By: Ebonee Burrell | Editor in Chief
South Alabama’s plan to re-open campus was released with approved changes that will take effect in August. President Waldrop’s weekly email to students, faculty, and staff included some of the significant changes that will be made to the university.
Students and employees will return to campus following these guidelines:
- Modified academic calendar. Classes will begin a day early, on Monday, Aug. 17. Fall break set for Oct. 8 and 9 will be canceled and replaced with normal class days. The last day of classes will be on Nov. 24 and students will not return back to campus until January. Final exams will take place in-person before Thanksgiving or virtually in early December.
- Masks/face coverings required in on-campus facilities. Everyone will be required to wear approved masks/face coverings indoors, including in the classroom. The Univerisity will provide two South-branded masks to each student and employee. Masks will also be required in outdoor settings when social distancing is not practical. Students who are not compliant with these guidelines in academic settings will be referred to the Student Conduct Administrator through the Academic Disruption Policy or may be referred under the Code of Student Conduct in other settings.
- Blended courses. Most courses will be taught in a hybrid format, with some portion of instruction offered in-person while adhering to social distancing guidelines and online. Faculty who are teaching in-person courses are encouraged to develop the course if students need to complete it online. Faculty must also be prepared to move classes completely online, if necessary, to protect the health of our students, faculty and staff.
- Social distancing in classrooms. For all classes held on campus, social distancing must be practiced by all students, faculty, and other employees. Everyone must maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from one another at all times. This will require reconfiguration of the usual classroom environment and address a maximum occupancy for each classroom.
As of now, these changes are effective unless public health conditions change to a threat to our university. More information for the re-opening plan including USA libraries, study spaces for students, and methods of instruction can be found on the Academic Affairs website.