SAU continues to take proactive measures to keep our students, faculty, and staff healthy amidst the public health crisis facilitated by the Covid-19 virus. Actions taken by the University are based on recommendations from the Risk Management Task Force (RMTF) and University Health Services (UHS) as guided by local, state, and federal health officials, as well as the astounding research of our own scientists and medical staff.
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We encourage all members of our campus community and their eligible family members to take the Covid-19 vaccine. Our best defense against the pandemic is vaccination. Our goal is to protect our SAU family and provide a safe, healthy, learning environment for all. Please use resources provided by our own scientists who spent hours conducting research to develop the FAQs and answers for our website. Vaccinated individuals are less likely to become severely ill due to Covid-19, are capable of protecting themselves and others more effectively, and help us remain a vibrant campus community. Together, we can do more!
Campus Mask Policy
SAU will open the spring semester with a mask mandate in effect for classrooms, shared offices, and when in transit within buildings. Although face masks will not be required in athletic venues during events, face masks are highly encouraged throughout campus.
Signs will be posted outside individual offices of those employees requesting mask usage in personal spaces, and the Task Force requests visitors comply with these requests. SAU will again this semester provide disposable masks for students, faculty, and staff.
Campus Housing Events and Visitors
Are residence halls allowed to host activities?
Yes! We want to provide a vibrant college experience. Residence hall directors are encouraged to host and promote safe events for our students. When gathering indoors in large groups for events, social distancing is encouraged and as always, students who feel ill should refrain from participating in activities.
Are visitors allowed in campus housing?
Yes! Policies and procedures for visitors in campus housing must be followed.
Group Meetings and Events
There is no mask requirement for general campus meetings. For meetings held face-to-face, Zoom should be offered to provide attendance options to those who are not comfortable attending in-person meetings with unmasked individuals. We encourage the continued use of Zoom for general meetings, as well as the practice of social distancing for all meetings held face-to-face.
What is the process for reserving institutional spaces for September and beyond?
Reservation requests should be submitted using the standard Facilities Request Form located here:https://web.saumag.edu/files/2018/11/Facilities-Request-Form-Updated-2018.doc. Currently, there is no requirement to submit meeting requests to the Task Force for prior approval. Event planners should be mindful of the number of attendees expected and request spaces large enough to allow for distancing among attendees. For example, if a room capacity is 25 and the expected attendance is 20, choose a larger room rather than cramming guests in such a small space.
What is the process for cancelling future events?
As we have all learned, the Covid-19 pandemic is a fluid situation. The Risk Management Task Force will continue to monitor local public health conditions and will continue to make recommendations to Administration. It is genuinely the hope of all decision- makers that our vaccination rates continue to increase, our mitigation efforts prove effective, and we are able to continue hosting events as originally scheduled during September and beyond. Should the need arise, ample time will be given to event hosts to pivot to online formats or reschedule events.
Are there any restrictions to external group reservations?
As of September 1, 2021, SAU is open for external bookings. External groups may submit requests using the standard facilities request form. Please note that in an effort to provide safe learning environments for our students, faculty, and staff, external requests for the use of academic spaces during normal business hours may be declined.
All athletic events are operating as originally scheduled. Ticketing for events is online only. Please refer to the Mulerider Athletics website for ticketing information at https://muleriderathletics.com/sports/2020/9/21/tickets.aspx. Facemasks will not be required for outdoor venues.
Will students be allowed to travel on common carrier?
Yes. Students will be allowed to travel on common carrier (bus, van, etc.) to participate in collegiate events such as off-site lab instruction, field trips, athletic competitions, band exhibitions, and the like. Seating charts should be logged and maintained for at least one week by sponsors to assist UHS with contact tracing should the need arise.
Are there currently any travel restrictions for students, faculty, or staff?
No. Currently there are no travel restrictions, such as “no travel” zones or requirements to quarantine following travel, with the exception of international travel quarantine guidelines as determined by federal health officials. The RMTF does ask campus community members to use good judgement when traveling-wear facemasks in crowded spaces, wash hands frequently or use hand sanitizer, be aware of surroundings and take extra precautions when gathered among large masses of unknown vaccination status.
To begin the spring semester, and do what we can to keep our campus community as healthy as possible and maintain operations, the Task Force voted to implement the following protocols:
Temporary Mask Mandate
Masks will be required in the following indoor spaces:
- Classrooms, including labs
- Shared offices
- When in transit within buildings (excludes athletic facilities during events)
**We TRULY are aiming for this to be temporary. We fully expected to be mask optional this spring, but public health conditions have deteriorated considerably.
Faculty are asked to make available at least one of the following options and include information in each course syllabus:
- Synchronous Zoom on demand
- Any student, anytime, faculty offers Zoom upon request
- Synchronous Zoom due to special circumstances
- Zoom when requested by a student who is absent due to isolation/quarantine.
- Zoom when requested by a student enrolled in face-to-face classes but who, due to special health conditions, request to attend virtually for a brief period during the semester.
- Record lectures
- Record lectures during class and make available in Blackboard to all students.
Face-to-Face Course Delivery Pivot
- Any class with a 20% positivity rate among students will pivot to synchronous Zoom for a period of one week.
- Faculty who are quarantined or isolated and who are physically capable may choose to pivot to synchronous Zoom until released to return to the classroom.
Requests to Work Remotely
- Remote work requests remain a function of HR and should be submitted through the existing procedure.