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Student Policies and Guidelines

Path Forward: Return To Campus

President Eric F. Spina discusses UD's return to campus plan and measures to promote safety and lessen the risk of COVID-19 spread.


The University of Dayton planned a return to teaching, learning, research and experiential learning on campus with measures in place to promote safety and lessen the risk of COVID-19 spread. 

While new public health protocols mean some changes in our daily lives, much of what makes UD such a special community will remain — there will be opportunities to foster friendships, to worship and partake in faith activities, to join student organizations and clubs, and much more.

As we returned to campus, we asked everyone to do their part to take care of themselves and help take care of others by following the protocols in this document. Now, more than ever, our Catholic and Marianist mission and identity calls on us to exercise our commitment to community.

At the start of the academic year, the University required all undergraduate students, graduate and law students who live in UD housing, and international graduate students who have recently traveled from other countries to be tested for COVID-19. 

In order to remain in person and on campus, all students are required to comply with the policies, procedures and guidelines in this document — the Path Forward Return to Campus-Students plan, which was created as an Environmental Health and Safety policy in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Other key points:

  • The University is taking recommended steps to mitigate the risk of spread to the extent possible, and the degree of success will depend on a mutual commitment from all those in the UD community.
  • Safety measures align with mandates and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Ohio Department of Health, Public Health Dayton Montgomery County, and other federal, state and local agencies. 
  • More than 100 faculty and staff, as well as students, continue to be involved with outside experts, including public health officials and a panel of physicians and health professionals, in developing these plans. Their work follows the University’s guiding principles for making decisions to address COVID-19.
  • More than 1,650 students were consulted via surveys and forums, and hundreds more faculty and staff were also engaged in providing feedback on the plan. 
  • The UD Path Forward Task Force continues to monitor for any shifts in the national or local health landscape that might require further adaptation. It remains, however, impossible to guarantee a COVID-19-free environment. 
  • Because of the nature of the coronavirus, anyone working, living or participating in activities on campus must understand that they are assuming the risk of potential community spread. 
  • This document is not complete and you will see that some sections are under development at this time. The Path Forward working groups are continuing to develop our plans and we will let you know when important additional information is available. 

Any part of this document is subject to change as new information about COVID-19 comes to light and updated guidance is received. Check on a regular basis or whenever notified of the availability of new University guidance.


Section 1: Academics

Section 2: Housing, Move-in and Orientation

Section 3: COVID-19 information, including information about testing and downloadable testing fact sheet and scheduling checklist 

Section 4: Health and safety

Section 5: Student support and student life

Section 6: Increased cleaning and sanitation

Section 1: Academics

Academic calendar

To discourage students from nonessential travel during the semester, students began classes on Monday, Aug. 24, departed campus at Thanksgiving (no later than Nov. 25), and completed the semester online without a typical fall break. Other modifications to the Academic Calendar are also designed to discourage nonessential travel. See the complete 2020-21 Academic Calendar here.  

Some programs will complete the semester face-to-face due to accreditation or licensure requirements. 

Graduate courses or graduate students working on research who wish to be exempt from the Thanksgiving departure submitted to their dean's office a rationale and plan for completion of the semester. Approval by the dean and provost’s office was required. 

Online graduate programs associated with 2U will continue to operate on their typical schedules. 

Instructional delivery

  • Classes will meet in person to the extent possible. Faculty will prepare to continue instruction online to ensure that student learning will continue no matter the state of the pandemic and the expectations of public health officials. 
  • Flexibility in instructional delivery is also necessary to accommodate student and faculty needs. For example, some students may not be able to return to campus because of health concerns. During the semester, students who test positive for the virus or come into contact with someone who tests positive will be required to isolate or quarantine and will not be able to participate in in-person classes. 
  • Special attention will be given to the particular academic needs of first-year students that will help foster their engagement. Information and resources will be forthcoming for program directors, department chairs, and deans' offices.
  • Some classes will be fully face-to-face; and some courses will involve a blend of online and face-to-face interaction. Some classes will be offered completely online due to class size or if faculty members cannot meet face-to-face with students. The modality will be determined by the nature of the course and program curriculum, room capacity, and faculty members' ability to be present in the classroom. The method of delivery will not impact tuition rates, which have been set based on the educational content provided.
  • Weekly face-to-face or synchronous sessions will be built into the course design. All face-to-face or synchronous course components will be held during scheduled class times. Synchronous online components will be recorded.
  • More information will be provided as class schedules and academic policies are finalized.

Office hours

Instructors will hold regular weekly office hours either face-to-face or via Zoom. Information will be provided in class syllabi. More rooms will be made available for office hours to accommodate social distancing when meeting face-to-face. 


Faculty may choose to administer exams that are comprehensive to that point in the semester before the departure for Thanksgiving break.  

In addition, faculty may choose to administer assessment activities, such as papers or presentations, to assess students’ knowledge and performance over the portion of the semester that will be conducted off-campus. Course syllabi will provide specific information regarding the type and timing of assessment activities. 

