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COVID-19 Exposure, Health and Wellness

Fall 2020

Consistent with CDC guidance, Vanderbilt is instructing community members who are coming to campus after international travel to self-quarantine for 14 days before arriving back on campus.

Those who need to self-isolate due to being sick or testing positive for COVID-19 are being instructed to notify the university in order to receive health care monitoring and support and to protect the health and safety of our community as much as possible.

International Students and Students Returning from Abroad

Per CDC guidance and Vanderbilt policy, students coming to campus from abroad, including international students, who plan to live off campus must self-quarantine for 14 days before arriving on campus.

Residential undergraduates returning from abroad will need to self-quarantine off campus before arriving on campus for the start of the fall semester.

All students arriving from abroad are asked to complete the International Pre-arrival Form on Anchorlink.


To facilitate the required 14-day quarantining of students coming to campus from abroad, including international students, the university has negotiated special rates with the following local hotels and will continue to update this information in the event that additional options become available. International students must present proof of eligibility to hotels, which will be provided by International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS). The student is responsible for all associated costs.

Hotel PropertyRateCheck In DateDiscount Code
Holiday Inn Vanderbilt *A Vanderbilt-preferred hotel
2613 West End Ave, Nashville
Short term booking
(less than 5 days)
• Long term booking
(more than 5 days)
$50 for longer than 5 days
$75 for shorter than 5 days
08/01/2020 - 09/09/2020INT
Hayes Street Hotel
1909 Hayes St, Nashville
$6507/15/2020 - 09/15/2020STUDENT
Hilton Garden Inn Nashville Vanderbilt
1715 Broadway, Nashville
$7908/01/2020 - 09/15/2020
Home 2 Suites
1800 Division St, Nashville
$7908/01/2020 - 09/13/2020
Homewood Suites by Hilton Nashville Vanderbilt
2400 West End Ave, Nashville
$8908/01/2020 - 09/07/2020VUI
Hyatt House Nashville Vanderbilt
2100 Hayes St, Nashville
$897/16/2020 - 9/30/2020146916
Residence Inn by Marriott Nashville Vanderbilt/West End
1801 Hayes St, Nashville
$757/17/2020 - 12/31/2020
SpringHill Suites by Marriott Nashville Vanderbilt/West End
1800 West End Ave, Nashville
$507/17/2020 - 12/31/2020

The University Working Group on Schools and Childcare has announced that the new Vanderbilt caregivers online forums launched for VU community members to connect and exchange ideas and resources regarding child care solutions and arrangements beyond Vanderbilt’s campus.

There are several forums available including:

  • General Caregivers Forum
  • Metro Nashville Schools
  • Cheatham and Dickson County Schools
  • Robertson County Schools
  • Rutherford County Schools
  • Sumner County Schools
  • Williamson and Dickson County Schools
  • Wilson County Schools
  • Private Schools

Educational and online school-related topics also may be discussed in the forums. The site also has links to family life resources from the Vanderbilt Child and Family Center and free at-home learning resources from Metro Nashville.

The online forums are available at http://vu.edu/caregiver-forum.

On July 9, officials from Metro Nashville Public Schools announced their academic year will begin remotely for all MNPS students on Aug. 4, and Williamson County Schools shared their plans to allow families to choose on-campus or remote instruction for their students for the start of the school year. We will continue to closely monitor for announcements from other area school districts and K-12 schools.

We want you to know that we fully recognize the challenges that this news poses for members of the Vanderbilt community with school-aged children, many of whom already have been balancing work and class schedules with homeschooling and/or child care since early March. These families are a significant part of our community: Our data indicates that more than 1,000 Vanderbilt community members have children under the age of 14, and there are more than 1,800 children in total amongst these families.

In addition, please be sure to consider our many existing resources, including the support for remote work and employee engagement recently announced by Human Resources, along with the HR Guide to Supporting Leaders and Staff, which encourages flexibility with staff work schedules. For staff, as always, we encourage you to talk to your supervisor or your HR consultant if you have any questions about your particular situation. For faculty, we encourage you to reach out to your department chair or dean. For students and postdocs, we encourage you to talk with your mentor and dean’s office.

Fall 2020 - Academics

Details regarding the academic calendars for individual graduate and professional schools—some of which are further tailored to programs’ unique curriculums—are available on the Office of the University Registrar website.

  • Orientation events for most programs will occur remotely prior to the start of classes. See school-specific info below for detailed information. 
  • The academic calendar for graduate Ph.D. programs will align with the undergraduate calendar. The calendar has these notable changes from previous years:
    • Classes will start on August 24 (two days earlier than planned).
    • In-person classes will end before Thanksgiving break, and remaining course content will be delivered via alternative platforms.
    • Breaks are eliminated to reduce travel and minimize risk of increased exposure to COVID-19.
    • Many professional degree programs will have these same or similar modifications but may vary based on the unique nature of each program (see school and college websites for these specifics).

In-person, on-campus undergraduate classes will begin on Monday, August 24, and will conclude on Friday, November 20. All undergraduate students will complete the final week of classes and then take final exams remotely through virtual and alternative platforms, with the semester concluding on Sunday, December 13.

There will be no fall break this year. In addition, we ask that students stay in the Nashville area and not travel away from campus for weekend trips through the end of in-person classes on Friday, November 20. Read more on travel here.

Undergraduate residential students who are able to do so will leave campus for the Thanksgiving holiday and will not return to campus until the start of the spring semester. We are adopting this plan based on current public health guidance regarding risks associated with coming and going to and from campus, and models suggesting a potential resurgence of COVID-19 cases with the onset of influenza season.

Fall 2020

Aug 24, Mon First day of classes for undergraduate schools
Nov 20, Fri End of in-person classes
Nov 21-Nov 29, Sat-Sun Thanksgiving holidays in most schools
Nov 30, Mon Transition to remote instruction
Dec 4, Fri Undergraduate classes end
Dec 5-13, Sat-Sun Remote for exams and reading days

*Calendars are subject to change.

University students will receive performance instruction in person unless the student or instructor needs to be accommodated in online instruction.  A distance of six feet will be maintained between instructor and student in non-wind areas; plexiglass acoustic shields and a distance of 10 feet will be required in voice and wind instrument studios.

To promote safety and good public health, most large undergraduate classes will be online. Working closely with VUIT and the Center for Teaching, faculty are exploring ways to engage directly with students even if instruction is online in whole or in part. Faculty and students will get more information during the registration adjustment period in July. 

For graduate and professional programs, colleges and schools are taking different approaches to large classes based on available space, the nature of the class, and the faculty’s pedagogical commitments. Those individual schools will communicate directly with their faculty and students.

The updated fall 2020 undergraduate class schedule will be published in YES in late July. Students will be given a registration window and will have the opportunity to review the new schedule options in advance of their schedule readjustment period. Open enrollment for undergraduate students will occur from August 10 to August 31.

The revised schedule of classes will reflect the enrollment capacity for all sections, including in-person and online classes. Class sizes will be determined by a number of factors, including the physical distancing capacity of the classroom. Students who are studying remotely will not be counted against the physical distancing capacities but will be counted toward the overall enrollment capacity.

Information about any weekend and evening classes will also be reflected in the revised schedule.

The evolving COVID-19 pandemic requires that widespread and layered mitigation strategies be employed to lessen the probability of COVID-19 transmission. Vanderbilt will be employing a cohesive collection of comprehensive efforts that, combined, offers a best-in-class solution for the creation of a healthy, equitable and safe environment within classrooms.

These protocols were established based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, leading subject matter experts across our campus, and a range of faculty leaders including John McLean, co-chair of the University Continuity Working Group and Stevenson Professor of Chemistry, as well as the co-chairs of the University Working Group educational continuity subcommittee: André Christie-Mizell, dean of undergraduate education in the College of Arts and Science, and Mavis Schorn, senior associate dean for academics in the School of Nursing. Many of the resulting protocols apply to classrooms across the entire university.

Scientific reasoning for the face mask and face shield requirement with data embedded can be found here>>

FULL CLASSROOM PROTOCOLS

Requirements

  • Students must wear appropriate face mask/covering while in public spaces on campus, including during class. One (1) face mask/covering will be provided to students.
  • Faculty must wear appropriate face mask/covering while in public spaces on campus and must wear a face mask/covering or face shield during class. Face shields are offered to faculty because 1) instructors may be required to project loudly and may not have access to amplification in all classrooms and 2) there may be students with hearing impairments who rely on being able to see the instructor’s face when speaking. One (1) face shield and one (1) face mask/covering will be provided to faculty.
  • Students and faculty must be appropriately physically distanced in the classroom consistent with the university requirement of six feet of separation.
  • At the entrance to each classroom, there will be a hand sanitizing station as well as supplies of sanitizing wipes for students to take to their desks/seats to clean before class (similar to what one would do with gym equipment, but before instead of after use). Ideally, these materials will be located in areas that do not congest entry or exit from the classroom.
  • At or near the instructor’s location there will be sanitizing wipes for faculty use. At the exit of each classroom, there will be trash cans for students to dispose of used sanitizing wipes, and these trash cans will be emptied throughout the day.
  • Each classroom door will have signage indicating suggested maximum capacity to achieve physical distancing.
  • Students are not permitted to eat or drink in classrooms while class is in session.
  • For classrooms where there is more than one door, there will be a circulation plan and ingress/egress clearly marked.
  • When required by hazardous material safety requirements, students must wear gloves in teaching labs. Otherwise, gloves are optional.
  • For instructors teaching in classrooms with an existing wireless mic set-up to amplify the speaker’s voice in the classroom, the university will provide a personal lapel microphone attachment to use with the wireless transmitter in order to avoid sharing of the microphone.

Recommendations

  • Clear mobile boards should be available for use in the front of the classroom between faculty and students (i.e., around whiteboards, chalkboards, and podiums).
  • Attempt to create as large a buffer zone as possible, but no less than 6 feet, between the instructor and students. This buffer zone, otherwise marked as the instructor’s position, is intended to be a “no enter” zone for students. This distance may also be reinforced through use of the clear mobile boards.
  • An appropriate number of seats will be made available within classrooms to accommodate six feet of physical distancing (as measured from the center of each seat). Chairs that will be unavailable for use will either be removed or, if remaining within the classroom, will be marked with an appropriate and consistent chair strap applied to them to signify they are not to be used. Chairs should not be moved to reduce six-foot spacing.
  • Instructors may choose to assign seats and/or create specific circulation rules and inform students as clearly as possible, such as the first students to arrive should go to the farthest seat down a row and then would be the last student to depart.
  • Instructors are encouraged to take attendance.
  • Instructors may choose to use an omnidirectional boundary microphone that connects to their laptop for purposes of boosting the audio on the laptop for students connecting remotely.

 

The Commons Reading is still required for the 2020-21 academic year.

The Commons Reading will be The Person You Mean to Be by award-winning author Dolly ChughIn years past, the Commons Reading has been distributed to all incoming first-year undergraduate students the summer before they arrive on campus. For the first time, incoming transfer students will be included in this year’s recipient group. While first-year students will continue to discuss the Commons Reading through the Vanderbilt Visions program, transfer students will engage with the book through informal dialogue facilitated by peer mentors throughout the fall semester. 

The Commons Reading is an integral part of the Vanderbilt Visions program and The Ingram Commons experience. It serves to unify all new students as it brings to light important themes that will be discussed over the course of the year. All new students are still required to complete The Commons Reading, along with a corresponding reflective essay. When you receive the reading in July, you will also receive instructions on how to complete the essay. This year, the deadline by which you will need to do both has been extended to accommodate for present circumstances. 

Individual colleges/schools have developed (or are developing) their own processes to match the pedagogical demands of their courses to the spaces available for physically distanced teaching.

The provost’s office reaffirms that these are decisions best made on a course-by-course basis at the local level by the department chair and the school/college deans. Making such curricular and pedagogical decisions at the school/college level is a fundamental part of our shared governance system. It is also absolutely necessary due to the diversity of our teaching norms and expectations. Further, because each school/college determines their own standards for academic excellence, the deans are uniquely situated to assess the pedagogical demands within each class and to align those with the available resources to support them, even in this challenging time.

We support these efforts to balance the excellence in teaching and learning for which we are known with the highest standards of protecting against the spread of COVID-19, as outlined in our Return to Campus protocols.

If you are unsure about your own college’s/school’s process for curricular decisions, you should reach out first to your chair or other immediate academic officers, or to your dean.

We are especially grateful to be able to re-emphasize Vanderbilt’s commitment to in-person teaching, when teaching in person is both physically safe and pedagogically sound under the safety protocols for our classrooms and campus for the fall semester. We commend the ongoing efforts of the college-/school-level teams to identify those opportunities to the greatest extent possible.

Expect to see a variety of approaches to final exams this fall. Some instructors will replace their final exam with a final project; some will give “open book” exams in which students can use textbooks and other resources; some will provide extra time for exam completion; and some will give timed, closed book exams similar to their usual exams. All final exams, however, will be administered online, often through the Brightspace Quiz tool. 

Check with your instructor for details, and visit this page for things to keep in mind when taking a quiz or exam on Brightspace.

Financial Aid

  • Financial aid awards for undergraduate students will be ready by July 6. The financial aid award will reflect the student’s desire to take classes remotely or on campus.

OPPORTUNITY VANDERBILT STUDENTS

We have specifically received questions from Opportunity Vanderbilt students about receiving financial aid for living expenses during the last two weeks of the semester. We will provide $310 for food and housing costs for the last two weeks of remote instruction for the fall semester. These funds will disburse to your student account on November 9.

OFF-CAMPUS STUDENTS

We have received questions from students living off campus about credit balances for rent and other expenses. Information regarding the refund process is available on the Office of Student Accounts website. We encourage you to follow the instructions to setup direct deposit through the YES system to receive your refund electronically. 

Student Accounts 

  • The payment deadline for fall 2020 charges is August 31, 2020.
  • Late payment penalties, such as late fees and registration and academic record holds, may be applied to unpaid balances at any time after the due date.
  • Tuition will remain the same for both remote and on-campus course work. There will be no discounted tuition rate provided for students who cannot be on campus regardless of the reason.
  • The Student Services Fee is a mandatory fee and may not be waived via student petition.
  • If a student withdraws during the term, tuition will be adjusted/prorated based on the approved Student Account Withdrawal Schedules located on the Student Accounts website:
  • We will begin processing undergraduate financial aid on Tuesday, September 8, 2020.
  • Vanderbilt currently partners with AWG Dewar to offer a tuition insurance program for students who experience a serious illness or accident and have to leave school for medical reasons before the semester is completed. View detailed information for the tuition insurance plan.

The decision to begin the semester enrolled in on-campus instruction will be accompanied by an acceptance of responsibility for full payment of tuition, housing costs and relevant fees. No refunds for these costs will be issued if the need to finish the semester fully online arises.

This includes if a student leaves for personal or disciplinary reasons after being on campus, or if the university has to shift to online-only instruction. If the university has to shift to online-only instruction, we hope to be able to allow students to remain in on-campus housing; however, the university reserves the right to require students to vacate campus housing if necessary, including to comply with any applicable government order.

Contingency planning for whether students residing on campus might remain on campus if any possible shift to online-only instruction might occur is ongoing.

We know students had many difficult financial and personal decisions to make for the fall semester. To assist with these decisions, we have given students the option to study remotely if it is a better fit for them during this time. We have also allowed upper-division students to choose off-campus housing instead of living in the university’s residential facilities.

COST OF ATTENDANCE

Our estimated cost of attendance for on-campus, off-campus and with parents is available here.

We expect normal increases in the cost of attendance each year. If you are studying remotely, which has a lower cost of attendance, this will be increased if you move on-campus or are living off-campus (not with parents).

OFF-CAMPUS STUDENTS

The cost of living on campus is part of the normal cost of attendance used in determining eligibility for financial aid. That amount does not change for students who are living off-campus (not with parents). Students who are living off-campus will need to complete a form attesting that you are not living with parent(s). Falsifying the form will be considered a student conduct issue that could lead to suspension or expulsion. 

REMOTE STUDENTS

The cost of attendance for those students studying remotely is less than for those studying on-campus, reflecting lower housing and meal costs than those incurred for living on campus. However, your eligibility for need-based assistance is based upon the following formula: Cost of Attendance minus Expected Family Contribution = Demonstrated Need

What your family is expected to pay does not change based upon which method of learning you will choose.

QUESTIONS

  • In what situation can a student appeal their financial aid package?

The Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships has provided Information regarding the appeal process, including examples of circumstances that can be reviewed.

  • Will students studying remotely be expected to pay the same tuition? What, if any costs, will be adjusted?

The tuition amount charged will be the same for students without regard to the method of instruction that is selected.

The Student Services Fee will be charged to students who are remote-only. The fee includes remote access to services such as Immersion advising sessions, career coaching, the Campus Connection program, mental health counseling (only for students residing in states where remote counseling is allowed by law), student virtual activities, etc.

The First-Year Experience Fee will not be charged to remote-only students. The Commons leadership will still connect remote-only students to virtual activities in each hall, etc. The Residential College Fee will not be charged to remote-only students. Housing and Dining will not be charged to a student opting for remote only learning through the Remote Study Selection application in YES. 

  • Will students studying remotely receive equitable aid packages to the one they would have received if they were not remote? Will they receive a refund for food and housing if their need-based aid would have previously covered these?

