Welcome to the Spring 2022 semester! I hope you were able to enjoy the winter break. For those who were teaching, thank you!
We will be having a brief Semester Start Meeting via Zoom on Tuesday, January 18, at 2:00 p.m. It will be an opportunity to share updates, introduce new people, and answer questions.
A spring update message will be coming from President Marbach on Friday. This message previews some of what his message will cover and adds some details related to in-person teaching.
We are still in the midst of a pandemic but the vaccines have proven to be protective. Therefore, classes will begin as scheduled and in the scheduled formats on January 18. Please note the following policies (which are being shared with students and will be on the Georgian Court COVID-19 Updates page by Friday):
- The indoor mask mandate continues but is now more strict.
- Cloth masks/cloth face coverings are no longer acceptable for on-campus use. Students are advised to use only surgical masks or N95/KN95 masks. Cloth masks/cloth face coverings can only be worn decoratively on top of a surgical or N95/KN95 mask.
- The GCU in-door masking mandate will be strictly enforced. Students who violate this mandate will be addressed following the GCU 2021-2022 Student Code of Conduct.
- Faculty and staff can report students who fail to comply with any COVID-19-related mandate by completing the online incident report form found here.
- All GCU students, faculty, and staff are strongly encouraged to receive a COVID-19 booster shot. Studies have shown that “the recent emergence of the Omicron variant further emphasizes the importance of vaccination, boosters, and prevention efforts needed to protect against COVID-19.”
- Booster shots are not currently mandated for GCU students, but a mandate may be forthcoming.
- Booster shots are not currently required of employees to avoid weekly testing, but this may also be forthcoming.
- Employees who have already received a booster shot should submit documentation electronically to HR. The Office of Human Resources will be sending a separate communication but you do not have to wait to provide them your updated vaccination card.
- Walmart will host a vaccine/booster clinic in the GCU Casino building auditorium (1st floor) on February 3, 2022, from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. This event is open to students, staff, faculty, and community members. Walmart will have doses of Moderna, Pfizer, and J&J vaccines.
- Indoor, in-person events are still permitted.
- From January 18 to January 31, all participants (student, GCU employees, guests) will be required to show proof of vaccination (bring your card) to attend on-campus, in-person events. Unvaccinated students/employees with medical or religious exemptions will not be permitted to attend on-campus, in-person events during this time (this does not apply to classes). This extra limitation is due to the likelihood of sustained close interactions.
- “Events” include any program or activity that occurs outside of a regularly scheduled class, such as student organization events, athletic events, departmental programs, etc.
Classes and Quarantines/Isolations
Because current variants of COVID-19 are very contagious, it is likely that there will be more students who need to quarantine or isolate. You may ask for proof of the requirement. Health Services will have sent a student an e-mail instructing them to quarantine if they are unvaccinated and came in close contact with an infected person. If someone is isolating, they can be asked for proof of a positive test. It is in our best interest to allow students who are sick to stay away from class but they have the responsibility to make up work. Allowing students to Zoom into your in-person class (i.e., operating in Hyflex mode) makes it easier. Recording your in-person classes is another way to provide students access to what they may have missed.
- If you (the faculty) need to quarantine but are not sick, you may move your class to virtual or online. If virtual, students can go to their scheduled classroom. A student can sign into the podium and set up Zoom to be visible to the class.
- If 1/3 or more of the class is officially quarantined, you should move the class to Hyflex (streaming in-person class via Zoom) or virtual. If virtual, remind students that they may use the assigned classroom to participate.
I hope this has been helpful. I wish you a good start to the spring semester and look forward to meeting you on Tuesday. I will be on campus, so feel free to stop by and say hello.
Janice Warner, Ph.D | Provost