March 12, 2020

Dear students,

Yesterday, I wrote to inform you of Yale’s latest steps in response to the threat of COVID-19. Today, I have an update and additional details to share about students’ access to the residential colleges. My office has also developed an initial set of FAQs.

At this point, I am asking you to leave campus if at all possible; if you are already traveling off campus, I ask that you not return. This is a strengthening of my original request, made possible by the decision that Yale College can arrange and pay for travel home for all students on financial aid. I understand that staying away from campus will pose challenges and hardships. Still, this is the most prudent course for community and individual safety. I will be making only limited exceptions, such as for students whose home country is under a Level-3 CDC travel advisory or for emancipated students. I have shared guidelines with the heads and deans, who will work closely with my office to identify students who have exceptional circumstances and may need to remain on campus.

We recognize that planning is difficult in this rapidly evolving situation. Below are some initial details and guidelines to help.

  • If you are on financial aid and wish to take advantage of the offer of travel assistance, please contact your residential college head’s office.
  • If you have left important items in your dorm rooms, please do not return simply to pick them up. If you have a friend on campus who can pack and ship things for you, they can gain access with your permission via your college’s office. We are working with faculty to encourage them to be flexible for students who may not have their textbooks or other materials.
  • If necessary, you will be allowed to access your room for a period of no more than 24 hours, even during the second week of spring break.

Please also continue to register your travel (both domestic and international). This will allow us to alert you if the COVID-19 situation changes in your area.

There is more information in the FAQs, which will be updated as the situation develops. Please be skeptical of any rumors: rely instead on information directly announced in official communications from the university or me.

With best wishes,

Marvin M. Chun
Dean of Yale College
Richard M. Colgate Professor of Psychology; Neuroscience; Cognitive Science