The cost of attendance for those students studying remotely is less than for those studying on-campus, reflecting lower housing and meal costs than those incurred for living on campus. However, your eligibility for need-based assistance is based upon the following formula: Cost of Attendance minus Expected Family Contribution = Demonstrated Need

What your family is expected to pay does not change based upon which method of learning you will choose. Once a student’s financial aid covers their direct charges to Vanderbilt, any funds remaining are available to the student in the form of a refund.

  • How can a student request aid for Wi-Fi or a laptop if they do not have one in the fall?

Contact your financial aid officer at: finaid@vanderbilt.edu.

  • Can a student appeal if their family income has changed recently (due to Covid-19, becoming unemployed etc..) but is not reflected in their 2018 or 2019 tax statements? What information must they present to be considered?

Families may appeal if there has been a significant change in employment. Information regarding the appeal process can be found at: https://www.vanderbilt.edu/financialaid/docs/requestrecon.pdf.

  • Does living off campus affect the total financial aid package given to a student? Will they still receive a grant for dining and housing if they would have previously in their financial aid package?

The cost of living on campus is part of the normal cost of attendance used in determining eligibility for financial aid. That amount does not change for students who are living off-campus (not with parents). Students who are living off-campus will need to complete a form attesting that you are not living with parent(s). Falsifying the form will be considered a student conduct issue that could lead to suspension or expulsion. 

  • How do students living off campus receive the refund? When will it be distributed?

Information regarding the refund process is available on the Office of Student Accounts website. We encourage students to follow the instructions to setup direct deposit through the YES system to receive any refund electronically. 

  • What resources are available to international students who are struggling financially that will be studying remotely in the Fall?

During this time of uncertainty,Vanderbilt is committed to supporting the overall health and well-being of the entire campus community, through resources that offer support, stress management and enhanced resilience across all demographics. Vanderbilt recognizes that COVID-19 has magnified disparities in a number of areas (e.g., housing, technology, finances, access) among and between various populations of students, which compounds the negative effects on well-being.

We are enhancing support for our students’ health and well-being by enhancing Student Health’s ability to best serve the student population through collaboration with the Nurse Faculty Practice Division in the School of Nursing. We also are providing new telehealth options, additional programming and more through theStudent Care Network, a holistic network of wellness services and resources available toall Vanderbilt students.

  • Will international students be expected to pay for health insurance?

Information regarding health insurance can be found on the Student Care Network website.

  • With the increase in travel (especially for students in Level 4 countries who need to quarantine in a third country), will students be able to request more aid in their indirect travel aid?

International students receiving need-based assistance from Vanderbilt who are required to quarantine in a third country can request additional assistance by emailing finaid@vanderbilt.edu.

  • Will refunds be any different if given to an international student who is studying remotely abroad at the time? Will foreign exchange rates affect the refund?

Students who have established direct deposit with the Office of Student Accounts will receive their funds via direct deposit. All other students will receive a physical check mailed to their home address. Foreign exchange rates will not impact the amount of refund.

As of now, regular grading policies will be in effect for undergraduate students for the fall 2020 semester. If there are changes to the grading policies for undergraduate students for the fall, undergraduate students will be notified.

The COVID-19 Student Hardship Relief Fund is available for students who need technology to support online learning.

Due to the disruption that the COVID-19 virus has had on our students, there is a tremendous financial need to provide emergency assistance to undergraduate, graduate and professional students with demonstrated financial need. There is a $500 limit per student in this Hardship Fund.

The application is available on the Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships website.

International Undergraduate Students

Undergraduates who cannot be on campus due to personal circumstances or visa and travel restrictions must notify Vanderbilt University if they need or prefer solely remote classes. 

If an undergraduate international student who selects remote study because they do not have a valid visa for study in the United States is able to obtain a valid visa for study before the start of the fall semester, they can contact the Office of the University Registrar to request a change of status to on-campus study. Likewise, if an undergraduate international student who selects remote study because they do not think they will be able to travel to the United States before the start of the fall semester later determines that travel will be possible, they can contact the Office of the University Registrar to request a change of status to on-campus study. Students for whom a change to on-campus study is approved will be placed on a waitlist for on-campus housing, if necessary.

If your situation changes after the start of the fall semester, you may return to in-person classes in the spring. Access to on-campus or VU-controlled housing mid-year cannot be guaranteed, but a waitlist will be established.  

Please note that students will be expected to participate in classes that are taught synchronously in Nashville’s Central Time Zone.

International Graduate and Professional Students

Similar to undergraduates, graduate and professional students will have opportunities to access remote-only courses. Specific details will come from your program directly. Should your travel situation change at any time, you should contact your department chair (or program point of contact) about switching from remote-only to in-person status.

Internships

University-sponsored travel for undergraduate students outside of the greater Nashville area is prohibited during the fall 2020 semester. Residential students in the Nashville area may complete internships in Nashville for academic credit; however, the student must sign an acknowledgement form to follow Vanderbilt University protocols while at their internship location.

Undergraduate students who select remote-only instruction may complete internships in the area that they reside.

Off-Campus Teaching

School districts have indicated that as long as they’re open, Vanderbilt student teachers are welcome. Our teacher education faculty members are in conversation with our partner districts about different scenarios. Right now, schools are planning to open for in-person learning, and they have indicated that as long as they are open, Peabody students will be welcome to pursue fieldwork. When in schools, Vanderbilt students will need to observe school/district guidelines as well as Vanderbilt protocols for being in field placements. Our faculty are also working with local school districts to plan for Peabody students to support online activities, in the event that schools close or Peabody students need to quarantine.

Most, if not all, classes will have an online component. More information about how labs will be scheduled will be available when the revised undergraduate class schedule for fall 2020 is published in late July.

Students will be able to work in on-campus labs this fall, subject to an approval process and limitations related physical distancing.

Researchers often need access to original, primary source materials. So far, the library has been able to provide e-texts or scans for 83.2 percent of all requests. The university has invested resources to increase accessibility, and library staff have scanned thousands of items, so that many items that were unavailable previously are now available digitally.

Vanderbilt Libraries will follow university guidelines and current CDC public health recommendations in order to create the safest space possible for library staff and patrons.

Gradual reopening of in-person library services

Phase I: A small group of library staff returned to the Central Library, and pick-up started on June 1, limited to the Central and Divinity libraries.

Phase II: We will be expanding the number of pick-up and drop-off locations for faculty who are unable to access materials digitally. We will increase staff in order to 1) get items processed for the end of the fiscal year; 2) check in and shelve items returned to the various departmental libraries; 3) prepare for special collections users in Phase 3; 4) begin to scan and digitize more items; 5) work on reserves requests; and 6) generally get ready for the fall semester. We will also start preparing for user access which will start in Phase 3.

Phase III: We will allow access to researchers. Also, the library directors are currently working to ensure that each library building has an approved circulation pattern and that user areas are set up to ensure social distancing protocols are followed. We are also working to reconfigure space in the libraries to use as additional classroom and instructional space.

The libraries homepage will continue to offer the latest updates to library hours, resources and services.

Learn more about remote teaching, learning and research support available through the Vanderbilt Libraries.

During these difficult circumstances, the health, safety and emotional well-being of the Vanderbilt community is at the center of our concerns. Please know that we are here for you, and, if any of Vanderbilt’s resources can be of assistance, we encourage you to draw upon them.

As we look toward an approach that allows us to resume on-campus classes this fall, alternative instruction will be offered to those who are unable to return to campus.

Supporting our students is our utmost priority, and the university is committed to providing options and alternatives that allow all of our students access to a world-renowned education, regardless of the instruction mode. All undergraduate students whether new, existing or transfer, are expected to return to campus in the fall. For those unable to attend in-person (for example, due to autoimmune disease, visa or travel restrictions), arrangements will be made for alternative instruction.

Undergraduates who cannot be on campus due to personal circumstances must notify Vanderbilt University if they need or prefer solely remote classes.

If your situation changes, you may return to in-person classes in the spring. Access to on-campus or VU-controlled housing mid-year cannot be guaranteed, but a waitlist will be established.

Classes

Instruction will take place as a hybrid of online and in-person courses and is largely dependent on classroom constraints and faculty accommodations.

Professional remote-only request: Students should contact the director of graduate studies in their respective departments.

Orientation

Orientation will be provided through the Graduate School. This year the orientation will take place in advance of the semester’s starting and will be online.

Contact

Questions can be directed to department chairs or program directors or Director of Graduate Studies David Wright.

 

Classes

The IGP and QCB will begin earlier than other graduate programs. Orientation will occur in person on Aug 17 and classes will begin on Aug 20. Until Nov 20, instruction for the IGP and QCB will be in person. Then, the IGP and QCB fall semester courses will move to a virtual format.

All other classes for PhD students in the SOM will be a hybrid of in-person and virtual. The locations are still being planned.

Professional remote-only requests: The policy is being developed in collaboration with the graduate school and will be handled by the Biomedical Research Education and Training (BRET) Office in School of Medicine Basic Sciences.

Orientation

Planning is underway but will likely consist of a mix of in-person, distance, and some in-classroom.

Contact

Questions can be directed to the Biomedical Research Education and Training (BRET) office.

CLASSES

VDS will deliver classes either by online or by the hy-flex model (whereby the instructor of record will be in a classroom delivering in-person instruction with each session being broadcast simultaneously via Zoom). Students who wish to request to have their classes online, because of pre-existing medical condition(s) or fall into any of the high risk categories, travel restrictions, or needing to self-isolate or quarantine if exposed to or contract the coronavirus during the semester, will be given an opportunity to state this preference in YES. The application for the Divinity School will be launched after June 26. Please be in touch with Dean Judge (victor.judge@vanderbilt.edu) after that time. The Divinity School will continue to follow the calendar for Arts and Science. 

ORIENTATION

New student orientation will take place virtually, Aug. 19-21, with advising taking place from Aug. 17-20. Registration begins on Aug. 21. All newly admitted students will receive detailed information directly via email. For more information on orientation, please contact divinity-admissions@vanderbilt.edu.

CONTACT

Any additional questions may be directed to the Office of the Deans via Marie McEntire, Assistant to the Deans. Email: marie.mcentire@Vanderbilt.Edu

Classes

The vast majority of classes will be offered in person, though each in-person class will also include an online section for students who wish to take a class remotely.

Professional remote-only request: Contact Dean Chris Meyers at chris.meyers@vanderbilt.edu.

Orientation

Orientation will be delivered remotely and will include synchronous and asynchronous content, including our Life of the Law course.

Contact

Questions can be directed to Dean Chris Meyers at chris.meyers@vanderbilt.edu.

 

Classes

Instruction will be both remote and in-person. In-person courses will have options for delivery via virtual platforms for students who are unable to be in the classroom.

Orientation

Orientation will be largely remote; the team is planning a few opportunities for small, physically distant activities.

Contact

Questions can be directed to the Office of the Dean at owen.officeofthedean@vanderbilt.edu or individual program directors.

 

Classes

Courses will be a hybrid of online and in-person courses and other approaches. All courses will have options for delivery through virtual and alternative platforms to provide for students who cannot return to campus because of travel restrictions.

The Peabody dean’s office will contact professional students on June 22 with details on how students may apply to study remotely, should circumstances require them to do so. We ask all professional students who wish to request this option to communicate with us by July 1.

Orientation

Prior to the start of classes, new graduate and professional students will take part in online orientation. Additional information about orientation will be forthcoming from the Peabody dean’s office.

Contact

Contact the Peabody Office of Academic Services with registration questions. For other questions, professional students should contact Associate Dean Catherine Gavin Loss, and graduate students should contact Associate Dean Jeannette Mancilla-Martinez.

 

Classes

Classes will take place as a hybrid of online and in-person courses.

Orientation

All orientation will be provided through the Graduate School. This year the orientation will take place in advance of the semester’s starting and will be online.

Contact

Questions should be directed to Duco Jansen, Senior Associate Dean for Graduate Education and Faculty Affairs.

 

Classes

Predominately in-person, with the exception of MSCI and MPH, which will be remote with in-person  research and experiential components, and MSACI, which is a remote program traditionally.

Orientation

Combination of in-person and online. See the SOM website for details.

Contact

Questions should be directed to Donna Rosenstiel, Assistant Dean for Health Sciences Education (donna.rosenstiel@vanderbilt.edu) or to program directors.

 

Classes

Combination of in-person and online. Please see the School of Nursing website for specifics related to each program.

In the academic programs for advanced nursing practice (M.S.N., Post-Master’s Certificate, and B.S.N.-to-D.N.P.), clinical experiential learning is required to meet accreditation standards. Therefore, students must be present on campus for certain components of the clinical learning sessions and must participate in direct patient care in a clinical setting. There is no option for remote-only instruction.

If students need accommodation for health purposes, they must register with Student Access Services.

Orientation

All orientation will be conducted virtually. There will be several prerecorded modules that students can access online at their convenience. Other sessions will be conducted via video conferencing to encourage student participation. Students will be required to have completed orientation by the start of their classes.

Contact

Visit the Admitted and Current Students sections of the School of Nursing website for more specific information. For questions not addressed online, contact Assistant Dean for Student Affairs Sarah Ramsey, (615) 343-3334.

 

We know that many seniors have questions regarding the availability of classes they need to graduate. In-person classes will also be available remotely but we know some experiential learning opportunities will be limited. We can assure you that your adviser or associate dean will work with you to provide course opportunities that will ensure you stay on track to graduate.

Dates have not been confirmed for the spring semester. A working group is being assembled to make those plans now, now that we have our fall plan. As soon as the information is available, we will share it with you.

Our framework for holding in-person classes on campus this fall is supported by several components, including the continued need for physical distancing, the need to continue pursuing virtual and alternative teaching methods (even in the event of in-person classes) for all classes and the understanding that many curricular decisions will need to be made on a local level, taking into account the unique standards and expectations across our different schools and colleges.

We must continue to plan for a hybrid teaching model that includes a combination of in-person, virtual and alternative learning methods. This approach accommodates members of our community—including both faculty and students—who will not be able to return to campus because of travel and visa restrictions as well as health concerns and other personal concerns.

Decisions and discussions regarding courses that will fully need to be taught using virtual and alternative platforms should be made in your colleges and schools. Adaptive learning could include implementing a variety of techniques from postings of lecture recordings to leveraging on-campus recording spaces for asynchronous instructional videos. To support faculty, we have increased resources including enhancing and expanding classroom IT, CFT resources. Soon faculty will have access to instructional design experts through iDesign (coming soon). More information can be found on our adaptive learning webpage.

We are extending the amount of time between undergraduate classes to twenty minutes.

During these difficult circumstances, the health, safety and emotional well-being of the Vanderbilt community is at the center of our concerns. Please know that we are here for you, and, if any of Vanderbilt’s resources can be of assistance, we encourage you to draw upon them.

As we look toward an approach that allows us to resume on-campus classes this fall, alternative instruction will be offered to those who are unable to return to campus.

UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS

Undergraduates who cannot be on campus due to personal circumstances must have notified Vanderbilt University if they need or prefer solely remote classes. 

If your situation changes, you may return to in-person classes in the spring. Access to on-campus or VU-controlled housing mid-year cannot be guaranteed, but a waitlist will be established. 

The Student Services Fee does not include dining and housing. Housing and Dining are separate, stand-alone fees from each other and the Student Service Fee. Housing will not be charged to a student opting for remote only learning through the Remote Study Selection application in YES. 

The Student Services Fee will be charged to students who are remote-only. The fee includes remote access to services such as Immersion advising sessions, career coaching, the Campus Connection program, mental health counseling (only for students residing in states where remote counseling is allowed by law), student virtual activities, etc.

The First-Year Experience Fee will not be charged to remote-only students. The Commons leadership will still connect remote-only students to virtual activities in each hall, etc. The Residential College Fee will not be charged to remote-only students. The decision to begin the semester enrolled in on-campus instruction will be accompanied by acknowledgement of responsibility for full payment of tuition, housing costs and relevant fees. No refunds will be issued if the need to finish the semester remotely arises.

Though we are returning to on-campus, in-person classes, these classes will look and operate differently from the way they have in the past because of the need for physical distancing, current classroom space, and accommodation for those who cannot come to campus. Each student’s individual curriculum selections may include some evening and weekend classes, a hybrid of virtual/alternative and in-person learning, and other approaches.

To accommodate reduced class capacity and physical distancing measures, many class schedules and timelines will be adjusted.

Incoming first year students and transfer students should have continued to register for fall classes through June 26 using the current fall schedule. This helped capture class demand and inform schedule revisions.

UPDATE AS OF JULY 8: We are currently in the period when the Fall 2020 schedule of classes is being adjusted. Revisions are being made to the fall academic schedule to facilitate the return to campus plan. During this schedule adjustment period, you may see changes in YES to the schedule of classes and your schedule (if you are already registered for the fall semester). As mentioned on the Return to Campus website, each student’s fall schedule may include a hybrid of virtual/alternative and in-person learning, and other approaches. Students will receive notification when the changes to the fall schedule of classes are finalized in late July.

Continuing and incoming undergraduate students will be given the opportunity to make adjustments to their fall schedule. More information about that process is available here: https://registrar.vanderbilt.edu/registration/registration-info.php#ScheduleAdjustment.

Later in July, a revised undergraduate fall schedule will be published in YES. Students will be given a registration window and will have the opportunity to review the new schedule options in advance of their registration window.

Open enrollment for undergraduate students will occur from August 10 to August 31.

Fall 2020 - Campus Life and Housing

We are excited to welcome you to campus this fall and are eagerly planning for your arrival. While we wish that your arrival on campus would look like our traditional move-in weekend, your health, and that of your family, your friends, and the Vanderbilt community are our highest priority.

