Semester Arrivals and Departures | St. Lawrence University Always Forward: Returning to St. Lawrence

Semester Arrivals and Departures

Fall 2020 Semester Departure: Thanksgiving Break

To ensure a safe and healthy end to the semester and to help ease the transition from fall to spring, we’re allowing students the option to return home for Thanksgiving and complete their courses remotely. Those who wish to remain on campus during this time may request to do so by Friday, October 23.

This section details everything students need to do if they plan to leave for Thanksgiving break and everything they’ll need to know if they plan to stay.

Important Dates

All students must complete a Thanksgiving Break Registration Form by Friday, Oct. 23.

  • Thursday, Oct. 1: Thanksgiving Break Registration Forms Available
  • Friday, Oct. 9, 4-5 p.m.:  Thanksgiving Break Info Zoom Chat (Recording now available)
  • Friday, Oct. 16, 4-5 p.m.: Thanksgiving Break Info Zoom Chat
  • Tuesday, Oct. 20-Friday, Oct. 30: Advising Period for Spring Course Registration
  • Friday, Oct. 23: Thanksgiving Break Registration Forms Due
  • Monday, Nov. 2: Spring Course Registration opens and continues through Final Exam Week
  • Friday, Nov. 13: Last day to submit a Thanksgiving Break Change Petition

Residence Life staff will also be present at the Leithead testing clinics on October 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, and 21 to answer student questions and confirm if each student has completed the form. Additional information and the link to the Thanksgiving Break Info Zoom Chats will be released soon.

Students and families must make their final decision for Thanksgiving Break by October 23. Students should complete the Thanksgiving Break form only once after they have determined their plans. If an emergency change of plans is required, a change request form will be available from October 26 – November 13.  A committee will review all change requests and determine if a student is eligible to remain on campus during Thanksgiving Break and through final exams.

For Students Who Register to Leave Campus for Thanksgiving Break:

Students must depart no later than 5 p.m. on Tuesday, November 24. Students must take all personal property home with them at this time and will not be permitted back on campus for the remainder of the fall semester or Winter Break. 

For Students Staying on Campus for Thanksgiving Break:

Students must continue to reside on campus. For the remainder of the fall semester, including during Thanksgiving Break, student travel will be restricted to trips for groceries and other essential store purchases, or exercise and personal fitness (e.g., trail runs or hiking). Students remaining as campus residents may not visit local homes for meals to minimize chance of exposure for all involved.

Any student who violates the Laurentian Pact and travels off campus during this time for non-essential reasons will be subject to disciplinary action and will not be permitted to return to campus for the remainder of fall semester. 

Students who register to stay on campus for Thanksgiving Break will be eligible to apply to stay on campus during Winter Break. Only students who demonstrate an extreme hardship will be approved to stay; this includes International Students and other student requests that will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. This petition process will be conducted in late October and students will be notified by no later than Friday, November 6, if they are approved to stay on campus during Winter Break.

Breaks and Personal Belongings

Whatever the departure date, students must take all personal property home with them. We recognize that this is an inconvenience, but we are trying to avoid a situation like the one students and families experienced during Spring 2020. In the event the University cannot reopen as planned in January depending on the public health conditions, students might not be able to retrieve their belongings for weeks or months.

Any student who does not remove all personal property from campus will be charged an $850 room packing and storage fee. The University will contract with a third-party company to pack rooms that have not been packed by their occupants and the charge will cover fees associated with this.

Spring 2021 Semester Arrival

Important Dates

  • Sunday, Jan. 3: Students eligible for on-campus quarantine arrive (Who is eligible?)
  • Monday, Jan. 4: Classes begin remotely for all students

Students will be assigned a specific move-in time for their date. The move-in dates will be as follows:

  • Friday, Jan. 8: First-Year Buildings and Floors
  • Saturday, Jan. 9: Upperclass Buildings and Floors (to be announced)
  • Sunday, Jan. 10: Upperclass Buildings and Floors (to be announced)
    • Specific date for upperclass students who are booking flights (regardless of building assignment) to return to campus. 
  • Sunday, Jan. 17: Alternative move-in date for students who are unable to arrive on initial move-in date or do not have a valid pre-test submitted on time

Before Arriving: Testing and Quarantine Information


Students must complete a pre-arrival PCR COVID test and submit negative results to the University. Options for the pre-arrival tests are being developed and will be shared as soon as we have them determined. As in the fall, students will be required to quarantine at home after they take the test and before they travel to campus.

Quarantine Information

Students eligible for an on-campus 14-day quarantine must arrive on Sunday, January 3, and should expect to be paired with a roommate. The University is able to provide a 14-day quarantine on campus only for:

  • Any international students who were not residential students in the fall 2020 semester. 
  • Incoming new first-year & transfer students from “hot spot” states (note the list changes regularly).

Due to limited quarantine bed capacity, all students who resided on campus in fall 2020, including returning First-Year and upperclass “hot spot” (travel advisory) state residents, as well as international students, will not be eligible to complete their 14-day quarantine on campus.

If a returning student’s state is on the NYS travel advisory list, or an international student traveled home between semesters, they must quarantine in New York State or in a safe state for 14 days before arriving on campus.

Students should identify their winter break travel plans accordingly and arrange their own 14-day quarantine solution in New York State or another “safe” state. The travel advisory state list changes regularly.

On-Campus Arrival Plan

Arrival Testing

All students will be tested upon arrival to campus and should report to the Leithead Field House Clinic at their appointment time, making the clinic their first stop on campus. Students will be asked to sign an Attestation of Compliance for Spring regarding pre-arrival quarantine and also must sign the Laurentian Pact for the Spring semester. Students who do not complete these requirements will not be allowed to move into campus residence.

Students whose test results have not yet arrived on their scheduled move-in date may not arrive to campus and will be sent home until negative test results are available.

Students should expect a mandatory testing clinic for all on January 20-27, and then randomized testing throughout the Spring semester, with an expectation of being tested at least every three weeks and more likely every two weeks.

Housing Assignments and Move-In

Residence hall assignments will be determined and communicated in December. Students should not expect to access campus housing before their approved move-in date.

Just as in the fall semester, one family member may accompany a student to campus but only the student may enter the residence hall.

Past Semester Plans

Archived: Fall 2020 Arrival Plan