MTSU Response to Coronavirus Disease 2019 Archive

SEPT. 22: Spring 2021 semester beginning Jan. 25, Spring Break cancelled

September 22 2020

To the University community,

We are in the fifth week of the Fall 2020 semester! I deeply appreciate the hard work and thoughtful actions by our faculty, staff and administration, which has allowed us to keep our University open and running as we grapple with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We have reached this point also due to the vigilance of our students and community in following our health and safety guidelines, including the wearing of masks.

Meanwhile, as we continue to extend our efforts to mitigate COVID-19 risks on campus, our attention now must also turn to the upcoming Spring 2021 semester. Among the first matters we must consider is the Spring 2021 Academic Calendar, which must be decided upon soon so we can schedule classes and begin our priority registration process.

Based upon the recommendations of our executive leadership team, and in concurrence with our campus health officials, I have decided it is in our best interest to compress the Academic Calendar as much as possible for the Spring, much like we did for the current Fall semester. As such, we will begin classes for Spring 2021 one week later, with instruction beginning Monday, Jan. 25, and we will also cancel the 2021 Spring Break, which was set for March 8-13.

I have decided, however, to add a study day on Friday, March 12, that I hope will allow our community to take a brief pause and prepare for the final weeks of the Spring semester. We’ll suspend classes for that day, but we will keep open the James E. Walker Library and other academic resources.

We do not make these decisions lightly. However, in line with our decision to cancel the 2020 Fall Break, a condensed semester keeps our community focused on completing coursework and reduces the risk of spreading COVID-19 that could come from back-and-forth travel by our university community from Spring Break locations.

Finally, some important reminders:

  • MTSU policy continues to require all community members and visitors to wear masks while inside campus buildings.When outdoors, you should remove your mask ONLY if you can maintain a social distance of 6 feet. These requirements remain in effect, despite the recent decision by Rutherford County to suspend its mask mandate.
  • We are grateful to the students who cooperate with our contact tracing efforts and comply with the quarantine requirements that we must impose to keep the campus safe and able to operate. As a reminder, all students are expected to return calls and messages from Student Health Services, as we reach out to identify close contacts of members of our community who have tested positive.
  • Failure to cooperate with our health officials, and/or failure to observe all the restrictions of quarantine and isolation, may be grounds for campus disciplinary action, up to and including suspension. Please treat our health services and housing staff with respect and civility; they are working hard to protect you and our campus.
  • Although we have lifted some restrictions to allow student organizations to host approved events on campus of up to 50 members, please remember that these events must meet all social distancing requirements, including wearing masks, keeping 6 feet of distance between participants, and keeping a roster of attendees in the event we need to contact participants afterward. 
  • As has been shared previously, we also expect that social distancing guidelines are observed at any student organization events being held off campus. In an effort to keep our campus healthy and able to operate, we may take disciplinary action against groups or individuals that host events that expose our students or other community members to the COVID-19 virus. 

Please continue to be safe, keep others safe and remain True Blue. 

Sincerely,
Sidney A. McPhee
President
Sidney.McPhee@mtsu.edu


SEPT 15: Letter from Director of Athletics Chris Massaro on Return to Floyd Stadium

September 15 2020

DEAR BLUE RAIDER FANS,

From late spring, our goal has been to get as many teams as possible into the starting blocks to begin their seasons.  We are now in the starting blocks for football as it is officially game week of our 2020 home football opener.  The journey to this significant moment was filled with all kinds of ups and downs.

I would like to take this moment and thank every single person who helped get us to this point.  This was truly a case where we needed all hands on deck and our community responded!  We needed the knowledge and insight from our doctors, medical experts, trainers, and the staff who served on two different working groups to get us to this destination.  We capitalized on the tremendous leadership and support from our University president, Dr. Sidney A. McPhee, and insights from his leadership group.  We needed our coaches, administrators, and most importantly our student athletes to buy in to the plan, to execute the plan, and to make the correct decisions on and off the field.

Most importantly, we needed and will continue to need you.  We could not do this without our loyal fan base and we appreciate the fact that every one of you helped us get here.  It is important that we continue to follow our Return to Floyd Stadium plan; this is the link to our entire plan should you have any questions or concerns.  We recognize that the return to Floyd Stadium will be far different from previous years and we appreciate the sacrifices you have made for us to continue to have fans in the stands.  On behalf of our entire department, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

The hours and days have been long and tiring.  As everyone knows, the situation around collegiate athletics has certainly been filled with uncertainty and anxiety.  It seems every day we would get new or different information that would cause us to change course or minimally reevaluate our present course.  With the beginning of football season and the start of our academic semester, that still has not changed.  It has taken a great deal of patience, fortitude, and adaptability on everyone’s part, and we are very grateful for being able to play college football this season.

We have five games scheduled for Floyd Stadium this season.  Our staff is working diligently to provide the safest and most enjoyable fan experience as possible.  We look forward to seeing you, at six feet distance, as we celebrate college football’s return to Murfreesboro.  Thank you in advance for your patience and your cooperation with the new protocols put in place to provide the safest return to Floyd Stadium as possible.

We are thankful for you and your continued support.  We truly could not do this without you.

Go Blue Raiders!

Chris Massaro, Director of Athletics