On-Campus Onboarding

UPDATE (February 15): This page was created to summarize the key information and action items for students returning to campus for the spring 2021 semester. We will archive this page on February 18, but any of the information that is still relevant has been added to the existing Spring 2021 FAQ pages. Please email spring2021@bowdoin.edu with any questions.

UPDATE (February 4): On your day of travel, we ask that you do your best to stick to your selected arrival time slot. Of course we recognize that delays are…inevitable.

    • If you are delayed in your travel but still expect to get to campus between 9am-7pm on your original arrival day, you do not need to do anything. That said, if your new arrival time will impact your ability to get items out of storage or complete any other essential pre-arrival errands, please call (207) 725-3314 to triage your issue(s).
    • If your travel is delayed and you will arrive late (after 7pm) as a result or on another day, please call (207) 725-3314 to arrange a late arrival plan.
UPDATE (February 1): If you test positive on your COVID-19 pre-arrival test (Let's Get Checked or otherwise), please reach out to healthservices@bowdoin.edu for next steps.

Last updated: February 8, 2021

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Paperwork, forms, and training courses.

▢ Campus Community Agreement: Make sure you have carefully reviewed the Agreement and signed it in Blackboard. Deadline: Past Due! (Get it done, ASAP.)

▢ Proof of Influenza Vaccination: Make sure you have been vaccinated and submitted proof of your vaccine using one of the following options.

  1. Upload directly to the Student Health portal. Under “My Forms,” please choose the “Immunizations” drop down menu option to upload.
  2. Email (healthservices@bowdoin.edu)
  3. Fax (207-725-3905)

Deadline: Past Due! (Get it done, ASAP.)

COVID-19 SafeColleges modules: Make sure you have reviewed and completed the two student modules, “COVID-19 Awareness” and “COVID-19 Social Distancing.” Deadline: Past Due! (Get it done, ASAP.)

▢ DiversityEDU Course: Per Michael Reed's email on January 18, this is a starting point to establish a common diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) understanding across our community. Use your Bowdoin email address and password to log in and complete: https://lms2.diversityedu.com/sso/bowdoinDeadline: February 8.


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Campus Pre-Arrival

What you need to know (and do) before you arrive to campus on February 5 or February 6.

 ▢ Registration: Registration for campus arrival days is now closed. If you missed the deadline to register, please email Katie Toro-Ferrari (kferrari@bowdoin.edu). 

Remember, if you need to arrive later than 7pm on either day, be aware that you may be asked to stay in quarantine housing until you can be tested the next day.

Day-of, we ask that you do your best to stick to your selected arrival time slot. if you are delayed in your travel but still expect to arrive between 9am-7pm on Friday or Saturday, you do not need to do anything.

If your travel is delayed and you will arrive late (after 7pm) as a result, please call (207) 725-3314.

▢ Items in Storage: Once you have checked into campus, you will not be permitted to leave (see “Your First Day on Campus” for additional details). Please plan to retrieve your items from storage before you arrive on campus. If that isn’t possible, make sure your contact for storage (moving company, family, friend, professor, etc.) can drop your items off curbside without entering your residential building. You can also wait until the campus is at status level Yellow.

▢ Preparation for Travel: As you make your travel plan, remember we are asking everyone to self-quarantine for 10 days prior to arrival to campus, and to take utmost precautions during your travel to Brunswick.

Why a 10-day pre-arrival self-quarantine, particularly when we are providing pre-arrival testing?

While this test is a useful snapshot in time, it is not protective by itself. The test may be taken at a time when the infected person does not have enough viral load to show up as positive; or the person may test negative and the be exposed during travel. Suffice it to say, a negative test is not enough to protect the community. Because of this, pre-travel quarantine is an important part of Bowdoin’s mitigation strategy. We strongly encourage all returning students to quarantine for at least ten days before traveling in order to reduce the likelihood that you will be a COVID-spreader during travel or upon arrival to campus. Additionally, your transitions back Bowdoin will be much better if you arrive COVID-free!

While we are encouraging a limit of one family member or friend to drive you to campus, we realize that may not be realistic for your family, so please do not exceed two guests. Guests will not be permitted in buildings (with the exception of approved visitor bathrooms).

Make sure you have a good and comfortable mask. Stock up on hand sanitizer. Be prepared with an “Iso Bag” in case you have to go into isolation or quarantine upon arrival. Create a packing list (keeping in mind that you will not be able to leave campus for at least the first two weeks), and pack lightly. Here are a few items recommended by ResLife:

  • Microwave
  • Enough medications and toiletries for at least two weeks
  • School supplies you will need for the first two weeks
  • Activities and self-care "stuff" to keep you busy during our Hibearnation period (e.g., knitting, puzzles, coloring books)
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Learn more about what to expect on arrival day, during Hibearnation period, and beyond.

