Campus Update 6/26/20

Gold Seal

Special Message from the President: Return to Campus Plan Key Information

MEMO: Return to Campus Plan Key Information

FROM: Marion Ross Fedrick, President

TO: Students, Faculty/Staff, Parents

DATE: Friday, June 26, 2020

On August 10,  Albany State University will resume face-to-face classes for the fall 2020 semester. This is a change from our previous return date of August 17. It is imperative the campus community adheres to the social distancing and health and safety procedures provided. This memo provides further details on operational adjustments that will affect our faculty, staff and students in the fall.

Our top priority remains the health, safety and well-being of all members of our campus community. Please read this memo in its entirety, and be sure to consult ASU's Coronavirus website for updates.

Important Dates

  1. New students will move-in beginning August 4 at 8 a.m. and will conclude August 6 at 5 p.m.

  2. Returning students will move-in beginning August 7 at 8 a.m. and will conclude August 9 at 5 p.m.

  3. The payment deadline is August 7; however, all charges (tuition, fees, housing, and meal plans) must be paid before students will be allowed to move into residence halls.

  4. Classes will begin on August 10. Fall break will not be observed.

  5. Classes will end on November 24.

  6. Residences halls will close at 6 p.m. on November 25. Further information will be provided by the Office of Housing and Residence Life.

  7. Final exams will be held November 30 – December 3 in a virtual format.

Health and Safety Procedures

Guided by the CDC, GDPH and USG, we are implementing strategies to mitigate risk and prevent the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Strategies focus on cleaning protocols, room capacities, scheduling of rooms, maintaining social distancing, wearing face coverings, modifying dining services, regular personal health checks and quarantines when necessary. ASU is committed to maintaining a safe working and learning environment.


All buildings, offices, classrooms, residence halls, and commons spaces have been cleaned and maintained in preparation for the return of faculty, staff and students. Facilities Management will maintain the same cleaning procedures with an increased frequency focused on common areas such as break rooms, rest rooms, lobby areas and other high traffic areas.

Self-Monitoring and Face Coverings

In the best interest of the health and safety of our community, it is imperative that all faculty, staff and students self-monitor and acknowledge that they do not have signs or symptoms of COVID-19 prior to coming to campus each day. All faculty, staff, students, and visitors are strongly encouraged to wear a face covering. Wearing a face covering is a proven way to stop the spread of COVID-19. For your safety and the safety of others please wear a face covering.

The Georgia Department of Public Health (GDPH) has not mandated wearing facial masks, nor has the Centers for Disease Control, and the USG is following their guidance on this issue. In addition to this, each one of us will have to take personal responsibility for following CDC and university guidelines. We all will have a critical role to play as we work together to protect the health and safety of every member of our campus community.

Academic Instruction

Fall 2020 courses will be delivered in a variety of formats, including utilizing hybrid, synchronous and flipped models. A mix of instructional modalities allows us to offer courses in ways that support deep student engagement while ensuring that our classrooms and learning spaces support social distancing guidelines.

  • Common Hybrid: Half of course content will be online parallel to classroom instruction (50/50). Students will meet for half the course time.
  • Rotating Synchronous: Classes will be split into two groups with half of the students meeting face-to-face and the remaining students will meet through video conferencing in alternation.
  • Flipped: All content will be delivered online. Students will attend class in small groups to participate in question and answer sessions, review sessions, small group learning or active learning exercises. Students meet with 1/3 of the class population, limiting the risk of exposure to infection.

Faculty Office Hours

Faculty should have flexible office hours in an appropriate format that facilitate active communication and accessibility. Faculty will stagger face-to-face office hours or conduct virtual appointments and meetings to minimize the number of students and faculty in small spaces.

Clinicals, Labs and Practicums

For programs that require significant clinical, lab, and practicum experiences and where factors related to COVID-19 will prevent the completion of these requirements, the academic department will work to develop alternatives and mitigate any impact on student progression whenever possible.

The number of students in laboratory classrooms at one time will be limited. Classes will be split into a rotation of the face-to-face lab and a virtual component.

Seating Capacity in Classrooms

Facilities Management and Student Health Services staff on campus have completed a review of the configuration and seating capacity for each classroom and laboratory. Modifications were made where possible to accommodate social distancing (minimum of 6 ft) and to establish their new maximum capacity.


All students that utilize the City of Albany’s Transit System (to include Ram Rush) will be required as per the regulations of the City of Albany to wear a face covering.

Housing and Residence Life

Students are being asked to only bring items essential to campus living. Information regarding staggered move-in times, adjusted housing assignments, and policies and procedures will be communicated to students and parents next week. New students will move into residence halls August 4 – August 6. Returning students will move into residence halls August 7 – August 9.