Experiential learning

Experiential learning is an essential component of a University of Dayton education. Information on navigating experiential learning challenges on and off campus while adhering to public health guidelines can be found here.  

Protocols for courses that by their nature require specific adaptations and considerations to promote safety are being developed; information will be forthcoming. Those courses include music, dance, art, labs, and courses in the health and medical fields.  

For academic questions or information 

College of Arts and Sciences dean's office:
This email address goes to the dean's office and is then distributed appropriately. 

School of Business Administration dean's office: 

School of Education and Health Sciences: 

School of Engineering: 

School of Law: Lee Ann Ross 

University Libraries: Kathy Webb 

For more information on academics, see the Return to Campus-Academics document.  

Section 2: Housing, Move-in and Orientation

Move-in procedure

  • Spring arrival will be Jan. 15-31, with approximately 500-600 students scheduled to move in each day. All undergraduate students — residential, commuter and those living in landlord houses — as well as graduate students who live in University housing, must sign up for an arrival date to complete check-in procedures for spring semester. Students in those few programs that require a return to campus earlier than Jan. 15 can work with their respective departments on scheduling arrival appointments. Click here for guidance about arriving for the spring semester.
  • Move-in for fall 2020 was phased in, allowing approximately 460 students to move in each day, beginning Aug. 8 and ending on Aug. 23. 
  • Starter kits with face coverings, thermometers, disinfecting supplies, and other items were distributed as part of the check-in process. Students should also consider bringing cleaning supplies and sanitizers to meet their own individual needs throughout the semester.
  • In order to reduce the possible spread to our community, parents and guardians were asked to leave campus immediately after dropping off students and belongings. 

Student "households"

  • Each room, suite, apartment, and house is considered a unit or "household." (For example, two roommates inside their dorm room, or four roommates inside their suite, etc.)
  • Inside each room, suite or home (unit), students who live there will not be required to wear a face covering or observe social distancing.
  • Once students leave their unit, they must abide by campuswide requirements and guidelines related to face coverings, physical distancing, and cleaning and sanitation. 

Welcome Weekend

Welcome Weekend events were shaped by public health expectations. 

  • There were no in-person Welcome Weekend events for first-year families, but events were hosted virtually.  
  • Large-scale gatherings were offered as livestream and/or pre-recorded events prior to the University start. Deans’ addresses were offered as recordings or live as interactive webinars.  
  • Small-group Welcome Weekend events for students only were held and pre-recorded sessions may also be offered. Plans for special topics and events will be developed. 
  • Other large gatherings or events were suspended for fall 2020, including Camp Blue and in-person Family Weekend. Some family engagement and other events were hosted online.


Housing and Residence Life created a housing option for students who identify as high-risk and want limited exposure while living on campus. 

Section 3: COVID-19 information

There is no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus. The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person, which includes: 

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person talks, exhales, coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
  • The virus that causes COVID-19 has been found to circulate in most U.S. communities, sometimes without symptoms, putting everyone at ongoing risk. 

COVID-19 protocols, student agreement and student code of conduct

The University has updated the COVID-19 protocols and student agreement for the spring 2021 semester to provide more clarity and include measures added during the fall to promote safety and reduce the risk of the coronavirus spreading on campus. For example, as established early last semester, face coverings are required at all times when you are outside in public, including on your porch. The student code of conduct also has been updated to clarify students’ obligations to comply with COVID-19 protocols. As a University of Dayton student, under the student code of conduct you are required to adhere to the COVID-19 protocols, including those reflected in the student agreement, to remain in person and on campus. All students, including new and transfer students, should review the updated protocols and agreement before you move in or check in on campus.  

COVID-19 testing

Information about testing for students arriving for the spring 2021 semester can be found here.

The following information was for the fall 2020 semester.

Our testing program centers on early identification and isolation of individuals who are asymptomatic — who have no symptoms and who may be unaware they have the virus — to reduce the chance they will expose others on campus to the virus. 

The University required proof of a negative test performed within the five days prior to arrival on campus before the start of classes Aug. 24 for these student groups:

  • All undergraduate students, including commuter students and those living in landlord or other non-UD housing.
  • Graduate and law students who live in UD housing.
  • Any graduate or law student (international or domestic) who has recently traveled abroad.
  • In consultation with our medical advisory panel, students who have been infected with COVID-19 and have recovered fully and are no longer contagious were exempt from taking another nasopharyngeal PCR test for SARS-CoV-2 in the five days prior to returning to and checking in to campus. Students who have recovered from COVID-19 must fax documentation of a positive nasopharyngeal PCR test for SARS-CoV-2 to Dr. Mary Buchwalder at the Student Health Center at 937-229-3107. Please note: UD will only accept results of a nasopharyngeal PCR test for SARS-CoV-2; no other tests, including antibody tests, will be accepted. All students, including commuters and those living in landlord housing, still need to schedule an intake time to pick up kits with face coverings, hand sanitizer and a thermometer. For questions, email

The required test was a nasopharyngeal PCR test for SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19), the gold standard test for active infection.

