Campus Life

Campus life will return with a focus on health and safety. All members of the campus community will be required to complete an online health education training, and social distancing and face coverings will be required. Residence life, dining services, athletics, student events, and shuttle services will be adjusted to meet required health and safety guidelines.

Pioneer Pledge, Health Education, and Screenings

Prior to the return to campus, all new and returning students will be required to sign the COVID-19 Reopening Safety Pioneer Pledge, and all faculty and staff will be required to sign the COVID-19 Reopening Safety Policy. These documents require all members of the campus community to adhere to public health practices and to follow University procedures and protocols that have been developed to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19.

In addition, students must complete an online health education training to ensure an understanding of how to attend the University within the new guidelines. The education will include a review of CDC and NJ Department of Health guidelines on social distancing protocols, health information on COVID-19 symptoms and testing, prevention of COVID-19, appropriate cleaning procedures, and institutional policies and procedures designed to limit the spread of COVID-19, such as the use and care of face coverings, and other topics.

The health and safety of the University community during this pandemic is a shared responsibility among faculty, staff and students. All students, as well as all faculty and staff, will be required to conduct a daily health self-assessment prior to their daily arrival on campus or before leaving their residence hall in order to screen for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. The student and faculty/staff self-assessment will include a temperature check. A symptom checklist will be available to all students to fill out daily along with the temperature check. More guidance on this protocol will be forthcoming.

Social Distancing and Face Coverings

All members of the campus community will be required to practice social or physical distancing by staying at least six feet from others in both indoor and outdoor environments and to wear face coverings, except in private spaces and situations such as when alone in an office or residential room, as outlined in the University’s Social Distancing and Face Covering Policy.

Residence Life

Residence hall occupancy has been reduced to meet social distancing and public health-related risk reduction guidelines. There will be no triples, and doubles will be limited to some of the larger residence spaces or those with dimensions conducive to double occupancy. Students who completed their housing application and housing deposit by the established housing deadlines have been surveyed to determine their need for residing on campus. Student responses will be included in how students are prioritized for on-campus housing and accommodations will be made based upon availability.

Furniture in common spaces has been rearranged to meet social distancing requirements; some common areas where social distancing is not easily accomplished will be closed.

Signage regarding health and safety and cleaning protocols has been provided in common areas, rest rooms and throughout the residence halls. Students and staff will be required to practice social distancing and wear face coverings in all common areas. Hand sanitizer stations have been placed throughout the residence halls at high-touchpoint locations and in common areas.

Residence Life staff will continue to offer programming for resident students. Large-scale programs or activities will be changed to virtual events or may be cancelled for the fall semester. Residential students will not be permitted to have visitors during the fall 2020 semester. 

Resident students will be required to read and acknowledge a COVID-19-related addendum to their housing contract as a pre-condition for move-in. When students return to residence halls, the University will clearly communicate expectations, policies, and protocols, including procedures for move-in and the use of elevators using current guidelines.

Students with known or suspected exposure to COVID-19 will be required to participate in University quarantine and/or isolation protocols. Any resident student who lives within 200 miles driving distance from William Paterson, and is exposed to or diagnosed with COVID-19, must leave campus to prevent further spread of COVID-19.  Students need to return home or to an alternate off-campus location to prevent further spread of COVID-19. Anyone who lives in excess of 200 miles from campus and can’t return home will be placed in a separate quarantine or isolation room for the duration. This is also subject to availability.


Dining services will be modified in order to maintain the necessary sanitation, health, and safety protocols and to facilitate physical distancing. Wayne Dining Hall (for students with meal plans), several Machuga Student Center food court stations, Einstein’s Bagels in University Hall, the W convenience store in Century Hall, and Café 1600 at the 1600 Valley Road building will be open with modifications. Self-service will be eliminated, and food will be pre-packaged in grab and go recyclable containers. All push-button convenience items such as beverage dispensers will be changed to hands-free operation where applicable. Disposable gloves will be made available where hands-free operation is not possible. Multiple hand sanitizer stations will be located at key points for patrons to use accordingly. Mobile ordering is being implemented to remove the need to stand in line to place orders and to replace the use of touchscreen kiosks. Limited outdoor seating and indoor dining will be available. Physical distancing and occupancy limits will be managed with signage, floor decals, one-way traffic in congested areas, caps on the number of permitted patrons, and the removal of some furnishings. Tables and counters where patrons are in contact will be routinely sanitized.


