Last Updated September 2, 2020

Dartmouth College Community Expectations for Graduate and Professional School Students
Academic Year 2020–2021

To reduce the risk to those accessing, or living, learning, and working on campus, as well as to our friends and neighbors in the surrounding communities, students must commit to following Dartmouth's expectations for conduct both on and off campus, as outlined in the following set of Community Expectations. These expectations are based upon federal, state, and local public health guidance, and are subject to change.

Any updates made to the Community Expectations for Graduate and Professional School Students will be communicated via email to Tuck students and posted online. 

Students are asked to sign this initial version of the agreement. The most updated version is available below and here on the Dartmouth website.

Dartmouth fosters lasting bonds among faculty, staff, and students, which encourage a culture of integrity, self-reliance, and collegiality and instill a sense of responsibility for each other and for the broader world.

Dartmouth College, Core Values

Adherence to the standards set by Dartmouth to promote the safety and well-being of others on our campus and in the surrounding community reflects the commitment we make to one another to act responsibly as we face the difficult challenges brought about by the global coronavirus pandemic. COVID-19 will occur in our community this year, and it will only be through the mutual promises we make to one another to adhere to the practices and standards established by the institution that we can hope to contain the virus and move toward a return to a robust and energized on-campus environment. Advancing the public good over individual preference is the means by which we can achieve this objective.

If we are to meet our goal of providing an in-person educational experience for as many students as possible as safely as possible during the coronavirus global pandemic, we must all adjust how we conduct ourselves in our community. To reduce the risk to those accessing, or living, learning, and working on campus, as well as to our friends and neighbors in the surrounding communities, students must commit to following Dartmouth's expectations for conduct both on and off campus, as outlined in the following set of Community Expectations. These expectations are based upon federal, state, and local public health guidance, and are subject to change.

Please read the following agreement carefully.
By signing at the bottom, you are agreeing to abide by the terms of the agreement.

Dartmouth's Community Expectations for the upcoming academic year are subject to change. The institution reserves the right to update its plans and the terms of this agreement to reflect such changes, which will be informed appropriately by public health guidance and governmental regulation, and by behaviors we observe on our campus(es). We encourage students to follow closely information distributed by Dartmouth throughout the 2020–2021 academic year. 

Before Arriving at Dartmouth (Whether to Live On Campus or Off Campus), I Will:

  • Monitor my health for COVID-related symptoms for 14 days prior to arrival, where arrival is at least 14 days in the future. If fewer than 14 days, I will monitor my health for the time remaining before my arrival at Dartmouth 
  • Move into my on-campus housing on the date and during the time interval for which I register if registration is required by my school/program.
  • Delay my plans to arrive on campus or in the community if I am feeling ill or have signs of COVID-19. I will wait until I am fully recovered and have consulted with and received clearance from Dartmouth College Health Services clinicians before traveling to campus.

Sachem Village, South Street and North Park apartments are treated as off-campus housing for graduate and professional school students, as are properties owned by students or leased/rented by students from third party property owners and landlords.

For purposes of the document, "community" refers to the states of New Hampshire and Vermont.

While Enrolled and Accessing Campus for Any Term in Academic Year 2020-2021, I agree to:

  • Quarantine in my housing, whether on campus or off campus, for 14 days upon my arrival at Dartmouth unless I have been living in the community for more than 14 days before and have not traveled outside the states identified in Dartmouth's travel and quarantine guidance during that time.
  • Participate in Dartmouth's mandatory monitoring and testing which includes: 
  • Being tested for the virus that causes COVID-19 on my arrival at Dartmouth, whether living on campus or in the community and to participating in periodic surveillance testing and monitoring as required by Dartmouth. 
  • Following the instructions of Dartmouth personnel concerning my 14-day initial quarantine and any additional quarantine or isolation, if necessary. 
  • Cooperating with contact tracing inquiries from New Hampshire and Dartmouth authorities immediately by, among other things, responding to texts and calls from contact tracers and answering all questions about my contacts honestly and completely.
  • Monitoring my health daily throughout the entire term using the Temperature Self-Assessment (TSA) screening tool
  • Following other campus standards as directed.
  • Contacting the Health Service immediately to seek an evaluation or arrange for testing when I experience symptoms, including those identified in the daily TSA screening tool.

