Vincennes University implements new procedures for safe return to campus

Local News

VINCENNES, Ind. (WEHT) – As the new academic year approaches, Vincennes University is pledging to welcome Trailblazers back to campuses with safety as the highest priority. 

The university will implement a handful of new procedures this fall.

  • Three COVID-19 action teams were appointed in April and these teams of faculty and staff have prepared roadmaps outlining methods, rules, and principles to help us safely reopen. Their recommendations will continue to inform the decisions and specific plans we are making to protect the health and safety of all. 
  • Numerous hand sanitizing stations are placed throughout every building. VU has roped off areas to reduce capacity, installed room dividers, and added ample signage with health and safety information prominently displayed.
  • We are maintaining a healthy campus and community with enhanced sanitizing and disinfecting procedures for facilities, equipment, and high-traffic areas. University buildings and facilities are being properly sanitized and disinfected thoroughly. Common areas and high touch points are routinely disinfected throughout the day.
  • VU is following the CDC recommendations that social distancing of at least six feet be maintained in all workspaces, facilities, classrooms, and outdoor spaces. Protective dividers have been installed in labs and public-facing work areas as an extra measure to promote social distancing. 
  • Residence halls will operate at reduced capacity with social distancing protocols and other measures in place. VU has adjusted operating hours in our facilities and reduced capacity in all buildings. 
  • Tecumseh Dining Center (TDC) is modifying its service to reduce traffic and is eliminating self-service options. TDC also has to-go options available.
  • VU will minimize events on campus. The number of guests on campus and activities hosted will be highly limited. This does not include University internal meetings and activities, which will be managed using social distancing and the use of masks and other PPE when called for.  
  • The NJCAA has adjusted the calendar for the 2020-21 sports year. All VU’s close-contact fall sports competition and all winter sports competition has shifted to 2021.
  • Body temperature detection cameras are now in place on campus in all residence halls and many key campus locations. VU’s new InVid Tech products identify individuals’ temperatures and indicate if a person presents with a higher than average skin-surface temperature relative to a sample population.  
  • At the request of health officials, VU is requesting that students isolate themselves as much as possible from now until they arrive on campus for the start of fall classes. Isolation means avoiding large crowds and non-essential gatherings, or other settings where masking and social distancing cannot be observed. If you can’t isolate, please wear a mask whenever in public or whenever you can’t be socially distant. 
  • VU has introduced a mask policy requiring a mask or other facial covering in public places and when social distancing cannot be practiced. Students, faculty, staff, and visitors are required to wear a mask when entering all VU facilities and common areas. Washable masks will be provided to all students, faculty, and staff. Free disposable masks are available to visitors and in limited quantities when an individual has forgotten a mask. VU encourages everyone to wash or replace face masks daily.
  • VU has plans in place for contact tracing and handling of isolation and quarantine, including space near campus that will be used for residential students who cannot isolate or quarantine at home.
  • A dedicated email was created to answer questions that are not listed on vinu.edu (CovidQuestions@vinu.edu).
  • Communication systems are in place to answer questions and to inform appropriate personnel/healthcare officials of suspected cases. 
  • A portal has been created in MyVU for individuals in the VU community to self-report if they have tested positive for COVID-19 or if they have been deemed a primary exposure to a positive case by a health official. Reports will be used to inform the appropriate personnel/healthcare officials and notify to the best of our ability individuals who may have been in contact with any potential cases. The portal will be made available prior to the start of fall classes.
  • VU has put forth a revised academic calendar. The 2020-21 academic calendar has been modified, reallocating spring and fall break dates. This will allow students the opportunity to stay home during the final two weeks of the Fall semester and the first two weeks of the Spring semester. Face-to-face classes resume on February 1, 2021. The residence halls and dining center will remain available during break however, students will have the opportunity to complete virtual instruction off-campus.
  • VU is committed to maintaining a high-quality educational experience for our students. The conditions we are facing this coming school year, however, require us to do all we can to balance quality instruction with the health and safety concerns of everyone in the VU community. Face-to-face instruction will be an important part of course delivery in the fall, and many of VU’s fall course offerings will be a combination of face-to-face and virtual instruction with some being virtual only.
  • Fall registration/StartVU for new students is being offered in a virtual format. Students can click here to register for courses and experience a virtual campus tour. 
  • Some students were notified they needed to take placement testing before registering for courses at VU. Along with offering the Accuplacer testing in a virtual format, VU has opened up additional face-to-face options that you can view/register for here. 
  • The University is providing guidance to students and instructors regarding the attendance policy so as to accommodate students who are unable to attend class. Students who feel ill should refrain from going to class and coming in contact with others. They should contact their instructors and healthcare providers as soon as possible. 

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(This story was originally published on Aug. 6, 2020)

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