAGE employees, students, faculty and staff. SAGE’s welcome, health and safety information can be found in the Reunite Ripon section of the portal.
Am I required to quarantine at home before coming to campus?
We strongly encourage students to self-quarantine at home for seven days before coming to campus. The most important behaviors to practice prior to returning to campus and upon return to campus are wearing a face mask, washing hands thoroughly and often, monitoring symptoms daily, and practicing physical distancing. These behavioral expectations are clearly articulated in the Community Health Pledge, which all on-campus students, faculty and staff were required to sign by Aug. 10.
When should I plan to arrive on campus?
Move-in for the general student population will begin on Friday, Aug. 14. Students have been assigned staggered move-in dates and times and should refer to their ripon.edu email for instructions. If you have questions or concerns, please direct them to Mark Nicklaus, director of Residence Life, at [email protected]
Will I be required to quarantine upon arrival in Wisconsin?
We will follow all federal and state rules regarding quarantine. As of Aug. 10, Wisconsin does not have any travel restrictions for those coming from other states.
Will I be required to quarantine right when I get to campus?
Unless a student has tested positive for COVID-19, students will not be required to quarantine upon arrival.
If you have tested positive for COVID-19, please contact Campus Health Services at 920-748-8141 for further direction. If you are currently in your isolation period, as directed by your county health department, you should not come to campus until you are cleared by a healthcare professional.
Am I required to get a COVID-19 test prior to coming to campus?
We will not ask students to test prior to arriving on campus.
Can my parents accompany me on move-in day?
We are asking each student to bring no more than two move-in helpers with them. This will help us cut down on traffic in building entrances, stairwells and hallways and, again, allow for better social distancing.
Will isolation housing be available for students who test positive for COVID-19?
Students who test positive for COVID-19 will be encouraged to isolate at their homes, but there are a number of isolation rooms with private bathrooms available on-campus.
When will students be required to quarantine?
Students who have had direct exposure to a positive case but have not yet had a confirmed test themselves. This would include students who are awaiting testing results.
How many students will be allowed in a room at one time?
The maximum number of people allowed in student rooms INCLUDING the occupants is:
- 4 people for a standard double room (including double-as-single rooms)
- 3 people for a designed single room
- 8 people for a suite (spread out throughout suite to comply with physical distancing)
- 8 people for an apartment (spread out throughout the apartment to comply with physical distancing)
Will students be required to wear a mask in residence halls?
Yes. Students within an assigned living space are considered a “family unit” and masks do not need to be worn in this area.
Am I permitted to have visitors in my on-campus residence?
We strongly discourage students from inviting outside guests to campus.
Will the daily course schedule change?
The daily schedule of classes has been modified to reduce crowding during passing times and during lunch, when safe food service will be under the most pressure. Students will be given assigned lunch periods, which will appear in their course schedule along with their classes.
How do I find out which courses are online and which are face-to-face?
All students are likely to have courses in a variety of formats, whether fully online, face-to-face in a classroom, or in a hybrid style with some face-to-face and some online components.
Students have access to this information both on a full Schedule of Courses on MyRipon and on their own personal course schedules by Aug. 7. For fully online courses, they will also see a notation about whether the course is synchronous, asynchronous, or a combination (see 3.).
What does it mean for a course to be “online,” “hybrid” or “face-to-face”?
“Online” — this is a fully online course; neither the student nor the instructor would need to be on campus at any time during the semester to complete the course. An online course may be offered in several ways:
- Synchronous — the course meets “live” during the scheduled class period (on Zoom, for instance)
- Asynchronous — students complete activities and assignments on their own time, meeting deadlines set by the instructor.
- Combination — the course involves some “live” meetings during the class period and some activities done on the student’s own time.
- “Hybrid” — this kind of course may come in different varieties but involves both some face-to-face time and some online components. Therefore, students will need to be on campus to participate in a hybrid course.
- “Face-to-face” — a traditional Ripon class, in which students and the instructor meet on class days in a classroom.
How did the College decide which courses are fully online and which will meet in person?