If your test is positive, you may not come to campus and will start the semester online while you are infectious, whether or not you have symptoms. University students who are tested upon arrival will be required to self-isolate in their residence until test results are received, which is likely to be several days. If students tested positive upon arrival, students were required to leave campus promptly to start the semester at home online; limited on-campus isolation was available for students who live more than 400 miles away. Any student who tested positive prior to Aug. 24 must stay home or go home while they are infectious whether or not they have symptoms. 

This program was an essential measure to try to curtail the spread of the virus on campus. The testing program is grounded in the best available scientific and medical knowledge in late summer about how the coronavirus spreads and the most effective ways to help slow it. The University has been guided by the UD COVID-19 Medical Advisory Panel, a group of local physicians and health experts with expertise in managing infectious diseases and COVID-19.

To help students make plans before arriving in August, the University provided the UD COVID-19 Testing Program Fact Sheet for Students and Scheduling a COVID-19 Test Checklist for Students and Parents

Daily symptom self-assessment 

All students living on or coming to campus must perform a daily self-assessment of symptoms, including taking their temperature. Refer to the CDC for the most current COVID-19 symptoms. Symptoms may include: 

  • Cough.
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.
  • Fever (100.4°F or higher).
  • Chills.
  • Muscle pain.
  • Sore throat.
  • New loss of taste or smell.
  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.

In case of positive COVID-19 symptoms

Students who test positive for COVID-19 or are identified by public health authorities as a probable case will be encouraged to return to their permanent residence if less than 400 miles from campus. Those who cannot return home will self-isolate in designated apartments in Irving Commons Apartments. 

Housing and Residence Life will ensure food is delivered and will check in with students regularly.

When students detect COVID-19 symptoms

Students living on campus who have any COVID-19 symptoms must:

  • Contact the Health Center or another health care provider for assessment of the symptoms. 
  • Self-isolate until you are able to undergo the assessment. 
  • Wear a face covering at all times.
  • Minimize contact with your household members. 
  • NOT attend class or interact with any member of campus except for the Health Center or other professional medical staff.

Commuter students experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, including graduate and law students not living in University housing, must:

  • NOT come to campus or attend class.  
  • Contact the Health Center or your health care provider for assessment of the symptoms.  
  • In addition, if you begin to show symptoms after commuting to campus, you must limit contact with other individuals on campus and contact the Health Center or your health care provider for further guidance.

COVID-19 exposure

Students who are identified through contact tracing as close contacts of someone diagnosed with COVID-19 are encouraged to return to their permanent residence to quarantine if they live within 400 miles of campus. Students who cannot return home will be required to move to UD’s quarantine housing. Most will be housed in the east wing of Marianist Hall or in their apartments and houses.

  • Students will need to quarantine for 14 days from the day they were most recently exposed to the virus and follow all directives provided to them from health authorities and their physician. They should monitor and report any symptoms during that time. 
  • Housing and Residence Life, Campus Ministry and Dining Services staff will check in regularly to provide support and coordinate meal delivery to students in quarantine on campus. 
  • Students who become symptomatic during the 14-day quarantine will be re-evaluated by a health professional, and if on campus, moved to isolation housing.
  • For any students recovering from COVID-19 illness, the CDC recommends that isolation be maintained for at least 10 days after illness onset and at least 24 hours after recovery. Illness onset is defined as the date symptoms begin.

COVID-19 disclosure

Members of the UD community and others, such as contractors, should report COVID-19-related health conditions through reporting forms on the COVID-19 Health Reporting webpage. Use the appropriate form for these situations: 

  1. Self-disclose your positive COVID-19 test result (students, employees, other).
  2. Report a close contact exposure to UD if you've been contacted by Public Health (students, employees).
  3. Provide daily symptoms updates if you're a UD student in quarantine / isolation.
  4. Provide a "final day" symptoms update if you're a UD employee on your last day of quarantine / isolation.

Access the website at

Section 4: Health and safety

Physical distancing 

Physical distancing, also called "social distancing," means keeping space between you and others. Physical distancing is the single most effective method of protecting yourself and ensuring you do not spread the virus to others.  

Physical distancing is the foundation of the University's approach to creating a campus environment that is as safe as possible. Distancing can be achieved by both spatial (separating people in space) as well as temporal (separating people in time) methods. The goal is to maintain at least 6 feet of physical separation at all times. 

  • Many spaces will have signage to indicate reduced occupancy in rooms, spaces, and areas on campus to aid in maintaining 6 feet physical distance.  
  • Physical distancing in shared spaces — classrooms, laboratories, open offices, lounge areas, etc. — can be especially challenging and requires cooperation on everyone's part. 
  • Stay away from crowded places and mass gatherings anywhere, including the student neighborhoods.

