Dear Temple students,
We are eagerly awaiting the start of the fall semester and look forward to welcoming students to campus, as different as that welcome may be from years past. And because so much is different, it’s important for you to know and understand the critical role you play in Temple’s efforts to keep the campus community healthy and safe—both before and after you arrive—so we can all have the best experience possible.
What’s expected of you
To ensure that we are able to move forward with successfully opening the university, every student—undergraduate, graduate, commuter, professional and adult—who is coming to Temple for the fall semester is strongly encouraged to self-quarantine for 14 days prior to arriving on campus. That means students who are moving into on-campus housing on Monday, Aug. 17 should begin their self-quarantine on Monday, Aug. 3. Students returning to Philadelphia to live in off-campus housing are also asked to self-quarantine for 14 days. If you’re coming from outside Pennsylvania, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the self-quarantine recommendations issued for certain states by the city of Philadelphia.
During these 14 days, it is critical to avoid high-risk situations, such as parties and other large gatherings where people are not wearing facial coverings or maintaining physical distancing of six feet or more. You’ll want to continue practicing healthy behaviors we’ve all grown accustomed to since March—such as properly wearing a facial covering, maintaining six feet of distance between yourself and others, washing your hands frequently with soap and water, monitoring your health daily, and limiting the number of people in your social circle—as you’ll be expected to sustain these when you’re on campus. It is our hope that no student will have to begin their fall semester at Temple in isolation due to engaging in risky behavior before leaving home.
In an upcoming message, you will also be asked to read our soon-to-be-released Return to Campus Guide for Temple Students and complete an online training, which will further help you understand your part in our shared responsibility for protecting everyone’s well-being. We’ll also share more information about a team of dedicated Student Public Health Ambassadors that is being assembled to help encourage compliance with the four pillars of public health among students, as well as a social contract app that provides additional reminders through TUportal and the TUmobile app. And, Temple Student Government will be unveiling a student pledge to unite the student body in protecting each other and the greater Philadelphia community.
What Temple is doing
A recent message from President Englert detailed some of the efforts the university has taken to prepare the campus for an academic year sure to be unlike any other. These efforts have included the creation of protocols for
- enhanced cleaning and disinfecting of university spaces,
- when, where and why facial coverings are required, and
- class attendance and engagement.
We’ve also shared information about fall course formats and how we plan to keep the campus community healthy. In addition to these measures, the university is continuing to make plans for broader asymptomatic COVID-19 testing among students, faculty and staff, which will be available in addition to the symptomatic tests offered by the newly established testing center located on the street level of Morgan Hall. Additionally, our faculty have spent the summer training with the Center for the Advancement of Teaching—taking on the role of the student themselves—to ensure that, regardless of delivery mode, courses will provide effective and engaging learning experiences.
In the days and weeks ahead, the university will continue to share more about the initiatives listed above, as well as new information about how indoor and outdoor events, including those of our student organizations, will be managed this fall, how students will be able to reserve spaces in the TECH Center, Charles Library and certain recreation facilities, and what other new areas will be available on campus—like Zoom Rooms and places to eat your grab-and-go meals.
In the meantime, you’re encouraged to check the Return to Campus tab within TUportal for in-depth protocols and guides and temple.edu/return regularly for the most up-to-date information about the return planning efforts.
While it won’t be a “normal” fall semester, your faculty and the Temple administration are committed to doing all we can to offer a rewarding educational experience that will keep you on track toward graduation. The success of our fall semester rests on each of us.
Remember, we’re in this together, so we can be together.
Senior Director, Health Services
Dean of Students