Traditional Undergraduate

Student FAQ

Student Frequently Asked Questions

Last updated: 8/10/2020 Updated

Dear Geneva College Community,

Geneva College is committed to the safety and well-being of our students, faculty and staff. And as we prepare to resume on-campus operations for the fall 2020 semester, the College has developed plans and guidelines for faculty and staff to ensure we are working in as safe a manner as possible amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

To support these efforts, the Campus Emergency Response Team (CERT) has developed a playbook that aligns with current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines as well as other key public health agencies. The playbook enables us to be prepared to pivot as our situation or governmental agency guidelines change.

As circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic continue to rapidly evolve, CERT will update information in the coming weeks and months ahead. For your ease in accessing this information, we are posting all current content on the Faculty & Staff hub of the COVID-19 Information Center of the website. 

Below are some of the precautionary measures we are implementing to keep our faculty and staff safe this fall:


What type of cleanliness or sanitizing protocols are expected?

Cleanliness is always expected, but during this time of a serious global pandemic, it’s more important than ever. Students are expected to clean their rooms and personal areas on a regular basis. At the same time, our Physical Plant staff is dedicated to regularly cleaning and sanitizing common areas where students, faculty and staff pass through.

Regular and appropriate hand washing is also important to help mitigate spread of the virus. (View Physician Assistant and Health Services Director Beth Carlton’s training video.) Students should use hand sanitizer, placed at high traffic areas, before and after class. Geneva also provides anti-viral wipes in all classrooms for students to clean surfaces such as desks before and after class.

Will students be expected to wear a mask or face shield?

Yes, out of care for others in our community, everyone is expected to wear a face covering such as a mask or face shield. Generally, they should be worn:

  • Indoors, unless in a private space (such as dorm room) or when seated and at least six feet from another person
  • Outdoors, when within six feet of another person

Additional specifics are identified on the website under the Face Covering Protocol.

What about room capacities and distancing?

Generally, remember to keep at least six feet distance between yourself and others whenever possible. When it’s not possible, wear a face covering.  Classroom capacity will follow PA state guidelines for higher education. Depending on COVID-19 conditions and the specific course, the Provost will determine when a class meeting needs to be conducted in a “hybrid” mode (with some students in the classroom and others working virtually from their rooms) or virtually (online with students still on campus) as the semester proceeds.e look forward next to moving into the “green” phase, in which we can once again provide face-to-face instruction and come together as a community on campus in the fall.

View Governor Tom Wolf’s color-coded phased reopening plan for more information.


What is required for people coming to campus from states with a high incidence of COVID-19?

The Governor of Pennsylvania requests that people who are coming from or who have recently visited one of the states designated as having a high incidence of COVID-19 quarantine for 14 days. In compliance with that request, we are requiring that those who have been in one of the designated states or another country prior to 14 days of coming to campus, or who have been in direct contact with someone with COVID-19, follow one of these two procedures:

  1. Take and receive a negative COVID-19 test (PCR test) before returning to campus. The PCR test must be done 7-10 days before arrival and the student must quarantine at home after the test before traveling to Genev(Suggestion: MedExpress, located in many states, conducts testing for students who need them for college.) A copy of the negative test results (PDF, photo) must be sent to at least 48 hours prior to arrival on campus.
  2. If unable to get results from a PCR test within the allotted timeframe, the student must self-quarantine for 14 days at home or off campus. If this will cause a late arrival, the student must contact the Student Success Center at as soon as possible to make appropriate classroom arrangements. There may be different instructions for International students.

Quarantine means to shelter in place to avoid being in close proximity to others and to eliminate all public outings and events, with the exclusion of church, medical or other essential appointments. (Please make sure to follow all CDC guidelines regarding hand sanitizing, social distancing and face coverings.) More information is provided by the Centers for Disease Control.

Is there anything special students should bring to campus because of COVID-19?

Yes, Director of Student Health Services Beth Carlson, PA, says that all students should come prepared with a COVID-19 Safety Kit.

The COVID-19 Safety Kit includes:

  • Thermometer
  • Tissues
  • Cough syrup
  • Tylenol (acetaminophen)
  • Advil (ibuprofen)
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Disinfecting products
  • Disinfecting wipes
  • Face coverings
  • In a plastic bag:
    • Emergency contact name and phone number
    • Copy of health insurance card
    • Name and phone number of primary care physician

Here’s Your Virtual Tool Kit: 

Email for Student Health Services:
Phone for RD on Call: 724-622-0709

Updates on Geneva Protocols and Response
Symptoms of COVID-19
Prevention Techniques
Quarantine vs. Isolation

What will move-in be like for new students (freshmen and transfers)?