Residence hall rooms have been reconfigured to allow for social distancing. This includes, but is not limited to, reducing triple room assignments to double room assignments.


Social distancing will be required in all dining facilities. Eating utensils will be available at each of the serving lines. Disposable paper products will be used for all dining areas to include cups, plates and napkins.

East Campus Dining

  • The East Campus dining hall capacity is 90 persons. Full hot service meal service will be extended from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. To go boxes will be available.
  • There will be additional dining space in the student center ballroom with a traditional hot line serving the meal of the day. The dining capacity is 100 persons.

West Campus Dining

  • The West campus Dining hall capacity is 80 persons. Full hot service meal service will be extended from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
  • There will be additional dining space in the second-floor multi-purpose room with a traditional hot line serving the meal of the day. The dining capacity is 100 persons. To go boxes will be available.

Student Life and Engagement

Many campus events, such as lectures, presentations and meetings will occur virtually. Over the course of the Spring semester, we held many virtual student activities that were well attended and enjoyed by students—and we plan to continue providing these opportunities. Virtual events and programming will be complemented by small gatherings employing proper social distancing.

Student Center and Common Areas Occupancy

All common areas will be reconfigured to ensure social distancing. Routine cleaning and sanitizing procedures will increase. CDC regulations and guidelines will be enforced.

Recreational Facilities (Fitness Centers, Gyms, Pools, Fields, other related spaces) Guidelines

All recreational activities will be adjusted to align with CDC guidelines.

Student Activities

All CDC recommended guidelines will be utilized to determine programming.

  • Face-to-face meetings, events and programming will be limited. In the event physical contact is necessary, all social distancing guidelines will be enforced, including the encouragement of wearing of face masks.
  • A programming taskforce committee will be established to determine what events will be approved for student access.
  • Virtual programming initiatives will be strongly encouraged. All advisors and registered student organizations will receive direct communication regarding programming guidelines.
  • The University will provide continued education on proper hygiene.
  • Food service at events and programs will be limited.
  • Collaboration with persons outside of the campus community will be limited to virtual engagement.

New Student Orientations

New Student Orientations (NSO) will be held virtually with the exception of the August 7 New Student Orientation. Recommended CDC guidelines will be followed.

Week of Welcome

Week of Welcome (for first year students only) is scheduled from August 4-6 and will include both face-to-face and virtual events. Recommended CDC guidelines will be followed.

Campus Events

Third party activities held on campus will be evaluated to ensure compliance with CDC and GDPH guidelines. The Office of Auxiliary Services will accept applications for the use and rental of our facilities beginning October 1. However, please note that third-party facility use is not guaranteed.

Campus Tours

Campus tours will resume with limitations. Please email to schedule a campus tour.

Student Health Services

The East Campus location (Billy C. Black Building Room 138) hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. The staff can be reached by phone 229-500-3544.

The West Campus (West Campus Student Center – Room 100) location hours of operation are daily 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. The staff can be reached at 229-500-3545.

COVID-19 Symptoms

If you are experiencing the symptoms below, are feeling sick, or think that you have been exposed to COVID-19, contact Student Health Services and your health care provider immediately. You may be referred for COVID-19 testing. While you are waiting for your COVID-19 results, you may be subject to CDC and GDPH quarantine requirements. If your results are negative, you may resume normal activities. If your results are positive, you will be isolated while you arrange for transportation home. While in quarantine or isolation, you will monitor your symptoms and remain in contact with Student Health Services. Meals from ASU Dinning Services will be delivered to you while in quarantine or isolation. 

Know the symptoms of COVID-19, which can include the following:

Cough                                                           Chills                                                  Shortness of breath
Difficulty in breathing                                     Muscle or body aches                        Sore Throat
New loss of taste of smell                              Fatigue                                               Headache
Nausea or vomiting                                        Diarrhea                                             Congestion or runny nose
Fever greater than 100.4

Seek medical care immediately if someone has emergency warning signs of COVID-19, which include:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Bluish lips or face

Flexibility and Ongoing Communication

This plan may change if the CDC, GPH, and USG issue new directives. Your ongoing feedback will enable us to continuously improve this plan, and we will integrate your input to the extent possible. We will learn every step of the way and adjust with your safety and health always at the forefront of our decision making.

Regular communication is going to be vital as we work through this process and prepare for the Fall 2020 semester. We will continue to work with the University System of Georgia to develop plans that are tailored to meet the specific needs of our institution. Please continue to monitor ASU's Coronavirus website for updates and resources.

The University will continue to provide updates throughout the summer. Please continue to check your ASU email and follow our official social media platforms updated information. I look forward to welcoming you back on campus in the fall.