Information for Students and Families | Webster University

Information for Students and Families

Preparing for Returning to Campus

In summer 2020 we prepared to welcome students back to campuses for the fall. As we seek to build community on campus and provide in-person instruction in Fall 2020, safety continues to be our number one priority. We will continually adapt as we learn more about ways to mitigate the spread of COVID 19. Review the information below for policy updates, expectations when on campus, and the latest information.

ANNOUNCEMENTS: See the latest announcements from the COVID-19 Task Force here.

Continue visiting our COVID-19 resource pages for the latest information on operational changes due to the coronavirus. Students, check your Webster email account frequently. All official University communications are sent to your Webster email.

Info for Parents and Families

 

Athletics Updates

Overview of Safety Measures

The latest public health guidance indicates that preventing spread of the coronavirus includes the following approaches. Click the links on each topic to see detailed information on how we are implementing these approaches and what expectations we have for members of our community while on campus:

Daily Health Screening

Before you come to campus or leave your resident lodging each day, complete the daily health screening at healthform.webster.edu. The screening includes a temperature check, so you’ll want to have a thermometer. In Webster Groves, those who cannot complete the self-assessment may instead do so at the Public Safety office.

Social Distancing: Six feet, always

Remember, masks are not a substitute for social distancing and social distancing is not a substitute for a mask. But you can still see your friends! You’ll just need to see them, and anyone else, from six feet away. To support social distancing, we have:

  • Reduced the density of work spaces, residence halls and classrooms;
  • Added social distance and directional signage across campus;
  • Reduced occupancy in elevators and other places where people gather or line up;
  • Installed Plexiglas barriers like those seen in grocery store checkout lanes;
  • Added instructional signage throughout campus to maintain social distancing.

Masks/Facial Coverings

Everyone on campus must wear a mask covering their nose and mouth while indoors, including while in class, and while in outdoor areas where social distancing isn’t possible. These requirements are covered in the Facial Covering PolicyWe encourage you to review the latest CDC guidance on how to select, wear and treat facial coverings, which is updated frequently.

Forget your mask? Disposable mask dispensers are also available at all academic building entrances, and sanitizers will be prevalent throughout campus.

Frequent Hand Washing and Hygiene

Frequent hand washing should be practiced throughout the day. Effective hand washing is practiced by using soap and water and scrubbing your hands for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, apply hand sanitizer to your hands, rub the sanitizer into your hands until your hands are dry. Hand sanitizer dispensers will be provided throughout campus.

Hands should be washed:

  • Before, during, and after preparing food
  • Before eating food
  • After using the toilet
  • After practicing disinfection procedures on all shared surfaces
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste

Increased Sanitization and Disinfection Procedures

The virus has been found to live on various surfaces. Webster faculty and staff will ask students to participate in the cleaning and disinfection of shared surfaces when the student has finished using various items such as:

  • Common area furniture such as tables, countertops and desks
  • Electronics, printers/scanners, and office supplies
  • Drinking fountains and vending machines
  • Door handles, light switches and faucets
  • Disinfection materials such as wipes and sprays are available throughout the University buildings and in common shared areas.

Common shared areas in buildings are frequently disinfected by our commercial cleaning crew. They will also perform professional disinfection procedures to quarantined areas that were identified to be used by a faculty, staff or student that tested positive for COVID-19.

Access to Buildings: What you need to enter

On the main campus, there will be designated entry points to each building, and access will be restricted to students, faculty and employees with a valid ID. You’ll want to keep your Webster ID on you at all times:

  • Your ID card (to swipe for access) and daily health screening are required to enter on-campus buildings;
  • Personnel will staff each entry point and verify that you have passed your daily health screening;
  • Guests and visitors will not be allowed on campus. This includes in the Housing & Residential Life areas. Students who do not reside in a building will not be granted access to that space.

In-Class Expectations

Your professors have been preparing for multiple scenarios this fall. We can all help each other work through this unique time together, as long as we remember:

  • Everyone in a classroom will be required to wear a mask at all times;
  • Maintain social distance in classrooms, including with seating and while entering and exiting;
  • Food and drink will not be allowed in class;
  • Feeling sick? Do not go to class.
  • You will be asked to disinfect the items you used during class or labs before leaving the room.

Dining Services

In fall 2020 we will re-open campus dining in Webster Groves but limit services only to students, to reduce traffic. Students will also be able to order food ahead of time for pick-up via an app on your phone.

Response to Positive or Suspected Cases

If you suspect you have COVID symptoms, or if you’ve been exposed to someone (for 15 minutes at a distance less than six feet) who does, follow these steps:

  • Commuter students should reach out to the Student Health Services Department if they have been diagnosed with and/or identified as being a close contact to a person who has COVID-19;
  • Residential student should notify Housing and Residential Life staff if they have been diagnosed with and/or identified as being a close contact to a person that has COVID-19. Housing & Residential Life is prepared to execute isolation housing plans for these individuals – including the potential of relocation (based on where they reside), dining service delivery, and other essential items.