We are looking forward to welcoming new students on Wednesday, August 19. Due to Pennsylvania regulations regarding physical distancing, phased reopening of residence halls, and “hot spot” states, quarantine requirements, only students are allowed into the residence halls. Family members may still come to campus and may gather with students in established locations on the grounds.

Commuter students will check in at the tent on Alumni Hall lawn from 2 p.m. - 4:45 p.m.

Residential students will check in at their assigned residence hall during their assigned one-hour move-in time slot between the hours of 9 a.m. - 4:45 p.m. Residential students will need to know their specific residence hall and room assignment to identify their move-in time slot. Housing assignments are located on myGeneva (Click Student Information > Housing Selection > My Residence Information).


How will move-in be different for returning students?

Returning students (unless given approval by Student Development to arrive earlier for a campus responsibility) may move in from Friday, August 21 through Sunday, August 23 during a two-hour time slot. This time period has to be scheduled in advance. Students click the Returning Student Move-In Sign-Up link and then select their assigned hall, and pick one date and one time to move in.

On move-in day, students must check-in at the table located at their specific hall before moving in. We will have a “Move-In Crew” available to assist with the moving of large and heavy items.

Due to the Pennsylvania state requirements regarding social distancing, phased move-in to residence halls, and state guidance regarding those traveling from “hot spot” states, we are unable to permit any guests/parents/friends into the residence halls. This is not desirable but is a critical safety measure during this pandemic. Guests are still welcome on campus and we’re created designated areas on the grounds to gather.

Are there any requirements for guests who come to campus for move-in?
  • There are designated areas for guests to be with students on campus, but guest access to buildings is very limited.
  • Remember, guests, just like students, are required to complete a health screening survey prior to arrival. The student and guest surveys can be found at the following links:
  • Masks must be worn inside all campus buildings with the exception of students in their personal residence hall rooms
  • Masks must be worn outside when less than six feet from others
  • Physical distancing must always be practiced with non-family members (six feet or greater)
  • Please use campus hand sanitizing stations and wash hands regularly.


What is the Health Screening that students are required to do daily?

The Health Screening is simple questionnaire that involves students taking their temperature and then reporting on a fever or any other Covid-19 symptoms. Students are required to complete the survey (found online) daily before leaving their room or entering campus.

If resident students answer “yes” to any of the questions, they need to stay in place and contact their Resident Advisor or the RD on Call (724-622-0709) immediately. Commuters should stay at home, contact their physician, and the RD on call.

Why might a student need to be quarantined or isolated and what is the procedure?

Geneva follows protocols from the CDC regarding quarantining and isolating:

  • Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick.
  • Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.

Students will need to self-quarantine or isolate based on responses to the daily questionnaire, symptoms, known exposure or positive test. The preferred location for students to isolate or quarantine is at home when distance allows, and when that’s not possible, Geneva will provide the resident accommodations. Those who are able to study remotely during the time of quarantine or isolation should work with the Center for Student Success at or 724-847-5566.

Will face-to-face counseling be available in the Fall?

Counseling Services will offer a hybrid variety of virtual and face-to-face appointments, as needed. In order to minimize physical contact, virtual sessions will be preferred.

To eliminate the use of the waiting room, students will check in for their appointment online and be allowed access through the front doors. Counseling Services remains dedicated to healing the whole mind and spirit, following a godly path, and welcomes new students. Those interested in scheduling a Counseling Session may schedule an appointment online.

Are Health Services still open and available to students?

Yes, a mix of face-to-face and virtual appointments will be available. Health Services is open weekdays  for prescheduled appointments, but cannot see any walk-in appointments.  Students who would like an appointment should email and provide the following information:  name, date of birth, student ID#, and reason for the visit.  Students will hear back from Health Services with an available appointment times or referral if needed.  

Students who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone who has it, should NOT go the Health Services. Instead, they should stay in place and contact their Resident Advisor or the RD on Call (724-622-0709) immediately. Commuters should stay at home, contact their physician, and also the RD on call.

I’ve heard about the Mayo Clinic Health Study. Can you tell me about it?

Geneva College has been selected as one of two campuses nationwide for a Mayo Clinic research study screening for COVID-19 antibodies. Participation in the research study is not mandatory, but elective for all students, faculty and staff. We are thankful for the opportunity to participate as a community in this Mayo Clinic COVID-19 research project and trust that most of our community members will choose to participate in the study.

