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Safe and Healthy Rams

Safe and Healthy Rams

Learn what Huston-Tillotson University is doing as we work to reactivate campus for the Fall 2021 semester, and how you can help keep yourself, and your family and friends, safe and healthy.

We are taking a proactive, science-based approach to reactivating campus and curbing the spread of COVID-19. Together, we resolve to protect ourselves, our community, and the greater good.

The resumption of full operations at Huston-Tillotson facilities includes a combination of the use of appropriate face masks, physical distancing, hand hygiene, limited density in indoor spaces, control of the flow of traffic into and around select high-traffic buildings, vaccination encouragement, testing, symptoms tracking, and contact tracing.

This information is evolving as we follow the science. Please check regularly for updates.

 

Fall 2021 Campus Reactivation
Find our full Reactivation document here, and check regularly for updates.
COVID-19 Vaccine Information

Information on COVID-19 vaccination from Austin Public Health

Commencement

Honoring our 2020 and 2021 graduates on August 7th, 2021

Guiding Principles

  • Given the current trends and projections, Huston-Tillotson University is planning to resume on campus operations for the Fall 2021 semester.
  • Masks are required everywhere on campus, inside and outside, with few exceptions. For more information on face covering requirements and other expectations, please review the full Reactivation document. All mask guidelines still apply even if you are fully vaccinated. 
  • Testing will be required throughout the fall semester.
  • Vaccines are highly encouraged. We will have on-campus COVID-19 vaccination clinics that will be open to all HT faculty, staff, students, alumni and their family members. More information on vaccine availability in the Austin area can be found here.
  • We regularly update our Reactivation document. Please check regularly for updates.

 

Safe and Healthy Rams Standards

Teaching & Learning

Instructors will employ hybrid and/or blended models of instruction whenever possible to reduce the number of people meeting in-person at any one time. This means that courses will combine face-to-face instruction time and both synchronous and asynchronous online components.

During instruction time, some students will be present in person while others are connected remotely via classroom technology that allows for teleconferencing. Students will alternate between in-person and remote attendance, but all sessions will take place in real time (synchronous). Classes will be split into smaller groups for in-person portions, which reduces exposure by allowing for appropriate spacing in the classroom and effective air handling. This model will also accommodate students who are isolated or in quarantine, or those who for health reasons may need to engage online.

In keeping with overall campus policy, only students, faculty, and staff who have passed a health screening will be allowed into instructional buildings and spaces. 


Masks

Face masks that fully cover the nose and mouth must be worn at all times in all public spaces on the HT campus and in HT facilities. Face masks must be worn properly (over nose, mouth and chin) in indoor and outdoor settings, including, but not limited to classrooms, conference rooms, shared office spaces, hallways, university vehicles and common areas such as lobbies, study spaces and the library.

Indoors or outdoors, exceptions are made for those dining or taking part in performance-based classes.


Living on Campus

Residential housing will be open with limited capacity. Students who desire to live on campus are encouraged to apply now. Housing applications will close on June 30, 2021 for continuing students, and July 31, 2021 for incoming freshman and transfer students.
In order to secure a room assignment, students must ensure the following steps are completed:
  1. Pay $150 housing deposit if you are a new or transfer student.
  2. Register for Fall 2021 classes.
  3. Submit your FAFSA for the 2021 – 2022 academic year.
  4. Meet requirements for financial clearance (80% paid and a payment plan for the remaining balance). Once your FAFSA is completed, contact studentaccounts@htu.edu for a status on your account and next steps.
  5. Submit any missing or expired vaccination records. To review HT’s vaccination requirements, visit our website or email vaccinations@htu.edu.
Students who do not complete these steps will not be assigned a room and, therefore, could risk missing out on the residential experience as our capacity is limited. Do not delay!

If you have any questions, please contact our Residence Life team directly at ResLife@htu.edu.


Mental Health and Wellness

Due to the rise in self-reported mental health issues including anxiety, sleeplessness, and difficulty focusing during the pandemic’s isolation and forced inactivity, HT campus mental health services will proactively implement programs to support our campus community.


Campus Entry

Campus entry will be limited to the main entrance gate at 900 Chicon St and the west gate on Chalmers Ave. These will be the only gates used to enter and exit the campus until further notice. The north campus gate at 11th St will be closed until further notice.

All visitors must register and obtain a visitor’s pass and adhere to on-campus safety guidelines, especially the requirement to wear masks while on the main campus ground. This will allow an officer to identify visitors who have checked in with officers quickly.

