RESIDENCE LIFE AND DINING

DURING COVID-19

The on-campus experience will undoubtably be different in fall 2020, however, our teams of student life and dining professionals have worked incredibly hard this summer to create a safe and healthy environment for our students. This page will be updated frequently with new details on the move-in process, procedures for those who are required to be quarantined on campus upon arrival, and the latest offerings available through Parkhurst Dining.

Last Updated: August 10, 2020, 11:13 a.m.

Residence Life

Mercyhurst’s residence halls and campus apartments encourage supportive, welcoming communities that support all facets of students’ personal and academic growth. As part of Mercyhurst’s safe reopening plan, we are implementing new social norms for living on campus. These include move-in and COVID-19 screening procedures, guidelines for roommate discussions and living agreements, and information about required cleaning and health and safety checks.  

Students living on campus must commit to high standards of personal behavior and hygiene to protect themselves and the other members of their living community. Different measures will be required in various campus residences, depending on the configuration of the rooms, apartments, and townhouses.

Changes in policies for residential students include additional cleaning measures, changes to furniture arrangements and capacity to promote social distancing, and separate isolation/quarantine spaces for students who have been diagnosed with or exposed to COVID-19. 

Residence Life staff, including hall directors and RAs, will establish and communicate procedures for maintaining health and personal hygiene. Emphasis will be placed on shared responsibility and honest communication. 

Students Requiring Quarantine

Any Mercyhurst residential student who requires quarantine should review the Frequently Asked Questions that were published July 11, 2020 for more information. Mercyhurst requires a mandatory quarantine of 14 days for all students who are traveling from a “hot spot” state(s) (as identified by the Pennsylvania Governor's travel advisory) — or who cross an international border in the 15 days prior to arriving on campus.

Students who believe they will require quarantine must complete the Travel and Required Quarantine Information Form.

Move-In Information

Students who will be residing on campus in the fall should not arrive prior to their appointed date and time. Freshmen and transfer students will be able to begin moving into their living spaces on Saturday, Aug. 15, 2020. Returning students will be able to begin moving into their living spaces on Sunday, Aug. 16, 2020. You will need to reserve a specific move-in time through the Housing Portal. (The Office of Residence Life will send additional details regarding how to reserve your check-in time to your Mercyhurst email by July 24, 2020.)

Guests in Residential Areas

Due to social distancing guidelines and best practices mitigate the spread of COVID-19, there are regulations in place for fall 2020 with regard to guests in on-campus residential areas. All visitors (parents, siblings, etc.) must be registered online using the Mercyhurst Visitor Screening Form. All guests to campus must wear a mask or facial covering and practice social distancing by remaining six feet from others.

In Baldwin, McAuley, Warde and Ryan Halls, no outside guests are permitted in personal residential areas. This includes commuter students, off-campus students, visitors and guests. Guests are permitted in lobby areas. Residents of these buildings may have no more than one on-campus student guest per resident from the same residence in their room at any time; social distancing should be practiced. Students residing in on-campus apartment and townhouse areas are permitted one guest per resident, averaging no more than six persons at one time based on occupancy. (It is recommended that all non-roommate interactions take place in a lobby or outdoor area where social distancing can be more easily practiced.)

Congregating in residential living areas in groups of six or more is not permitted. This includes, but is not limited to, residence hall lounges, kitchens, lobbies, study rooms/spaces, etc. All students who are congregating in the communal space, must wear a mask. 

Dining Services

Campus dining facilities will continue to observe physical distancing guidelines, limited capacity in locations, reconfigured serving stations, and removing self-service stations. Tables and chairs will be removed or shifted to account for physical distancing recommendations and procedures as put forth by state regulatory departments. Directional signage will be laid down on flooring to create clear pathways for location entrance, station queue points, location flow, and location exit areas. Additional signage will be placed throughout dining locations to highlight the “No Bare Hand Contact” policy, disinfecting touch points, and more. Until further notice, our dining venues only accept meal plans, Dining Dollars, Bonus Bucks and credit cards. Cash transactions are temporarily suspended.

Plates and metal silverware will be removed from service areas and will be replaced with recyclable products to limit potential spread biological contaminates. All items will be served in disposable containers and then passed to the guest; each station will require a new container to reduce contact. Hours will be monitored and adjusted at locations to meet COVID-19 code requirements and provide for safe dining opportunities. 

At Grotto Commons and the 501 Grille, the university’s two board-swipe dining venues, all self-service stations — including the salad bar, dessert stations, and beverage stations — will be eliminated and replaced with prepackaged, individually wrapped grab-and-go items or attendant-prepared stations. Additional concepts around wellness and “Dueling Dishes” will provide additional variety to the traditional offerings. Parkhurst Dining Services will offer ongoing education for guests in safety measures, and will be employing new practices to reduce lines and dine-in crowds. The Laker Inn and Roost locations will be transitioned to take out locations, and additional options will be available via the GET App. 

As a precautionary measure all employees will be required to follow new check-in procedures that will ensure that prescribed health standards are met at a minimum before their workday begins. Employees will wash their hands, sanitize their shoes and have their temperature checked all before entry is allowed. Parkhurst Dining Services has also added a new team member role titled a Safety Ambassador.