UPDATED August 5, 2020

Dear Students and Families,

Due to updated and necessary precautions, the move-in plan for students has been adjusted. Students now will not be permitted to access their residential buildings or move into their rooms prior to receiving a negative COVID-19 test result. We regret having to make these changes so close to your arrival; we are doing all we can to provide the safest possible entry into your residential spaces. 

We realize this move-in will be like nothing any of us imagined or wanted. But the ability to live and learn on the Mountain together depends on us being willing to thoughtfully and carefully read, understand, and follow the move-in process. Please take some time to read through this important information.


W. Marichal Gentry
Vice President for Student Life
Dean of Students

Student Testing & Move-In

Quick Reference Guide
Arrival Day and Time

All students have received (via their Sewanee email) a specific move-in date and time to arrive for COVID-19 testing. Due to the availability of tests each day and strict timing of taking the tests to the lab in Chattanooga, students must adhere to the date and time assigned to them. We will not be able to accommodate students who simply show up on a day not assigned to them. If it is absolutely not possible for a student to arrive during their assigned time, we ask that they email Residential Life at reslife@sewanee.edu as soon as possible. Please note that not all requests will be able to be accommodated.

How to Prepare for Your COVID-19 Test

It is extremely important that you hydrate with plenty of water the morning of your test. However, in order not to interfere with the test results, you may not eat or drink anything within 30 minutes of your scheduled testing time.

COVID-19 Testing Information

Upon arrival to campus, all students must immediately report to the Kentucky Avenue parking lot between Cravens Hall and the Tennessee Williams Center. Please see this map for more details.

When you arrive, you will see signs and directions to check in for your COVID-19 test. This will take place under the tents adjacent to the parking lot.

Please note that only students will be tested.

What happens after I submit my COVID-19 test?

Students will not be permitted to access their residential buildings or move into their rooms prior to receiving a negative COVID-19 test result. 

We have developed two options for you to consider as you await your test results. As a reminder, it may take up to 6 or 7 hours to receive your results. Please let us know which option you choose as soon as possible (link below).

Option 1

If you will arrive on campus with your family, you will have the opportunity to remain with your family (staying away from all others) until you receive your test results. Once you have received a negative COVID-19 test result, you are free to go to your assigned room and move in. Remember, only you are permitted to move your belongings into your room. Family or friends are not permitted into the residence halls. #ProtectTheBubble. 

Option 2

If you arrived by yourself or choose not to remain with your family, you will be placed into a small group with nine of your peers. You will remain in this group until your test results are returned. Each group will have a staff member to welcome you and to be with you throughout this time. Food will be provided and activities offered, including a required online COVID-19 training. Weather permitting, groups may decide to spend some time outdoors together. 

If you chose option two, you’ll need to bring with you the following:

  • Fully charged laptop and your charger
  • Cell phone and charger
  • Camping chair
  • Filled water bottle
  • Extra snacks

Things you also might want to consider putting in your backpack:

  • Earbuds
  • A book to read
  • A journal
  • Anything you enjoy doing to pass the time that can fit into your backpack

Please complete this form as soon as possible to let us know which option you will choose.

PRE participants, please note: This change will alter the move-in schedule you previously received. The schedule for PRE will proceed as planned after the quarantine and move-in process is complete.

Food Allergies?

In order to provide you with appropriate meals for your move-in day should you choose option 2, please fill out this form to let us know about any dietary restrictions you have.

I received my COVID test results, and they are negative. Now what?

You made it! Take a deep breath and feel free to move into your room.

Once you arrive at your residence hall, you may unload your belongings and take them all to your room. Remember that in order to protect the bubble, only students are allowed to move their belongings into their residence halls. No family members are permitted to enter the buildings. 

If you have a documented disability that prevents you from being able to move yourself in, please reach out to Student Accessibility Services and they can assist you.

It’s extremely important to pack only what is necessary (see the packing section below). All students will completely move out at the Thanksgiving break, and in case the campus must prematurely shut down, all students must be able to pack up and leave campus as quickly and safely as possible.

Take some time to settle in. Relax. If you have already received your parking sticker for the year, you may move your car to a valid parking spot for your sticker. You may go outside and move about around the Domain (remember to stay socially distanced and always have your mask with you!). You will likely be tired from the long day, so be sure to get plenty of rest.

I received my COVID test results, and they are positive. Now what?

If you are notified that your test results are positive, please don’t panic. We are here to help support you and guide you through the next necessary steps.

If you live within a reasonable distance to drive home, we ask that you return home to complete your isolation period. You will be able to begin your classes remotely while you isolate at home. Then you will be able to return to campus to begin in-person learning. Again, don’t worry. We will work with you every step of the way to make sure you are taken care of.

We encourage anyone that is able to return home to complete isolation. However, if you absolutely cannot return home, you will isolate here in Sewanee. You will be able to begin your classes remotely while you isolate. Then after a roughly two-week period, if you remain asymptomatic, you will be able to return to campus to begin in-person learning. You will be cared for while in isolation, with all meals provided and someone checking in on you every day.

You mentioned packing only necessities earlier. So what should I bring to campus? What shouldn’t I bring?

This is not the year to bring every decoration and everything on your wishlist. The goals are to: 1) be able to move it all in yourself, and 2) be able to move it all out as quickly as possible, if needed. Here is a list of necessary items as well as a list of items not to bring:

Necessary items:
  • Laptop and charger (if you cannot bring your own, please contact the Sewanee Help Desk at helpdesk@sewanee.edu)
  • Phone and charger
  • Seasonally-appropriate clothes and shoes
  • Masks/face coverings (in addition to the two the University will provide)
  • Two thermometers
  • Hand sanitizer and disinfectant spray/wipes
  • Personal/toiletry items and over-the-counter medications (three-month supply if possible)
  • Medications (three-month supply if possible, although CVS will mail most prescriptions, and there is a drive-through CVS in Monteagle)
  • Bedding, towels, etc.
  • A camping chair (very important–you will use it often!)
  • A few pictures, posters, etc. to personalize your room
  • A bike if you have one
  • Backpack, supplies for classes
Possible items:
  • Small microwave
  • Mini fridge (especially if you have medication that needs to stay refrigerated)
  • Extra snacks for your quarantine time on move-in day
What not to bring:
  • Your own furniture, including but not limited to futons, large chairs, mattresses, etc.
  • Excessive amounts of anything
  • Anything you can’t manage to carry and unload on your own