Message To Students

Posted on March 18th, 2020 by

TO: Gustavus Students
FROM: JoNes VanHecke, Vice President for Student Life
SUBJECT: New Information following President’s Announcement
DATE: March 17, 2020

Dear Students,

I am writing to provide you with additional information related to President Bergman’s announcement earlier today that Gustavus will be moving to online learning for the remainder of the spring semester. I’m writing to ask every Gustie who does not have a reason to remain on campus to depart as soon as reasonably possible. I have increasing concerns that travel restrictions and shelter in place orders could be in Minnesota’s future. Please read the below information carefully.

ANY student who has need to remain on campus after 5pm on Sunday, March 22 MUST complete a petition to do so by filling out the request form using the link in this paragraph. The deadline to request an exemption is Thursday, March 19 at noon. After you complete the Special Housing Request Form  (manual link:  a member of the Dean of Students Office will contact you by phone to gather further details and explore options. If exempted, we guarantee housing but not necessarily in your currently assigned residence hall room. Specifically, please understand that if you receive permission to remain on campus, staying in your current housing assignment is not guaranteed. You may be asked to move to another on-campus housing location at some point in the future for safety reasons.

  • Examples of reasons you may need to remain on campus could include:

○      Home is in a prohibited travel zone

○      Family member who is immunocompromised living in the same residence

○      Home lacks the technological infrastructure to support on-line learning

○      International students who have concerns for ability to return for the fall semester

For students who are currently residing on campus…

  • If you don’t have a compelling reason to remain on campus, please depart as soon as feasible but no later than Sunday, March 22 at 5:00 p.m..
  • Consider alternate off-campus living arrangements if possible (friend, relative, etc.)
  • If you are able to easily take your belongings with you now, please do so.
  • If family members will be coming to get you, please practice all recommended hygiene and social distancing procedures.
  • If you are not able to take your belongings now, rest assured that they can remain in your residence hall room and you will be able to retrieve them at a later coordinated time.

For students who are not currently residing on campus…

  • Students without an approved living exemption will not be welcomed back on campus until further notice.
  • Do not plan to return to campus at this time to retrieve your belongings.
  • Additional information will be forthcoming about timelines and arrangements for move-out from your residence hall room or apartment. We will need to plan a coordinated move-out that is in keeping with guidance about social distancing and that plan will take us a little bit to organize.
  • You will not have access to your residence hall without prior permission from Residential Life. Please send call 507-933-7529 or email:

For students still needing textbooks for this term:

  1. Check for possible free ebooks:  (more titles being added daily)
  • Scroll down and click on “Access Free ebooks” enter title or ISBN. 
  • If you already have a Red Shelf Account set up:

o   Search for the titles you need and they will open in your existing account.

  1. If there is not a free ebook option, or you would prefer print:
  • Click the link at the bottom of your class schedule in WebAdvisor


The BookMark is offering free ground shipping to all 48 contiguous United States.

Please remember that President Bergman indicated in her email to the community that additional information is forthcoming related to housing and meal plan cost adjustments.  I encourage you to forward this email to your parent(s) or guardian(s).

We are here to support you. Please feel free to contact the Dean of Students office by phone at 507-933-7526 or email at:


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