To maintain physical distancing when on campus, students are expected to: 

  • Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people not in one’s household.
  • Respect occupancy limits for rooms, offices, common spaces, elevators, and other areas.
  • Maintain 6 feet distance from others when using restrooms.
  • Abide by established rules for foot traffic on campus and within buildings such as designated entrances and exits, and designated up and down stairways. Directional floor decals and signs will be in place to direct foot traffic in congested areas.
  • Maintain physical distancing during a building evacuation for a fire alarm or other emergency situation. Evacuation will require everyone’s cooperation to maintain 6 feet physical distance.
  • UD-owned vehicle usage by students will be suspended to support physical distancing guidelines. 

Face coverings   

In accordance with the Ohio Department of Health Responsible RestartOhio, the University requires all community members, including faculty, staff, students, retained contractors, and visitors, to wear face coverings or nonmedical masks while on campus to slow the community spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus, and do not know it, from transmitting it to others. At a minimum, face coverings should cover an individual's nose, mouth, and chin. Exceptions to this requirement include:

  • When a student is in their "household" as defined by Housing and Residence Life. 
  • If an individual is working alone in an enclosed workspace, such as an office or room.
  • Some individuals may not be required to wear face coverings, such as for health or safety reasons, or may be permitted to use clear facial shields. Additional guidance will be forthcoming on these exceptions. 
  • If an individual is dining in a common space on campus, the face covering should be worn until the individual is ready to eat and then, when done eating, it should be replaced.
  • Medical masks should only be worn by those serving in health care roles or otherwise approved by Environmental Health and Safety due to task-specific hazards. 
  • Face coverings are required in outdoor spaces only when individuals are in close proximity to others and unable to physically distance. 

Face covering accommodations for students

Students who indicate they cannot wear face coverings are not permitted to engage in in-person classroom activities. Students who indicate they cannot wear face coverings should be directed to the Office of Learning Resources to make arrangements for remote study. Students who have tested positive for COVID-19 and who have recovered are still required to wear face coverings.

More information about face coverings is available on the University's website

Hand hygiene

Having clean hands is an effective way to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after being in a public place; blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing; using the restroom; contact with animals and pets; and before eating or preparing food.

Avoid touching commonly used surfaces, such as elevator buttons, whenever possible. Use a pen or stylus. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

If soap and water are not readily available and hands are not visibly dirty, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol can be used. 

  • Hand-sanitizer stations at major building entrances and high-traffic areas will be maintained. 
  • All University-provided hand sanitizer will be formulated to be effective against COVID-19. 

Respiratory etiquette

  • If you do not have your face covering on — even in a private setting — always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow and throw used tissues in the trash.
  • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Section 5: Student support and student life

International students

The University is making plans to accommodate international students for classes either on campus or online. 

  • Campus will be open and classes will meet in person to the extent possible. However, all faculty will be prepared to deliver courses online/hybrid so student learning will continue no matter the state of the pandemic and the expectations of public health officials. 
  • Some classes will be fully online. These classes would be most suitable for students who are not able to come to campus.
  • The Office of International Student and Scholar Services has created an FAQ document that addresses many common concerns. Click here to view the ISSS COVID-19 FAQ. 

Student involvement

Student involvement and engagement are an important part of the UD learning, living experience. 

  • UD will prioritize student use of larger meeting spaces to provide opportunities for students to gather that adhere to physical distancing requirements. Groups should continue to stay engaged via Zoom when physically meeting is not an option. 
  • The Center for Student Involvement workshops and training programs will be offered as online programs or a hybrid of online/in-person.
  • CAB and UD Late Night will create smaller in-person experiences, hybrid experiences, and online experiences.
  • The Student Organization Resource Guide will be updated to include new processes and protocols related to COVID-19.
  • Up the Orgs will be held as a virtual, online event.
  • Fall BreakOut trips and the REAL Dayton are cancelled in-person, but will likely happen as virtual webinars with our partners in different cities sharing what they would have otherwise shared with our students in person.
  • Table of Plenty lunch discussions will happen over Zoom, with an updated name to reflect the change in format. 
  • The Beyond UD Post-grad Volunteer Fair will be online.
  • PATH credit events will be adjusted to include more virtual events.

Mass and spiritual practice 

  • Masses in the Immaculate Conception Chapel will be offered, but with less occupancy. Masses in residence hall chapels will have reduced capacity as well. 
  • Protocols about face coverings, singing, seating, sign of peace and reception of Communion will be in place when we gather communally to celebrate Eucharist. Masses will also be live-streamed from the Chapel.
  • Additionally, all students are welcome to take advantage of quiet settings in any campus chapel for personal prayer, reflection, or meditation. Multifaith religious space in Curran Place at River Campus and prayer rooms in Rike Center are also available. Please observe physical distance and face covering guidelines when utilizing campus spaces.
  • Some Campus Ministry retreats, service projects and trips, small faith communities, Bible studies, dialogues on justice issues, etc. will continue as they have in the past. With physical distancing and travel restrictions, some will probably need to become virtual or hybrid. Campus Ministry team members are developing alternative plans for faith development based on health and safety precautions.

