Return to Campus Plan for Fall 2020

Messiah University is in session this fall with flexible in-person and remote learning options, health and safety protocols and student care and support.


Restructuring our cocurricular activities

Two girls wearing masks sitting across from a table

Restructuring our cocurricular activities in the age of COVID-19

The Division of Student Success and Engagement is preparing to welcome back our undergraduate students with a meaningful, modified offering of cocurricular pograms, services and facilities designed to protect their health and safety during the challenging circumstances of COVID-19:

Counseling Services

Counseling Services staff will be housed in the Climenhaga Homestead and the Hoffman Building. Students can schedule appointments by coming to the Climenhaga Homestead second floor office, or by calling 717-796-5357. In-person appointments will be available for residential and commuting students. Telehealth appointments will be available for fully remote students, and for residential and commuting students who are not able to attend in-person appointments.

Chapel Worship, Life Groups, and Christian Faith Formation Resources

As we consider Christian Faith Formation and Discipleship on campus in 2020-21, Messiah University Campus Ministries will continue to remain Mission-centric to keep ‘Christ Preeminent’, collaborative, reconciliation-focused, and eager to promote student initiative and leadership development. Since large gatherings will not be possible, the chapel requirement will be waived. Yet, in order to maintain spiritual vitality on campus, campus ministries plans to offer the following kinds of programs and resources to encourage personal and communal spiritual disciplines:

  1. Each week the Campus ministries team will host an online chapel experience, a podcast with community members reflecting on the chapel message, devotionals, and Sixers all designed to promote spiritual growth and understanding.  Some of these resources will be pre-recorded, so that the campus community can participate and interact as the opportunity arises.
  2. Life Groups, Bible study groups, and prayer ministries will be offered – both in-person and virtually – by student ministry leaders from Men’s Ministry, Women’s Ministry, Prayer Outreach Team, and the Logos Ministry Team. These discipleship-based ministries will forge intentional relationships with spiritual accountability, and nurture our students to grow in Biblical literacy and spiritual formation. Students will have the option to sign up for any of these groups individually, or by Residence Hall/Apartment floors to be led and mentored by Student Ministries leaders.
  3. Campus ministries will craft a resource center within Canvas to provide further discipleship and Christian faith formation resources. This resource center will provide tools for student leaders, employees, and students seeking to explore pathways for continued growth and/or mentoring, and for community members to express prayer concerns and requests for pastoral counseling.

*Congregational singing, heretofore a vital component of our community’s worship life, has been linked to the spread of Covid19. Until current studies demonstrate otherwise, we will not be singing collectively in spaces on campus (Chapel, Powerhouse, etc.).

Athletics, rec sports, club sports and sports medicine


The MAC (Mid Atlantic Conference) has cancelled fall 2020 athletics competition. The MAC is committed to the health and well-being of all individuals involved and will reevaluate the situation for spring sports and competition, potentially holding fall championships in the spring.  Fall student athletes will move back to campus on the same schedule as all students.  Follow for the most up-to-date information regarding athletics. 

Sports medicine

Key factors to bringing back NCAA intercollegiate athletics from a Sports Medicine standpoint include:

  1. Sports Medicine will monitor athletes with a daily questionnaire and temperature checks. Any report of positive symptoms or a fever will be immediately referred to the Engle center via an initial telehealth consults and guidance on testing and possible isolation/quarantine.  
  2. Establishing assigned practice windows for each individual athlete so as to assist with contact tracing when necessary.
  3. All shared equipment will be disinfected after each use. Coaching staff and athletic trainers will work together to ensure this is done properly. Additionally, the sports medicine staff will reinforce hand sanitation and hygiene practices. 
  4. Following the phasing set forth by the NCAA, each phase must be reinforced with coaches and athletic trainers to ensure social distancing is followed, and if social distancing is not practical, other precautionary measures (masks) will be used. 

Club sports

At this point we are not planning to have club sports in the fall.  NCAA varsity sports are proving to be challenging and will be implemented (likely limited) under the careful consideration and cooperation of MAC members.  In addition, the amount of precaution and care needed from our sports medicine professionals in order to keep athletes healthy is significant.  It seems unlikely that the Club sports teams and/or leagues have the ability to work together to provide the same amount of caution and care and we simply do not have the resources to do this and allow for safe and healthy competition.  If something changes that would allow us to have sports in a way that does not require such attention, we can revisit the decision. 