Questions about classes and class schedule

Webster University will offer classes in a variety of modalities, including face-to-face combined with virtual experiences, fully remote opportunities and – as always – online options.

As of July 31, we are determining the modality for individual courses, and the Fall 2020 schedule will be updated by mid-August to reflect how the course will be offered. An FAQ on academic questions will soon be available, and the Academic Advising Center will be ready to assist! For graduate students, see this announcement.

Modification to Fall 2020 Schedule

The fall 2020 semester and term has been modified: the traditional undergraduate fall break (originally scheduled for Oct. 19-23) has been moved to the end of the semester and term so that undergraduate fall semester and terms end a week earlier. The graduate student schedule, which does not include a break, will start and end as scheduled. See more details of plans in this June 2 announcement

Latest Info and Interactive Sessions for Students, Parents

For general information, continue to check your @webster email and the webster.edu/covid19 site, where broad policy updates will be shared. For specific topics (e.g. advising, living on campus, move-in, athletics, financial aid) contact those specific departments.

Students at extended and international campuses should look for communication from their locations.

For students at the main campus, as we get closer to the start of the term:

  • Student Affairs will hold a Q&A for returning students on Aug. 10;
  • The Office of First Year Experience and Undergraduate Persistence is facilitating a series of calls called “Gorlok and Chill” for new, incoming students, slated for Aug. 6, 13, 27, and Sept. 3; 

Parents and Families: Student Affairs' Office of Parent Engagement has dedicated resources for parents covering a range of topics.

For common questions from students and parents regarding changes due to the pandemic, you may also want to browse recent audio recordings of “Wednesdays with Webster,” which have included sessions with our director of Student Health Services, Housing & Residential Life, and faculty members discussing how they’ve prepared for fall. Recent episodes engaging with parents and families are linked below:

Aug. 5, 2020 Audio Recording (MP3) and Video: All about move-in

July 29, 2020 Audio Recording (MP3): Discussing New Student Orientation

July 22, 2020 Audio Recording (MP3): Planning courses and more

July 22 Topics include:

• Focus on Resuming Classes on Campus
• Dining Updates for Marletto's, University Center, and EAB
• Fall Class Updates from Different Departments
• How are faculty members planning their courses? Hear from Conservatory faculty member Lara Teeter and School of Communication faculty member Scott Jensen
• When Students Take a Leave of Absence
• Computer Lab Areas

July 15, 2020 Audio Recording (MP3): Hear from a Webster Nurse

July 15 topics include:

• Ann Brophy, director of Student Health Services, discusses Covid prevention and safety guidelines, and protocol for quarantining/isolation for Covid cases
• What if there is a positive Covid test? 
• Guidelines for Campus Life during Covid

July 8, 2020 Audio Recording (MP3): Campus Life

July 8 topics include:

• Returning to classes -- update, safety measures
• Housing planning for Spring 2021
• Financial for Apartments and Housing Information
• Meal Plans and Dining Card
• Move-in Week  
• Safety: Expectations for living on campus during the pandemic

Fall 2020 Residential Move-In at Webster Groves Campus

Housing & Residential Life move-in will be an extended process for Fall 2020. In previous academic years, move-in took place over the course of three days; however, in an effort to control population density and reduce traffic through various campus offices and the residential area(s), move-in will now occur across the span of one week. The dates for this process are Aug. 16-22. The Aug. 5 "Wednesdays with Webster" session (linked above) also covers several parts of the move-in process.

  • Resident students will receive an assigned date for their move-in based on their housing placement, along with instructions for scheduling a check-in time on their assigned date. Further information will be provided to residents soon on this process.
  • For the safety of residents, staff, faculty, and guests, Housing & Residential Life will not seek volunteers to assist with moving students into the housing areas. Students will be permitted two guests to assist them in the moving/settling process. All incoming residents and their helpers should anticipate following university directives related to COVID-19.

Changes to Fall 2020 Athletics

The St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SLIAC) announced the postponement of 2020 fall competitions in volleyball and men's and women's soccer. Games and championships in those sports will be rescheduled to the Spring 2021 season, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Webster's other fall sports, men's and women's cross country, men's golf, and men's and women's tennis, will have limited competitions during the fall of 2020, while following the directives of local, state and national health organizations.

Fall 2020 Study Abroad Programs

Due to on-going challenges with border entry, visas and flights during the pandemic, study abroad programs scheduled for the Fall semester and Fall 1 term have been canceled. A decision on Fall 2 Study Abroad programs will be made no later than Aug. 15. There may be exceptions for students who are already in the country or region where they planned to study. Otherwise, students who applied to study abroad this fall are encouraged to contact the Office of Study Abroad and move their applications for Spring study abroad.