Undergraduate Students

We are excited to welcome our new students and welcome back our returning Dolphins.

In order to do this safely, you will find some details below about guidelines for health and wellness, classroom expectations, updates to our housing, dining, and recreation experience, as well as guidelines for visitors, student athletes, and financial assistance. We are committed to your health and safety, and we will need your help to continue to maintain a healthy campus.

Plan Details

Health & Wellness

Maintaining a healthy campus and safe learning environment is rooted in three critical habits:

  • Keeping 6 feet of physical distance between yourself and others
  • Wearing face coverings
  • Washing your hands frequently

Research shows these three daily practices, performed together, are a highly effective way to protect your health and that of everyone around you. 

While the University continues to closely monitor guidance and recommendations from public health experts at the CDC and our partners at the Mayo Clinic, currently we plan to designate areas of campus where masks will be required, such as academic buildings and dining facilities. There will be many areas of campus where you are free to remove your mask if you like, such as outdoor areas where it’s easier to keep a 6-foot distance from others. For this reason, the University is enhancing and adding more of these outdoor spaces around campus.

At least two weeks before returning to campus, all students and University employees will be asked to closely monitor their health and look for COVID-19 symptoms, especially fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Anyone experiencing symptoms should be tested for the virus before returning to campus. Further instructions will be shared later this summer regarding the process for anyone who tests positive during this 2-week period before the semester begins. 

Students are encouraged to complete a medical history form within the Student Health Center’s Electronic Medical Records to help the SHC better support any students with high-risk factors. More information about this is coming soon.

Guests and visitors to campus must review a medical disclosure statement acknowledging that they have followed a series of steps to check their health and that they will comply with University policies, including bringing a mask to wear on campus.

In line with CDC recommendations, everyone on campus is expected to wear face coverings in buildings that are clearly marked as mask-required areas, and in classrooms, labs and experiential learning settings. We will share more details later this summer about new signage on campus that identifies mask-required areas. 

Note: As of 5:00 p.m. on Monday, June 29, 2020, the City of Jacksonville requires wearing a mask in indoor areas and public areas where you cannot socially distance. Jacksonville University is subject to this order.

The University will provide every student, faculty and staff member a JU-branded, reusable face mask that can be washed. Students should plan to bring additional face coverings as a backup. Look for more details on how the University is distributing these masks as we approach the start of the fall semester.

N95 masks, surgical masks, gloves, shoe covers, and gowns are not recommended for general academic use and should be reserved for emergency responders and healthcare professionals. In applied academic settings where students and/or faculty may be working in close proximity for an extended period of time, plastic face shields may be recommended in addition to face coverings. Faculty will use their discretion in determining whether this additional measure is necessary as a class PPE requirement.

It’s also recommended that you wear face coverings in any scenario where you will be interacting with others, even if you can maintain 6 feet of physical space. Research shows face coverings, when combined with hand washing and physical distance, is extremely effective in preventing the spread of the virus. 

Our partners at Aramark have adjusted their cleaning protocols on campus to align with expert guidance and federal recommendations. They will increase the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting high-traffic, high-touch common areas, including bathrooms, classrooms, lounges, and dining areas.  

It’s important to note: the best way to prevent the spread of germs is to wash your hands frequently, wear a face covering, and keep your distance from others.

The University is also installing more hand sanitizing stations and disinfectant surface wipe dispensers throughout campus buildings for students, faculty, and staff to use. Every member of our campus is expected to do their part to maintain a healthy campus by wiping down high-touch surfaces such as desks, keyboards, keys, cell phones, and classroom tools or instruments. 

Maintaining at least 6 feet of physical space from others is an important element of illness prevention, along with washing hands and wearing face coverings. And in our new reality, it’s an important sign of your respect for those around you.

This fall, living, learning, and working together in our campus community will require a greater awareness of those around us and respect for their wishes. Social distancing is about others, more than it is about ourselves. You may feel comfortable standing within 6 feet of a friend or professor, but they may not.  

The University is also adjusting seating areas and classroom layouts to ensure enough physical space can be maintained. You will notice floor decals and signs reminding you to maintain your distance from others, as well as clear shields in reception and office areas. Those who are able should use the stairs as we work to limit elevators to just two people.

We have enhanced and expanded outdoor seating areas to encourage everyone to meet and interact with each other outside where there is more space and fresh air. The University will adhere to current recommendations for limiting the number of people in a gathering, which is currently 10 people. This is subject to change as recommendations are updated.