Rec sports

Recreational Sports will operate with the following modifications:

  1. No indoor sports
  2. Outdoor sports/activities will be permitted following the most recent regulations submitted by PA Government
  3. On top of the guidelines submitted by the PA government we will limit sports and activities to those that fall into, or are similar to, the low contact and medium contact risk groups as classified by the NCAA.
  4. Work study students will get a verbal “yes” from all participants that they have filled out the Falco Health Covid-19 Check-in for the day and enforce the following protocols
    • Students will sanitize hands before each game
    • Students will sanitize hands after each game
    • Students will not be required to wear a mask while competing 
    • Students will be required to wear a mask while on the sideline
    • While competing, and when practically possible, students will distance
    • Students will distance when not competing
  5. We will be sharing equipment as such, participants will need to be conscious of (and reminded of) hand hygiene: Do not touch your face and then touch the equipment.   Sanitizing equipment between each touch is impractical and will not occur.  Equipment will be sanitized between each game.

Esports Progam

Even though esports can be conducted online when it comes to tournaments and competition, players and administration need a certain amount of on-site interaction in order to optimally function. A modified plan will leverage the strengths of working remotely, while also allowing students to safely participate in on-campus esports activities.

The varsity practice space (located in Mellinger C basement) is designed to fit about 16 people (15 players plus the coach), sectioned into three pods. To accommodate the needs of the campus community and comply with health and safety parameters, a schedule will be created to limit the amount of people in the space at the same time to 10 as most gaming titles have less than 10 players participating. Players can be physically distanced from each other by leaving two stations empty between each person. Since there are 15 computers in the room, it would mean that all players still have access to a station within reasonable distance from each other. Protective cloth masks will be required in the esports facility and players will be asked to self-clean their station upon exit.

The esports gaming lounge will be closed to the general student body until further notice and may only be utilized by the esports team, coaches and work-study students. The esports program will begin online, and slowly transition back to use of the practice space by mid-September while implementing the above adaptations. This plan is easy to adapt should circumstances change. Other than team practices and meetings, events will not be held in the esports spaces until it is safe to do so. Any campus-based tournaments can be done online. In the case a state-mandated lockdown, it may be possible to allow team members to take a CPU home with them if their setups are not sustainable to allow tournament play at an optimal level.

Falcon Fitness Center and access to gyms

The Falcon Fitness Center will open in phases. The Director of Campus Wellness and Recreation (with input from VP of SSE) will “OK” each phased opening, dependent upon on member behavior and current health of the campus.  Phase 1 will open the left side of the fitness center only (cardio and limited weights);   Phase 2  will add the weight room on right side of the fitness center (no platforms); and Phase 3 will add in the Olympic and Power Platforms.  Exceptions to these phases may be made for supervised Wellness Classes for credit and supervised (by CSCS – not coach) strength and conditioning.

The Fitness Center will operate at 50 percent occupancy with increased sanitization stations/member wipe down supplies throughout the fitness center as well as significant signage directing participants to follow appropriate risk mitigation practices:

Social Distancing


Education & Communication


1. There will be 6 ft  between cardio equipment.

1. All difficult to clean equipment will be removed.

1. Front desk  will ask participants to  confirm   completion of the Falcon Health COVID-19 check-in for the day  

Masks or face shields will be required at all times in the fitness center. This includes while exercising.

2. There will be 6 ft between resistance training machines

2. TRX, stability ball, bands, jump ropes, mats, etc. will removed 

2. Work studies trained to enforce members cleaning equipment prior to and after working at as well as 1 way flow/social distancing expectation

Masks or face shields will be required at all times in the fitness center. This includes while exercising.


3. Appropriate distances will be taped off in the DB/Free weight area

3. Members will be required to sanitize equipment before and after use

3. Signs posted every where to communicate rules/expectations

Masks or face shields will be required at all times in the fitness center. This includes while exercising.


4. The fitness center will use a one way traffic flow 

4. Members sanitize hands upon entrance and exit – multiple stations throughout fitness center

4. Work study training will be redesigned to address new responsibilities and to be online.

5. Reservations will required during busy times and times that overlap with classes.

5. Continual cleaning by floater work study  


Additional programs will also be modified to allow for social distancing and sanitizing. 

Group Exercise

Indoor Track

Given the nature of exercise, group exercise we will limited to 15 people.

This space will largely be utilized as a mask required walking only space

The only classes offered will be where participants stay stationary.

Clearly marked social distancing indicators will be implemented.

In all cases, the instructor will be tasked with sanitizing mats and equipment after use.

This space can also be used as an overflow space if other areas get crowded.

Recommendation that participants bring their own equipment.

Virtual/Online Programming

Virtual and online resources will be shared between wellness for credit and fitness center.  Specifically, campus wellness and recreation along with academic wellness classes will coordinate in developing a website/canvas cite/social media sites with a range of holistic health, wellness, and fitness resources to be used by all stakeholders in our community.  This will include live as well as pre-recorded classes without equipment, fitness tips/workouts, and wellness/mental health tips and resources.

