Preparing for Life at Andrews this Fall
Frances Faehner, VP for Campus & Student Life, outlines preparations for in-person community life
June 30, 2020
Dear Andrews Students,
I want to make sure you received and had the chance to see this crucial information about returning to in-person education this August. I invite you to review this information carefully, and let us know if you have questions.
Additionally, I want to make sure you know about a series of Zoom presentations for our students that will give you a chance to hear more and ask questions. This information is also included in detail below, but here are the dates of important upcoming presentations (you will also receive information directly for the presentations that are specifically relevant to you). All webinars take place at Eastern Daylight Time and will also be live streamed on the Andrews University Facebook page.
Reopening Zoom Webinar (Q & A) for Undergraduate Students and Parents
- Tuesday, July 7, noon–1:30 p.m.
- Tuesday, July 28, noon–1:30 p.m.
Reopening Zoom Webinar (Q & A) for Graduate Students
- Wednesday, July 1, noon–1:30 p.m.
- Wednesday, July 29, noon–1:30 p.m.
Reopening Zoom Webinar (Q & A) for International Students
- Thursday, July 2, noon–1:30 p.m.
- Thursday, July 2, 8–9:30 p.m.
Please carefully review the information below, which has updated dates and related details throughout.
We are looking forward to your return, and you’re in our prayers as you plan for the future.
Updates to original email sent June 23, 2020
Dear Andrews Students,
On behalf of Andrews University and my campus colleagues, I want you to know that we are eager to welcome you back to our physical campus this August. We believe in the immense value of an on-campus educational experience that seeks to optimize the development of your mind, body and spirit.
We also hold as paramount the health, safety and welfare of every member of our community. Nevertheless, the University cannot, of course, guarantee a COVID-19-free environment. Taking steps to minimize the risk of COVID-19 infection at Andrews University is an important and shared responsibility. Every member of the community—including you—must do their part.
Recently, you received a special Need to Know newsletter from President Luxton and Provost Arthur in which they shared three principles—Safety, Community and Inclusivity. These principles will guide us as we prepare to resume in-person classes on August 24, 2020.
As vice president for Campus & Student Life, I am providing a more detailed description of how we are proceeding with caution and how your student life experience will be impacted. In a separate letter, Provost Arthur will provide you with additional information on your student learning experience this August.
We will continue to monitor our protocols in light of guidance from the CDC, infectious disease specialists and Berrien County health officials. We seek your patience and understanding as this may lead to the addition of new measures or the relaxing of some requirements over time. These will include, but not be limited to, the following plans.
We will use and adjust a variety of approaches as directed by the State of Michigan, Berrien County Health Department, and CDC guidelines in order to slow the transmission and risk of COVID-19. These will include, but not be limited to:
- Education. Students will engage in COVID-19 education as part of the registration process in order to encourage safe personal habits and share campus guidelines.
- Self-Isolation. Prior to arriving on campus, students who have COVID-19 symptoms, or who have tested positive, or who may have been exposed to the virus are required to (1) self-isolate at home before coming to campus and (2) request remote learning options. The length of self-isolation and remote learning will be governed by their local health department guidelines.
- Technology Platform. Main campus students will be required to use a mobile- or PC-based technology system that will provide a community health monitoring platform for testing results, self-monitoring, potential exposures, education and telehealth.
- Testing. Main campus students will be required to take an initial viral test, which will be provided and administered at no additional cost to each student, prior to the first day of classes on August 24. See special dates below. Contact with others outside of your family unit should be minimized, especially indoors, until results are provided (within 36 to 48 hours) to the student and a University database administrator.
- Welcome Kit. Community students will receive a welcome kit at the time of their testing that includes two face coverings, a thermometer and cleaning supplies. Residence Hall students will receive their kit upon check-in.
- Self-Monitoring. Students will be expected to conduct a daily health self-screening process and record health indicators, consistent with privacy laws.
- Quarantine/Isolation Support. Even with careful adherence to public health protocols to mitigate the risk of the spread of COVID-19, the University is preparing to support students who may test positive for COVID-19, or have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive. In accordance with CDC guidelines and in consultation with the local health department, these students will be asked to isolate or quarantine (residence hall students in alternate housing and other students in their homes). The University will provide regular contact and follow-up to ensure that these students have information to access a delivery service for food and supplies as well as to provide appropriate academic support until they are ready to return to the classroom.
- Physical Distance. Whenever feasible, increased physical distance (ideally, six feet) will be required between individuals in (1) public indoor spaces and (2) occupied outdoor spaces, as well as (3) off-campus spaces, as defined and communicated by specific location or state guidelines.
Face Coverings. Main campus students will be required to wear face coverings as recommended by local, state and CDC guidance. The University will provide two reusable face coverings at no cost. Students are also encouraged to bring additional face coverings.
- Face coverings will include instructions for expected use in public indoor spaces (when not eating or presenting in class) and as recommended in populated outdoor spaces.
- This interim requirement for face covering use will remain in place until the State of Michigan or Berrien County modifies its recommendation on face coverings.
- Face coverings can continue to be worn by those preferring to do so, even after state and local health officials no longer require use.
