July 6 Update: FAQs, Dining on Campus, and Getting Started

July 6, 2020 |

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. (Psalm 91:1)

This week’s jam-packed update includes plans for a comprehensive Caring Well. Staying Well. guide, answers to questions about residence life, dining on campus this fall, latest COVID-19 news that may affect our planning, a reimagined Getting Started Weekend, a video interview with Brian Burns talking about Getting Started, and contact-less processes for ordering textbooks and registering vehicles before arriving on campus.

Caring Well. Staying Well. Guide and FAQs – We are working on a comprehensive Caring Well. Staying Well. guide that will bring together the information and resources you need related to classes, dining, residence life, and more in one easy-to-access brochure. This guide will be available later this month. In the mean time, here are answers to a few frequently asked questions about residence life:

  • Will students be required to wear masks in the residence halls?
    In our current planning, we are considering the residence halls to be students’ homes and will not require masks there.
  • Can students visit friends in other residence halls on campus?
    To limit spread of any infection, students will be strongly encouraged not to visit residence halls other than their own, and student proxy card access will be limited to their own residence hall.
  • Will there still be fun student events on campus this fall?
    Yes! Campus Experience will be offering events, but they may look a little different. An app is being created that will allow students to check in virtually, avoiding waiting in lines. Events will also be spread out into multiple locations to limit crowd size.
  • What about campus traditions?
    Events like Campus Christmas will still take place this year, but will look a little different. We plan to hold this celebration in early November.

Dining on Campus – With the opening of Chick-fil-A and Tossed, Pioneer College Caterers, our food service provider, has put together a helpful flyer describing dining options for the fall. Check it out!

Latest COVID-19 News – We want to share recent news that will guide us as we continue to develop and communicate our return-to-campus plan:

  • On June 30, the CDC announced that it does not recommend COVID-19 entry testing of all returning students, faculty, and staff.
  • The Greene County Health Department posts daily updates about the status of COVID-19 in our area. We enjoy a strong partnership with our local public health officials, and their expertise is helping to guide our planning efforts.
  • And, interesting research coming out of Cornell University:  Inside Higher Ed noted a recent Cornell study that estimated that residential education at the university will result in 1/5 as many infections as remote learning, and 1/4 as many hospitalizations.

Getting Started – The STING leadership team wants to pass along the following information this week:

  • New students should fill out the ID Portal no later than July 10.
  • Families of new students are welcome to come to campus for Getting Started Weekend. We highly encourage spreading out and going outside once your student is moved into his or her residence hall. You can explore the beautiful campus, check out the food trucks, or attend the variety of sessions held during the day, which you can find on the Getting Started schedule. Attendance at the information sessions will be limited to ensure adequate distancing.

A Reimagined Getting Started Weekend – Continuing our “Caring Well. Staying Well.” video series, Brian Burns, Director of Campus Experience, explains how a reimagined Getting Started Weekend will emphasize health, confidence, and trust.

Vehicle Registration – As we continue to move toward as many contact-less processes as possible, all students who plan to bring a car to campus should register their vehicle prior to their arrival. Please note that this applies to new and returning students and residential and commuter students.

Online Textbook Ordering – Avoid lines at the bookstore and order your textbooks online before you arrive on campus in just five easy steps:

  1. Go to bookstore.cedarville.edu.
  2. Click: Course Materials > Online Ordering > Order by Schedule.
  3. Log in and click “Buy my Books” to see all your required books in one place.
  4. Compare prices between the bookstore and the competition, then checkout from your selected retailers.
  5. Enjoy free shipping on University Bookstore orders over $49 through August 1.

Posted in: , , ,


  • Lori says:

    Do students need to register for a time to pick up their key/packet? I am not sure how the travel is going to flow and not get extremely backed up on 72 and on campus.

    • Sarah Gump says:

      Great question, Lori! Returning students do not need to register for a time. We have a plan for traffic – cars will be directed off of 72 and on to campus.

  • Ian Steptoe says:

    In the dining hall flyer, it says that students would only be able to get one meal per meal period across the venues. In the past I think that students with block plans were able to use multiple scans to get multiple meals at stingers at one time. Was that allowed before and if so, would this still be the case with the other dining options? Thanks!

