Return to Campus FAQ
When you return, the campus will look different. Here is what we have determined so far:
- Stockton’s fall 2020 term is scheduled to begin on Tuesday, Sept. 8, and finish on Friday, Dec. 18. If calendar adjustments are necessary due to any state or federal directives, we will alert the University community as soon as possible. For more information on Stockton’s fall calendar, visit the University’s fall 2020 academic calendar page.
- Courses may be taught in multiple teaching modalities. These may include in-person classes on campus, hybrid classes that combine in-person and online lessons, and completely online classes.
- There will be extensive safety protocols in place for faculty, staff and students. Masks will be required in some settings. Building modifications will be in place to promote and enforce social distancing. Signage around campus will provide guidance. Cleaning procedures will be enhanced.
- Student housing will be modified to comply with state and federal guidelines. Students will be notified in July of changes in housing availability.
- Procedures will be implemented to test and/or quarantine faculty, staff and students as needed.
- Those unable to return to campus can apply for a return to work modification by completing the Return to Work Modification Request Form (available at the Office of Human Resources). Requests for modifications may be considered under limited circumstances.
- In addition, the New Jersey Department of Labor developed a set of new rules for Returning to Work: Health, Safety, Childcare & Caregiving. Additional information can be found at the Labor and Workforce Development website for returning to work during COVID-19.
- Additional information about the federal government’s Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) can be found here.
Although Stockton’s detailed fall restart plans are still under development, there are a few high-level concepts we can offer:
The University-wide goal is to support a general principle of six feet of physical separation in public spaces, including::
- Classrooms, labs, and studios
- Residential living facilities
- To the extent possible, public access facilities and routes such as restrooms, hallways, and stairwells
- Dining and food service areas
- Shuttle transportation
These efforts will be supported with protocols relating to campus signage, classroom, and public-space guidelines.
As just one example: many standard classrooms may incorporate a “checkerboard” seating arrangement for students (every other seat in every other row) to help support physical distancing.
Cleaning and Sanitizing
Protocols for cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing campus rooms and buildings are being developed in accordance with local, state, and federal public health guidelines.
Stockton’s maintenance and custodial staff will clean and disinfect campus buildings more frequently to help reduce the spread of germs on commonly-touched surfaces like door handles, sink faucets, handrails, computer stations, etc.
Our dedicated employees can’t do it alone. We must all do our part by using disinfecting wipes (provided by Stockton) to wipe down common areas to minimize surface transmission of bacteria and germs.
The University is also working to increase the number of touch-free hand-sanitizer units and waste receptables throughout our campus locations.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- The University will require everyone students, employees, and visitors
- to wear face coverings while in public/shared spaces on campus. Individuals who have underlying health conditions which prevent the wearing of such coverings will need to contact Human Resources (employees) or the Wellness Center (students) to request an exception.
In general, cloth face coverings that are reusable/washable will serve as the recommended PPE. These masks should be washed daily.
Similar to other protective wear (like shoes), each person will be expected to provide their own mask or cloth covering. A limited supply of disposable surgical masks will be available at various campus locations for individuals who forget their cloth covering.
The health and safety of our campus community remains our highest priority and Stockton will continue to follow all public health guidelines as our restart plans progress.
To support the well-being of our Stockton community, Stockton is employing six major safety protocols:
- Physical distancing guidelines
- Sanitation procedures
- Campus signage
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- Ongoing communication
- Health monitoring
To support the well-being of our Stockton community, all employees should familiarize themselves with these Guidelines for Campus Health and Safety before returning to work and follow these measures at all times when on campus. In addition, all employees will be required to complete a Coronavirus Awareness training course through the Safe-Colleges platform. More information will be forthcoming.
While our protocols are designed to help protect our campus community to the greatest extent possible, no plan or set of guidelines can be considered perfect. Our goal at Stockton is to do as much as possible to support a healthy environment while we all do our best to keep ourselves and each other safe.