Academic support services

Academic Coaching

Academic Coaching sessions can be scheduled via Falcon Link using the Academic Coaching tab or through the link at  Students will have the option to meet with their coach face to face (while maintaining social distancing) or virtually.  The coaching application will direct you to make a preference at the time of scheduling.   To attend a face to face session, the student simply need to come to our office.  The student will be directed to wait in a designated area.  When the coach is ready for their appointment, the coach will meet you at the location and take you to coaching room.

In virtual meetings, the student will connect with the coach through a unique url that will be posted on the coaching application. When it is time for a coaching appointment, students will click on their coach’s url link. At that point in time, students will be directed to a waiting room.  When the coach is available (they may be ending a previously scheduled coaching session), the student will be connected with their coach and the session will begin.  Information regarding this procedure in more detail can be found at

Peer Tutoring

Students who wish to schedule a tutoring session will continue to use the Learning Center tab on Falcon Link. Some tutors may request you tutor with them virtually while other tutors may agree to meet with you 1:1.  Decisions regarding their preferences will occur during the first week of school.

There will some dedicated space for 1-1 tutoring that allows for social distancing.  This space will be limited.  Where possible, students are encouraged to meet with their tutors virtually. To do so, students will use their tutor’s unique Zoom url link. When it is time for the scheduled appointment, students will click on their tutor’s url link.   Once that link is clicked, the tutee will be sent to a waiting room. When the tutor is available (they may be finishing up a session), the session will begin. Students can find all links to schedule and attend Peer Tutoring at   All questions regarding this service should be directed to Amy Slody at

Supplemental Instruction

Supplemental Instruction will occur in the classroom and virtually.  The face to face format will be first come first served.  If the room is at capacity, students are welcome to participate in the session virtually.  Please be advised that Zoom sessions are 40 minutes at a time. Your SI Leader will structure the session around this limitation. Please check your course Canvas site for access information and further details. Questions can be sent to For more information, please visit the Supplemental Instruction webpage

Writing Center

The Writing Center will have tutors available, either through 1-1 appointment or virtual appointments.  The details will be available on the Writing Center website.

Office of Academic Accessibility (formerly known as the Office of Disability Services)

The OAA will be open from 8:30-5:00 pm Monday through Friday.  Because space is limited, students will be expected to make appointments prior to coming in.  To do so, please email Amy Slody at, Tony Devine at or Deana Baddorf at your preferred date and time.  You may also schedule an appointment by calling the office at extension 7260 or by utilizing the academic coaching application on Falcon link.  Appointments can be face to face or virtual.  Simply let your coach/staff member know your preference and we will comply with your requests to the best of our ability.  Same day appointments are most likely going to be available, so please do not hesitate to ask for one.

Career and Professional Development Center

Career Coaching Appointments

In-person and virtual career coaching appointments will be available on topics such as choosing/changing a major, exploring career options, planning for an internship, searching for a job, applying to graduate school, resume writing, and interviewing. To schedule an appointment with one our professional career coaches, visit the CPDC website.  Under “Appointment Options,” click the link for the Handshake Portal and follow the instructions from there. Questions? Contact Dwayne Keiffer.

Resume Reviews

Resume reviews can be conducted in an appointment format as noted above, or students can simply email a draft to

Internship Program

The Internship Program will continue to support students looking to complete internships for academic credit. An increase in virtual internships is expected. Students who will be participating in in-person, on-site internships will be required to sign a release form acknowledging any potential risks related to Covid-19. Questions related to registering an internship for credit with the internship program can be directed to Joy Fea, Assistant Director for Internships and Faculty Partnerships.

Job & Internship Searching

For some students, finding internship and job opportunities during the pandemic will come with unique challenges. Opportunities will continue to be added to the Handshake portal regularly. A weekly email with new postings will be sent out to all students. Specially selected resources to assist students have been added to the CPDC website. Questions related to either of these topics can be discussed more in-depth with a career coach by scheduling an appointment.

Mock Interviews

Students can practice interviewing and receive feedback virtually through our online tool Big Interview or via an appointment with a career coach. We anticipate that many employers will be conducting interviews virtually with prospective interns and job candidates. See an article on this here.

Events & Employer Information Sessions

Most CPDC events (e.g. career and graduate school fairs, Into the City career immersion trips, Pizza with Professionals, etc.) will be held virtually this fall. Watch for virtual events and videos that feature employer info sessions, office “tours”workshops on job/internship searching, resume writing, interviewing and more! Follow us on Facebook or Instagram for notifications on when these are happening and other exclusive content. All sessions are being recorded, so if you miss one, check out the archives here.

Experiential Learning Initiative (ELI) Options

Questions about meeting the ELI requirement should be directed to Ashley Jones, Coordinator of Experiential Learning and Special Events.

CPDC in the Classroom

Faculty seeking to have a presentation by the CPDC should consult with Joy Fea, Assistant Director for Internships and Faculty Partnerships. Sessions can be conducted in-person or virtually.