Gatherings and events, including meetings

The Path Forward Gatherings & Events Working Group developed guidelines for gatherings and events, including meetings, in University-owned or controlled space, following physical distancing and other protocols established by the Protective Measures Working Group. All in-person events will need to be evaluated for feasibility and whether the same objectives can be achieved through a virtual gathering. Given the spacing requirement of six feet between individuals, and the state’s definition of mass gatherings, space allocation will need to be carefully considered. Recognizing the need for some in-person experiences as essential to our educational mission and to the student campus experience, there will be a need to prioritize space for students while encouraging faculty and staff to continue the practice of virtual meetings whenever possible.

Assumptions: Gatherings and events, including meetings 

  • Physical distancing requirements will be in place until 2021 and possibly beyond, limiting the number of people in a given space.
  • Public Health guidelines need to be followed related to spacing of people, wearing face coverings, cleaning surfaces between events, etc. for all gatherings. This will decrease the density of groups and the maximum allowable size of all campus gatherings and events, including meetings.
  • In-person gatherings with an audience of students and/or potential students will be prioritized in campus spaces.
  • If you are serving food at your gathering, event or meeting, follow these food safety guidelines.
  • Many, if not all, requests for space will need to be canceled or amended, given the requirements for physical distancing and the need to prioritize space for the highest priority purposes that cannot be achieved by virtual means.
  • Maximum size of gatherings will be based on public health guidelines and space occupancy limits determined by physical distancing principles. Inside spaces (meeting rooms, etc.) will have a capacity approximately 30 percent of normal capacity based upon recommendations from Public Health - Dayton and Montgomery County.
  • Outside spaces (Central Mall, Humanities Plaza, etc.) also will have limits based on current public health guidelines and physical distancing principles.
  • The Division of Athletics plan about gatherings and events, including the use of UD Arena, will follow public health guidelines as well as guidelines established by the NCAA and the respective teams' conferences.
  • Plans for classroom space will differ; please consult guidelines from the Path Forward Academics Working Group when they are available.
  • This guidance is for University gatherings and events only and does not apply to or sanction impromptu informal social gatherings, including those in University-owned residences, which also must adhere to local and state limitations on the size of gatherings plus public health guidelines on face coverings and physical distancing. Visit the state of Ohio's COVID-19 website for current public health orders governing physical distancing, face coverings and attendance.

Recommendations: Gatherings & events, including meetings

  1. University leadership will instruct all units to examine plans to determine which gatherings and events, including meetings, produce a benefit that justifies an in-person delivery, which should be virtual, and which should be suspended.
  2. An in-person campus space request process should be implemented, utilizing the 1850 software platform. The tool in 1850 will include information about viable and engaging alternatives to gathering in-person. This flowchart will help with your analysis.
    1. To request space for an in-person gathering or event, all recognized student organizations will need approval from the Center for Student Involvement. This will include a risk-benefit analysis related to an in-person vs. virtual gathering. 
    2. To request space for an in-person gathering or event, including a meeting, all faculty and staff will need approval from their department/program/center to submit a request. This will include a risk-benefit analysis related to an in-person vs. virtual gathering.
  3. Academic classrooms and auditoriums will be made available for campus meetings and events when not being utilized for classes. Some spaces typically not used as classrooms may be designated as such.
  4. An ad hoc group will be charged by UD leadership to review and make priority decisions regarding requests for space for in-person gatherings. Special consideration should be given to gatherings that include first-year students.
  5. An ad hoc group will be created that includes those who manage campus spaces in order to coordinate the needs of approved space requests.
  6. Any groups using campus space for a gathering may need to take attendance in case contact tracing is needed (recommendations to be finalized by Public Health - Dayton and Montgomery County).

Questions: Gatherings & events, including meetings

Can I still schedule a meeting room for my meeting or program?

Maybe. Space will be limited, and the spaces we use will accommodate fewer people because of the six-foot physical distancing that will be required. Further, public health guidelines may change applicable limitations. The campus will be asked to consider other ways of achieving programming outcomes rather than booking a room as though it were “business as usual.” When we consider the priorities on campus, we have to think about how students will need to be involved and engaged outside of the classroom. Some of that can be online, but we’ll need to be creative about providing some in-person experiences that continue to follow the guidelines established by Public Health - Dayton and Montgomery County.

Do all scheduled events, including meetings, need approval?

All scheduled gatherings and events, including meetings, should be approved by department/program/center leadership, keeping in mind the need to evaluate the necessity of in-person gatherings. All student organizations must use the 1850 platform to schedule/get approval for all events. Faculty/staff should review the list of spaces on campus that require the use of the 1850 scheduling/approval platform and plan accordingly to acquire necessary approval and to secure space reservations.

