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Coronavirus Updates

News and Resources for Our Community


October 7, 2020

Dear SEU Community,

Today I wish to share with you an important update to the academic calendar for the Fall 2020 semester. 

Our commitment to you, since the beginning of the COVID-19 challenge, has been to make decisions regarding university operations that prioritize the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff. I want to thank you for your dedication in observing our Healthy Citizen safety protocols. You have done an excellent job keeping our campus community in good health! Moving into the holiday travel season and in light of recommendations from national and local health agencies, we are making changes to the calendar that are designed to mitigate the potential spread of COVID-19.

We have decided that beginning the week of Thanksgiving (Monday, November 23) all classes and final exams will be delivered in a remote format. This will allow students with the flexibility to return home safely for the holidays and celebrate with their families without the concern of spreading the virus. These modifications are intended to avoid a large number of students and faculty from returning to our campus after traveling for the holiday. A full array of support services, such as advising, academic support and counseling, will continue to be available to students both in person and remotely throughout the remainder of the fall semester.   

We also know how much our graduating seniors have greatly anticipated graduation, and we are excited to announce that we will celebrate their accomplishments in person. SEU’s fall commencement ceremony will be held on Sunday, November 22, at 4:30 p.m. This will provide us with the opportunity to celebrate our graduates before we transition to remote learning for the rest of the semester. 

We will be one of only a handful of colleges actually holding an in-person ceremony for their graduates. In fact, all Florida public universities and colleges have been directed to cancel in-person graduations for the fall.

A separate email will be sent out to graduates with specifics about our commencement plans. 

SEU Adjusted Fall 2020 Calendar:

  Original  New
Last Day of Classes on Campus Dec. 4 Nov. 20
Fall Commencement Dec. 11 Nov. 22
Thanksgiving Break   Nov. 25-27   Nov. 25-27  
Classes Only Remote N/A Nov. 23-24 &

Nov. 30-Dec. 4

Final Exams  Dec. 7-10   Dec. 7-10 (remote only)
Last Day of Fall Semester   Dec. 10 Dec. 10
Residence Halls Close Dec. 12 Dec. 12

 

Despite these changes, the university will remain open. Residence halls and dining options will remain open after Thanksgiving break until the end of the fall semester. Our Housing and Residence Life team will be sharing more information about the fall checkout process.

I wish to thank the SEU COVID-19 Recovery Task Force (CRT) for the valuable input they have provided to my leadership team as we’ve carefully evaluated changes to the academic calendar.

At this time, we are not making any changes to the spring academic calendar. We will continue to monitor how our nation is responding to the pandemic through the end of the year and will have a decision about spring break by the first day of classes. 

I continue to be deeply impressed by the innovative and compassionate ways our students, faculty and staff are adapting to the current situation. We have an incredible community that I am so grateful for.

Dr. Kent Ingle
President, Southeastern University


 

Frequently Asked Questions

Updated October 7, 2020

Visit our Back to SEU web page for additional information and more helpful links.

When will the university transition to remote learning?
The last day of in-person classes for the fall semester will be Friday, November 20. With travel restrictions in some states and to allow students more time to travel home for the holidays, all classes will be offered in a fully remote format beginning Thanksgiving week (Monday, November 23). However, the university offices will remain open. Residential halls and dining services will also remain open for the remainder of the fall semester for students who desire to stay on campus until December 12. 

Will support services (Academic Advising, Financial Aid, ACE, etc.) be open for face-to-face or virtual meetings?
Yes. All student support services will be open for face-to-face and virtual meetings for the remainder of the fall semester. 

I plan to return to campus for the spring semester. When can I check out of my dorm room?
Returning students planning to go home for Thanksgiving break and the remainder of the fall semester should check out by Tuesday, November 24, at 6:00 p.m. 

Students planning to return after Thanksgiving break have until Saturday, December, 12 at 10:00 a.m. to check out. 

All checkouts will be individually scheduled through Calendly with the student’s RD. Every residential student is required to check out of their room before December 12 at 10 a.m. Residential students will have to turn in their ID cards when they check out. 

