Grinnell to welcome first-year students to campus in February

Dec. 17, 2020 — Students in the class of 2024 will have the opportunity to live on the Grinnell College campus during Spring Term 1.

With effective health and safety measures in place, Grinnell’s leaders felt comfortable inviting first-year students to live in the College residence halls when the term begins Feb. 1.

“The results thus far from our testing program have shown that the Grinnell College community’s commitment to health and safety has been very effective,” President Anne F. Harris said in a campus email announcing the news. “The rate of positive tests among staff, faculty, and students is well below what we are seeing across Iowa and much of the country. Our ability to welcome first-year students in Spring Term 1 is due to the seriousness with which students, staff, and faculty have approached our community health responsibilities.”

First-year students also have the option of continuing with remote learning. Either way, the primary mode of instruction will be online throughout the spring with the possibility of limited in-person learning experiences with other first-year students.

Campus events and programming will also likely continue to be primarily online as well to help with social distancing and provide a common experience for students unable to return to campus.

The College has created a campus activity level system to communicate what core activities look like on campus depending on community health conditions. The campus activity level web page displays the current campus activity level (yellow as of Dec. 16), explains what each level means for daily activities on campus, and provides links to relevant information.

About 350 students were in Grinnell during the fall semester, living on or off campus. Students were tested weekly. There have been a total of five positive student tests since testing began on Aug. 24.

“Our rigorous testing program, when paired with other important community health measures has shown that students on campus and in Grinnell have done a remarkable job staying healthy and safe,” Harris said. “Their efforts have made it possible for our campus story to be different from that of many other communities. Our students on campus and in town have set a remarkable example for those who will arrive in Spring Term 1 – and for our community in general. Increasing our capacity to host students on campus will require that we all maintain vigilance and care.”

—by Jeremy Shapiro

For your information:

Learn more about Grinnell’s COVID-19 testing program.

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