July 8, 2020
Town Halls Recorded, Employee Prep, COVID-19 Testing & International Student Support
As the campus continues to operate in Phase One of our Return to Campus Plan, we were able to provide valuable updates and receive feedback from faculty and staff in two town hall meetings this week. Recordings of the town hall presentations are posted on a new Town Hall webpage in the COVID-19 Updates web section, and the responses to unanswered questions will be posted soon.
Preparations for Employees
As much of the work being done in the planning process is multi-layered with evolving information, we ask for your patience as final details are being developed for protocols and procedures. Work is underway to provide a personal BSU Cares packet of sanitizing wipes, gels and gloves for each employee to keep at your workstation. The packet will also include a reusable facemask and thermometer. Our housekeeping team has also established enhanced protocols for cleaning high-traffic areas and classrooms with sanitizing agents recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
Staff members should expect to hear from supervisors before the end of July about your work schedule for the fall semester that will enable the university to maintain operations with a reduced number of people on campus. We must be prepared to provide welcoming and robust academic and support services for our new and returning students, while showing how much we care for one another by observing all the health and safety precautions to help curb the spread of coronavirus in our community. Schedules will likely include varying combinations of in-person and remote assignments, based on the nature of the work and need for on-campus presence. Employees considered at high-risk for serious illness from COVID-19 or who have other special circumstances should contact Human Resources to discuss your needs.
In accordance with new guidelines from the CDC, plans are moving forward with investigating parameters for baseline COVID-19 testing for all students, as they return to campus for the start of the fall semester. We encourage all faculty and staff to get tested in the week before returning to any on-campus work to provide an added measure of safety for our BSU community. Free testing sites are available in Prince George’s County and many other counties around the state. The state maintains a regularly updated online testing site locator that provides times of operation and requirements for each location.
New Requirements for International Students
As we all adjust to a new mix of online, hybrid and in-person courses in the fall 2020 semester, our international students are facing new requirements just announced by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). International students are an important part of our vibrant and diverse student body, and Bowie State is committed to supporting them in meeting the requirement for at least one in-person or hybrid course to maintain student visas for the fall 2020 semester and continue their academic progress. Our academic team is working as quickly as possible to finalize all course schedules and incorporate this new requirement.
You can always find the latest information about the progress of BSU plans on the COVID-19 Updates web section. Throughout this period of planning for the fall, you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions, concerns or suggestions.
Thank you for your cooperation and supportive Bulldog spirit.