Students - Return to Campus

Campus Life

We need your help: Students, please respond to this short survey  HERE  to gauge your campus life interests/concerns. 

Assumptions:  Face coverings and 6 feet physical distancing will be required for all activities (both indoor and outdoor gatherings).Restore Illinois Phase 4 allows groups to gather up to 50 participants. Catering and events with food may feature individually packaged foods/boxes only. Students who are not feeling well should not attend any activities under any circumstances. Symptom screening and liability waivers may be required for some high-contact activities.

Campus events:  Much like the academic delivery plan which includes in-person, virtual, and hybrid delivery, we anticipate that traditional campus life experiences will follow suit. In-person activities will have fewer than 50 participants and will meet in spaces sized appropriately for the group. Unfortunately, we will be unable to have all-campus or other large events. We encourage virtual and outdoor meetings and events when possible. CAB and Student Involvement have done an outstanding job demonstrating these flexible event options through a sampling of fall events: In-Person Grocery Bingo, Fall Fest Activities, Campus Feud, Escape Rooms and more!

Traditions that Change:  Titan traditions will change, in both major and minor ways. The Titan Carnival will be replaced with a virtual Casino Night as well as some smaller group and in-person activities. The RSO Fair will be re-tooled to allow us to promote student organizations differently by utilizing virtual and in-person hybrid experiences. We will see our successful Career Fair take shape in a different form, yet maintain our institutional focus on creating opportunities for job placement. Fraternity and sorority new member recruitment (September 9-13) will be hosted as a hybrid of activities, with a combination of virtual and in-person recruitment events. Event series like 3D: Diversity, Dialogue and Dignity and ReligiosiTEA will be facilitated both in-person and virtually. Because of the risk of spreading COVID-19 through travel, parts of Family Weekend will be held virtually in support of parents, and social aspects will be scheduled for the future, when, hopefully, a vaccine is developed. The “Big Show” that traditionally occurs in the spring will be sponsored as multiple virtual concerts and events, specifically for IWU students, with artists, performers and celebrities!

Area-specific information:  For more detailed information about specific areas of campus life, please visit the links below:

Convocations/Lectures/Panels

Theatre/Music Events

Athletic Events

Recreational Fitness/Intramurals

RSO events and meetings

Hosting events

Planning meetings

Tracking attendance at events

Additional FAQs

Events calendar:   IWU Mobile App  will continue to be your best source for campus events information. When reservations are made, planners will indicate whether the event is virtual, in-person with a location, or a hybrid.  


Housing and Dining

Background:  A residential campus is very similar in density to other residential communities that have seen high incidence for COVID-19. The fastest growing age group for COVID-19 positive cases is our college-aged demographic; however, they are also the least likely to experience severe symptoms. For all of these reasons, we are taking appropriate precautions to prioritize student well-being in our dense residential community. We also realize that physical distancing of 6 feet per person challenges both the social and residential experience for students in the residence halls and the dining spaces. 

Housing Priorities:   We are committed to the residential student experience. During the pandemic, we believe that single rooms provide the healthiest option for students, both to minimize risk and to allow isolation/recovery should a student be exposed to COVID-19. For some students, a roommate is an important source of support; because health guidelines allow roommates to be considered a “family unit”, we want to honor that relationship where we can. We have not yet finalized the reassignment process and many of the implementation details; your preferences in the supplemental housing form mentioned above and the following guidelines will help us further our decision-making for the fall semester:   

  • Single rooms:   All students living in on-campus housing will be offered single rooms.  

  • Roommates:   Students who prefer having a roommate may select one if both parties sign an "assumption of risk" waiver. Having a roommate is an option for all students (first-year students and returning students).

  • Hotels:  In order to accommodate single rooms, we are contracting with quality local hotels to house students. Contract negotiations are in progress and hotel partners will be shared as finalized. Because hotel rooms are bigger and allow for 6 feet physical distancing, hotel rooms will be double occupancy. Hotel rooms will have single baths.   Students will maintain a campus-based meal plan.
    • Transportation:  Hotels with easy access to public transportation are being explored. Ideally, students with personal transportation would elect to live in hotel-style housing. A campus parking lot will be designated a “commuter lot” for convenient parking.

  • Cost:   The standard double room rate will be charged to students assigned to a traditionally designated double room or hotel. Apartment and suite style pricing will remain the same.  

  • First-year students:  In order to support first-year students' successful college transition (academically and socially), first-year students will have priority for on-campus housing.

  • Health Expectations:  As has already been shared, face coverings, frequent hand-washing, and physical distancing will be required across campus. Face coverings will not be required in your own room, but will be expected in common residential areas, including hallways and elevators.

  • Cleaning protocols:    Our University custodians perform enhanced cleaning by cleaning and disinfecting high-traffic areas (restrooms, lobbies, lounges, breakrooms, hallways, etc.) as well as high-touch surfaces (e.g., doorknobs, door push plates, light switches, elevator buttons, handrails, and horizontal surfaces). Disinfectant cleaning products are utilized during enhanced cleaning procedures. The Physical Plant has upgraded equipment, such as electrostatic sprayers, and is using products proven to be effective against the human coronavirus to ensure the effectiveness and efficiency of cleaning on campus. We have also begun testing and using Saturated Aqueous Ozone as a safer alternative disinfectant, which has been proven to kill the coronavirus responsible for COVID-19 in less than 1 minute.

