fall 2020

Back to SEU


Welcome! At Southeastern University, we’re committed to creating a college experience for our students that’s like no other. Although we recognize that life as we know it has changed, we believe that the on-campus experience is critical for the growth and development of our students. As we anticipate the return of students in the fall, our staff and faculty have been working diligently and are dedicated to promoting a healthy and safe environment for everyone in our SEU community.

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

Important Information & Updates

See our COVID-19 updates and FAQs here, view our Current Case Dashboard here, and view the SEU Student COVID-19 Guide here.

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

If you’re looking for more details than what we’ve shared below, you can read our full playbook of plans any time here. This playbook will continue to be updated. 

Each week before the start of the academic year members of our task force went live on social media to discuss all aspects of how campus life is functioning this fall. Catch up on our Facebook Live and Instagram Live videos here.

We want to keep you updated on COVID-19 trends in our county (Polk County). Check back regularly for up-to-date information. Follow this link and then select “Polk County” in the upper right corner.

Is your student Fire Ready? Visit this page for all the details to ensure they’re all set before they arrive on campus. 



Dr. Ingle is excited to welcome you and shares the latest on what we’ve been doing to prepare for your arrival.


We take safety seriously, so our reopening plans have been developed in accordance with the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Florida Health Department, the White House, local health departments and medical centers, and local government. We have strived to incorporate the best science, medical advice, and public health practices to develop concrete plans for not only educating SEU students in the coming months, but for making the experience as healthy and enjoyable as possible.

Note: We acknowledge from the onset that the university cannot guarantee that individuals will not be exposed to or become infected by COVID-19 by virtue of being on campus. An inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present. We do commit to providing enhanced safety precautions, and preventive measures are being taken to make the campus as safe and healthy as reasonably possible for students, faculty, staff and guests.


To ensure the safety and health of the SEU community, we’ve appointed the COVID-19 Recovery Task Force (CRT). This awesome team, full of caring staff from across campus, is responsible for ensuring that plans are in place in response to the pandemic. The team has been creating adaptive plans in accordance with the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Florida Health Department, the White House, local health departments and medical centers, and local government. 

The members of the task force are responsible for implementing, monitoring and reporting on our COVID-19 control strategies.

Campus Life

We’re Back!

Dr. Bethany Thomas, our VP of Student Development, shares how we’re helping students enjoy campus life while still maintaining health and safety measures.


Welcome home! Building community is an essential part of the college experience, so it’s our goal to encourage social interactions while still being able to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus in student living spaces. Our residence life, health and wellness, and facilities teams have been working together to put these plans in place.

Social Interactions

It’s ok to be social, as long as we do it safely! Here’s how you can have fun with friends and still stay safe.

  • All social interactions are encouraged to be held outside or in a larger space. Residence halls will only be open to residents of those facilities. 
  • Visitors will not be allowed in residential rooms, and residential lobbies will have limited occupancy based on CDC recommendations. 
  • Additional, inviting spaces will be created outdoors with permanent tents and activities, such as corn hole, spike ball, etc. 
  • Open dorms will be discontinued for the fall semester. 

Cleaning Up

We love our housekeeping staff! These highly-trained and dedicated staff members are taking additional health and safety measures in their cleaning. However, students also play an important role in maintaining a clean and safe environment within the dorms. Here’s how you can help.

  • Frequently clean and disinfect frequently-touched objects and surfaces.
  • Wipe down bathroom surfaces before and after use.  
  • Stay at least 6 feet apart from each other in living spaces. (According to CDC guidelines, this helps mitigate the spread.)
  • Students are encouraged to not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups or utensils. 
  • Since sinks can be a source for infection,  avoid placing toothbrushes in the sinks. 
  • Totes can be used for personal items so that they don’t touch the bathroom countertop. 

Laundry Facilities

As with all of our facilities, you will be asked to maintain social distancing (at least 6 feet apart), and will be required to wear masks when using the laundry rooms. We’ll also limit the number of students who come into the laundry rooms at the same time. Disinfectant wipes will be available so that you can wipe down the appliances after each use.


All university members are required to wear masks in common areas where they are not able to maintain 6 feet social distancing from one another. Students are expected to wear masks while walking in indoor hallways and utilizing shared bathrooms within residence halls.


We are working diligently with Chartwells, our dining services vendor, to ensure that the health and safety of students, faculty and staff are being considered. Here are a few examples of measures we’re taking. 

  • Where dine-in service is possible, it will include distance spacing between tables and seats.
  • Self-service buffet options won’t be available. 
  • Facilities will include extensive health safety signage. 
  • In Tuscana, our on-campus dining hall, a greater range of pre-made and to-go options will be made available to limit in-person contact. 
  • Increased dining opportunities will be available on campus, along with more to-go options at the food court and Portico Coffeehouse. 
  • There will be increased hygiene for staff and cleaning of shared spaces.