Preventative Measures. Students will be expected to maintain personal preventive measures as recommended by the CDC, including:
- Washing hands often with soap/water for at least 20 seconds (or using 60%+ alcohol-based hand sanitizer)
- Coughing or sneezing into the elbow (if tissue is not available)
- Staying at home from work or class when feeling sick (see here)
- Health and Wellbeing. The University will promote personal health practices, with a focus on strengthening:
Cleaning and Disinfection. Students will be asked to participate in maintaining a clean, disinfected environment where they live, study and play.
- The University will provide basic supplies for cleaning shared spaces or frequently touched objects across campus (work spaces, classroom desks, fitness equipment, library tables, etc.) prior to each use.
- Custodial staff will provide enhanced cleaning and disinfection processes, with an emphasis on community spaces and high-touch surfaces.
- Signage. Campus-wide signage, ground markings and physical barriers will be in high traffic locations and will communicate and document measures to stop the spread of infection.
- Guest Limitations. Until the end of the fall semester, visits by guests to our campus will be very limited, with no overnight guests allowed. Day visitors will be asked to conduct business interactions in remote ways. If a visit to the campus is necessary, visitors should first do a self-screening for COVID-19 symptoms and then respect all campus health and safety practices and signage.
Connecting and Engaging Outside of the Classroom
Student program activities will take place in new, creative and meaningful ways, in compliance with the current safety guidelines outlined by the State of Michigan and Berrien County. Given what we’ve learned about the transmission of the virus, students are encouraged to utilize our outdoor grounds and beautiful campus arboretum venues as much as possible. Attendance should be taken for all gatherings to assist with contact tracing as may be needed.
- Worship and nurturing the spiritual life of our students remains a critical priority. We will seek faith-building opportunities that inspire discipleship in both smaller in-person and dynamic virtual settings throughout the week and on Sabbath mornings.
- Social activities will focus on fostering friendships and building community engagement in new and creative ways with an emphasis on smaller group venues.
- Student clubs and organizations are encouraged to work with sponsors and the Office of Student Activities & Involvement to plan in-person events according to public health and facilities protocols or utilize a variety of virtual platforms.
- Student group travel as well as off-campus trips and events will not be permitted in the context of the University’s travel guidelines.
- Personal health and fitness activities will seek to follow the recommendations of health authorities in our new Andreasen Center for Wellness and other venues.
- Athletics, intramurals, gymnastic and open recreation programs will be prepared to follow and adjust to the most current health and safety recommendations from the State of Michigan and Berrien County, as well as from athletic associations.
- Chaplains, counselors, faculty and support staff will continue to be available to students, in both larger indoor or outdoor spaces, as well as through virtual means. Meeting in small, personal office spaces will be discouraged.
- Co-curricular expectations will continue to be approximately two programs each week (with a maximum of 26 for the shortened fall semester), emphasizing flexibility with smaller group venues, live streaming, multiple virtual venues, as well as service learning opportunities to fulfill these expectations.
Bon Appetit, our campus food service provider, will follow health and safety recommendations as established by the State of Michigan and the Berrien County Health Department which include, but are not limited to:
- Preparing and serving food in as contact-less a way as possible.
- Facilitating a physical distance environment with signage, expanded meal hours, enhanced cleaning protocols, limited indoor dining room capacity and outdoor dining options when feasible.
- Working to reduce contact and waiting times, removing self-serve buffets, adding more associate-served processes, and providing fewer choices and more pre-packaged foods and to-go options to comply with recommended health and safety practices.
- Disposable serveware will be used for the foreseeable future.
- Residence Hall students are encouraged to utilize their meal plan from Sunday, August 16–November 24. The limited number of residents who remain in the residence halls until the semester ends on December 10 will be able to utilize any remaining meal plan up to December 14 or add additional credit to their meal plan if needed.
- These general plans for Dining Services operations may be adjusted as safety guidelines evolve toward normal operations.
Students, whether they are living in the community, University apartments or residence halls, will be provided education regarding CDC health and safety guidelines for those living in shared housing. Families with children should also follow the CDC’s guidelines for caring for children and may find the CDC’s household checklist helpful.
Residence Hall preparations include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Most residents will have a roommate and/or suitemates, which will be viewed as small family-like units. Residents will not be expected to wear face coverings when they are in their room with an assigned roommate or suitemates. Residents and non-resident students will be expected to physically distance and use face coverings in common spaces.
- An increased number of single rooms will be created in Lamson and Meier Halls with a reduced single occupancy fee of an additional 25 percent.
- Preference for single rooms (or alternate housing accommodations) will be given to those with medical conditions that place them at higher risk to contract COVID-19. The process begins by submitting this form, which will be reviewed by Michael Nixon, vice president for Diversity & Inclusion. Requests for medical accommodations related or unrelated to COVID-19 should also be submitted to Student Success according to established processes.
- A staggered move-in process will be used and will be by appointment only (preferably beginning Monday, August 17, for new residents) to facilitate a move-in process that does not compromise current guidelines on the sizes of groups and/or numbers of people in common areas and indoor spaces.
