Spring Break and Spring Term Update

To Students and Families:

As we pass the mid-point of the winter term, we are looking ahead to the spring term and want to provide some helpful information. 

Spring Break

Residential students have received Information via email regarding the option to stay on campus for spring break. They may stay on campus at no charge for room and board to avoid unnecessary travel. This is intended to enable students to stay on campus for the entire break, avoiding multiple exits and entrances into the campus community, to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The student form for staying on campus will be available on February 22, 2021.

Some focused programming will be available to students staying for the break, and more specific information will be available to them soon.

All students, regardless of where you will be spending spring break, are strongly encouraged to continue with mitigation measures—masking, physically distancing from others and washing hands frequently. Cases on campus have so far been low, and county and state-level cases are declining as well. These are all good signs, yet we must continue to engage in mitigation to limit future surges in infection.


As with the winter term, we are providing as much flexibility as possible for students to take courses in the modalities that are most comfortable to them. The first week of classes will be virtual, regardless of the modality, to enable entry testing for all students.

The majority of courses will again be offered virtually, with all courses identifying instructional mode (online, hybrid or required in-person components) in the spring course schedule. Students will be meeting with their advisors over the next couple of weeks and, as part of that conversation, can talk through which instructional mode or modes will best fit their situation.


All first-year students have received information from the Office of Residential Life about living on campus, whether they are currently on campus or are considering moving onto campus in the spring. We also expect to have a limited number of rooms available for current sophomores, juniors and seniors who would like to live on campus during the spring term. Students will continue to live in rooms by themselves during the spring, and will be expected to abide by ongoing COVID-prevention and mitigation standards, including socially-distanced gatherings and dining, ubiquitous mask-wearing, and robust hand hygiene. Questions related to residential life can be directed to reslife@kzoo.edu.  


Entry and surveillance testing will be required for all students who plan to spend any amount of time for any reason on campus for the spring term. Entry testing is required before any in-person campus programs and services can be accessed, and will occur according to the following schedule:

  • March 27         1–5 p.m. 
  • March 28         1– 5 p.m. 
  • March 29         11 a.m.–1 p.m.
  • March 30         11 a.m.–1 p.m.
  • March 31         11 a.m.–1 p.m.
  • April 3              3–5 p.m. 
  • April 4              3–5 p.m.

You are highly encouraged to schedule your entry testing.    

March 10 will be the last day of surveillance testing for the winter term. Surveillance testing will resume April 5 after entry testing has ended. 

Surveillance testing will involve up to 10% of the student body each week. You will be notified by K email when you are selected for surveillance testing and given a link to schedule your appointment. Remember: If you do not show up for your surveillance testing date and time, you may not be able to reschedule. If that happens, your key card will be deactivated and you will lose access to campus. If you live on campus, you may be required to vacate the residence halls immediately. 

Looking Ahead to the Fall

We very much hope that the fall will enable us to return to what we love: safe, in-person learning and living. This is what we are planning for, knowing that external circumstances and guidance may influence our best intentions.

A key issue is the campus housing requirement. Historically, first- and second-year students have been required to live on campus. The unprecedented challenges that COVID-19 has presented caused us to suspend this requirement for the 2020-2021 academic year. Looking forward, public health conditions are expected to stabilize, and with that, normal housing operations will resume. 

To that end, incoming first-year students and rising sophomores will be expected to live on campus once again beginning in Fall 2021 and for the entirety of the next academic year. If this applies to you, then you should plan accordingly. For anyone who is currently in a long-term, off-campus lease or has signed one for next year before the date of this announcement, you must provide proof of a lease agreement with dates. You may do so by contacting reslife@kzoo.edu and indicating that you are seeking exemption for this reason. Additionally, the standard petition process is available to those students who fall under the housing requirement but are seeking to waive the housing and/or board requirement based on health or financial hardship. We expect to have a limited number of spaces available for rising juniors and seniors who would like to live on campus next academic year. The Office of Residential Life will provide information about this during the spring term. 

Virtual Information Session

We will hold a virtual information session for students and families hosted by President Jorge G. Gonzalez on Wednesday, February 24, from 7 to 8 p.m. ET. We will send more details soon regarding how to log in. Questions may be submitted in advance by emailing Hornet2021Questions@kzoo.edu. A recording of the event will be made available for those unable to attend. 


More information about commencement will be shared with seniors in the weeks ahead.

Stay healthy, stay safe, and thank you for doing your part to Protect the Hive.

Sarah B. Westfall
Vice President for Student Development and Dean of Students

Danette Ifert Johnson