▢ Spring 2021 Campus Guide and FAQs: Campus will be different than you remember it. Make sure you have given yourself a chance to prepare by carefully reviewing the Spring 2021 Campus Guide and FAQs.

▢ Office Hours with the Division of Student Affairs: Drop by on Zoom and ask your questions about spring 2021 in an informal setting with a few familiar faces. Questions will be answered on a first-come, first-served basis, and all are welcome to come for as long as is helpful to you. See below for schedule and links to sign up:

▢ Your First Day on Campus (aka Arrival Day): Please see below for a general framework for your first day on campus -
  • Your official arrival to campus will begin at Farley Field House for phase 1, where you will check in during your registered time-slot. You will need to show your CampusClear "Good to Go!" confirmation screen as part of your check-in. Note: we fully expect that students will be arriving at any time during your  time-slot (e.g., if you signed up for 9-10am, you might arrive at 9:30am).
    • If you are arriving by taxi, Uber, or on foot from the train/bus station in Brunswick, you should first drop off your belongings at Druckenmiller Hall before checking in at Farley.
    • If you are arriving by car (your own or being dropped off by a family member or a friend, etc.), you can proceed directly to Farley.
  • After check-in, you will take a rapid COVID-19 antigen test that we are using as a screening tool. You will then be directed to hang out in Watson Arena for approx. 30 minutes to await the results of the antigen test. You will be notified of next steps via an email from Mike Ranen, COVID-19 resource coordinator. 
  • Assuming you are cleared by the antigen test, you will proceed directly to Morrell Gym (Dayton Lot entrance), where you will pick up your new OneCard and take a diagnostic COVID-19 PCR test (aka, the Broad test).
  • After completing your PCR test, you will have access to your residence hall and dining facility, and you will be able to pick up any packages at the mail center.
  • Remember, once you are checked in, you cannot leave campus. You are locked into Hibearnation Period. Plan accordingly!   

And now, a few PSAs -

  • If the results of your rapid antigen test are inconclusive, you will be directed via email to return to Farley, speak with a representative from health services, and retake the antigen test. If you are then cleared (i.e., test negative), you will follow the above instructions to proceed to Morrell Gym. 
  • If the results of your rapid antigen test are positive, you will be directed to the Lubin Family Squash Center. There, staff from Health Services will perform a rapid (<60 minutes) confirmation PCR test. If the confirmation test result is negative, students will proceed to Morrell Gym as directed above. If the confirmation test result is positive, students will be assisted via an Isolation Case Manager and be moved into one of Bowdoin’s isolation dorms. Curious about our Isolation and Quarantine set-up? Learn more here.
  • We get it: you’re excited. You haven’t seen your friends in a long time. You’re thinking, could I squeeze in a quick visit to my buddies before reporting to Farley Field House? Or, could I invite my friends to come to my residential hall before they’ve been checked into campus and tested? Resist the temptation! We are trying to create a Bowdoin bubble, and our efforts (and subsequent success) will be irrevocably compromised by anyone prioritizing instant gratification over process and protocols.
  • Remember to retrieve your items from storage before you arrive on campus. If that isn’t possible, make sure your contact for storage (moving company, family, friend, professor, etc.) can drop your items off curbside without entering your residential building. You can also wait until the campus is at status level Yellow. 
▢ Hibearnation Period (aka Your First Ten Days on Campus): Hibearnation is a special campus status that begins on Friday, February 5 (the first arrival day) and lasts through Sunday, February 14. During this time, students residing on campus will not be able to leave campus. Please carefully review the Hibearnation Status page for further details.
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Residential and Student Life

Information from housing, student activities, and more.

▢ The Bowdoin College App: If you haven’t already, download the CampusGroups app onto your mobile device (search “The Bowdoin College App” in your local app store) and get set up.

▢ Dining: How will dining services work? How do you know which dining hall you are assigned to? What meals will be served? Click here to review our spring dining FAQs.

▢ Vehicle Permits: Student parking registration for spring semester is open. If you plan to bring a motor vehicle to campus this semester, please complete this form to register your vehicle online and review the campus parking regulations. The cost to register your vehicle for the spring semester is $50.00 and the fee will be billed to your student account. Your 20/21 parking decal will be delivered to your Smith Union mailing address. 

