Spring Semester 2021 Re-Opening Message

12/23/2020

Dear CAU Student-Scholars, 

We are looking forward to welcoming you back to campus for the Spring 2021 semester. Given the COVID-19 pandemic, we are all diligently working to ensure the safest environment as possible. To inform our approach, we have consulted with local medical and public health experts, and have thoroughly reviewed campus safety protocols at other colleges and universities. An important take-away of what we have learned is that keeping our campus safe will require the active engagement of the entire University community including faculty, staff and students. While we will share more details of our plan in the new year, we want you to know now some elements of how our campus environment will be different: 

  • Basic Safety: Everyone on-campus will be required to wear a face mask, encouraged to wash hands frequently, and be required to maintain social distancing requirement to the extent possible. 
  • Campus Life: We are re-imagining many traditional student events activities in light of local governmental requirements and guidelines from the CDC regarding social distancing. While we will not be able to have large gatherings on-campus, we are doing our best to ensure an engaging student experience. With this in mind, dining services, formal and informal student gatherings, and classroom set-ups will be adjusted accordingly. 
  • COVID-19 Testing: All students who are authorized to be on campus will be required to have a pre-arrival PCR test and consent to weekly testing protocols during the spring semester. Our current plan is to test students twice a week using either a Rapid Antigen or PCR test. 
  • Move-In Procedures: We are making adjustments to the move-in process for resident students, including staggered move-in times, and limiting the number of friends and/or loved ones who can enter campus. All students living on campus will be required to remain in their residence hall rooms for the first five (5) days following arrival, for the Pause and Prepare period. This time period will allow students to prepare and plan for a successful semester. During this period, students will be able to access bathrooms, dining services, and medical care. 
  • Medical Care and Mental Wellness: In addition to individual campus student health services, we are working closely with the newly opened and state-of-the art AUCC Student Health and Wellness Center to ensure the highest quality medical care and mental wellness services available to all of the students in the Atlanta University Center (AUC) institutions. 
  • Contact Tracing, Isolation, and Quarantine: While we believe that by working together, we can significantly reduce the likelihood of members of our University community contracting COVID-19, we have protocols to isolate students who test positive, contact trace to identify close contacts of positive persons, and quarantine those who were exposed to the virus. The length of isolation and quarantine will be determined by public health guidelines, and students will be supported with meal services and any support needed to ensure academic continuity. 

We will share specific additional details about the above referenced information, in addition to pertinent information regarding how we will monitor the health and safety of our students, prior to the start of the Spring 2021 semester. We will continue to monitor public health guidelines and recommendations as we finalize our plans. Lastly, please be aware that we will all need to be flexible should adjustments become necessary (due to changing public health trends). 

We wish you all a safe and joyous holiday season and we look forward to welcoming you back to campus for the Spring 2021 semester. 

Best Regards,

DEAN-TORRES-STUDENT-LETTER.12.23.2020.-OET-FINAL-V3....jpg 
Omar Estrada Torres, Ed.D. 
Dean, Student Services and Campus Life 
Adjunct Faculty, Educational Leadership