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Fall 2021

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FALL 2021 PLANS

We are excited to return to in-person instruction at normal classroom capacity in the fall! Although we will continue to take precautionary measures, we will provide in-person classes, events and programming and allow for more fans at Fire Athletics events.

With the increasing availability of vaccines and rates of those getting vaccinated, we believe it will allow us to return to a much greater degree of normalcy. Our COVID-19 Recovery Task Force (CRT) will continue to monitor public guidance to ensure we can provide a safe environment for our students, faculty and staff. 

Have a question we haven’t answered? Send us an email at covid@seu.edu and we’ll get back to you!

This page is your go-to resource for the measures we have taken, and will be updated often, so be sure to check back!

Mark Your Calendars

Important Academic Dates

August 25 — First Day of Classes

December 3 — Last Day of Classes

December 6–9 — Final Exams

December 10 — Fall Commencement

Fall Breaks

September 6 — Labor Day Holiday (no classes)

October 14–15 — Long Fall Weekend

November 22–26 — Thanksgiving Break

Academics

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LET’S GET TO CLASS!

  • Our fall 2021 academic calendar will be back to normal, including fall and Thanksgiving breaks. 
  • Classes will be held in-person and at full capacity. 
  • Classes will be held in their standard format without reduced seat time or virtual options (unless specified).

Note: The mask requirement aligns with our campus Healthy Citizen Standards, which students agree to follow at the start of the semester. View a copy of these standards here.

Campus Life

RESIDENCE LIFE

Welcome home! Residence halls will be near-full capacity (with some space reserved in case a need should arise for isolation).

FOOD & DINING

Our dining facilities will open back to full capacity in the fall providing more seating options.

We will also continue to offer to-go options and meal swap options in the Buena Vida Food Court.

STUDENT EXPERIENCE

  • All of our student life activities, including clubs, intramural sports and other student programming, will return to more traditional in-person opportunities following the guidance of local and state regulations. 
  • Student clubs and organizations will be able to return to in-person meetings. 
  • Our chapel services will be offered at a higher seating capacity. 
  • We anticipate being able to increase in-person capacities for all of our Fire athletic events.
  • We look forward to holding in-person events and activities for our students during Welcome Week.

Campus Health & Safety

Health & Wellness

  • Health Services will continue to offer a variety of resources and support for our students. This includes access to 24/7 mental telehealth, known as SEU Counseling Connection. This service provides undergraduate students unrestricted access to mental health professionals and licensed counselors at no additional charge.  Click here for support.
  • In partnership with Lakeland Regional Health (local hospital), SEU’s Health Services will continue to offer diagnostic testing for COVID-19 on campus, in addition to a variety of healthcare services. Diagnostic testing is also available to symptomatic faculty and staff. 
  • To provide an extra layer of protection for our community, our COVID-19 Recovery Task Force (CRT) continues to encourage students, faculty and staff to consult with their health care provider regarding COVID-19 vaccination.
  • Contact tracing will continue on campus in the fall. 
  • The university will no longer require any testing prior to students moving onto campus.
  • COVID testing and antibody testing is available to residential and commuter students at no additional charge.

Campus Facilities

  • Cleaning will still be a top priority. We will continue to follow cleaning and disinfection measures that are consistent with the current CDC and EPA guidance. This includes cleaning and disinfection of high-touch surfaces. 
  • We plan to keep using high efficiency air filters and sneeze/cough barriers in critical areas. 
  • We will continue to use air ionizers to improve the air quality of our campus, in addition to using state-of-the-art sterilizing fogging machines. 
  • We have also made major repairs to facility fresh air systems to provide a high level of fresh air exchange in all of our campus dorms, classrooms and common areas. 

Campus Operational Postures

SEU’s operational postures define what is allowable across our people, places and programs. These four phases will be based on factors unique to the university, including cases on campus, adherence to health and safety guidelines and isolation beds. 

View additional information and our current operational posture here.

