January 11, 2021
Dear Students and Parents:
Happy New Year from Mansfield University! We are looking forward to the start of the spring 2021 semester on February 1. This email contains important and timely information of which you must be aware prior to the beginning of the semester.
Due to the collective efforts of students, faculty, and staff adhering to the Health and Safety Plan that was informed by health experts, we experienced a successful fall semester with limited numbers of COVID-19 cases among our employees, residential students, and commuter students on the Mansfield and Sayre campuses. We will follow the same guidelines as this past fall, with some minor modifications. To safeguard our community, we will continue to extend all protective policies into the spring semester. Building on what we learned over the last few months, we have adapted our testing, isolation, and quarantine processes to help control the potential spread of the virus while ensuring students receive quality care and attention.
As this is a continually evolving situation, we thank you for your understanding as we adjust to meet the campus community’s needs.
On-campus housing continues to be limited. Public health guidance informed our decision to continue to limit residence hall occupancy for the health and safety of our campus community to 1/3 of capacity and there are no available residential spaces remaining for spring 2021. Housing applications for spring 2021 are closed and are no longer being accepted.
Students who do not have a need to reside on campus and are taking all courses remotely should complete the spring semester at home. If you have already been approved to reside on campus and wish to move off campus for the spring semester, you may do so by Friday, January 22, 2021. Please email email@example.com, as soon as possible in order to cancel your housing contract.
There will be restrictions in place for all residential students that align with health and safety guidelines. Social distancing will be enforced, as well as continuing to limit access to the residence halls to student residents only.
Our Health and Safety Plan for spring 2021 promotes a campus environment that reduces risk. The responsibility rests with each of us to limit exposure to keep our fellow Mounties, families, and community safe. Our experiences last spring and last fall have shown that it is difficult to predict how COVID-19 will spread. Many will develop mild symptoms similar to that of the influenza virus or the common cold, or many will display no symptoms at all.
The virus has proven to be a tough adversary, but nothing that can stop our Mansfield Mountaineers if we all work together. With that in mind, here is information you should know:
· Health and Safety Plan: Mansfield University’s Health and Safety Plan details measures for in-person instruction and on-campus residence for the spring 2021 semester. The Health and Safety Plan, along with campus messages, a form for questions, and campus updates are available at mansfield.edu/health-and-safety-plan.
· Spring 2021 Semester: Classes for spring 2021 begin on Monday, February 1. The last date to drop and add classes is Sunday, February 7. There will be NO SPRING BREAK and the semester will end on Friday, May 7. Finals week will be May 10-13. Commencement is scheduled for Saturday, May 15, at Van Norman Field. Mansfield University will continue to monitor rates of infection in order to appropriately determine how Commencement will proceed.
· Spring COVID Testing: Rapid antigen tests will be administered to students upon return from winter break and will be REQUIRED for anyone living on-campus. All returning and new students living on-campus will report to Hickory Hall to be tested as they arrive for move-in (Sayre students test at Sayre prior to move-in). The rapid antigen tests are administered by a very short nasal swab and will deliver results within 15 minutes. Any student who receives a positive result will immediately be moved to isolation or will be permitted to return home until a negative result is provided. All other students will be permitted to move into their assigned residence hall room.
· Spring Move-In Plan: Move-in will be by APPOINTMENT ONLY.
· Fall Residents Returning to Campus for Spring 2021 - Residents living on campus during the fall 2020 semester will sign up for a move- in date and time starting on Friday, January 29, through Sunday, January 31.
· New Spring 2021 Residents - Residents who are approved for spring 2021 housing will sign up for a move-in date and time starting on Wednesday, January 27, through Thursday, January 28.
All returning and new students living on-campus will report to Hickory Hall to be tested as they arrive for move-in. You can either provide a negative test result that was received within 72 hours of that date or you can be tested on the spot. All students will also need to complete an online Housing Agreement Addendum for spring 2021 that highlights COVID procedures and community expectations. Students will not have access to the residence halls until the Addendum and COVID test are complete.
As we follow public health measures and plan ahead for the daily scheduled arrivals, we are not able to accommodate walk-ups or requests to move into your room outside of the established dates and times indicated. We are also unable to accommodate requests for move-ins earlier than Wednesday, January 27.
Students will be allowed to select up to two helpers to assist with their move-in during the two-hour time slot. Helpers must leave the hall at the end of the time slot. Students will have access to use one moving cart to assist with their move-in. All helpers must be masked, covering their nose and mouth, at all times.
