Dear Spalding Community,
We are about a month away from the start of fall classes at Spalding on Aug. 24, and we couldn’t be more excited for the safe reopening of our campus. This year, in particular, after all our country has gone through, we are energized and inspired by our incoming first-year and returning students, and we can’t wait for your arrival.
As we prepare for our reopening while the COVID-19 pandemic persists, you can be assured that Spalding will continue to make the safety of our students, faculty and staff our top priority.
Led by Chief of Staff and Dean of Operations Chris Hart, our Return to Campus Committee has been meeting regularly and devising a comprehensive plan that will be shared by the first week of August.
Additionally, we’ll soon share a Spalding Promise pledge that all members of the university community who plan to be on campus must sign. This is an important social contract that shows we are all on the same page and working together compassionately to protect ourselves, each other and our larger community as it relates to mask-wearing, social distancing and disclosing when we are experiencing symptoms.
Here are some of the key measures we are taking to ensure the safe reopening of campus:
- For each academic session, classes will be offered in three primary formats – in-person, online and a hybrid of those two. Because most of our courses are offered in six-week sessions instead of full semesters, we have the flexibility to quickly adjust classes during a term or before the next term. Web cameras will stream every in-person class, meaning that any student who prefers to or needs to participate from home will be able to do so. If public health conditions make it necessary to move in-person classes fully online, we will do that.
- Our academic and operational leaders have reviewed every classroom and learning space on campus and reconfigured rooms to ensure social distancing. Maximum room capacities have been lowered to meet guidelines for social distancing and crowd sizes.
- Face coverings must be worn indoors at all times, except for when you’re alone in private offices and residential rooms. Masks are also strongly encouraged in outdoor settings in which you’re near others. A free Spalding-branded cloth mask will be provided to every employee and student while supplies last. Disposable cloth masks will also be available. Free plastic face shields will be available for those who must interact with others within six feet.
- Every person coming to campus must complete and pass a daily online health self-assessment. This quick assessment will ask basic questions about your temperature, potential symptoms and potential exposure to COVID-19.
- All students will be strongly encouraged to download a campus public health app that will be used for submitting the health self-assessments and assisting in contact tracing should a positive case occur on campus. This app will protect personal privacy and confidentiality.
- Wayfinding and directional signage to promote social distancing are being installed in buildings across campus.
- Sanitation of campus spaces will be a top priority of our housekeeping staff. Anti-viral cleaning solution and wipes will be available in classrooms across campus, and hand sanitizer dispensers are set up in every building.
- All students living in the residence halls will have a room to themselves while only being charged the less expensive double-occupancy rate.
- Campus dining will no longer include self-serve options, and students will have dedicated hours of access to dining facilities.
- Nearly all staff members who are able to do so will continue to work from home in order to reduce the number of people in any given building.
Never hesitate to reach out to the Dean of Students, your academic advisor, a member of the faculty, your athletic coach or our financial aid staff with your questions about this fall. If you have not registered for fall classes, we encourage you to do so on WebAdvisor.
We will continue to follow health guidelines set by state and local government and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This is a fluid time for our country and our campus, and when it’s necessary to adjust, we will. Our success this year will require cooperation, flexibility and patience from everyone, and I know we will succeed. We are a compassionate university, and we will work together to have a great, safe year.
All the best,
Tori Murden McClure
Spalding University President