July 23, 2020
Rogers State University (RSU) is committed to maintaining a safe campus environment for all members of the university community. To fulfill this commitment, RSU has developed a series of COVID-19 related recommendations and guidelines to facilitate a safe return to campus this fall.
Since Rogers State University announced intentions for face-to-face classes, open residence halls, and a resumption of student life, the University has been working on plans and protocols for Hillcats to return to campus this fall. Through the University’s multiple taskforce committees, Fall residential housing plans were developed considering recommendations from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the US Department of Education, and the Oklahoma State Department of Health, to understand best practices to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission on college campuses. Students were actively involved in taskforce discussions and played an important role in determining our community standards and expectations.
Rogers State University knows we can’t eliminate all risk, but with guidelines and following #HealthyHillcats expectations, together, we can mitigate the transmission as much as possible.
Together, We Will:
✔ Properly wear mask or facial covering over both the nose and mouth;
✔ Respect personal space and practice social distancing;
✔ Practice good hygiene, washing hands regularly and avoiding touching face;
✔ Monitor personal health and take temperature daily before arriving at campus;
✔ Stay at home if sick or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
*All plans will be re-evaluated as CDC and public health guidelines are modified.
General Guidelines for Students
Stay Home or Self-Isolate when Appropriate:
- Be alert for symptoms. Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19.
- Take your temperature if symptoms develop.
- Individuals experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, who have tested positive for COVID-19, or have been potentially exposed to someone with COVID-19 should follow CDC guidelines and self-isolate or quarantine off-campus for the recommended duration.
- Individuals experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, who have tested positive for COVID-19, or have been potentially exposed to someone with COVID-19 are encouraged to self-report using the COVID-19 screening tool in MyRSU (must login).
Hand Hygiene and Respiratory Etiquette:
- Practice frequent handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol addition to frequent handwashing. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
- Avoid shaking hands and other forms of physical contact.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow and do not spit.
- Throw used tissues in the trash, then immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Practice Social Distancing:
- Maintain a minimum of 6 feet of physical distance from others.
Rogers State University is Mandating that Students and Guests Wear Masks:
- Students are required to wear fabric or disposable surgical-style masks that cover their nose and mouth. Face coverings are essential in times when physical distancing is difficult.
- The University will provide one cloth mask to each student. Students may also provide their own masks that comply with university guidance.
- Disposable surgical-style masks may be worn for five consecutive days, or until soiled, whichever occurs first.
- Fabric masks should be washed and dried after each day’s wear. Appropriate cleaning of the mask is the responsibility of the individual.
- Students may remove masks when inside University facilities only (1) when alone in an enclosed room or (2) while participating in activities in which a face mask cannot practically be worn, such as eating and drinking or an approved activity as part of an academic assignment such as the playing of musical instruments or (3) if they are in their own enclosed private area with no one else present or in their dorm room when non-roommates and guests are not present.
- University-sponsored events and programs will be offered virtually whenever possible.
- University-sponsored programs will adhere to COVID-19 safety guidelines, including physical distancing and face coverings.
- Event attendance may be restricted based on location.
- Events may require pre-registration for attendance.
- Registered Student Organizations will be required to comply with university COVID-19 safety guidelines to receive institutional funding and approval for activities.
- Registered Student Organizations may be required to submit safety plans for their activities, including organization meetings, events, recruitment activities, and programming.
- Student Affairs will provide cleaning and disinfection supplies, including hypochlorous acid, to be used for campus events.
- Off-campus vendors will be required to complete the COVID-19 screening (login required) tool before participating in campus events.
- Off-campus vendors will be required to comply with university COVID-19 safety guidelines.
For information, visit https://www.rsu.edu/campus-life/housing-dining/ .
Reasonable Accommodations for Disabilities
The University recognizes that there may be personal health concerns due to the wearing of a facial mask or facial shield. Therefore, an accommodation or exception may be appropriate under the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) guidelines. Each situation will be considered on an individual basis. Any accommodation will require documentation from the students’ diagnostician and will be reviewed by the University Disability Services Coordinator for consideration. If a student indicates compliance with university guidelines is not possible due to disability related reasons, the student should be referred to the Disability Services office and follow the established process to request an accommodation.
The intent of COVID-19 guidelines and policies are for the safety and well-being of all those who work at, attend, or visit our University. It is not meant to be a burden or a single solution, but rather be a part of an overall plan of safety to protect individuals from becoming infected with COVID-19 and to provide reassurance to all that the University values everyone’s health and well-being.
Please refer to the University’s disciplinary action, grievances, and appeals procedures for further information. The Student Handbook establishes a process and expectations for the administration of the Student Code. Under the policy, conduct officers have the authority to enforce university regulations as part of the Non-Academic Code of Conduct.
The enforcement of COVID-19 safety measures through the student conduct process will be pragmatic and educational. Students will be expected to wear masks and maintain social distancing, and in most situations, will be required to do so. The Office of Student Development will provide information on how to engage in a dialogue with someone resistant complying with community expectations for protecting public health.
However, if an individual continues to disregard recommendations or warnings to wear a mask or maintain appropriate physical distance from others, the behavior will be treated as a conduct violation; depending on the situation, possible violations include violation of university regulation or policy, harassment, failure to comply with the direction of a university official, disruption of university activity, or abusive conduct.
Any disciplinary action, including conduct sanctions, will be educational in nature and focused on helping students understand our health is interconnected. The Office of Student Development will likely require students who do not meet university expectations to complete a required assignment, including a reflection paper discussing the importance of wearing a mask or social distancing. If the problem persists, the situation will escalate to include additional conduct measures to compel the student to comply. The conduct process for enforcing COVID-19 safety compliance will be swift – if someone has the virus and is failing to adhere to safety guidelines, they are putting people at risk.
The Office of Student Affairs has developed a reporting tool for submitting COVID-19 related conduct and safety violation complaints. Reports will be treated as confidential; however, they will not be anonymous. The Office of Student Affairs may need to contact you for additional information to respond to the report.