Fr. Stack Header

June 24, 2020

Dear Villanova Students:

As you learned in the recent message from Father Peter, classes will resume this fall on campus. The semester will look like no other in Villanova history: classes will be offered primarily in-person, with some hybrid and virtual components, and some classes will be offered online. Students will live on campus with their roommates and will eat on campus, yet many of our typical patterns and behaviors will need to be modified. The semester will look and feel different. We will return to campus and journey together with caring hearts and mutual respect for one another—key principles from the Villanova mission. It will be a semester where, individually and collectively, we place Community First.

Our community members will need to put Community First and pledge to do their part to keep each person healthy and safe, especially those most vulnerable. This shared responsibility—to be considerate of others and to comply with health and safety requirements—is at the heart of The Caritas Commitment. We need you, our students, to be committed to making the return to campus a success. Success is truly in your hands. We need everyone to agree to—and cooperate with—underlying directives to protect the health of oneself and others. While many of the details continue to evolve in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania requirements, the main areas of The Caritas Commitment are:

  • Wearing a mask. We need everyone on campus to wear a mask at all times when they are in public or shared spaces, indoors or outdoors, on campus or off campus. Students in their residence hall rooms will form a “family unit” with their roommate(s) and will not be asked to wear a mask inside their own rooms or apartments when only roommates are present.
  • Social distancing and washing hands. All community members must adhere to social distancing guidelines, i.e., typically a 6-foot distance between people and limitations on size of gatherings indoors and outdoors. Each of us must wash or sanitize our hands regularly and appropriately throughout each day.
  • Self-monitoring, testing and quarantines. Expectations around self-monitoring, COVID-19 testing and possible quarantines will be included (and updated as needed) in Villanova’s Health and Safety Plan.
  • Different dining options. To social distance appropriately in the dining halls, new practices will need to be in place. Those practices may include: a) assigned dining halls and/or assigned times to go to the dining hall; b) grab and go options; c) limited seating to limit capacity in the dining halls; and d) flexibility as we follow public health recommendations that may impact how the dining halls function. We will expand spaces for dining, allowing students to pick up food in the dining halls and then sit elsewhere while eating.
  • New ways of gathering and hosting events. Student organizations and activities on campus will continue. Many will look and feel different. Some social and co-curricular programs will be offered virtually, and other activities will still be held in-person with appropriate guidelines for health and safety. Casual and unofficial gatherings will need to include masks and social distancing. Larger campus events and programs will be the most challenging, and many will need to be canceled or postponed from the fall semester.
  • Limitations on travel and guests in residence halls. Guidelines for non-essential travel are being developed to keep community members safe and to limit unnecessary exposure to COVID-19. Limitations on guests in the residence halls also are necessary to help reduce the possibility of spread of COVID-19. Limits are maintained in Villanova’s Health and Safety Plan and permit only current students to visit within residence halls. Visits by family members in the halls will be limited to assistance with pick-up and drop-off of items only and should comply with social distancing and public health guidelines in place at the time.
  • Health considerations. Students with special health risks may opt to continue their Villanova education remotely this coming semester or to take the semester off. We strongly encourage you to assess honestly whether returning to campus, to a college residential setting, is in your best interest for your unique circumstances. For some, the better choice will be to remain at home. Be assured that we will welcome you back to campus when you are ready to return safely to us in a future semester.

With classes now beginning on Monday, Aug. 17, 2020, Move-In dates and New Student Orientation dates are also changed. Move-In for residential students will be extended over more days to allow for social distancing. Families living closer to campus may drop off belongings and set up their residence hall rooms earlier in August before the start of the academic year, when possible for the family. Specifics of Move-In will be sent to residential students by Residence Life.


Optional drop-off of belongings open to all residential students prior to Move-In date.

July 31-Aug. 9, 2020

Students will sign up for a day/time to move their belongings to campus.

New Student Move-In dates

Tuesday, Aug. 11: Last names A-L

Wednesday, Aug. 12: Last names M-Z

Specific arrival times will be assigned.


Sophomore, Junior and Senior students Move-In dates

Friday through Sunday, Aug. 14-16, 2020

Students will sign up for a specific move-in time.


New Student Orientation Program dates

Thursday, Aug. 13–Sunday, Aug. 16, 2020  

New Student Orientation on campus will run from Thursday, Aug. 13, through Sunday afternoon, Aug. 16, 2020. The Orientation program will include both virtual and in-person components as we welcome our newest Villanovans to campus. The Orientation website and VU101 emails will offer more information for all new students and their families in the coming weeks.

With health and safety as paramount considerations, we need students to agree to Community First: The Caritas Commitment. The Caritas Commitment is the commitment that each of us will need to adhere to when coming to campus for the fall semester. Students who do not comply will be jeopardizing their ability to live on campus or attend classes. And the reality is that Villanova cannot guarantee a COVID-19-free environment this fall: coming to campus may involve some risk of contracting the coronavirus. Individuals who do not feel comfortable or safe being on campus this fall are encouraged to consider waiting a semester.

Villanovans are known for excellence and the desire to serve others. It is this Villanova spirit of fortitude and collaboration that will allow us to come back strong in August—with Community First as our driving force. It is imperative that every member of the Villanova community embodies The Caritas Commitment. By being considerate of others in all ways, we will emerge from the pandemic a stronger, more attentive community and have an incredible fall semester together.



Rev. John P. Stack, OSA
Vice President for Student Life