    • Sarah says:

      Hello Ian! That is a great question. Please contact the Cashier’s Office for more information about how the dining plans work. 937-766-7825

  • Parent of multiple CU students says:

    Thank you Cedarville University for your well thought out and reasonable back-to-school guidelines! I understand it must be difficult to walk the line between the many different expectations of parents and students – from those who would like universal testing with enforcement and expanded mask wearing, to the opposite side of the spectrum being those who feel that the statistics for healthy young people and covid are very positive, along with studies showing asymptomatic spread is very uncommon, and masks less effective than previously believed and unnecessary. And everyone who falls in between these views. Cedarville has done an excellent job of formulating reasonable back-to-school guidelines that adhere to CDC guidelines. It is clear that CU has a strong dedication to the physical, mental and spiritual health of its students as it’s top priority. This is such a blessing and comfort. It’s got to be a tough job ….. so blessed that we have the leadership at Cedarville to do it! Thank you! ❤️ God bless everyone and God bless Cedarville University! 🙏🏼 Looking forward to a great 2020/21 school year!

  • Deanna L York says:

    Our family is thankful for the leadership of Cedarville and the talented Campus Experience team. Thank you Sara for your thoroughness and professionalism in answering every question posted.

  • Joy Ordonez says:

    Hello! Can you clarify something for me? I thought that breakfasts could be exchanged at Stinger’s, but then I read this- Only one meal per meal period may be taken across the various venues. You may eat once for lunch (10:30 a.m.–3:59 p.m.) and once for dinner (4–8 p.m.) Breakfast wasn’t mentioned. Do the exchange meals work for breakfast as well? Thank you!

    • Sarah Gump says:

      Great question, Joy! Exchange meals are not available at Stinger’s for breakfast. Exchanges start at 10:30 for all venues.

      • Anonymous says:

        Thanks for the clarification! Appreciate you helping us get our questions answered.

  • Leslie says:

    Sarah, Thank you for being available and willing to field all of our questions! Our family really appreciates being able to finally get some solid answers. Thank you, Thank you!!!

  • Melissa says:

    Since CU has students coming for all over the country, including current “hot spots”, is there a plan where the first 14 days on campus will allow those students at high risk for Covid to be more quarantined, such as on line classes and viewing chapel remotely? As a parent of an immunocompromised student, my concern is that more than 1 student will return who is positive and without testing, it could spread rather rapidly. Maybe falsely, but I believe if after 14 days back on campus where the students will be encouraged to stay on campus and there are no outbreaks, it will be safer to my student to be back in class and in the dining hall. Thanks

    • Sarah Gump says:

      Hello, Melissa! Thank you for your feedback. These are wonderful questions. I have shared your perspective with leadership. I will reach out to you via email with more information.

      • Terri says:

        Sarah, thanks for answering so many questions (I read them all). I also have the same question as Melissa since my CU sophomore is also immunocompromised. She is nervous about returning. Can you please email me with the same info you’ll be sending Melissa? Thank you!

        • Sarah Gump says:

          Hello, Terri! Yes, I will also email you more information.

          • CU Freshman Parent says:

            Hi Sarah,

            Please email that information as well. I also have an immunocompromised student that I am concerned about.

          • Emily says:

            Can this information be made public? As a student, I find it necessary to keep students properly informed as much as possible. As one coming from a hot spot, I have firsthand seen lack of preparedness and also the importance of extensive communication. Thanks.

          • Sarah Gump says:

            Hello, Emily. I apologize for the confusion. This information is not private. Students with underlying medical conditions should consult with their personal physician for guidance on whether to return to campus. For students who choose to enroll in residential classes, contact The Cove at 937-766-7437 or thecove@cedarville.edu to discuss available accommodations.

    • Cheryl says:

      Great point!!! I would hope there would be more and better changes made soon.

  • Karol says:

    Will prospective students be able to visit campus this fall to join classes and experience the campus community? Virtual visits only scratch the surface and aren’t able to convey what campus life is like.

