Aug 27, 2020
Dear members of the FSC community,
Regarding the message that was released Aug. 10, we understand that you are upset and disappointed. We are, too.
We are sorry because we know this is not the fall semester any of us were envisioning. We knew that this would not be a popular decision, but we believe it is the right decision to prioritize the health and safety of our campus and community.
Nothing would make us happier than having all of our students on campus. Unfortunately, the pandemic is causing FSC — and colleges and universities all around the country — to alter earlier plans.
Below are some answers to questions the College has received via email and social media. We will add to this list as more information is available.
We will post more details about the fall semester (such as financial information about housing, meal plans, financial aid, and more) to the FSC Student Portal soon. This information will also address room and board refunds for students who will not be living on campus this fall.
If you have urgent questions, please email FSCares@flsouthern.edu and we will respond as soon as possible.
Are COVID-19 tests required for students living on campus? What about commuter students living off campus but taking classes on campus?
Yes to both.
As part of living and learning on campus, students are required to submit a negative test result from a COVID-19 test taken no earlier than one week prior to arriving on campus. While we cannot guarantee that students with negative results will not acquire COVID after their test date, this will be one more step to help keep our campus healthy.
For residential students, this means submitting a negative test result from a COVID-19 test taken no earlier than seven days before your move-in date. For example, if a student moves in on Aug. 29, a negative result from a test taken between Aug. 22-28 must be submitted.
For commuter students, the requirement is a negative test result from COVID-19 test taken no earlier than seven days before the meeting of their first class. For example, if a student’s first class is Sept. 1, a negative result from a test taken between Aug. 25-31 must be submitted. (Please note: In an earlier version of this FAQ, we mistakenly gave the dates "Aug. 24-31" rather than "Aug. 25-31." We have corrected this example to reflect the proper 7-day window; however, we will accept tests from Aug. 24 for commuter students beginning classes on Sept. 1.)
Students will upload results to the health tab on the FSC Portal. Please email any questions to FSCares@flsouthern.edu.
Are there specific requirements for the type of COVID-19 test, or will any negative test be acceptable?
The test must test whether a person is currently infected with the virus. These approved tests include Diagnostic or PCR tests and Active Antigen Tests. It does not include antibodies tests. We do not have a requirement for method (such as nasal, blood, etc.) as long as it meets the aforementioned requirements.
I’m having a hard time finding COVID-19 testing. Does the College have suggestions?
The College has found information about local and at-home testing options for students. We have confirmed this information with each test site; however, testing sites, locations, and other details are subject to change at the provider’s discretion. Please confirm with a scheduled appointment or by calling the provider directly prior to arrival.
What if I get tested within the 7-day window but my results aren’t back prior to move-in?
You can move your belongings into your room, but you will quarantine in one of the College’s quarantine locations until your negative result is received.
How do I upload my COVID-19 test results prior to my arrival on campus? What happens if I get a positive test result?
UPDATED ON AUG 25
The Health Tab on the FSC Portal is now open. Students should upload their test results — taken within the 7-day window prior to their arrival on campus — which will state whether the results were negative or positive. Students should also check the box on the Portal to indicate whether their test was negative or positive. All students will receive an automated response acknowledging receipt of their results; those students with positive test results will be contacted directly with additional information about how to proceed.
If I get results back last minute — or do a rapid test the day of move-in — should I still upload to the Portal, or bring results with me to check-in?
Both. Students who receive results after Thursday, Aug. 28, should plan to also bring a copy of their negative test results to check-in.
Are faculty and staff also being required to test?
Faculty who are teaching classes on campus are being required to test. Staff that are in direct and close contact with students, such as custodial and residential life staff, are required to test.
Given the new COVID-19 test requirement, are we still requiring the “COVID Survey” that was mentioned in the original opening plan?
No, the test will take the place of this survey.
Does the testing requirement apply to graduate students as well?
Yes, it applies to any student taking face-to-face classes.
Once the semester starts and I am living or learning on campus, will there be COVID-19 testing for students?
The College has arranged for CVS to set up a testing center on campus to provide rapid-response tests. This technology will allow approximately 60 people per day to be tested.
Tests will take about 20 minutes to produce a result. FSC will test symptomatic students as well as conduct random tests of students. We also have arranged for a company to manage contact tracing for the College.
How is the College conducting contact tracing for positive COVID-19 tests?
To help limit the spread of COVID-19 on our campus and ensure the safety of our community, the College has partnered with Rapid-Trace, a local firm aiding businesses and institutions with contact tracing following positive COVID-19 tests.
Rapid-Trace contact tracers will work for the College as contracted employees of the Health Center and will notify you in the event you have had close contact with someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19.
With Rapid-Trace, we will be able to identify and inform people who have contracted the virus and those in contact with confirmed cases, so they can take the necessary steps to prevent further spread. Please cooperate with our contact tracing efforts and Rapid-Trace personnel.
Will commuter students receive masks, hand sanitizer, thermometers, etc., as part of the FSCares package the College is providing?
Yes. Returning commuter students will be able to pick up their COVID kits — which include their FSC face masks — on Sept. 1-2 between 7:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. in Tutu's Cyber Cafe or the Becker Business Building. New freshmen and transfer commuter students will receive their kits at commuter student check-in at Orientation.