Throughout the Year, I Will:

  • Physically distance, maintaining at least a 6-foot separation between myself and others at all times, where possible.
  • Wear face coverings inside all Dartmouth facilities, including but not limited to classrooms, workplaces, laboratories, dining facilities (unless eating), and residential halls (except when I am alone in my assigned room) and outside on Dartmouth grounds when I am unable to maintain physical distancing.
  • Observe all guidelines for dining.
  • Understanding that Dartmouth strongly discourages hosting any guests or visitors during the pandemic, after obtaining consent from my roommates, if any, I agree to host guests or visitors only as follows: 
  • Students living on-campus agree not to host any guests or visitors who do not also reside on-campus. No more than two guests from the on-campus community may be hosted at a time and all Dartmouth requirements for face coverings, physical distancing, and hygiene must be observed. 
  • Students living off-campus agree to host no more than two guests at a time in the entire housing unit occupied by the student, even if more than one student occupies the house/apartment in question. No guest may be hosted unless the host student fully complies with the guidelines from the state of New Hampshire or Vermont, as appropriate, related to travel, quarantine, face coverings, physical distancing, and hygiene.
  • Agree to abide by all health and safety rules, regulations, and guidance for COVID-19 in Hanover and any other Upper Valley community where I reside or travel.
  • Agree to comply with all Dartmouth event and hosting guidelines. If I live off-campus or am engaging in off-campus activities not covered by the event and hosting guidelines, I will comply with the group gathering guidelines of the state in which I reside. [1] **
  • If I am a member or leader of a student organization, regardless of the organization's status, I will abide by group gathering and social events policies and will not organize or attend gatherings or events that violate Dartmouth policy.
  • Receive a vaccine for COVID-19, should one become available that is both FDA- and Dartmouth-approved, when the Health Service makes them available on campus, or by submitting a record proving receipt of the vaccine from the third-party health care provider to Health Services.
  • Adhere to all other health and safety practices recommended or required by Dartmouth, such as frequent handwashing and wiping down of high-touch surfaces.
  • I agree to comply with Dartmouth's travel and quarantine guidelines for graduate and professional students.
  • If I am approved for Dartmouth travel or must travel for personal reasons, I agree to comply with all institutional travel and quarantine policies and restrictions and to follow state of New Hampshire quarantine restrictions upon my return.
  • Use available campus resources, including but not limited to Report a Concern and Live Safe, if I see concerning behavior that I want to report or to ask questions about.

 If you need to seek reasonable accommodations based upon a disability in order to comply with the expectations noted in this document, please contact the disability services office for your school/program. If requested accommodations are not determined to be reasonable, you will be expected to follow Dartmouth's expectations or to continue to study remotely.

Accountability and Responsibility

To protect the campus community and myself, I must abide by the rules reflected in these Community Expectations. I understand that they may be modified by Dartmouth College from time to time. I understand that any violations of this agreement, including but not limited to those related to screening, testing, quarantining, isolating, physically distancing, wearing face coverings, hosting unpermitted visitors or guests and initiating, hosting or attending prohibited in-person gatherings may result in immediate removal from campus and/or disciplinary action as set forth in the attached COVID-19 Conduct Resolution Process. 

Infractions requiring disciplinary review shall be resolved under the processes in place for each of the schools.

 [1] ** Dartmouth's Event Limits policy was updated on August 11, 2020, after the Community Expectations were distributed to graduate and professional students. The changes to the Event Limits policy supersede this sentence. Students are encouraged to review the Event Limits expectations.

By signing this Community Expectations agreement, I agree to abide by these rules and regulations. I acknowledge that Dartmouth College cannot eliminate my risk of illness during a global pandemic. I voluntarily accept the risks associated with on-campus study at this time.

If I sign the Community Expectations agreement, am I waiving any claims I might choose to bring against Dartmouth should I contract COVID-19 from an on-campus exposure? What does it mean that I am being asked to "acknowledge" and "accept" the associated risks?

