Ready & Resilient Initial Winter/Spring 2021 information

This article includes information about the return to campus in 2021, testing requirements and other details about Winter Term and Spring Semester.

Dear Elon community members,

We greatly appreciate your efforts to make fall semester possible. Our approach to living and learning as a community over the next six months will be shaped by combining what we learned this fall with a focus on core Elon values:

  • Health and safety
  • Care for colleagues and friends
  • Academic rigor and integrity
  • Student connections and well-being
  • Accountability and transparency.

We are paying close attention to the national surge in cases, which underscores the critical importance of making changes to reduce the number of cases in our community. Ongoing weekly testing, heightened vigilance about wearing masks and reducing casual social contacts will be the cornerstones of our strategy for the second half of this academic year.

In the coming weeks, we will share details — via email and the Ready & Resilient website — regarding policy changes, important dates, guidelines for Winter Term and Spring Semester, increased support for students through Student Care & Outreach, and efforts to enhance student connections and well-being. For now, please note the following updates.

Healthy arrival: Required arrival testing for Winter Term

In order to create a safe re-opening, all students, faculty and staff must complete mandatory, arrival COVID-19 testing on campus (free of charge) upon returning in January.

Students not completing arrival/entry testing will not be allowed to attend classes and will be asked to leave campus housing if they live on campus.

All testing will be by appointment. Instructions for signing for up for required entry/arrival testing will be shared in the coming weeks.

Arrival test results: Other than first-year students, all testing will be completed by PCR tests, which return results in 24-48 hours.

Mandatory student quarantine: All students must quarantine in their rooms, either in campus housing or off-campus, until they receive a negative test result. While awaiting results, students may go to dining halls, wearing masks, to pick up meals. No other access to campus facilities will be allowed.

First-year student testing and connections before winter classes: To enhance first-year connections, our remaining supply of rapid antigen tests will be used for first-year student arrival testing. This process will eliminate the need to quarantine while awaiting results and will enable first-years to participate Sunday, January 10 through Tuesday, January 12, in connections-related programming, including Sunday dinners, Elon 101 gatherings and evening events, plus a free day on Tuesday.

Staff & faculty arrival: Vice presidents and deans will assist staff/faculty with arrival and work schedules prior to and after testing.

Accommodations: Anyone who will be on campus must be tested. Those with approved accommodations, sabbaticals, official leave, etc., or those who will not be on campus for Winter Term, do not need to be tested.

Faculty not teaching Winter Term: Faculty members who will not be teaching or present on campus for Winter Term should look for future communications regarding Spring Semester arrival testing.

Prior positive tests: Students, faculty and staff with a prior positive PCR test within the last 90 days of arrival must provide documentation through their Phoenix Health Portal or Human Resources.

When should I return to campus?

Click here to see the arrival/entry testing schedule for each group of students, faculty and staff and when they may return to campus. Plan your arrival so that you may test as soon as you return to campus.

Ongoing weekly testing in Winter Term and Spring Semester

Following arrival testing, all undergraduates will be required to participate in on-campus PCR testing every other week and weekly antigen testing when supplies become available. This testing strategy will allow us to identify positive cases early and slow the spread of the virus.

Learning guide, attendance and resources for students

In response to challenges students expressed about fall semester, the Information for Students page will be updated in early January with new resources, including:

  • Strategies for succeeding academically, including tips for attending class virtually
  • Policies, including updated attendance policies and expectations
  • Learning and well-being resources and strategies for connecting/engaging on campus.

Faculty and staff academic resources

A revised Teaching Guide (with corrected links) is now available on the R&R site. We encourage faculty and staff to share the above-mentioned learning guide with students, incorporate aspects into syllabi and Moodle courses and refer to them throughout the semester.

Health requirements and the Healthy Elon Commitment

Wearing masks, limiting social contacts, physical distancing, weekly testing and restricting travel will continue as primary expectations and tactics. Click here to read the revised Healthy Elon Commitment, which every member of the community will reaffirm for winter and spring.

Campus operations

Staff and faculty, who make our learning environment possible, will continue current work arrangements as approved by vice presidents, deans and human resources.

Look for additional Winter Term & Spring Semester information in the coming weeks.

We remain grateful for your ideas and support of this community. Together, we will create a great 2021.

Happy Holidays,

The Ready & Resilient Committee

  • Jeff Stein, Vice President for Strategic Initiatives and Assistant Professor of English (Chair)
  • Dan Anderson, Vice President of University Communications
  • Ginette Archinal, Medical Director of Student Health and University Physician
  • MarQuita Barker, Director of Residence Life
  • John Barnhill, Associate Vice President for University Advancement
  • Tom Flood, Assistant Vice President of Physical Plant
  • Jason Husser, Associate Professor of Political Science and Policy Studies, and Director of the Elon Poll (Academic Council Representative)
  • Deandra Little, Assistant Provost, Director of the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning and Professor of English
  • Paul Miller, Assistant Provost for Academic Operations and Communications and Professor of Exercise Science
  • Kelly Reimer, Director of Teaching and Learning Technologies (Staff Council Representative)
  • Carrie Ryan, Director of Auxiliary Services
  • Kelli Shuman, Associate Vice President for Human Resources & Chief Human Resources Officer
  • Gabie Smith, Dean of Elon College, the College of Arts and Sciences and Professor of Psychology
  • Mary Southern, Project Manager for Provost and Academic Affairs Operations (Project Manager)
  • Mike Ward, Deputy Director of Athletics
  • Randy Williams, Vice President and Associate Provost for Inclusive Excellence and Assistant Professor of Education