Academic and Student Life

student life with masks

Academic calendar

The Fall 2020 academic calendar has been altered — classes will now begin Tuesday, Aug. 18, and end Tuesday, Nov. 24. There will not be a fall break, and campus will close for most students at Thanksgiving. Finals will be administered remotely after Thanksgiving. Students will not return to campus until Spring 2021 classes start in January, with the possible exception of select populations of winter student-athletes. For more information, consult the Academic Calendar.

Our goal with this calendar has always been to act upon the best information we have regarding the pandemic. Models indicate if a resurgence occurs, it is more likely occur late-fall; our hope is that ending at Thanksgiving will be our best chance to complete the semester in person. Moreover, research indicates that best practice is not to allow large populations to gather, return home, then gather again, only to return home a short time later. Based on the information we have, our belief is that the new schedule allows us to meet our educational goals while also protecting our community.

For Fall, 2020 we are attempting to keep our Monmouth College campus “bubble” as effective as possible. One result of this is that student travel outside the state of Illinois, even for educational purposes, has been canceled for the semester. Another is that bringing speakers to campus physically is prohibited. We hope to be able to ease these restriction in Spring, 2021, but for now we appreciate your help in keeping our community safe and healthy.

Book distribution for fall semester

Textbooks will be ready for pickup before fall classes begin. Textbooks are included in tuition so students should not order textbooks. If you have questions, please contact the Bookstore at 309-457-2392. The Bookstore will have supplies and Monmouth gear available for purchase. For social distancing purposes, no more than 20 people may be in the Bookstore at one time.

New Students: During Orientation on Sunday, August 16, you will pick up your books with your Orientation Group on Dunlap Terrace in front of the Stockdale Center.

Returning Students: The Bookstore is open for book pick-up starting Sunday, Aug. 16, with hours from 9 a.m.- p.m. Regular Bookstore hours beginning, Aug. 17, are 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 9 a.m.-2 p.m. on Friday.

COVID-related refund policies that will apply to Fall 2020

  1. For students who choose to leave campus after the beginning of the semester (already having moved in and begun a meal plan) and continue their studies remotely, normal College refund policies will apply.
  2. In the event a COVID-19 surge causes the College to require all students to vacate campus:
    1. From the beginning of the semester to Saturday, Oct. 3, credits of meals and housing will be prorated based on weeks.
    2. From Oct. 4-31, housing would be prorated for credit (based on weeks) and unused meals would be moved to Flex dollars, available for use during the Spring 2021 semester.
    3. Nov. 1 and forward, no housing credits; unused meals would be moved to Flex dollars, available for use during the Spring 2021 semester.
Campus Closes: Treatment of Room Charges Treatment of Meal Plans

Before the week ending Oct. 3, 2020

Prorated weekly based on a 14-week residential semester, Credited to the student account Prorated weekly based on a 14-week residential semester, credited to the student account.
Oct. 4-31, 2020 Prorated weekly based on a 14-week residential semester, credited to the student account. Remaining meals as of the close of Saturday of the week of closure converted to Flex dollars for use by the student during the Spring 2021 semester. Non-returning students will be refunded.

Nov. 1, 2020, and

No proration of room charges Remaining meals as of the close of Saturday of the week of closure converted to Flex dollars for use by the student during the Spring 2021 semester. Non-returning students will be refunded.

Housing charges and room assignments

Fall 2020 housing charges will remain as published. The College will endeavor to accommodate student requests for private rooms. The process for making such a request will be communicated to students directly via email. Students who wish to live with a roommate will have that choice.

Residence hall policies during COVID-19

Enhanced cleaning will take place in all common areas, especially high-touch surfaces in residence halls. Students will be given instructions about how to sanitize their personal areas. Hand-sanitizing stations will be available at all residence hall main entrances. Furniture in common areas will be reduced to allow for more spacing between furniture pieces.

Students are to wear face masks when outside of their personal room. Daily temperature-taking will be encouraged and facilitated.

