Returning to Bobcat Nation

All you need to know before coming back to Quinnipiac University for the fall 2020 semester

Chatwan Mongkol, Associate News Editor

Quinnipiac University released its plans for the upcoming fall semester, in which all classes begin online on Aug. 24.

Prior to the official move-in dates for first-year and returning students, which are Aug. 21 to 23 for first-year students and Aug. 29 to Sept. 5 for returning students, around 400 students from states that are affected by the Connecticut Travel Advisory were required to move in early for a 14-day, state-mandated quarantine.

All students are required to take a pre-arrival with the option of taking a saliva-based COVID-19 test provided by Quinnipiac within eight to 10 days before their move-in dates. The kits were sent to students at home. Students also have an option to take a PCR test on their own in the same timespan. International students currently abroad are encouraged to do that as the saliva-based test kits are not shipped overseas but if they can’t, they will be tested upon arrival to campus will be resided in quarantine housing until they receive a negative test result.

During the first two weeks, all students will be tested for COVID-19 again, using a non-invasive nasal swab. Fifteen percent of students will be tested each week throughout the fall semester.

If students test positive, they will be moved to designated quarantine housing, and the university will begin contact tracing protocols.

Additionally, students, faculty and staff are required to complete Quinnipiac’s COVID-19 Return to Campus online training course available on Blackboard.

Besides new rules — including the practice of maintaining 6-feet physical distance, face coverings and a no visitor policy — students, faculty and staff are also required to conduct a daily health check through a new symptom tracker mobile app.

Two weeks into the semester, in-person instruction is expected to resume on Sept. 7, but following a new approach called Q-Flex. Each class is indicated on the student’s online schedule of how the class will be delivered. 

While lecture (LEC) and fitness, leisure and wellness (FLW) classes will take place in person as many times as possible, hybrid (HYB) classes will be delivered in a synchronous and asynchronous fashion. Professors may divide students into groups and assign each group days to come into the classroom and days to join remotely, due to physical distancing restrictions. Professors may also teach hybrid classes remotely while students are in the classroom.

If a class is listed as web-based (WEB), it will be delivered fully online with a mix of synchronous and asynchronous activities. Most laboratory (LAB) classes are expected to be delivered in physical lab spaces while remote instruction is also a possibility.

Due to the worldwide impact of the pandemic and budget cuts, there will not be all types of international and domestic university-sponsored travel for the whole school year unless approved by the Management Committee and COVID-19 Taskforce in case travel resumes.

Students are allowed to complete the semester 100% remotely if they decide they want to.

All final exams will be online due to the conclusion of in-person instruction on Thanksgiving break.

Before students depart on Nov. 24 and do not return for the remainder of the fall semester, students are to follow new residential life protocols during their time on campus.

Students may not enter residential buildings that they do not live in. Students within the same assigned residence hall may visit each other, however the maximum number of people at one time in a unit must not exceed twice the number of residents assigned in that unit.

Non-residential students are to limit their outdoor gatherings to maximum of 16 people, and maximum of 10 people for indoor gatherings. Physical distancing and mask-wearing must be maintained at all times.

Students are discouraged to travel home on weekends to minimize the community’s exposure. Visits from family members are also discouraged. Shuttles to New Haven, Hamden and North Haven areas are also canceled because of the same reason. 

However, shuttle service between campuses will still be operated but with 50% capacity. All passengers and drivers must wear a mask at all times. There will be signs marking where students can sit on the bus.

When it comes to food, Quinnipiac Dining will reduce indoor dining spaces and add outdoor and tented spaces in order to follow physical distancing guidelines. More grab-and-go and online ordering options through Boost app will be available to help reduce the number of people in the cafeterias on every campus. 

To help reduce the infection risk, students are required to wear face coverings at all times except when eating or drinking, as well as follow the signs. All dining locations will be closed for sanitization from 10:15 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. on the weekdays and 2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. on the weekends.

When it comes to recreational and sporting activities, club sport competitions are canceled and fall sports — including cross country, soccer, volleyball, golf, tennis and field hockey — are also canceled. However, tryouts and training are expected to happen. Fitness centers will be open on Sept. 7, with capacity limits and reservation system. The schedule for intramural sports will be released mid-August. The university is still assessing regulations for recreation centers and will announce the opening dates later.

Most club activities and on-campus events will be conducted online, however some in-person events can happen based on room and space availability.

John Morgan, vice president for public relations, said students, faculty and staff must be responsible for implementing these plans as mentioned in Quinnipiac Pact. The university is building a team of student health ambassadors who will role model expected behaviors and encourage their classmates to support these important measures.

“There will be consequences for disregarding these health measures – from not being able to attend classes in person to, in egregious cases, forfeiting the privilege to remain on campus for the remainder of the semester, in accordance with the student conduct process,” Morgan said.