Frequently Asked Questions: Spring 2021 Reopening
Find answers to your questions about our Spring 2021 reopening plans below.
FAQs by Topic
How will Morehouse protect the safety of students, faculty, and staff on campus?
- Students, faculty, and staff will be tested for COVID-19 prior to arriving and periodically during the semester (at least once per week). We will follow public health guidance on contact tracing for those who test positive or have been exposed to the virus.
- Students who test positive will be quarantined as will any students who have come into close contact with a person who has tested positive.
- We will use technology to monitor increases in community virus transmission, as well as to perform contact tracing.
What is the COVID-19 testing and screening protocol for students, faculty, and staff?
- We will implement rigorous health and safety protocols that follow the guidance of federal, state, and local public health experts and epidemiologists. A robust plan for COVID-19 testing and app-based symptom tracking will be implemented for all students, faculty, and staff returning to campus in Spring.
- Testing for basketball players will be held two-to-three times per week. The plan will also use contact tracing and offer quarantine measures to isolate those who test positive for COVID-19 or have come into close contact with someone who has.
- Morehouse students experiencing COVID-19 symptoms can visit the James B. Ellis Sr. Student Health Center at Morehouse or the newly opened AUC Student Health Center on Lee Street.
- They can also call Campus Safety after hours at (404) 215-2666.
What should students living on campus or commuting do if they have COVID-19 symptoms?
- Students who experience symptoms following their return to campus should alert their professors and the Morehouse Department of Health Services so that contact tracing can begin, if necessary.
- Commuter students should see their personal physicians, get tested, and shelter in place at home.
- Students living on campus should visit the James B. Ellis Sr. Student Health Center or the AUC Student Health Center on Lee Street and prepare to quarantine. A residence hall has been set aside for those who have tested positive for COVID-19 or have been exposed to it.
Will students or employees be penalized for failure to wear safety face masks or social distance?
- COVID-19 containment and prevention rules will be strictly enforced.
- Students, faculty, and staff may be subject to disciplinary action for failing to follow our health and safety guidelines.
Will Morehouse reverse its decision to reopen campus?
- The fluid state of the pandemic could make it necessary for the College to alter our plans if safety officials deem that Morehouse cannot provide a safe environment for students.
- Our Emergency Management Team is monitoring the spike in COVID-19 cases across the country as the virus continues to cause record high rates of infection.
This schedule is subject to change based on the spread of the virus and the recommendations of public health officials.
When do classes begin for the Spring 2021 Semester?
The Spring 2021 Semester academic calendar has been designed to reduce opportunities for potential spread of the COVID-19 virus as much as possible.
- The start of the semester will be delayed until Feb. 1.
- Select courses will be offered in-person, depending on the availability of professors, and the major and classification of students.
- Final exams will be held from May 3-7.
- The Spring 2021 Semester ends on May 7.
What is J-Mester and when does it begin?
- The Morehouse College Justice-Mester (J-Mester) is a special winter term focused on social justice education. The issues are curated through courses taught by Morehouse College faculty and affiliated content experts
- J-Mester classes will be held from Jan. 11-29, 2021.
Will the Atlanta University Center offer cross registration for the Spring 2021 Semester?
- Classes open for cross-registration will be taught virtually.
How many classes will be taught in person at Morehouse and how many will be available online?
- Most Spring 2021 semester classes will be taught virtually.
- An in-person experience may also be offered for some courses. A number of faculty are preparing to return to campus for instruction, depending on guidance from local health officials. Select courses may be offered in-person, depending on the availability of professors, and the major and classification of students.
- More information will be provided about the on-ground classes in December.
Will Spring Break be added to the calendar?
- No. There will be a brief, self-care break from classes held at the end of March. No classes will be held on Wednesday, March 31, or Thursday, April 1. Good Friday, (April 2) was already designated a school holiday.
When will Commencement be held for the Class of 2021?
- Commencement weekend is scheduled for May 14-16. Due to the fluid nature of the spread of COVID-19, the graduation date could be postponed.
How can I apply for housing for the Spring 2021 Semester?
- A housing survey will be sent to students to determine who is interested in returning to campus. Both freshman and upperclassmen housing will be available. The housing application will be posted to TigerDen Housing Portal.
- More information about housing will be available by Wednesday, Nov. 18.
Am I guaranteed a single room due to the pandemic?
- No. Most rooms are double occupancy.
Which residence houses will be used for student housing?
- The following residence halls will have student housing available: W.E.B. DuBois International House, The Living Learning Center (LLC), Charles Hubert House, and Samuel T. Graves House will accommodate freshmen. Kilgore Residential Commons, Robert Hall, Wiley A. Perdue House and Otis Moss Jr. Residential Suites East will house upperclassman.