    • Sarah Gump says:

      Hello, Karol! Yes, please visit our website for a list of CU Fridays as well as to register for a date that is most convenient for you.

      • Cheryl says:

        I thought the campus was discouraging visitors-this past Spring when covid cases were lower the campus was taking action to prevent the spread. Now that cases are out of control in certain areas now campus is open to everyone.

  • Brandon says:

    Will Chapel still be normal? Or is it actually moving online? I’ve been hearing rumors saying that it’s transitioning completely online.

    • Sarah Gump says:

      Hello, Brandon! We will be announcing the chapel plan later this month when the comprehensive Caring Well. Staying Well. guide is released. 🙂

  • Walter Stogner says:

    Where do you find a class schedule? As I have gone to the text book link before and didn’t have my course number.

    • Sarah Gump says:

      Hello, Walter! Please contact your admissions counselor! They will be able to assist you with your class schedule and ordering textbooks. 🙂

  • Bradley says:

    Hello! Will students be required to wear face masks during in-person classes and buildings aside from their dorms?

  • Heather says:

    Hello! Is there a plan for what fall sports will look like, specifically women’s soccer? Will Cedarville be allowing spectators? Thank you!

    • Sarah Gump says:

      Hello, Heather! Great question. I have shared this question with leadership. We will share on the blog when decisions have been made.

  • LIAMAR YOUNG says:

    When will our students receive the name of their advisor and the list of books?

    • Sarah Gump says:

      Hello, Liamar! Please email your student’s admissions counselor with these questions. They will be able to direct you to their academic advisor. The freshman schedules are being created from July 1-10. You will be able to order books after their schedule is complete. 🙂

  • CCS Parent says:

    I saw on the dining plan brochure that is attached as a link to this post that dining dollars will NOT rollover to the next semester. I thought at one point that they were allowing dining dollars to rollover. If a student does not use all their dining dollars during the first semester, can you tell me what happens to them?

    • Sarah Gump says:

      Hello! According to the flyer, voluntary flex dollars roll over semester to semester and do not expire as long as you remain at Cedarville University. Unused meals are not transferable from one semester to the next.

      • Tina B. says:

        Dining dollars that are included in a meal plan are only rolling over this year from Fall to Spring due to the shortened semester.
        Flex dollars, that you purchase outside a meal will always roll over from Fall to Spring.

  • Lori says:

    Hello, Sarah. So, are you saying that Cedarville will not allow students to go home for the week ends? Also, just curious as to why the university isn’t planning to test students, especially as they move onto campus. Wouldn’t it be wise to identify possible infections prior to exposing other students?

    • Sarah Gump says:

      Hello, Lori! It is not a requirement, but a suggestion. When students travel, there is a risk that they will bring the virus to campus. Therefore, we are encouraging students refrain from traveling.
      We are following the CDC guidelines. On June 30, the CDC announced that it does not recommend COVID-19 entry testing of all returning students, faculty, and staff. Therefore, we have decided not to do entry testing.

  • Amy Dillon says:

    Just wondering when the Freshman will receive their schedules. In order to be able to have books purchased and shipped, we would need to know their schedule. Just want to be sure we have enough time to look for and purchase books and still have time to have them shipped. Thanks !!!

    • Sarah Gump says:

      Hello, Amy! Schedules are being created for the incoming class from July 1-10. 🙂

  • Rick says:

    God Bless you Cedarville University assistants that are responsible for handling all these questions.

    I can’t believe people can read information and then ask THE SAME QUESTION over and over again.

    In regards to the Cornell study, CU has 1/5 the population of Cornell – therefore spaced out more !

    My only concern is how chapel “will look different”. VERY thankful that Dr. White will be leading the student body once again.

    • Sarah Gump says:

      Thank you for the comment, Rick! We will share the plan for chapel within the comprehensive Caring Well. Staying Well. guide which will be released later this month.

  • Richelle says:

    Should a student become sick with COVID while on campus, will parents be expected to bring them home until they recover and are symptom free? If not, where and how will they be cared for?