  • Students who become ill:  Students who test positive for COVID-19 will be expected to return to their home community, if reasonable to do so.  For those living on campus who cannot return home, we will provide quarantine housing. Details are still being finalized.  Students living off campus will quarantine in their apartments/houses.

  • Move-in day:  We know that you are anxious to learn about the move-in process and timing. You may bring up to two people to assist you on move-in day inside the residence halls. Face coverings will be required for anyone assisting with move-in. We will be scheduling times/days for move-in in order to accommodate the need for distancing. Details are still being determined. Please wait to schedule your travel until you receive an update on this process.  

  • Guests:  Because we will be adjusting to a new environment this fall where reducing density is critical, non-IWU student guests will be restricted in the residence halls for the first four weeks (until September 14). Optimistically, we will then return to a normal visitation policy if health/safety allows. This decision will be made based on our collective ability to effectively follow health guidelines and minimize illness on campus.  

Dining Priorities:  We appreciate the leadership of the Dining Services (Sodexo) team in bringing their expertise to providing appropriate changes to our dining program, given the health protocols required under COVID-19. We are confident that we can provide a quality dining experience for students; and, like all things COVID-19 related, things will be different from your traditional dining experience. All of our dining spaces must honor the 6 feet physical distancing requirements and occupancy reductions. Self-serve, high-touch items are prohibited in food safety protocols for restaurants and dining facilities.  

  • Meal plan flexibility:   In order to accommodate space restrictions, meal exchange will be available at all dining locations at all times for the fall semester. 
  • Dining service hours:  We will also extend service hours for lunch, dinner, and to-go options to accommodate the need for reducing density in the dining facilities. Please refer to  iwu.sodexomyway.com  for updated location information.
  • Food service changes:  Self-serve areas (salad bars, cereal stations, bread and soup stations, beverage stations, microwaves/toasters/waffle irons) have changed service delivery; staff will assist with and serve all food and beverage items. In order to comply with current public health regulations, some of these items will be pre-packaged in the dining centers; other food items /stations will be offered at limited times. To-Go containers will be an option across all locations. Service times may be slower as self service is eliminated.  
  • Employee health:  In support of employee health, plexiglass shields have been installed and masks and gloves will be required. Employee hand washing will occur every 30 minutes or as required per health regulations.
  • Student/guest health:  Hand sanitizer will be available at every entrance. Masks will be required to enter dining centers.  

Academic Planning  

Assumptions:  Given guidance from the CDC and State of Illinois, physical distancing and wearing masks will be a requirement across campus. And, the 6-feet physical distancing requirement means that classroom occupancies will be much smaller than usual. Courses may meet in atypical places or with students rotating between in-person and online attendance.  Many faculty will use a new Zoom license to safely maintain active and engaged learning through discussion, group work, office hours, etc.  Because of cleaning protocols and technology changes, we will need more time between classes; the transition has been extended from 10 to 15 minutes.

Course delivery:   Course delivery will vary. When the revised course schedule is available in late July, individual courses will be designated as in-person (P), hybrid (H), online (O), or HyFlex (F).

  • An in-person (P) course will meet in-person during all of the scheduled hours.   
  • A hybrid course (H) will implement a mixture of in-person and online activities. Students would need to participate in some in-person activities to complete the course (e.g. classroom, lab, performance, clinical, etc. activities).  
  • An online course (O) will be carried out entirely online using either synchronous pedagogy or a blend of synchronous and asynchronous pedagogy.
  • A HyFlex (F) course will be designed so that students can fully participate either in-person or remotely and switch modes as needed. A student could take the course from any location, but would have opportunities to participate in-person if living in B/N.

Students who cannot come to campus owing to health concerns or travel restrictions will need to enroll in online (O) or HyFlex (F) courses for fall 2020.

Informed by public health guidance and surveys of the campus community, we have begun the complex process of designating each course as  P,  H,  O, or  F  and identifying and configuring large spaces for in-person instruction. Thank you for your thoughtful responses to our student survey; it has helped us understand the range of students' instructional and medical needs. It is our hope that by the end of July, you will be able to revisit your fall schedule, see the mode of delivery of each course, and adjust your schedule if needed. If you anticipate needing to study completely online for fall 2020 owing to medical or travel constraints, we recommend letting your academic advisor and  academic department chair or director  know after July 20, when the course schedule information is available.

Support for teaching and learning:

Over the summer, we are expanding peer tutoring services through the new Center for Engaged Learning headquartered in The Ames Library; reconfiguring classrooms for socially distanced, in-person instruction; providing faculty opportunities to become certified online instructors; adopting a campus-wide Zoom license; and updating classroom and faculty technology for smoother online interactions. We have been inspired to hear how individual faculty and departments are responding creatively to the COVID challenges.

Questions:   You likely have many questions, some that we’ve resolved and others we are still working on. We’ve tried to anticipate a few questions below that will link to an  FAQ page  that will be regularly updated.