All visitors/vendors entering the gates will be required to complete a screening to include any or all of the following: a health questionnaire, temperature screening, and/or evidence of recent negative COVID-19 test before proceeding to their destination.


Contract Tracing, Isolation, and Quarantine
When a member of our campus community (student, faculty, staff member) tests positive for the virus, it is critical that the university trace the contacts they have had with others to limit the spread of the virus.

If you or someone you are in contact with becomes symptomatic or concerned about COVID-19 exposure:

  • Stay home. Do not visit the campus or public places.
  • Get Screened: Call (do not visit) your healthcare provider to get screened:
  • Follow the instructions of campus or local health care provider.

Source: “Symptoms of COVID-19” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Students, faculty and staff who are exposed to or have a confirmed case of COVID-19 will be required to be in isolation or quarantine as appropriate for the recommended number of days or until symptoms subside.

Isolation separates and restricts the movement of those with a contagious disease from those who are not sick.
Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of those who have been exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.

Daily Health Check

A daily health check to report body temperature and health status will be required for all students, faculty and staff each day they come to campus. Requiring a daily check of all on-campus individuals helps the university to quickly identify any possible outbreaks from those exhibiting symptoms and move quickly to prevent transmission.


Hygiene Practices, Cleaning/Disinfecting Protocols 

Your safety and building cleanliness are very important at HT. Custodial staff will follow enhanced cleaning and disinfection protocols as directed for all areas of the HT campus. Custodial staff will clean classrooms, core areas, and common spaces on a daily basis. During hours when classes and other events are being held, housekeeping staff will perform additional cleaning and disinfection as needed. Cleaning and disinfecting supplies will be provided throughout campus, and faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to disinfect their personal space within classrooms and teaching laboratories before and after use. Disinfection includes wiping down commonly touched surfaces with a disinfectant while wearing personal protective equipment recommended for the type of disinfectant used.


Athletics
Intercollegiate Athletics will resume in Fall 2021. As with all reactivating university operations, athletics will follow the guiding principles. Athletics strategies will address student-athletes returning to campus, navigating campus life, and best practices and required protocols for maintaining successful athletics seasons – including team travel and fan attendance. In addition to all campus policies and procedures, student-athletes may be subject to additional Red River Athletic Conference and NAIA policies.


Campus Dining

Campus dining will operate with modified service, including limited seating to facilitate physical distancing in the dining room, providing meals to-go, and extended hours to allow for service to accommodate the dining hall modifications. In addition to main service in the dining hall, the Ram’s Café will take online orders for pick-up in addition to walk in to-go orders.


Events

Huston-Tillotson University is following the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention, State of Texas, Travis County, and City of Austin mandates and guidelines for on campus gatherings due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The University safety protocols include, but are not limited, to health checks, social distancing, masks, and hand sanitizing in indoor and outdoor spaces. Outside groups wishing to reserve space on campus for events will be required to submit documentation demonstrating compliance with university protocols.

Please contact events@htu.edu for more information.


Testing

Testing will be required throughout the fall semester. This testing will help us identify COVID-19 cases early, quickly activate contract tracing, and isolate and quarantine individuals as needed to help prevent spread.


Travel

University policy will mirror current CDC guidelines on domestic and international travel. The CDC recommends the following basic COVID-19 safety guidelines even for travelers who are fully vaccinated while they are traveling:

  • Wear a mask on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation as well as airports traveling in or out of the United States.
  • Avoid crowds and stay at least 6 feet from anyone who is not traveling with you.
  • Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer.

Visit the following CDC site for domestic travel policies for up-to-date recommendations regarding the various aspects of traveling.

The CDC recommends delaying travel until you are fully vaccinated, because travel increases your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. If you are not fully vaccinated and must travel, follow CDC’s recommendations for unvaccinated people. HT discourages travel for students, faculty, and staff for academic and extracurricular activities. However, as more people are fully vaccinated, there is the expectation that increased opportunities for safe travel will become available.


Vaccination

Vaccines are highly encouraged. We will have on-campus COVID-19 vaccination clinics that will be open to all HT faculty, staff, students, alumni and their family members. More information on vaccine availability in the Austin area can be found here.

View the recorded panel discussion on the pandemic vaccine rollout from February 2021.

 

Answering Questions Dispelling Myths Telling Truths Pandemic Vaccine Roll Out in the African American Community Monday, February 1, 2021 | 6 p.m.