Residence Halls Move into Phase B


The new expectations for residence halls.

Moravian students can now rejoice (at least a little bit) because residence hall expectations have moved from Phase A to Phase B, effective as of Wednesday afternoon. 

In an email addressed to the Moravian College community, President Bryon Grigsby announced that College is now able to loosen some of the strict residence hall restrictions that students have been following since they moved into school in August. 

But what does this new policy entail? What are the new rules?

The rules are all vaguely different depending on the residential area that students live in. 

The first set of rules applies to dorm and residence halls, including Bernhardt-WIlhelm, Rau-Hassler, Jo Smith, Inner Spang, Main and Clewell. Now students are able to visit each other’s rooms within the same residence hall. 

There are a few expectations that the school requests students follow to continue to maintain social distancing in these tight quarters, including the following:

– Remain in the doorway, if possible

– Seek approval to enter from resident

– Wear a mask at all times 

– Maintain physical distance

– Rooms (doubles and singles) may not exceed two individuals at a given time. Roommates should discuss expectations for visitors.

Rules for common areas have also loosened up. Students are now allowed to visit common areas within the occupancy limits while wearing masks. 

Each common area in each building has a different maximum occupancy. The list of each space and its occupancy limit is listed below:

– Bernhardt-Wilhelm: three residents in upper main lounge (near kitchen); four residents on lower level of main lounge (near fireplace); two residents on mezzanine loft of main lounge

– Jo Smith: six residents in ground floor lounge, six residents in first floor main lounge; one resident in common lounge at end of each hallway

– Main: seven residents in 1st floor President’s Lounge and six residents in ground floor lounge

– Nitschmann: six residents in 1st floor lounge and one resident in common lounge with kitchen on each floor

– Rau-Hassler: 22residents in 1st floor main lounge and 14 residents in ground floor lounge

– Spangenberg: one resident in 1st floor lounge area and one resident in ground floor lounge

Students are still not permitted to visit other residence halls, however, and no non-Moravian students and commuters are still not permitted inside residence halls. 

However, the change to Phase B does not impact those living in suite-style houses, including the HILL, Townhouses, Hillsides, Spang Apartments, Nitschmann, Beck, de Schweinitz, and overflow houses. Common areas are still limited to those who live in the house, and the common areas in Nitschmann are still allowed to be used by students. Greek chapter houses are only open to residents of the house itself. 

President Grigsby explained the reason for this new phase, citing the relatively low number of cases on campus, the number of students following expectations, and the hope that it will benefit the mental health of students. He wrote to the campus via email, “I have authorized a change. . . because our students have proven that they understand the seriousness of COVID-19 and they are abiding by appropriate safety measures. I believe this change will help the mental health of our students (including our Resident Advisors who have been doing admirable and hard work over the last 5 weeks).” 

This decision was not made lightly. According to his email, President Grigsby said that “this decision was informed by an analysis of trends that can be accessed on our COVID dashboard as well as by the low infection rate in our traditional residence halls — the population that will be most impacted by our change from Phase A to Phase B.”

Both the president and the Office of Housing have encouraged students to all continue proper social distancing, hand washing, and general hygiene procedures, and especially to continue to take COVID-19 seriously. 

“Understand that we could return to Phase A if current trends change,” President Grigsby wrote. “That could happen swiftly if we see residents not taking their responsibilities seriously. Please make good decisions!”

Students are understandably happy about this new loosening of the restrictions. “I feel like I am on an airplane,” said Victoria Ritter, ‘21, “and I was just told we hit 10,000 feet and we are welcome to move around the cabin. Except the cabin is our own house!”

Any questions about regulations, new codes, and the rule changes should be addressed to residential RAs, SRAs, CAs, or the Office of Housing at [email protected]