The success of our plan will rest on the willingness of the community to share responsibility for each other’s health and safety. Every member of our community must do their part. This means adhering to national and state health guidance and requirements, and to those measures the University deems safe and appropriate for our campus.
As additional guidance is made available from state or federal entities, Stockton’s procedures will be adjusted and communicated as needed.
Although masks and personal protective equipment (PPE) are a central component of Stockton’s health and safety plan, some individuals will be medically excused from wearing a face covering.
Students: if you are in proximity to someone not wearing a mask, do not put yourself in an awkward or uncomfortable position. Do not ask the person to put on a mask or ask them to show you medical documentation. Instead, do whatever you can to keep yourself six or more feet away from the person.
Faculty: if a student with no authorization from the Wellness Center refuses to wear a mask in your class, you may ask the student to leave your classroom. Where appropriate, the student should be directed to the Wellness Center to obtain an exception from using a face covering due to medical reasons.
The University will maintain an ongoing education and awareness campaign to remind everyone of the importance of healthy and safe behaviors.
All of us have a role to play in keeping each other safe. All members of the campus community must follow the directions outlined in the Fall 2020 Restart plan and reaffirm that each day. Violations should be reported to Human Resources (for employees) or the Office of Student Affairs (for students). Policy violations will initially be addressed through education and training training but all faculty, staff and students can face further disciplinary action for repeated acts of noncompliance and are subject to the Campus Code of Conduct.
All students, faculty, and staff will be provided with at least one reusable face covering. This mask should be washed daily in the laundry or by hand using hot, soapy water. If you have a private office and you are alone, you will not be required to wear a face covering.
Stockton will also maintain supplies of single-use surgical-type masks throughout various campus locations (Campus Center Information Desk, Library front desk, various study areas, etc.) in the event you forget or lose your mask. However, we encourage all students to bring their own face covering as part of a safe and responsible daily routine.
Please remember, disabilities are not always visible and some people may not be able to wear a face covering because of respiratory problems. People will be able to disclose this information:
- Students should contact the Wellness Center
- Faculty and staff should contact the Office of Human Resources
Yes, everyone in the Stockton community is permitted to bring their own disinfectant wipes to campus. The University will also provide wipes for classrooms, public areas, and workspaces.
We hope to have a set of procedures available on the web by the end of July.
It’s important to understand that the procedures Stockton will eventually articulate will relate to:
- Keeping our entire University community safe;
- Adhering to public health guidelines at the county, state, and federal level.
There will be a number of factors involved when such a scenario occurs. Testing and contact tracing will be essential in all situations. Contract tracers will speak with the individual (or the person’s parent or guardian as the circumstances require) to learn more about with whom the person has had contact. The tracers will then make recommendations to these individuals.
It is important to remember that public health guidelines and directions are constantly changing and evolving. For example, right now, if a positive case is discovered in a classroom, it is not best practice to automatically place everyone in that class into a 14-day quarantine. On the other hand, if a residential student tests positive for COVID-19, the student’s roommates will be contacted and advised to test.
Stockton will not enact strict movement requirements. We have over 6,500 commuter students who live at home or off-campus and must travel back and forth every day. We want to make sure our health protocols are safe and fair for everyone.
Please make sure to follow Stockton’s six health guidelines whether you are on- or off-campus.
We must all work together for the safety of our entire community. Our actions are not just about personal preferences or keeping ourselves safe; we are all making choices that affect everyone with whom we’ve come into contact.
Stockton presently does not have its own policy on domestic travel in the time of COVID-19. As a public institution, we will adhere to guidelines and directives set forth by the State of New Jersey.
Those traveling out of state should check the New Jersey travel advisory list to see if you are visiting a state where a 14-day self-quarantine is recommended upon returning to New Jersey.
Employees may be required to utilize Families First Coronavirus Response Act leave and/or accrued leave, dependent on operational need and the nature of work responsibilities (as determined by the Office of Human Resources and your Divisional Executive).
In the field of building maintenance, when it comes to COVID-19, there is much discussion about bringing more outside air into buildings to increase air quality. Such a step is dependent on the type of mechanical systems within the building.