If I am a graduating senior or do not plan to return for the spring semester, when do I need to check out of my dorm room?
Graduating seniors and students who do not plan to return for the spring semester have until Saturday, December 12, at 10 a.m. to check out. Students will need to take all of their belongings with them. 

Students who do not plan to return after Thanksgiving break must check out of their dorm room before Tuesday, November 24, at 6 p.m., and they will need to take their belongings with them. 

All checkouts will be individually scheduled through Calendly with  the student’s RD. Residential students will have to turn in their ID cards when they check out.

What do I need to do in order to check out of my room for the rest of the semester?

All residential students are required to fill out this form on JICS. The form needs to be completed by Friday, October 23. Checkouts will be available November 19 to 24, and during office hours from November 30 to December 11. The last day for checkouts is Saturday, December 12, by 10 a.m. If you have questions, email student housing at studenthousing@seu.edu or reach out to your Resident Director.

Will I receive a refund if I choose not to return to campus?
As the university and residence halls will remain open, there will not be refunds or discounts issued to student accounts. 

Can I stay on campus for the remainder of the fall semester?
Yes. The university will remain open. Residential halls and dining services will also be open for the remainder of the semester. You can stay in your dorm room until check-out day on Saturday, December 12, at 10:00 a.m.

If I stay on campus for the remainder of the Fall semester will I need to symptom check?
Yes. All students planning to stay on campus will need to submit daily symptom checks. Daily emails will continue to be sent out for symptom checking. Students who choose to leave campus do not need to symptom check. 

Will my Fire Funds roll over to the spring semester?
No. All Fire Funds should be used up by the end of the fall semester. 

Can I have my mail forwarded over Christmas break?
Yes. Students are able to have their mail forwarded. Students need to go to the campus Mailroom to do so.

Will I still need to earn Spiritual Formation Credits?
Yes, residential students will need to earn 35 and commuters will need to earn 15.

If I plan to travel for the Thanksgiving break and return to campus for the remainder of the semester are there certain protocols I will need to follow?Whether off or on campus, we ask that students continue to follow our Healthy Citizen standards provided in our Student COVID-19 Guide. Continue to monitor your symptoms, take your temperature and wear a mask when social distancing is not possible. Even if the state or location you are traveling to has different regulations, it’s important that you continue to practice healthy and safe behaviors to minimize your exposure to the virus. 

Are graduate students able to leave before Thanksgiving break and work remotely?
Graduate students are expected to work on campus through Friday, December 11, as university offices will remain open. If you have any questions, please contact your supervisor. 

Will employees continue to work on campus when students transition to remote?
Yes. University offices will remain open. Employees will continue to work on campus as usual.

How will the university notify the SEU community of cases on campus?
The university will be using a dashboard to notify the campus about cases. The dashboard can be found here

We have also developed a series of operational postures. These five phases will be based on factors unique to the university, including cases on campus, adherence to health and safety guidelines and isolation beds. For more information on each phase, click here.

What are the university’s COVID-19 protocols for students?
The university’s protocols for COVID-19 for students can be viewed in the Student COVID-19 Guide.

Are students required to wear masks on campus?
Students will be required to wear face masks while in classes to protect one another and our community. While face masks don’t protect you from getting sick, they do protect you from spreading respiratory illness to others. While in spaces where social distancing is not available, face masks will be required.

Will communal areas and lobbies have occupancy limitations?
Common gathering areas on campus will have limited occupancy based on CDC recommendations. Additional social spaces will be created outdoors with permanent tents and activities, such as corn hole, spike ball, etc.

If I have questions about the university’s response to COVID-19, who do I contact?
For any questions regarding COVID-19, please contact covid@seu.edu.

What will classes be like in the fall?
We believe that face-to-face instruction is paramount for the student experience. When the 2020-21 academic year commences in the fall, faculty will be providing face-to-face instruction along with virtual options as well. All traditional courses will be offered in a hybrid format.Hybrid refers to content both in MyFire and in physical classrooms.