Participating faculty, staff, and students will be tested when we arrive on campus and again about a month after classes start to learn more about how COVID-19 impacts college and university communities. This serological test will also screen for influenza (A and B), RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus—a common cause of bronchitis and pneumonia in infants and older adults), and seasonal coronaviruses (other than COVID-19).

The study will be conducted by Mayo Clinic, free of charge to all participants. All personal results will remain private. The College will receive aggregate data reports without personal references. Participants who receive a positive antibody result will qualify for a standard COVID-19 test covered by most insurance carriers. Dr. Gregory Poland, Distinguished Investigator of the Mayo Clinic and a member of Geneva’s COVID-19 Advisory Council is leading the research study.


What is the plan for the Fall semester schedule?

Classes begin Monday, August 24. We will work straight through the term with no Fall Break. Two Saturdays and one Wednesday evening will be used for in order to conclude on-campus course by Thanksgiving. Finals will be conducted remotely the week after Thanksgiving. To limit community exposure, aside from everyday commuting by faculty, staff, and commuters we ask all community members to avoid personal travel outside the local area to the greatest degree possible. 

What will the classroom be like?

Appropriate physical distancing will be achieved in classrooms through:

- The number of students and faculty in each classroom

- Configuration of furniture to allow for appropriate spacing – and plexiglass in front of faculty when needed

- Use of face coverings as required.

How will the classrooms be kept clean?

Physical Plant staff will thoroughly clean surfaces in classrooms daily.

Geneva will also provide sanitizing materials for students to clean their area before each class.  Students should also use hand sanitizer, which is all located in all rooms.

What if we need to return to remote education again during the semester?

We are planning our curriculum and materials to allow for a flexible mode of instruction for the foreseeable future. As we return to classroom instruction, we are simultaneously planning for remote options to support vulnerable students and staff when necessary, students in quarantine or isolation, or all students in the event that a rebound in infections require the closure of campus.


Will we still have Chapel?

Focusing on the Lord through word, prayer and song together through Chapel will remain an important part of the Geneva community experience. This fall we will move to a classroom-based, small group chapel format. The Chapel Team is working on details to reach all members of the community through a livestreamed presentation, and students will continue to be required to attend weekly throughout the semester.

What are the changes to athletics?

Athletics at Geneva will be different this year. The Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) Presidents' Council voted unanimously on the following decisions related to athletic competition this coming year,   with serious consideration to safety during this COVID-19 pandemic:

  • To postpone fall 2020 athletic competitions in the NCAA-defined "high contact" and "medium contact" sports of football, men's and women's soccer, women's volleyball and men's and women's cross country until the spring 2021 semester.
  • To move "low contact" sports of women's tennis, men's and women's golf, and outdoor at track and field will compete from the spring to this fall with conference competition only.

For updated schedule information, go to

What about programs such as The Genevans and Marching Band?

Careful thought had been put into how all programs can be executed in a safe manner –including our music programs. This also means that our musical ensembles will be doing things differently this year. There may be fewer live-audience concerts and more virtual performances. You can expect more rehearsals out of doors with much more distance between individual performers. Each director has put together protocols built on sound guidelines designed for the individual program.

How will Alex’s be different?

In order to comply with state guidelines to reduce capacity and increase physical distancing, fewer tables and chairs will used in the dining hall, and wait line expanded to allow for 6-foot distance between students.

All food will be served.  While the salad bar and buffets will be eliminated, there will still be a variety of meal options, quality food selected by Chef Tom, and seconds for those who would like them. For the ease of students on a busy schedule, we will now offer a cold grab-and-go selection as well as a hot-to-go item.

Drawings of the new traffic flow and redesigned lines and areas will be available soon.

Are you still accepting international students?

Through Crossroads, Geneva welcome students from around the world who are able to enter the US during this pandemic – or who may already be here.  We follow CDC and State Department guidelines as we care for our students. Crossroads helps to arrange international students’ travel plans so that they arrive on campus a minimum of two weeks in advance of the start of the year to allow for quarantining. Crossroads cares for a variety of the students needs, such as food delivery during quarantine, arranging shopping trips and utilizing a shuttle that allows for proper physical distancing.

Communication has been increased to let us know what’s going on. Will that continue?

Yes, continue to look for updates and news related to COVID-19 on the Geneva website.

The new enewsletters which began in Spring 2020, FYI Students, FYI Parents and FYI Alumni, will continue throughout the Fall.

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