Frequently Asked Questions

We are working our way through details associated with this evolving situation as quickly as we can. Please check back frequently for new information.

Updated June 15, 2020

ADMITTED STUDENTS

ATHLETICS

CAMPUS SERVICES

EVENTS

HEALTH & SAFETY

REMOTE LEARNING

RESIDENCE LIFE

Study Abroad AND TRAVEL

Please see International Programs for current information.

TELECOMMUTING

TRAVEL

 

ADMITTED STUDENTS

Before I commit to the school, will Puget Sound be open for classes next year?
Yes! Puget Sound is a strong and stable institution, well prepared to weather the current pandemic with creativity and resilience. While the current situation requires us to modify our operations to adhere to public health guidelines, our courses continue, along with academic support services, career and employment services, and more. We look forward to welcoming the Class of 2024 to Puget Sound.

Will campus operate as normal in the fall?
We plan to welcome new and returning students to campus in the fall for 12 weeks of in-person instruction beginning August 31 followed by three weeks of remote instruction following the Thanksgiving break. Residence life, student activities, and more will continue with some restrictions and safeguards in place in adherence with public health guidelines. We will continue to plan for contingencies--including the continuation of remote learning--if needed. We anticipate receiving further guidance from the Washington state governor and public health officials in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, students can expect a challenging academic experience led by Puget Sound's faculty and complemented by a full range of academic and other support services.

I need more time to make my decision. Can I still attend Puget Sound if I don’t make my deposit by May 1?
We understand that students and families need more time to make their decisions in this uncertain environment. Our deposit deadline has been extended to June 1, which still allows time for course registration, orientation, and other activities designed to ensure a successful first year at Puget Sound.

Please see more information for prospective and admitted students on the admission website.

 

ATHLETICS

What does it mean that athletic events (practices and competitions) are "suspended?"
On March 16 the Northwest Conference (NWC) President’s Council made the decision to cancel all NWC and non-conference sport competitions and NWC championships. This decision follows both the NWC's earlier decision to suspend all sports until further notice, and the decision by the NCAA to cancel all NCAA Division III men’s and women’s winter and spring championships. See the May 26 announcement from the NWC about plans to resume athletics during the 2020-21 academic year.

Can I use athletics facilities?
Athletic camps and use of athletics facilities are canceled through the conclusion of Washington state’s Phase 2, currently anticipated to be late June or early July. We are evaluating a phased reopening with the arrival of Phase 3 within public health guidelines and will share more information as it becomes available. We look forward to welcoming student athletes to campus for the fall semester and will have more to communicate in the weeks ahead. 

CAMPUS SERVICES

Is campus open?
We continue to provide essential services on campus, but most facilities are currently closed. See the May 13 message to the campus community about current plans to reopen in alignment with guidance from Washington state.

How do I return my library books?
Please see guidance below and note that you will not be charged any overdue fees. Please direct any questions to libref@pugetsound.edu.

  • If you are not returning to campus this fall, we ask that you return your library books, inter-library loan materials and books borrowed from Summit in one of the following ways. You may return to the book drop at any time, or mail your materials via the U.S. Postal Service using the STANDARD BOOK RATE to University of Puget Sound, Collins Memorial Library, Attn: Book Returns, 1500 North Warner St. CMB-1021,Tacoma, WA, 98416. If you prefer to use Federal Express, we can make arrangements to cover the cost for you using Federal Express Economy Service.  Please contact libref@pugetsound.edu to receive information on this service.
  • If you are returning to campus this fall and have library books, you may return the books when you return to campus.
  • If you are a local student, you are more than welcome to leave the items in the book drop at any time.

EVENTS

What if I need to cancel a campus event?
Due to public health directives and to protect the safety of the campus community, in-person campus events and summer conferences that we host for outside groups have been canceled. Event organizers should consult with and notify appropriate individuals to make decisions regarding campus events and are responsible for notifying affected parties. If your event appears on the university event calendar, please email events@pugetsound.edu and indicate if your event should be marked as “canceled,” "virtual," or “postponed/to be rescheduled.”

Will Commencement be held for the classes of 2020?
 A virtual celebration was held May 16 - 17, 2020, and a formal Commencement Ceremony for the graduating classes of 2020 will be held on campus on May 16, 2021. This ceremony will be separate from the ceremony that will be held for the graduating classes of 2021. More information is available at pugetsound.edu/commencement.

Can my group reserve a space on campus?
We are not accepting reservations for use of campus space by outside groups through summer 2020.

 

HEALTH & SAFETY

How can I avoid contracting the virus?
We encourage good health practices for all members of the campus community:

  • Wash your hands frequently (for at least 20 second with soap and water; if soap and water aren’t available, use an alcohol-based solution)
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
  • Maintain social distance and wear a face covering
  • Cough into your sleeves or elbows rather than your hands
  • Stay home if you are sick; do not return until you are fever-free for 24 hours without medication; 72 hours if diagnosed with COVID-19
  • Get a flu shot (note: there is no vaccine for COVID-19)
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects 

Students who are ill with fever, cough and shortness of breath should call Counseling, Health, and Wellness Services (CHWS) at 253.879.1555 before they come in to limit exposure to others; you may be referred to an outside healthcare provider.

Those who have traveled to areas with outbreaks should be especially alert to symptoms of illness, including fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. ​Anyone visiting a high risk area (Level 3 Travel Notice) as defined by the CDC should not return to school or work for 14 days. 

What is being done to stop the spread of infection on campus? 
Any student, staff member, or faculty member who is diagnosed with COVID-19 should immediately notify CHWS at 253.879.1555.

Building Access. To encourage social distancing, building access and hours of operation have changed. This includes all campus buildings.

Facilities. Facilities Services building specialists have received additional training for sanitizing areas throughout campus, and contractors have been hired to assist with deep cleaning and increased frequency of cleaning in high impact areas. Additional cleaning supplies have been ordered, including disinfection wipes, disinfection sprays, sanitizing hand pumps, tissues, gloves, and N95 face masks. We have installed more than 100 signs across campus to remind individuals of precautions they can take to avoid contagious illness. 

Security Services. Security Services staff members are taking extra precautions to care for themselves so that they safely serve the campus community.

Campus Events. All events hosted on campus canceled, postponed or will be conducted virtually until further notice. 

Are certain populations at greater risk?
Vulnerable populations urged to take special precautions have been identified as those who are over age 60, have compromised immune systems or are pregnant. The virus does not recognize race, nationality, or ethnicity. Additional information will be available soon to assist those considered at high risk about returning to campus.

Where can students, faculty and staff members get masks?
It is recommended that individuals wear face coverings when out in public and on campus when social distancing of at least six feet is not possible. The university has provided face masks to campus community members. Learn more about wearing (or making) face masks.

We have a supply of N95 masks on campus for use by medical professionals and those who are symptomatic. Students can come into CHWS for a mask if they are coughing or sneezing and feel they can’t otherwise cover their coughs or sneezes in their elbows.

What will happen if someone on campus is suspected to have the COVID-19 virus?
The university has plans to minimize the impact of COVID-19 in the event of a suspected or diagnosed illness. Alternate housing areas have been identified for students who remain on campus and need to be isolated while waiting for test results. Food delivery and other services will be provided for students who are ill. Separate areas have been identified for anyone who must be quarantined for 14 days per CDC guidelines.

What do I do if I am sick?
Any student, staff member, or faculty member who is diagnosed with COVID-19 should immediately notify CHWS at 253.879.1555.
If a member of the campus community is diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus, the university will promptly evaluate the need for additional actions, including additional campus notifications and/or additional targeted cleanings of specific areas utilized by the diagnosed community member.

Per health department guidelines, anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 should not return to school or work until they have been fever-free for 72 hours without the use of medication.

In addition, anyone with a fever is advised to remain at home until they are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of medication. Students should notify their faculty members, and CHWS asks that faculty not require a note from students who are ill.  Faculty and staff members who are ill should notify their supervisors.

I am feeling anxious about the COVID-19 virus. What can I do? 
We understand that many community members are concerned. If you would like to talk with someone, support is available.

  • For Students
    - Call CHWS at 253.879.1555 to schedule a Referral and Recommendations visit.
    - Check the CHWS website to access Therapy Assistance Online (TAO).
  • For Faculty and Staff Members
    Refer to wellness benefits and services, including Teledoc (855.332.4059), 24-Hour Nurse Line (800.841.8343) and the Employee Assistance Program.

Can I still access CHWS even if I am away from campus?
Please visit the CHWS site for information on how to access services.
 

REMOTE LEARNING

Will all classes be conducted remotely?
Undergraduate courses. Undergraduate course content will be delivered remotely for Summer Term I (May 18 - June 26) and Summer Term II (June 29 - August 7). We plan to resume in-person instruction for the fall, and faculty are encouraged to contact the educational technologist for their areas to assist with planning for a return to remote instruction if needed.

