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 April 7, 2020, 2:30 p.m.

ADMITTED STUDENTS

ATHLETICS

CAMPUS SERVICES

EVENTS

HEALTH & SAFETY

REMOTE LEARNING

RESIDENCE LIFE

TELECOMMUTING

TRAVEL

 

ADMITTED STUDENTS

I just read an alarming news story about colleges closing next year because of financial strain. 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.

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.

Can I use athletics facilities?
In accordance with the Washington state governor's March 16 proclamation, all indoor and outdoor athletics facilities are closed until further notice.
 

CAMPUS SERVICES

Is campus open?
We continue to provide essential services on campus, but many facilities are currently closed. See the March 16 message to campus for more information.

How do I return my library books?
We ask that you hold on to any library materials you currently have checked out from Collins Memorial Library or Summit, or by interlibrary loan. You will not be charged any overdue fees. We are currently working out details to allow you to mail library materials back to Puget Sound without incurring postage charges and will update this information as details become available. If you have further questions, please contact libref@pugetsound.edu.

 

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 are canceled through May 17, 2020. 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” or “postponed/to be rescheduled.”

Will Commencement be held?
We remain fully committed to celebrating the achievements of the Class of 2020, even as it has become increasingly clear that we will need to do so in a manner different than we had planned. We have made the difficult decision that we cannot proceed with the Commencement Ceremony and related events in person on campus this May. Details about how we will celebrate on May 17 will be available in the coming weeks. An update on Commencement was sent to graduating seniors, families, and the campus community on April 3.

Can my group reserve a space on campus?
We are not accepting reservations for use of campus space by outside groups for the remainder of the spring semester. Information regarding summer 2020 is expected shortly.

 

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
  • Avoid shaking hands with others and close contact with those who are ill
  • 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
  • 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 through May 17 are 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.

Where can students get masks?
Please note that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization did not initially recommend the use of face masks by the general public and those who are healthy to prevent COVID-19. It is now recommended that individuals wear face coverings when out in public.

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?
Course content will be delivered remotely through the end of spring semester, inclusive of final exams. Please see President Crawford's messages to campus on March 16 for more details. Students should consult with their professors about course expectations. 

The Provost’s Office and Technology Services are working with faculty to support alternative methods for class preparation and delivery. Educational technologists are holding drop-in sessions for faculty to familiarize them with the tools that are available. Faculty are invited to call the educational technologist for their areas for more information about drop-in sessions or to schedule a time to attend established meetings or ad hoc meetings with academic departments.  

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? Will I have trouble handling remote learning with my home internet connection?
The campus network has plenty of capacity to support 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 above10Mbps should be fine. 

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 was waiting to purchase a textbook for one of my spring classes. Can I still get books I need to finish the semester?
Students may purchase books needed to complete spring semester classes from the Logger Store website at pugetsound.edu/loggerstore. The Logger Store will offer free UPS Ground shipping on spring 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 will be sent to all students by mid-April. If possible, the store also will conduct May 2020 in-store buyback; that decision will be made at a later date.

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 approve the purchase. If the new technology is approved, Technology Services must make the purchase 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 will be provided to students who are not returning to campus housing for the remainder of the spring semester. Information is forthcoming for those students who were studying abroad. Additional information was provided in a message to campus on March 20.

Can I continue to live on campus?
All students who live on campus (residence halls, Greek housing, and on-campus houses) were expected to leave their campus residence by March 24. This does 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. The deadline to appeal was March 18, 3 p.m. (PST).

How can I get my belongings? 
Keycard access to the residences was available until March 24 at 11:59 p.m. (PST). In order to observe the social distancing recommendations from the state of Washington as best we can, after that time students will not be able to access their campus residence until their scheduled move out time at the end of the academic year. Students are welcome to leave belongings in their residence until the conclusion of the spring semester. Move-out is currently scheduled for May 15-18 and we are looking at extending this time period. More information to come.

What if I’ve already left campus but need some items from my residence?
Information about shipping items to your home or other address is available on the Residence Life Storage website.

Can my mom/dad/uncle/cousin/friend go into my room and get thing(s) for me?
Only prior to March 24 or doing your designated move-out time. Call Security Services (253.879.3311) ahead of time to let them know to expect someone on your behalf and to give them permission to enter your room.

Can Residence Life or Security send me my things?
No, but you can contact The UPS Store in the Proctor District to arrange for store staff members to pack up your things and ship them to you. Contact store2374@theupsstore.com to coordinate packing and shipping your belongings.

Can I come back and get all my items and check out?
You will need to schedule your checkout with either Security Services (253.879.3311) or Janet Frostad (253.879.3317).

Will there be boxes supplied to pack my things?
Each residence hall has a limited number of boxes available on a first-come, first-served basis. They are located in one of the first floor lounges.

What do I do with my room key once I move out?
Please return your room key to Security Services (McIntyre 001) after you have cleared out your room.

Do I have to move all my stuff out and turn in my key to receive a room and board adjustment?
No, you do not have to be completely moved out to receive the adjustment. However, you are still responsible for moving out between Wednesday, May 13, and Monday, May 18, 2020. See President Crawford's March 20 campus message for more information about room and board adjustments.

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 will 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?
Please view our updated guidelines related to international and domestic travel.

Can I still study abroad?
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 is in contact with affected students and strong recommends that all students return home given uncertainties related to travel, including the possibility of quarantine and border closings. 

Students will be informed regarding any changes to study abroad programs scheduled to begin after the spring semester.