If we cannot host large gatherings, what are students going to be doing outside of the classroom?

We recognize students come to UD for a holistic experience that involves gathering together and learning from each other. Some of this can be done online, but we will also develop ways for students to gather, have fun, meet other students, and engage in campus opportunities (six feet apart, of course).  

Do I need to cancel my event I already scheduled?

The University may cancel events in spaces not able to safely physically distance participants. However, alternative arrangements may be made to safely accommodate your event, depending on available space. If you reserved space for a gathering, event or meeting, review the new capacities based on physical distancing, and think about remote or virtual alternatives. If you would like to cancel the reservation, contact the appropriate office. If you determine an in-person gathering is crucial, get approval from your department/program/center and complete the required form in 1850 ( 

Is there a priority list for who gets to schedule rooms?

An ad-hoc group will be charged by UD leadership to review and make priority decisions regarding requests for space for in-person gatherings. Special consideration should be given to gatherings that include first-year students. Decisions will be made based on the ability to safely physically distance in the room and the need to provide an in-person experience that cannot be effectively provided in another way.

Why can’t I plan a gathering for the size of a wedding reception, which is 300 people ? 

Wedding receptions and a few other types of gatherings have been given exemptions under the State of Ohio‘s orders restricting mass gatherings. UD will use the principle of physical distance as the priority for determining maximum sizes of gathered groups. The maximum group size will be determined by the capacity of the space with physical distancing and public health guidelines in place at the time. 

Feedback from Town Hall: Gatherings & events, including meetings

How was the plan revised based on feedback from Town Halls:

  • Factored in the effect of decisions on events and gatherings on first-year students.
  • Recognition that some departmental meetings are confidential and may require space for an in-person gathering.

Feedback given that was not incorporated into the plan, and why:

  • Challenges/obstacles/things yet to be decided:
  • Are all currently scheduled events 2020 canceled?
    • Departments that schedule space will be reviewing scheduled events and contacting departments and student organizations as needed.
  • Will UD rent vacant office space downtown (recommend that, if rented, space be on the Flyer Ride route), recognizing that this would likely be in response to a specific need?
    • This is a broader question for the University to consider, if needed.
  • Will UD rent tents for additional outdoor gathering space?
    • Tents continue to be discussed as a possible alternative to indoor spaces or to provide a larger space for approved gatherings.


Dining poses a unique challenge as busy times historically coincide with class beginning and ending times, along with the challenge of dining while observing social distancing and wearing face coverings. 

  • Dining areas are being reconfigured in accordance with physical distancing guidelines. 
  • GET, the University's platform for ordering meals online for pickup options, is being added to all dining locations. More grab-and-go options are being added to menus.
  • To reduce high-touch points, the University is eliminating self-service areas and introducing contactless checkout. Cash will no longer be accepted.

Health Center and Counseling Center 

  • The Health Center has protocols in place to address the potential for students having COVID-19, and to reduce risk to staff and to students seeking care for other medical issues. 
  • To make an appointment, call 937-229-3131, press 1. If you have a fever or cough, press 2 to talk to a nurse first. Please call the health center first before coming to the center.
  • The student health center is open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
  • All University of Dayton Counseling Center services are being provided by Zoom or by telephone for new and existing clients. Students can contact the counseling center at 937-229-3141 to discuss appointment options. 
  • Remote services may be limited for students living outside Ohio because of certain state laws; check with the Counseling Center for details. 
  • Psychology Today and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration national helpline can provide referrals for anyone looking for a provider closer to home.
  • If you are in imminent danger of suicide, please call 911. If you have thoughts of self-harm or suicide and need to talk to someone, please call the National Suicide Hotline at 800-273-8255 or text "Help" to 741741.

University Libraries

The University Libraries will continue to provide services and collections to support learning, teaching and research.  

Campus rec 

Campus Recreation services will be shaped by guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, Ohio Department of Health, and Public Health - Dayton and Montgomery County to help minimize the potential for community spread of the coronavirus.


The Path Forward Travel Working Group was charged with developing criteria to resume professional travel and student travel, both international and domestic, from a health and safety, as well as budgetary perspective. In addition, the group will work to create a system and process for approving, registering and monitoring travel. The goal is to develop a set of criteria and protocols with health and safety as a top priority, and to create a clear, easy to use and transparent system. Student, faculty and staff, individual and group travel, are all included in this plan. 