Stockton’s mechanical systems are limited to bringing in outside air and this can only be done at night (after hours). The Facilities and Operations division is looking further into this opportunity as well as additional filtration alternatives.
Yes, Stockton’s cleaning, sanitizing and equipment procedures will be consistent at all of our locations.
The prevailing recommendation from health care professionals is to not require testing for all. Testing is a point-in-time function. If someone gets tested today and it takes 48 hours for the results to come back, the results themselves will be outdated by two days.
Lowering the campus’ risk relates to Stockton’s “safe environment plan:”
- Wear a face covering;
- Stay physically distant (six feet apart as often as possible);
- Practice safe hygiene – wash hands, don’t touch your face, etc.
There are important reasons why Stockton is confident in our ability to reopen our campus to in-person learning and housing for the fall semester.
- First, we will continue to follow all guidelines and requirements from the state and federal governments. Ultimately, we can only fulfill our pledge to reopen in the fall if public health guidelines permit us to do so.
- Second, New Jersey’s Office of the Governor continues to maintain a very cautious approach to protecting the safety of state residents. Our state adheres to some of the strictest health guidelines in the country. At Stockton, we strongly support this approach and will remain in ongoing contact with public health and education officials regarding our campus’ restart plans.
- Third, Stockton has worked with the New Jersey Office of the Secretary of Higher Education and other higher-education institutions throughout the state to develop broad guidance that each college and university can adapt to serve their students, faculty, and staff. New Jersey is not a “one size fits all” situation because every college and university is unique in its mission, location, purpose, and students they serve.
- Fourth, different sections of New Jersey are experiencing COVID-19 in different ways. The overall numbers in south Jersey have remained relatively low and Stockton feels confident in the restart plan we have submitted to the state. If COVID cases continue to stabilize or decline in the state, we will be excited to have you back on campus.
- Lastly, Stockton can only restart our campus if we have the cooperation of our entire Osprey community. As students, parents, faculty, staff, alumni, and community partners, we must all commit ourselves to adhering to our health and safety protocols at all times.
- Keeping ourselves safe and healthy is a shared responsibility; we can do our part
- Wearing masks or face-coverings at all times.
- Maintaining physical distancing of six or more feet.
- Practicing health, hygiene and sanitizing protocols.
- Adhering to screening, testing and contact tracing protocols, etc.
We need everyone in our community working together to keep each other safe. Doing so will help us all enjoy the benefits of the Stockton experience. We miss you and want to see our campus thriving again!
The UROC umbrella team and its four sub-teams prepared a set of recommended procedures and protocols to help bring our students, faculty and staff back safely to our physical campuses. These recommendations were presented to the President’s Cabinet in early July. Stockton's Fall 2020 Restart Plan was sent to the state July 6 for approval and is available on our website.
We will continue to release details of our reopening plans as greater clarity is provided by the various state and federal agencies leading the way, including Governor Phil Murphy’s office, the Office of the New Jersey Secretary of Higher Education, the CDC, and OSHA, to name a few.
Stockton has a robust restart webpage that we are constantly updating with new information from local, state, and federal officials as well as our own internal planning efforts.
The University continues to add up-to-date information on our restart planning efforts, including:
- An extensive list of FAQs providing important information which continues to grow larger.
- The University’s 65-page restart planning document submitted to the New Jersey Office of the Secretary of Higher Education.
- Survey results from hundreds of our students, faculty, and staff about their thoughts regarding our restart efforts.
- An ongoing checklist of key milestones and actions steps we have completed and will continue to monitor from the start of the fall term all the way until the end of the calendar year.
Stockton’s fall schedule will remain in effect as originally scheduled (see dates below). While some schools are adjusting their fall schedule (such as starting earlier and ending earlier), many are doing so because the majority of their students reside in on-campus housing. In Stockton’s case, two-thirds of our students do not live in the residence halls, which means there is always a great deal of movement on and off campus. Adjusting our fall calendar would have no discernible impact regarding public health guidelines and we will continue to monitor all appropriate conditions.