We are committed to supporting you during this important time of transition to college. In the coming weeks, we will continue to communicate with you regarding important details and processes related to move-in.

The move-in process has been developed in close consultation with health experts at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and our School of Nursing, as well as national, state and local public health officials. The success of this approach will require a joint effort from every member of our community as we work together as One Vanderbilt.

The key features of this year’s move-in process are:

  • Move-in for first-year students will take place during the period August 17–22 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., in one-hour increments.
  • You must schedule a move-in appointment for a specific date and hour during the move-in period; you will have one hour in which to move-in the belongings you bring to campus.
  • You may have only one (1) assistant enter your residence hall when moving in; the assistant may be a family member, a friend, or a hired helper. This assistant cannot be “swapped out” mid move-in; it must be the same person the entire time.
  • When you arrive on campus for your scheduled move-in appointments, you (and your move-in assistant if you have one) will be screened for body temperature and COVID‑19 symptoms before being allowed to move in.
  • Your assistant will be allowed in your residence hall only on the day you move in.
  • You and your assistant will be expected to wear face masks/coverings and to maintain proper social distancing at all times while on campus and in your residence hall (students are not required to wear a face mask/covering while inside their own rooms).
  • We strongly encourage you to bring as few personal belongings as possible for the fall semester. Keep in mind that on-campus classes end November 20 and that you will need to pack all your belongings before you leave campus so that they can be moved to your spring housing assignment. Please do not bring any furniture.

Your Housing Assignment

Your housing assignment for the fall semester will be announced on Wednesday, July 22. Your fall semester room assignment will be final and requests to change room assignments will not be considered.

Your housing assignment for the spring semester will be announced at a later time.

Scheduling your move-in appointment

Scheduling your move-in appointment will be a two-step process. Both steps can be completed after logging in to the Student Housing Portal. You can begin logging in to sign up for move-in times in the Student Housing Portal on Monday, July 27, at 10 a.m. CDT.

Step 1: Complete the Housing Contract Addendum under the “Applications” menu in the Student Housing Portal.

Step 2:  Once the Housing Contract Addendum is submitted, students will be able to select a move-in time. Move-in times can be selected under the “Room Assignments” section.

Maintaining adequate social distancing is a key feature of this year’s move-in process. The process ensures adequate social distancing by regulating the number of students moving in simultaneously. If a date/time you wanted is not available, it is because all of the available appointments for that date/time have already been taken. You will need to select an appointment from the times still available.

MOVE-IN DAY DETAIL UPDATES

This information was updated on July 22

  • Both parents are welcome to come bring the student to campus, but in order to reduce the risk of infection by lowering the density in our residential spaces, only one person may enter the buildingIn an effort to keep density in the buildings low and reduce potential spread of COVID-19, we only have a restriction on who/how many people can go into the buildings. Students and their assistant will be screened (symptom and temperature checks) before entering the residence hall and we do not have the capacity to screen additional people in a timely manner.
  • OHARE will have disinfecting wipes for your use to disinfect moving carts. It is your responsibility to disinfect the cart before and after each use.
  • OHARE staff will not be available to help move in items as we try to keep density low in residential spaces; however, staff will be on hand outside to answer questions
  • The one-hour limit for move-in does not include your time picking up items from campus storage. The move-in assistant will be able to assist the student throughout their scheduled move-in day, not just their one hour move in block. The one-hour limit is simply to unload the car and move the car for the next round of students moving in. After the car is moved, the assistant may help student set up room until the end of the day.

COVID-19 Screening

In early August, you will receive specific instructions about the move-in process for your residence hall. That information will include the location where you will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms. The screening process includes temperature checks and may require referral to campus medical resources for further evaluation. Only students who clear the screening process will be permitted to move into their residence halls. Screening locations will vary by the residential area in which you will live.

Thank you for your patience as we continue to prepare for your arrival on campus. In summary, in the coming weeks you will receive the following information:

  • Hall-specific move-in instructions including parking information and maps of access routes to the various residence halls
  • Details on shipping items to campus and how and when you may pick up shipped items
  • Details for COVID-19 screening processes when you arrive on campus

We look forward to welcoming you to campus this fall.

MIDYEAR MOVE FOR FIRST-YEAR STUDENTS

Students will be provided packing supplies near the end of the fall semester. They will pack their items and label their boxes. Over the winter break, Vanderbilt will move students’ belongings to their new assignment. Students will be clustered together and moved in groups so that upon their move to their spring assignment, they will continue to live near students they lived near in the fall.

COVID-19 has presented a new set of challenges for the upcoming school year for the Vanderbilt community. We are currently reviewing our student employment processes to determine what measures we may need to take for the upcoming year. At this time we are requesting feedback from our on campus partners to help assess fall student employment opportunities. Our goal is to communicate potential position openings to students by early August. Historically that is when our hiring departments begin their job postings in HireADore and their interview processes.

The move-in process for the fall semester this year will be different than in previous years. Your health, and that of your family, your friends, and the Vanderbilt community are our highest priority. The move-in process, therefore, has been developed in close consultation with health experts at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and our School of Nursing, as well as national, state and local public health officials. The success of this approach will require a joint effort from every member of our community as we work together as One Vanderbilt.

The key features of this year’s move-in process are:

  • Move-in for upper-division students will take place during the period August 17–23 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., in one-hour increments.
  • You must schedule a move-in appointment for a specific date and hour during the move-in period; you will have one hour in which to move-in the belongings you bring to campus.
  • You may have only one (1) assistant enter your residence hall when moving in; the assistant may be a family member, a friend, or a hired helper. This assistant cannot be “swapped out” mid move-in; it must be the same person the entire time.
  • When you arrive on campus for your scheduled move-in appointment, you (and your move-in assistant if you have one) will be screened for body temperature and COVID‑19 symptoms before being allowed to move in.
  • Your assistant will be allowed in your residence hall only on the day you move in.
  • You and your assistant will be expected to wear face masks/coverings and to maintain proper social distancing at all times while on campus and in your residence hall (students are not required to wear a cloth face mask/covering while inside their own rooms).
  • We strongly encourage you to bring as few personal belongings as possible for the fall semester, keeping in mind that on-campus classes end November 20. Please do not bring any furniture!

HOUSING ASSIGNMENT

Unassigned continuing upper-division students will continue to receive room assignments through early August as we complete the housing assignment process.

Scheduling your move-in appointment

Scheduling your move-in appointment will be a two-step process. Both steps can be completed after logging in to the Student Housing Portal.

  • Step 1: Complete the Housing Contract Addendum under the “Applications” menu in the Student Housing Portal.
  • Step 2: Once the Housing Contract Addendum is submitted, students will be able to select a move-in time. Move-in times can be selected under the “Room Assignments” section.

Students who already have an on-campus housing assignment can begin signing up for move-in times in the Student Housing Portal on Monday, July 27, at 10 a.m. CDT. Students who have room assignments will be able to log in and schedule their move-in appointments. Students who do not yet have an on-campus housing assignment will be able to log in one day after they receive their room assignment.

Maintaining adequate social distancing is a key feature of this year’s move-in process. The process ensures adequate social distancing by regulating the number of students moving in simultaneously. If a date/time you wanted is not available, it is because all of the available appointments for that date/time have already been taken. You will need to select an appointment from the times still available.

Move-In Day Detail Updates

This information was updated on July 22

  • Both parents are welcome to come bring the student to campus, but in order to reduce the risk of infection by lowering the density in our residential spaces, only one person may enter the buildingIn an effort to keep density in the buildings low and reduce potential spread of COVID-19, we only have a restriction on who/how many people can go into the buildings. Students and their assistant will be screened (symptom and temperature checks) before entering the residence hall and we do not have the capacity to screen additional people in a timely manner.
  • OHARE will have disinfecting wipes for your use to disinfect moving carts. It is your responsibility to disinfect the cart before and after each use.
  • OHARE staff will not be available to help move in items as we try to keep density low in residential spaces; however, staff will be on hand outside to answer questions
  • The one-hour limit for move-in does not include your time picking up items from campus storage. The move-in assistant will be able to assist the student throughout their scheduled move-in day, not just their one hour move in block. The one-hour limit is simply to unload the car and move the car for the next round of students moving in. After the car is moved, the assistant may help student set up room until the end of the day.

COVID-19 Screening

In early August, you will receive specific instructions about the move-in process for your residence hall. That information will include the location where you will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms. The screening process includes temperature checks and may require referral to campus medical resources for further evaluation. Only students who clear the screening process will be permitted to move into their residence halls.

Retrieving Stored Property

If you have property stored on campus, we will contact you in early August with instructions for retrieving your property.

Thank you for your patience as we continue to prepare for your arrival on campus. In summary, in the coming weeks you will receive the following information:

  • Hall-specific move-in instructions including parking information and maps of access routes to the various residence halls
  • Details on shipping items to campus and how and when you may pick up shipped items
  • Details on how to pick up items that were stored on campus this spring
  • Details for COVID-19 screening processes when you arrive on campus

We look forward to welcoming you back to campus this fall.

Our plan for Vanderbilt-controlled housing is student focused. Given COVID-19 conditions, this means we will de-densify residential spaces to provide housing that is as safe as possible. We are also identifying self-isolation and quarantine locations for members of our residential community. 

To meet these goals, we have customized plans for three cohorts of students with different on-campus living needs: first-year students, returning upper-division students, and student-athletes. We are deploying a mix of new approaches, including authorizing more upper-division students to live off campus and securing additional Vanderbilt-controlled housing options near campus.

Public health guidance recommends students reside either in single rooms or in a family-unit model (roommates and suite mates considered a family unit are exempt from physical distancing) with bathroom considerations such as the student-to-fixture ratio and enhanced cleaning schedules.

Some rooms that we are reducing occupancy for will have two sets of furniture. We are not removing the excess furniture. Students should not bring their own furniture.

Details regarding specific housing options and room assignment procedures will be communicated to students prior to the resumption of the housing assignment process, which will begin on July 5, 2020. We anticipate multiple move-in days this fall. Move-in dates will also be announced in July.

FIRST-YEAR STUDENTS

First-year students will be assigned one student per room and will be housed in The Martha Rivers Ingram Commons, Branscomb Quadrangle and Carmichael Towers East using a random assignment process. Requests for specific residence halls will not be considered. All first-year students will be housed in single rooms in order to reduce the density in our residence halls.

First-year students will switch housing assignments at the transition between fall and spring semester, so all first-year students are able to live on The Commons for part of the year. In the fall semester, half of the first-year students will reside on the Ingram Commons and the other half will reside in Branscomb Quadrangle or Carmichael Towers East. In the spring, their assignments will be reversed.

Regardless of where they live in the fall, all first-year students will be assigned a Commons house affiliation and Faculty Head of House. All students will also be supported by Residential Experience Area Coordinators, Graduate Area Coordinators and Resident Advisers.

Additionally, students will be assigned a “virtual roommate” (e.g., a student living on The Commons will be paired with a student living in Branscomb Quadrangle or Carmichael Towers East). Virtual roommates allow students to connect with another person across campus to create a larger sense of community for new students. It also gives them an opportunity to connect with that person before arriving on campus and throughout the first year, as students begin to build their network at Vanderbilt. 

RETURNING UPPER-DIVISION STUDENTS

Returning upper-division students who do not already have a room assignment, and who are seeking on-campus housing, will receive an assignment through the Housing Assignment Process. Pending space availability, students will be assigned as individuals to traditional singles or as groups—per the family unit model—to traditional doubles and apartments.

In response to the need for distancing and reduction of density, the university is lowering the number of occupants in Morgan and Lewis house, allowing family-unit models if students select and acquiring additional VU-controlled properties.

Upper-division residence halls for the 2020-2021 academic year will include Warren and Moore Colleges, Zeppos College, Carmichael Towers I, E. Bronson Ingram College, Cole, Tolman, McGill, McTyeire, Morgan, Lewis and Mayfield.

An updated Guide to the Housing Assignment Process, which details specific housing options and room assignment procedures, is available on the OHARE website.

STUDENT ATHLETES

Student-athletes (first year and upper division) will be housed together in Morgan House and Lewis House on Highland Quad per the family unit model, sharing rooms with teammates and classmates (e.g., first-year students with first-year students and upper-division students with upper-division students). First-year students will also be assigned an Ingram Commons house affiliation.

TRANSFER STUDENTS

Incoming transfer students seeking off-campus housing and roommates can use the Off-Campus Housing Service. We will also provide programming to ensure transfer students are fully connected to and integrated with our community.

QUARANTINE AND ISOLATION

Our plan for Vanderbilt-controlled housing for the 2020–21 academic year is student focused. COVID-19 conditions mean we needed to identify quarantine and isolation locations for our undergraduate residential community and to de-densify residential spaces to provide housing that is as safe as possible. The CDC defines isolation as separating sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick and quarantine as separating and restricting the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick. 

Blakemore House, Chaffin Place, OHARE at the Village at Vanderbilt Townhouses and South Tower and Scarritt Bennett Center (an off-campus property operated by the university and located in close proximity to campus) will be used for campus resident isolation and quarantine space.

University health officials will make medical determinations and assign campus residents to either diagnostic quarantine or COVID-positive isolation to sites specifically designated for these purposes. University health officials will make medical evaluations and release campus residents from quarantine or isolation to return to their campus residence hall room when deemed medically appropriate.

For student living off campus, university health officials will make medical determinations and direct students to quarantine or isolate at their off-campus residences. When deemed appropriate after medical evaluations, university health officials will release students from quarantine or isolation in their off-campus residences.

Student Health will work with all such students to do regular symptom monitoring and will hospitalize anyone who becomes seriously ill.

SUPPORT FOR RESIDENTIAL STUDENTS

We are developing a robust virtual programming/community building model lead by Residential Experience. Resident Advisers will do regular one-on-one communication with residents and provide resources to assist them. All first-year students will spend at least one semester on the Ingram Commons and will be assigned a Faculty Head when they live in either Branscomb or Towers. All first year students will also be assigned a virtual roommate. Additionally, our Student Care Network will be providing support if we receive information that a student is struggling with adjustment to these challenging times.

The university is implementing a number of practices to support the health and wellness of residential students. These practices include enhanced cleaning and sanitization, physical distancing guidelines for commons spaces, the de-densification of residence halls and the development of virtual programming models:

  • In order to maintain lower density in residential spaces, students will only have access to their assigned residential building and floor; students are encouraged to socialize outdoors or in commons areas, while practicing physical distancing.
  • High touch areas like door handles and elevator buttons will be cleaned throughout the day. We are installing foot pulls or arm pulls on many doors within the residential building. Hand sanitizer stations will be posted at all building entrances, exits, and near elevators.
  • Common area bathrooms will be cleaned twice a day. Bathrooms will have a standard cleaning in the morning and a deeper cleaning and sanitization in the evenings.
  • Common area spaces in the residence halls like study spaces and lounges will be open; to encourage physical distancing, we have rearranged furniture in those spaces. Students should follow posted guidelines that will help identify ways to yield to others and outline maximum capacity in various space.
  • Students will be expected to wear face masks in public spaces like hallways and common areas. In residential bathrooms, students should practice physical distancing and follow any additional posted guidelines for use.
  • We are developing a robust virtual programming/community building model lead by Residential Experience. Resident Advisers will do regular one-on-one communication with residents and provide resources to assist them.

Per the family unit model, students assigned to live in Greek houses will be able to reside together in their current room set-ups.  

Greek residents diagnosed with COVID-19 will be quarantined or isolated using the same procedures and facilities as all other students who live on campus. Blakemore House and Scarritt Bennet have been identified for student quarantine and isolation spaces.

Greek houses will comply with the guidelines applied across campus. Currently, gatherings of 10 or fewer are allowed with physical distancing. As guidelines change, we will work closely with the fraternities and sororities to ensure their events and activities are in compliance with increased capacities for gatherings in later phases.  

In order to maintain lower density in residential spaces, students will only have access to their assigned residential building and floor. Students will have access to laundry facilities in their building or a nearby building.

Building access will be limited to only the students assigned to live in that space so students may not have overnight visitors in their room. It is possible that our access regulations may evolve as we move through different phases of the Vanderbilt Return to Campus Plan.

Students are encouraged to socialize outdoors or in commons areas, while practicing physical distancing, with friends who live in other residence halls.

Our residential buildings are open 24/7 and there is no curfew in place for students. Students are encouraged to check the website for the hours of other non-residential buildings on campus.

Common area spaces in the residence halls like study spaces and lounges will be open. We have rearranged furniture in those spaces so that it is set in accordance with physical distancing guidelines.

Students are expected to abide by physical distancing protocols when in commons spaces. In an effort to assist students with distancing, we have reduced and rearranged furniture in commons spaces. Students should follow posted guidelines that will help identify ways to yield to others and outline maximum capacity in various space. The success of our Return to Campus Plan will hinge on all of us working together to follow posted guidelines and practice healthy behaviors like wearing a mask in public spaces.

Due to challenges with appropriately sanitizing these spaces, shared kitchen spaces in residence halls will be closed. Campus Dining has announced their fall semester plans.

In residential bathrooms, students should practice physical distancing and follow any additional posted guidelines for use. Common area bathrooms will be cleaned twice a day. Bathrooms will have a standard cleaning in the morning and a deeper cleaning and sanitization in the evenings.

UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS

Each fall, the university welcomes a diverse cohort of more than 1,800 new undergraduate students, inviting them to join the Vanderbilt family by providing support in the transition process and showcasing the vast network of resources available to ensure success. All new undergraduates—first-year and transfer—participate in new student orientation and receive support from the Vanderbilt community.