Student Independent Summer Research, Scholarship, Creative Work and Internships. Students whose projects can occur remotely (mostly those in the arts, humanities, and social sciences, and some internships) may begin their summer projects on May 25. Your faculty mentors will be in contact with you about the specific start date, and how they will work with you over the summer. For students whose projects require them to be on campus, we estimate that access to labs and other campus spaces will be available for summer research no earlier than the beginning of Washington state’s Phase 2.  Faculty mentors or supervisors will be in contact with students to determine the specific start date based on public health guidelines. Further guidelines will be shared with faculty mentors and students regarding specific on-campus practices and protocols to maintain safety.

Summer course work for the MAT, M.Ed., OT, and PT programs. These graduate programs will begin as scheduled, and faculty in these programs are determining the appropriate mix of remote, small group teaching and learning, and face-to-face class or lab meetings, following appropriate public health guidelines. Students in these programs may expect ongoing updates from their respective programs as more details become available.

What if I need a laptop or other device to participate in my classes remotely?
Faculty and students are strongly encouraged to use both Canvas and Google services, which work on a wide range of mobile devices, including laptops, tablets, and mobile phones. Those who need loaner devices or who don’t regularly have access to computers should contact Technology Services for assistance.

Can the campus network handle all our classes being taught remotely and staff members working remotely? Will I have trouble handling remote learning or remote work with my home internet connection?
The campus network has plenty of capacity to support remote learning and remote work for an extended period of time.

The demands of remote work on a personal network are generally not very high. Even if all of the individuals in a home were streaming a video conference, the overall impact to the network would be minimal. A modest internet connection should support upwards of 30–40 connections and up to 10 or more of those connections streaming various qualities of video with little to no issue. It’s more important that any wireless router in a home be placed in a central location free from major obstructions (brick/stone walls, lots of wiring, major electronics, etc.). If you have a question about your internet connection or network speeds and capabilities, use speedtest.net as a tool to see what your connection speeds are; anything above 10Mbps should be fine. 

If you are having difficulty, contact the service desk at servicedesk@pugetsound.edu or 253.879.8585 for assistance troubleshooting the issue.

Is equipment available from the university to help with remote learning/teaching?
Yes! Technology Services has limited quantities of the following, available for checkout by students and faculty members: voice recorders, document cameras, USB and wired microphones, projectors, Wacom tablets, small web cameras, PC speakers, large-format PA systems, camcorders and tripods, conference phones, laptops, and various audio and computer cables/adaptors.

Can I still use the library while classes are being held remotely?
Collins Memorial Library is closed, but staff members will continue to provide full electronic resources and virtual support. Additional information may be forthcoming as the library staff prepare to best serve the campus community within our current limitations. Technology Services staff members working in the library will continue to provide virtual support and will deliver loaner equipment on campus as requested. In addition, a number of library services are available remotely.

I How can I get books for summer term?
Students may purchase books from the Logger Store website at pugetsound.edu/loggerstore. The Logger Store will offer free UPS Ground shipping on spring and summer semester textbook orders. Use discount code FREESHIP at checkout.

What's happening with textbook buyback? Is it still possible to sell my textbooks back if I'm not on campus?
The Logger Store will operate special spring semester virtual buyback and rental book return programs in partnership with vendors. Program information was sent to all students in April.

With the announcement that classes will be held virtually, what impact will this have on my on-campus job?
See President Crawford's March 20 message to campus for information related to student employment or contact your supervisor.

What steps should faculty and staff members take to purchase or acquire new hardware and/or software to support remote learning?
Prior to making any decisions or purchases about new hardware or software purchases, faculty members and staff department heads must consult with Technology Services by sending an email to servicedesk@pugetsound.edu or calling 253.879.8585. Technology Services will then contact with the provost or area vice president to ask if they approve the purchase to be charged to the department using the hardware/software. If the new technology is approved, Technology Services must make the purchase behalf of the requesting department to ensure that we are using our best vendor option for quality, speed of receipt, and price.

How do I decide if I should take a class for credit or no credit this semester?
It is with all students in mind that the university made the decision, under the faculty’s leadership, to provide flexibility to the Credit/No Credit policy, extend the course withdrawal deadline, and continue the availability of the Incomplete option for the spring semester. Our goal is to strike the best possible balance between maintaining course expectations and standards, and accommodating all students by expanding their options to receive credit for their coursework in a manner that best responds to their individual needs. This policy accommodates a range of situations, including students who have specific requirements to fulfill related to academic sanctions, graduation requirements, eligibility for scholarships, admission to graduate programs, and more. It provides for academic accommodations and does not penalize students who want or need their grades to impact their GPA. For more guidance, please see the campus message sent on Tuesday, March 17 and consult with your academic adviser.