Every member of our campus bears a personal responsibility to closely monitor their own health and stay aware of how they’re feeling. This means self-health checks should become part of our daily routine. If you aren’t feeling well and have a fever, you should stay home or in your room. Please do not come to campus or go to class, and contact the Student Health Center at (904) 256-8080 immediately to make an appointment. Students should work directly with their professors to report absences due to illness.

COVID-19 testing is available through the Student Health Center located on the first floor of the Health Sciences Complex. Fees may apply. The Student Health Center is open Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Students should call (904) 256-8080 to make an appointment or seek urgent advice if they are having symptoms for recommendations on evaluation and testing. The City of Jacksonville offers multiple other testing locations that can be viewed online.

The University has developed a detailed plan to assist students who test positive for COVID-19 and to minimize the risk to others on our campus. Working with our new Student Health Center, we are prepared to test individuals for the virus if they are experiencing symptoms, and to develop an immediate response plan to ensure they are isolated off-campus and have access to the care they need. We have designated space on campus to quickly quarantine anyone who cannot isolate themselves off-campus and who may have been exposed. We will guide students who must isolate on campus through daily health checks and also work with JU Dining Services to ensure meals are delivered to them.

Academics & Classrooms

Jacksonville University’s goal is to offer as much in-person instruction and hands-on learning as we safely can. To do that, each person must take appropriate safety precautions in line with guidance from the CDC and other public health experts. 

The University will offer a combination of in-person instruction in the classroom and online formats such as live streaming, recorded lectures, and online assignments. This model allows us to continue providing high-quality educational experiences while maintaining a healthy campus.

In line with the latest guidance from public health experts, all students and faculty are required to wear masks in the classroom, even when maintaining appropriate physical distance. Labs, service learning and applied learning courses may require more personal protective gear. These requirements will be determined by the faculty member teaching the course or the partner organization.

Jacksonville University’s small class sizes work to our benefit under this plan. Classrooms will be reconfigured with room-specific layouts to maintain the appropriate physical distance among all individuals. Some course sections may be moved to larger rooms or split into smaller groups. Please check your course schedule for updated classroom assignments.

Any student seeking health-related accommodations should contact the Office of Disability Support Services at dss@ju.edu.

Many public health experts advise that the nation could see another spike in COVID-19 cases in late fall, coinciding with the start of flu season. If this does occur, it presents a greater risk for members of our community as we return to campus from traveling to see our families during the Thanksgiving break. 

To address this possibility -- and in consideration of helpful input from our outside consultants, faculty, senior leaders, and our own students and families -- Jacksonville University has modified our 2020-2021 academic calendar to start the fall semester one week early, on August 17, 2020. We will complete all fall courses by November 24, 2020, ahead of the Thanksgiving break. This allows students more time with their families during the holidays, reduces the need for more travel through busy airports during flu season, and may reduce the risk to our campus. 

RN-BSN and Adult Degree seeking students have slightly different academic calendars. Please refer to the Graduate & Professional Studies information to learn more.

The changes to the 2020-21 academic calendar allow the University to offer a shorter, fully online winter term. All classes in the winter term will be discounted at $300 per credit hour. The winter semester, which is optional, is designed for students who would like to continue earning credits during the longer break and accelerate their path to graduation. The term begins on Monday, December 7, 2020, and ends on Friday, January 15, 2021. More details regarding the course offerings in this new term will be announced later this summer.

In-Classroom Technology

The University will upgrade technology in nearly 100 classrooms to allow faculty to live stream their classes to students attending virtually while also having students physically in the classroom. The upgrades will allow virtual students to see, hear, and speak to the faculty and students in the physical room. 

Laptop Requirement

In order to fully benefit from the hybrid instruction model this fall, all current and incoming students must own or have access to a laptop computer and/or other appropriate technology to adequately support access to virtual course work. This also enhances our ability to quickly pivot to online learning formats in response to any health or safety issues that may arise.

Learn more about the laptop requirement.

Service Learning classes, Internships, and Applied Learning classes will be permitted in line with social distancing guidelines, and as long as the agency/organization allows JU students into their facilities. In lab courses, additional personal protective gear may be required.

In our Fine Arts programs applied study, including studio, one-on-one music instruction and rehearsals will be accomplished in spaces large enough for proper social distancing (including outdoor spaces) with the use of masks and shields as feasible per the discipline.  We continue to monitor the research and literature on best practices for performing arts applied instruction. 

Our international students are very important to us, and we are committed to working closely with them to address their unique needs. The University is monitoring decisions made at the federal level and we will work to offer flexible options that allow our international students to continue their education at JU. As these decisions are finalized, the University will communicate directly with impacted students. Any international students with questions are encouraged to reach out to Louis Reich at lrattin@ju.edu for assistance.