Stockton’s Fall 2020 term begins Tuesday, Sept. 8, and ends Friday, Dec. 18. If calendar adjustments are necessary due to any state or federal directives, we will alert the University community as soon as possible. For more information on Stockton’s fall calendar, visit the University’s fall 2020 academic calendar page.
Yes, Stockton’s reopening efforts are subject to state guidelines and regulations as well as the possible trajectory of the COVID-19 virus in the coming months. Everyone must be mindful that flexibility will be needed as we continue progressing toward our fall 2020 restart.
Stockton would close its campus locations if an executive order came from the Governor’s Office requiring us to do so.
Stockton monitors and complies with all current public health guidelines and requirements. If conditions change and allow for some relaxing or modification of our health and safety protocols, we would be willing to move toward these steps, under the guidance of and in partnership with local and state officials.
Faculty are working with their program coordinators and school deans to determine adjustments to their courses’ modalities (e.g. – how the course will be delivered to students).
In general, Stockton has three primary courses modalities; these are listed below, along with the current percentage of courses scheduled in that category:
- 18% Completely in-person (what most students consider to be a traditional class)
- 29% Hybrid (a course that combines in-person and online learning)
- 48% Fully online course (no in-person instruction)
- 5% Undecided
Presently, almost half of our fall classes will have some element of in-person instruction
All fall courses have been updated to reflect the expected modality and can be viewed by logging into your GoPortal account.
Scheduling priority has been given to courses that require in-person specialized spaces: labs, clinicals, studios, experiential learning, etc.
Stockton remains in ongoing contact with every off-campus partner to ensure they are complying with public health guidelines and also to help them understand the health and safety requirements we require to keep our students safe.In addition, we are learning more about their locations’ specific protocols, including obtaining documentation to help us appreciate their needs and how they are preparing to provide a safe environment for our students. Information about specific partner sites will be discussed among students, faculty members, and program coordinators based on the various placement locations.
For reference, Stockton’s entire set of policies and procedures can be found here.
Here are three procedures we recommend all students and faculty be familiar with as they prepare for the fall 2020 semester.
No, Stockton does not plan to extend this option into the fall 2020 term.
For the fall term, all colleges and universities in the state are prohibited from filling their residence halls to capacity. Dormitory floors (including communal bathrooms) as well as individual dorm rooms must maintain occupancy limits. All of Stockton’s dorm rooms will have either one or two students per bedroom. Learn more about housing updates here.
Stockton is considering several off-campus housing opportunities to help reduce the volume and density of students living in the residence halls in order to adhere to public health guidelines. We will provide updates to the Stockton community in the coming days and weeks.
- Entrance areas.
- Walking/traffic flow patterns.
- Seating arrangements to support occupancy limits.
- Grab-and-go options.
We are also looking into electronic seating reservation and online food ordering systems to help limit the number of people in these areas at any given time in accordance with state guidelines.
Additionally, Stockton’s food service provider, Chartwells, is providing up-to-date training for all its employees regarding government health and hygiene protocols.
All of these updates are designed to help maintain our sense of community and sociability while supporting a socially-conscious effort to provide safe environments for all of us.
Throughout the summer, student leaders of our dozens of clubs and organizations are meeting with their advisors to plan a variety of activities to engage and energize students in new and different ways. Campus events will factor in health and safety protocols and student leaders are designing a variety of remote experiences, which will help expand participation and attendance in many of the events and programs we will offer. Creative thinking and flexible solutions will definitely be part of our fall semester!
Stockton announced July 28 that its varsity sports teams will not participate in competition in the fall season.
Stockton is studying all of the non-classroom areas throughout campus to identify potential locations where we can create study spaces or areas where students can quietly participate in their online courses while on campus. More details about these space options will be available in the coming weeks.
The same health and safety protocols in place for our classrooms and labs will be applied in the Library – required masks or face coverings, physical distancing, personal health and safety protocols, etc. We are also researching the possibility of an online reservation system to help us manage occupancy limits in the Library and all computer labs.
