Planning for a Safe Return to Campus

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La Salle News

January 4, 2021

10 takeaways and tips from La Salle’s return-to-campus plan

Image of students in masks on the campus of La Salle University.

As La Salle University prepares for a return to an in-person experience for students and on-site operations for its employees, the University has updated #ExplorersReturn, La Salle University’s return-to-campus plan.

Here are a few takeaways and tips from the University’s return-to-campus plan, intended to keep everyone in the University community safe and healthy:

Personal health expectations.

It’s incumbent on everyone in our community to take care of themselves and those with whom they interact. It’s important that all students, faculty, staff, and Christian Brothers, self-monitor their health daily. Each day, use the University’s Daily COVID Check-In, a self-monitoring and symptom tracker, before coming to campus. Maintain physical distancing. Cough or sneeze into a tissue or your elbow. Wash or sanitize your hands regularly. And always wear a face mask.

Face masks.

One frequently asked question centers on when to wear a face covering. The short answer: Always and (generally) everywhere. The lone exceptions are when you are eating or drinking, assuming indoor dining is permissible, or within your individual living area. Whether indoors or outdoors, the University requires that all members of our community wear a face mask—even when physical distancing can be maintained. The spread of COVID-19 is primarily through respiratory droplet particles, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

What to do when you are sick.

Any member of the University community who lives, learns, and/or works on campus in Spring 2021 should stay home in the event they are experiencing COVID-19-like symptoms.

If you test positive for COVID-19, you must immediately complete a COVID-19 disclosure form. Once the form is completed and submitted, the student or employee will be contacted by a case investigator who is employed by the University.

In all scenarios, whether for a student or employee, privacy will be maintained. For students, the amnesty clause for student conduct will be in effect. If you test positive, it is critically important to the University that you contact us regarding your health.

Physical distancing.

Classrooms and office spaces have been reconfigured to account for physical distancing. In some cases, this reduces the occupancy of those spaces. Be aware of occupancy limits by reviewing signage at entryways. Plexiglass has been installed in some areas to support our physical distancing efforts. Helpful tip: When possible, arrive or depart at off-peak times to reduce foot traffic you might encounter on campus.

Academic modality.

As a result of lower classroom capacities, the University has created a flexible approach for academic modality. Students have the option to schedule their classes based upon personal circumstances and preferences. For example, entirely online class rosters can be built for nearly every program.

Each spring course listed in Br. LUWIS has been assigned a ‘schedule type,’ with a corresponding modality:

  • Lecture–F2F and Lab–F2F are face-to-face courses for which students will meet on campus and in-person.
  • Hybrid requires that the course is divided equally into components that are led in person and online (synchronous or asynchronous).
  • Staggered in-class attendance refers to courses for which classroom attendance will be staggered. Students will be present for in-person instruction on select days of the week, as determined by their instructor(s). The instructor(s) may choose to lead part of a course in-person and remotely to separate sections of the same course.
  • Remote with specific meeting times does not require face-to-face learning; however, these courses use an online platform such as Zoom to hold synchronous classes during every class session.
  • Online courses are led remotely and asynchronously, meaning they do not require specific meeting times.

Testing.

Entry testing, provided by the University at no additional cost to students or employees, is required for anyone who plans to maintain a campus presence. The University will administer weekly surveillance testing of asymptomatic individuals throughout the semester, in addition to symptomatic testing. Additionally, it is imperative that all members of the La Salle community cooperate with the University’s contact tracing efforts. Further testing details and instructions will be provided closer to the start of the spring semester.

On-campus student experience.

All student services will be available during the Spring 2021 semester. Most will be provided virtually with the option for an in-person meeting, when possible. Those occurring in person may require an appointment. First consult with the office or service before visiting and visit the mylasalle Portal to reserve an appointment. It will take some getting used to, but many student activities and events will look and feel different than those to which our students, faculty, and staff have grown accustomed. When possible, virtual programming will replace large events and activities due to capacity limits.

Cleaning protocol.

The University has instituted a robust protocol for campus cleanliness. More than 150 additional touch-free sanitizer dispensers have been placed across campus to ensure personal cleanliness, and the University is acquiring more. High-frequency areas, like classrooms and restrooms, will be cleaned multiple times each day. Antimicrobial air filters have been installed for better air quality and ventilation. Electrostatic disinfectant cleaners will be used for deep cleaning of campus.

Events, visitors, and activities.

Whenever possible, visitors to campus should be limited. In the residence halls, no visitors are permitted for at least the first two weeks of the semester. (This policy will be reviewed regularly and adjusted as circumstances permit.) Virtual opportunities are encouraged. Use the Campus Reservation System to schedule meetings at least three weeks in advance to allow for, among other things, proper facilities scheduling and pre- and post-event cleaning. For more information about this policy, review the Events and Visitors section of the return plan.

The plan’s evolution.

The University’s return plan is built to be adaptable and dynamic. The #ExplorersReturn plan will be updated as needed and reflect guidance and mandates from public health and elected officials. The unpredictability of the pandemic requires all of us to be as nimble, collaborative, and supportive as possible. As President Colleen M. Hanycz, Ph.D., mentioned in a previous message to the University community: “Even if prompted to change direction, we know that Explorers are never lost.”

—Christopher A. Vito