Housing

The safety, well-being, and comfort of everyone who lives on our campus is important to us. This fall, living in community together safely will require a greater measure of respect, responsibility, and flexibility from every member of our campus. 

The University’s partners at Aramark will increase the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting high-touch, high-traffic common areas in the residential halls, particularly common-area bathrooms. Students must be diligent about keeping their own living areas clean and sanitary. Remember that the best way to prevent the spread of illness or unwanted germs is frequently washing hands, wearing face coverings in public, and staying 6 feet away from others. 

Students are strongly encouraged to develop living agreements with their roommates, outlining expectations for cleaning/sanitizing, physical distancing, and any other concerns or issues related to personal health. Unless they are JU students, guests/visitors will not be permitted in the residence halls after move-in week.

The University has worked hard this summer to maximize existing space on campus in order to offer greater flexibility to residential students, such as opportunities for single room buy-outs for the 2020-2021 academic year. Single room buy-outs were granted on a first-come, first-served basis, allowing students to choose a community housing option that aligns with their comfort level.

As we welcome students back to campus this fall, we recognize some may have concerns about personal health risks related to COVID-19. The Residential Life staff is here to support and assist students who wish to use our Medical Housing Accommodations process. The Office of Residential Life partners closely with the Office of Disability Support Services to offer students who have unique needs or considerations for community-style living. Please reach out to housing@ju.edu with any questions about this process. 

Welcoming students to campus is important to our Residential Life team. Move-in is an introduction to your home and new community, and it’s a memorable time in the life of every college student. We want you to enjoy this experience and stay safe at the same time.  

This year, the University is introducing a new move-in experience for both new and returning students with the goal of limiting the number of people in hallways and common areas at the same time. This new process expands move-in over the course of several days, from August 11-15, and offers students more flexibility in choosing a move-in day and time that works best for you. For immuno-compromised or high-risk individuals, JU is offering a separate move-in time on August 11th (new students) and August 12th (returning students). 

All new and returning students will select a check-in time slot through the Housing Portal. In July, Residential Life staff will email students a link and more details on the check-in process, including guidance on physical distancing and face coverings. It’s important to note, these dates and plans are subject to change as we closely adhere to state and federal guidelines related to COVID-19. 

Your self-selected time represents your check-in window when you should plan to arrive on campus and check in at your Residential Hall. All students are urged to finish setting up their space on their selected move-in day to give other students and families the space they need to safely move in during subsequent time slots.

Move-In Guest Policy

We know family and friends are typically a big part of the move-in experience, particularly among our first-year students, and we welcome that. This year, to help with our goal of limiting foot traffic in hallways and lobby areas, we ask students to limit their guests to two people per student during move-in. 

Additionally, in order to keep the common areas clear for students in subsequent time slots, we ask that guests avoid the residence halls after their student’s designated move-in day. We encourage you and your guests to check out some of the fun activities we are planning on campus and around town during the rest of your visit!

Dining

JU Dining Services is committed to providing a safe, healthy and delicious dining experience to everyone on the Jacksonville University campus. To do this, we are making several modifications and enhancements that offer our dining guests more flexibility and variety.

While indoor seating capacity will be limited according to CDC guidelines, the University is enhancing and expanding several outdoor seating areas and adding indoor overflow seating in some areas. Meanwhile, we are expanding hours of operation at some of our dining facilities for those who want to avoid peak service hours. We will also modify the flow of foot traffic to promote safe and speedy service, create a no-contact meal plan swipe procedure, expand Grab-n-Go meal options, and add more dining locations on campus where students can use their meal plan swipes.

As part of our commitment to be good environmental stewards, Jacksonville University works diligently to minimize our use of plastic cutlery, serving utensils and other single-use items. Therefore, this fall, we will safely employ reusable service wares and cutlery, which will be washed and sanitized twice in an industrial, high-temperature dishwasher before every use.

Food service stations have been redesigned to create only full-service options (eliminating self-serve buffets) with more plexiglass separators, and we have added even more pre-packaged items, including beverages and condiments. Barring adverse weather, we will feature pop-up culinary stations outside, as well as food trucks that have been vetted through our strict safety guidelines. Students can use their flex dollars at these outdoor options.

We will offer more Grab-n-Go options to help improve the speed of service and facilitate diners who choose to eat in the newly-expanded outdoor eating areas. Additionally, for dining guests who live in residential halls or apartments with kitchens, we will now offer Meal Kit options that students can cook at home. Beginning this fall, River House Pub and Waves will accept meal plan swipes.