- This year, move-in day processes will begin outdoors in parking lots adjacent to the residence halls. As you move into the residence halls, you may have two additional adults with you, and you should plan to take belongings directly to your room immediately following the check-in process. Everyone assisting with move-in is required to wear a face mask at all times while in common areas, stairwells and hallways.
A Welcome Kit will be provided for each room, including:
- Cleaning guide, suggested schedule, caddie and cleaning supplies
- Two reusable face coverings per student, two pairs of gloves, one thermometer
- Self-quarantine/isolation space and support services will be provided for residence hall residents who test positive or were in close contact with someone who tested positive. Daily meals will be provided for those on a meal plan; information on how to access meal delivery services will be provided to residents without a meal plan; weekly laundry services as well as appropriate academic support will be provided to all quarantined residents.
- Enhanced cleaning and disinfection protocols will be implemented by Residence Life custodial staff in common and high-touch areas. Residents will also be asked to participate in maintaining a clean environment in their own space.
- Shared spaces and lobbies will have signage and furniture placement noting the maximum numbers of residents that meet physical distancing guidelines for that area.
- Overnight and off-campus guests to the residence halls will not be permitted. Day visitors will be restricted to the main lobby only and must self-screen, as well as respect campus health and safety practices and signage.
Travel and University breaks. To minimize travel exposure to COVID-19 risks, residents will be encouraged to minimize off-campus movement within fall semester and also:
- Depart from the residence halls by November 24 for the extended holiday break and not return to campus until January 10, 2021, or
- Request to depart no later than December 11 and not return to campus until January 10, 2021, or
- Plan to remain in the designated residence hall the entire holiday break.
- Key Dates at a Glance:
Reopening Zoom Webinar (Q & A) for Undergraduate Students and Parents:
- Tuesday, July 7, noon–1:30 p.m.
Tuesday, July 28, noon–1:30 p.m.
Reopening Zoom Webinar (Q & A) for Graduate Students:
- Wednesday, July 1, noon–1:30 p.m.
Wednesday, July 29, noon–1:30 p.m.
Reopening Zoom Webinar (Q & A) for International Students:
- Thursday, July 2, noon–1:30 p.m.
Thursday, July 2, 8–9:30 p.m.
New Student Parents & Supporters Virtual Orientation via Zoom:
Tuesday, August 11, noon–1 p.m.
- Tuesday, August 11, noon–1 p.m.
New Students, Parents & Supporters Virtual Convocation via Zoom:
Wednesday, August 12, 8–8:45 p.m.
- Wednesday, August 12, 8–8:45 p.m.
New Students Residence Hall Move-in:
Monday, August 17, by appointment only (look for communication from the Residence Life office about how to make your appointment)
- Monday, August 17, by appointment only (look for communication from the Residence Life office about how to make your appointment)
FIRST STOP, Viral Testing and Beginning of New Undergraduate Student Orientation:
- Monday, August 17, 8:30 a.m.–4 p.m., by appointment only
Location: Andreasen Center for Wellness
Returning Residence Hall Move-in & Viral Testing Dates:
Tuesday, August 18, or Wednesday, August 19, by appointment only (look for communication from the Residence Life office about how to make your appointment)
- Tuesday, August 18, or Wednesday, August 19, by appointment only (look for communication from the Residence Life office about how to make your appointment)
Returning Community Students and University Apartment Viral Testing Dates:
- Monday, August 10–Wednesday, August 12
University Apartments Move-in Dates: By appointment
New Graduate Student Orientation
- Thursday, August 20, 12–2 p.m.
Location: Flag Mall
Fall Semester Classes Begin: Monday, August 24
- September 7—No Labor Day Break (classes will be held)
October—No Fall Break
Fall Week of Prayer
- Monday–Friday, August 24–28, 7:30 p.m.
- Virtual and Ticketed Live Event Options
Launch weekend: September 4–6
- Launch weekend: September 4–6
Final Day of Fall Semester Exams: Tuesday, November 24
Year-End Break: Wednesday, November 25, 2020–Sunday, January 10, 2021
End of Fall Semester (for any final remote assignments/projects): Thursday, December 10
- Spring Semester Classes Begin: Monday, January 11, 2021
I recognize there will be many adjustments or inconvenient parts of your student experience while the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Still, over the remainder of the summer, I am committed to working together with colleagues and our creative student leaders to shape a new and fulfilling student experience.
As followers of Jesus, our personal rights and preferences are secondary to His call to care for the wellbeing of others. This is our shared responsibility. Hence, each one of you, as a treasured member of our campus community, will be asked to commit to meeting specific expectations that help to create a culture of care. These will be outlined in our "Andrews Community Codes of Care," which will be shared with you later this summer. Those "Codes of Care" will become part of the Code of Student Conduct until further notice.
As this summer unfolds, I encourage you to regularly visit our “World Changers for a changing world” website. This new site includes important information (including this communication) and will be updated regularly to reflect various changes in Centers for Disease Control (CDC), State of Michigan and Berrien County Health Department guidelines.
Most of all, I pray that God will bless each one of you and keep you safe as we press together in care for one another. We look forward to this August, when we can welcome you again or for the very first time to Andrews University.
Vice President for Campus & Student Life