Currently plans call for a 50 percent occupancy rate in the classrooms, which will allow for social distancing. Faculty will create a seating chart 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

Will study abroad trips take place in the fall?
At this point, all study abroad programs for the fall semester have been cancelled, and most domestic programs have been canceled for the entire year. All students participating in study abroad trips should have received an email about the cancellation of their program. If you were scheduled to participate in one of these programs, please contact your academic advisor.

What if students are feeling sick, but they do not want to miss class?
Students are encouraged to not go to class if they are not feeling well, or are showing any symptoms of illness. Classes will be available to view from the comfort of your dorm room in the event of any illness.

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.

How will the university identify individuals who might have been exposed to COVID-19 in the classroom?
In the classroom, SEU will incorporate assigned seating should there be a need to help identify students who may have been exposed to an illness in a classroom environment.

I am concerned about returning to campus and taking face-to-face classes. Who should I contact?
Traditional undergraduate students who are concerned about returning to campus in the fall due to having a compromised immune system or other concerns related to COVID-19 may connect with the Office of Academic Advising advising@seu.edu regarding options for continuing their education.

Will adjustments be made to tuition and fees if courses are taught in a hybrid format or remotely?
There are no plans to adjust or remove fees for the 2020-21 academic year.

Southeastern University is committed to providing excellent teaching and learning experiences, through face-to-face, hybrid and remote instruction. As the university has invested in instructional design of courses, their delivery and associated materials, the university will not offer reimbursement or a discount tuition if classes are offered in a hybrid or remote format.

Whether through hybrid, remote or face-to-face instruction, our faculty will provide the same premier education. Charges for tuition and student services continue to help cover ongoing operations such as the delivery of instruction and the cost of student services such as registration, financial aid, and academic advising.

The main standard of quality for our courses remains the same whether they are taught in person or remotely: our courses must involve regular and substantive instructor interaction with students. Despite the delivery format, faculty and instructors are still able to:

  • Provide regular instruction and interact regularly with their students. 
  • Provide full and substantive assessments and regular feedback on students’ coursework.
  • Be proactive and available in providing information or responding to students’ questions about the content of the course. 

For more information, please see the full Refund Policy in the Academic Catalog.

What precautions is SEU taking against COVID-19 within housing?
Our residence life, health and wellness, and facilities teams have been working closely together to prevent, monitor and trace infection outbreaks among resident students. To create a healthy environment for our students, all residence halls will only be open to residents of those facilities. We are ensuring all residence halls will have dedicated housekeeping staff to take other health and safety measures in cleaning. University members are required to wear masks in common areas where they are not able to maintain 6 feet social distancing from one another.

What precautions is SEU taking against exposure to illnesses within its dining services?
Chartwells, our food service provider, has been working with our teams in all dining areas (including Tuscana, Mi Casa and the Food Court) to design a custom plan for our campus. All eateries will be open this fall with many to-go options and all dining areas will be continuously wiped and sanitized throughout the day. Seating will also adjust according to the guidelines suggested by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Our food service teams are proactively working to offer creative menus to accommodate a variety of scenarios.

Can students use their meal plans in the Buena Vida food court?
Yes. We are pleased to offer the following Buena Vida meal exchange options.

  • Back Yard Burger = double cheeseburger or a hot dog + medium fountain drink
  • Papa John’s = Personal pizza + medium fountain drink
  • Einstein Bros. Bagel = bagel and schmear + medium drip coffee or turkey, egg and cheese sandwich + medium coffee

What is SEU doing to ensure the sanitization and safety of the campus?
We are taking extra precautions in preparation for students returning in the fall. On a regular basis we will be using state-of-the-art sterilizing fogging machines along with industrial antiviral solutions throughout the campus.

Hand sanitizer stations have been installed outside every classroom and in high traffic areas. In addition, portable handwashing stations are now situated around campus to encourage frequent hand washing.

We are also taking intentional precautions to ensure that your dorm room, classrooms, and community areas are clean and thoroughly sanitized.

UV Lighting, which is proven to kill mold spores and other microorganisms, has been installed throughout several of our campus HVAC systems. Air ionizing equipment has also been installed, which will improve the air quality of our campus facilities and classrooms.