Orientation for first-year and transfer students will be held virtually prior to arrival on campus and the start of fall classes. More information and an orientation schedule are forthcoming.

GRADUATE AND PROFESSIONAL STUDENTS

Orientation planning for graduate and professional students is underway, but we anticipate that orientations will be provided in a remote format in advance of campus arrival. More information will be shared directly by the dean and/or program director for each specific graduate or professional degree program.

We are balancing the health, safety and comfort of our constituencies and our community with providing the meaningful experiences for students traditionally associated with Vanderbilt. These are temporary measures to deal with the challenging circumstances in which we find ourselves. 

No guests will be allowed within residence hall rooms. Although first-year students will be assigned a single room, we expect that they will make friends on their residence hall floors, sitting in their doorways talking late into the night, or lounging on one of our various campus outdoor areas while physically distancing. Students will also be able to interact with their virtual roommates and other friends in person throughout the academic year, while still following the university’s protocols. We are also working to define gatherings for the fall semester, in which there may be opportunities for in-person engagement for campus groups and organizations while following campus protocols. 

We hope that community members will be active participants and bystanders in keeping the community healthy, safe, and accountable.  

We realize how important community and social bonds are to good mental health, and we have three distinct groups of people working on plans and practices to promote interaction. More details will be shared here as those plans are developed.

  • Orientation group leaders for new students: These leaders are thinking about how to utilize Vanderbilt’s history of connecting with new students even before they are on campus through VUcept, Transfer Student Leaders, and International Orientation Leaders to make sure all students already know other students before they arrive.
  • Faculty: Residential Faculty are thinking about how to build community in their houses and colleges, and also the undergraduate and associate deans in the four undergraduate schools are thinking about ways to strengthen ties to classmates in majors or area of studies.
  • Student Affairs: Our colleagues in the Dean of Students office are talking with student leaders already to talk about what student organizations and involvement with campus groups will look like this year so that undergraduate students still have opportunities to connect with other students who share similar extracurricular interests.

RESIDENTIAL COLLEGES

There are many activities planned for students living within the university’s Residential Colleges. Some things planned include:

  • Welcome from residential faculty, orientation leaders, and Residential College staff (students can pick up swag items, happening nightly for students as they move in)
  • The asynchronous CommonVU orientation modules will be available on Aug. 15
  • Nightly virtual meetings with orientation groups
  • Campus tours (around 5-6 students maximum)
  • Students will have an opportunity to pick up books at the bookstore
  • Residential faculty are also developing their own plans for move-in week

TRANSFER STUDENTS

Vanderbilt will continue to provide strong support to our incoming transfer students even as they live in off-campus residences. Through our transfer orientation program, students will interact with others through informational sessions and small-group discussions that will help you navigate your academic program, campus resources and student life on Vanderbilt’s campus. Through TSO, you’ll also have the opportunity to connect with Transfer Student Leaders (sophomores, juniors, and seniors who transferred to Vanderbilt themselves) and other incoming transfer students.

Full details of the 2020 Transfer Student Orientation program, which will be conducted through Brightspace, will be released in early August.

Additionally, the new Campus Connection Program will provide undergraduate students with personalized support and guidance as they navigate the various experiential learning and campus services that are part of their collegiate experience at Vanderbilt. The program will engage Campus Connectors, professional staff from Academic Affairs, to serve as liaisons who directly support personal and professional development for their cohort of students from enrollment to graduation.

The Vanderbilt Visions program will take place virtually this fall. In late July, when you are enrolled in your assigned section, you will also be granted access to a corresponding Brightspace course, which your VUceptors will use to facilitate weekly sessions. Visions sessions will couple activities that you can do on your own time with regular Zoom discussions with the group. Your faculty and student VUceptors will provide more information on individual or small group meetings as well. VUceptors will be reaching out in late July/early August to introduce themselves and begin getting to know you. 

Student life on campus is an important part of the college experience. There is no denying that the ways in which we live, learn, interact and study will continue to evolve and change in the coming months. Many of these experiences will be new for all of us, and we fully understand that the dynamics of the fall semester may not be what any of us would desire or expect. We share in the feeling that there is a long road of uncertainty ahead, but the collaborative and caring culture of Vanderbilt positions us well to thoughtfully travel it together.

The Office of the Dean of Students will use the parameters and protocols set forth as a part of the university’s Return to Campus Plan as a basis for guidelines for student life on campus and will determine how staff and students will engage in various activities and programs.

STUDENT PROGRAMMING AND ORGANIZATIONS

With distancing measures in place, student life professionals across campus are engaging directly with students to receive input on the best ways to build virtual communities and implement programming for students. The university is also asking student organizations to come up with creative engagement plans that accommodate safety and other health-based protocols. Our current approach is designed to create living-learning environments that allow Vanderbilt’s values to thrive under COVID-19 conditions.

See gatherings FAQ>>

Student Involvement Fair

We are currently evaluating how we will execute the student involvement fair. We will have some form of fair, but are still collecting input and feedback from students about how best to execute this event. In addition, we are looking more broadly about how we can introduce incoming first-year and transfer students to the many opportunities for involvement on campus. 

Reserving Space

Student organizations will be able to reserve space, but we anticipate those spaces to be more limited. As soon as we have a better understanding of which rooms will be used as classrooms, we will be able to open reservations for student organizations. We will have specific physical distancing set-ups for all spaces and will follow all university guidelines.

RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS

We hope to be able to provide some in-person gatherings in the fall for all student organizations, but would be subject to broader university guidelines and greater Davidson County guidelines. We will certainly work with our religious organizations to help facilitate any special needs they have if possible. For example, we will work with religious life leaders to find creative ways and alternative spaces to observe religious rituals (e.g. coordinating a larger meeting space to allow for physical distancing).  

MEETINGS AND SOCIAL EVENTS

Vanderbilt will follow a phased approach with restrictions on in-person meetings
and social events on or off campus. Each of Vanderbilt’s phases will outline specific guidance on the protocols for face masks/coverings, physical distancing, symptom monitoring and testing, event allowances, occupation of student centers and residential housing, student engagement, the Student Care Network and the Project Safe Center.

Student life on and off campus will be subject to limitations on gatherings and residential programming will be modified to alternative/virtual formats. Student organizations will modify operations for service/work. Common area access will be restricted and cleaning protocols will be put in place.

A best practices guide for operating virtually is being developed for student organizations and will be publicized as we get closer to the start of the fall semester.

COMPLIANCE

Student Accountability will oversee compliance. Students are expected to comply with all university policies and protocols designed to facilitate physical distancing, reduce the spread of COVID-19 and promote the health and safety as much as possible of the Vanderbilt and Nashville communities. Any intentional or reckless disregard for these policies and protocols will be addressed through the Office of Student Accountability, Community Standards, and Academic Integrity, using the existing sanctioning considerations found in the Student Handbook, including a review of the potential impact based on the nature and severity of the incident, which may support an enhanced sanction. This also applies to both unofficial on- and off-campus parties.

SPRING EVENTS

Vanderbilt will follow a phased approach with restrictions on in-person meetings and social events. Guidelines for the spring will be dependent on the success of the fall semester and subject to broader university guidelines and greater Davidson County guidelines at that time.

Vanderbilt Athletics’ plan for returning to campus is guided by the university’s Return to Campus and Return to Classes Plans. The health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches, and staff are paramount. Athletics will follow a staged approach that relies on a diversity of expertise and broad collaboration with the NCAA, SEC, university leadership, health experts and others, and will adhere to local public health guidelines and protocols, as well as university specific mandates.

Student-athletes will return to campus in stages to allow for a transition period for medical clearance, accommodation of new protocols, and adequate time for education and reinforcement of new norms. We will use data to inform next steps. The plan is flexible and allows for sport-specific adaptation.

The Return to Campus Plan for Vanderbilt Athletics includes:

  • COVID-19 testing and pre-participation physicals
  • Daily screening and symptom monitoring
  • Enhanced disinfecting protocols
  • Locker rooms closed
  • Virtual team meetings
  • Face mask/covering and physical distancing protocols

Athletics Return to Campus Stage A:

  • Football will be the first sport to return to campus.
  • Football players will begin voluntary workouts in June with limited Athletics staff on site (SEC regulations permit voluntary workouts starting June 8), in alignment with Vanderbilt’s Phase II launch.
  • Activities will ramp up throughout the summer, and on-site coaching and staffing will expand as allowed by the university guidelines.
  • Preseason practice is expected to begin in early August.

This plan is flexible, and adjustments will be made as necessary, based on data.

Vanderbilt University’s policies and protocols for responding to the COVID-19 pandemic will be rooted in safety for staff, faculty, students, invited guests (e.g., contractors), and the public with whom we interact. The health and well-being of our community are critical.

VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY PUBLIC SAFETY

Vanderbilt University Public Safety (VUPS) is committed to the safety of students, faculty and staff. The people within VUPS work diligently to maintain a safe and secure campus, and they are committed to doing so with the utmost care and compassion and under the highest standards of conduct.

More than 300 staff serve in the department, which includes 100 police officers, 135 community service officers and 80 security personnel. The department also continues to protect members of our campus community during the pandemic.

CORE Committee

The Community Oriented Result and Expectation (CORE) Committee continues to meet to make recommendations to the Vanderbilt University Police Department (VUPD) regarding safety and security on campus. The committee discusses issues including suspected bias, VUPD’s ongoing community relations efforts, police accountability and transparency, pedestrian and bicycle safety and other traffic concerns, and the handling of significant events and incidents on campus while addressing concerns and planning solutions for those issues. 

Representation on this committee includes the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, the Multicultural Leadership Council, the Graduate Student Council, Vanderbilt Student Government, the National Pan-Hellenic Council, the Interfraternity Council, the Panhellenic Council, the Office of Residential Education, the Faculty Senate, the Project Safe Center for Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response, the Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center, the Office of LGBTQI Life, Athletics, International Student and Scholar Services, a community/neighborhood representative, the University Staff Advisory Council (USAC), the Division of Communications, the Office of Risk and Insurance Management, and the Office of the General Counsel.

Vanderbilt University deeply values its neighbors, community partners and visitors that make our community so vibrant. However, as part of our comprehensive efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19 at Vanderbilt, throughout the city of Nashville and beyond as much as possible, we have made the difficult decision to limit the presence of visitors on campus for the fall 2020 semester, and to impose certain heightened expectations for those visitors who are permitted.

In an effort to de-densify our public spaces, individuals including prospective students, faculty, staff and postdoctoral fellows, non-Vanderbilt interns and observers, recruiters and family members of students, faculty and staff—among others—will regrettably not be permitted in campus buildings until further notice, unless specific permission has been granted in advance by the appropriate university office, dean or vice chancellor.

In certain cases, exceptions may be made for approved users of VU Core Facilities, research participants, visiting researchers, suppliers, contractors, vendors, safety inspectors and others based on individual circumstances. Comprehensive details regarding limitations and possible exceptions can be found in our Visitor Policy Fall 2020.

Spaces that normally welcome community visitors, including the Jean & Alexander Heard Libraries, the Fine Arts Gallery, the Wond’ry at the Innovation Pavilion and other spaces, as well as other campus buildings, will not be open to the general public. Exterior doors for administrative and lab buildings will be locked, and access to classroom buildings will be limited to those with a Vanderbilt card/badge. No decision has been made about attendance at fall athletic events.

In-person campus tours remain suspended for the time being. We encourage prospective students to explore the online resources available through Vanderbilt Admissions and through individual graduate and professional programs. These resources include virtual visit options, webinars, information panels with current students and other opportunities to connect.

It is important to note that anyone who is on the Vanderbilt University campus for any reason must wear a face mask/covering at all times. These requirements are consistent with our existing requirements for students, faculty, staff and postdocs who have returned to campus in recent months.

Until we are able to safely welcome the public again in person, we hope all community members will utilize our many virtual resources, which include information about groundbreaking research and innovation in the fight against COVID-19 and enhanced online library services.

We are grateful to parents and family members, friends and prospective students, and our fellow Nashville residents—as well as anyone else who had planned to visit our beautiful campus in the coming months—for your patience and understanding as we work together to slow the spread of COVID-19. As we navigate these challenging times, we will continue to find new ways to collaborate and engage with our community and our city.

Suppliers must submit the Supplier Return to Campus Acknowledgement prior to being granted permission to be on campus.

The David Williams II Recreation and Wellness Center and Outdoor Recreation Program is instituting a number of programming changes in order to manage the situation brought on by the global pandemic and ensure the health and safety of the Vanderbilt community. In time, we hope to bring many of our in-person programs back to full capacity, informed by guidance from public health officials and experts at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Based on current campus guidelines and for the safety of our community, we do not intend to open the Alumni Hall and Common Center Gyms at this time.

Every patron visiting the Barnes & Noble at Vanderbilt bookstore located at 2525 West End Avenue is required to wear a face mask/covering. Follow directional signage and stand on decals signifying 6 feet of distance from the person in front and behind while in line.

Campus Dining is adapting its operations to the new reality of physical distancing, enhanced sanitization protocols, and modified service style. While our dining facilities may look different, know that our focus on the safety and well-being of the Vanderbilt community has never been stronger.

Despite the myriad challenges posed by this public health event, Campus Dining is fully committed to providing a wide variety of healthy and nutritious meal options to the Vanderbilt community. In addition to a network of residential dining halls, retail markets, and cafes, we are proud to announce the following enhancements to our dining program for the 2020-2021 academic year:

  • The Nicholas S. Zeppos College dining hall will be opening in August 2020 and adds another option to the Vanderbilt West End neighborhood.
  • Broad expansion of mobile ordering options, including all Munchie Mart convenience stores and Suzie’s Cafes. Students will have the option to use meals or meal money in these locations. Options include a rotating menu of chef-inspired sandwiches, wraps, and healthy bowls, in addition to market and convenience items.
  • To further support physical distancing efforts, and to reduce congestion in high-traffic dining halls, Campus Dining Pick-up Spots will be located in key places across campus; students can order meals online, then pick up at a convenient location.
  • Students can use their Meal Money or Commodore Cash to purchase food at any one of the Taste of Nashville partner restaurants, all located near campus. In addition, Campus Dining will host a rotation of food trucks on a daily basis, further adding value and variety to a student’s Meal Money or Commodore Cash.

Ranked #7 Best Campus Food, 2020 by the Princeton Review, Vanderbilt Campus Dining serves up a globally-inspired menu, with exciting new cuisines and healthy options that support a diverse array of dietary preferences and restrictions. Our award-winning chefs are proud to offer a comprehensive meal plan that supports community, sustainability and healthy living.

Meal plans are available to all undergraduate and graduate students, as well as faculty and staff. All Vanderbilt students living on campus are required to participate in a meal plan based on their cohort year. See below for meal plan components and rates for the 13-week semester between August 24 and November 20.

FIRST-YEARSSOPHOMORESJUNIORSSENIORS
The 21 PlanThe 19 PlanThe 19 PlanThe 14 Plan
21 on-campus meals per week19 on-campus meals per week19 on-campus meals per week14 on-campus meals per week
$ 225 Meal Money per semester$ 275 Meal Money per semester$ 275 Meal Money per semester$ 325 Meal Money per semester
$ 2,686 per semester$ 2,666 per semester$ 2,666 per semester$ 2,385 per semester

Nonresidential students, including undergraduates opting out of on-campus housing, will have the ability to purchase any of the above meal plans, but will not be required to do so. In addition, nonresidential students, faculty, and staff have the option to purchase flex meals which are prepaid blocks of meals, redeemable at any Campus Dining location.

Campus Dining will gradually open its operations in two-week increment periods for the fall semester. To begin the fall semester, only undergraduate students and residential faculty will be able to use their meal plan, meal money or Commodore Cash to purchase meals from Campus Dining locations; cash and credit or debit cards will not be accepted. Beginning September 7, we anticipate that locations will open to graduate and professional students, and beginning September 21, Campus Dining operations plan to return to servicing the full VU Community, including faculty, staff and postdocs.

To supplement food options during the first part of the fall semester, rotating food truck offerings will be available Monday through Friday between Buttrick Hall and the Black Cultural Center during lunch hours. These food trucks will be available to all members of the VU community but will only accept Commodore Cash and Meal Money as payment.

These are unprecedented times, and terms such as “physical distancing” and “the new normal” have become part of our everyday lexicon. Vanderbilt, like most institutions, has adapted in significant and profound ways. What won’t change, however, is our commitment to clean, safe dining facilities, convenient dining options, and excellent-quality food. As an integral component of campus life, Campus Dining takes pride in fueling our students’ academic pursuits, and we look forward to serving you soon.

Campus Dining is committed to meeting the dining needs of all residential students, regardless of disability or dietary restrictions/allergies. With limited exceptions due to physical distancing requirements and modified circulation plans, our dining halls will remain accessible for the 2020-2021 academic year.

PICK-UP LOCATIONS

Students will preorder their meals at specified pick-up locations and select a 15-minute pick-up window, convenient to their unique class schedule. This is similar to how mobile ordering functions at The Pub and Local Java under normal circumstances. Campus Dining is currently working through details on timing for ordering food. More details will be shared in the coming weeks.

DINING TENTS

To maximize physical distancing, Campus Dining’s reopening plan does not include seating in dining halls. Meals will be served to-go style, to be eaten in designated areas, in a physically distant manner. In addition, the university has installed three large tents at Alumni Lawn, Library Lawn and Peabody Esplanade to serve as dining locations.

