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Bethel names hotspots to help determine student arrival dates

July 6th, 2020

Move-in at Haury Hall

The Office of Student Life has communicated updated information about student arrivals for the start of the fall 2020 semester.

Samuel Haynes, vice president of student life and dean of students, sent an e-mail to all new and continuing students in which he identified “hotspots” for COVID-19 infection that will require anyone traveling from there to quarantine for two weeks. 

“Hotspots change often around the nation and the world,” Haynes said. “Because we are nearing the start of the semester [on Aug. 19], the following states have been determined to be hotspots by Bethel College: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida and South Carolina.”

Bethel College identifies hotspots based on information obtained from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE), the Harvey County Health department, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“Those returning to Bethel from an identified hotspot will be required to quarantine for 14 days,” Haynes continued. “If you are currently spending your summer in one of the states identified as a hotspot, we ask that you please self-identify and inform the Office of Student Life. We will help you determine the date you should plan to return to Bethel.”

Students who will be living on campus will receive instructions ahead of their planned arrival. Bethel reserves the right to add states to the hotspot list as new data comes in.

As with previous years, different groups of students are scheduled to arrive at different times.

Earliest are the Community Assistants (CAs), who live in residence halls and work with designated groups of other students, and international students coming from outside the United States, on Aug. 1.

Next are Orientation Leaders (OLs) who will be trained for and then lead the orientation for new freshman and transfer students, called Thresher Days. Their arrival date is Aug. 10.

All fall sport athletes (new and returning) and all other new students (freshmen and transfers) are set to arrive Aug. 13, in order to begin Thresher Days Aug. 14.

Finally, all other returning students are scheduled to arrive Aug. 18, with the first day of classes on Aug. 19.

Any student in any of these groups who will be traveling to Bethel from an identified hotspot will need to plan on coming 14 days ahead of the regularly scheduled arrival date.

All students are expected to arrive on campus on a staggered schedule to support physical distancing and smaller crowd sizes on all arrival dates.

Students could begin contacting the Office of Student Life on July 6 with their arrival information. Student life staff will then give them a time on their arrival date when they can begin the check-in process.

Bethel is a four-year liberal arts college founded in 1887 and is the oldest Mennonite college in North America. Known for academic excellence, Bethel is the highest ranked Kansas private college, at #12, in Washington Monthly, Top 200 Bachelor’s Colleges; ranks at #23 in U.S. News & World Report, Best Regional Colleges Midwest; is’s highest ranked Kansas small college with the highest earning graduates; stands at #57 among 829 U.S. colleges and universities listed by lendEDU as “Best for Financial Aid”; has the #10 RN-to-BSN program in Kansas according to; and earned its second-straight NAIA Champions of Character Five-Star gold award, based on student service and academic achievement, all for 2019-20. For more information, see


About Bethel

As the first Mennonite college founded in North America, Bethel College celebrates a tradition of progressive Christian liberal arts education, diversity within community, and lifelong learning.