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Jan. 20, 2021 – Undergraduate student Return to Campus Update

Posted by on Wednesday, January 20, 2021 in Community Messages.

We look forward to welcoming you back to campus!

We are working hard, getting ready to help you have as healthy and safe a semester as possible.

We recognize the challenges and struggles you are continuing to face in a time full of unknowns. As we near the one-year mark since the pandemic began, we have seen you thrive and succeed through it all. You continue to do the right things and accomplish your goals despite hurdles.

Though there is still a way to go in the fight against COVID-19, there is hope on the horizon. Some are now receiving vaccines, but the virus is still spreading. We  must vigilantly adhere  to the safety protocols we developed in the fall—physical  distancing, face mask wearing, following  gathering protocols and washing hands—to protect our community as much as possible.

We learned so much this fall, and we want all to embrace what we learned to make this spring semester successful.

Please be assured that we will continue to rely on public health guidance and keep everyone informed as conditions evolve this season.

Spring Return to Campus Town Hall

Last week we  hosted an online  town hall  to talk about details and expectations for spring semester. If you missed it, you can watch the recording.

Spring Testing Program and Protocols

A key component of our spring plan is our twice-weekly mandatory spring  testing program  and updated quarantine  protocols  for undergraduate students.

Move-In and Commodores Care Period

To support the health of our community and reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, all undergraduate students returning for in-person classes, whether they live on or off campus, will participate in the Commodores Care period from Monday, Jan. 25, through Wednesday, Feb. 3.

Even if you have a negative test result and are symptom-free, you need to avoid social interactions and in-person activities. During the Commodores Care period, you can do the following:

  • Leave your residence to attend in-person classes.
  • Pick up to-go food or supplies.
  • Seek medical attention.
  • Engage in outdoor activities that do not involve close contact, such as walking, hiking or running.

All other university programming and student organization activities will be virtual.

If you have a positive test result or symptoms, you must follow the university’s quarantine and isolation requirements.

Off-campus students must follow safety protocols as well. If you live with others but have your own bedroom, follow safety protocols and avoid close interactions with those you share your apartment with. If you share a bedroom with another individual, follow safety practices and only interact with your roommate.

Looking Ahead at the Spring Semester

We learned so much this fall and have used what we learned to prepare for spring. Some of the activities and resources we hope you’ll access to connect with your fellow Commodores and support your mental and physical well-being after the Commodores Care period include: 

  • Going to the David Williams II Recreation and Wellness Center. The center is tenatively scheduled to reopen in early February after the Commodores Care period for students. Though it will reopen in phases and the hours will be limited, we know this resource has been missed by students. We look forward to welcoming you back to it.  
  • Spending time outside with your friends as daylight gets longer through the season. 
  • Hanging out with friends and classmates between classes in the five heated outdoor tents 
  • Participating in informal meet-ups with a group of eight or fewer friends to go for a walk, play Frisbee or participate in other activities.  
  • Scheduling more check-ins with your friends to see how they are doing. 

As always, you must adhere to safety protocols while participating in these activities. 

Personal Travel

We know you may need to travel during the spring semester; however, we want to remind you that travel is only allowed under certain conditions and with permission.

  • If you wish to leave the Nashville/Davidson County area during the semester because of extenuating circumstances, such as receiving medical treatments or attending a family wedding or funeral, you must complete a travel request form at least 72 hours before the proposed travel.
  • Requests will be reviewed, and you will be notified if the travel is permitted.
  • More information about what you must do during approved travel and once you return can be found on the Return to Campus website.
  • Lack of compliance with these travel requirements will result in referrals to the Office of Student Accountability.


We encourage you to keep making meaningful connections with your fellow Commodores through informal meetups of eight or fewer people after Feb. 3.

  • When you spend time with others, remember that you must follow safety protocols—including face mask wearing and physical distancing.
  • If you plan to have food and drink, everyone should maintain physical distance and remove their face masks/coverings only temporarily to eat and drink as needed.
  • No guests are allowed in on-campus residences. Instead, socialize in common areas or outdoors when weather permits.
  • More information can be found on the Return to Campus website.

Spring Return to Campus Acknowledgment Deadline is Jan. 25

Complete the Spring Return to Campus Acknowledgment in Oracle Learning  by Jan. 25 if you have not done so already.

Your contributions to creating a campus community that is as healthy and safe as possible are immensely valuable, and you are making a significant difference in the lives of the people around you.

Other News and Updates

Jan. 7: Update on COVID-19 vaccines
Jan. 8: Message to undergraduate students on spring arrival; launch of Commodores Care period
Jan. 11: Message to undergraduate students on spring semester updates
Jan. 20: Graduate and professional student Return to Campus Update
Jan. 20: Faculty Return to Campus Update 
Jan. 20: Staff Return to Campus Update 
Jan. 20: Postdoc Return to Campus Update