Restructuring our cocurricular activities

Two girls wearing masks sitting across from a table

Restructuring our cocurricular activities in the age of COVID-19

This year the Division of Student Success and Engagement is providing 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. Students can schedule appointments by coming to the Climenhaga Homestead  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. 

Messiah students also now have access to FalconCare, which provides free, 24/7 access to the following services anywhere in the United States, 365 days a year:  

  • Medical: On-demand access to a medical provider that can treat a wide range of common illnesses like cold and flu, sinus infection, allergies and more. 

  • TalkNow: On-demand access to a mental health professional to talk about anything at any time. 

  • Scheduled Counseling: Scheduled options to speak to a licensed counselor. 

  • Health Coaching: Access to a nutritional specialist to help students adopt healthier lifestyle behaviors related to sleep issues, weight management and more. 

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.  Although large gatherings are still not possible, we have plans in place to foster spiritual vitality on campus, and will offer the following programs and resources to encourage personal and communal spiritual disciplines this spring: 

 A Canvas course with multiple options for students: 

  • a limited-seating, in-person chapel service* on Tuesday mornings in Parmer Hall with a subsequent viewing link in Canvas 

  • a monthly podcast available in Canvas

  • two waves of six-week chapel series, or Sixers, that meet either Thursday mornings live in-person or via Zoom 

  • when weather permits, Friday Night Worship events and an all-encompassing worship event, Incense on April 18 

  • 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. To sign-up or more information, email:

 *Congregational singing, previously a vital component of our community’s worship life, has been linked to the spread of COVID-19. 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) cancelled fall 2020 athletics competition and tentatively plans to allow men’s and women’s basketball to compete this winter starting a conference-only schedule no earlier than mid-February with the possibility of a conference championship. The swimming schedule is slated to start in early March, potentially culminating with a MAC Championship in mid-April. Both the 2021 wrestling and indoor track & field conference championships have been canceled, but institutions are allowed autonomy to schedule competitions outside of the conference. The MAC is committed to the health and well-being of all individuals involved and will reevaluate the situation for spring sports and competition.   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 student-athletes with routine symptom and temperature checks. Any report of positive symptoms or a fever will be immediately referred to the Engle center and will follow institutional policy for a suspected case.   

  1. Equipment that is shared with the hands (basketball, volleyball) 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.  

  1. 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.  

  • Differences in phasing will exist, respective of the risk of transmission and location of a given sport (inside vs. outside). 

  • Pausing a team or all athletic teams will be made based on pre-determined test positivity rate and population (athletics) positivity rate. 

  1. All competition will abide by the MAC policy for COVID-19. 

  1. Any student-athlete that tests positive for COVID-19 must have a follow-up appointment with his/her primary care physician and/or the team physician, and any further cardiac testing if warranted based on the algorithm here: (, in conjunction with the most recent JAMA Cardiology article as of October 26, 2020 ( The post-infection form can be found on the student-athlete portal. 

  1. Athletics testing for COVID-19 will follow instruction from both NCAA as well as the MAC. Further information is TBD. 

Club sports

At this point we are not planning to have Club Sports in the spring. 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. Club Sports teams may continue to operate and meet within COVID-19 health and safety parameters, but competition with other schools is not an option. 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

Rec Sports will continue to operate under federal, state, and university guidelines. Similar to the fall we are planning multiple leagues and tournaments. Once finalized, details will be posted through our Instagram (@messiahrecsports) page and communicated through mass email. 

Esports Program

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. In Fall 2020, a plan was created to accommodate the needs of the campus community by limiting the amount of people in the space to 10 at a time, as well as leveraging the esports gaming lounge as an additional varsity practice area (the lounge will continue to be closed to the general study body until further notice). This plan will continue in Spring 2021. Players are  physically distanced from each other with computers spaced six feet apart, and are asked to abide by a schedule for team practices and scrims in order to avoid overcrowding. Protective cloth masks are required in the esports facility and players are responsible for cleaning their station upon exit. Players are encouraged to play from their dorms if they have any signs of illness. All players sign a space use agreement to indicate their compliance with these rules. 

This plan is easy to adapt should circumstances change. Other than team practices and meetings, events will not be held in the esports rooms until it is safe to do so. Any campus-based tournaments will be done online unless granted permission otherwise. 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

Falcon Fitness Center  

The Falcon Fitness Center will continue to operate under federal, state, and university guidelines. Detailed information regarding hours, access, and policies and procedures can be found on our website: Any questions can be sent to Kevin Ogden at  

Group Exercise  

Group exercise will once again be free for all students and employees this spring. When finalized the schedule and description will be posted to our website: 

Open Gyms  

Open gyms are canceled for the spring 2021 semester 

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 one-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  


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. 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 needs 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 one-on-one. Decisions regarding their preferences will occur during the first week of school.

There will some dedicated space for one-on-one 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 year. 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.