ACUI Open Forum

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  • 1.  COVID, Delta Variant, Case Numbers and Guidance Changes

    Posted 08-10-2021 22:54

    Dear Colleagues,

    Hello from UMass Boston.  I am betting that many of us have been on the same ride over the last month.  The numbers in late June and early July hinted that fall 2021 on many campuses would be close to normal (there's that dirty word).  The numbers have changed significantly over the last 30 days.  The fall term is just around the corner.  Time to pivot again.  Ugh.  A very distressed ugh.

    How has new data impacted your institution and your operation?  Mask mandate returning?  Confirmation of vaccine status?   Social distancing returning?  Events shifting to outside?   Conference/event cancellations?  

    What are the outcomes on your campus, what changes are you planning and/or what do you anticipate?

    Geoff Combs
    Executive Director, Campus Center & Event Services
    University of Massachusetts Boston
    Boston MA

  • 2.  RE: COVID, Delta Variant, Case Numbers and Guidance Changes

    Posted 08-11-2021 08:58

    Great questions. I think a lot of folks will answer based on institution size. My answer is from the perspective of a small institution that was open for face-to-face instruction this past year. Currently masks should be worn if you are unvaccinated, not feeling well or just more comfortable. I anticipate that we will shift back to masks in academic spaces (classrooms/labs) shortly. We are at normal capacity in the residence halls and seating areas. We are requiring a vaccine if you are living on campus with accommodation exceptions, but our vaccine rate is 81% right now as we have been pushing this hard for the last many months. 

    The science is telling us that Delta will plateau by the end of August, but it is also telling us that folks need to get vaccinated. So we are prepared to reduce density in places as necessary. The residence halls will be the biggest nightmare. 

    Final, thought, should campuses consider the cost of not being vaccinated when it comes to quarantine/isolation? Certainly there are some exceptions, but is that something that folks are thinking about?

    Kerry Spicer
    Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students
    Daemen College
    Amherst NY

  • 3.  RE: COVID, Delta Variant, Case Numbers and Guidance Changes

    Posted 08-12-2021 09:22
    Hello Geoff,
    From the perspective of a large state school in the south.... Masks are mandatory in classrooms during required academic courses, labs, and at all other indoor academic events where attendance is required (Orientation). Masks are strongly encouraged for all indoor events and programs but not required. Residence halls, events, and football stadium (102,000 seats) are full capacity. The likelihood of us returning to actual COVID regulations is slim as we have state legislators threatening to pull funding from K-12 schools if the districts enact mask mandates. The university administration could limit event attendance again but we would have to have outrageous positive numbers for that to happen. 

    Less than 40% of our state population is vaccinated and we are not sure about the percentage regarding our enrolled students. Most of our staff is beginning to wear masks again as we interact with our facility users. Sorority recruitment starts today and classes start next Wednesday, so I may end up coming back to update this post within the next two weeks.

    Alison Ward
    Assistant Director
    University of Tennessee
    Knoxville TN

  • 4.  RE: COVID, Delta Variant, Case Numbers and Guidance Changes

    Posted 08-15-2021 16:32
    Hello all,
    Things are, indeed, changing quickly. All residential students are required to have at least their first dose prior to moving in. All students have been reminded that the vaccine will be required once it's fully approved so why wait. Everyone not fully vaccinated is required to do weekly testing to access campus facilities. Everyone else is also welcome to participate in testing. Masking at all events indoors and out. 50% capacity for our largest venues.


    bill harcleroad
    Director of Campus Activities and Leadership
    Oneonta NY