Capacity at each tent will be managed by on-site Campus Dining staff stationed at check-in tables, and time within the dining tent will be limited to 20 minutes. Dining tents are available to all members of the VU community, regardless of whether the meal to be eaten was purchased from a Campus Dining location. All guests must present their Vanderbilt ID at check-in and register by either scanning the QR code posted on signage outside each tent, or by visiting one of the online sites customized for each tent location: http://vu.edu/magnoliatent, http://vu.edu/alumnitent, and http://vu.edu/librarytent. After completing the web form and entering the dining tent, guests may dine until they receive a text notification after 20 minutes that their allotted time in the tent has ended.

All campus protocols must be followed in and around the tent locations, including physical distancing of at least six feet and wearing a mask of face covering at all times, except when eating or drinking. To facilitate the timely turnover of tables, Campus Dining is also asking that guests be sure to clear away their own tables, disposing of all waste in the appropriate receptacles. Signage will be posted throughout the tent areas to direct circulation and provide protocol reminders. All signage must be adhered to at all times.

In addition to the dining tents, circles have been marked on lawns throughout campus to help identify safe, physically distanced locations for use by the campus community, including for outdoor dining. Examples of these circle locations are shown in the maps of the tent locations. These are illustrative and not meant to be exact. Due to mowing and lawn maintenance, circle patterns and distribution may vary slightly over the course of the semester.

Every patron visiting Station B to collect or send package(s)/mail will be required to wear a face mask/covering. The entrance to the operation is through the Rand door, while exit will be accommodated via the fire lane side facing Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center. While standing in line, stand on decals signifying six feet of distance from the person in front and behind.

Campus buildings and exterior spaces will include signage that should be followed by community members at all times. This includes directional and physical distancing signage signifying flow and where people should stand, as well as informational signage regarding protocols in the Return to Campus Plan.

Examples of the signage community members will see on campus are outlined below.

Accessible Route Signage

 

Accessible route signage

Accessible Route: Sidewalk stickers that signify accessible routes around campus

 

GENERAL ROUTE SIGNAGE

 

Left turn arrow

Left turn:
Sidewalk stickers showing when you should turn left.

 

 

Right turn arrow

Right turn:
Sidewalk stickers showing when you should turn right.

 


 

Roundabout

 

Roundabout:
Sidewalk stickers showing when you should walk counterclockwise to maintain physical distancing.

 

Exterior Signage

 

Dismount and walk your bike signage

Dismount & Walk:
Sandwich boards and yard signs showing when you should dismount and walk your bike or scooter

 

General etiquette and protocols

 

General Etiquette:
Sandwich boards and yard signs showing general etiquette and safety protocols

 


 

Lawn etiquette and protocols

Lawn Etiquette:
Sandwich boards and yard signs showing lawn etiquette and safety protocols

 

6 foot distance signage

6” Distance:
Sidewalk stickers marking 6” distance between two points

 


 

One way signage

One Way Only:
Sidewalk stickers and sandwich boards showing one way routes

 

Entry/Exit Building Signage

 

Entrance only signage

Entrance Only:
Building signs showing entrances to buildings

 

Exit only signage

Exit Only:
Building signs showing exits to buildings

 


 

 No entry sign

No Entry:
Building signs showing areas where you should NOT enter

 

Yield to others sign

Yield:
Sandwich boards and building signs reminding individuals to yield and maintain 6’ distance from others

 

General Signage

 

General break space protocols

Break Space Guidelines:
Posters outlining main break space protocols

 

Disinfection Guidelines:
Posters outlining disinfection protocols for both public and private spaces

 


 

Elevator Guidelines:
Posters outlining elevator protocols that will be placed outside and inside elevators

 

Face mask/covering protocols

Face Mask/Covering Guidelines:
Posters outlining protocols for face masks/coverings

 


 

Meeting and conference room protocols

Meeting/Conference Room Guidelines:
Posters outlining meeting and conference room protocols

 

General guidelines to slow COVID-19 spread

Help Slow the Spread:
Posters reminding the general public how to slow the spread

 


 

Restroom guidelines

Restroom Guidelines:
Posters outlining restroom protocols that will be placed near restrooms.

 

RESEARCH Signage

Signage specific for research spaces on campus can be found on the Research at VU website.

Entry to buildings will be regulated and monitored in alignment with ACHA guidance. Where applicable, your Vanderbilt card/badge is required for entry to all buildings, and you may not hold or prop open exterior doors for any other person. After entering a building, sanitize your hands at the nearest sanitizer station and follow signage and all physical distancing guidelines outlined herein.

The university will identify suitable building access points. In alignment with CDC employer guidance, where appropriate, departments and building coordinators should attempt to coordinate arrival and departure times of faculty, staff, postdocs and students to reduce congestion during typical “rush hours” of a day’s schedule. For example, staff arrival and departures should be scheduled in 15-minute increments to reduce personal interactions at building access points, hallways, stairs/elevators, etc. Staggered schedules should be considered for lunch and break times.

Once you have been authorized to return to campus, you should arrive and depart campus through the designated building access points. Staff should also report at the designated time, where applicable, to limit the number of people entering and exiting buildings at any one time.

Building entrance and exit points are being mapped for every building on campus, including ADA accessible circulation. In alignment with CDC and ACHA guidance, buildings will include signage and visual markers, including directional signage signifying flow, physical distancing signage showing where people should stand (in certain buildings), and informational signage regarding protocols in the Return to Campus Plan. Be mindful of following the directional signage, and be prepared to change your daily routine to adhere to the new circulation patterns. As building maps are finalized, they will be added to the list below.

Buildings in which signage and visual markers have been installed will also be noted in the list below with this symbol .

Please contact your building manager or facility officer with any questions or feedback on these plans.


BuildingSignage?
1025 16th Ave S (ISIS Labs)
1101 19th Avenue
1114 19TH AVE S
1202 18th Ave S
1207 17TH AVE S
1207 17TH AVE S GARAGE
17th Ave MUMS Lab
1810 EDGEHILL
2007 Terrace Place
2015 TERRACE PL
2304G VANDERBILT PL
2304I VANDERBILT PL
25TH AVE STAFF GARAGE
6 Magnolia (fka Home Ec)
625 CHESTNUT COMMERCIAL
Admissions & Financial Aid
Alumni Hall
B Quad: Lupton
B Quad: Scales
B Quad: Stapleton
B Quad: Vaughn
Baker Building
Baker Garage
Baseball Field House
Benson Old Central
Benton Chapel
Biomolecular NMR
Bishop Johnson Center
Blair School of Music
Blakemore House
Branscomb Market - Dining
Bryan Building
Buttrick Hall
Calhoun Hall
Carmichael 1 & 2
Center Building
Center Garage
Central & Divinity Libraries
Cohen Memorial
Cole Hall
Commons Dining
Crawford
Cumberland
Curb Center
Currey Tennis
Divinity School
Drug Discovery - Cool Springs
Dyer Observatory
Dyer Residence
E. Bronson Ingram 1st Fl Dining
E. Bronson Ingram College
E. Bronson Ingram Studio Arts
East
ELC Annex
Engineering Science Building (ESB)
English Language Center
Eskind Medical Library
Featheringill-Jacobs Hall
Frist Hall
Furman Hall
Garland Hall
Gillette
Godchaux Hall
Godchaux Nursing Annex
Golf Hitting Bay
Golf Team Lockers
Grins - Dining
Hank Ingram
Hendrix McGugin - Dining
Hobbs HDL
Jesup Psychology
KC Potter Center
Keck FEL
KENSINGTON GARAGE
Kirkland Hall
Kissam Center
Kissam Market - Dining
LASIR at MetroCenter
Law Cafe - Dining
Law School
Lewis House
Link Building
Local Java - Dining
LOT 76 GARAGE
Mayborn
McGill Hall
McGugin Complex
McTyeire - Dining
McTyeire Hall
Memorial
Memorial Gym
Moore College
Morgan House
Morgan Market - Dining
MRB III and Learned Lab
Murray
Music Rehearsal
Neely Auditorium
North
Old Gym
Olin Hall
One Magnolia Circle
Owen Garage
Owen Graduate School of Mgmt
Payne Hall
Peabody Administration
Peabody Library
Pub (Sarratt Third Floor) - Dining
Rand - Dining
Rand Hall
Residence 7
Sarratt Student Center
SC Chemistry (SC7)
SC Lecture (SC4)
SC Library (SC3)
SC Math (SC1)
SC Molec Biology (SC2)
SC Physics & Astronomy (SC6)
SC Science & Engineering (SC5)
School of Nursing Addition
Seigenthaler Center
Sony BMG
Stambaugh
Station B Post Office
Student Life Center
Sutherland
Suzie's at Featheringill - Dining
TERRACE PLACE GARAGE
The Commons Center
The Hill Center
The Office for Religious Life
Tolman Hall
Vanderbilt Recreation and Wellness Center
Vaughn Home
Village Apartments
Warren College
WESLEY PLACE PARKING
West
WEST GARAGE
Wilson Hall
Women's Center
Wyatt Center
Zeppos - Dining
Zeppos College

We are following developments in decision making regarding local public schools and childcare facilities closely and will develop contingency plans around different potential outcomes. On Monday, June 8, the State of Tennessee Department of Education issued guidance on reopening schools. On Tuesday, June 9, Metro Nashville Public Schools issued its plan for the upcoming academic year.

In response, we plan to convene a group of faculty and staff to determine how we need to inform our approaches as local school leaders formulate plans for the upcoming school year. This is now one of our top priorities. Vanderbilt Child and Family Center Executive Director Kathleen Seabolt and incoming Faculty Senate vice chair Ben Harris will lead a working group on this topic.

If you have been impacted by the closing of schools and childcare facilities, please share with us your feedback or concerns by completing this form. We welcome engagement from faculty, staff, postdocs and graduate/professional students.

If obtaining food from dining sites on campus, you should wear your face mask/covering when picking it up. In alignment with ACHA guidance, if you are eating in your work environment (break room, office, etc.), maintain six feet of distance between yourself and others. Individuals should not sit facing one another. Eating alone is encouraged. Observe occupancy limits, and avoid crowding of break rooms. Remove your face mask/covering only in order to eat, then put it back on. Wipe down the table and chair you used once you are done. Common break room food and beverage items should not be used (e.g., shared coffee pots, shared water pitchers, etc.). Reusable kitchenware (e.g., forks, plates) should not be used and should be replaced with disposable options.

The health and safety of the university community are foundational to our efforts in responding to COVID-19. VU’s protocols with respect to “gatherings” prioritize core mission activities central to the university’s mission. “Gatherings” must be conducted in accordance with VU-established guidelines, and some “gatherings” must be approved.

These requirements for in-person “gatherings” are subject to change based on public health guidance and Vanderbilt protocols.

  • VU community members only: Attendance must be limited to VU community members (defined as persons with VU identification cards) only.
  • On-campus gatherings only (unless approved): Generally, off-campus gatherings are not permitted if students are in attendance and/or if VU funds will be used. Exceptions to this rule require approval by the Provost or her designee.
  • Maximum “gathering” attendance limit: The number of total/unique attendees may not exceed the maximum number under the university’s phased Return to Campus Plan (i.e., Phase II and II+ max. = 10; Phase III and Phase IV to be defined), or the VU COVID-modified maximum capacity for the space, whichever is more restrictive. Organizers count as attendees for purposes of the maximum attendance limit.
  • Capacity controls/attendance tracking: Sign-ups and ticket distribution should be managed to maintain a strict maximum number of total/unique attendees. If interest exceeds capacity, develop a clear methodology for determining who will be chosen to attend, and consider using a waitlist or setting up separate pools/pods of attendees that do not overlap. Attendance should be closely tracked to assist in contact tracing, if necessary.
  • Physical distancing: Physical distancing is required. The “gathering” may be held only if attendees can maintain appropriate physical distance given the nature of the activities contemplated. Consideration should also be given as to whether attendees will be stationary or moving around during the event.
  • Face masks/coverings: By default, all participants must wear a face mask/covering. There may be exceptional circumstances when a face mask/covering can’t be worn (e.g., woodwind performer or singer during a performance); in those cases, approval should be granted only if additional physical distance and/or physical barriers can be used.
  • Food and drinks: Food and drinks may be served in a space where classes are held only on days when no classes are held in the space, and the space must be cleaned before the next class is held. Food and drink (provided in single-serve or grab-and-go type packaging) must be consumed only while maintaining physical distancing. Attendees may remove their face masks/coverings only temporarily to eat and drink as needed.
  • Student events:
    • Recognized student organization (RSO) events: Events of RSOs must be approved.
    • Social events with alcohol: Student social events with alcohol, whether on- or off-campus, are not permitted.

WHAT IS A GATHERING?

Core mission activities are not “gatherings.” These events do not require specific approval and are not subject to the VU maximum “gathering” attendance limit. However, other VU COVID-19 protocols (including physical distancing and face mask/covering requirements) must be followed. Core mission activities include:

  • Campus Public Health Events: On-campus public health/infection prevention and response events (e.g., COVID-19 testing center, Flulapalooza)
  • Academic Courses or Co-curricular Events: Academic courses and co-curricular activities when offered in connection with a VU course
  • Mission-Related Meetings Led by Chancellor, Vice Chancellor, Dean, Vice Provost, or Department Chair: Meetings of university personnel convened to meet regarding the university’s academic-, research-, and service-related activities
  • Faculty- or Staff-Led Events in Direct Support of Learning/Discovery: University instructional and research support meetings that directly support learning/discovery and are directed by faculty/staff (e.g., lab meetings, journal clubs, poster sessions, programs of an academic/substantive nature hosted on The Ingram Commons or in a residential college and organized by a faculty head, programs of an academic/substantive nature sponsored by an identity-based center organized with its director, recitals overseen by faculty or staff member)
  • Research Lab Activities: University research lab activities, subject to the VU research ramp-up plan phases
  • Use of Libraries: Use of university libraries as an individual patron
  • Dining in Designated Dining Spaces: Dining in designated on-campus dining spaces (including outdoor spaces/tents)

Some personal/social events with members of the VU community are considered “gatherings” and are subject to the guidelines for gatherings while other personal/social events may not be considered“gatherings”:

These personal/social events with members of the VU community are “gatherings” subject to the guidelines under this policy:

  • Organized social events with students present alongside faculty/staff: Any organized social event with VU students in attendance
  • VU-sponsored (funded) faculty/staff get-togethers: Any social event with only faculty/staff in attendance, where VU funds are being used

These personal/social events are not “gatherings” and are not subject to the guidelines under this policy:

  • Non-VU-sponsored (funded) faculty/staff get-togethers: VU encourages all attendees of any event type to abide by any applicable public health orders/guidance.
  • Small, informal meet-up of students (10 or fewer, regardless of phased “maximum”): Students must comply with VU’s COVID-19 protocols, but these informal meet-ups are not subject to the broader “gatherings” requirements.

In-person events and activities with a primarily enrichment, extra- or co-curricular, or community-building purpose are “gatherings” that must follow the guidelines under this policy. Such “gatherings” include:

  • Meetings or events convened by registered student organizations (RSOs): Including Greek chapter events
  • Lectures or panels not part of a VU course: For example, Chancellor’s Lecture Series, Crawford Lecture, deans’ lectures, RSO-organized lectures
  • Art, dance, music, and theater performances: Including those organized by student organizations and offices
  • Ceremonies and receptions

What is a gathering decision tree

Based on CDC college and university and ACHA guidance, convening in groups carries a high risk of viral transmission. Gathering sizes are governed by university restrictions determined at each phase. Where feasible, meetings should be held in whole or in part using online collaboration tools (e.g., Zoom). When allowed, in-person meetings are limited to the restrictions of gathering sizes, assuming individuals can still maintain six feet of separation for physical distancing requirements. Departments should remove or rearrange chairs and tables (e.g., consider staggering seats) or add visual cue marks in meeting rooms to support physical distancing practices between attendees. During your time on site, you are encouraged to communicate with your colleagues and supervisors as needed by email, Skype messenger, telephone or other technology. You can also use a range of available collaboration tools (e.g., Zoom).

If you drive to and park on campus, you will be required to have a parking permit; violations are subject to fines and towing. If you need to purchase a campus parking permit, please contact Parking Services. Learn about additional transportation options available to you on the MoveVU website. Once you exit your car, please follow physical distancing and face mask/covering guidelines.

Based on CDC transportation guidance, if you must take public transportation, wear a face mask/covering before entering the bus or train, space out as much as possible, and avoid touching surfaces with your hands. Upon disembarking, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer with 60 percent alcohol as soon as possible. Through Vanderbilt’s recently expanded EasyRide program, full-time and part-time faculty, staff and students are eligible for free rides on all WeGo Public Transit local and regional buses and the WeGo Star train. Swipe your ID card to ride on buses and show your ID card on train. View WeGo’s enhanced modified service plan at WeGoTransit.com.

Based on CDC employer guidance, elevator usage should ensure physical distancing is achieved. Using stairs whenever possible will assist vertical circulation given that elevator capacities may be challenged. If you are using the elevator, wear your face mask/covering and wash your hands or use hand sanitizer with 60 percent alcohol upon departing the elevator. Custodial crews will be wiping down elevator buttons more frequently during the day.

Restroom usage should ensure physical distancing is achieved. This may require the use of signage to indicate when a restroom is occupied.

  • Wear a face mask/covering.
  • Wait outside the restroom in a physically distanced line until physical distancing inside the restroom can be achieved.
  • Avoid touching your face after touching door handles.
  • Wash with soap or sanitize your hands after using the restroom.

We are considering VandyRide options for the upcoming academic year that will allow us to provide late night transportation service to students following safety protocols. Plans will be finalized by August 24.

