We are excited to welcome you back to campus. The spring semester is in your hands.
In order to stay safe whie we live, study, work, and play on campus, we've developed detailed procedures and policies for everything from health checks to classroom expectations to housing and dining practices. We are committed to your health and safety, and we need your help to continue to maintain a healthy campus.
This Not That
As much as we all want to see our friends, it's not smart or safe to go to parties or gatherings of 10 or more people. Instead, try…
Take advantage of all that Jax has to offer by inviting your close friends or roommates to go kayaking or on a nature walk. Explore the Cost Trail or Gentry Boardwalk & Nature Preserve on campus. Or, venture out to Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens, Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park, or Tree Hill Nature Center.
Planning or attending a student org. gathering for 10 or more people puts your entire organization at risk of being shut down for this academic year. That doesn't sound fun. Instead, try…
Have a virtual gathering instead. If you have less than 10 people, take your gathering outside where it is easier to socially distance. Virtual gatherings can still be fun! Sick of Zoom already? Try Netflix parties, Jackbox Games, and My Free Bingo Cards. Some tips to make the gathering fun: plan an activity, provide entertainment, have a theme, and/or encourage everyone to bring their favorite food/beverage. Check out the great virtual events planned by @JU_StudentLife for inspiration!
Don't leave a mess for others to clean up, and don't leave your germs for someone else to deal with. Instead, try…
Make an extra effort to keep any shared spaces clean. Wipe down community kitchens, computer labs or study spaces before and after use with sanitizing wipes. Be sure to get on the same page with your roommate about regularly cleaning and sanitizing your room, and do your part to keep campus safe.
Making plans this weekend? Avoid restaurants and bars where it is difficult to socially distance. Instead, try…
Visit an outdoor brewery or restaurant that is enforcing social distancing. Keep your mask on unless you're eating or drinking. Or, if you'd rather stay on campus, grab a to-go meal from the Riverview Cafe and have a picnic along the river with your roommate or a friend.
Don't wear your mask incorrectly, and don't forget to wear your mask indoors. Instead, try…
Make sure you have your mask on in all indoor spaces and spaces that are hard to maintain social distancing. Masks are required by law in Jacksonville, and you can be fined for not wearing one. When you leave your room, it helps to sing the song "keys, wallet, mask, and phone" to the tune of head, shoulders, knees and toes!
Don't be confrontational or aggressive if you see someone without a mask in an indoor space or someone who may not be socially distancing. Instead, try…
If you have a good relationship with the person, use the opportunity to kindly remind them of the importance of wearing masks indoors (it's the law!) and that there can be conduct implications if you do this on campus. If you don't have this type of relationship with them, you can also anonymously report them.
If you feel sick, don't come to campus, even if it is "just a tickle in your throat." Instead, try…
Don't try to be tough! If you aren't feeling well, the most important thing to do is to stay home. If you are a student, call the Student Health Center and if you are an employee, call your healthcare provider. Jacksonville University is committed to making accommodations for you. Send your professor and/or supervisor an email. Faculty and staff have been instructed to be as accommodating as possible. If you have an experience that is less than accommodating, please let us know.
Don't shake hands, share high fives, or hug. Instead, try…
We all know that awkward moment ... when someone sticks their hand out to shake, or opens their arms for a hug. Instead, take a step back and try an air high five, throw up a peace sign, bump elbows, wave, ask for a raincheck or remind them that you're just more comfortable keeping your distance.
Don't forget to stay physically active this year. Instead, try…
Follow @jax_recwell to find out how you can make a reservation at the fitness center and take part in intramural sports! Regular exercise plays a big role in your overall health.
Don't let COVID stop you from making your mental health a priority. Instead, try…
Need guidance about support resources at JU? Want to learn about counseling services on campus? Need some inspiration for your wellness plan? We have launched Dolphin Drop-Ins, a twice-weekly, one-hour virtual space (via Zoom) in which JU students can instantly connect with a counselor and other students to discuss wellness, find answers to their questions, or inquire about counseling. You can also set up a free appointment with the Student Counseling Center.
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 and the DOH, currently we plan to designate areas of campus where masks will be required, such as academic and administrative buildings, residential hall common areas, 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.
- Multi-layer cloth face coverings (must be made with at least two layers of breathable material) are required indoors and in any space where social distancing is not possible (including outdoors).
- Masks must be worn over your nose and mouth and secured under your chin.
- Masks with exhalation valves or vents are not permitted on-campus.
- Open chin triangle bandanas are not permitted on-campus.
- Masks with holes or mesh material are not permitted on-campus.
- Neck gaiter style face coverings are currently permitted, but should not be worn unless no other face covering is available. Neck gaiters worn must be multi-layered. This style of face covering is currently under review by the CDC.
Students who have financial limitations and are in need of an approved face covering should send an email to CareTeam@ju.edu so we can assist you in complying with these policies.
- N95 masks, surgical masks, gloves, shoe covers, and gowns are not for general academic
- N95 masks are required for Student Health Center and Orthodontics program use.
- Procedure masks will be available for Student Health Center, Orthodontics, and Athletic Training program use.
- Gloves will be available as a regular operating expense of the Student Health Center
and Orthodontics program.
- Applied programs can require students to wash hands prior to entering class if there are concerns with passing equipment between students.
- Orthodontics will use additional PPE when dictated by the American Dental Association.
- Plastic face shields
- In applied academic settings where activities are conducted within 6’ of each other for at least 5 minutes, it is recommended faculty and students wear a plastic face shield over their required cloth face covering.
- It will be the faculty member’s discretion to implement this recommendation based on the specifics of their applied academic environment.