The College’s goal was to have an appropriate mix of course options for the fall. Decisions also were made based on social distancing guidelines for classrooms that had an impact on space constraints and availability. Finally, faculty were given the choice to determine the modality that best suited their courses.
What if I am concerned about being on campus and want all online courses?
Students who wish to make changes to their schedules should contact their academic advisors or the Office of the Registrar Office. The Offic de of the Registrar will process adds/drops through email communication.
Ripon College is not able to offer all courses in both an online and a face-to-face format. However, students wishing to pursue a fully online schedule should consult with their academic advisors and the Registrar.
Would a course ever switch to a different format during the semester?
There are cases in which a F2F or hybrid course might need to become a fully online course during the semester:
- The Dean of Faculty asks the instructor to move the course fully online (perhaps temporarily) because multiple students in the course are in self-quarantine or isolation, or COVID-19 interferes with in-person instruction in other ways.
- The instructor needs to move the course fully online because of self-quarantine or diagnosis, or wishes to move the course fully online for other reasons.
- The entire campus switches to remote learning, as we did in March 2020.
Will there be health and safety precautions in classrooms?
Yes. The Plant Department has established safe physical distancing for every classroom. Classroom capacities have been reduced, and seating has been arranged to allow for 6 feet of distance between occupants. Classroom doors will be kept open to allow for better ventilation. The Plant Department will sanitize classrooms between uses with a hydrostatic cleaner.
Students are asked to choose a seat in their classes during the first week and then to stay in that same seat throughout the semester. Faculty have been encouraged to keep seating charts for their classes, in case they might be needed for contact tracing.
How do I continue my classwork if I have to self-quarantine or isolate?
Faculty will have flexible attendance policies and will make arrangements for students to complete assignments who miss class time because of illness, self-quarantine and/or isolation. Continuity of instruction for all students is important. Faculty are not obligated to live-stream face-to-face class sessions for students who are unable to be in the classroom.
Will any Ripon team compete during the fall semester?
No. Ripon will not be competing in any sport through Dec. 31, 2020, as per the decision of the Midwest Conference.
When will students know if fall and winter teams can compete in the spring semester?
Ripon College administration, the Midwest Conference and the NCAA will work together to consider spring semester sports. The Midwest Conference’s COVID-19 working group will be meeting regularly throughout the fall to discuss spring sports. As soon as information is ready to share, we will update students and families.
Will Willmore Center remain open this fall?
Yes. In accordance with campus, local, state and federal guidelines, new health and safety protocols will be implemented that allow for the Ripon community to continue to stay active. This will include room capacity limits, spacing of equipment, enhanced cleaning protocolsbecause nn and requirements for physical distancing and masking. Facility schedules and guidelines will be posted as soon as they are finalized.
If I’m a senior and our fall or winter games get pushed to the spring with an adjusted schedule, how will that affect my eligibility with the NCAA?
Under NCAA rules, students will not use a season of eligibility if their team does not compete during the traditional sport season. On July 9, the NCAA issued a blanket waiver providing guidance regarding eligibility concerns for teams who play a limited number of contests, or whose seasons end prematurely. The blanket waiver states that student-athletes will not be charged with participation for the 2020-21 season if their team can complete in only 50% or fewer of the sport’s maximum contests/dates of competition becuse of the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The NCAA also approved a second blanket waiver which permits student-athletes to receive a two-semester/three-quarter extension of eligibility if the student-athlete is unable to participate in their sport during the 2020-21 academic year because of the impact of COVID-19 or if the student-athlete’s team completed in 50% or fewer of the sport’s maximum contests/dates of competition because of COVID-19. For more information on these blanket waivers, please see the NCAA press release.
Has the NCAA announced any changes to the 2020-21 sports seasons? If they cancel fall championships, will they be moved to the spring?
The NCAA Board of Governors has officially canceled Fall Championships with no consideration for them to be moved to the spring.
If I had planned to come back for a fifth year in fall 2020, will I still have eligibility left next fall?
What are the NCAA’s Core Principles for Resocialization of Collegiate Sports?
The idea of sport resocialization is predicated on a scenario of reduced or flattened infection rates. You will find full details here . The NCAA is continuing to monitor all information around COVID-19. Please continue to check the website for updates.