  • This plan applies to any University-funded, University-supported, University-sponsored, or professional travel.
  • Travel is defined as any trip that is by plane, or "out-of-town" and overnight. 
  • Travelers should expect to quarantine for 14 calendars upon return from travel. Reductions to the self-quarantine may be granted on a case-by-case basis based on health and safety circumstances. Local off-campus activities where physical distancing and face coverings are not possible also may be subject to these guidelines.   
  • Due to the changing landscape with COVID-19, travel in the U.S. and internationally requires a new level of review and ongoing monitoring.
  • Travel during the semester should be minimized to reduce the risk of bringing COVID-19 to campus.  
  • A centralized system for travel will assist the University in providing the best health and safety support to travelers, and improve fiscal stewardship of travel spending.
  • The University will use the Terra Dotta platform, a system it already has, as the central reporting travel system beginning in early August. More information will be forthcoming.  Options Travel will continue to serve as the University travel agency. 
  • Guidance from International SOS, U.S. Department of State, Ohio Department of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other globally-recognized organizations helped shape this plan.
  • The definitions of essential and nonessential travel are summarized below.
  • This plan aligns with current high-risk travel guidelines. It will remain in effect until further notice and updated as appropriate. 

Travel plan 

  1. All international travel is suspended as long as the U.S. Department of State has a Level 4: Do No Travel warning and/or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a Warning - Level 3, Avoid Nonessential Travel. This includes individual and group travel for students, faculty and staff. 
  2. Essential international travel by individual faculty, staff or students may be permitted during the semester with an approved high-risk travel waiver application and if the traveler is able to fulfill all job/study obligations while abroad, even for an unexpectedly extended period, and while in isolation for 14 calendar days upon returning to the United States. Reductions to the self-quarantine may be granted on a case-by-case basis based on health and safety circumstances.
  3. International travel for the entire semester (e.g., study abroad, co-op, sabbaticals in another location) may, in limited cases, be permitted with an approved high-risk travel waiver application. Travelers must not come to campus at any point during the semester. 
  4. Essential domestic travel is permitted during the semester if travelers are able to work/study remotely for 14 calendar days, if necessary, without contact with other UD employees/students, after returning from the travel and before returning to work/study on campus. Reductions to the self-quarantine may be granted on a case-by-case basis based on health and safety circumstances. 
  5. All non-essential domestic travel will be suspended as long as the Ohio Department of Health recommends colleges and universities limit travel to reduce the risk of spread on campus. Under limited circumstances, high-risk travel waivers may be considered.  
  6. Domestic travel for the entire semester (e.g., education away, co-op, sabbaticals in another location) is permitted and travelers should not intend to come to campus at any point during the semester.
  7. Travelers must be able to comply with all guidelines and restrictions of the location (e.g., quarantine upon arrival).
  8. All returning travelers will be expected to work/study remotely for 14 calendar days, without contact with other UD employees or students, before returning to campus. Reductions to the self-quarantine may be granted on a case-by-case basis based on health and safety circumstances.
  9. All travel must be pre-approved through a new centralized process before any travel reservations can be made. The UD integrated travel system for university travel, individual or group, can be found here. All travel should be approved in the system prior to making travel plans. Since travel is limited to essential only due to Covid 19 and budget restrictions, travelers are encouraged to contact with any questions. When normal travel resumes, trainings and additional information for campus will be made available. 
  10. Conditions will continue to be monitored and modifications made, as appropriate.
  11. All faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to refrain from non-essential personal travel (See definition above). If faculty or staff have plans for personal travel, they are encouraged to discuss plans with their supervisor and may be asked to work remotely for 14 calendar days upon return. Reductions to the self-quarantine may be granted on a case-by-case basis based on health and safety circumstances. The CDC offers the following helpful advice:

            Please consult these resources as you consider your personal decisions. If you have concerns about personal activities that may put others on campus at risk, please discuss these with your supervisor or contact Human Resources at Students and parents with questions can email

  12. All travelers should follow the on-campus guidelines for face coverings and physical distancing while traveling. 
  13. The high-risk travel waiver process will be updated to reflect concerns due to COVID-19. The revised waiver request will be available in the coming week. 
  14. Update the University Policy on Travel and Entertainment to include the use of Terra Dotta as the central reporting system and a statement on the status of travel as impacted by COVID 19.

Summary chart


Time Frame




During semester

Permitted (4)

Suspended; could be considered with approved high-risk travel waiver (1, 2)

Entire semester

Permitted (6)

Suspended; could be considered with approved high-risk travel waiver (1, 3)


During semester

Suspended; could be considered with approved high-risk travel waiver (very limited) (5)

Suspended (1) 

Entire semester

Permitted (6)

Suspended; could be considered with approved high-risk travel waiver (1, 3)

Numbers reference the plan point above that includes additional details

In all cases where travel is approved during the semester, the traveler must comply with the plan regarding completing work/study remotely before they can return to campus. Reductions to the self-quarantine may be granted on a case-by-case basis based on health and safety circumstances. 

When travel is permitted with a high-risk travel waiver, it is from a health and safety lens. Budgetary approval must also be sought and granted from the Unit.  

Essential vs. nonessential travel

As travel resumes, consideration of whether it is essential or nonessential will be part of the process for health/safety, risk and/or financial reasons. Below is an overview of descriptions of essential versus non-essential travel for faculty, staff and students.





