Student Affairs and Services Committee Recommendations

  1. MTSU must monitor emerging public health guidelines regarding testing and recommendations for testing protocols for the campus.

    • Decisions will be made about who gets tested and with what kind of testing and who pays for testing if insurance companies decline. A single case, once traced, could necessitate dozens of other tests at a current cost of $70 per test.

  1. MTSU must monitor emerging public health guidelines regarding density and proximity to guide decisions regarding the appropriate number of people in attendance for club meetings, campus events, and other activities.

    • Managing campus density is a primary challenge. We will consider establishing a green/yellow/red threat level for campus, with accompanying requirements for PPE, permitted size of gatherings, allowing visitors to campus, etc. We will communicate that all students and employees must adhere to the standards.

  1. Preventing the spread of the coronavirus in the campus community will be a focus at the beginning of the academic year.

    • International students and faculty returning to campus from overseas may be required to quarantine for 14 days, as may those coming to campus from domestic COVID-19 hot spots. The University will provide quarantine or isolation space for only those students living on campus. We will establish guidelines for opening the campus to visitors, conference attendees, prospective students, and others. 

  1. We will continue to provide excellent student support services.

    • All campus departments must identify ways to continue providing high-quality, safety-informed student support services, both online and in-person. We have special concern for students with disabilities and those needing counseling or other mental health services.  

  1. Facility managers, domain managers, and department heads will oversee social distancing and density protocols for their facilities (e.g., Campus Recreation, Student Union, dining venues, and athletic facilities).

    • Consistency among venues is a goal but may not always be possible. Clear signage at each building entrance will communicate social distancing expectations for the facility, including one-way hallways or designated entry and exit doors. 

  1. Housing and Residential Life will consider reducing the total density of campus housing and establishing areas for the quarantine of on-campus residents.

    • Reducing density by requiring private-occupancy residence hall rooms for most students will reduce co-mingling of students in restrooms and social areas. Students with current room assignments will be encouraged to consider living off-campus, and we will incentivize their decision by refunding all pre-paid housing fees. We will create a Residents’ Manual, which outlines behavioral and social distancing requirements and consequences for not complying. 

  1. Aramark Dining Services must establish appropriate risk mitigation standards.

    • New plans must include reducing the number of customers in any venue at one time, eliminating buffets, providing grab and go options, and substituting online for walk-up ordering. Online ordering options must include alternatives for students without a smart phone.

  1. The University will establish clear standards for cleaning and disinfecting and will provide sufficient staff and supplies to maintain those standards.

    • The University will implement standards, processes, and organizational responsibilities for routine cleaning and disinfecting including high-touch areas in facilities and for areas to be deep cleaned following a presumptive or confirmed positive COVID-19 case. Sufficient supplies must be available throughout campus.  

  1. Welcome Week/Connection Point activities for new students will move from mass gatherings to college-based opening activities, with support from Student Affairs. All extracurricular and involvement activities must include web-based alternatives for the fall term.

    • We will strive to provide both remote and face-to-face options simultaneously whenever possible. We will develop strategies to build community and connection if face-to-face group activities are not permitted.

  1. Undergraduate recruitment and admissions must set parameters about appropriate social distancing protocols for their events, including True Blue Preview Days and the True Blue Tour. Many events will need to take place online instead of in person. 

    • Based on emerging public health guidelines, we may need to discontinue on-campus recruitment for Fall 2020 and focus our efforts online. If on-ground tours are permitted, the schedules and routes will be adjusted to maximize social distancing.

  1. We will need coordinated, consistent, regular communication that people trust. 

    • Communication efforts will target each appropriate constituency: residential students, off-campus students, remote learners, parents, faculty, staff, and community members. Campus-wide information and signage about queuing, face covering, and other social distance guidelines must be prominently displayed. We will formulate a strategy about how to communicate updates about the virus on campus.