Will residential students undergo daily health screenings?
SEU students can play their part of being a healthy citizen in reducing the spread of COVID-19 through taking their temperatures every day. Each on-campus student will be given a thermometer, sanitizer and an SEU branded mask when they move in. Students will administer self-symptom checks on a daily basis and be required to record their data on our custom database.

How will campus dining services change in the fall?
SEU is working with Chartwells, our dining services vendor, to ensure that the health and safety of students, faculty and staff are being considered. When dine-in service is possible, it will include distance spacing between tables and seats. Self-service buffet options will be eliminated. Facilities will include extensive signage. A greater range of pre-made and to-go options will be made available to limit in-person contact.

What if I need access to Microsoft Office for my classes, but I do not have it?
SEU Information Technology (IT) offers Microsoft Office 365 to students at no charge. If you would like access to this free service, call the IT Help Desk at 863.667.5028 or visit their website at helpdesk.seu.edu and submit a request for an account to be created.

Will adjustments be made to room and board fees if COVID-19 forces classes to be taught remotely?
SEU fully intends to keep residence halls open throughout the fall semester with precautions in place to support a healthy environment. If COVID-19 conditions force classes to shift to a remote-learning format, it is our expectation that students who need to stay on campus will be allowed to remain in the residence halls if necessary.

If a student chooses to leave their residence hall, the housing agreement will remain in place and they will be responsible for the duration of the agreement.

For more information, please see the full Refund Policy in the Academic Catalog.

Will there be any changes to the campus bookstore?
There is a limited in-store capacity.

How should I go about ordering or purchasing textbooks from the campus bookstore?
Students are highly encouraged to place orders for textbooks online at www.seustore.com and choose in-store pick up at checkout. Online orders may take 24-48 hours before they are ready for pick up. An Order Update Email will be sent when the order is ready for pick up. If students prefer to shop in-store, they are encouraged to obtain their book list for the semester prior to entering the store by going to www.txbk.info/seu.

When are SEU bookstore rentals due?
All rental books for the fall semester are due on Wednesday, December 23. Rentals can be checked in the bookstore before leaving campus or shipped to the bookstore. If you plan on returning your books in store, you must return them during normal business hours. Please do not return the rentals to the mailroom or the library.

If I plan to return home before the end of the semester and I still need my rentals, how can I return my books?
Students planning to return home for the remainder of the semester can ship their rentals to the bookstore. Please note shipping your rentals back to the store is at the student’s expense. The bookstore highly recommends shipping your books back via FedEx or UPS and keeping the tracking number. 

How do I print my shipping label to return my rental to the SEU bookstore?
To print your packing slip, follow these instructions:

  • Sign in to your account using the same email address you provided at the register in store or entered when you rented online. Note: If you don’t know your password, that’s okay – just click “Forgot Password” to reset. 
  • Once you’ve signed in, you will be navigated to the Rentals page to view your Rental Account Information and Rental History. 
  • Click “Return all Rentals by Mail” and follow the steps to print your packing slip.
  • Print your packing slip, and include it in your rental shipment. Your packing slip is crucial to include in your box – it identifies you, what you’re returning, and where to send your rentals.

You will ship your rentals back to the below address:

SEU Bookstore
1000 Longfellow Blvd.
Lakeland, FL 33801

If I have questions about my rentals from the SEU bookstore, who should I contact?
You can contact the SEU bookstore through email at seubookstore@seu.edu or call 863.667.5048. Please note that hours may vary after Thanksgiving. Continue to check their website for updated hours. 

Will there be any new policies or offerings from the library?
While in the Steelman Library, students are encouraged to maintain social distancing (at least 6 feet apart) and wear masks when social distancing is not possible. The library offers several online resources including library.seu.edu, which offers access to databases and books. The library faculty also provide reference help through their “Ask a Librarian” website. The library will also offer front-door pick up of materials. For questions, students should contact library@seu.edu.

How can I access resources from the Library remotely?
The library has several helpful options for you to be able to access their resources. You can access the library online at library.seu.edu. The library faculty also will be providing reference help through their “Ask a Librarian” website. To access this resource, go to the library website, and click on the “Ask a Librarian” link on the top of the website. 

