Xavier University Fall Return

Dear Community Members,

The Spring has certainly been challenging for Xavier and for universities across the nation. You have persevered in spite of the disruption. Fall 2020 will mark our return to campus.

Xavier’s fall reopening will differ significantly from the past to offer the safest campus possible. Our class schedules and locations are being reimagined to satisfy social distance. New residential venues are being incorporated in student housing plans so as to reduce occupant density. And most importantly, each member of the Xavier community will be required to embrace practices and behaviors to profoundly reduce the possibility of transmission of the COVID-19 virus on campus. The return to campus will be a reaffirmation of our calling and our mission to serve one another and to show the way to the more just and humane society.

I know that as the days progress you are most interested in more details of our plans for the Fall 2020 reopening of our campus. I have heard from many of you your concerns about the awaited return to face to face learning, work and interactions. Your voices and the safety of the community are top of mind as preparation for our return continues.

In the documents that follow, you will find details of the plan developed under the leadership of our cabinet, deans, leadership team, staff and faculty. We have consulted with public health experts at Xavier and other institutions and remain in constant contact with our local, state and federal leaders for guidance.

The decision to return to campus is driven by our collective knowledge that students learn, grow, and benefit greatly from the in-person engagement with a committed faculty and classmates. These interactions breed the environment of learning and mentoring that has led to the success of generations of  Xavierites.

I am confident in our decision to return and our capacity to work and learn as a community. Yet, we must all remain flexible in the knowledge that this unprecedented moment in our history may present new challenges to which we shall respond.

We will bind ourselves to each other in solemn agreement. We will protect and care for one another by our masking, social distancing and hygienic practice. To do otherwise would not be worthy of a Xavierite, called to follow in the example of service of Mother Katharine.

Sincerely,

Reynold Verret 

President

Xavier University of Louisiana

Please review the attached documents for details regarding our return. The University will release additional detailed information for Fall 2020 operations over the coming week and months and will continue to update this plan. Updates will be emailed and posted to the website at Xavier University Fall Return.

Benefits of Infection Prevention Tactics Mandated at Xavier University Fall 2020 Benefits of Infection Prevention Tactics


LIBRARY OPEN HOURS EFFECTIVE EFFECTIVE AUGUST 17TH

Library's open hours:

 7:30 AM to 6 PM Monday through Friday; Closed on weekends

  • All services available, on site and remote
  • Remote Services available, 8AM to 8PM 
  • Electronic resources, including Reserve Collection, 24/7


COMMUNITY COMMITMENTS FOR HEALTH AND SAFETY

  • REQUIRED MASKING of all community members and visitors
  • ENFORCED SOCIAL DISTANCING guidelines for communal spaces
  • ACTIVE/ENHANCED CAMPUS CLEANING SANITIZING protocols
  • ALL IN OUR CAMPUS COMMUNITY WILL BE REQUIRED TO ADHERE TO OUR COMMUNITY COMMITMENTS FOR HEALTH AND SAFETY
    • Daily Health Monitoring and Check-ins
    • Modified Schedules
    • Modified academic, work, and study spaces
    • Protective barrier installations as deemed appropriate
    • Community Health Check-ins and testing
  • FACULTY AND STAFF WILL RETURN IN A PHASED APPROACH.
    • Essential faculty and staff have continued to report to work to care for and ready the campus for return, continue research, and continue priority projects.
    • Non-essential employees will return to work later in the summer as they are called to return by their respective supervisors in compliance with the defined guidelines requiring approval by division Vice Presidents and Human Resources.
    • As the fall semester approaches, employees can initially expect staggered work schedules, alternating schedules, reconfigured workstations as needed, remote work and other accommodations to limit density on campus and maximize safety.
  • THE FIRST DAY OF CLASSES WILL BE AUGUST 17, 2020. REMOTE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT COMMENCES FOLLOWING THANKSGIVING BREAK. STUDENTS RETURN TO CAMPUS FOR SPRING 2021 SEMESTER.
    • Students may choose to leave for the Thanksgiving Break and not return.
    • Students choosing to remain on campus for the Thanksgiving Break will be allowed to stay until traditional close of residence halls.
    • All will matriculate in the remote environment following the Thanksgiving Break.
    • Final exams will be completed online.
    • Fall Break/Contingency Days (October 12-13, 2020) are canceled this year and dedicated to instructional time.
    • We will announce alternate plans for Fall University events (i.e., Founder’s Day, Homecoming) at a later time.
  • CLASS SIZES WILL BE ADJUSTED to adhere to distancing guidelines.
  • CLEARLY DEFINED ENTRY AND EXIT POINTS FOR CAMPUS BUILDINGS AND CLEARLY MARKED

ONE-WAY CORRIDORS to manage density and reduce risks.

  • OUTDOOR SPACES and CLEARLY MARKED NAVIGATION PATHWAYS FOR pedestrian traffic.
  • OVER 150 COURSE SECTIONS AVAILABLE VIA REMOTE INSTRUCTION.
    • This initiative will de-densify campus, support those who cannot participate in face-to-face learning, and help safeguard against potential disruptions. Stay tuned for adjustments to class schedules.