All dining employees must pass an on-site temperature check before starting their shift and are required to wear face coverings at all times. Any employee experiencing a fever or other symptoms will not be permitted to work. As part of our standard policies, JU Dining employees are trained in safe food handling twice a year (prior to fall and spring semesters), and are now undergoing enhanced training related to current best practices and ongoing safety guidelines. JU Dining Services also has hired additional staff to support the enhanced level of sanitation and updated food safety policies.

JU Dining Services is increasing the frequency of cleaning and sanitizing our dining facilities in line with CDC guidance and industry best practices. This includes more frequent cleaning of high-touch areas such as tables, chairs, counter tops, door knobs, cart handles and cashier stations. Sections of our dining facilities may be closed at appropriate times to allow for deep cleaning and disinfecting. 

After cleaning, employees will place signs on tables to let diners know they have been recently disinfected and are safe for use. Our culinary team sanitizes the kitchen between meal periods, between team members changing shifts and between tasks.  

Read more about how we’re working to keep our dining facilities safe. 

Campus Life & Activities

In consideration for all of our community members, students are accountable for upholding the JU Code of Conduct. The code states students should contribute to the development and sustenance of a community characterized by respect, caring and honesty. This expectation calls for behavior which demonstrates the five principles of student conduct: respect for oneself, respect for others, respect for property, respect for authority, and honesty.

Our location in warm, sunny Northeast Florida has its advantages -- particularly when being outside is considered a safer option. Student Life is excited to offer plenty of outdoor recreational activities for students this fall. 

Intramural sports will focus on low-contact options that can be played outside, such as spike ball, beach volleyball, corn hole, and fishing. As much as possible, we will move group fitness classes outside and will add new outdoor options such as high-intensity interval training and boot camps. 

This fall, JU’s fitness center will feature all-new equipment. Capacity will be limited for individual workouts inside the fitness center, in line with CDC guidelines. To assist with capacity limits, students and University employees can reserve time slots through a virtual reservation system that will be shared later this summer. Staff will clean and sanitize the fitness center and the equipment in between workout time slots and the center will receive a deep cleaning at the end of each day. Face coverings will be required for fitness center staff but not for those exercising. 

The pool will be open with limited capacity and pool chairs will be placed at least 6 feet apart. The JAX eSports lounge will also open with limited capacity to allow for appropriate physical spacing.

Student organizations and clubs are encouraged to use Blackboard Collaborate, Skype for Business, or Microsoft Teams to host virtual meetings with group members. In-person gatherings of student groups are limited to 10 people, in line with published guidelines, and should be conducted outdoors when possible. Any in-person meetings must offer alternative meeting formats to accommodate anyone who is uncomfortable meeting in person. External guests -- individuals who are not students, faculty, or staff of Jacksonville University -- are not permitted at student events. 

Leaders of registered student organizations are required to attend the Virtual Student Organization meeting held at the beginning of the academic year.

Sororities and fraternities may conduct fully virtual or hybrid fall recruitment activities in accordance with the standards established by their organization’s national leadership. 

Events

For the safety of everyone on our campus, Jacksonville University will begin the fall semester with a strict limitation on large events, in accordance with guidance from public health officials. Many of our traditional events will be reimagined in a virtual setting, such as New Student Orientation this summer. Others, including Matriculation, will be canceled for 2020. Tailgating also will not be permitted on campus under current guidelines.

In September, as we approach Homecoming and Family Weekend, the Fall Planning Committee will work with University leadership to re-evaluate the policy on large events in light of any updated public health recommendations.

Our Performing Arts Series will be fully virtual through mid-October, and will include a combination of live-streamed and pre-recorded events from our performance and exhibition spaces. We hope to transition to live and socially distanced audiences with reduced hall capacities beginning in mid-October to continue through the Spring semester, while continuing select events virtually. We are making preparations to extend and/or expand the virtual delivery model as necessitated by COVID and University protocol for event gatherings.

Athletics

Jacksonville Athletics coordinates very closely with the NCAA and other conference officials. We also closely follow recommendations and guidelines from the NCAA’s Sports Science Institute, which focuses on protecting the health and safety of college athletes. Our policies are continuously evaluated against these governing bodies to ensure alignment with the latest scientific research and public health guidance. 

This fall, Division I athletics will look a little different as we focus on prioritizing the health and safety of our student-athletes. For students, faculty, staff, and fans, this means we will be cheering on the Dolphins virtually.

For the safety of our student-athletes, spectators will not be permitted in the stands at the beginning of the semester. Throughout the semester, as public health guidance allows for the safe return of spectators, we will allow a limited number of fans in the stands, in a phased approach and based on the capacity and layout of each athletics venue. While we understand this is disappointing for season ticket holders, it’s also disappointing for student-athletes who won’t have dedicated fans cheering for them, at least initially. We encourage fans to show their support in other ways -- by watching competitions via live stream and sharing words of encouragement via social media.

