Dear Methodist University Community,
This is the second of three consecutive days in which I’m sharing with the entire Methodist University community our strategies, guidelines, and protocols for returning to campus for the 2021 Spring Semester.
Yesterday, I shared that we have begun a four-phase plan for students to return to campus, with the final group of students arriving Jan. 30-31. I also shared that to accommodate this calculated, phased return of our residential students, the first two weeks of all undergraduate instruction, Jan. 19-31, will be offered remotely. To review this message and our Phased Return chart, visit.
Today, I’d like to touch on some things students can be doing right now in preparation for their return. Just as holiday travel has influenced a record number of cases statewide, our actions now will influence our ability to offer in-person classes in just a couple of weeks (starting Feb. 1).
Here are some pre-arrival tips/directions/guidelines that can lead us to success:
Green Screen App: If you haven’t already, it’s time to make MU’s health screening app part of your daily routine again. It’s easy, it’s fast, and it’s so important for our health staff to monitor conditions and contact tracing. You can download the app on Google Play or the App Store.
Self-Quarantine: From now until you come to campus, try to lay low and basically self-quarantine as best you can. Don’t go to restaurants (get delivery), stay away from crowds or public spaces, eliminate social gatherings, and keep travel to a minimum.
Know Your Ws: Wear your face coverings (over your nose and mouth). Wash your hands often and use hand sanitizer. Wait at least 6-feet apart, avoid close contact. These simple, obvious things make such a difference.
Get Tested: To expedite the path through the check-in process upon return, students may get tested (maximum 72 hours before arriving on campus) and just show our health services staff their physical “negative-for-COVID” result when they arrive on campus. MU is also providing free testing on site when students arrive. Students who do not test negative for COVID will either be asked to return home, or be moved into isolation on campus until they are able to test negative. Please note the LabCorp Home Testing and Free Testing Site links listed at .
Travel Concerns: Contact the Student Affairs Office –– if you’ve already locked in tickets for travel that don’t coincide with your phased return date. You will need to show purchase of tickets prior to the announcement of Phased Return earlier this week.
We’re Here to Help: Don’t hesitate to contact faculty, coaches, residence life staff, or anyone else who can help you/answer questions. Our Forward Together COVID Response Web Site is full of information and contacts for everything from academics and athletics to dining and other student services ().
In general, now is a crucial time for all of us to be highly conscious of our surroundings and have a heightened sense of safety. Our moving Forward Together, as we did so very well in the fall, actually starts well before we’re all physically together in the next couple of weeks.
Be sure to look at your email again tomorrow, when I’ll touch on some guidelines and protocols that will be in play when everyone is back on campus. We can’t wait to see all of our fellow Monarchs again.
Stanley T. Wearden, Ph.D.