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 spring, 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.
- Students and employees must utilize the digital health screening (emailed to them daily) to self-monitor their health. Based on the responses given to the prompted questions, the digital health screening will provide guidance on whether they can proceed to campus or stay home and seek further evaluation.
- If anyone feels sick or “off” they should stay home and contact their healthcare provider (students can contact the Student Health Center at (904) 256-8080) immediately to make an appointment. Students should default to their professor’s instructions on reporting an absence due to COVID symptoms.
- Signage throughout campus will reflect social distancing guidelines.
Free Rapid Testing On Campus
Starting this semester, the Student Health Center will be offering on-site, rapid COVID tests for free to symptomatic students. If you’re experiencing COVID symptoms like nasal congestion, headache, loss of taste or smell, etc., you are eligible for a rapid test through the Student Health Center at no cost. Please note that, if the rapid test is negative, you may be advised to take a PCR test to ensure you are not COVID-positive. If you have questions or want to schedule an appointment, please contact the Student Health Center at (904) 256-8080 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Testing During the Semester
During the semester, our Student Health Center will offer diagnostic COVID-19 testing (antigen and PCR testing) to students who report symptoms or those identified through contact tracing as having had close, prolonged contact with someone who tested positive for the virus. Students who experience symptoms such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath should immediately call the Student Health Center at (904) 256-8080 or their personal health care provider.
The University anticipates individuals on our campus will test positive for COVID-19. Our goal is to contain them, ensure they get the care they need, and minimize the risk to others. We developed a robust quarantine and isolation plan and contact tracing protocol, which we will activate along with the rigorous cleaning and sanitizing of impacted areas once a positive case is reported. Learn more about our quarantine and isolation policies and procedures.
For privacy reasons, the University is unable to share specific information about individuals who test positive, but we will update the campus regularly about active cases at JU and how they impact our operations, if at all. In coordination with the Florida Department of Health and our partners at regional providers such as the Mayo Clinic, the University is constantly evaluating all of the variables that determine how we work, teach, and house our campus community. We look at the current rate of positive cases in our city, the rate of positive cases on campus, available quarantine space on campus, local hospital capacity, and more. As these variables change, the University may adjust operations accordingly as we prioritize the safety of everyone on our campus. Information about the number of cases that have impacted campus is available online.
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.
Jacksonville University has modified our 2020-2021 academic calendar.
- The spring semester will start on January 25, 2021, and end on May 7, 2021.
- There will be no Spring Break. Classes will meet uninterrupted throughout the spring term.
RN-BSN and Adult Degree seeking students have slightly different academic calendars. Please refer to the Graduate & Professional Studies information to learn more.
The University has upgraded 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.
In order to fully benefit from the hybrid instruction model, 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.
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 email@example.com for assistance.
The safety, well-being, and comfort of everyone who lives on our campus is important to us. This spring, 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.
Medical Accommodation for Housing
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 firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions about this process.
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, 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 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. 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 continuing increased 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.
Our expectation is that you will not attend gatherings of more than 10 people and that you will continue wearing masks and social distancing in your free time. This means you should not attend large parties. If you do, we will consider this a violation of the University’s Code of Conduct and a failure to respect the policies we’ve established to keep our campus safe. The University will take swift and decisive action against anyone who recklessly ignores these safety policies and puts others at risk. Violators will be asked to leave campus for two weeks and continue their studies entirely online during that time period.
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.
Intramural sports will focus on low-contact options that can be played outside. 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.
JU’s fitness center will operate at 50% capacity for individual workouts inside the fitness center. 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.
Sororities and fraternities may conduct fully virtual or hybrid activities in accordance with the standards established by their organization’s national leadership.
For the safety of everyone on our campus, Jacksonville University will begin the spring 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. Tailgating also will not be permitted on campus under current guidelines.
- Gatherings and events are limited to 10 individuals or fewer.
- External guests -- individuals who are not students, faculty, or staff of Jacksonville University -- are not permitted at student events.
- Organizations must offer alternative meeting formats to accommodate anyone who is uncomfortable meeting in person.
- Meetings should be conducted outdoors when possible.
- Students have access to Blackboard Collaborate, Skype for Business, and Microsoft Teams, all of which may be used to host meetings virtually.
- Information about Commencement is not available yet.
- Information regarding changes to pinning ceremonies will be emailed directly to students.
- Porter Fest may move forward with social distancing in place. Organizers are investigating a virtual participation option, as well. More information will be released closer to the event.
- For questions regarding fraternities and sororities, please contact the office of Student Engagement and Leadership at email@example.com.
- Fine Arts performances will re-introduce spectators at a limited capacity and with mitigation strategies in place.
- Athletic competitions will begin and will re-introduce spectators at a limited capacity and with mitigation strategies in place.
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.
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.
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.
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. First, we have enhanced the flexibility of payment arrangements.
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:
- 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.
- Complete the professional judgment application and submit all supporting documentation.
- 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.
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.
- Please perform a self-health check using the digital health screening form the day of your planned arrival to campus to ensure you are not exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms and your temperature reading is below 100.4 degrees F.
- 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 after move-in week. Also, Athletics recruits may not stay overnight in the residential halls. External guests are not permitted to attend in-person gatherings of student organizations.
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 must 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.
- Accommodations and Disability Support Services: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Residential Life, Housing, and Dining: email@example.com
- Student Life & Events: firstname.lastname@example.org
- New Students: email@example.com
- Student Financial Assistance: firstname.lastname@example.org or Student Financial Services
- International Students: email@example.com
- General questions related to returning to campus: firstname.lastname@example.org