ISSUED: 8 July 2020
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens
SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — Shepherd University is encouraging students to Get Ram Ready as it plans to open campus for the fall semester with a modified class schedule designed to encourage safety and social distancing. Everyone—students, employees, and visitors—will be required to wear face coverings that cover the nose and mouth in all public spaces on campus, including outside.
Currently, Ikenberry Hall, Gardiner Hall, Human Resources, and the Student Center are open to the public. Doors remain locked and visitors must call the office phone number listed on door signs to get in and must wear masks at all times while on campus. The opening of other campus buildings will be announced before the fall semester begins.
Campus buildings have signage indicating what doors are entrances and exits, which stairwells are to be used as up or down passageways, and what the capacity and protocols are for using elevators in order to observe social distancing. Students will be required to have their temperature taken upon arriving to campus at one of several locations across campus. All employees must take their temperature and fill out a health form within 30 minutes of arriving at work.
Classes will begin Monday, August 24, as previously planned, however changes have been made to the academic calendar so students will not return to campus after Thanksgiving break. Added instructional days include Labor Day, Monday, September 7; Thursday, October 15; Friday, October 16; Monday, November 23; and Tuesday, November 24. The week of December 1-4 will be flex time for students to remotely complete projects, give presentations, and complete field placement and clinical hours, and for faculty to grade and hold review sessions. Final exams will take place remotely December 7-11.
To ensure social distancing, classes will be smaller and classroom usage has been adjusted for reduced capacity. There will be an increase in online and hybrid courses and other innovations to reduce on-campus classroom capacity. Seating plans for classrooms, labs, and conference rooms are being developed to provide de-densification and social distancing. There is also flexibility in class scheduling for students who prefer online only courses and for those who prefer in-person courses. Students who have a preference for one format or the other should contact their advisor to make schedule adjustments.
Residence hall move-in will be by appointment beginning no later than August 17. All rooms will be single occupancy unless two students request to room together. It is anticipated that two family members or friends will be able to assist students with the move-in process and face coverings and social distancing will be required. Residents who are approved for early arrival due to involvement in specific campus activities will be coordinated separately. During the semester there will be restrictions on guests in residence halls rooms and food service will offer several take-out options throughout the day.
Cleaning across campus will be continual and will involve daily sanitizing applications. The Shepherd University Bookstore is currently open online and is scheduled to open its doors Monday, August 3. It will remain open during regular hours as long as the university is open.
Information about reopening is available at the Get Ram Ready website, which will be updated as conditions change https://www.shepherd.edu/getramready/.
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