An email outlining specific move-in protocols and information on how to sign up for an appointment time will be sent out next week to all students approved to live on-campus. If you should have additional questions about the spring 2021 move-in process, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
· On-Campus Residents and All Students Taking Face-to-Face Classes: Students should not return to campus until having been in quarantine or isolation for a minimum of 10-days with no COVID-19 symptoms. If an on-campus administered test result is confirmed positive, students will have the option of isolating on campus in Hickory Hall or returning home.
· Dining: Dining service will still be available throughout campus. Limited menus will be provided, and all menu items will be served by Dining Service employees. Seating will only be available in the Student Restaurant (Upper Manser) and will observe the appropriate physical distancing; meal hours will be limited. Takeout will be available at all locations. Mountie Market, located in Spruce Hall, will be open 7 p.m. to Midnight, Monday-Sunday, replacing Lower Manser. Hours and locations may be subject to change.
· Masking Policy: As per Pennsylvania and university guidelines, all students, faculty, staff, and visitors are required to wear face masks at all times, when on- or off-campus and whether inside or outside, except when eating and in one's own home/room. Face coverings should cover both mouth and nose. Individuals unable to wear a face mask due to a documented health condition or disability must register for an accommodation through Melinda Phillips at email@example.com.
· COVID Code Violations: Regarding the enforcement of Mansfield’s Health and Safety Plan, it is important to recognize the critical nature that full compliance with these policies will play in the success of this semester. It must be understood that non-compliance with these policies by just a few could jeopardize the health of the entire Mansfield community as well as our ability to continue offering in-person instruction during spring 2021, and therefore violations will be treated accordingly. As such, repeated violations shall result in the suspension of one’s right to remain on campus for a portion, or the entirety, of the remaining semester, in addition to other appropriate sanctions based upon the circumstances involved.
· Support: Mansfield University remains committed to assisting all students through the spring semester. We stand ready to support technology needs, increasing mentorship, proactively addressing any hardships, and adjusting the total cost of attendance in concert with the Office of Financial Aid.
· Course Delivery: Instruction for spring 2021 has transitioned to approximately 75% online delivery for the safety of our campus community. The remaining 25% of courses will be delivered partially or entirely face-to-face. In-person courses will be restricted primarily to natural and health science lab courses, clinicals, student teaching, internships, and certain courses in music.
· Class Modality: Faculty members will communicate additional details regarding courses and expectations for participation. Anyone taking courses via individualized instruction or independent study, should consult with their instructor about the method of delivery.
· Athletics: On Tuesday, November 10, 2020, the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Board of Directors announced that its member institutions will remain committed to previously intended regular-season and championship seasons for all spring sports in 2021. On Thursday, November 19, 2020, the Board voted to cancel all mandated regular-season schedules and championship events for fall and winter sports. The Board left an option open to continue championship opportunities should six or more institutions elect to compete in a championship season in swimming and cross country. As a result, the Mountaineers will be competing in the cross country championships. Anticipated championship dates will fall over weekends in late March and late April, respectively.
· Online Bookstore: Mansfield University textbook services have moved completely online to provide cost savings and an efficient user experience for all students. The new online bookstore can be accessed at Mansfield.textbookx.com. Free shipping is available on orders of $49 or more. Textbooks will no longer be available at the Alumni Hall location.
· Mountie Spirit Store: The Mountie Spirit Store in Alumni Hall will be open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. with university gear and supplies available. Shop online at mansfieldspirit.com. Free shipping is available on orders of $100 or more.
· Counseling Center: Counseling appointments will be primarily held via Zoom. Information about the Counseling Center is available at mansfield.edu/counseling-center.
· Parking: Campus Police will strictly enforce University parking regulations beginning February 1. All parking areas on campus are reserved. Parking is authorized by permit only during reserved hours. Permit parking will be enforced from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday unless otherwise posted by signs or declared by University Police. Permit parking in student parking lots will be enforced 24 hours a day, Sunday at midnight through Friday 4 p.m. Parking permits can be purchased online at parking.mansfield.edu. Please review the parking map for more information. Any questions pertaining to parking permits and parking regulations may be directed to the Campus Police Department by calling (570) 662-4900.
We appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding as we continue to take appropriate actions to promote the health and safety of all our Mansfield Mounties.
We look forward to staying connected in the spring. Though we may be temporarily apart, together we are stronger. Stay Mountie Strong!
Vice President for Student Affairs & Enrollment Management