Will Morehouse provide housing for students who must quarantine due to COVID-19 infection?
- A limited number of quarantine and isolation spaces have been reserved for students who are infected with COVID-19.
Will the cafeteria be open?
- Yes. Chivers Dining Hall will be open for grab-and-go food options and have limited space for socially-distanced seating during meals. Meal plans will be required for students living on campus.
- More information on plan options will be available by Dec. 1.
What other dining options are available?
- The Morehouse College Bookstore, P.O.D. Market, and a campus restaurant will also be open.
Will there be an on-ground New Student Orientation experience during the Spring 2021 Semester? Can students attend if they participated in the virtual NSO program in the fall?
- Yes. NSO will be held from Jan. 25-29. Outdoor activities are being planned so that freshmen and new transfer students can have a modified NSO experience as they bond with their Morehouse brothers.
Will Morehouse host community events and activities during the Spring 2021 Semester?
- We will continue to offer a number of virtual events and activities that will engage all students whether they are studying online and or on campus. We are also considering some on-ground options that would fall within crowd-size limits during the pandemic.
- Indoor events must be limited to 10 people and outdoor events will be limited to 100.
- Pre-registration will be required for most events.
Will we be able to invite our friends at Spelman, Clark Atlanta University, or other campuses over for a visit?
- No visitation will be allowed at Morehouse College or other Atlanta University Center campuses.
Will the library be open for students who want a place to study?
- The Atlanta University Center (AUC) Robert W. Woodruff Library will continue to provide remote and in-person services to AUC students.
What are the COVID-19 safety protocols for the library?
- The Robert W. Woodruff Library, shared by all AUC students, has instituted policies to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 spread.
- These include: reorganizing spaces inside the library to provide for social distancing; limiting the number of people who can access the library at any given time; requiring personal protective equipment, such as masks; and increasing the frequency of surface cleaning. In addition, numerous library resources are available online, and library staff members are available to assist students and faculty virtually.
- For more information, visit the library website.
Will faculty and staff return to campus?
- In this new hybrid environment, faculty and staff members will continue to serve the College both in-person and virtually. A number of faculty are preparing to return to campus for instruction, depending on guidance from local health officials. Select courses may be offered in-person, depending on the availability of professors, and the major and classification of students.
- Classes open for cross-registration will be taught virtually.
- Staff will report to work for rotating shifts Mondays and Wednesdays, and Tuesdays and Thursdays, with alternating Fridays, depending on their assignments.
Are faculty and staff required to return to campus to continue working during the pandemic?
- Employees who have reservations about returning to campus, pre-existing conditions, or family responsibilities that would hinder their return, can contact their supervisors and the Office of Human Resources so that work accommodations can be made.
What should faculty and staff do if they become infected with COVID-19 or develop symptoms of the virus?
- Faculty and staff who experience symptoms following their return to campus should alert their supervisors and the Office of Human Resources so that contact tracing can begin, if necessary.
- Employees should also see their personal physicians, get COVID-19 tests, and shelter in place at home.
What changes have been made to make buildings, residence halls, and common areas safe for use during the pandemic?
- To help maintain social distancing on campus, adjustments to entry points, pedestrian traffic patterns, seating, and facility layouts have been made. Signs will designate new traffic patterns and seating requirements. Additional hand-sanitizing stations have been installed in high traffic areas. Ventilation systems have also been evaluated to reduce the risk of COVID-19 exposure.
How often are campus buildings, residence halls, and common areas sanitized?
- Office buildings, classrooms, residence halls, and common areas will continue to be cleaned regularly. High-touch points will be disinfected three times daily.
Will all campus buildings be open to students, faculty, staff, and visitors?
- No. Please call ahead to check building access restrictions. You can reach the Campus Safety Department at (404) 215-2666.
What must visitors do to access the campus during the pandemic?
- Access to the campus will be very limited.
- Visitors must adhere to Morehouse’s requirements for daily temperature screening checks, safety face masks, and social distancing.
- A state identification card must be shown to gain entry to the campus. Visitors also will be asked to identify which building that they will be going to, and possibly how long they plan to stay on campus.
What should employees do to help their guests to access the campus for meetings or other business?
- Morehouse employees, vendors, and contractors should alert their supervisors about potential visitors so that a daily list can be prepared and shared with Campus Safety prior to a visitor’s arrival. Employees are encouraged to limit campus meetings with visitors as much as possible and use Microsoft Teams, Zoom, or another online platform instead.