If you work in an open environment, be sure to maintain at least 6 feet of distance from any others. Based on CDC employer and ACHA guidance, consider staggering chairs or desks to achieve 6 feet of distance. You should wear a face mask/covering at all times while in a shared workspace/room. You should use your own computer, phone, headset and equipment, and not use colleagues’ equipment.

Based on CDC employer and ACHA guidance, departments should assess open work environments and meeting rooms to institute measures to physically separate and increase distance between employees and other co-workers such as:

  • Placing visual cues such as floor decals, colored tape or signs to indicate where people should stand while waiting
  • Placing one-way directional signage for large open workspaces with multiple through-ways to increase distance between employees moving through the space
  • Removing shared resources (e.g., community pen holders and pens, magazines in main office areas, etc.)

If you work in a personal office, no more than one person should be in the office unless the required six feet of distance can be consistently maintained. If more than one person is in a room, face masks/coverings should be worn at all times.

Face masks/coverings must be worn by every person in a reception/receiving area. Face masks/coverings protocols should be followed at all times.

Fall 2020 - Health and Safety

All individuals on campus are required to follow posted signage. Signage will communicate important information including, but not limited to:

  • Protocol reminders, e.g., mask-wearing, physical distancing and personal hygiene
  • Building entrance and exit points
  • Circulation guidance, e.g., one-way circulation, both indoors and outdoors
  • Floor decals denoting six feet of distance for wait areas and lines
  • Occupancy limits
  • Occupancy or vacancy of shared spaces, such as restrooms
  • Building-specific instructions, such as for laboratory work

The university will also regularly communicate with campus community members about protocols and other changes through emails, MyVU, website posts and updates to the COVID-19 website FAQs and Return to Campus portal.

Vanderbilt University requires onsite temperature screening when children, students, faculty, staff, or post docs are at increased risk for exposure to COVID-19 due to their daily activities resulting in close and/or frequent contact with others. Temperature screenings of individuals facing an increased risk of exposure can help slow the spread of COVID-19 in the Vanderbilt community.

Departments or schools with identified risk activities are required to implement temperature screening. These include:

  • Vanderbilt University Public Safety
  • Vanderbilt Athletics
  • Vanderbilt Child & Family Center (VCFC)
  • The Susan Gray School
  • Vanderbilt Facilities
  • Vanderbilt Campus Dining
  • Vanderbilt Mail Services

In addition to onsite screening, everyone on campus must perform temperature screening by taking their own temperature prior to work or school each day.

Two primary technologies are being used for on-campus temperature screening: Non-contact infrared handheld thermometers and thermal infrared cameras. The handheld device requires screeners to stand within six feet of the person being tested. The infrared camera, currently being used by Vanderbilt’s Department of Public Safety and Athletics, allows screeners to maintain a distance of six feet or more.

Individuals designated as temperature screeners will also monitor other symptoms. Screeners will evaluate individuals for flushed cheeks, fatigue, difficulty breathing, and cough prior to screening. Anyone that seems sick will be provided information about next steps.

Individuals who have been screened and have a temperature of 100.0 F or higher will be required to follow directions provided by the screener. These include:

  • Wearing a face mask/covering if they are not doing so already
  • Separating from others
  • Faculty, staff and post docs should first notify their supervisors, then contact the Occupational Health Clinic (615-936-0955) for further instructions
  • Students should contact Student Health (615-322-2427) for further instructions
  • Children in childcare or schools should follow the policies set forth by their respective centers

Campus-wide approaches to safety and the practice of mask wearing and physical distancing are important as individuals can be without symptoms and still be COVID-19 positive. Individuals who have been authorized to return to campus must also conduct symptom monitoring every day before coming to campus. It is the individual’s responsibility to comply. It is our shared duty as a community to act responsibly. All individuals must be free of ANY symptoms related to COVID-19 to be on campus or participate in activities on campus.

According to the CDC, symptoms may appear 2 to 14 days after exposure to the virus. These symptoms or combinations of symptoms include:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

If faculty, staff or postdocs develop any symptoms, they must call the Vanderbilt Occupational Health Clinic and notify their supervisor/mentor/department chair that they are reviewing their health status prior to the start of any scheduled work period or time on campus; Occupational Health will instruct the individual on appropriate next steps. For staff, time spent in dialogue with Occupational Health is not considered working time.

If graduate or professional students develop any symptoms, they must contact the Vanderbilt Student Health Center and (1) if they are in research spaces notify their supervisor/mentor/lead researcher, and/or (2) if they are taking in person classes or engaging in experiential learning roles notify their instructors and associate dean in their school/college that they are reviewing their health status prior to the start of any scheduled work, experiential or class period or time on campus; Student Health will instruct the individual on appropriate next steps.

A symptom-monitoring tool has been created within the existing VandySafe app for daily self-monitoring.

New features of the VandySafe app include:

  • Self-Assessment Tool: users are provided recommended actions based on answers to a series of guided questions
  • Return to Campus Plan
  • Vanderbilt University COVID-19 Updates
  • Report a Concern
  • Support Services

Faculty, staff and postdocs should call Occupational Health for assessment and will be directed by OHC to a testing location. Graduate or professional students  should contact Student Health for assessment and will be tested by SHC during business hours or be directed by SHC to a testing location..

For those who are in specialized facilities or a higher-risk environment for infection with COVID-19 (e.g., some research facilities, VUPS, dining, child care, etc.), your department may require temperature and symptom screening upon arrival to campus. Your supervisor/mentor/lead researcher will advise you on this requirement prior to your return to campus and on where to report when you arrive for screening. Temperature screening on campus allows the university to know immediately if someone is symptomatic. As with all other absences, the faculty/staff/postdoc/graduate or professional student is responsible for informing their supervisor/mentor/lead researcher and/or associate dean for those in classes/experiential roles. All persons conducting temperature screening will be trained in advance and will be required to wear personal protective equipment as appropriate.

In order to ensure compliance with privacy laws, records of temperature screenings or symptom assessments should not be maintained by the unit conducting the screening/assessments. It may be noted that someone was not able to work or attend class/experiential on a given day(s) because they could not be cleared. Anyone with symptoms must self-quarantine off campus until testing results are back. If the results are negative, the person may return to campus without any formal clearance.

Any questions regarding the assessment process can be directed to Occupational Health (615-936-0955) or Student Health.

Campuswide approaches to safety and the practice of physical distancing are important because individuals can be without symptoms and still be COVID-19 positive. Individuals who have been authorized to return to campus must conduct symptom monitoring every day before coming to campus or leaving their residence hall room. Daily symptom monitoring is mandatory and it is the individual’s responsibility to comply. It is our shared duty as a community to act responsibly. A student who does not live in Vanderbilt housing must be free of ANY symptoms related to COVID-19 to be on campus or participate in activities on campus. A student who lives on campus must be free of ANY symptoms related to COVID-19 to participate in activities on campus.

According to the CDC, symptoms may appear 2 to 14 days after exposure to the virus. These symptoms or combinations of symptoms include:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

A symptom monitoring tool has been created within the existing VandySafe app for daily self-monitoring. The use of this tool is mandatory beginning August 10 to prepare for campus arrival.

New features of the VandySafe app include:

  • Self-Assessment Tool: Users are provided recommended actions based on answers to a series of guided questions
  • Return to Campus Plan
  • Vanderbilt University COVID-19 Updates
  • Report a Concern
  • Support Services

A student who has any symptoms, including a fever of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or greater, must call Student Health for assessment.

If Student Health is closed and you need evaluation for COVID-19, you may call the VUMC COVID-19 hotline at (888) 312-0847 for information about after hours assessment site availability. This number is answered seven days a week from 7 am to 7 pm CT. If additional concerns or questions, the Student Health on-call provider can also be reached after hours.  

Anyone with symptoms must quarantine until the testing results are back as directed by the Dean of Students office. The student is also responsible for contacting their instructors if they are in quarantine (awaiting test or had close contact) or isolation (positive test) to alert them that they will miss in-person classes and will be taking classes remotely. If the results are negative, the person may return without any formal clearance.

COVID-19 TESTING

Faculty, staff and postdocs who have symptoms related to COVID-19, have received a positive COVID-19 test result outside the VUMC system, or have been officially notified that they are a close contact to a COVID-19 positive person must call the Occupational Health Center (OHC) at 615-936-0955 to receive guidance for their symptoms, possible testing, isolation/quarantine period, and return to campus criteria. If after-hours, OHC should call back within 30 minutes once a message is left. If OHC is not open and the symptoms are severe enough, the individual should go to the VUMC emergency department.

An individual awaiting test results must remain at home off campus in quarantine and keep their department chair/supervisor/mentor/lead researcher informed of their return-to-campus status.

If an individual believes they have contracted COVID-19 after exposure to a known COVID-19 positive person on campus and/or while performing job duties, OHC may direct the individual to complete a First Report of Work Injury or Illness.

At the current time, asymptomatic testing is not routinely recommended by the CDC and the ACHA for individuals who live in apartment-style housing or single-family homes. The Metro Nashville Public Health Department is offering free asymptomatic testing to anyone who wants it at their testing sites which are identified at asafenashville.org.

Those enrolled in VU’s health insurance plan may be aware that our insurance provider, Aetna, is taking significant steps in response to COVID-19. Aetna will waive co-pays and member cost share for COVID-19 testing. This will cover the test kit for patients who meet CDC guidelines for testing, which can be performed in any approved laboratory location.

Learn more on the Aetna website, or contact HR at human.resources@vanderbilt.edu.

Positive Case and RECOVERY

Faculty, staff or postdocs who test positive for COVID-19 must self-isolate at home* and follow current CDC guidance. To help determine the risk of potential exposure to co-workers and others on campus, as part of the Vanderbilt Public Health Central Command Center, Occupational Health will conduct contact tracing with the individual who has tested positive. Those individuals determined to be a potential close contact will be given the name of the individual who tested positive so that their risk can be further assessed. Occupational Health may contact the supervisor/mentor/department chair if further contact tracing information for the COVID-19 positive individual is needed; however, the actual test result (and any other protected health information) will not be disclosed. For more information on contact tracing, please visit the contact tracing page.

Individuals who are defined as a close contact to a COVID-19 positive person are entered into Occupational Health’s symptom monitoring survey that is completed daily. The objective is to closely monitor each individual to ensure that any signs of infection are addressed early.

Vanderbilt is following CDC’s recommended recovery strategy. If an individual had symptoms and a positive COVID-19 test, recovery status (and clearance to return to campus/work) is assigned when: 1) the individual remains fever free without the use of fever reducers for 24 hours, 2) symptoms have improved, and 3) it has been at least 10 days since their symptoms first appeared. If the individual tested positive for COVID-19 but had no symptoms, the individual can be cleared to return to campus 10 days after the test as long as the individual does not develop symptoms. If the individual develops symptoms, then the individual must follow the recovery strategy for those with symptoms. Notification for return to on-campus activities is directed through Occupational Health.

*On-campus residential faculty and staff will receive separate guidance from the Office of Academic Affairs and Residential Faculty. 

COVID-19 TESTING

Vanderbilt University established its COVID-19 safety model by leveraging collaboration and partnership with the world-class Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Vanderbilt University School of Nursing to support and protect the Vanderbilt University community as much as possible.

As a core component of our preventive measures, VU has established requirements for COVID-19 safety such as offering on-campus testing, rigorous contact tracing and symptom management. We are partnering closely with the experts at VUMC and our School of Nursing to deploy their best practices in these areas. Graduate and professional students who have symptoms related to COVID-19 must contact Student Health. If Student Health is not open and symptoms are severe enough, the student should go to the VUMC emergency department. If symptoms are not severe enough to require the ED, for the safety of others, it is extremely important to avoid all contact with others, wear a face mask/covering, and practice strict hand hygiene while awaiting the Student Health Center to open. Student Health will instruct the individual on appropriate next steps. Should you be identified as a close contact through contact tracing by the Public Health Central Command Center or Health Department, you must quarantine at home as instructed.

POSITIVE CASE AND RECOVERY

Graduate and professional students who test positive for COVID-19 must self-isolate as directed and until they have recovered. To determine the risk of potential exposure to others on campus, the Vanderbilt Public Health Central Command Center will conduct contact tracing with any student who has tested positive. For more information on contact tracing, please visit the contact tracing page.

Vanderbilt is following the CDC’s recommended recovery strategy. If an individual had symptoms and a positive COVID-19 test, recovery status is assigned when: 1) the individual remains fever free without the use of fever reducers for 24 hours, 2) symptoms have improved, and 3) it has been at least 10 days since their symptoms first appeared. If an individual tested positive for COVID-19 but had no symptoms, the individual can be cleared to return to campus 10 days after the test, as long as the individual does not develop symptoms. If the individual develops symptoms, then the individual must follow the recovery strategy for those with symptoms.

PRIOR TO CAMPUS ARRIVAL

Before an undergraduate student comes onto campus for the first time this year, they must complete the following:

  • Acknowledgment of Return to Campus requirements in Oracle Learn.
  • COVID-19 test kit that will be mailed to student’s location.

Due to their residential living arrangements and interactions across campus, all undergraduate students are required to complete pre-arrival testing before coming onto campus for the first time. We have partnered with Vault, a national provider of at-home test kits to provide COVID-19 at-home PCR saliva test kits in early August as a convenience to students. This saliva PCR test is the first FDA EUA-authorized solution of its kind and is currently a testing solution for many national companies, as well as sports leagues such as the National Hockey League, the PGA Tour, and Major League Soccer.

While initially our communications suggested a nasal swab test, we have chosen Vault’s saliva test because it is the most convenient and comfortable PCR test available; it can ship to 50 states; and it provides reliable, short turnaround times for test results. The COVID-19 testing landscape across the United States has been constantly evolving, even daily, and we wanted to be sure to provide the best possible solution for all our undergraduate students.

As students complete the Vault test, they will be supervised via Zoom by a medical professional which will allow for a higher degree of service for students and families, while also increasing test efficacy. Our providing this test kit solution for all students also allows consistent methodology across the student body and eliminates the challenge of finding asymptomatic testing options in locations across the U.S. with varying levels of availability.

Students who intend to return to campus this fall must complete a pre-arrival test. Students will receive a message from the university by August 3 with more information and detailed instructions on how to register for a free test kit. Select students who are returning to campus early, including Resident Advisers, will receive instructions earlier. Each student will be provided a unique URL to complete their registration. *Students should order their tests through the link provided them in the YES system in order to not be charged for their test.*

Students must use their unique URL to complete their registration. Important details and dates to remember:

  • Students should place their order (referred to as registering their kit) using their unique URL by 2 p.m. CT on Wednesday, August 5.
  • The kit package will include detailed instructions for how to self-collect the saliva, and how to package and send it back to the vendor for processing. Students should follow the instructions carefully.
  • Students must log in to a Zoom meeting to complete the saliva collection once they receive their test kit. Failure to do the supervised collection will result in their test being invalidated. Students must partake in the supervised collection via Zoom to confirm that they, and not someone else, are completing the test.
  • Zoom meetings are available between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. CT. No appointments are required. The preference is for students to complete their test via Zoom August 11-12 or immediately after receiving the kit if received after those dates. If there are unique circumstances where a student cannot complete the test August 11-12, please take it as close to those dates as possible.
  • Drop off the package at a UPS Store or brown UPS box by 4 p.m. CT on Wednesday, August 12 or immediately after taking their test if the test was not taken August 11-12. Students can locate a drop-off point here. Do not drop off the package at any pharmacy location such as CVS or UPS Access Points as these are not valid drop points for the purpose of test submission.
  • Adhering to this timeline will enable Vault to return results to students before students arrive at Vanderbilt.

Important details about the test:

  • The test kit will be registered to the student, and students should not swap kits with anyone else.
  • Students should not open the test tube packaging until they are ready to do the saliva collection. This will invalidate their sample and will result in needing to order another kit at the student’s expense.
  • Students should have a government ID such as a driver’s license or passport, a student ID or some other form of identification ready for the Zoom session. Expired ID is also acceptable due to government closures during the pandemic. If no ID is available, Vault has a selfie procedure students can use.
  • When students are ready to do the saliva collection, they should log in to the Zoom waiting room using the email and password provided during sign-up. Reminder: Students should not eat, drink, chew or smoke anything for at least 30 minutes before giving the sample.

Vanderbilt will be able to access test results electronically in a streamlined fashion through a dashboard portal, which eliminates the need for students to submit their results themselves.

If a student has been COVID-19-positive in the past three months, they should complete the pre-arrival testing waiver request form and will not be required to take a pre-arrival test.

Students must monitor their health and any symptoms using the VandySafe app starting August 10 to prepare for the August 24 start of classes. Students should contact a local health provider, or Student Health if in the Nashville area, if any COVID-19 symptoms develop.

COMING TO CAMPUS

If a student tests positive from the pre-arrival test kit, that student must remain in self-isolation at home, away from campus, and start all classes remotely until the student can provide a health care provider’s release form stating they have completed the required isolation time period.

If a student tested positive for COVID-19 and had symptoms, clearance to come to campus is assigned by a health care provider using CDC’s symptom-based strategy when: 1) the individual remains fever free without the use of fever reducers for 24 hours, 2) symptoms have improved, and 3) it has been at least 10 days since their symptoms first appeared, per current CDC guidelines. If a student tested positive for COVID-19 but had no symptoms, the individual can be cleared to come to campus 10 days after the test as long as the individual does not develop symptoms. If the individual develops symptoms, then the individual must follow the recovery strategy for those with symptoms.