We pride ourselves in providing an unforgettable college experience through our on-campus events and chapel services, because your experience at SEU involves more than earning your degree! This year, we’re keeping those events going—just differently. 

  • Campus Events. All campus events will follow CDC recommendations for the size of the group, social distancing, and the recommended use of masks (depending on the activity). Symptom checks will be conducted for visitors. 
  • Chapel Services & Credits. On-campus students will still be required to earn spiritual formation credits, so the Department of Spiritual Formation will create multiple chapel experiences (of course, adhering to CDC guidelines), including online devotionals, small groups, virtual sermons, and watch parties, giving students ample opportunities to grow spiritually and still maintain safety protocols. 
  • Student Clubs & Organizations. These groups are encouraged to follow these policies: no communal food at events, keep a record of attendance at all in-person events, and plan virtual meetings and events whenever possible. Student clubs will also need to follow CDC guidelines and university policies, including socially distancing and face mask wearing when social distancing isn’t possible.

Campus Health & Safety

Our CRT is doing everything we can to ensure the health, safety and well-being of our students, staff and faculty. Our goal is to mitigate the risk of infection among our community while allowing the safe return of students to all of SEU’s learning environments.

Campus Health & Safety

Megan Wagner, SEU Campus Medical Director & Physician Assistant,  offers insight on the importance of continuing to follow campus health protocols, how to access Health Services on campus, and much more.


Mike Alderman, Executive Director of Facilities Management, discusses the cleanliness and safety measures being used throughout campus.


To reduce the spread of COVID-19, the SEU community will be following CDC guidelines. This includes hygiene and respiratory etiquette.

  • Community members are encouraged to wash their hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, hand sanitizer can also be used. 
  • When coughing or sneezing, it is encouraged for individuals to use tissues or the inside of their elbows. 
  • The CDC also highly recommends the use of cloth face coverings or masks. These should be used especially when physical distancing is difficult. 
  • Another essential step in preventing the spread of COVID-19 is staying at home, in the dorm room, or self isolating when an individual is feeling unwell with symptoms of the virus. (These symptoms include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle aches, headache, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or running nose, nausea or vomiting or diarrhea.) 
  • Signage about hygiene practices, room/building capacity, distancing, masks and other public health measures will be in place throughout campus to help us all remember what to do (and not to do). 

Cleaning & Sanitizing Campus

We’re keeping it clean around here! Here are all the details.

  • Prior to the return of students, the campus will be disinfected and certain areas will remain closed until the start of the semester to establish a sanitary baseline prior to reopening. 
  • Plans are in place to ensure the campus engages in ongoing cleaning and disinfection measures consistent with current CDC and EPA guidance. This includes increased cleaning and disinfection of high-touch surfaces (like door handles).
  • Engineering controls, such as high efficiency air filters and sneeze/cough barriers, have been installed in critical areas. 
  • Hand sanitizing dispensers will be placed outside of all classrooms and in high-traffic areas.
  • In many of our campus HVAC systems, we have installed UV lighting, which has been proven to kill mold spores and other microorganisms. 
  • We have also installed air ionizers to improve the air quality of our campus facilities and classrooms. 
  • We will be using state-of-the-art sterilizing fogging machines along with industrial antiviral solutions throughout the campus. 
  • All water fountains are cleaned daily with sterilizing wipes, and SEU community members are encouraged to use the contactless water dispensers on campus.

Physical Distancing Measures

Where applicable, common spaces in buildings will be reconfigured to account for physical distancing. 

  • Signage will also be employed to promote physical distancing. 
  • Ground markings, signs and physical barriers will be used to avoid areas of congestion.
  • Maximum occupancy will be posted in classrooms and other common areas.


The CRT has worked with the local health department to determine best practices for the university to adopt in regard to symptom monitoring, testing and contact tracing.

  • We are excited to announce that SEU will offer COVID screening for all residential students prior to their move onto campus. This will be required for all students living in on-campus housing, and will provide an extra layer of protection for our students and our community as we begin the start of the semester. This screening will be provided at no additional or out-of-pocket cost to students. Be sure to check your SEU email for specifics on arrival and testing procedures.
  • A system has been developed to self screen temperatures and check symptoms of students, staff and faculty. This will be recorded in an SEU internal tracking system. 
  • Visitors will use symptom checkpoints on campus. 
  • Plans have been developed to contact trace students through both classrooms and residence halls. Classrooms will have seating charts and residence halls will be restricted to students who live in the respective building. (This will help us in working with the local health department for contact tracing should there be an infection on campus and to minimize the number of students who may be exposed and/or required to isolate.)
  • We have developed points of contact with local public health officials and local healthcare centers in order to communicate, coordinate and execute plans to help mitigate the risk of a community outbreak. The university has also been working in collaboration with local hospitals. 
  • SEU’s health services office is being upgraded with additional exam rooms, expanded services and increased staffing. Partnerships have been established with local healthcare providers to provide testing for students. SEU is excited to announce that Lakeland Regional Health (LRH) will be partnering with the university to run the on-campus clinic.