The Community Expectations do not ask students to waive future claims against Dartmouth. They do, however, require students to acknowledge that even with all the steps being taken to create an environment in which the health and well-being of students are of great importance, Dartmouth cannot prevent the risk of contracting COVID-19 associated with being on campus and engaging in Dartmouth activities. The Community Expectations therefore aim to draw students' attention to the fact that they are choosing to return to campus to begin or continue their education under these conditions. The Community Expectations also ask students to accept their responsibilities to help minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

What happens if I don't sign the agreement? Am I prohibited from returning to campus until I do? Can I continue being an enrolled graduate student at Dartmouth?

Students who do not sign are not permitted to have access to campus buildings and facilities but could work with their administrations to complete their coursework and/or research remotely to the extent possible. Students who find themselves in a situation in which sufficient progress remotely may not be feasible should discuss possible alternatives with the program director and/or the Student Affairs office at their respective school.

It is clearly stated that the Community Expectations are subject to change, but does signing this document mean that I agree to changes that haven't been made yet? How will changes be communicated?

Dartmouth retains the right to make changes to the Community Expectations throughout the year as circumstances change, including considering advice from federal, state, and local authorities and the conditions on campus. You remain responsible for complying with those changes. Changes to the Community Expectations will be communicated through email to your account, as well as being posted on the Dartmouth COVID-19 website. If any students wish to rescind their agreement with Dartmouth, they may do so at any time by informing and then receiving confirmation from the Student Affairs Office at the respective school. Doing so will revoke any privileges to be physically present on campus and use associated facilities.

How might these policies change throughout the year?

Changes would generally follow advice from federal, state, and local authorities, as well as geographic rates of COVID and conditions on campus. For example, if local positive-test rates exceeded 5%, the general public health guidance for any institution would be to increase restrictions. Currently, New Hampshire has a positive test rate of 1.9% and Grafton County is at 0.8%. This low rate is among the critical criteria that permit some on-campus programs to resume. It is also possible that, based on conditions on campus in response to our current efforts, some of the restrictions put in place at the opening of the academic year could be relaxed, provided rates remain low or decrease. 

If housemates don't sign this, how will this affect the housemates who do?

Compliance with Community Expectations is expected of each individual graduate and professional student and will be assessed individually. For any student who feels unsafe due to the activities of housemates who do not follow public health or Dartmouth guidelines, please bring your concerns to the attention of the Dartmouth Expectations Compliance Team (DECT). The DECT has representation from all graduate and professional schools to ensure the prompt and consistent application of standards across all graduate and professional students.

Will I be forced to accept the vaccine, when it's available, if I feel that it is not yet fully safe?

It is possible that if there is an FDA-approved vaccine that Dartmouth determines is required for the health and safety of you and others on campus, failure to receive such a vaccine- might mean you cannot continue to have access to campus buildings and will need to continue your education remotely. Medical students who see patients will need to follow the vaccine policies of the hospitals and health systems where they see patients, or take a leave of absence until they can continue their clinical studies. Existing medical exemptions for vaccine requirements may apply: for example, if you have a documented disability that would make the vaccine dangerous for you to receive, you normally will not be required to take the vaccine. If and when a vaccine becomes available, students will be able to consult with their personal health care provider and any request for a medical exemption will be addressed following an appropriate evaluation by Dartmouth College Health Services.

Is there an appeal process for sanctions imposed as a result of reported violations to the Community Expectations policy?

The decisions of the DECT are final. Its actions are intended to be prompt and capable of addressing violations effectively without creating a disciplinary record for the student. The DECT may not impose sanctions of suspension or separation. If serious misconduct occurs where such sanctions may be appropriate, the student will be referred to the disciplinary process for their school, which may include access to any appeals that may be a part of those processes. 

Can data collected for the purposes of contact tracing be used in DECT or disciplinary actions to prove violations of the Community Expectations?

The Health Service will not disclose health information for disciplinary action. This includes health information provided to the Health Service through screenings, testing, and contact-tracing conversations. As always, the Health Service clinicians at Dick's House are available on a confidential basis, as are individual student primary care providers and state health officials. We are committed to protecting confidential communications between health care providers and the individuals who consult them, as well as encouraging everyone to follow all medical and state guidance to help reduce the risk of spread and transmission.

How will graduate and professional students be affected by other Dartmouth groups if they do not comply? For example, if we are able to manage ourselves and undergrads are not, are we going to find that we're still not able to progress toward more-relaxed regulations?