If a student has a negative test result from the pre-arrival test kit, the student can start classes in person.

If a student is returning from abroad and does not yet have a known USA destination address, they should quarantine for 14 days in the USA prior to arrival on campus and should complete the pre-arrival testing waiver request form to determine testing options.

Students who do not complete a pre-arrival test will not be permitted on campus, including to move in to their residence hall assignment (if applicable), and may be subject to course registration cancellation for the fall 2020 semester, or they may elect remote study.

The following information outlines how COVID-19 testing and recovery will work while on campus during the fall semester. Information on pre-arrival testing can be found on the pre-arrival testing page.

TESTING WHILE ON CAMPUS / DURING THE SEMESTER

ALL STUDENTS NOW

Students who are on campus now, prior to the start of the fall semester, who have symptoms related to COVID-19 or have been officially notified that they are a close contact to a COVID-19-positive person must contact Student Health. If Student Health is not open and symptoms are severe enough, the student should go to the VUMC emergency department. If symptoms are not severe enough to require the ED, then, for the safety of others, it is extremely important to avoid all contact with others, wear a face mask/covering, and practice strict hand hygiene while awaiting the Student Health Center to open. Student Health will instruct the individual on appropriate next steps.

UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS FALL SEMESTER

Vanderbilt University is establishing its COVID-19 safety model by leveraging collaboration and partnership with the world-class Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Vanderbilt University School of Nursing to support and protect the Vanderbilt University community as much as possible. Vanderbilt is employing testing methods in consultation with VUMC experts and will continue to evaluate all testing options and methods moving forward.

Students who have symptoms related to COVID-19 must contact Student Health. If Student Health is not open and symptoms are severe enough, the student should go to the VUMC emergency department. If symptoms are not severe enough to require the ED, for the safety of others, it is extremely important to avoid all contact with others, wear a face mask/covering, and practice strict hand hygiene while awaiting the Student Health Center to open. Student Health will instruct the individual on appropriate next steps.

VU will set up a testing center at the David Williams II Recreation and Wellness Center (DWIIRWC) in partnership with VUMC and the School of Nursing. Post-arrival testing of the entire undergraduate student body will occur within four weeks of the start of the semester. This comprehensive testing program, along with the pre-arrival testing information, will provide data to inform continued decisions for possible random or periodic testing throughout the fall. Random surveillance testing will allow the university to monitor community disease and spread in a more effective, statistically significant way over time.

POSITIVE CASE AND RECOVERY

Students who test positive for COVID-19 must self-isolate as directed until they have recovered. To determine the risk of potential exposure for others on campus, the Vanderbilt Public Health Central Command Center will conduct contact tracing with any student who has tested positive. Please visit the Contact Tracing page for more information on contact tracing.

Vanderbilt is following the CDC’s recommended recovery strategy. If an individual had symptoms and tests positive for COVID-19, recovery status is assigned when: 1) the individual remains fever free without the use of fever reducers for 24 hours, 2) symptoms have improved, and 3) it has been at least 10 days since their symptoms first appeared. If an individual tested positive for COVID-19 but had no symptoms, the individual can be cleared to return to campus 10 days after the test as long as the individual does not develop symptoms. If the individual develops symptoms, then the individual must follow the recovery strategy for those with symptoms.

To mitigate the risk to others of potential exposure and to protect all on campus as much as possible, a Vanderbilt Public Health Central Command Center (the Command Center) has been established to manage contact tracing and notifications across VU communities. This Vanderbilt Command Center is a collaboration between the Nurse Faculty Practice Division in the School of Nursing, the Vanderbilt Student Health Center (SHC) and the Vanderbilt Occupational Health Center (OHC), and it will conduct contact tracing with individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19. By launching this robust in-house contact tracing capability, developed in collaboration with experts at VUMC, VUSN and Metro Public Health, Vanderbilt ensures coordinated contact tracing between campus and the Nashville community that is as timely as possible.

Faculty, staff, postdocs and students who live off campus and test positive for COVID-19 must self-isolate at their home/current residence and follow current CDC guidance as directed until they have recovered. Residential students who test positive for COVID-19 must self-isolate as directed by the dean of students until they have recovered.

Contact tracing generally works as follows:

  • If an individual develops symptoms and is awaiting a COVID-19 test, receives a positive COVID-19 test result, or is identified as a close contact by contact tracers, then the individual stays home (or in the case of residential students, goes to quarantine space as directed by Dean of Students) until released.
  • When a positive COVID-19 test result is identified, a contact tracer will be assigned immediately to the case. The contact tracer will interview the individual and identify all contacts. Close contacts are defined specifically as noted below. Close contacts are entered into a database and notified by phone and email. Information on how to proceed is relayed to each individual who is a close contact, as well as to the Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) director.
  • The EHS director will coordinate information among entities and activate support from the Office of the General Counsel, Dean of Students, Human Resources, Facilities/Disinfection, VEHS, and Communications.
  • The contact tracer will relay information about any non-VU close contacts to the Metro Public Health department.

Please note that during this process the name of the index case will be disclosed to possible contacts, but protected health information will not be disclosed.

Per both VU Return to Campus protocol and CDC guidance, a close contact is defined as any individual who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to positive test collection) until the time the patient is isolated.

Things to Remember:

  • Incidental exposure such as walking by someone in the hallway, using the same equipment or the same area/room is not close contact.
  • Surface contamination is not a primary pathway of concern per the CDC. Public areas will be frequently disinfected by Facilities/Plant Operations.

The Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) currently provides access to COVID-19 testing free of charge as long as the test is ordered by a licensed medical provider and FDA authorized. Free access to testing is currently being offered through October 22, 2020. The Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) also provides access to COVID-19 treatment free of charge through October 22, 2020. After October 22, 2020, the student’s insurance benefits as outlined in their insurance brochure – including their deductible and copays – will apply. Students on the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) should reach out to Vanderbilt’s on campus insurance liaison, Kristy Miller, at 615-343-4688 or Kristina.miller@vumc.org with questions.

The university is using a streamlined process to evaluate an individual’s concerns about how their personal circumstances surrounding COVID-19 may place them at greater risk. That risk may be the result of their own underlying health condition or age, or it may be due to the health condition of a family member for whom the individual provides care. Vanderbilt is taking every appropriate precaution to protect our entire community as we return to campus and classrooms.

Individuals with certain conditions may have a higher risk for COVID-19 infection. According to the CDC, people at increased risk include:

Students coming to campus

For on-campus students requesting accommodations for the first time, or for those students requesting a change to an accommodation, please log into the Commodore Access Portal and make the request.

Each student will make the decision, based on their personal circumstances, to either return to campus or study remotely. Students should keep in mind that there will be students on campus this fall who may have underlying conditions rendering them more vulnerable to COVID-19 infection. It is the responsibility of each community member to fully commit to protecting the Vanderbilt community’s collective health and well-being.

students opting for remote-only instruction

See: Undergraduate Students Not Returning/Opting for Remote-Only

STAFF AND POSTDOC accommodations

Staff and postdocs can submit a request for COVID-related accommodations, and the request will be evaluated based on an individualized assessment of the basis for the request and the requirements of the individual’s professional position. To initiate a request for a COVID-related accommodation, go to the Equal Employment Opportunity homepage on the Vanderbilt University website and select the COVID-19 Accommodation Request image on the right side of the page. Requests should be submitted to EEO as soon as possible to facilitate preparation for fall 2020.

The Roadmap for Reopening Nashville acknowledges higher-risk groups as a specific subpopulation, and Vanderbilt acknowledges that we may need to make special contingency plans for the voluntary return to campus by members of those groups, for example, by allowing members of those groups to continue to work remotely when possible. If members of higher-risk groups return to campus voluntarily even when the Roadmap for Reopening suggests they may be safer at home, we will ask them to acknowledge the risk associated with being on campus.

FACULTY ACCOMMODATIONS

We all share the goal of protecting, as much as possible, the health and safety of our faculty, their families and all members of our community as we prepare for the start of the fall semester. If you are affected by a situation that increases your health risk (or that of a family member) by your returning to campus, you should submit a Reasonable Accommodation Request Form to the Equal Employment Opportunity Office.

Although medical information is routinely and normally required for the accommodations process, for many of us this is a new experience. It might feel uncomfortable to disclose to the EEO Office personal information about our vulnerabilities or those of our family members. Using the EEO accommodations process is the very best way to ensure your medical information stays separate from those that make decisions about your faculty appointment. The EEO policies and process protect your rights.

The medical details of your request for an accommodation are not a part of your employment history, nor will this medical information ever be shared with your dean. The EEO team, and HR as needed, will keep your personal medical information confidential. The information is only used by the EEO team to evaluate your request for an accommodation and to determine the most appropriate and reasonable accommodation to ensure you are as safe as possible. Your rights, both to privacy and to safety in the workplace, are paramount in this process. If you have any questions at all about how to submit a request, how requests are processed or what resources are available to you, you should reach out to EEO Director Anita Jenious or her staff.

To be clear: The provost and the deans will not have access to your confidential personal medical information.

Supporting our students is our utmost priority, and the university is committed to providing options and alternatives that allow all of our students access to a world-renowned education, no matter the instruction mode.

All courses will be prepared to be offered both in person and remotely. This gives us flexibility to adapt to remote instruction only should conditions warrant it.

Vanderbilt University may choose to transition to remote-only learning based on the following:

  • Local, state or national shelter-in-place advisories or restrictions that require remote-only learning
  • Quarantine and self-isolation capacity for the residential population
  • A surge in cases coupled with increased severity of illness among campus demographic cohorts
  • Contact tracing analysis (a surge in cases tied to an event vs. tied to rampant community spread with severe illness may be treated differently, for example)

The decision to begin the semester enrolled in on-campus instruction will be accompanied by an acceptance of responsibility for full payment of tuition, housing costs and relevant fees. No refunds for these costs will be issued if the need to finish the semester fully online arises.

This includes if a student leaves for personal or disciplinary reasons after being on campus, or if the university has to shift to online-only instruction. If the university has to shift to online-only instruction, we hope to be able to allow students to remain in on-campus housing; however, the university reserves the right to require students to vacate campus housing if necessary, including to comply with any applicable government order.

Contingency planning for whether students residing on campus might remain on campus if any possible shift to online-only instruction might occur is ongoing. 

We know students had many difficult financial and personal decisions to make for the fall semester. To assist with these decisions, we have given students the option to study remotely if it is a better fit for them during this time. We have also allowed upper-division students to choose off-campus housing instead of living in the university’s residential facilities.

In the event of a resurgence in COVID-19 cases that results in a shift to remote learning, Campus Dining will significantly scale back its campus services to match Vanderbilt’s changing needs. Should a ramp down of residential housing occur prior to the scheduled last day of in-person classes (November 20, 2020), Dining will work with Student Accounts on dining adjustments. Meal plan components eligible for adjustments include:

  • Meal Money – all unused meal money will be credited in full.
  • Meal Plans – Students enrolled in the 21 Plan, 19 Plan, or 14 Plan will receive a credit for the unused portion of their meal plan based on the portion of the term remaining

Facilities staff will follow these protocols when disinfecting a space after a known COVID-19 positive case:

  1. If possible wait 24 to 72 hours before cleaning while increasing ventilation in the space (office, suite, floor[s] or building).
  2. Plant Operations personnel entering the space will use the appropriate protective equipment (masks, gloves, etc.).
  3. All personal items (dishes, toothbrush, etc.) will be relocated and contained for later disinfection.
  4. The entire space will be cleaned using EPA-standard approved cleaning products.
  5. High-touch areas will be wiped or sprayed with additional disinfecting products.
  6. The entire space will be fogged using EPA disinfecting products.
  7. Reoccupancy may occur 12 hours after the space has been fogged.
  8. Before occupants are allowed to return, the space will receive a thorough inspection to include (as applicable):
  • Operation of all plumbing fixtures
  • Flushing of the HVAC system
  • Lighting
  • Elevator operation
  • Identification of any nonperforming building systems

Plant Operations, a unit within the Vanderbilt University Facilities Department, will operate in accordance with the increased cleaning and disinfection protocols recommended by the Centers for Disease Control, using Environmental Protection Agency-approved products that are effective against the COVID-19 virus. Throughout the pandemic, Plant Operations has monitored and adopted CDC recommendations.

The CDC’s “Considerations for Institutes of Higher Education,” May 30 updated guidance specifically recommends routine disinfecting and cleaning of surfaces and objects that are frequently touched using the cleaners typically used, according to the directions on the label. The CDC says that most common EPA-registered household disinfectants should be effective.

At a minimum, there will be twice daily disinfecting of high-touch areas throughout campus. Classrooms will be disinfected daily during routine cleaning. Disinfecting wipes will be provided in classrooms and other spaces for use by the occupants. Facilities is also implementing zone-based disinfectant teams who will be easily identifiable.

Facilities will follow CDC guidelines for cleaning of outdoor areas, which calls for routine cleaning.

Plant Operations staff received cleaning and disinfection protocols training at the onset of the pandemic and will attend future training sessions on the latest protocols. In accordance with CDC and university guidelines, all staff members will wear the required personal protective equipment including face masks/coverings while on campus.

In addition to normal cleaning routines, custodial staff will also disinfect frequently touched surfaces or high-touch points and objects using EPA approved products. Examples of frequently touched surfaces and objects that will receive the minimal twice-daily disinfection are:

  • Tables in common spaces
  • Doorknobs
  • Light switches
  • Door handles
  • Hand railings
  • Bathroom stalls
  • Sink handles
  • Grab bars
  • Water fountains

Cleaning services for public/common spaces such as restrooms, lounges, lobbies, and hallways will be increased. Other duties such as emptying trash, vacuuming/cleaning of floors of private offices once per week will continue. Otherwise, cleaning/disinfecting of private offices and work areas will be the responsibility of occupants.

The following will NOT be cleaned by custodial staff.

  • Desks
  • Keyboards
  • Touch screens
  • Remote controls

Disposable wipes will be made available through each school/college’s and department’s building or facilities officer so that commonly used surfaces and objects can be wiped down before use. For soft surfaces such as carpeted floors or fabric in seating areas, guidance indicates to continue cleaning with cleaners appropriate for use on these surfaces and disinfecting with appropriate product for the specific surfaces; vacuum carpets as usual.

Hand Sanitizing Products and Touchless Features

  • Hand sanitizing stations will be located at key areas within all campus buildings.
  • Sanitizing products such as hand pumps and wipes will be available at key locations (ingress/egress, elevator lobbies, etc.) and can be obtained through each school/college’s and department’s building or facilities officer.
  • Foot pulls will be installed on doors of high-use areas such as restrooms.
  • Plant Operations will gradually replace hand-operated paper towels and soap dispensers with touchless products in restrooms.

These practices will continue to evolve as the CDC releases new recommendations.

The Vanderbilt University Facilities Department, in alignment with the guidelines released by the Centers for Disease Control concerning building system operations to stop the spread of COVID-19, as well as guidance from the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers, is committed to providing the safest environment for students, faculty, staff and the entire Vanderbilt community.

The guidance from these sources is very similar and falls into three basic categories:

  • Increasing the amount of outside air being delivered to spaces
  • Using high-efficiency filtration in systems that circulate air around large numbers of spaces
  • Maintaining temperature and humidity levels within spaces

The university is implementing strategies to comply with these guidelines. The Facilities Department is also working to implement an overnight cycle during which buildings are flushed with an increased volume of outside air without exceeding the heating and cooling system capacities.

The Facilities Department will continue to adhere to ASHRAE published guidance for safe and healthy buildings, which emphasizes increased fresh-air ventilation and close management of indoor air quality, temperature and humidity.

To keep the Vanderbilt community as healthy as possible, indoor conditions will be maintained at temperatures ranging from 68 to 76 degrees and relative humidity of 45 to 50 percent.

Although the university is implementing these extra safety measures, it is up to each member of the Vanderbilt community to practice physical distancing, washing or sanitizing hands, and using face masks/coverings in all public spaces on campus to limit the spread of COVID-19, as recommended by the CDC.

For individuals in a private setting and not wearing a face mask/covering, the CDC recommends to always cover their mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing or using the inside of their elbow. Throw used tissues in the trash. Immediately wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.

FACE MASKS/COVERINGS

Face masks/coverings (e.g., disposable masks or cloth face coverings) must be worn by all individuals on campus at all times in public indoor settings (e.g., common workspaces, public spaces, hallways, stairwells, elevators, meeting rooms, classrooms, break-rooms, restrooms, etc.). Faculty may opt to wear face shields in lieu of masks/coverings while teaching and while following other classroom protocols. If physical distancing is possible, individuals working in private offices or laboratory environments that do not otherwise require face masks/coverings may remove their face masks/coverings while in such spaces.

Physical distancing must be maintained at all times when outdoors. Face masks/coverings must be worn at all times when outdoors, with the following limited exceptions:

    1. While engaged in vigorous outdoor recreation, such as biking or running, so long as physical distancing is maintained at all times including with those walking on campus paved paths, sidewalks, plazas
    2. While actively engaged in eating/drinking outdoors, so long as physical distancing is maintained
    3. While outdoors and sitting in one spot, so long as physical distancing is maintained

Appropriate use of face masks/coverings is important in minimizing risks to the wearers and those around them according to both CDC and ACHA guidance. You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick. The face mask/covering is not a substitute for physical distancing. This applies to off-site and leased building space, as well as on the main Vanderbilt campus, both indoors and outdoors.