    • Sarah Gump says:

      Hello, Richelle! No, if a student get COVID-19, they can quarantine in a residence hall on campus and meals will be provided for them. They will be able to continue their classes remotely. Please review the June 1 Update for the five protocols in place for if a student contracts COVID-19: cedar.to/8Aeleq

      • Leslie says:

        In relation to this, the June 1 update doesn’t state if we would be able to come and pick up our student and bring them home if they are positive for covid. Would this be an option should the situation arise?

        • Sarah Gump says:

          Yes, you may come and pick up your student. If parents/family are unable to pick up their student, we do have a plan in place to care for them and a place for them to quarantine on campus.

      • CCS Parent says:

        How do they quarantine in a residence hall? Is it their own residence hall? What about others in the residence hall? What about their roommate? There are no rooms that have restrooms in the room so won’t they still be using the same bathroom as all the other residents? I am not sure how quarantining them in a residence hall will work. Can you please explain that in more detail?

        • Sarah Gump says:

          Hello! These are all great questions. The comprehensive Caring Well. Staying Well. guide will have more details about quarantine and our plan to care for students.

      • Erich Schulze says:

        Will the student quarantine in their residence room or will there be a special location separate from well students to quarantine?

      • Chery says:

        If I understand what you are saying -the covid-infected student will go back to their room and have meals brought to them. How can this student be considered “quarantined”. They are in a room with another student, walking the halls to go to the bathroom which puts them in the company of other students in residence hall, who are not required to wear a mask there. At other universities, students are required to wear masks within the residence halls, except when inside their rooms.
        The rationale for not requiring students to wear masks in the residence halls, is that they are the students’ “homes”. The reason why people don’t wear masks within their homes is not because they live and sleep there, but because they are not in the presence of hundreds of other people. Students in residence halls are. Students’ individual rooms are much closer to the definition of a home.

        • Sarah Gump says:

          Hello, Chery! There will be a location outside of their residence hall for the affected student to be quarantined. Although it is not required inside of a residence hall, students are more than welcome to wear a mask anywhere they would like. Our goal with the Caring Well. Staying Well. initiatives is to equip faculty, staff, and students to take personal responsibility for their health and to consider the well being of others when making decisions.

      • Anonymous says:

        We reviewed that information, thank you. Would the student need to move to another area of campus or stay in their own dorm to quarantine? Who would be checking in on a sick student to monitor any decline?

        • Sarah Gump says:

          There will be a location on campus that is designated for quarantining. We have shared your second question with leadership. We plan to give more information in the comprehensive Caring Well. Staying Well. guide that will be released later this month.

  • Jennifer says:

    Thank you for the information. Will there be a freshman/family chapel on Sunday of Getting Started Weekend?

    • Sarah Gump says:

      You are welcome, Jennifer! Yes, there will be a Sunday Morning Service on August 16 at 10 a.m. in the Jeremiah Chapel. Families are welcome to attend!

  • peter says:

    will you be having the same number as usual in-person classes?
    what percent will be online learning for students on campus?
    what will daily chapel look like?

    • Sarah Gump says:

      Hello, Peter! We will limit the number of online courses as much as possible while still protecting those who are at greatest risk from COVID-19. Rather than making classes online, many classes are being moved to larger spaces to allow for distancing. Chapel will occur; but it will look different than normal. The plan will be announced in the comprehensive Caring Well. Staying Well. guide later this month.

  • Kate says:

    When will returning students be allowed to come to campus? And how will we check in?

    • Sarah Gump says:

      For returning students, they can come on Saturday, August 15 and go through the drive through check-in just like the new students. They will receive a packet with their key. 🙂

  • Another concerned alumni says:

    Hello! Also just concerned about the reference to the Cornell study stating that in-person instruction will result in less infections than remote learning. The study’s two key assumptions are 1) that around 9,000 students would be on their college campus regardless of whether or not in-class instruction resumed, and 2) that a return to an in-person semester would allow the university to conduct asymptomatic testing in a way that remote learning would not.

    If Cedarville will not be requiring testing, it seems like misrepresentation of the study to cite that in-person instruction can result in less infection than remote learning.