If you have any questions, you can reach out to the library at library@seu.edu

What are the university’s COVID-19 protocols for employees?
The university’s protocols for COVID-19 for employees can be found in the SEU Employee COVID-19 guide.

What should I do if I am considered a part of a vulnerable population?
High-risk employees are defined as persons greater than or equal to 65 years old; those with chronic serious illnesses such as hypertension, coronary artery disease and diabetes; pregnancy; and/or immunodeficiency from medications or medical conditions.If you are part of a vulnerable population and are not able to complete your work remotely, please contact the Human Resources office.

How will the university implement social distancing measures?
Social distancing recommendations must be followed by all employees. This might mean certain offices that are communal and do not allow for appropriate social distancing (6 feet between workspaces) will need to develop alternative work schedules to ensure employee safety. Your supervisor will explain the specific steps that will be implemented for your office.

Are employees required to wear face masks
Yes. SEU Community members (faculty, staff and students) are required to wear face masks while in buildings and communal areas. Face masks are not required in private offices. In spaces where social distancing is not available, face masks will be required.

Will the university screen employees for symptoms?
All staff will be screened each morning when they enter the campus. This will involve temperature and symptom checks.

What should I do if I have a family member who has tested positive for COVID-19?
Individuals who have been in close contact (less than 6 feet away without a mask for more than 15 minutes) with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 will need to quarantine for at least 14 days and notify their supervisors. It is important that these individuals contact their health practitioners to inform them that they have been in contact with someone with COVID-19. These guidelines should be followed when employees have family members who test positive for COVID-19 and reside in the same household as them.

What happens if I am sick, but I have already exhausted my sick time and all other forms of paid time off?
Depending on the circumstances, you may be entitled to a job-protected leave of absence under the Family and Medical Leave Act or the Americans with Disabilities Act. Placement on an unpaid personal leave for a specified period of time may also be an available option. Contact 863-667-5248 if you have any questions regarding benefits continuation options.

What should I do if I think I may have COVID-19?
Employees that are showing symptoms of COVID-19 are expected to stay home and notify their supervisors. These employees should use remote work, their leave accruals (sick/vacation days) or unpaid leave.

If I am diagnosed with COVID-19, who should I notify and what are my leave benefits?
In such an event, you should notify the COVID case manager at covid@seu.edu. You should also let your supervisor know that you will be absent due to illness, but you are not required to disclose your medical diagnosis to them. Sick time can be used for the absence. 

Where can I view the campus reopening plans?
Visit our Back to SEU web page, where you will find our full reopening plans, student guide, and more helpful links.

How can I get answers to the questions I have as a parent of an SEU student?
If you have questions that are not answered in the other FAQs, or on our Back to SEU web page, please email covid@seu.edu and the university will respond to your question.

What is the coronavirus?
The 2019 novel coronavirus, now known as COVID-19, is a member of a large family of viruses, which can cause a variety of illnesses in animals and humans. Like all members of the coronavirus family, it has a single strand of RNA to carry its genetic code. Among those with the illness, the severity has varied from simple “cold symptoms” all the way up to death. The fraction of those with a severe infection is a small portion of the total number infected with coronavirus, based on initial data.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s routinely updated situation summary is the best source for up-to-date information. The Florida Health Department has also posted a coronavirus information page.

For information on how the coronavirus is spread and treated, make sure to refer to the CDC website.

How can a person protect themselves from the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19)?
There are several measures which reduce the likelihood of getting or spreading the virus:

  • Regularly wash your hands and use alcohol-based hand sanitizers
  • Wear a mask or face covering when social distancing (at least 6 feet apart) cannot be maintained
  • Cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze
  • Do not share food or drinks
  • Avoid close contact with people who have fever, coughing, sneezing or difficulty breathing

What are the symptoms of the 2019 coronavirus (COVID-19)?
According to the CDC, people with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

How is Southeastern protecting the SEU community?
To ensure the safety and health of the SEU community, the university has appointed the COVID-19 Recovery Task Force (CRT). The team is responsible for ensuring that a plan is in place in response to the pandemic. You can view the university’s playbook for response and recovery here.