Note: If you were here during the fall semester and registered your vehicle for the full academic year at that time, you do not need to register again. You will need to display a valid student parking decal if you plan to park your vehicle on campus at any time, i.e., the at the COVID testing center. If you have any questions about student parking or vehicle registration, please contact Kelly Irving at 207-725-3458 or kirving@bowdoin.edu.

▢ NCAA Annual Physical: Remember, varsity athletes must have a physical on file dated after August 15, 2020.

▢ Fridges: We have been receiving a lot of questions about fridges. The College purchased dorm-sized refrigerators to be placed in rooms where incoming first year students were living in the fall semester. We are currently moving many of those to our isolation and quarantine buildings for the spring semester. We have tracked which rooms have fridges, but our records are not 100% accurate given all the moving pieces on campus. What we can say is that if you live in the following locations, you will likely have a fridge in your room: 

  • All first year bricks
  • Chamberlain Hall
  • Howell
  • Burnett
  • Boody-Johnson
  • MacMillan
  • Quinby 

We wish we had enough fridges for every student room, but that is not the case. At this time, we need to devote our energies to other opening preparations. Once the semester gets underway we anticipate fridge swaps, as well as the possibliity of moving fridges from vacant rooms to occupied rooms.

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Review information about the Bowdoin Testing Center, learn about the CampusClear app, and prepare for your testing routine for the semester.

▢ Bowdoin Testing Center Video: Watch this 90-second video about how to do your Broad PCR test.


▢ Broad Test Consent and Set-Up: Make sure you have signed the Bowdoin College COVID-19 Test Consent form via DocuSign, per Tony Sprague's email on January 25.

▢ CampusClear: We expect you to complete a daily symptom check starting 10 days before coming to campus. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Read through the Daily Symptom Check FAQs.
  • Download the CampusClear app and set it up on your mobile device (instructions can be found here).

▢ Testing Program Overview: As mentioned in the Campus Guide, Bowdoin College has developed a testing protocol in partnership with the Broad Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts, that is central to our return-to-campus plan. Per the Campus Community Agreement, students must comply with Bowdoin’s COVID-19 testing. Test attendance will be tracked throughout the semester, and students will be allowed one unexcused missed test. A student who misses three additional COVID-19 tests without prior written 
authorization will effectively opt out of the testing protocol and forfeit their on-campus privileges, including physically living on campus, and will move to remote learning for the remainder of the semester. 

Throughout the month of February, all students residing on campus and in residence in our local community will be tested three days a week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Starting in March, all students residing on campus and in residence will be tested twice a week, either on a Monday/Thursday schedule or a Tuesday/Friday schedule, to maximize a fast response to any potential campus outbreak.

The fine print: 

  • Missed tests must be made up the following day.
  • If you miss your make-up test, that will count as yet another missed test.
  • It is your responsibility to be mindful of the testing center's hours of operation on any given day, including any changes due to weather.
  • And again, remember, after one unexcused missed test and three additional missed tests, you will effectively be opting out of the testing protocol and forfeiting your on-campus privileges.

▢ Planning for your On-Campus COVID-19 Testing Routine: As Ben Franklin once said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” COVID-19 Testing is not immune from this advice, and remember, the consequences of failing to test as required will be severe (i.e., you will forfeit the privilege of being on campus). Here are a few pro-tips: 

  • Keep a look out for the testing schedule for Hibearnation period as well as your semester testing cohort assignment (it will be announced over email).

  • Spend some time now building your intended testing times into your schedule for the semester. You get to pick when you test, so aim to get tested at the beginning of the day (before your first class, or before lunch) so you don’t have to worry about it the rest of the day.

  • Set a recurring alarm on your phone for your testing days (with sound—don’t trust silent notifications!). Set a second alarm for 30 minutes before the Testing Center closes to remind yourself, in case you forgot to go earlier.

  • Make a plan with a friend with the same testing schedule to be each other’s “accountabilibuddies.”

  • Create a testing checklist: remember you will need to blow your nose ahead of time to minimize the chance of an invalid test; you’ll also need your CampusClear badge (on your mobile device) and don't forget to bring your Bowdoin ID to check into the testing center.

▢ Accessing your Broad Test Results: Within 24-48 hours after your first PCR test, your results will be available on-line. Follow the steps outlined here to retrieve your results from the Broad Institute.

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Any other to-do items to prepare you for the Spring 2021 semester.

▢ Remote Status Form: If your plans have changed and you now plan to be remote for the semester, make sure you update your learning location status with the Registrar using this form.

Watch all of our Spring 2021 arrival videos here.