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Fall 2020 General FAQs

Last updated 09/15/2020 at 1:30 p.m.

Virtual Student Information

What is the difference in a virtual and on-line student?

A virtual student is a semester undergraduate student who is taking some, or perhaps all, of their classes online, or is working remotely with their professors. A virtual student does not “Zoom in” to semester classes live, but works alongside the class completing assignments that align with the instruction happening in class.

Online students are those students who are enrolled in our online degree programs.  There are only a few majors offered.  These students take classes year-round in 8-week terms. Online students do not receive institutional aid (e.g. LEAD, WWU scholarships, etc.).

What do I do if I am a residential student and want to become a virtual student and move off campus? What if I am a commuter?

Once you have spoken to Katie Belenchia, Katie.Belenchia@WilliamWoods.edu , about your classes, a residential student should complete the Residential Status Change Request form on Owlnet and select Virtual in the drop down menu. Remember, this approval is for the Fall 2020 semester only at this time. Once approved, talk to your Community Advisor about the check-out process or, if you live in the Stone Campbell Apartments, contact reslife@williamwoods.edu

How does virtual status impact my bill? Is there a refund?

If you are a commuter, there is no change to your bill. If you are a residential student, you   may  receive a partial refund of room and board charges depending on how many weeks are remaining in the semester.  For more detailed information, please contact Student Financial Services at   financialaid@williamwoods.edu or  573-592-1793. 

Can virtual students return next semester?

At the present time, virtual status is only available for the Fall 2020 semester.  Therefore, the expectation is that students will return for the Spring 2021 semester.  Spring 2021 plans are in progress and more information will be available as decisions are made.

Can I be a virtual student and remain on campus?

Yes, there is no adjustment to your bill with this option.

Social Gathering Guidelines

Why were the social gathering guidelines added?

Our goal as a community is to keep as many faculty, staff and students as safe as possible throughout the semester so we will have the resources to offer in-classroom learning and student support through November 24. These guidelines are another means to that end goal.

During the first week of classes students had several large gatherings in on-campus apartments which violated our no visitation policy and put the WWU community at risk. Additionally, students shared information about parties and events off campus where students were not distancing and/or masking appropriately. These types of events can result in large numbers of exposed students. We need to keep our number of both COVID positive and exposure cases to a manageable level. Our human resources have to be able to teach classes, clean facilities, serve food and provide all other services for students.

As a reminder the full guidelines are available on our website at https://www.williamwoods.edu/emergency-info/docs/student-guidelines/guidelines-for-fall-2020.pdf

What types of gatherings would result in loss of privileges listed in the guidelines?

The main goal of the guidelines is to limit the high risk events that are known to spread COVID more quickly among larger groups. These often occur in bars and restaurants that allow high density occupancy with little to no safety measures in place. Social gatherings at Westminster College fraternity houses would currently fall into this category as well. Additionally, on and/or off campus apartments, houses, etc. that are not limiting their occupancies and practicing appropriate COVID safety guidelines are at risk for COVID spread among students.

Can I go home or off campus to visit friends? Dine? Shop? Workout?

Yes, we are not requiring students to stay on campus. If you visit family and friends, be mindful that you will be returning to campus; therefore, we ask that you implement the COVID safety practices when off campus. Also, now that you are living and/or learning on a college campus, your choices here and those of your friends may put you at higher risk for spreading COVID to off campus friends and family; so, again, best practices for COVID safety at all times protects everyone. 

If you discover you have been exposed while off campus, please stay home or in your room and contact health.services@williamwoods.edu

Can I ride in a car with my friends?

We do not have a requirement that students do not ride in a vehicle with other students. Please consider when doing so – is this safe for you and your community? Are you masking? Are you limiting the number of people in the car? If a student becomes COVID positive, those in the car are likely considered close contacts and would be required to quarantine for at least 14 days.

Can my student organization still host LEAD or student organization events?

Yes, we hope you continue to meet and host events. There are a lot of ways to do this and meet the guidelines. Break into smaller bubbles and have half the group online and half in person (still following guidelines). Host virtual events and meetings, meet outside, use a classroom or campus space following all the guidelines including masking and distancing, and be sure you disinfect the space afterwards.

What if we want to host an event with more than 20?

An event is defined as a communal gathering, on or off campus, outside of a classroom setting, lasting longer than 15 minutes. Student groups and event organizers can request special approval for an event with more than 20 attendees by submitting an event plan and all information listed in the guidelines. Requests from student organizations will go to Lacey Sweeten Randall at Lacey.SweetenRandall@williamwoods.edu and requests for LEAD events will go to Debbie Schick at Debbie.Schick@williamwoods.edu . Please submit the request for approval at least 4 business day prior to the event.

Visitation Guidelines

How many people can we have in a room for visitation?

You have 1 person for each person that resides in that room. If 2 people reside in that room, they each are allowed to have 1 person in that room.

2 people living in room

4 total people allowed
(2 residents, their 2 guests*) 

4 people living in the apartment/quad

8 total people allowed
(4 residents, their 4 guests*) 

1 person living in the room

2 total people allowed
(resident and their guest) 

*The maximum number of guests cannot exceed the current number of residents.

Are people who are not William Woods Students, Faculty, and Staff allowed on campus?

Yes, you can meet with them outside as long as all guidelines are being followed. They will not be allowed into residential halls. As always, students are responsible for the actions of their visitors.

Are Commuter students approved guests under the guidelines?

Yes, WWU community members can be a guest in resident room/apartment or residence hall.

With visitation, will we be required to wear face coverings and physically distance?

When you have guests over we strongly encourage physical distancing whenever possible. While in buildings and rooms you will still be required to wear face coverings when you have guests over.

Will we need to keep a guest list of people who come visit us?

We strongly encourage that you do keep a list of names, dates, and times people visit you. This will help with contact tracing if you were to contract COVID-19, as any guest in your personal living space would most likely be considered a close contact.

Should I consult my roommate before having guests over?

Roommates should talk to each other before bringing over guests.  Roommates could use the roommate agreement submitted to their Community Advisor/Chapter Assistant as a starting point for this conversation.

One roommate may not be okay with having guests over, and each person should be respectful and understanding of that possibility. Roommates can work together to figure out a plan on how to handle hosting guests in their room. 

If my roommate has someone over and the next day they develop symptoms of Covid-19, do I have to quarantine?

Yes, you and your roommate would both need to quarantine for 14 days due to being a close contact. This is a risk with having guests over and if someone did test positive, everyone would be considered a close contact.

How can I help mitigate the spread of COVID-19?

Everyone should be following the guidelines and minimizing close contacts, including keeping the amount of visitors limited. You can find a copy of the guidelines at this link: