Living on Campus

Welcome to Campus!

We are so happy to welcome you to campus. Following the start of classes on August 10, students will work through the semester without the usual fall break in order to complete the semester before Thanksgiving weekend. With these changes, we are focused on making this transition smooth, informative, and fun! We cannot wait to have students join us on campus.

The following information highlights several areas that impact student life before arriving on campus, and for the fall semester. 

Mandatory COVID Testing

All students attending in-person classes, including those living off campus, must be tested for COVID-19 prior to coming to Saint Mary’s for the fall 2020 semester. Because of the surge in COVID testing in several parts of the country, testing labs are reporting longer than expected wait times for results. Therefore, we have made some modifications to the testing requirement to assist you in obtaining the tests and results. 

The physician's order and instruction letter you received in an email from President Conboy on July 9, indicates that you are to obtain a nasal  PCR test. While this is the best test for the COVID-19 virus and what we prefer, there are now shortages of this test in parts of the country. We are willing to accept PCR tests collected by other routes (oropharyngeal or saliva). We also will accept the results from a rapid antigen test. However, antibody tests will not be accepted.

In addition, we have heard from a number of families there is concern they may not get test results in a timely manner. Therefore, all students may be tested 14 days in advance of their scheduled move-in date, rather than 10–12 days as we advised earlier. If you are having trouble finding a test, please contact Cyndie Horton-Cavanaugh at

To access more detailed, updated instructions for testing and the physician's order, click the button below. Because there will be many questions relating to this step, including where to obtain testing, billing information, etc., please review our list of frequently asked questions for detailed information.

Online Training Module

Prior to coming to campus, all students must complete the COVID-19 Student Training module. This brief training module will guide you on the ways in which you can help maintain a safe environment at Saint Mary’s College. 

The COVID-19 Student Training consists of two steps, first a presentation module for review, then a brief questionnaire. Once you have reviewed the presentation fully, you will find a link to a series of questions to ensure you understand the information presented. When you successfully complete the questionnaire, a confirmation email will be sent to your Saint Mary’s College email address. Please retain this confirmation for your records. 

Completion of the COVID-19 Student Training is required before you are allowed to move into your residence hall. If you are living off-campus, it must be completed before attending your first class, as all members of the Saint Mary’s community have a shared responsibility in limiting the spread of COVID-19 and protecting each other.

Covid-19 Student Training Module

Student Move-in: Aug 3–9

Our move-in will begin with Resident Life and Campus Ministry assistants arriving July 27, and students moving to campus August 3-9.

Move-in Details

To help prepare you for move-in, here is what you need to know:

  • Two Assistants. Each student is permitted to bring two additional people to assist with move-in. Only the student and the two people assisting will be permitted to enter the residence hall.
  • Pre-arrival Packages. Due to limited space and to maintain the health and safety of our community members, we cannot accept packages sent to campus prior to your arrival. However, beginning August 3, you may have packages sent to your own residence hall, which will be held at the front desk for pickup. You will receive your mailing address from Residence Life within the next two weeks.
  • Carts and Dollies. Please bring any move-in equipment you will need to help carry your belongings, including dollies or carts.
  • Elevator Safety. For health safety reasons, only one family group at a time will be permitted in elevators.
  • Room Setup. Your two-hour move-in window is intended to move items into your room. Individuals may remain in their student’s rooms after that time to set up their rooms.
  • Lofts. An email with instructions to reserve a loft was sent from Residence Life on July 22. Once reserved, your unassembled loft will be waiting at your room on move-in day.

Your Daily Life

In the residence halls, your roommates will be considered your family unit, therefore masks and physical distancing guidelines are not required. However, when moving about to common spaces (bathrooms, lounge areas, etc.), you will be expected to follow all health and safety guidelines. 

Daily Health Checks

A  daily health check is a required part of your participation in campus life, be it attending classes, living on campus or participating in campus activities. If you do your part, we will have a successful semester in person. 

The daily health check is a 3-question survey. We ask that you only include  NEWUNUSUAL or UNEXPECTED symptoms that are commonly associated with possible COVID-19 infection.  

Here’s how it works:

  1. Beginning Monday, August 10, you will receive an email each day at 6 a.m., from containing a brief health survey that must be completed before you begin your day at Saint Mary’s 
  2. Complete the survey before leaving your room every day
  3. Take your temperature
  4. Check YES for any NEWUNUSUAL, or UNEXPECTED symptoms
  5. Once submitted, you will receive an immediate reply from with further instructions. Please read these instructions carefully!

Remember: Personal responsibility and care for others is key to the success of the College’s fall 2020 plan. As Belles, it is your shared responsibility to protect yourself and everyone else. Honest reporting, wearing your mask, practicing physical distancing, washing up, and limiting your off-campus travel WILL make all the difference. 

Residence Hall Safety

The first night on campus — whether you’re a first year or a senior — is exciting. On your first night, all students living on campus will attend a residence hall floor meeting. This meeting will outline residence hall expectations, give you a chance to meet your floormates, and discuss social programming ideas. In the meantime, here are two health and safety policy changes for fall 2020:

  • Residence Hall Visitors. For the fall semester, Saint Mary’s students living on campus are free to visit each other’s rooms, but must wear a mask at all times if they are not roommates. Off-campus visitors will not be allowed in the residence halls. Each residence hall will have a clearly identified waiting area designated for others such as food delivery drivers.
  • Kitchen Areas. Additional microwaves will be available for your use in the kitchen area, however, students will not be allowed to use the stoves or ovens for the time being.

Residence Life FAQs

Campus Dining

The State of Indiana continues to provide guidance to all higher education institutions on how to safely provide meal service to students. In addition, Notre Dame’s Campus Dining team has been working collaboratively with the Cleveland Clinic and many other public health experts to shape their standards for campus dining. Alternative dining spaces will be available that allow for safe physical distance, while still being able to enjoy the company of others. Outside dining spaces include enhanced seating under tents outside of the Student Center and dining hall. There will also be seating on the verandas outside Stapleton Hall and on the back patio of Haggar College Center. The patio outside of the 1844 Cafe will also be available for seating. More information on campus dining, hours of operation of the Dining Hall and 1844 Cafe, and much more can be found here

Student Center

The Student Center will maintain regular hours in the morning, but will close when 1844 Cafe closes at 9 p.m. The tunnel connecting Le Mans Hall to the Student Center will close when the Student Center closes. 

Chapel and Mass

In accordance with the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend directives, masks must be worn and the appropriate distance must be maintained when attending Mass, evening prayer, or any other services in the Holy Spirit Chapel, the Regina Chapel, Sacred Heart Chapel, or Our Lady of Wisdom Chapel.

Shaheen Bookstore

The Shaheen Bookstore will reopen on Monday, July 27 with normal operating hours: Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.- 5 p.m., and on Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The store will expand its hours during the back-to-school rush, while promoting physical distancing and best-in-class safety standards. Watch for those expanded hours soon! The bookstore will further promote online ordering via the bookstore website, and will provide a new residence hall delivery service!

Health and Counseling Center

The Health and Counseling Center is here to support your health and wellness and will maintain its regular hours of operation: Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Once on campus, students can schedule appointments by phone with nurses, doctors and counselors. When possible, those appointments will be offered virtually through televisits. For appointments that require face-to-face meetings, we will have two separate waiting areas: One for visits such as allergy shots, orthopedic injuries, gynecological and other well-student check ups, and for counseling appointments; and the other for students with upper respiratory symptoms that could be associated with the COVID virus.

  • Student Evaluation and Testing. A separate area of the Health and Counseling Center will serve as a COVID testing and evaluation center for students who develop symptoms or who suspect they have had close contact with someone who has tested positive. Special ventilation has been installed and appropriate PPE will be utilized to ensure our staff can safely offer COVID testing.
  • Free On-Demand Access to Medical and Mental Health Services. The most exciting change in the Health and Counseling Center is that all students will have free 24/7 access to both medical and mental health professionals through a new service, SMC Care. This telehealth support can be accessed from your cell phone or computer.

Cushwa-Leighton Library

The Cushwa-Leighton Library is now open to members of the Saint Mary's College community (students, faculty, and staff) from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. EDT, Monday through Friday. Access will be via the west front door using your Saint Mary's ID card in the swipe-card reader.  All patrons will be required to wear masks or cloth face coverings at all times while in the building; all staff will wear masks or cloth face coverings when not working by themselves in their own offices. All patrons will be required to maintain standard physical distance (6 feet) from each other and from library staff. All research help or reference consultations will continue to happen online, not in person. More information can be found here.

Athletics and the Angela Athletic & Wellness Complex

The Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) announced on July 30 to postpone conference competitions for fall sports until spring 2021. For Saint Mary’s, this means that we will not have fall competition for seven of our eight varsity teams — cross country, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, tennis, and volleyball. A decision has not yet been made for conference competition regarding basketball.

The Fitness Center will be open for our students, faculty, and staff, under normal hours of operation, Monday-Thursday 6 a.m. - 11 p.m, Friday from 6 a.m. - 8 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m. - 8 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 11 p.m. A few specifics about the fall 2020 semester:

  • All campus fitness center users will be required to both swipe in and swipe out at the front desk.
  • Our cardio and strength areas will have enhanced cleaning protocols in place. We ask that you take personal responsibility in cleaning your space before and after usage.
  • In order to maintain appropriate distancing, we will remove some equipment and rotate usage, i.e., six vs.12 treadmills.
  • Depending on class sizes, our physical education fitness classes may be moved to the gym floor, the field house, or even outside (weather permitting).
  • Fall intramurals will be designed with both fun, safety, and physical distancing in mind.

Student Organizations and Programs

This fall, Saint Mary’s students may continue to participate in tri-campus activities while following the health and safety guidelines for each individual campus. The Student Government Association (SGA) and other programming boards will host several events during Belles Beginnings to welcome our incoming students and to showcase the many wonderful organizations that are part of our campus community. While following established safety guidelines, Saint Mary’s College will offer an array of student engagement opportunities this fall through collaborative efforts between many departments and student organizations.

Weekend Travel and Off Campus Socializing

The College has accelerated the academic calendar by beginning early, eliminating Fall Break, and finishing the semester on November 20 in order to reduce the opportunity that the coronavirus could be brought back to campus due to travel. Therefore, we discourage all non-essential travel, including trips home. However, students are not barred from such travel. We do ask that students who choose to leave campus for the weekend, or to attend off-campus parties and other large gatherings, adhere to the safety guidelines established by the College to reduce the risk of exposure and spread of the coronavirus.