This is certainly possible, as restrictions will increase or decrease based on local disease rates and the conditions on campus overall. Through robust testing and case management, methods that were unavailable in the spring, our intention is to use more targeted restrictions going forward to the extent we can do so while maintaining the health and safety of the community.

What activities does Dartmouth allow students are while under the constraints of the Community Expectations standards?

Dartmouth is establishing standards and conditions which we hope will allow the activities of the institution to return to pre-COVID levels over time. However, there are many variables that will affect this goal, some that are within Dartmouth's control and some that are not. The contribution of students, faculty, and staff in behaving in ways that limit the transmission of COVID-19 is an essential part of this shared objective.

Are there any benchmarks or milestones that students can look to in hope as we strive for a new normal?

If case rates remain as they are now a month or two after campus has opened for the fall term for undergraduates, graduate, and professional students, the level and type of permitted activities may increase. If disease rates worsen, there could be an increase in remote instruction, depending on the rates.

Does the College have jurisdiction over what students do in their off-campus housing? How does Dartmouth intend to enforce such strict guidelines (e.g., two-visitors policy) all around the Upper Valley?

Yes, because of the potential impact of off-campus behavior on members of the on-campus Dartmouth community, including fellow students, faculty, and staff, Dartmouth is taking the off-campus behavior of students particularly seriously during the global coronavirus pandemic. This expectation for off-campus behavior falls under the Community Expectations, the Honor Code, and/or policies of the different programs and professional schools. However, as the Community Expectations and DECT process make clear, it is our hope that in bringing students' conduct into alignment with the Community Expectations, we can do so without the necessity of creating a disciplinary record for students. Where the behavior is severe or the student is unwilling to abide by the standards put into place for their protection and the protection of the community, the matter will be referred to the disciplinary process of each school for review and resolution.

How does Dartmouth define a "guest" to off-campus graduate housing?

A guest, as referred to in the Community Expectations document for graduate and professional students only, means overnight guests, and the term applies to individuals who are not currently Dartmouth College students.

What is the difference between the two-person hosting rule and the event guidelines?

As mentioned above, the two-person guest policy applies to overnight guests only. The event guidelines are intended to establish standards for gatherings of fewer than 10 individuals.

Does the gathering limit of fewer than 10 people apply to both impromptu gatherings and College-sponsored events? Does it apply equally to indoor and outdoor gatherings?

Yes, the gathering limit of fewer than 10 people applies to all gatherings, sponsored events and impromptu gatherings, both indoors and outdoors. Whenever possible, gatherings should be held outdoors.

What are the conditions for having overnight guests in the residence halls?

Due to the risks associated with congregate living settings, overnight guests are not allowed in residence halls.

Where do sports fall under the Dartmouth event guidelines? If I play soccer, rugby or Tripod, are those Dartmouth sponsored and thus we can't have more than nine people? Or, if I receive no money from Dartmouth, am I free to follow state rules?

Group sports and other recreational activities, outside of structured classes or practices scheduled by Dartmouth, are allowed for groups of nine people or fewer provided participants can keep 10 feet of physical distance between themselves and others at all times. Activities that do not allow for 10 feet of distance between individuals (e.g., pick-up basketball games) are not allowed at this time. Participants must wear a face covering at all times unless engaged in a workout or activity where a face covering may make it difficult to breathe, and they must follow cleaning and disinfecting guidance for shared equipment. These terms apply whether or not the team or activity is considered Dartmouth-sponsored.

Does the TSA online screening need to be completed every day or every day we come to campus?

The Temperature Self-Assessment (TSA) screening needs to be completed each day you plan enter Dartmouth campus buildings — before coming to campus — even if you are making a quick trip in to pick up materials (for example). If you live on campus, you have to complete the TSA screening every day even if you stay in your room or suite for the day.

Do graduate students who have stayed in New England (as their home over the past several months and/or traveled to other New England locations recently) need to quarantine upon their return to the Upper Valley? Are these requirements different for graduate students who live on-campus versus off-campus?

All students living in Tuck residence halls on campus must quarantine in their residence for 14 days upon initial arrival and upon return from any travel outside of New England.

