August 21, 2020

To all parents and guardians of students living on campus this fall,

If you will be coming to New Haven next week with a student who is moving onto campus, you can expect a move-in day that is in some ways typical, with plenty of excitement, pride, maybe some fretting, and even sadness in saying goodbye, just as Yale families have done for over 300 years. But of course in other ways it will be not typical at all because of the pandemic and all the preparations that the university has made in response to it. If you will be here in New Haven, I want you to enjoy the day; it is an important one. I also want you to understand what to expect.

Restrictions apply to some families based on the origin of their trip to New Haven. All families may travel to the city and within Connecticut as long as they meet public health requirements established by the state, including wearing a mask or face covering in public and maintaining social distancing. However, only family members traveling from certain states may enter the colleges or other campus residences. The list of states is determined by positive test rates and is posted here. Family members traveling from restricted states marked in red on the posted list, even if they have tested negative for COVID-19 or recovered from the virus, may not enter the colleges or any campus residences.

Here is what you can expect, then, when you reach the front gate: Students will check in when they arrive, then unload their belongings on the sidewalk outside, with help from anyone who has accompanied them, including you. They will then label their boxes. At that point, professional movers, supervised by a Yale staff member, will move everything to the room. Neither students nor anyone accompanying them should assist them.

This is the preferred and requested time for goodbyes, outside the gates, even for families who are technically approved to enter the colleges or other residences. It preserves equity for everyone, keeps courtyards, stairwells, and rooms clear, and gives students the ability to focus on the testing that is required of them the minute they walk through the gates and enter quarantine. They have received guidance to pack light, so unpacking should be straightforward, and they can receive deliveries during the quarantine period. If you nevertheless plan to enter a college or residence, I ask that you limit your time to the minimum amount necessary, wear a mask or face covering, and maintain social distancing. I especially ask that you be respectful of other families who may not enter, and be sensitive that you are entering a quarantine area where students and faculty live.

There is every reason to look forward to the day. For first-year students, the start of college is one of life's great moments, and for returning students it is a time to reunite with friends, many of them lifelong, and together resume their studies. For families, it is always a day of pride and celebration, the reward for hard work and great sacrifice. When the goodbyes come, they are never easy, but they are always made in good company and good cheer, and in the knowledge that something great is about to begin. So it will be next week on those New Haven sidewalks, as you say your farewells and return home.

I send you my best wishes for the semester ahead.


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