Isolation Protocols

Students who test positive must isolate and may not return to the classroom until cleared by SEU’s case management team. Students will be cleared once the following conditions are met:

  • 10 days since the onset of symptoms and 
  • 24 hours fever free, without the use of fever-reducing medications and other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving
  • Students who are asymptomatic can return to class 10 days after testing positive.
  • Residential students will be required to isolate at the South Pointe dorms or at home. (Other accommodations, including meals, will be provided to them.)

Quarantine Protocols

Individuals who case management identifies as high-risk exposures will need to quarantine. 

  • Unprotected individuals can test out of quarantine with a rapid COVID test 7 days from the last date of exposure.
  • Individuals preferring not to test will need to quarantine for 10 days. If symptoms are developed during that time frame, further evaluation should be made at either Health Services or by a healthcare professional.

Individuals who are protected against COVID-19 (fully vaccinated or have antibodies from a prior COVID infection) will not be asked to quarantine. They should monitor themselves for symptoms and get tested if symptoms develop. Traditional undergraduate students are encouraged to get tested at Health Services if they are concerned they have COVID-19 or experience any symptoms. Rapid COVID testing will be available at Health Services at no additional charge for all traditional and commuter students through SEU Campus Care.

Academic Accommodations

Academic accommodations will only be made for traditional and undergraduate students who receive a note from Health Services. These notes will be emailed from the Health Services office directly to professors within 24 hours. They will not include any private medical information. Graduate students will need to email their professors for academic accommodations.

Professors will then provide appropriate academic accommodations which may include Zoom access, alternative assignments or make up days. Students may get tested off campus as long as they present a positive laboratory test result to Health Services. 

News & FAQs for Our Community

A Message for Our Campus Community

October 1, 2021

In this video, Vice President of Student Development Bethany Thomas and Health Services Director Megan Wagner discuss what to expect with SEU’s change to the “Go Fire” operational posture.

News

SEU Community, 
 
With the White House recently announcing that the majority of Americans who want to be vaccinated will be able to do so by May, I am happy to share that these protections mean we can look forward to a return of in-person instruction at normal classroom capacity this fall for traditional students at our Lakeland campus. 
 
We hope to be able to provide an experience close to what it was before COVID-19, with the benefit of added tools and techniques faculty adopted during the pandemic.  We anticipate offering in-person experiences with fewer restrictions. We are eagerly awaiting the start of the fall semester on Wednesday, August 25. 
 
If we have learned anything this year, it was to be flexible. We will continue to monitor the advice of health and infectious disease experts and government agencies as we evaluate what life will look like on campus and will continue to keep you informed of any updates. 
 
Online classes will still be available to students as they were prior to the pandemic. 
 
I also want to take this opportunity to thank our COVID-19 Recovery Task Force (CRT) for their phenomenal work in providing our community with plans and guidance as we have navigated the pandemic.  
 
Thank you to everyone who is a part of our SEU community. The role you played in being a Healthy Citizen is what kept our community safe. Your commitment enabled us to remain open throughout the course of the year, something many institutions were unable to do. 
 
With less than two months left in the semester, I encourage you to continue to follow all of the protocols that are still in place so we can finish the year strong. 
 
Please be sure to continue to monitor your emails, social media and the SEU website for updated information on the fall 2021 semester. 

Thank you for being a Healthy Citizen!

Kent J. Ingle, SEU President

Dear SEU Community, 

The start of the spring semester is one of the highlights of my year. There is so much excitement as students move back onto campus to finish the remainder of the academic year. I love seeing our community come together to support our students in their academic journey. It’s with this anticipation for what is to come that I want to reflect on the fall semester and address our plans for the spring semester.

Before the start of the 2020-21 academic year, our leadership team dedicated time to pray for each and every one of our students, faculty and staff members for God’s protection over COVID-19. Many of our faculty and staff also participated in a dedicated hour of prayer each Monday for our campus. We knew this academic year would be different than any in the history of our university, but we also believe in the transformative power of prayer. We realize the significance of in-person classes and an on-campus experience. 

As we reflect on the fall semester, we are reminded of God’s faithfulness and protection of our community. I wanted to take a moment to address some key findings from last semester. I also want to commend our CRT (COVID-19 Recovery Task Force) for their remarkable work in order to keep our community safe and operational throughout the entire fall semester. 