All graduate and professional school students living in off-campus residences, including Sachem Village, South Street, and North Park apartments, must meet a series of requirements before accessing Dartmouth campus buildings and must follow the quarantine requirements for their state of residence.

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) guidance allows medical students to report to DHMC for clinical rotations. However, medical students are expected to meet a series of requirements before accessing Dartmouth campus buildings and follow the quarantine requirements for their state of residence outside of DHMC.

For those of us living off campus, should we be following the quarantine guidelines of our state, or something more restrictive?

Following travel or upon arriving in the Upper Valley, students and employees should follow Dartmouth's guidance regarding accessing Dartmouth buildings and their state guidance outside of school/work, whichever is more restrictive.

Can someone avoid a 14-day quarantine by taking a COVID-19 test in which they test negative?

New Hampshire state guidance does not allow testing to shorten the 14-day quarantine period, thus one may choose to get tested at any time on their own, but they must still quarantine for 14 days if indicated based on travel or a known exposure. You must wait 14 days before accessing Dartmouth buildings and follow your respective state guidance outside of work/school.

Is there a plan for ongoing COVID testing throughout the year?

Yes, approximately 25% of the student body (undergraduate, graduate, and professional students, both those living on campus and off campus) will be tested each week. Approximately 25% of the faculty and staff who are needing to come to campus will also be tested weekly.

Can you explain why we must continue to quarantine even after taking two negative tests?

Because the incubation period of the virus can last up to 14 days, someone can still be incubating the virus and can test negative and go on to develop symptoms as late as 14 days after their last possible exposure. Waiting for the full 14 days to pass is critical to our efforts to identify any instances of COVID-19 among members of our community.

If I test positive for antibodies, do these restrictions get modified?

The Community Expectations and campus-wide restrictions apply to all students. Because the duration of protective antibodies following COVID-19 is unknown, we can't be sure when someone might become susceptible again. Therefore, for everyone's safety, the current expectations and restrictions apply to all.

What are the expectations if you've been in the Upper Valley for the entire term but your partner travels outside of New England? Do you have to quarantine when they return?

Household members who are not Dartmouth students or employees should follow the quarantine guidance of the state in which they live. The Dartmouth student or employee should stay apart as much as possible from any household members who are quarantining due to recent travel, including sleeping and eating separately and, ideally, having separate bathrooms during the quarantine period.

I understand that violations of the expectations will be handled expeditiously by the Dartmouth Expectations Compliance Team (DECT), comprised of an administrative representative of each Dartmouth graduate and professional programs (Guarini, Geisel, Tuck and Thayer). I understand and agree that this process is separate from and supersedes any conduct resolution process that might be otherwise available in my school/program. 

I agree that should my behavior violate the Community Expectations, which exist to promote the safety and well-being of the Dartmouth College community, I may lose the privilege of engaging in on-campus activities (including research and in-person classes), residing in on-campus housing, or accessing Dartmouth facilities and buildings. Available measures to address health and safety concerns that may be imposed by the DECT include, but are not limited to, the issuance of written warnings, referral for an educational conversation, and loss of access to campus buildings and facilities as provided further below.

I understand and agree that severe, pervasive, and/or repeated violations of the expectations that may result in loss of the privilege of engaging in on-campus activities may be referred by the DECT in its sole discretion to the appropriate office within the appropriate school/program for the resolution of disciplinary violations of my school or program's social conduct standards. DECT is authorized to impose a temporary loss of access to campus buildings and facilities while disciplinary action is pending in my school/program. I acknowledge that if my privilege of residing on campus is temporarily lost, I must vacate campus housing within 24 hours of receiving such notice. Additionally, my school or program may temporarily suspend my participation in my program during the pendency of the school/program's disciplinary process. Sanctions up to and including suspension or separation from my school/program and Dartmouth may be imposed by my school or program should I be found responsible.

I acknowledge and agree that there is no appeal of the decisions and directives of the DECT, and the decisions and directives shall be effective immediately, as these determinations will be made on an urgent basis to protect the health and safety of the community as a whole. The decisions and directives of the DECT under the COVID-19 Conduct Resolution Process will not be reported by Dartmouth as disciplinary or conduct records or actions. Matters referred for disciplinary action by each school shall be reported as part of a student's disciplinary or conduct records.