We’re so excited to be welcoming students back to campus, so we’re encouraging students to be healthy citizens while they’re here with us by emphasizing personal responsibility and healthy actions.

An all-student meeting will be held when students return to review the university’s health and wellness protocols. Community health sessions will also be provided throughout the course of the academic year. 

Monitoring Symptoms
Students will administer self-symptom checks on a daily basis and be required to record their data on our custom internal tracking system. 


SEU community members and visitors are required to wear masks when physical distancing is not possible (at least 6 feet), particularly in indoor communal areas. Students, faculty, and staff are not permitted to wear masks that are disruptive, offensive or promote illegal drug use. This includes, but is not limited to, the use of profanity, inappropriate content (lettering, images, graphics, etc.) or any values that are contrary to the community covenant. 

Quarantine/Isolation Protocol

Sick students showing symptoms of the coronavirus are encouraged to not return to in-person classes or use SEU facilities until they have been cleared by a medical professional. 

  • If students are feeling sick, it is advised that they go to the Health Services clinic to be screened. Health Services will refer students for COVID-19 testing if appropriate. 
  • Protocols have been established to provide appropriate isolation and quarantine space for residential students as needed. These plans have been established for both students who have tested positive for COVID-19 as well as for students who have been exposed. These plans take into consideration the provision of basic needs for those students, including food, laundry, and other services. 

High-Risk Populations + Students in Quarantine/Isolation

SEU is committed to providing uninterrupted education to our students. Here’s how we’re working to make that happen.

  • Plans are in place to provide virtual instruction options, and real-time and/or recorded digital access to classes for students in isolation/quarantine, or in high-risk populations. 
  • Student support services including library materials, academic and career advising, tutoring, and counseling will be made available online and in other formats, as practical. 
  • It’s imperative that students in isolation/quarantine notify their professors and keep the lines of communication open. 

Mental Wellness

We recognize that the changes this pandemic has brought can lead to feelings of isolation and anxiety. The Health & Wellness Office provides counseling for students who might feel alone during this season. Frequent communication will be sent to inform students about the services available.



Dr. William Hackett, Provost, Dr. Amy Bratten, Associate Provost, and Dr. Meghan Griffin, Associate Provost of Unrestricted Education, share how we’re keeping high-quality learning going this year.



Face-to-face instruction is so important for the student experience, so this fall, faculty will be providing face-to-face instruction along with virtual options. Faculty are working now to prepare courses that provide a seamless experience, both in and out of the classroom.

Classroom Setting & Hybrid Delivery

During the fall 2020 semester, all traditional courses will be offered in a hybrid format. Hybrid refers to content both in MyFire and in physical classrooms. Details on how this will be carried out are being finalized, and will vary as CDC protocols are updated.

  • With hybrid course preparation, faculty will be able to accommodate social distancing and also flex as CDC guidelines, campus conditions or social distancing protocols are relaxed or restricted. 
  • To supplement face-to-face delivery, faculty will be loading course content into the MyFIRE online learning platform. Course content might include pre-recorded video lectures, recorded class meetings, articles, assignments, or even Zoom sessions for live class meetings. Every class has a course shell in MyFire, which is where students access content, submit tasks, take assessments, and see grade updates. 
  • To reduce viral spread, professors using a hybrid course preparation will ensure that social distancing practices are carried into the classroom environment. 
  • In keeping with CDC recommendations, our classrooms will provide adequate space while also allowing students to interact with one another, the professors, and the class content. 
  • While the number of people physically present during any classroom meeting will vary with updates to CDC recommendations for social distancing, live instruction, access to professors, and connections with classmates won’t change. 

Seating Charts

Faculty will create a seating chart for classes with the purpose of them seeing and documenting 50 percent occupancy and for tracking purposes. In the event that any student is diagnosed with COVID-19, the seating chart will assist with knowing who else was in the room for the purpose of notification. 

Prevention Protocol

Currently plans call for a 50 percent occupancy rate in the classrooms, which will allow for social distancing. This flexible approach will allow students to have access to our world-class faculty in person and at a safe distance. Inside of the classroom, students will be required to wear masks.