  • During the fall semester, through our contact tracing efforts, we found no evidence of virus transmission between students and faculty in the classroom or at university sponsored events. We determined that the vast majority of student cases involved those who attended small gatherings where masks were not worn and physical distancing was not in place. 
  • In the fall semester, through implementing various procedures and protocols, we were able to keep our positivity rate below 5%. As cases increased on campus, the transition from operational postures proved to be successful in order to finish the semester with in-person classes. 

We learned a lot from the fall to prepare for another successful semester on our campus in the spring. As we start a new semester in the next few days, I wanted to remind you of the importance of continuing to follow all of the policies and procedures in place in order to keep our community safe. With the rise of COVID-19 cases in our nation, your role as a Healthy Citizen is imperative. Below, I have included some new updates on how we are keeping our community safe and some actions you can take to keep one another safe.

  • We are in the midst of having conversations with the Florida Department of Health about becoming a closed POD (point of distribution) for the optional vaccine on campus. In the coming weeks, we will be surveying community members to determine the demand for the vaccine on campus.
  • All of our on-campus students were required to be screened before moving back on to campus. This provides an extra layer of safety for our community. In addition to this, I am pleased to announce that beginning Wednesday our Health Services Department on campus will now be offering rapid COVID testing for students on site. We will be aware of positive cases within 15 minutes of students being tested.
  • As another layer of protection for our community, we will be implementing a new strategic group testing plan. If we see trends in certain areas on campus, we will then offer voluntary, free rapid COVID testing in Health Services for potentially impacted SEU community members. This is one more step to keep our community safe.
  • We will follow the same policies and procedures as we did in the fall. Masks will be required in all indoor facilities. Our classrooms will operate at 50% occupancy. We ask that you continue to maintain social distancing when you interact with one another and continue to monitor your health. You can view these policies on our website, Playbook for Response & Reopening, Student COVID-19 Guide and Employee COVID-19 Guide.
  • Before you attend classes or report to work in the morning, you will need to record your symptoms and temperature in our COVID Symptom Screening app. This necessary step helped us keep our community safe in the fall semester. If you are not currently receiving daily text reminders, you can update your contact information in JICS by navigating to the welcome page and then clicking on the “Update Mobile Number” module. If you have updated your number and are still not receiving the text, or are not currently receiving the daily email reminders, please send a note to covid@seu.edu
  • As a reminder, should you have any questions about COVID-19, please email covid@seu.edu

At this point, we have made no changes to our spring academic calendar. Our CRT continues to monitor and follow the recommendations of the CDC, state and local health departments, and the direction of our state and local government officials. We also know that one of the most anticipated events of the year is commencement. We are still moving ahead with preparations for a memorable commencement ceremony in April. We want to take every opportunity to celebrate the academic accomplishments of our students.

We believe as a community that God continues to bless us as we steward the call he has placed on our students’ lives. As we continue to navigate this pandemic, let us continue to pray for our campus and take every step and measure we can to ensure the safety and health of those around us. I look forward to the start of another semester here at SEU. Thank you for playing your part in being a Healthy Citizen!

Please refer to our archive page for prior updates.

FAQs

Where can I access the Fall 2021 calendar?

The 2021-22 academic calendar can be found here. The first day of class will be Wednesday, August 25. We plan to return to a normal academic calendar, with plans for a long Fall Weekend, Thanksgiving break and a Spring break. 

Will study abroad trips take place in the 2021-22 academic year?

Yes. We are excited about being able to offer study abroad programs. For questions or more information about our programs, visit SEU.edu/StudyAbroad or email studyabroad@seu.edu

What will classes be like in the fall?

We plan to return to normal full capacity in-person classes.

I’m concerned about returning to in-person classes; who should I contact?

Students who are concerned about returning to in-person classes should contact the Office of Academic Advising to discuss alternative options.

Will students still be able to Zoom into classes?