  • Preserve the safety or integrity of a research subject, or results of research activity and cannot be postponed
  • Required to further mission critical teaching and research
  • Travel to attend professional or educational conferences
  • Travel to conduct research that can be postponed
  • Travel to activities that can be conducted virtually
  • Presentations at a conference essential for T&P
  • Certifications required for their role and it is the only option
  • Financial implications for the institution
  • Reputation implications for the institution
  • Contractual obligations
  • Scope and scale, number of participants


  • Mission critical, time sensitive and cannot be postponed
  • When not traveling will cause harm to the operations or the fiscal status of the university.
  • Professional development
  • Attending a conference, presenting at a conference
  • Travel to activities that can be conducted virtually
  • Certifications required for their role and it is the only option
  • Contractual obligations
  • Financial implications for the institution
  • Reputation implications for the institution
  • Recruitment for essential roles that can not be done virtually 
  • Scope and scale, number of participants

Graduate student

  • Travel that is necessary to meet a graduation requirement, and cannot be postponed or achieved through other means
  • Professional development
  • Attending a conference, presenting at a conference
  • Travel to activities that can be conducted virtually
  • Timing within program
  • Impact on overall academic experience
  • Scope and scale, number of participants


  • Very exceptional cases (high-risk travel waiver required)
  • Travel for academic credit that is necessary to meet a graduation requirement, cannot be postponed or achieved through an alternative assignment
  • All other educational travel
  • All Student Org Travel
  • Timing within program
  • Impact on overall academic experience 
  • Contractual obligations (e.g. Athletics)
  • Scope and scale, number of participants

Visitors and guests

While the University prides itself on being a place of hospitality, our guidelines seek to limit access, especially inside campus buildings, to only “essential visitors," those individuals directly engaged in fulfilling or sustaining UD's education and research activities. The guidelines apply to guest speakers, alumni, guest researchers, contractors or other visitors to campus who may be invited by academic or administrative individuals or units as well as individual students or student groups. These guidelines also apply to informal visits or those for strictly social purposes. Exceptions for guests and visitors on University property can be found in the "Certain facility exceptions" section. Find all visitor and guest guidelines here.

Other support

Services that support and enrich the learning, living environment for students will continue to be provided. The challenges of living during the COVID-19 pandemic will amplify stressors on students, and the University expects and is planning for increased demand for support services. A key consideration is how effective, personalized services can be delivered in accordance with public health guidance. Plans for in-person and virtual delivery of services in the areas of student success, mental health, equity and inclusion, and ADA and Title IX accommodations and compliance are being developed and will be forthcoming. 

Stress and coping

Coping effectively with stress will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger. Ways to cope with stress may include:

  • Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
  • Take care of your body.
  • Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
  • Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.
  • Reach out to Campus Ministry or a spiritual adviser for prayer and support.
  • Feeling overwhelmed or need a place to start? Reach out to the Dean of Students Office, 

Section 6: Increased cleaning and sanitation

Every member of the community has a shared responsibility for cleaning and sanitizing their own work, study, and living areas; shared spaces, such as classrooms, labs, studios, gathering spaces; and other shared resources and commonly touched items. 

  • The University will provide disinfecting wipes (or disinfecting spray and paper towels) in shared areas so occupants can do their part to prevent surface transmission of the virus.
  • The University will ask that students, faculty, and staff remove from meeting and work areas, commonly touched items and materials, such as shared phones, remote controls, dry erase markers, and other objects.
  • Community members should clean as they enter and before using shared spaces. You are only required to clean areas you will come in contact with (e.g., a podium, chairs, tables, and other surfaces you will touch.)

In addition, the University's janitorial contractor, Alpha & Omega (A&O), is performing enhanced daily cleaning in communal areas in campus buildings:

  • This includes restrooms, hallways, stairways, lobbies, lounges, break rooms, kitchens, and classrooms — based on CDC guidelines and Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) protocols. 
  • A&O is using hospital-grade disinfectants to sanitize all common touch areas on a daily basis, including door knobs, handrails, elevator and other buttons, light switches, faucets, and shared public items such as drinking fountains and vending machines. 
  • Special-use spaces such as health centers, athletic spaces, recreational spaces, training rooms, libraries, dining halls, and child care centers require site-specific plans for cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing based on all federal and state guidelines and recommendations. 
  • Cleaning and disinfecting plans for these locations are being developed and will be available upon request. 

Signage and markings

COVID-19-specific signage and markings were added to each building. These inform and remind community members and visitors of required measures to help prevent community virus. Members of the campus community and visitors are required to comply with these notices. Signage and floor decals will also indicate rules and directions for foot traffic. 


Housing and Residence Life:  

UD Student Health Center: 937-229-3131  

Counseling Center: 937-229-3141 

Dean of Students: 


Office of the President

St. Mary's Hall
300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 1624