As permitted by conference officials, Jacksonville Athletics will allow student-athletes to return to campus beginning this summer for limited workouts and training. At this time, their return will not be required. Student-athletes, Athletics staff and coaches must follow University policies regarding social distancing and face coverings, with exceptions allowed during exercise activities.

Our student-athletes frequently travel to compete against other teams. For this reason, and in line with NCAA guidance, all JU student-athletes will be tested for COVID-19 using the NCAA Point of Care Test recommended by the Sports Science Institute. 

Our facility partners at Aramark will increase the frequency and level of cleaning within Jacksonville Athletics facilities and training areas, while Athletics staff will supplement with additional disinfecting throughout the day after heavy use/traffic. Whenever possible, teams will train and practice outside where they can maintain appropriate physical distance. 

Student Financial Assistance

We understand many families are facing challenges and weighing difficult decisions regarding their health, safety, and financial situation. The Office of Student Financial Services is here to support you. We work to remove barriers, not create them. Our goal is to help students finish their education here at Jacksonville University and earn a degree. 

In an effort to better serve and assist students and families, the University is making some positive changes for the fall semester. First, we are enhancing the flexibility of payment arrangements by expanding the enrollment period for our 6-month payment plan option. Originally this enrollment period was limited to May. We are extending it through August.

Additionally, our team of financial aid professionals is ready to work directly with any family facing unexpected changes in their financial status, whether that is due to the current economic reality caused by COVID-19 or any other significant, unexpected circumstance. In these challenging times, the University has set aside funding to assist students with completing their education, and we invite you to reach out to discuss your financial options.

We also are afforded greater flexibility through a process the U.S. Department of Education calls “Professional Judgment,” which allows us to make adjustments to income information we have on file. Since the FAFSA for the 2020-2021 academic year uses 2018 tax information, there may be a significant difference in the income reflected on your FAFSA and your current income. Using the professional judgment process, we may be able to adjust your FAFSA data elements to more accurately reflect your current income situation and the level of assistance for which you qualify. 

First, there are some important steps to initiate this process: 

  1. Please be sure to complete the FAFSA for the 2020-2021 academic year, if you haven’t already done so. Once completed, you can go to the Student Self-Service Portal to access your financial aid offer notification, view outstanding documents to complete, set up a payment plan, make a payment, and more.
  2. Complete the professional judgment application and submit all supporting documentation. 
  3. Reach out to your financial aid counselor to discuss your unique situation and how we can assist you.

Our Financial Services Team looks forward to working closely with all our students and families to serve as a support system for your needs.

Visitors & Guests

Jacksonville University will welcome visitors and guests back to our campus with a few new requirements designed to protect the health and safety of those who live, work and study here.

  • If you or someone in your household has tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 14 days, or if you are exhibiting symptoms of illness such as fever, cough or shortness of breath, please do not come to campus.
  • All guests and visitors to our campus should bring their own face coverings and wear them in the designated mask-required areas or when interacting with people on campus. Before coming to campus, visitors must review a medical disclosure statement acknowledging that they have followed a series of steps to check their health and that they will comply with University policies, including bringing a mask to wear on campus.
  • For the safety of our campus, all external visitors must confirm they do not have a temperature above 100.4 degrees F. Jacksonville University reserves the right to check the temperature of visitors upon arrival to campus. Those unwilling to comply with policies regarding social distancing and masks will be asked to leave campus.
  • While we are pleased to once again offer campus tours to students and families, we will limit the size of tour groups to promote social distancing.
  • Anyone who is not a JU student will not be permitted in residential halls this fall after move-in week. Also, Athletics recruits may not stay overnight in the residential halls this fall semester. This policy will be reevaluated for the spring semester. External guests are not permitted to attend in-person gatherings of student organizations.

Vendors & Contractors

Vendors or contractors performing work on our campus must comply with the latest safety policies and adhere to University expectations that they have been monitoring their health before arriving on campus grounds. Vendors and contractors working through Aramark Facilities must comply with Aramark Facilities standards for updated check-in and health and safety protocols. Those working through Jacksonville University must submit and obtain approval of their safety disclosure statement and procedures to ensure their efforts are in line with current University mitigation strategies.

Face coverings should be worn while working in any public, indoor setting and at all times while working with others where 6’ physical distance cannot be maintained. Health screenings and temperature checks are recommended daily requirements.

Helpful Contacts