Every year opens with hope and a sense of a new beginning. This one starts with special anticipation, however, as we prepare to start the Spring 2021 semester on our Evergreen campus. Our resident assistants will arrive on campus on Friday, and students will begin to move into Loyola housing on Monday.
Our priority continues to be the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, and administrators, and we are confident that our reopening plan has poised us for a successful semester.
It will be important for us to have open lines of communication in the weeks and months ahead. I will continue to communicate with you frequently, as will others across the University. We will launch our Loyola COVID-19 Dashboard, where we will keep our community updated on cases and the positivity rate among those who are living, working, and studying on campus.
You can learn more about how you will receive information in the “Communication Measures” section of the Spring FAQ page on our Reopening site.
Student Health Services
sent emails yesterday and today to students with information about testing, how to enroll in Aura, the app we will use to schedule testing, and how to enroll in Campus Clear, the symptom checker students will use every morning. Those messages contain important, urgent information for students who will be on campus this spring.
All students who will be living in Loyola housing (including in Loyola housing located off-campus) will be tested upon arrival. We are encouraging students to be tested prior to moving into housing. This test is not required. If you test positive, however, you will be much more comfortable staying home and moving in once you have been cleared to do so.
Please note that we have asked all students to self-quarantine to the best of your ability prior to your arrival at Loyola—except for COVID-19 testing and travel back to the University. This will put us in the best position for a healthy semester for our community.
Mandatory Health Steps: Students must complete the Healthy Hounds Student Training and submit proof of your flu vaccine to firstname.lastname@example.org
by today, Jan. 6
. All residential students must also complete the online trainings required by student development—and which they have been informed of through messages and phone calls. First-year and transfer students must also submit health forms as soon as possible to email@example.com
. You will not be able to move in without completing these steps, and there will be no time to complete these final steps on your move-in day.
We are so looking forward to welcoming students to campus over the next few weeks. We must be very strict about allowing only one person to accompany each student at move-in, and we also need students to stick to their move-in times, as scheduled. Thank you for understanding that these processes and protocols are in place for the health and safety of our community.
Campus Arrival Restriction Period
As I’ve shared before, students will begin the semester with a Campus Arrival Restriction Period (CARP), which will extend from the time of student move-in through the end of the day on Jan. 20. During CARP, students will limit their interactions with other students per specific CARP guidelines, which we have posted on our CARP site.
We do not anticipate that the colleges and universities in Maryland—as in most states—will be a priority for receiving COVID-19 vaccines for our students. When and if vaccines do become available, the University will communicate its plan to students and families.
Extended Easter Break
Our academic calendar
for the spring is unchanged, and students will enjoy an Extended Easter Break from March 29 – April 5. As of today, we expect that students will be permitted to travel, per the travel policy on the COVID-19 Policies page, but they will also be welcome to remain on campus for the break.
Students will need to be mindful of avoiding hot spots in making any travel plans. We will expect them to use caution and prioritize community health. The University also reserves the right to change policies related to the break as we monitor the progress of the virus.
Space for Online Class Sessions and Quiet Study
Many students have been asking where to go on campus to participate in online class sessions for hybrid courses, especially for those who have an in-person class session immediately prior and cannot make it back to your residence hall or off-campus residence to log into your online session on time. Others have asked about campus locations for quiet study outside of your residence hall rooms. I'm pleased to let you know that we have identified a considerable number of spaces on campus for these purposes.
For those of you with back-to-back in-person and online classes, we have set aside several small classrooms throughout Maryland Hall, Sellinger Hall, the Humanities Center, and Knott Hall for participating in online class sessions. Additionally, 10 tents installed on Diane Geppi-Aikens Field will be available for online class sessions, as will the Dining Tent (on a space-available basis) and certain areas of the Library. Students should be sure to bring both laptops and either headphones or earbuds to these spaces to minimize noise and disruptions to other students in the room. These spaces will be designated with signs that read "Use for Online Classes Only." Face coverings must be worn and social-distancing guidelines observed at all times. The Library will also require students to show their Campus Clear pass to enter.
Quiet study spaces have also been identified throughout campus. You will find these spaces in the Library and furnished alcoves, atriums, and open lounge areas in many classroom buildings. The spaces will be designated with signs that read "For Quiet Study Only." In order to maintain quiet in these spaces, they should NOT be used for participating in online class sessions that will require speaking. Again, face coverings must be worn at all times and social-distancing protocols observed.
Although we have been able to designate areas where students can participate in online class sessions and study quietly, space on campus is at a premium. Therefore, I encourage all students who can use their residences for classes and study to please do so, to help ensure that our non-residential, commuting students have places to go between their classes.
As you prepare for the Spring semester, I invite you to consider how we can approach this time with flexibility, patience, and compassion. Even with our well-formulated plan, much about this experience will be new. As we navigate this time together, let’s offer one another not just support, but also grace.
Please continue to make decisions that will help keep you safe and healthy. Know that you and your families are in my prayers, and I look forward to welcoming you to campus very soon.
Rev. Brian F. Linnane, S.J.