  • Student Life and Activities will continue in modified and safe ways.
  • Student experience, sense of belonging, and holistic support will continue to support students as they adjust to unforeseen change.
  • Plans are in development to continue to foster a sense of community and belonging for all students.
  • Virtual summer programs for new and returning students will continue.
  • Student organizations remain engaged and are working to host Fall programming while adhering to our Community Commitments
  • Remote advising and counseling sessions continue.
  • We will continue to connect students with academic, wellness and financial resources.
  • Residence halls will operate at reduced capacity to adhere to public health guidelines.
  • Additional residential housing accommodations are being secured to increase housing capacity.
  • Quarantine facilities have been identified for isolation of students who have tested positive for or been exposed to COVID-19.
  • Campus move in dates have been expanded to de-densify campus during this heavily trafficked time.
  • Additional information and details will be provided to residential students and student staff by Xavier Housing Department
  • To help limit density, food service provision and schedule in the Café will be modified to accommodate only students with a meal plan.
  • Self-service food stations are suspended until further notice.
  • Seating in dining halls will be reduced to promote physical distancing.
  • All other on-campus dining facilities will be open to students, faculty and staff.
  • Dining tables and chairs will be sanitized more frequently by dining hall staff.
  • Community members will also be expected to sanitize dining tables and chairs after each use.
  • Student Services is exploring additional dining options including food trucks, meal delivery services and dedicated pick-up stations.

As an institution we are increasing community standards for cleanliness with increased focus on cleanliness. Cleaning materials will be available in all classrooms, departments, and common spaces to allow users to easily sanitize workspaces prior and after use. Xavier will follow all public health guidelines set for the by the CDC and best practices to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Housekeeping staff will continue to clean office and workspaces according to CDC guidelines. “High touch” areas and surfaces such as doorknobs and bathrooms will be cleaned more frequently and monitored more closely. This summer, we are reviewing proposals from vendors for our cleaning services. This process is well underway and the selected team to assist with this is scheduled to start work in July 2020.

We are enhancing our community standards to promote a safe and healthy environment to teach, learn, work and play. This is an opportunity for us to live our mission of service to others by taking individual action to protect our fellow community members.

In coordination with federal, state and local guidance, we will require you to practice physical distancing, wash your hands often, use hand sanitizer, maintain clean spaces and wear appropriate face coverings/masks (provided by the University for those who need them), among other best practices. Individuals with COVID-19 symptoms or knowledge of exposure should seek medical care and must not report to work or class. We will post signage in campus buildings with these important reminders.

The University is developing programs with healthcare industry partners to provide ongoing surveillance of the disease on campus. Personal Daily Health Check-ins will be required with guidelines to determine physical campus attendance or remote workdays forthcoming from Human Resources. Educational reminders on safe and health behaviors will be shared on an ongoing basis to keep our health top of mind.

Health and Safety Stewards will be recruited, trained, and deployed to help us all maintain social distance, provide masks, and encourage hand sanitizing and messaging to achieve success in mitigating risks of COVID- 19 infections on campus.

Please know that planning and implementation for a safe and healthy campus will continue throughout the summer. The University will release additional detailed information for Fall 2020 operations over the coming week and months and will continue to update this plan. Updates will be emailed and posted to the website at Xavier University Fall Return.


Benefits of Infection Prevention Tactics Mandated at Xavier University Fall 2020

Current research and prior experience with respiratory viruses, has shown that masks do significantly reduce infection.  I urge you to look at this video from the Bax and Anfinrud laboratories in Pennsylvania that show potentially infectious droplets from the mouth of a speaker without and with a mask.  These droplets are be mitigated by appropriate mouth and nose covering.  The requirement for masking all in public and common space will suppress airborne spread of the infectious agent and prevent community transmission.

The other mode of transmission is transfer from a contaminated surface.  To suppress tactile transmission, frequent handwashing or sanitization will be an essential and necessary part of Xavier life. Xavierites will undertake care for other to another level.  Xavierites will clean and sanitize surfaces before and after every use.   Our facilities team will assure that wipes and appropriate cleansers will be available in classrooms, libraries and other common spaces.  Xavierites will wash or sanitize their hands before entering a meeting space or classroom. Xavierites will not rely on others to clean before and after them.  Each of us will seriously do our part.

An appropriate distance (6 feet or more) and avoidance of touching are well established as effective in preventing transmission.  Thus, we will accommodate our behaviors to keep healthy distance, avoid handshakes, kisses, even fist or elbow bumps.  Prescribed seating arrangement in classes and common spaces will support appropriate distancing.  As Xavierites, we will each do our part.   During the current period, we will accept these changes in our behaviors for the protection of fellow members of the Xavier community.  We do so assured that better times will follow, when we shall embrace and hold each other hand in hand.  

No one can be assured of complete safety in the midst of this pandemic, even with complete isolation.  However, strict adherence to these practice has been proven over time to provide a significant measure of safety.  This will be the case at Xavier, where we protect one another by blocking our capacity as human beings to infect one another.


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