Case Western Reserve University | Groups



Last updated 9/22/20


The Graduate Student Council has compiled a list of common questions and answers from the two graduate town halls. Please take a look below for information on various aspects of campus life this semester.


If you have any questions not covered below, please submit questions through this form.


Exercising on Campus

What gyms and facilities will be available?
One-to-one fitness is already open and Veale and Wyant will open before classes start. To start, Veale and Wyant will not have showers available. The outdoor track is open and the Veale Center track will have restricted hours and use. Other facilities, such as the swimming pool will be open but restricted as classes using those facilities are prioritized. Gym hours are available here.



Are the libraries open and how can we access books remotely? Can I study in the library?
Kelvin Smith Library (KSL) is open and will be open for the fall. The book drop is open to return books and Ebooks can be borrowed online. There will be spaces to study individually or in small groups in the library and across campus. Details are available here. KSL will be implementing a system to reserve tables for up to 3 hours. Once returned, all books go into a 48-hour quarantine before being returned to the shelves. If you remove a book from the shelf, place it on a cart and do not reshelve it yourself. More information about current services available at KSL can be found here. More information about remote learning through the law school can be found here.
**First floor study rooms were closed for safety. There is still plenty of study space**



What are the traveling restrictions?
If you are traveling a distance for any appropriate reason, use good judgement and limit your travel. If you are traveling to/from an area that the State of Ohio has a quarantine with, you will have to quarantine per the governor’s request. CWRU has no formal mandatory quarantine due to travel at this time.


Health Care

Can students continue to use University Health Services?
Yes University Health and Counseling Services are open. They can provide needed immunizations and both COVID and non-COVID required care ( Please call ahead as CWRU is utilizing web booking and telehealth before scheduling in person meetings. Counseling services has call in and web book appointments, but is not servicing walk-in appointments for safety.


When does my CWRU Aetna Health Insurance plan activate?
The health plan becomes active on August 1st if you are registered for classes. If you are not registered yet, the health insurance will go into effect as soon as you register. Visit for more information about your plan.


Student Re-orientation module/Health Questionnaire

I missed reorientation, where can I access that information? Do I have to complete this module if I am off-campus all semester?
Reorientation materials can be found here. For those who will not be in Cleveland for the fall semester, CWRU asks that you also complete the module so you understand campus life for your fellow students.


Who has to take the health questionnaire and when is it mandatory to submit?
It is mandatory to submit the health questionnaire for every day you are on campus or doing things related to your education (i.e. internship, rotation). It is available at return to campus website or through the Guardian app. If it would be easier for you to submit everyday to make it a habit, you are welcome to do so. If you are fully remote, you do not need to submit the health questionnaire.


Who has access to the health questionnaire data? Will it be shared or sold to outside organizations?
It is only stored on your health record if you answer yes to having symptoms. This will prompt University Health Services to check on you. No one can access your answers otherwise.


I experience some of the health questionnaire symptoms chronically (i.e. daily headaches), how do I answer these questions?
Use your best judgement if your symptoms are consistent with your own normal.


COVID Testing/Cases

If I think I have symptoms, what should I do? Can I get tested if I think I’ve been exposed?
Call health services if you think you have symptoms. They will talk through your symptoms to decide if you should get tested and will provide further instructions. Tests are available for those who have been exposed. Undergraduate students are being tested as they move in and testing opportunities will expand to graduate students after move-in.


Will contact tracing be done?
University Health Services will see who the patient has been in “close contact” with using public health department guidelines of distance and time. Health services will then contact those students, faculty, and staff and will monitor symptoms.


Is there a threshold for “cases” on campus that would cause the University to make the decision to once again return to fully remote learning? Will we be notified of cases on campus?
There are many variables that will contribute from moving to full remote delivery including number of active cases, hospital spaces available, guidance from the state, etc. A campus dashboard is available on the Return to Campus website.



When can I return to working in a lab? How will my class with a lab portion be run?
Labs are open and continuing to open due to the discretion of the PI and the necessity of the research being done. There are added safety measures for all those spending time in a lab space and class instructors will have more information about lab projects.


How can I sign up for classes, access a specific room, view seminars, or take exams online?
Contact your department, advisor, or instructor.


