Class format left to faculty’s discretion
COMMERCE—Texas A&M University-Commerce detailed in a plan released this week what the upcoming fall semester will entail, including face covering requirements, social distancing guidelines and class formats.
According to the plan, face coverings will be required in classrooms, healthcare and counseling locations, on campus transportation, and other areas posted with appropriate signage. Any student or employee refusing to wear a face covering will be subject to discipline.
“A&M-Commerce recommends that all students, faculty, staff, contractors and visitors wear face coverings while in public areas,” the document reads.
The university will provide a reusable cloth face covering for all faculty, staff and students.
“Best practices…recommend that an individual maintain at least three face coverings in order to have a clean one at all times,” the plan reads.
The fall schedule will follow the previously approved start and end dates, meaning the first day of class is Aug. 24 and the last day Dec. 11. Faculty will have some discretion to determine course calendars and the delivery of the class.
“For example, if a faculty member has a blended or hyflex course, he or she may determine that the face-to-face portion of the class will last until Thanksgiving break while the rest of the course will take place online until the end of the semester,” the plan reads.
Physical distancing will be implemented by limiting occupancy across the campus, and if distancing is not possible, a plexiglass barrier will be installed by Southeast Service Corporation, the university’s maintenance provider at that location.
“Efforts are underway to explore additional ways to reduce the chances of viral exposure in university buildings, including modification of existing heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, increasing filter changes, and replacing existing filters to ones with better filtration capability,” the plan reads.
Events will be required to follow health guidelines, and masks will be required at indoors events where physical distancing is not possible.
The university aims to have an on-site presence by Aug. 1 for faculty and staff, and on-campus students will arrive in phases based on year. Freshmen will be first followed by upperclassmen.
“Students at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 will be advised to consider their risk before deciding whether to return to campus,” the plan reads. “The decision will solely be that of the student, although the university may advise such students to remain at their permanent residence to take courses remotely.”