    • Sarah Gump says:

      Hello! Thank you for your comment. We are not requiring testing. We thought their conclusions were interesting and encouraging. Even though we do not plan to require testing, we believe our guidelines will encourage the campus community to take personal responsibility for their own health and consider the well-being of others when making decisions.

  • Leslie says:

    Will students be able to leave campus for a weekend during fall semester or have visitors? Will they be able to attend church outside of Cedarville? What is the plan if a student contracts Covid? I know there is a plan coming out later this month but we are in the process of making decisions now that hinge on these points. Thank you.

    • Sarah Gump says:

      Hello, Leslie! We are encouraging students not to leave campus until exams are over on November 24 and discouraging off-campus visitors. Our desire is to slow the spread of the virus by limiting interactions with those outside of the campus community. Yes, students are allowed to attend church outside of Cedarville. Please review the June 1 Update for the five protocols in place for if a student contracts COVID-19: cedar.to/8Aeleq

      • Marcia says:

        I have a 2020 CU grad and current CU student. I’m a little confused about there not being visitors on campus this fall when the 2020 commencement is scheduled for October. Is that not happening or are families not able to attend?

        • Sarah Gump says:

          Hello, Marcia! Great question. It is not a requirement, but a suggestion. Families will be able to attend the Commencement.

      • Sara says:

        How will this be implemented with events such as Homecoming? I understand that many may choose to not attend, but how will this affect the 2020 grads that were supposed to celebrate their graduation, if off-campus visitors are discouraged? I would imagine that many of those grads wouldn’t even bother coming back if it is so discouraged. Just wondering/wanting to make/keep plans. Thanks!

        • Sarah Gump says:

          Hello, Sara! Thank you for your questions. We are discouraging off-campus visitors from being in residence halls. We understand that we will have off-campus visitors at Commencement, but we do not expect for them to be in the close quarters within the residence halls.

      • Cheryl says:

        Moments before this you mentioned that there still is CU Fridays. Those people are visitors. Why are you know trying to decrease the spread by having this group do visual tours like you did in the Spring?

        • Sarah Gump says:

          Hello, Cheryl! I apologize for the confusion. Students will be strongly encouraged not to visit residence halls other than their own; therefore, we are trying to limit visitors within residence halls. We will be having CU Fridays and we are taking precautions to protect both our campus visitors and staff while on campus tours.

          • Cheryl says:

            I admire your perseverance in answering all these questions. Could you please share what changes are being made to protect both visitors and staff during CU Fridays. I can’t help but wonder why CU has been lowering their standards of protection against the spread of covid. Other colleges in the State of Ohio have-required students to wear masks in their residence halls, decreased number of students in their rooms,offered more on line classes, limited number of people to help students move in, spread out times/scheduled when students are moving in, etc.

          • Sarah Gump says:

            Thank you, Cheryl! I apologize for my delay in responding to your comments. Registration is now open for CU Fridays. Visitors/registrants will be notified of restrictions and guidelines before their visit. For more information about visit days, please call Admissions at (1-800-CEDARVILLE). The comprehensive Caring Well. Staying Well. guide we release later this month will be helpful for you and your family, as you are making decisions for the fall.

          • Concerned Incoming Student says:

            Hi Sarah,
            As an incoming student, I do have a couple of concerns regarding residence life. In relation to your comment, I am concerned that the few people that do enter my living space (i.e. friends of suitemates, etc.) could have COVID and be asymptomatic. I know that you strongly discourage students from visiting other residence halls. Why not make it a rule rather than a strong suggestion?

            I also have not been given my room assignment or roommate yet. I am concerned because I don’t know how carefully this roommate has been quarantining and social distancing, cleaning, mask wearing, and if they are from a hotspot. I haven’t left my house this entire quarantine as a precaution for my immunocompromised mom. How soon will I know my room assignment and roommate for this fall? Is there a possibility for a single room?

