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Coronavirus Information and Updates for the Widener Law Commonwealth Community

Widener University and Widener Law Commonwealth are actively monitoring the Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. Law school information and updates about developments with the illness, Widener Law Commonwealth’s response to it, or any impact on law school classes or operations will be available here. Additionally, links will be provided to Widener University's coronavirus webpage and communications.

Important Information for Widener Law Commonwealth

Return to Campus FAQs


September 2021
The information on this page is current as of the time of its posting. Due to the rapidly evolving nature of issues and guidance surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the information provided below is subject to change and this page will continue to be updated. Please check back regularly. 

WHEN WILL WE RETURN TO IN-PERSON CLASSES?

Classes are in person for the 2021 semester.

WILL I BE REQUIRED TO GET THE COVID-19 VACCINE IN ORDER TO RETURN TO CAMPUS?

On June 2, President Wollman announced the university is requiring all faculty, staff, and students who will be on our campuses to become fully vaccinated by August 2. This policy applies across all campuses, including Widener Law Commonwealth. Over 1,000 institutions of higher education have issued similar vaccine mandates in order to safely resume campus learning and extracurricular activities in the fall.

WILL MASKS AND SOCIAL DISTANCING BE REQUIRED ON-CAMPUS?

Everyone must wear a tight-fitting mask in all indoor campus settings. This is due to CDC guidance for our area of Pennsylvania. Students may remove their mask while eating or drinking. Faculty and staff may remove their masks when they are alone in their offices, in a space with no other people nearby, or while eating or drinking. Masks are not required outdoors. Gaiters and face shields are not permitted. Professors, however, may choose to wear a face shield while teaching.

Visitors are welcome on campus and must be hosted by a student, faculty, or staff member. All visitors are required to follow Widener Law Commonwealth’s masking policy.

We are continuing to monitor CDC guidelines carefully and are hopeful that as rates improve, we will be able to safely remove some or all of these requirements and restrictions.

HOW SHOULD I LET THE SCHOOL KNOW THAT I AM VACCINATED?

You must upload a copy of your vaccination card to Student Health Services. Visit  https://widener.medicatconnect.com/home.aspx and sign in using your Widener credentials. Then, click upload and select the appropriate file. We recommend that you do this as soon as possible.

WHAT IF I HAVE A MEDICAL CONDITION THAT IMPACTS MY ABILITY TO GET THE VACCINE?

Widener will recognize documented medical exemptions. Please contact Student Health Services at (610) 499-1183 as soon as possible so they can evaluate your unique situation. Medical exemptions can only be granted through Student Health Services

WHAT IF I DO NOT HAVE AN UNDERLYING MEDICAL CONDITION BUT JUST DO NOT WANT TO GET THE VACCINE?

The university has determined personal, philosophical, and religious objections to the COVID-19 vaccine requirements will not be recognized.

WHO CAN I CONTACT IF I HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT WIDENER UNIVERSITY’S COVID-19 VACCINATION POLICY?

A list of frequently asked questions is available on MyWidener and at www.widener.edu/coronavirus. You may also direct questions to [email protected].

WILL THERE BE A REMOTE OPTION AVAILABLE FOR STUDENTS WHO DO NOT WISH TO RETURN TO IN-PERSON CLASSES OR GET THE VACCINE?

If you are unable to return to campus for health reasons, you may apply for a medical accommodation through the University’s Student Accessibility Services office. If your approved accommodation requires remote participation, we will make that option available to you. Students who are granted a medical exemption from the vaccine requirement will still be required to participate in-person but may need to take mitigation measures if deemed necessary by Student Health Services.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I AM NOT COMPLIANT WITH WEARING A MASK OR THE VACCINATION POLICY?

Students, staff, and faculty who are not vaccinated or have not received an exemption will not be permitted on-campus. Warnings will be issued to students who fail to comply with the indoor masking requirement that may lead to disciplinary action.

WILL CLASSES CONTINUE TO BE RECORDED IN THE FALL?

Professors have the authority to decide whether to record their classes. It is unlikely that classes will be recorded as a matter of course. However, if you have an approved accommodation through the University’s Student Accessibility Services office that requires class recording, we will make that available to you unless the professor determines that class recordings alter the essential elements of the course or lessens the rigor.

WHY CAN’T ALL STUDENTS HAVE THE OPTION OF CHOOSING TO PARTICIPATE REMOTELY?

Our law school is accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA) and must comply with its standards. Because we are not an online Juris Doctor program, we cannot offer a fully remote legal education program. 

WILL WE BE PERMITTED TO HOST IN-PERSON STUDENT ACTIVITIES AND EVENTS?

We are continuing to monitor local conditions and advice from the CDC and Pennsylvania health officials as it relates to in-person student activities and events, including extracurricular activities. While we are hopeful for more “normal” operations, we are requiring masking indoors for faculty, staff and students until further notice, including in the classroom and during meetings and related indoor events.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF A STUDENT IN MY CLASS CONTRACTS COVID?

If you or a classmate contracts COVID, we will work with you and the University’s Student Health Services office to determine what mitigation and contact tracing efforts are needed. This is how we have effectively managed similar situations this semester with our Civil Law Clinic, which has been operating in person without the need for closures. Please contact Student Health Services and Dean Teplitz if you are exhibiting Covid symptoms.

Positive COVID-19 Cases by Campus

The information on this Widener University webpage reflects weekly and monthly data on the number of individuals who have reported positive test results for COVID-19. All students and staff must report symptoms and positive test results to Student Health Services at 610.499.1183 or [email protected]

Spring 2021 Update

November 6, 2020: Widener University Commonwealth Law School Interim Dean Michael Hussey provides updates to students on the Spring 2021 semester.

Fall 2020 Update

July 28, 2020: Widener University Commonwealth Law School Interim Dean Michael Hussey provides updates to students on the Fall 2020 semester.

Selected Email Updates from Dean Teplitz

Review selected past email updates from Dean Teplitz.

Health & Safety Plan for PA Dept of Education

The Pennsylvania Department of Education requires Pennsylvania postsecondary education institutions to publish a “Health and Safety Plan” before resuming in-person operations. Widener's plan will be communicated to students, faculty, and staff and is available online as well. See Widener's Health and Safety Plan.

Contact Information

Registrar:  [email protected] or Teams Chat:  CWREG
Financial Aid: [email protected] or Teams Chat:  CWFINAID
Career Development:  [email protected] or Teams Chat:  ELMANDRELL
Law Library:  [email protected]
Media Services:  [email protected]
ITS Help Desk:  [email protected]
Dean of Students:  [email protected] or Teams Chat:  RBTEPLITZ
Campus Safety:  717.541.1911

University Communications

All Widener University (main campus) communications are available at widener.edu/coronavirus. We encourage all members of the Widener community, including faculty and staff, to monitor widener.edu/coronavirus for important updates that may pertain to them. 

Additional Resources

Links are also available at widener.edu/coronavirus.

Last Modified: This page was last updated on September 21, 2021 at 3:43 PM

CONTACT INFORMATION

Randi Teplitz
Assistant Dean of Students
Phone: 
717.541.3901
Email: 
[email protected]

Related Widener University Page


widener.edu/coronavirus



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