Updates to adjusted campus COVID protocols and travel: Memo from Vice President Calhoun and Dean Dolan

Fall Season in front of Nassau Hall

November 30, 2021

Dear Undergraduate Students,

As our Saturday, November 27th email noted, we’ve had a remarkably healthy and safe term. We’ve been able to achieve this in no small part thanks to your vigilance and mindfulness about the health and safety of yourselves and other members of our community.

We’re now working to address the ever-changing character of the COVID-19 virus. The new campus protocols we announced last Saturday focused on areas where we’ve seen the greatest risk, with the overarching goal of mitigating any further case surge on campus. Adjusting hasn’t been easy. We know these protocol changes have been frustrating, challenging, and even confusing.

We understand your disappointment about these changes, especially when you’re looking forward to end-of-semester gatherings and celebrations. The University’s goal is to keep our campus healthy until this surge abates. At the same time, we want to support opportunities for students to gather safely. As we read your emails over the last few days, and helped the USG leadership answer your questions, we decided to reassess and clarify some of our protocols.

Although these adjustments still mean that many of the most popular celebrations will be cancelled this semester, which we deeply regret, we do hope students can gather safely for other events. We’re grateful for our partnership with the Eating Clubs, especially, who have worked with us to keep you all healthy and safe.

Adjusted Gatherings Guidance

  • Student performing arts groups will be permitted to proceed with their already scheduled performances with the following provisions:
    • Performances must be attended by professional staff to ensure compliance with mask wearing;
    • Performers must test for COVID three times per week during public performance weeks;
    • Offstage areas must be appropriately spaced to avoid crowding.
  • From now until December 22, large-scale indoor undergraduate student social gatherings on or off campus that anticipate more than 75 people attending will be or have already been postponed or cancelled. These events are defined as gatherings, events, and meetings that are not classroom instruction, not held for academic reasons, and/or not organized or overseen by an instructor. They include (but aren’t limited to) Class and Eating Club formals, WinterFest, and large parties, including the currently scheduled Skate Night at Baker Rink.
  • Indoor undergraduate student organization social gatherings with 20 – 75 students attending must be registered at https://clever.princeton.edu. The organizations must identify and have in attendance student monitors, who will be trained by the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students (ODUS) to ensure compliance with masking and other public health rules.
  • Outdoor gatherings of no more than 100 people are permitted but must be registered at https://clever.princeton.edu. We recommend using face coverings when physical distancing is impossible. Outdoor events including 75 – 100 people must provide outdoor restroom facilities, contracted by the event’s organizers. No indoor facilities may be used as an alternative.
  • Gatherings in undergraduate student dorm rooms or suites or off-campus residences may not exceed 20 people.
  • Consequences for violating public health guidance remain the same as they have been all semester. Those who violate the rules are subject to the student disciplinary process. If found responsible, students can be sanctioned up to and including their removal from campus.

Get the Booster!

While the University doesn’t yet require the COVID-19 booster, we strongly recommend that undergraduate students get the shot as soon as possible. Similar advice has been sent to faculty and staff. As the vaccine’s efficacy begins to wane, the booster is vital to our continued good health.

The Office of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) is working with University Health Services (UHS) to increase access to the booster shot at our on-campus clinics. EHS is also completing a guide to area clinics that will provide additional resources. This page includes information that will be updated shortly.

Domestic and International Travel Update

As previously announced, the current restrictions on undergraduate personal international travel will be lifted on or after December 6. The emergence of the Omicron variant, however, has resulted in border closings and renewed entry bans that now affect certain countries; the situation remains dynamic. We strongly urge anyone considering personal international travel to weigh the risks carefully.

  • Undergraduate students departing for personal international or domestic travel between December 6 and the end of the semester should not return to campus until Wintersession housing opens January 7, 2022. (Varsity athletes should speak with their coaches about approved plans.) Meal service will begin on January 9.
  • International undergraduates who cannot or who decide not to travel home will be approved for housing during the winter break period. International undergraduates should register for winter break housing here or search for “Continuous Housing Request” through the Princeton Service Portal. The portal will be open until Friday, December 17th at 5:00 p.m.

The Global Safety & Security (GS&S) team is happy to answer your questions. Please don’t hesitate to contact them at globalsafety@princeton.edu.

Once again, we wish you good health and, we hope, good cheer, as you finish this fall semester.

W. Rochelle Calhoun, Vice President for Campus Life

Jill Dolan, Dean of the College