Residence hall access will be restricted to Monmouth College students. No off-campus, non-Monmouth students or other guests may be hosted in the residence halls until COVID-19 restrictions are reduced. All social activities in the halls must comply with current state of Illinois social distancing and group size restrictions. For further information regarding student policies related to COVID-19, please see the COVID-19 Policies in the Scots Guide Student Handbook

The College is providing to all students, faculty and staff a daily symptom tracker on everyone’s MyMC page to help monitor their own health and to minimize the risk of exposing others to the COVID-19 virus. Everyone will receive a daily email reminder with a link to the symptom tracker. Individuals who check a symptom or who indicate that they have been exposed to someone infected with COVID-19 will be routed to the OSF Medical Center website for further guidance and next steps.

Communal microwaves and refrigerators

Students will be permitted to use their microwave ovens and refrigerators in their rooms, but communal microwave ovens and refrigerators will not be in operation in residence halls, classroom buildings or offices in order to reduce the risk of virus transfer.

Dining services and meal plans

Semester meal plan charges remain as published. Additional Flex dollars — in addition to flex dollars that come with a given student’s meal plan — will be added to accounts to make up for the difference of having nine fewer meal days during the Fall semester. Students who left campus with unused Flex dollars from the Spring 2020 semester can use those Flex dollars in the Fall 2020 semester.

Dining offerings, hours and locations may vary in accordance with COVID-19 restrictions. More information is available at:

Meal schedules will be adjusted to reduce numbers served at any one time. To assist with social distancing in dining halls, furniture has been removed and additional signage, floor markings and stanchions will be utilized. When dining in one of the food service areas on campus, you should wear your mask or face covering until you are ready to eat and then replace it afterward. Allow at least six feet of distance between each other, including standing in lines and in seating arrangements.

People are encouraged to take food back to their residence hall room or eat outside, when possible. As face masks are required in all buildings, food and beverages should not be consumed in common areas inside academic buildings.

There are many outdoor seating locations available around campus such as Bunce Plaza (east side of CSB), Einstein’s patio, Dunlap Terrace (between Stockdale Center and McMichael Residence Hall), Fleming Plaza (between Poling and Wallace Halls), the April Zorn Memorial Stadium, the Grace Gawthrop Peterson Plaza (front of Wells Theater) and the picnic tables behind Graham Hall.

Athletics and marching band

Monmouth College athletics have been suspended through Dec. 31. The decision was made after the Midwest Conference Presidents’ Council voted unanimously July 27 to suspend all athletic competition in the 10-member conference through Dec. 31 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the 2020 fall semester, Monmouth student-athletes will be allowed to train and practice, consistent with federal and state public health recommendations. Monmouth officials will evaluate intercollegiate competition for the 2021 spring semester later this fall.

The Monmouth Fighting Scots Marching Band is also suspended for the fall. 

Campus events

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the Monmouth College community to find different ways to celebrate Scots traditions this fall while adhering to public health guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control, the Illinois Department of Public Health, the Warren County Health Department and other public health agencies.

Here is an overview of how the College’s major fall events will be celebrated:

  • Matriculation: Matriculation – the ceremony that marks students’ formal entrance into the Monmouth community – will be celebrated during the first “Introduction to Liberal Arts” class. An open, in-person ceremony will not be held. Instead, matriculation will be a live streamed event. This will include an address from President Clarence Wyatt to the new class, and new students will pledge their commitment to the College. Students will also sign the “College Pledge,” which will be displayed in Hewes Library.
  • Family Weekend: Family Weekend will not be held on campus this fall. The 2020 Commencement ceremony planned to take place that weekend has been canceled. The Class of 2020 will be celebrated during the College’s 2021 Homecoming weekend.
  • Homecoming: Most 2020 Homecoming events will be postponed until fall 2021. The Association for Student Activity Programming will modify its Homecoming Week activities so that students can still show their pride as a Noble Scot! More details will be announced in the fall.

We understand the frustration with not being able to celebrate these traditions in person, but keep in mind that we have made these changes to keep everyone safe. We appreciate your understanding and look forward to a year full of memories and school spirit.

Questions or concerns

Students who have concerns about being on campus because of a condition that places them in a high-risk group, or for other reasons, should contact the Office of Student Affairs.