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AU News

Journey Ahead Update: Protocols Announced for the Start of 2021-2022 Semester

July 30, 2021
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Please read carefully for details of the Journey Ahead protocols being established at the beginning of the academic year at Anderson University.

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With the start of the Fall 2021 semester just around the corner, we are about to begin the next step in the Journey Ahead. 

The Anderson University COVID-19 Task Force has been working feverishly to get protocols finalized before the semester begins. We learned a lot from recent surveys of our faculty, staff, and students, and we are so appreciative of those of you who took the time to give us your insights. We’ve also learned from the unprecedented experience of trying to manage a global pandemic over the last 18 months or so. Now we’re ready to share details of what this fall will look like on campus, practically speaking. 

Let’s get something out of the way first. These protocols won’t make everyone happy. What one person finds prudent another will find foolish. But that’s the nature of compromise. More importantly, these policies reflect our best attempt to create an environment on campus where we live out Christ’s call to love one another as he loves us. That posture, of always keeping in mind what the Lord requires of us, is what sets Anderson University apart. It’s what we need to embrace throughout the 2021-2022 academic year. We’ve done it before. We can do it again. 

The factors that informed our Journey Ahead protocols at the beginning of the fall semester included: the information we received as a result of our summer survey of faculty, staff, and students; the proliferation of different strains of the virus; the active cases of COVID-19 in Anderson County and its surrounding communities; and we considered the recommendations of health authorities and experts, including the CDC and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC.) Each of the aforementioned dynamics were among those used in developing our Journey Ahead protocols as the new academic year at AU gets underway. 

  • The mask and/or face covering protocols are as follows:
    • Masks and/or face coverings are required in the following circumstances:
      • during scheduled class and/or lab sessions; 
      • while on Trojan Transit; and
      • when attending large, organized indoor events consisting of 75 people or more and in which attendance is mandatory.
    • Masks and/or face coverings are optional while outdoors
    • Students should bring several masks and/or face covering with them to campus, and keep them on hand at all times.  
    • The mask and/or face covering requirement is expected to be temporary.  
  • To the extent possible, you should keep at least three feet of physical distance between yourself and others. 
  • As previously shared in earlier communications, COVID-19 vaccinations will not be required for students to return to campus. However, we continue to strongly encourage vaccination for all students, faculty, and staff. 
  • While a negative COVID-19 test is not required as a condition of your arrival, students will be required to take a personal self-health assessment 48 hours prior to their return to campus. 
    • Residential students will receive details of the move-in process from Anderson University Residence Life. 
    • Like all members of the campus community, commuter students should self-screen for any symptom of illness before coming to campus. 
    • Students displaying any symptoms of illness should not come to campus and contact Thrive Wellness Center. Student-athletes should contact sports medicine. 
  • The following campus activities and locations will return to normal operations and capacity, including:
    • Classrooms
    • Dining areas
    • Residence halls
    • Thrift Library
    • Intramural sports
    • Student Center 
  • Large, indoor gatherings (75 or more) may have some capacity limitations, though we are increasing the capacity limits you experienced last year. For example, Campus Worship and South Carolina School of the Arts performances and rehearsals may require capacity limitations. 
  • Athletic events, such as games and practices, will continue to follow NCAA and SAC guidance. For that reason, athletic protocols may not necessarily be the same as those in other areas of campus. 
  • COVID-19 testing will be available to students through Thrive Wellness Center in coordination with multiple local labs. Whether you think it’s COVID or not, if you aren’t well it’s critically important that you contact Thrive Wellness Center. Student-athletes should contact the Sports Medicine team.
  • Consistent with AU’s seasonal flu and other communicable diseases policy, a student required to quarantine or isolate will need to work with Thrive Wellness Center to be excused from classes. Following the excused absence policy is your responsibility. 
  • Also consistent with AU’s seasonal flu and other communicable diseases policy, a student whose family home is within three hours of campus will be directed to quarantine or isolate at their family’s residence.
  • For students residing farther than three hours from campus, facilities for quarantine and isolation services will be provided, but unvaccinated students may be responsible for associated costs.
  • Vaccinated students should bring their proof of vaccination documentation with them in the event it is needed at a later date. To be clear, Anderson University is not requiring documentation of vaccination status, but having your card on hand is a good idea, practically speaking. It may be needed if you get sick during the academic year and need to seek medical treatment for any reason.

As was shared and demonstrated throughout the past 18 months, as conditions change, so will our protocols. Our goal is to ease restrictions in a prudent and safe manner. We expect, anticipate, and pray that the protocols shared above will change and that positive developments will allow for greater degrees of normalcy. 

But a lot of that depends on how well we all follow protocols. Keep your guard up and things can return to normal a lot more quickly than they will if we ignore protocols

Move in begins with student-athletes on August 9 and ends for all students on August 14. Look for more information in your Anderson University email.

Please remember that AU reserves the right to amend our policies and procedures based on future changes in conditions and guidance from local, state, and federal health authorities.

Join us in praying that God continues protecting our AU community and provide his matchless wisdom for the Journey Ahead.

With the start of the Fall 2021 semester just around the corner, we are about to begin the next step in the Journey Ahead. 

News Release Contact

Executive Director for Public Relations