How will student learning accommodations be addressed with online learning?
Please contact Student Accessibility and Accommodation for information specific to your learning needs.

 

RESIDENCE LIFE

Can I get a refund on my room and board?
Prorated credit for housing and dining was provided to students who did not return to campus housing for the remainder of the spring semester. Additional information was provided in a message to campus on March 20. Puget Sound also provided a prorated room and board adjustment to students who were studying abroad this spring, regardless of whether the study abroad program provides a refund to the university on your behalf. More information is available from the International Programs office.

Can I continue to live on campus?
Students with belongings remaining in campus residences were asked to make arrangements to remove them by June 6. Summer term campus housing and dining is available for a very limited number of students on campus as part of approved programs.

All students who lived on campus (residence halls, Greek housing, and on-campus houses) during the spring semester were expected to leave their campus residence by March 24. This did not apply to those students who appealed and were approved to remain in their campus residence. Students were eligible for appeal if they are international students or students whose homes are abroad; without adequate internet access to engage in remote learning; and/or have safety concerns, housing insecurity or food insecurity.

Can I leave my car on campus?
We recommend that students not leave their vehicles on campus. If you do need to keep your vehicle at Puget Sound, it must be registered with the university parking program and parked in the Wheelock Student Center parking lot. If you have questions about registering your vehicle or need assistance, email security@pugetsound.edu.  

How will I get the mail that comes to my campus address?
Your mail began to be forwarded to your permanent address beginning March 25. If you would like to change your permanent address, contact the registrar's office at registrar@pugetsound.edu.

I left my bike outside. What's going to happen to it?
All student bikes left outside will be moved to one of the bike storage areas. You will be able to pick it up when you return. Note that Security Services will need to cut the U-bolts and locks currently securing bikes.

I was expecting 2020 census information from my RA. Now that I’m not on campus, what do I need to do to be counted?
Nothing! Puget Sound is part of the Census Bureau’s Group Quarters Operation, which counts all college students living in university housing. Using the eResponse method, the college will provide the Census Bureau with directory information about each student who lives in a campus house, residence hall, or Union Ave. residence. For more information about modified operations to ensure that college students are counted in the 2020 census, visit the census website.

 

TELECOMMUTING

Can I work from home?
All staff members who can work remotely must do so. Essential staff members who need to be on campus, as determined by their department heads, will do so with appropriate social distancing in place so that essential operations can continue. Some staff will be 100% virtual, some will be partially virtual, and some will be on-site. Department heads will work with their teams to develop and communicate the plan for their departments, and will consult with the provost or area vice presidents as needed. If you have questions about your work schedule or arrangements, please contact your supervisor.

TRAVEL

Is it safe for me to travel?
The "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" guidance from Washington state is still in place. Please view our updated guidelines related to international and domestic travel.

Can I still study abroad?
Puget Sound has made the difficult decision to withdraw approval for all fall 2020 study abroad as it has become increasingly clear that conditions with the COVID-19 pandemic have not improved enough to ease travel uncertainties or safety concerns for Puget Sound to be confident that our students would have a quality study abroad experience this fall. Affected students have been notified and are invited to work with the Office of International Programs to defer plans to a future semester.

The PacRim program scheduled to depart in fall 2020 has been deferred to spring 2021.

The university does not support study in countries that have Level 3 (Reconsider Travel) and Level 4 (Do Not Travel) advisories issued by the U.S. State Department. In addition, the university does not support travel to regions classified as "Reconsider Travel/Avoid Travel/Do Not Travel" within countries that have an overall travel advisory of Level 1 (Exercise Normal Precaution) or 2 (Exercise Increased Caution), unless an exception is explicitly stated in the text of the advisory for a specific city or zone within an area classified as "Reconsider Travel/Avoid Travel/Do Not Travel" area. 

The university also does not support travel to countries listed on Warning Level 3 (Avoid Nonessential Travel) in the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's travel health notices, or any other health advisory issued by the CDC or State Department. Puget Sound reserves the right to consider any other U.S. Department of State or Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Travel or Health Related Advisories to amend its policy regarding university supported/related travel.

The International Programs office recalled all students who were studying abroad during the spring semester due to uncertainties related to travel, including the possibility of quarantine and border closings.