Campus Life Updates and the Winter Session

Author: Erin Hoffmann Harding

Dear Notre Dame undergraduate, graduate, and professional students,

As fall weather arrives, I am so encouraged by the modest number of positive COVID-19 cases in our campus community. Thank you for all you are doing to keep us healthy by following the University’s health and safety protocols. I am proud of our community and grateful to be on campus together.

Given our momentum, this email provides several updates related to campus life and the upcoming Winter Session.

Student Spaces

In addition to extended hours in Duncan Student Center, Hesburgh Library, and LaFortune Student Center, the 8th floor of Duncan Student Center (i.e., Rasmus Family Club) will now be staffed by University personnel and open for student study use between 8 p.m. and 12 a.m. daily.

The University has also arranged to provide heating at several outdoor locations that have proven popular with students, including the Library Lawn and South Lawn, and the North Quad, South Quad, East Quad, West Quad, and DeBartolo Quad tents.

Indoor dining at North and South Dining Halls will resume on Monday, Oct. 5. Following St. Joseph County guidelines, dining rooms will offer physically distanced seats with plexiglass shields. These steps will increase seating capacity while reducing potential virus transmission. All meals will continue to be served in takeout containers with additional seating available in the adjacent heated tents and other locations around campus.

Informal Gatherings

Thanks to your efforts to socialize safely, students may again gather informally in groups of up to 20 outdoors. Indoor gatherings must be limited to the distanced capacity of the space, which means you must wear your mask and be able to keep 6 feet distance from others in the room. Please continue to wear masks and practice physical distancing whenever you are together.

In addition to events sponsored by University departments, student clubs and organizations are planning great programs. Remember to consult the Upcoming Student Events Calendar to see what is happening on campus each day.

Undergraduate Residence Hall Guests

Because residence hall case counts are low, we can relax the hall guest policy. Up to two additional residents from any section of the residence hall may now gather in another student’s room if all occupants wear masks, distance appropriately, and leave doors open.

If this extension is successful and case counts stay low, we anticipate modifying the guest policy again by opening up 24-hour space in a few weeks. Please help us achieve this goal by continuing to follow all requested health and safety protocols.

Winter Session

Please watch for a survey next week to gauge student interest in Winter Session opportunities. We will do our best to design offerings to meet student preferences.

The University will offer limited housing options to on-campus students during the Winter Session. A separate housing contract and charges will apply. Further details will be shared in October. Students who have mental health, financial, or safety concerns about returning home during the break should contact the Center for Student Support and Care or the Office of Student Enrichment.


I hope these changes come as welcome news. Again, please know of our gratitude for everything you are doing to stay well and keep us here together. Continue the great work and remember to:

  • Wear your mask
  • Practice physical distancing
  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Complete your daily health check
  • Show up when selected for surveillance testing

In Notre Dame,

Erin Hoffmann Harding
Vice President for Student Affairs