Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve responded to your questions via email, and will continue to do so. For your convenience, answers to frequently asked questions are listed below.
When will we get details on how each class will be delivered?Establishing the impact of social distancing on the capacity of classrooms and labs is among the key protective measures for the return to on-campus instruction for the fall. We expect to have the final determination of the locations and exact delivery methods for each course in early August. Colleges, departments and instructors will contact you then with specific details on how courses will be delivered.
The contract deadline for housing is July 15. How am I supposed to make a decision to live on campus if I don't know whether or not I have in-person classes?University Housing is suspending cancellation fees for the fall 2020 semester due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Students who choose to move out at any time during the fall semester will need to provide a 30-day notice for cancellation.
How does social distancing work for dorm rooms?One or two students will be assigned per bedroom. All beds will be placed 6-feet apart, head-to-head, and need to remain in that location throughout the year. Bunked beds will not be permitted, but students may loft beds for storage.
How can you ensure students in dorms will be safe?All students living in residence halls will receive a bag upon move-in that includes two N-themed face coverings, a thermometer, single hand sanitizer, antiseptic wipes and bandages, and a University Health Center magnet with phone number and COVID-19 symptoms, and information on the 1-Check COVID-19 Screening App.
How will social distancing work in the halls themselves?Study rooms and lounges will have limited capacities. Floor decals will be placed in spaces where lines form. Plexiglass barriers will be installed to reduce contact at service desks. Hand sanitizer stations will be available at entrances to most campus buildings. We are increasing our cleaning and sanitation in high-traffic and high-touch areas across campus.
Are face coverings going to be required?All members of our campus community will be expected to wear face coverings when indoors and when social distancing cannot be observed outside. We will provide two cloth masks to every student and member of the faculty and staff. Learn more about UNL's face covering policy.
Why are we requiring face coverings?We respect and care for ourselves and every person that we encounter on campus. That’s why we wear face coverings – to protect ourselves and others. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the use of masks to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in our communities.
How are face coverings being distributed?Masks will be distributed when students arrive to campus in August. Other distribution details are forthcoming.
How are we enforcing face coverings?The reason we wear masks is to protect ourselves and others. If an individual does not wear a face covering in a setting where one is required, they will be asked to put one on. Any employee, student or visitor who refuses may be asked or directed to leave the campus space. Employees and students who are directed to leave a campus space due to refusal to wear a face covering may be taken off duty and/or be subject to disciplinary action.
What will COVID-19 testing look like on-campus? Are you providing tests to all students?All are encouraged to self-monitor for and report symptoms of COVID-19 by using the “1- Check COVID-19 Screening” app (iOS/Android) developed by the University of Nebraska Medical Center. 1-Check COVID-19 enables individuals to privately answer a series of questions and assess their risk of having COVID-19. Then the app issues a “low risk,” “urgent risk” or “emergent risk” assessment and guides users toward possible next steps specific to their needs. All will participate in testing and contact tracing as necessary and advised based on public health guidance. directed under prescribed protocols.
What does in person instruction mean?We will be prioritizing in-person classes, research and engagement whenever safety conditions make it possible. Our Forward to Fall Task Force is working through the details and planning for how that applies to each course, including class size, schedule, classroom size, and any flexibility that may be needed.
Are all my classes that are currently not available online be meeting in person?At this time, courses designated as in person courses will include in person instruction.
Is the fall semester starting remotely for everyone?Yes. All classes start with remote instruction on Aug. 17. Classes with in person instruction will transition to a traditional classroom and lab setting on Aug. 24
How will we maintain social distance from each other in a lecture hall?The university is working with local health authorities to ensure safety for our campus community and will have information available regarding social distancing and what the room capacity is for specified classrooms, labs or lecture halls.
Will we return after winter break in January or will the spring semester have a delayed start?Nov. 25 is the last day of finals and the 2020 fall semester. A three-week, fall mini session will be available online from Nov. 30 – Dec. 18. Information regarding the spring semester will be forthcoming and will be communicated directly to students through their Husker email account and broadly to campus.
Fall Mini Session
What classes can I take during the Fall Mini Session?Academic advisors are prepared to work with students on how to best leverage the mini session to their advantage once a list of courses being offered is available. The course list is expected to include some new and exciting electives as well as more traditional courses which. are able to be delivered successfully remotely. From an academic standpoint, the additional mini session is an option and even though the regular fall session is slightly condensed, a full-time academic load of 12-15 hours is still reasonable.
How is the university ensuring the safety of students/faculty/staff/university community?Under the guidance of local and national health authorities, the framework for welcoming students back on campus will include actions to address public health concerns in the classrooms; policies for housing dining and student life; and campus events. Everyone on campus will be encouraged to utilize the 1-Check COVID 19 screening app. During the fall semester, testing will be available for anyone on our campus who presents with symptoms and we will work with state and county health organizations to ensure that contact tracing is available
Will buses run the same routes?Campus transportation options — from city buses to Zipcar rentals — remain available. Real-time bus locations, ETAs and route availability is available on UNL Maps. Consult Parking & Transit Services' Campus Bus Service page for more information. To meet increased ridership demand while protecting health, plastic covers have been installed on the backs of each seat.
What about the spring semester?The university will continue to monitor the situation; information regarding the start of the spring semester will be forthcoming and will be communicated both directly to students and broadly to the campus community.
Will there be an August or December commencement?The university will not be conducting a commencement ceremony in August. As we did in May, UNL will confer degrees in a virtual celebration and all graduates will receive gift boxes. Any August 2020 graduates will be invited to attend a future commencement ceremony. A decision regarding December’s commencement will be forthcoming and communicated with our campus community.
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Please feel free to contact us with any other questions.