• Allison Laudadio

Simply Put: FSU Draft Fall 2020 Plan

Updated: Jun 24, 2020

By Allison Laudadio

This document seeks to consolidate the 23-page plan released by FSU on June 12, 2020, by highlighting important lines and expanding upon relevant information for students, parents, and faculty. This document is sorted into five sections:

  1. A Healthy Campus Environment

  2. A Healthy Community Environment

  3. COVID-19 Virus Testing

  4. Contact Tracing and Surveillance

  5. Academic Program Delivery

1. A Healthy Campus Environment

CAMPUS LIFE: The first section, “A Healthy Campus Environment” notes that masks must be worn at all times while on campus. This rule applies to everyone: faculty, staff, students, visitors, vendors, and volunteers. UPDATE: Leon County has mandated face masks, with violations outlined in the Tallahassee Democrat article linked here. One page is devoted to proper placement of masks on the wearer’s face. As noted in the document, FSU is working to eliminate easily congestible building entrances or stairwells, meaning that any location that sees heavy foot traffic will be reworked. One example of this reworking is FSU’s plan to assign some stairwells as “going up” stairwells, and other stairwells as “going down” stairwells, to mitigate any face-to-face (F2F) contact while on campus. Similarly, a maximum of three riders per elevator will be enforced, with two riders as a more preferable option. This applies to elevators in residence halls and classroom buildings alike. The document threatens “corrective action” if employees do not adhere to these rules. The document also notes that teachers who are in high risk categories can obtain sick leave, or otherwise modified schedules, likely including remote teaching as opposed to F2F teaching.

STUDENT-ATHLETES: Furthermore, all student athletes will be tested for COVID-19 before returning to their respective athletic facility, as will the sports team’s staff. The athletes will also be screened daily for fevers or other signs of sickness. Social distancing and the use of masks are both encouraged within these sports facilities. There are no plans yet for travel teams or “fans attending away games.” This wording implies that fall sports will reopen and perform as usual, though the document does not mention anything about football season or any other sporting events.

GREEK LIFE: FSU is working with Greek organizations on campus. Most events will be “offered virtually,” including Rush Week for both sororities and fraternities. Any in-person events will require the use of masks and social distancing, and can only provide prepackaged, single-serving food.

LEACH/GYM LIFE: The document doesn’t explicitly mention Leach or any other on-campus workout facilities, but does note that virtual fitness classes will be provided. Furthermore, if gyms are reopened, equipment will all be placed 6-feet apart, and capacity will be limited. This could be done via a sign-up system, so that only a few students are in the gym at once.

DINING HALLS: Masks are required while walking around the dining hall. Students are not supposed to sit across from one another. Students are to stand in line 6-feet apart at all times, and eat while sitting 6-feet apart. Masks are to be removed while actually eating, then placed right back on. The same social distancing rules apply to faculty kitchens and break rooms.

2. A Healthy Community Environment

GENERAL: This section is only one page long. It simply says that everyone on campus has a personal responsibility to follow the rules outlined in the document. It notes that we all have a responsibility to keep COVID-19 from spreading across campus. FSU also encourages everyone to get their Flu shot in the fall. Noncompliance to the mask rules and social distancing rules by faculty, students, or staff will result in punishment, though the exact punishment is not specified.

3. COVID-19 Virus Testing

GENERAL: FSU wants to test every employee; this includes faculty, staff, and graduate assistants. These tests will be provided by FSU. Employees who could’ve been exposed to the virus are sorted into categories based on their risk level for actually catching the virus. Low risk employees are allowed to continue working on campus, while medium and high-risk employees have to self-quarantine at home for two full weeks.

WHO GETS TESTED?: Students coming to FSU from “hotspot” locations around the country and globe will be prioritized for testing. As noted, all student athletes will also be tested. FSU wants to test every student as they are able to. Anyone who plans to step foot on campus this fall is encouraged to get tested, whether through FSU or not.

SURVEILLANCE PROGRAM: FSU will randomly test any faculty, staff, or students. Students are also able to request testing through FSU even if they don’t show symptoms.

POSITIVE TESTS: Anyone who tests positive is supposed to quarantine themselves immediately. For employees and students who live off-campus, quarantine in your own apartment or house. On-campus students (primarily freshmen) will be immediately moved to Rogers Hall (near Salley Hall), which is acting as a quarantine facility during the fall semester. Details about the Rogers Hall living situation are in the next section. This information will likely apply to mostly freshmen.

4. Contact Tracing and Surveillance

GENERAL: This section discusses the day-to-day life for those on or near campus. Anyone who tests positive for the virus must quarantine for 14 days. Those quarantining in Rogers Hall will have food provided to them, and will be able to continue with their classes remotely. FSU has a threshold established for positive tests by those on campus. If we pass this threshold, FSU will enact “tighter social distancing and behavioral restrictions.” Basically, they’re tracking the tests, and if too many people get sick too quick, we go into a stricter lockdown mode.

FSUCTI: FSU has established the FSU Contact Tracing Initiative (FSUCTI) to basically track COVID-19 cases among those close to campus or on campus. FSUCTI will be stationed in an office on the main campus and will contact people remotely from that office. You will likely receive a call/text/email during the fall semester with questions about your health and history.

DATASETS: The FSUCTI will use data taken from “housing data, employee/HR datasets, classroom information, course rosters, and swipe card data from libraries, dining areas, and other buildings that track user access.” FSUCTI will use this data to track the outbreak by tracking us.

ATTESTATION SOLUTION: This is basically the idea that everyone should evaluate their health before coming to campus. If students show any symptoms of sickness, they will not be allowed to attend class or enter an FSU facility in general. FSU notes that they will respond to campus outbreaks as they occur, and are constantly updating their information.

5. Academic Program Delivery

GENERAL: This section, the last one, vaguely discusses how actual classes will be handled. Some science labs and even fewer “experiential courses” will be offered face-to-face, only if they cannot be taught remotely. Most classes will be taught on ZOOM, either asynchronously or synchronously. This means that some classes might be pre-recorded lectures (asynchronous) and others might be actual scheduled live classes (synchronous). Some classes will be taught using a mix of ZOOM classes and face-to-face classes. These classes are not specified or named, and neither are the experiential courses. This same system applies to FSU’s other campuses, like the FSU-Panama City campus.

STUDY ABROAD: There will be no study abroad programs available for Fall 2020. Also, the FSU Panama campus in the country of Panama is still closed, with no mentioned opening date.

F2F CLASSES: Any classes held in-person will be in classrooms in which students can be six feet apart from one another at all times. Also, any classroom used will only be about 25% full, with a maximum of 50% full.

LABS: Science labs will likely be the primary class hosted in a real classroom. Labs are allowed to operate at 50% capacity for Fall 2020. Everything in a given lab must be disinfected constantly. Most meetings will be done online. Anything that can be done remotely will be done remotely.

SCHEDULING: The Fall 2020 semester will run from August 24, 2020 to December 11, 2020 as planned. After Thanksgiving break, everything will be online, including final exams. No students will need to return to campus for class after Thanksgiving break. Seminole Sensation Week, Orientation, New Faculty Orientation, Department Meetings, and Retreats will all be done remotely rather than in-person. There are no plans for Spring 2021 as of now.

Keep updated of FSU's plans by visiting https://fall2020.fsu.edu/ regularly.

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