Academic accommodations will only be made for traditional and commuter students who receive a note from Health Services. These notes will be emailed from the Health Services office directly to professors within 24 hours. They will not include any private medical information. Graduate students will need to email their professors for academic accommodations.

Professors will then provide appropriate academic accommodations which may include Zoom access, alternative assignments or make up days. Students may get tested off campus as long as they present a positive laboratory test result to Health Services. Over-the-counter test results will not be accepted.

Can I expect more in-person events in the fall?

Yes! We anticipate returning to pre-COVID operations in the fall. This would include more in-person events and full capacity for our students and fans at home athletic events.

Will students be required to be vaccinated?

Students will not be required to be vaccinated. We believe each individual should evaluate every medical decision with their physician and make the choice that is best for their individual circumstances. Additionally, the Florida law permits purely voluntary vaccine programs.

Can I request a roommate who has been vaccinated?

Roommate requests can be made during the housing assignment process, however vaccination status, which is considered private health information, will not be a consideration.

What resources are available for students, faculty or staff who are experiencing stress during this time?

Health Services offers a variety of on-campus mental health services and resources for students in addition to TimelyCare, the 24/7 tele-counseling app. Click here for support.

How will the university handle COVID-19 cases on campus?

The university will have a COVID case manager who will work with students who may test positive for COVID-19 or who have a high-risk exposure.

How can I be tested for COVID-19, if needed?

If you have symptoms or just want to get tested because you are worried you may have been in contact with someone with COVID-19, you may be tested in Health Services. 

What precautions are being taken to make classrooms safe?

Classrooms, labs and studios will retain some of the public health measures that were put in place for the COVID-19 pandemic, such as better air filters or separate air filtration units. Classroom scheduling will return to pre-pandemic levels in terms of student density and class density. 

Am I required to be tested for COVID-19 prior to moving into my dorm?

No. Students will not be required to be tested for COVID-19 before moving back onto campus. However, throughout the academic year, both antibody and COVID testing will be available in Health Services at no additional charge, for all traditional and commuter students through SEU Campus Care.

What if I am exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19?

Individuals who case management identifies as high-risk exposures will need to quarantine.

  • Unprotected individuals can test out of quarantine with a rapid COVID test 7 days from the last date of exposure.
  • Individuals preferring not to test will need to quarantine for 10 days. If symptoms are developed during that time frame, further evaluation should be made at either Health Services or by a healthcare professional.

Individuals who are protected against COVID-19 (fully vaccinated or have antibodies from a prior COVID infection) will not be asked to quarantine. They should monitor themselves for symptoms and get tested if symptoms develop.

Traditional undergraduate students are encouraged to get tested at Health Services if they are concerned they have COVID-19 or experience any symptoms. Rapid COVID testing will be available at Health Services at no additional charge for all residential and commuter students through SEU Campus Care. Testing is also available for employees at a charge of $50.

What if I test positive for COVID-19?

Students who test positive must isolate and may not return to the classroom until cleared by SEU’s case management team.

Students will be cleared once the following conditions are met:

  • 10 days since the onset of symptoms and 
  • 24 hours fever free, without the use of fever-reducing medications and 
  • Other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving

Students who are asymptomatic can return to class 10 days after testing positive.

Will accommodations be made if I need to miss class due to a positive COVID test or a high-risk exposure?

Academic accommodations will only be made for students who receive a note from Health Services. Graduate students will need to email their professors for academic accommodations. These notes will be emailed from the Health Services office directly to professors within 24 hours. They will not include any private medical information. Professors will then provide appropriate academic accommodations which may include Zoom access, alternative assignments or make up days. Students may get tested off campus as long as they present a positive laboratory test result to the Health Services office.

Residential students will be required to isolate at the South Pointe dorms or at home. Other accommodations, including meals, will be provided to them.

Will SEU offer vaccines on campus?
Health Services will not offer vaccines on campus. Health Services has information on the 10 nearest, free vaccination sites to campus and plans to host pop-up vaccine events for those who wish to become vaccinated. 

If I have more questions, who should I email?

For additional questions, contact covid@seu.edu.

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Orientation & Welcome Week

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