Masks/PPE kits

What are in the PPE Kits and how will we pick them up?
PPE kits contain two cloth masks, one thermometer, travel-size disinfecting wipes, alcohol swabs, tissues, two individually wrapped disposable masks to be worn in the event of illness, and travel-size hand sanitizer on a silicone strap. The kits will be distributed individually by each school.


Can we wear a different type of mask? Are there masks available if I forget to bring one?
Students can wear cloth masks or medical masks. N95 masks are reserved for people doing medical care. Check with your individual school to see where disposable masks are available for emergencies.


What can we do if we see a student, faculty, or staff not wearing masks correctly?
It is recommended that you first gently remind the individual as we are all getting used to wearing masks. If it is of more concern, bring it to the attention of a professor or staff or report it to the Dean of Students Office or HR at 


Health Education Campus (HEC)

How long will students lose access to the HEC due to the presidential debate? Will there be tickets available for students to attend? Who will update us on changes in the atmosphere of the HEC? Are there study spaces available in the HEC?
Planning for the presidential debate is still underway, but it is not likely there will be tickets available. The HEC is currently planned to be closed 9/27-9/30 for the presidential debate. CWRU is working to minimize the disruption to our educational programs. There will also be some extra noise and disruption in the building preceding these dates for set-up. Check the guardian app for any other disruptions on campus (i.e. protests). Updates on HEC atmosphere will come from Dr. Reimschisel. The HEC is expected to open the week of 8/17 and study spaces will be announced by specific programs soon. Even if you do not have in-person classes, you can use the study spaces.



If I am not on campus or will not be using the RTA, can I opt out of paying for the pass?
Last year, RTA passes were voted on by each school to “opt-in” or “opt-out”. These contracts will end after the 2020-2021 school year and will be renegotiated.
*Update* Those who live outside of the region will have their fee waved for the fall semester. Contact Richard Jamieson ( for more information

Access services

How do I pick up my ID or RTA pass?
Access Services is open. Please check with your department as Access Services is moving 1st year student IDs for each school to pass out with the welcome kits.


Social Distancing/Safety

Is the campus sanitized on a regular basis?
Custodial services are cleaning high touch spaces at least once a day. CWRU asks that you wipe down your spaces before leaving. Cleaning materials will be available for classrooms and other high touch spaces, such as eating areas. Classrooms are cleaned in evening, but faculty/students should clean spaces when they first arrive to class and wipe down before leave if time permits.


What kind of resources are available for visually impared students?
We encourage you to reach out to Disability Services.


Will there be regularly cleaned spaces for students to study?
Aside from classrooms, rooms will be available to reserve for individual or small group study. These will be announced in the upcoming weeks and will include but are not limited to spaces in the KSL, the HEC, and the SOM. We encourage you to contact your department, the Event Management System (EMS), or the area in which you would like to study.



How will TA duties change this semester and what opportunities are available?
With classes largely transitioning to virtual instruction, the duties TAs perform may be different and are vital to student success. Overall, TAs will work virtually more this semester. International graduate students who are currently outside the US and cannot return in the fall cannot be paid for their work. For more information about TA duties, opportunities, and payment, please contact your advisor, instructor, or department.


Available services

Will the International Student Services office be open?
They will physically open on August 24th and will be doing virtual walk-ins and appointments.


Where can I get food on campus?
Most locations are open, but are grab and go. You can utilize apps like Grubhub. Some seating is available throughout campus and there are picnic tables outside. The southside dining hall has been moved from Fribley to Carlton Commons.


Will Think box or UTECH CARE be open?
Yes, both will be open to students.


Can I submit my graduation materials online or do I have to go in person?
Everything can be submitted online.


How can I reach out to fellow students and work on networking?
Reach out to your program to learn what school specific events are being planned for this semester. In addition, student groups, such as the Graduate Student Council, are still active and planning networking events.


Is there child care support available to graduate students? 
Yes, information is available on this announcement and on the child care resources website. One-to-One Fitness is offering a drop-in child care service for students, post docs, faculty, and staff. It is available by appointment only and provides up to 3 hours of childcare at either One-to-One Fitness or Next Level Fitness. To accommodate social distancing requirements, there is a maximum of 6 children permitted at each location at a time.

Administrative Questions
Who is the Provost and who do they work with?
The Provost is Dr. Ben Vinson III and he works with both academic deans and the Provost Advisory Council. A full map of administrators is available here.