Stockton has engaged in conversations with experts in the field, including faculty and deans, regarding lab work and studio space (dance, art). Some suggested protocols have been developed and are currently with the faculty and deans for their review and input.
- Like classrooms and office spaces, common restrooms will have occupancy limits. For example, even though a restroom may have five fixtures/stalls, there might be a limit of two people at a time.
- Stockton staff will not be able to monitor every restroom, so it will be important that we all do our part to make smart, healthy decisions. For example, if you enter a restroom with a modified occupancy limit of two people and see two people already in there, please step back outside and wait for someone to exit.
- Common restrooms will now be cleaned twice per day with a third deep cleaning at night.
- Custodians throughout the buildings will monitor the potential need for additional cleaning of certain high-traffic areas. Custodians will pay particular attention to high-touch areas, such as door handles, hallway railings, etc.
Stockton is researching online appointment systems to help manage space capacity and physical distancing requirements. The University will also likely expand its use of remote interactive opportunities, such as Zoom sessions, tele-counseling, etc.
Stockton’s Office of Human Resources has begun contacting employees to return to campus. Everyone should continue to work from home until they receive such a notice. Stockton will relay updates about work restarts as the Governor’s Office provides additional details regarding the state’s plan.
Employees are being called back to campus in a phased approach based on specific operational needs that will help ensure the campus is ready for an anticipated September opening. Supervisors and managers are working with employees to coordinate schedules, job locations and work safety guidelines.
With the initial call-back, many employees work in the Division of Facilities and Operations: HVAC, plumbing, electrical, maintenance workers, grounds crew, etc. As the summer progresses and more on-campus services need to resume, staff members in other areas will be contacted.
The tentative schedule for essential employees to return to campus is:
- Level 1: June 15; Facilities & Operations (F&O)
- Level 1a: June 22: additional F&O; some ITS
- Level 2: July 6
- Level 3 and 4: Aug. 3
The four levels of employees are:
Essential Level 1
Employees crucial to the process of reopening the campus and who must perform critical duties on-site. To this end, it is necessary that these employees physically be on campus to support/assist the University’s reopening and continued operations.
Essential Level 2
Employees who perform critical duties toward resuming and supporting campus operations, and can work both at home and on site. These employees will begin a staggered schedule of returning to campus on July 6.
Non-Essential Level 3
Employees and who can perform their duties both at home and on site. These employees will gradually return on a staggered schedule once the governor has determined that we are in Stage 3 of reopening, on or around Aug. 3.
Non-Essential Level 4
Employees who not categorized as essential, but who must be on campus to perform their duties. These employees will gradually return on a staggered schedule once the governor has determined that we are in Stage 3 of reopening, expected on or around Aug. 3.
Employees should coordinate schedules and work location with their supervisor.
Faculty can contact their dean to discuss their course modalities for Fall 2020, including the possibility of a fully online teaching schedule.
Survey results from Stockton students regarding the fall semester indicate a preference for in-person classes. One of Stockton’s primary goals is to accommodate students’ needs while safeguarding everyone’s health.
Employees should submit the work modification request form available through the Office of Human Resources, which now includes a section for childcare. Human Resources will then reach out to the employee and his or her manager to determine the feasibility of a modification plan. We will continue to monitor updates from the state regarding this issue.
There is additional information on the state’s Department of Labor website, including a link regarding “Returning to work: health, safety, childcare, and caregiving.” This information includes up-to-date information as well as links to state and federal benefits, resources and guidelines.
This will depend on certain factors. If a staff member works in a space where it is not possible to physically distance from co-workers, staggered work schedules will be a possibility. However, Stockton’s goal is to begin having staff members return to on-campus work in August.
Yes, provided Stockton’s “safe environment plan” procedures are followed. The faculty member and student must both wear face coverings and practice a physical distance of at least six feet. In addition, faculty members should consider hosting office hours through remote means such as Zoom sessions.