Each faculty member, staff member, postdoc and student will be provided with one cloth face covering. Disposable masks will be provided, if needed. Individuals and departments can contact their assigned building manager or liaison in their college, school or department to acquire cloth face coverings or disposable masks. You also may wear homemade cloth face coverings that adhere to CDC and other public health recommendations. This will help Vanderbilt reduce the need to purchase additional masks, which are in short supply. A disposable mask must not be used for more than one day. See details regarding face mask/covering use and care below.

An individual who is having difficulty wearing a face mask/covering should contact Occupational Health (faculty, staff, postdoc) or Student Health (student) for direction. A faculty member, staff member, or postdoc who cannot wear a face mask/covering because of medical or other reasons should contact the Equal Employment Opportunity office for possible accommodation measures.  Students should contact Student Access Services for possible accommodation measures.

Type and Intended Use of Face Masks/Coverings

TypeCloth Face CoveringDisposable MaskMedical-Grade Surgical MaskN95 Respirator
DescriptionHome-made or commercially manufactured face coverings that are washable and help contain wearer’s respiratory emissionsCommercially manufactured masks help contain wearer’s respiratory emissionsFDA-approved masks to protect the wearer from large droplets and splashes; helps contains wearer’s respiratory emissionsProvide effective respiratory protection from airborne particles and aerosols; helps contain wearer’s respiratory emissions
Intended useRequired for campus community use in all settings (common workspaces, public spaces, hallways, stairwells, elevators, meeting rooms, classrooms, breakrooms, campus outdoor spaces, in restrooms, etc.) Not required when working alone and physical distancing is possible.These masks are reserved for healthcare workers and other approved areas with task-specific hazards determined by OESO.

Use and Care of Face Masks/Coverings

Putting on the face mask/covering

  • Wash hands or use hand sanitizer prior to handling the face mask/covering.
  • Ensure the face mask/covering fits over the nose and under the chin.
  • Situate the face mask/covering properly with nose wire snug against the nose (where applicable).
  • Tie straps behind the head and neck or loop around the ears.
  • Throughout the process: Avoid touching the front of the face mask/covering.

Taking off the face mask/covering

  • Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth when removing the face mask/covering.
  • When taking off the face mask/covering, loop your finger into the strap and pull the strap away from the ear, or untie the straps.
  • Wash hands immediately after removing.

Disposal of face masks

  • Keep face mask stored in a paper bag when not in use.
  • Disposable face masks must not be used for more than one day and should be placed in a trash receptacle.
  • Dispose of a face mask if it is visibly damaged (e.g., stretched ear loops, torn or punctured materials), dirty or visibly contaminated.

Care, storage and laundering of cloth face coverings

  • Keep face covering stored in a paper bag when not in use.
  • Cloth face coverings may not be used longer than one day at a time and must be washed after use.
  • Disinfecting method: Launder cloth face coverings with regular laundry detergent before first use and after each shift. (Disposable masks are not washable.)
Gloves

Gloves are not necessary for general use and should not replace good hand hygiene. Washing your hands often with soap and water is considered the best practice for common everyday tasks. Please speak with your supervisor to determine if gloves are necessary.

Goggles/Face Shields

Individuals are not required to wear goggles or face shields as part of general activity on campus. Good hand hygiene and avoiding touching your face are generally sufficient for non-health care environments.

The CDC recommends that community members should wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after they have been in a public place or used the restroom; after blowing their nose, coughing or sneezing; and before and after eating. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol. Individuals using hand sanitizer should cover all surfaces of their hands and rub them together until they feel dry. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

Custodial crews will continue to clean offices and workspaces, classrooms and public spaces based on protocols developed with CDC guidance in mind, and individuals should take additional care to wipe down commonly used surfaces after use. It may not be possible for the university to provide product for personal use, but before you leave any room in which you have been working or eating, it is recommended that you swab down all work or eating areas with EPA-registered disinfectant. This includes a private workspace or any shared-space location or equipment (e.g., computers, A/V and other electrical equipment, copiers, desks and tables, chair arms, light switches, doorknobs, handles, etc.). To the best of your ability, you should clear desk and table surfaces in personal offices and workstations to aid in thorough cleaning. Using a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol is also effective after contacting commonly used surfaces.

Maintaining space between you and others is a best practice according to the CDC and is required on the Vanderbilt campus to avoid exposure to the COVID-19 virus and slow its spread. Because people can spread the virus before they know they are sick, it is important to stay away from others whenever possible, even if you have no symptoms. Physical distancing is especially important for people who are at higher risk. Individuals on campus should follow these physical distancing practices:

  • Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people.
  • Do not gather in groups.
  • Stay out of crowded places and avoid mass gatherings.

In an effort to guide the university community in practicing healthy behaviors during the COVID-19 pandemic, Vanderbilt has launched the Public Health AmbassaDore program to address questions regarding campus health and safety measures.

The program has been established as an additional resource for the Vanderbilt community to navigate changes on campus. As identified representatives of the university, the Public Health AmbassaDores will help promote social norms to create a safe working and learning environment for all within the Vanderbilt University community. AmbassaDores will model exemplary adherence to all university protocols, serve as peer models and sources of information for individuals on campus, assist with knowledge dissemination and help communicate across specific sub-communities, and more.

The first AmbassaDores selected for the program are VUPS community service officers, and the program will expand prior to the fall semester to include other individuals (e.g., facility/building managers, volunteers among staff, faculty, students). The Public Health AmbassaDores will receive training, resources, and support to prepare them for the role.

The expectations of a Community PHA are that you are willing to provide community members with masks, sanitizer, or more information as needed about best health practices on campus. This volunteer position is a way for members of the VU Community to have the best available information to keep themselves and this campus healthy and safe.

CDC Website

Oracle Learn PHA Program Training Link

Vanderbilt Return to Campus website

Becoming a Public Health AmbassaDore

You can submit this form yourself with departmental approval or have your department leader or manager submit on your behalf.

Once a form has been submitted you will receive a link to the Oracle Learn training that is mandatory to become a Community PHA.

After the training and quiz has been completed, you will receive a confirmation email that it has been completed.

Finally, a PHA team lead will reach out to you regarding next steps and how to receive PHA supplies.

Thank you for your interest!

FORMS 

Frequently asked questions

What is a Public Health AmbassaDore?

As identified representatives of the university, the Public Health AmbassaDores will help promote social norms to create a safe working and learning environment for all with the Vanderbilt University community. AmbassaDores will model exemplary adherence to all university protocols, serve as peer models and sources of information for individuals on campus, assist with knowledge dissemination and help communicate across specific sub-communities, and more.

Who is eligible to become an AmbassaDore?

Any Vanderbilt faculty and staff can take the training online. However, officially designated Public Health AmbassaDores should seek approval from the supervisor and/or department leader.

How do I apply to become an AmbassaDore?

Those who are interested in becoming an AmbassaDore should fill out the online form above and you will receive a confirmation email with next steps to become an approved AmbassaDore.

Is there required training to become an AmbassaDore?

Yes. After you or your supervisor/department leader have completed and submitted your information through the form available on the website, you will receive a confirmation email with how to complete the online training through Oracle Learn.

What are the expectations/responsibilities of AmbassaDores?

  • Serving as a source of information to promote the university’s expectations for reopening during COVID-19
  • Assisting with building circulation
  • Encouraging face mask/covering usage
  • Encouraging physical distancing
  • Providing directions to hand sanitizer stations or hand washing locations; and
  • Distributing COVID-19 packets that include masks and hand sanitizer upon request.

Do I need approval to apply?

Yes. To become a designated Public Health AmbassaDore, you will need approval from your supervisor and/or department leader.

Will I be compensated for being and AmbassaDore?

No. This is a voluntary program and AmbassaDores will not receive additional compensation.

How are AmbassaDores identified?

Public Health AmbassaDores will be identifiable with attire and materials made specifically for the program.

What are the time commitments of a Community PHA?

The time commitment as a Community PHA is dependent on your availability and the events of the fall semester. It is important to communicate with your department leader or manager your availability to be able to volunteer as a Community PHA during the week.

Who can I contact if I have additional questions?

Contact Brittney Whatley at brittney.m.whatley@vanderbilt.edu for more information.

What number can I call to ask protocol questions or report a concern?

The PHA hotline number is operated by dispatch. They are able to answer questions regarding COVID-19 safety protocols, return to campus questions or connect you with a Community PHA to deliver masks, sanitizer or other information to you. The hotline number is 615-343-1352.

During this time of uncertainty,Vanderbilt is committed to supporting the overall health and well-being of the entire campus community through resources that offer support, stress management and strategies for resilience across all demographics. Vanderbilt recognizes that COVID-19 has magnified disparities in a number of areas (e.g., housing, technology, finances, access) among and between various populations of students, which can lead to negative effects on personal wellbeing. 

STUDENT SUPPORT

To address this reality, we are enhancing support for our students’ health and well-being through collaboration with the Nurse Faculty Practice Division in the School of Nursing, which will provide counseling for any students who are in quarantine and isolation. We are also providing new tele-health options and additional programming through theStudent Care Network, a holistic network of wellness services and resources available toallVanderbilt students. 

The University Counseling Center provides students with access to professionals who have experience helping specific identity groups. The Provost’s Office for Inclusive Excellence, through its identity centers and identity initiatives, will also continue its commitment to fostering a safe and welcoming community that is inclusive and respectful of differences. Inclusive Excellence is launching identity initiatives this academic year to support international students as well as first-generation students. 

Parents and students with questions can call a new dedicated hotline at 615-322-4357 for any question related to the fall. Vanderbilt has expanded capacity to take these calls, and, from this line, calls will be routed to the right unit as/if needed.

Student Care Network will:

  • Provide clinical mental health and psychiatric services, well-being and academic coaching, care coordination and follow-up, and other health and wellness services
  • Provide access to counselors with expertise for specific identity groups
  • Enhance staffing and training
  • Increase tele-health/self-directed app options
  • Implement targeted programming
  • Re-formulate “drop-in” services
  • Revise collaborative follow-up models
  • Continue financial assistance
  • Support virtual community-building efforts

ADDITIONAL CAMPUS SUPPORT

HELPLINE

We are also offering a dedicated helpline to help answer your questions at 615-322-4357. The help line will be staffed by counselors between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. CDT, Monday through Friday.

 

Vanderbilt is committed to supporting your overall health and well-being. Faculty, staff and postdocs should visit the Vanderbilt health and wellness website for more information and resources that offer support, help manage stress and enhance your resilience.

During this time of uncertainty, Vanderbilt is committed to supporting the overall health and well-being of the entire campus community, through resources that offer support, stress management and enhanced resilience across all demographics. Vanderbilt recognizes that COVID-19 has magnified disparities in a number of areas (e.g., housing, technology, finances, access) among and between various populations of students, which compounds the negative effects on well-being.

We are enhancing support for our students’ health and well-being by enhancing Student Health’s ability to best serve the student population through collaboration with the Nurse Faculty Practice Division in the School of Nursing. We also are providing new telehealth options, additional programming and more through the Student Care Network, a holistic network of wellness services and resources available to all  Vanderbilt students.

The University Counseling Center provides access to professionals with experience helping specific identity groups. The Provost’s Office for Inclusive Excellence, through its identity centers and identity initiatives, will continue its commitment to fostering a safe and welcoming community that is inclusive and respectful of differences. The office is launching identity initiatives this academic year to support international students as well as first-generation students.

Fall 2020 - Policies and Compliance

Before returning to campus or participating in any on-campus activities including in-person classes, work, or research, all faculty, staff, postdoctoral scholars and students must complete online or physically sign the COVID-19 Return to Campus Acknowledgment.

The Acknowledgment explains the university’s guiding principles and related plans associated with the return to campus, describes certain guidelines and protocols that campus community members will be required to follow, and requests each person to confirm that they will cooperate to protect the health and safety of our campus community.

At the conclusion of the online module/Acknowledgment document, the individual will be asked to acknowledge that they have been informed of the risks and responsibilities associated with the return to campus and agree to follow all Vanderbilt University guidelines related to reducing the spread of COVID-19 infection.

Vanderbilt’s Return to Campus Plan follows a phased and data-driven approach and considers the city of Nashville’s phases, adapting them to be applicable to a college campus.

Compliance serves as an important aspect of the Return to Campus Plan, reminding campus community members of their responsibilities in helping to reduce the spread of COVID-19. With the understanding that campus life will look very different with compliance in place, guidelines have been developed to promote the health and safety of the campus community as much as possible.

ADDRESSING NONCOMPLIANCE

Students, faculty, staff and postdocs will be expected to comply with all university policies and protocols designed to reduce the spread of COVID-19 infection and promote the health and safety of the Vanderbilt and Nashville communities.

Intentional or reckless disregard for these policies and protocols by students will be addressed through the Office of Student Accountability, Community Standards, and Academic Integrity, using the existing sanctioning considerations found in the Student Handbook, including by reviewing the potential impact on the community in the evaluation of the nature and severity of the incident, which may support an enhanced sanction.

The Vanderbilt Faculty Manual provides that faculty may be disciplined for violations of the university’s standards of conduct. The process for reaching a decision to discipline a faculty member is overseen by the dean in consultation with the provost.

The university’s progressive discipline policy states that a staff member can be disciplined for violations of protocols and procedures governing safety. The policy outlines a process for correcting single and repeat episodes of employee failure to comply with rules. Safety violations will be handled under this process.

Fall 2020 - Research

General Questions

Vanderbilt has received $2,816,212 in funds for students and has disbursed all of these emergency funds to eligible students. Details>>

Given our continued restrictions on large gatherings and the health and safety protocols that we will have in place concerning physical distancing, we have made the difficult decision to cancel Family Weekend this year, which had been tentatively scheduled for Oct. 9-10. We will officially communicate this decision to all parents and families in the coming days. This is traditionally one of our favorite weekends of the year and we deeply regret having to cancel it, but we believe it is a necessary step as part of our efforts to protect the health and safety of all members of the Vanderbilt community as much as possible.

Return to Campus Plan

Vanderbilt will phase in a return of faculty, staff and postdocs in a coordinated process to ensure appropriate physical distancing, availability of protective gear and testing capabilities for COVID-19. Individuals will return to campus based on the core activities they support and their demonstrated need to be on campus. No one should return to campus without authorization.

These efforts will be tightly coordinated to mitigate potential risks and ensure the safety of our campus community and the other communities we serve. No unit or department should increase authorized levels beyond current needs to support critical on-site operations and activities without approval from the appropriate dean or vice chancellor. Once decisions to expand on-site levels of return in certain areas are made, individuals should follow the campuswide policies and protocols detailed in this guide for returning to work on campus.

Compliance with the policies and protocols outlined on this website, as well as those from your supervisor/mentor/dean, is required for continued access; violation (e.g., blatant disregard for infection prevention measures) may result in the immediate revocation of building access privileges, disciplinary action, and/or other interventions.

Staff will be recalled to campus in an orderly fashion in support of core mission activities (on-campus research; on-campus instruction; undergraduate residential living and learning). Staff will be informed by their supervisors when and under what circumstances they are to return to work on campus and should not return until authorized.

REMOTE WORK

Those who can work remotely to fulfill their work responsibilities should continue to do so to limit the number of individuals on campus and the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Remote work arrangements must be approved by the immediate supervisor and can be accomplished on a full or partial day/week schedule as appropriate.

ALTERNATING DAYS OR ALTERNATING WEEKS

Based on CDC employer and ACHA guidance, to limit the number of individuals and interactions on campus, departments should consider scheduling partial staffing on alternating days or weeks with staff who are required on campus (e.g., two weeks remote, two weeks on campus OR one week on campus, three weeks remote). Such scheduling will enable physical distancing, especially in areas with large common workspaces. To contain “germ circles,” it is best to schedule the same people on the same days to limit any one individual’s exposure to other individuals when possible.

STAGGERED REPORTING/DEPARTING

Based on CDC employer and ACHA guidance, the beginning and end of the workday typically bring many people together at common entry/exit points of buildings. Staggering reporting and departure times by at least 15 minutes will reduce traffic in common areas to meet physical distancing requirements. (See Indoor and Outdoor Spaces: Entry/exit controls for further details.)

Travel

All university-sponsored domestic and international travel is restricted until further notice.

We strongly encourage everyone to postpone all non-essential personal travel.

Exceptions to these university policies may be requested by contacting your dean or vice chancellor. Granting of exceptions to the travel restrictions requires a reasoned consideration of all factors.

University-sponsored travel includes any travel covered by or reimbursable from university funds or extramural grant funds. This includes travel by faculty, staff, postdoctoral fellows, students or visitors.

Resources

Pandemic Travel Guidance

Study Abroad

Vanderbilt has suspended participation in all Global Education Office study abroad programs for fall 2020. Many factors make study abroad challenging at this time, including the continued restrictions on entry to all countries in which GEO offers programming, travel restrictions within and among countries, lack of visa processing, and the difficulty of predicting specifics of the health and safety situation for our students. Given the pandemic and ongoing need for measures including quarantines and physical distancing, we are also mindful that study abroad experiences in the coming months likely would not look like the study abroad you’ve imagined.

Personal Travel

We ask that students stay in the Nashville area and not travel away from campus for weekend trips through the end of in-person classes on Friday, November 20. 

In addition, there will not be any University-sponsored travel during the fall semester, including for registered student organizations.

Undergraduate residential students who are able to do so will leave campus for the Thanksgiving holiday and will not return to campus until the start of the spring semester. We are adopting this plan based on current public health guidance regarding risks associated with coming and going to and from campus, and models suggesting a potential resurgence of COVID-19 cases with the onset of influenza season.

 


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