          • Sarah says:

            Hello and thank you for your comment.
            We want to empower everyone to make decisions for the good of others. We desire to equip faculty, staff, and students with the ability to excercise personal responsibility and care with their actions. We encourage you to discuss your concerns and preferences with your resident assistant when you arrive on campus.
            In regards to your roommate assignment, please contact Nancy Ranger, the administrative assistant to the Vice President for Student Life and Christian Ministries, at 937-766-7871 or rangern@cedarville.edu. She will be able to serve you best.

  • Caleb says:

    Per the Cornell study as described by Inside Higher Ed, Cornell is planning on enforcing consistent asymptomatic testing and disciplinary measures for students who do not get tested when they are told to do so. Furthermore, Cornell’s numbers were calculated before the recent spikes in positive cases around the country. Is this test still reliable? If so, will CU follow suit and enforce consistent asymptomatic testing for their students and faculty, as well as discipline those who do not comply to university regulations?

    • Sarah Gump says:

      Hello, Caleb! Cedarville will not be enforcing consistent asymptomatic testing and we will not take disciplinary actions against those who do not follow our guidelines.

  • Gail says:

    Have you considered using face shields instead of masks?

    • Sarah Gump says:

      Hello, Gail! We are following the CDC guidelines. Since they encourage face masks, we are also. Students, faculty, and staff are welcome to wear face shields if they prefer.

  • Logan Davis says:

    Will I still be able to use the classifieds page for textbooks? It would be hard for me to afford buying new or online textbooks

  • Leslie says:

    Will the students be required to wear masks at all times when outside of their own dorms? If so, how will this work in the dining halls? Also, will there be chapel and what will that look like?

    • Sarah Gump says:

      Hello, Leslie!
      Students will not be required to wear masks at all times. In high-density public areas, they will be encouraged.
      Students will be encouraged to eat Grab+Go meals as often as possible in order to practice social distancing. Grab+Go Markets will provide to-go lunch options in the Biblical and Theological Studies Center (BTS) and, new this fall, at the Callan Athletic Center (CAL) concession counter. I am unsure if they will be encouraged to wear face masks while they wait in line. I will share this questions with the planning committee!
      There will be chapel; but it may look different than normal. This information will be announced when the comprehensive Caring Well. Staying Well. guide is released later this month.

  • Concerned alumni says:

    It looks like the Cornell study assumes that in-person cases could be reduced only because the school would be able to exercise its authority to test everyone using a variety of methods; online school would impede their ability to enforce testing. I might have missed this in a previous update, but will Cedarville be testing everyone?

    • Sarah Gump says:

      Hello, there! No, we will not be doing entry testing.

      • Concerned alumni says:

        Thank you. I guess my question is: regardless of entry testing, will CU be testing everyone the way that Cornell proposes? If you won’t be testing everyone, it feels misleading to cite the Cornell study to support that in-person classes will result in fewer cases than online classes.

        • Sarah Gump says:

          We will have testing available on campus, but we are not requiring testing based upon the CDC announcement on June 30. It does not recommend COVID-19 entry testing of all returning students, faculty, and staff. We thought their conclusions were interesting and encouraging. Even though we do not plan to require testing, we believe our guidelines will encourage the campus community to take personal responsibility for their own health and consider the well-being of others when making decisions.

          • Apparently it's alumnus, not alumni. says:

            I see. The conclusions are indeed encouraging. Looking forward to reading more about CU’s plans to return to the fall. Thank you for your reply!

          • CU Parent says:

            A friends son goes to Cornell. She told me last week the school sent out information that mask WILL BE REQUIRED by all students. Perhaps this decision plays into their report findings!

  • Elisabeth says:

    For returning students moving in, is there a limit of how many people can help them move in?

    • Sarah Gump says:

      Hello, Elisabeth! No, there is no limit.

      • Concerned Student says:

        If there was a limit to the number of people can help students move out in early March when there were a couple thousand of COVID-19 cases in the country, why is there no limit how many people can help when there are 2.88 million cases?

        • Sarah Gump says:

          Thank you for your feedback! Your comments are useful as we are crafting our response. We will share this information with leadership.

        • David says:

          Even though there have been 2.88 million positive cases, that is over the last 4+ months. In the state of PA, we have had over 90,000 positive cases, but only truly have 15-20k positive currently.