I am a student; what should I do if I think I may have COVID-19?
Students who are showing symptoms of COVID-19 are expected to stay in their residences (at home or in their dorm rooms) and immediately notify the SEU COVID case manager at covid@seu.edu. Students can expect a reply within two hours with information about next steps for testing and/or isolation, if appropriate. After business hours and on weekends, students should call 863-600-4066 for guidance.

Is the campus currently open to visitors?
At this time, Security is continuing to check SEU IDs at the main gate to campus. The names of any visitors to campus should be sent in advance to David Bright and Security along with the date and time of the visit. Also, visitors should stop by the Welcome Center for a symptom check before proceeding to meetings on campus. 

Where can I find the SEU virtual visit?
Please visit SEU.edu/virtualvisit for a virtual campus experience.

Is the campus currently conducting in-person tours and visits?
At this time, both virtual and in-person campus visits are being conducted.SEU will be taking appropriate steps to ensure the health and safety of our campus visitors as well as that of our community. Campus visitors will need to register and complete a precautionary health survey prior to their scheduled visit date. Upon arrival, all guests will need to check in at the main gate and present identification. Symptom and temperature attendants will be stationed at various welcoming points across campus and SEU employees as well as guests will be assessed upon arrival. Personal campus visits will include a personalized tour and information session and will follow all CDC-recommended social distancing protocols.

Register for an in-person visit here. 

Are visitors required to wear masks on campus?
Yes. Following SEU’s postures and protocols, all visitors are required to wear face masks while in buildings and in communal areas. While in spaces where social distancing is not available, face masks will be required.

Will the Fall 2020 commencement ceremony be held in person?

An in-person ceremony for our Fall 2020 graduates is scheduled for Sunday, November 22, in Lakeland, Florida. The ceremony will take place at 4:30 p.m. at Victory Field on Southeastern’s campus. Spring 2020 graduates are also invited to participate in this ceremony. 

Each graduate will receive two tickets for guests. The service will also be live-streamed for families and friends to attend virtually. 

Are Fall 2020 graduates able to participate in the Spring 2021 commencement ceremony as well?
No. Fall graduates will not be able to participate in the Spring 2021 commencement ceremony. 

If I am a Spring 2020 graduate, will I be able to participate in the Fall 2020 commencement ceremony?
Yes. Spring 2020 graduates are invited to participate in the in-person Fall commencement ceremony. Be sure to check your email account with details on how to apply to participate and to order regalia. 

Is there a deadline to participate in the fall commencement ceremony?

Yes. Spring 2020 and fall 2020 graduates must complete the commencement participation application form by noon on Wednesday, October 14, to participate in the ceremony. Fall graduates need to complete this form. Spring graduates can complete this form

What about other graduation recognition events?
Any information about specialized graduate recognition events (e.g. departmental events, graduate receptions, hooding ceremonies, etc.) will be provided by the event sponsor. 

Southeastern University has made the following decisions in response to coronavirus/COVID-19.

  • October 7, 2020: View our blog for prior updates.
  • September 28, 2020: View our blog for prior updates.
  • August 18, 2020: View our blog for prior updates.
  • July 13, 2020: View our blog for prior updates.
  • June 1, 2020: View our blog for prior updates.
  • May 15, 2020: View our blog for prior updates.
  • May 1, 2020: View our blog for prior updates.
  • April 28, 2020: View our blog for prior updates.
  • April 17, 2020: View our blog for prior updates.
  • April 3, 2020: View our blog for prior updates.
  • April 1, 2020: View our blog for prior updates.
  • March 27, 2020: View our blog for prior updates.
  • March 20, 2020: View our blog for prior updates.
  • March 16, 2020: View our blog for prior updates.
  • March 13, 2020: Watch a video message from SEU President, Dr. Kent Ingle.
  • March 13, 2020: View our blog for prior updates.
  • March 11, 2020: Watch a video message from SEU President, Dr. Kent Ingle.