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For Students: Remain Focused on Community Health

Dear Northwestern students,

This evening marks the official end of Wildcat Wellness for most students. Thank you for responsibly following Wildcat Wellness requirements and helping us begin the term successfully. We are grateful for your resolve and commitment to the health of our community.

We also appreciate those who made the decision to stay home; we know that choice is not easy, and admire your commitment to doing what is best for you. Whether you will study on campus or not, you are part of our Wildcat family. 

So that we can continue to be in community — safely — together throughout the term, it’s critical that we practice science-based, life-saving behaviors, vigilantly following all COVID-19 guidelines as outlined in the Student Expectations and COVID-19 Code of Conduct. We also expect students to uphold the Student Code of Conduct. These are designed to help all of us stay healthy. Students who do not comply will be held accountable as outlined in our Code of Conduct and may jeopardize their status as a Northwestern student.

Below you will find a summary of our community expectations. Please visit the FAQ page for more detailed examples and information.

  • For all students
    • Be good neighbors. Follow all public health guidelines for the State of Illinois and all ordinances and expectations for the City of Evanston, City of Chicago, or whatever state or municipality in which you reside. Comply with testing, and comply with all instructions regarding quarantine and isolation processes. If you do not, you will be held accountable through our processes as outlined in the Student Code of Conduct, and you could jeopardize your status as a Northwestern student.  
    • Note that alcohol can inhibit people’s abilities to make safe choices; be responsible with your alcohol use and the impact any gathering may have on your neighbors. You are part of a larger community — please continue to respect those around you.
  • For students living on campus
    • Know and adhere to all policies for living on campus, including the Expectations for Residents During COVID-19. Non-compliance will jeopardize your ability to live on campus and possibly your status as a Northwestern student.
  • For students living off campus (including outside of the Evanston area):
    • Be good neighbors and follow all ordinances and expectations for the City of Evanston or whatever state or municipality in which you reside. Current Restore Illinois and Evanston Public Health guidelines require gatherings be limited to 10 or fewer household members, or 25% of overall room capacity, whichever is fewer. However, all gatherings (regardless of size) must safely allow sufficient space for social distancing, and face coverings must be worn. 

Testing Compliance 

Compliance with Northwestern’s testing protocols is an important part of campus life. All students who plan to come to campus or interact in person with others in the Northwestern community must be tested weekly or bi-weekly. Students who miss a test will receive reminders. Any student who misses two consecutive tests will be referred to the Office of Community Standards for disciplinary action. Please remember that testing is just one component of a healthy campus environment — alongside proactive measures like wearing a masksocial distancing and good hygiene.

Responding to Concerns

We are encouraged by your adherence to the COVID-19 Expectations during the Fall. However, it is important to reiterate that disregard or non-adherence to these expectations will not be taken lightly. Disregarding these expectations (e.g., repeatedly disregarding social distancing or mask-wearing expectations; hosting or attending gatherings that violate safety guidelines; not engaging in testing or contact tracing efforts) will result in formal action from the Office of Community Standards. Sanctions may include restricted access to campus, suspension or even expulsion from the University. We will act swiftly if you violate these standards. We expect you to continue to take this seriously — because we are.

Reporting Concerns

We also know that our students may wish to share information with us so that we can intervene before a gathering that violates expectations occurs. Any community member can fill out a Community Concern report. The more specific information you can provide, the better. Students may complete the form anonymously. 

Contact Tracing

Finally, we expect all students to provide complete, accurate and timely information during contact tracing. Students who reveal a violation of COVID-19 expectations during contact tracing may receive amnesty from conduct sanctions for prompt and good faith participation in contact tracing, testing, and quarantine and isolation expectations that are required upon potential exposure to COVID-19. Hosts of gatherings that violate COVID-19 expectations are not eligible for amnesty. This includes both individuals and student organizations.

How the upcoming term unfolds depends on all of us — including you. We must rise to the challenge to protect the most vulnerable among us, as well as our essential and front-line staff. If you continue to do your part, as you have demonstrated so well during Fall and this Wildcat Wellness period, together we can safeguard the health of Northwestern, our surrounding communities, and each other. 

With gratitude and care,


Julie Payne-Kirchmeier
Vice President for Student Affairs

Mona Dugo
Interim Dean of Students

Lucas Christain
Assistant Dean and Director of Community Standards