Are class schedules finalized? For instance, I’m a remote student but see face-to-face classes listed for me this semester?
UPDATED ON AUG 27
Courses that have been scheduled as “face-to-face” — which are designated on the schedule by simply listing the times, days, and locations — are being delivered both face-to-face and remotely. If you are a remote learner, you will join that class remotely on the days and at the times listed for it.
Courses that have days and times, plus the designation “RE,” will only be delivered remotely, which means that faculty and students will join each class meeting remotely on the days and at the times indicated. An indication of “ONLINE” means that the course is offered online only in an asynchronous format.
Are move-in times changing because of the changes to on-campus housing assignments?
No, move-in times remain the same for all students living in campus housing.
Could students switch to commuter status to attend classes in person?
Yes. The deadline to apply was Wednesday, Aug. 19.
The College wants to caution that living on campus or being a commuter student does not ensure that a student’s schedule will include face-to-face instruction. Because of the pandemic and concerns about the health and safety of faculty, FSC expects about one-third of our classes to be conducted remotely.
If students are eligible to live on campus and attend classes on campus, but want to switch to distance learning, what is the process for doing so?
Because students continue to reach out to the College with interest in considering remote learning for the fall semester, FSC has extended the deadline to do so. Students should email RemoteLearning@flsouthern.edu to make their requests. The new deadline to do so is the end of the day, Friday, Aug. 28.
If students secure off-campus housing, would they be allowed to keep it for the spring semester, regardless of campus occupancy (since most leases are 12 months)?
What are the limitations for commuter students compared to residential students?
UPDATED ON AUG 27
Commuter students and on-campus residents are able to attend events and use indoor facilities equally, with one exception: FSC’s commuter students are not permitted to visit in residential rooms. The lobbies of residence halls and academic buildings will be open to residential and commuter students. However, like all indoor spaces on campus, lobbies of our residence halls and academic buildings will have capacity limits to remain in accordance with social distancing guidelines. Please remember that our ultimate goal is to ensure students are practicing healthy habits when on campus, including physical distancing between classes.
Will my scholarship be impacted if I am not living on campus?
Tuition scholarships will not be impacted.
However, many FSC merit scholarships are divided into a tuition scholarship and a housing scholarship (scholars residency grant); students will only be eligible for the scholars residency grant portion if they are living on campus. Unused funds that were designated as scholars residency grants will not roll over to the next semester that students live on campus.
What if I shipped items to the school in preparation for move-in, and now I am not moving to campus or my housing assignment has changed?
What if I homesteaded or left belongings in my residence and am now not returning to on-campus housing for the fall?
Students who left personal items in their previously assigned residence could choose between two options:
For any questions regarding your housing, please contact Community Living at ResidenceLife@flsouthern.edu.
What if I ordered my books online and selected the “pick up in store” option and am now not returning to campus?
Your books will be shipped to you in time for the start of the semester.
Why were certain student groups selected and others not?
Reducing the number of students on campus will allow FSC to create more single rooms in student residences; to ensure that we have adequate rooms to isolate and quarantine students; to lower the density of usage in common spaces on campus such as the library and dining facilities; and, by reducing the number of students in classrooms, to meet physical distancing requirements.
In considering the long-established needs of new students, it is clear that they benefit significantly from being able to build relationships with faculty, staff, and peers. Providing new students with an on-campus experience gives them a chance to build these important relationships and introduces them to the resources that will ensure their success as Florida Southern students.
Other student groups were selected due to their program of study and the nature of instruction. For instance, some majors have academic requirements that cannot be met virtually, and if not met this semester, their graduation would be delayed by a year at minimum. Other programs have specific professional certification requirements for which accrediting bodies provide no remote alternatives, and still others have ongoing laboratory research projects that are graduation requirements, which again have no remote alternatives.
The College has been monitoring local and state pandemic conditions daily, including the latest information about new cases, hospitalizations, and the availability of hospital beds locally. In the past 10 days, top infectious disease experts in the U.S. have warned that the virus is “extraordinarily widespread” across the nation and that we are facing a possible “insidious” spread this fall, especially among asymptomatic carriers.
We had hoped that we could conduct fall classes as originally planned when our FSCares plan was released in July; however, based on these national predictions and advice from medical experts, the College decided to change its plans.
The numerous medical and health experts we have consulted recommend this as the best plan for our students, faculty, staff, and community during this period of elevated risk.
Are we still utilizing the Holiday Inn for housing, now that this change is taking place?
Yes. FSC needs these rooms to maintain one-student-per-room occupancy across campus, and to ensure an adequate supply of rooms to address COVID-positive students. Housing assignments will be shared as soon as possible via the Student Portal.
Will off-campus/commuter students receive EASE grants (Florida residents only)?
Yes. EASE grants do not require on-campus housing.
Where can I find FSC's fall 2020 orientation schedules?
You'll find the orientation schedules HERE. Three separate schedules are provided: "MOCS 1" (for students arriving Friday, Aug. 28); "MOCS 2" (for students arriving Saturday, Aug. 29); and "MOCS Transfers" (for transfer students arriving Sunday, Aug. 30).
A message from Florida Southern for students and parents
President Anne Kerr and Provost and Vice President Brad Hollingshead answer questions.
FSC Provost Brad E. Hollingshead addresses questions about the return to campus.