All intercollegiate competition for fall sports has been suspended. Winter sports competition has been postponed until January 1, 2021. This decision was made by the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Presidents Council in consultation with the NJAC Board of Athletic Administrators. At this time, the University is planning to have all intercollegiate athletic teams conduct small group workouts/practice sessions for skill development and conditioning during the fall of 2020. All workouts will be non-contact. Prior to any team workouts, all student-athletes and members of the coaching staff will be provided with a COVID-19 educational training. A daily health screening and temperature check will be mandatory for all individuals attending a workout session. As recommended by the NCAA in the most recent guidelines for institutions that have canceled competition, testing of student-athletes and athletic department staff will be consistent with the protocols established by the University for the broader student body and staff. No decisions have been made at this time about spring sports competitions.

Recreational Services

Recreational Services will be guided by New Jersey’s directive for the reopening or closure of gyms and similar facilities. Once able to safely reopen, facility access will require an online reservation for a specific workout period. Some areas, such as locker rooms and general pool use, may need to remain closed. If permitted, fitness classes will be designed to foster social distancing; in-person participants may be limited but all classes will be livestreamed for those who prefer to participate at-home and/or are unable to participate due to limited space. Well-being programs will be offered in person, if feasible, to meet the needs of all participants. Limited in-person intramural sports will continue to be offered, if feasible, but offerings will otherwise be virtual. Club sports will hold training (no competition) seasons during the fall semester with plans to resume competition in January to be determined based on guidance from New Jersey on return to play, the NCAA, NFHS, and other sport-specific organizations.

Student Events

In-person campus activities will be limited to those that are of higher priority and can still be delivered in compliance with social distancing and health and safety protocols. Events will have reduced attendance limits. Large-scale assembly activities will be prohibited. Traditional large events such as Welcome Week, Club Fair, Greek Fair, and Pioneer Leadership Institute, among others, will be offered virtually when possible. The Office of Campus Activities, Service and Leadership will work with the SGA, SAPB, Greek Senate and other student organizations to create virtual or hybrid events. All club meetings will be held virtually for the fall semester. Health and safety protocols, including social distancing and the wearing of face coverings, will be required for all in-person events.

Campus Shuttle

The Campus Shuttle provides an important service for many students, faculty, and staff.  University officials are working with Community Coach Transport to provide shuttle services to the fullest extent possible while implementing protocols to reduce health-related risks. The following procedures will be implemented for the fall 2020 shuttle service:

  • All shuttle passengers will be required to wear a face covering.
  • Shuttle drivers will not use recirculated air for shuttle ventilation. Instead, they must use shuttle vents and/or lower the vehicle’s windows to bring in fresh air from outside.
  • In order to maintain social distancing, the number of passengers will be limited to 50 percent of the posted capacity per trip. Shuttle pick-up will be first come, first served.
  • Passengers will be asked to social distance (6 feet minimum) while entering a shuttle.
  • Passengers must maintain a minimum of one empty seat between them and the next passenger on the shuttle.
  • Information will be posted online and around campus as shuttle routes may change to enhance efficiencies and/or due to other University policy changes.
  • Riders who fail to comply with these safety measures will not be allowed to ride the shuttle and may face disciplinary action for noncompliance.
  • A cleaning and disinfecting protocol has been established that includes disinfecting frequent touchpoints such as handholds, armrests, seating, and door handles, and full sanitization and disinfection of all surfaces from the bottom of the seat to the windows. All surfaces will be sprayed with an EPA-approved product that is effective against COVID-19. After spraying is complete, all hard surfaces will be wiped with a clean towel or microfiber cloth.
  • Hand-sanitizer and/or wipe dispensers will be provided on each shuttle.

For more information about the Campus Shuttle Service, please visit

[Updated February 1, 2021]