Fall Travel, Wellbeing, and Safety Information

September 17, 2020
Harvard Yard in the fall

Dear Harvard College Students,

As we begin the fall term, I am writing to share a friendly reminder about important travel, wellbeing, and safety matters. The Dean of Students Office, along with our partners in the University and the College, is committed to making Harvard College a safe and healthy community for everyone. We want all students to feel safe whether you are joining us this term remotely or on campus.


  • The Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (OSAPR) curated a list of tech safety information, which includes information about Internet etiquette, ways tech can be used for harm, and autonomy and consent in online spaces.
  • The College’s Title IX Resource Coordinators continue to be a resource to you. Learn more about how they can help you if you are impacted by sexual misconduct and harassment on campus or remote.
  • Ensure that the information in MessageMe, the University’s emergency text messaging system, is correct.


Travel increases your chances of getting and spreading COVID-19. As a result, Harvard has suspended all University-sponsored travel programs for undergraduate students. Harvard also recommends that students suspend all personal travel except for emergencies. If you must travel, follow safety protocols to protect yourself and those around you. After returning from your destination, follow local public health guidelines to be tested and/or quarantine.

Further Guidance for On-Campus Students:
Community Compact Travel Policy

All students signed the Residential Community Compact, which included this guideline for travel:

I will remain in the immediate area for the fall semester. If I must travel during the fall semester, I will notify my Resident Dean and comply with any return policies or directives, which may include testing and quarantine.

  • For purposes of clarity for students, immediate area is defined as a 10-mile radius to Harvard Square;
  • Overnight or other travel is prohibited;
  • Exceptions to the policy are rare, and exceptions for extraordinary circumstances must be approved by the student’s resident dean at least two business days prior to travel. Upon return, all students who travel are required to undertake arrival quarantine, which is the same process the College used when students arrived on campus in the fall. 
  • Violations of this policy will be referred to the Community Council and may be grounds for immediate revocation of housing privileges


  • When you leave your room, lock your doors and windows. Do not prop open doors or disengage door locks.
  • Keep your building and room secure – lock windows, don’t let strangers in the building, etc.
  • Follow the guidelines in the residential community compact – keep Harvard healthy
  • Do not allow anyone you do not know to enter a building when you are entering or exiting. If someone you do not recognize does enter, call your House or dorm staff, Securitas or HUPD.
  • If you encounter a facilities-related emergency, always call the Operations Center – 617-495-5560.
  • Review the fire safety evacuation procedures located on the Environmental Health and Safety website.



Lauren Brandt
Associate Dean of Students
Harvard College