Absences Due to Illness

Students are encouraged to not attend class in person if they are not feeling well, or are showing any symptoms of illness. Classes will be available to view from the comfort of a student’s room in the event of any illness. Faculty will be supportive and flexible with students who might not be feeling well. Course content will be available in MyFire for students who may not be able to attend classes. Please stay in communication with your professors if you must miss class due to illness.

Classroom Cleaning Policies

All of the classrooms will provide disinfectant wipes, and hand sanitizer stations will be located outside of the classroom. All of the rooms will be cleaned and sterilized daily. 

  • We have also installed air ionizers to improve the air quality of our campus facilities and classrooms.
  • Course schedules will allow for maximum time between sections. In certain instances, classroom meeting times have been amended to accommodate additional cleaning. 
  • In all cases, faculty must strictly observe course end times to allow for safe classroom transitions and to accommodate cleaning and sanitization schedules. 

Faculty Office Hours

Faculty members are encouraged to hold virtual office hours whenever possible. However, if faculty members wish to meet students in person, they will maintain strict distancing, wear masks, and keep their office doors open for airflow. Or, when possible, small conference rooms may be used for these meetings. 

By taking these approaches, we can better ensure the safety of our faculty, staff, and students while minimizing disruption to schedules, student registration, and course loads in the case of changing social distancing guidelines.

Athletics & Events

Visit Events & Campus Guests

Allie Cheek, Director of Campus Visits & Events, shares how we’re welcoming campus visitors—safely.

Athletics & Events

Drew Watson, Director of SEU Fire Athletics, discusses how we’re going to #FueltheFire this year—with some modifications.

Fire Guide wMask-FT


SEU truly values the guests that visit our campus! We are also committed to investing in our Lakeland community through student internships, ministry and community outreach, and other opportunities. Every year, SEU students spend thousands of hours giving back to the local community. 

Campus Visitors

In accordance with CDC recommendations, when visitors arrive on campus, an SEU team member will take the visitor’s temperature and ask a series of questions. Visitors are encouraged to wear masks. The university will provide masks for visitors in need of them. 

Visit Events

All events on campus will follow CDC recommendations for the size of the group, social distancing and the recommended use of masks (depending on the activity). 

  • Symptom checks will be conducted for visitors. 
  • Visit events will not include an overnight stay.
  • Various classroom options are being considered in lieu of attending a class with SEU students. 
  • Registered visit event attendees will be provided with boxed lunches. 

SEU in the Community

Whether for internships, practicums, or meetings, while off campus in the Lakeland community, SEU members are encouraged to follow CDC guidelines, including practicing social distancing and wearing face masks. 

Students will be able to complete internships as their employer or site allows. If you have questions about your internship, contact your academic advisor.


Protocols for athletics are being developed in accordance with guidance from the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and will take into consideration athletic training, travel and competition. 

For the Fans

All athletic games on campus will follow CDC recommendations and state and local mandates for the seating capacity, social distancing and the recommended use of masks (depending upon the activity). 


SEU community members are welcome to tailgate in designated areas before football games. However, with the current circumstances, all meals must be served by individuals wearing masks and gloves.


Intramurals will be able to continue in the fall semester, following the guidelines of the CDC.



The pool is open for on-campus students, staff/faculty and their immediate family members. The pool area is limited to a maximum of 40 people in the area at one time. Social distancing is required between family groups.



Return to Campus
Student-athletes will arrive on-campus in a phased approach throughout the month of August, on designated dates, so that the university personnel will be able to effectively welcome them to campus. Coaches will provide specific information to each team’s reporting date and expectations surrounding move-in day. 

Social Distancing/Physical Separation
While social distancing is not possible in sports, we have designed a plan within the athletic facilities to space out student-athletes as much as possible. For example, treatment tables and taping stations will be separated by six feet in the training rooms, and we will observe social distancing wherever possible in the Fitness Center.

Disinfection and Sanitation
All athletic facilities will be cleaned daily with approved disinfectants. This includes all shared equipment before and after it is used by a student-athlete. Hand sanitizer stations and fogging machine protocols are being implemented at athletic locations on campus.



We’ve been diligently following the pandemic and all related news and guidelines, and adjusting all aspects of campus life as needed. 

  • Check out our continuously updated, complete list of FAQs on our Coronavirus Updates page. 
  • You can also see all of our archive of previous updates on our blog.
  • Catch up on our Facebook Live and Instagram Live videos here.

back to seu

More Ways to Prepare for the Fall

Orientation & Welcome Week

Start the semester off right! (Check back often for updates as plans are finalized.)

Get Fire Ready

The official clearance process of SEU

Dorm Checklist

Find out what to bring to your new home away from home.

Love Lakeland

Discover exciting things to do in Lakeland & find local hotels.

Explore Central Florida

Some call it a perfect vacation spot...now you’ll call it home!

Note that some locations/activities may have modified hours due to COVID-19 precautions.