Governor's order delays move out for on-campus students

March 20, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State is temporarily delaying plans to allow students who reside in University residence halls to return to campuses to retrieve their personal belongings in light of Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s stay-at-home order that runs until May 8.

“We understand that students are anxious to retrieve their belongings, and we have a plan and procedures that will allow students and families to come back to campus and pick up their items in a safe and orderly manner once the state allows it,” said Damon Sims, vice president of student affairs. “But based on the governor’s order, we need to do our part to stem the spread of the virus, and not have people traveling to and from our campuses.

Sims said that based on the governor’s order and similar efforts around the world to slow the spread of the coronavirus, the University will not be able to allow students to return until at least after May 8.

He added, “All residence halls have been locked down, so any students attempting to return will not be able to access their building. Our staff have been maintaining the residence halls, and everyone’s belongings are secured for when students are able to return.”

Sims said minor exceptions are being made on a case-by-case basis for extraordinary circumstances or because of a significant need. “Students who need access to their rooms because they need, for example, life-sustaining medication, or if an international student needs to retrieve their passport and belongings so they can return to their country of origin, are some of the exceptions that can be discussed to give individuals access to their residence halls.”

Students who require access must email their campus Housing office directly. Email contacts for each campus Housing office may be found at

Students who currently reside in remote learning housing — which are the quarters assigned to individuals who could not leave campus during spring break, or returned to campus after break with no place to stay — will remain in their remote learning housing assignment for the remainder of the semester.

To help maintain the health and well-being of local communities, students who normally reside in off-campus housing should remain at their permanent home and should not return to their apartments or houses to collect their belongings.

“Once the situation changes, we plan on contacting students immediately with clear guidance and directions for returning to campus and moving out,” Sims said. “It’s been a challenging situation for everyone involved, and I want to thank the students and families for their patience and understanding — we know this has not been easy.”


Last Updated April 20, 2020