LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — The University of Louisiana at Lafayette has made some changes to its fall semester calendar in light of COVID-19.
The University of Louisiana at Lafayette will begin its Fall 2020 semester on Monday, Aug. 17, according to a press release.
The earlier start date is one of several changes the university has made to its academic calendar as it prepares for the safe resumption of on-campus instruction and housing and residential life in the fall.
- The last day of classes is Friday, Nov. 20.
- Final exams will conclude on Wednesday, Nov. 25.
- Fall break, originally scheduled for Oct. 1-2, has been canceled.
- Fall 2020 Commencement will be Tuesday, Dec. 8; details about the ceremony will be forthcoming.
Beginning the semester early and ending it before Thanksgiving are among various steps UL Lafayette is taking to mitigate the potential spread of COVID-19, said University President Dr. Joseph Savoie.
“We are planning for a number of contingencies,” said Savoie. “Decisions we’ve made up to now have been based on the best public health information and guidance available, and that will continue to drive our decision-making going forward.”
The University created its Ragin’ Cajun Resiliency Plan Task Force in late spring to assess how the pandemic would affect nearly every aspect of campus life. It has since issued the following guidance about campus safety measures, course instruction, housing and dining, among other areas.
“The thoroughness of the task force’s work should assure every member of the University community – faculty, staff members, students and their families – that campus is safe and that we’re ready to begin the fall semester,” said Savoie. “We want them to focus on teaching, learning, research, and work without fear.”
Campus safety measures
The University is requiring all students, faculty, staff and visitors to wear masks or face coverings while on campus.
Masks will be available in all classrooms, though students may wear their own.
Signage throughout campus will direct traffic flow and remind viewers to practice social distancing, to wash their hands frequently, and to wear masks at all times.
Disinfecting supplies and hand sanitizer will be available in buildings and classrooms.
Fall courses will be offered through a number of delivery methods, including in-person and remote. The course catalog has been updated to indicate how courses will be presented. Descriptions can be found here.
In addition, class sizes for in-person courses have been limited to ensure at least 6 feet separates all students and faculty. In some instances, seats and desks may be blocked off.
Students will move into residence halls and campus apartments Aug. 12-15. Residents will be assigned a specific time and date to move in. In addition:
- Only one non-resident will be allowed in the building to help a student move in.
- Residents and non-residents will be screened before they are allowed to check in. This screening will include a temperature check.
- Everyone will be required to wear a facial covering throughout the move-in process.
No more than two campus residents will share a bathroom or bedroom.
Custodial staff has increased cleaning and sanitation of all common spaces and high-touch areas such as elevator buttons, door handles, public restrooms and laundry rooms.
The Office of Campus Food Services has eliminated self-service options but has expanded choices for carry-out orders. In addition:
- Dining rooms will have limited seating capacity, updated configurations and floor markers to encourage social distancing.
- High-touch surfaces will be cleaned and sanitized frequently.
- Touchless entryways, online ordering, cashless payments and delivery options will limit contact between dining staff and students.
For more information
The University has created a number of websites outlining its response to COVID-19. There are sites dedicated to:
- General information and announcements;
- Health and safety information;
- Information for faculty and staff; and
- Information for students and their families.
The websites are updated regularly as new details are announced.