Thanks to the continued commitment of our students, staff, and faculty—and a community vaccination rate of well over 90%—we have managed to keep the Lawrence community as healthy and safe as possible during fall term. This fact, as well as the staff’s daily efforts to keep the campus environment healthy for all and the faculty’s commitment to providing a robust and flexible academic program, gives us confidence in our ability to meet the university’s mission as the pandemic continues. Based on our successful return this fall, we announce today the plan for our full community to continue to live, learn, and work on the Lawrence campus this coming winter term.
The Lawrence Pandemic Planning Team (LPPT) thanks the many health experts and members of our community with whom we consulted before making this decision. As we have throughout the pandemic, we have grounded our decision in three guiding principles: protecting the health and safety of our community; sustaining our academic mission; and supporting all community members.
Here is what you need to know about winter term:
- Campus Move-In and First Week Protocols: Student move-in for winter term will occur on Sunday, January 2, 2022. To help facilitate our initial term testing protocol (see below) and protect the health and safety of our returning students and employees, the first week of winter term (Monday through Friday) will consist of:
o Remote instruction only;
o All student meals will be grab-and-go;
o All student activities will be held virtually; and
o Personal residence hall rooms will be limited to room capacity +1.
- Winter Athletics: All winter athletics will proceed with practices and competitions as planned. Women’s Basketball, Men’s Basketball, Women’s Ice Hockey, and Men’s Ice Hockey return by December 31 and will be tested under NCAA guidelines upon return. Women’s Fencing, Men’s Fencing, Women’s Swimming and Diving, Men’s Swimming and Diving, Women’s Track and Field, and Men’s Track and Field will return on January 2 and will immediately enter into testing under NCAA guidelines. Athletes can return to practice upon receipt of confirmation of negative test.
- Academic Calendar: The academic calendar for winter term will remain as scheduled. Winter classes will begin on January 3, 2022, and the last day of finals will take place on March 16. Spring break will last from March 17-27.
- Winter Break: Student Life will notify students by the end of the week (November 5) regarding winter break check-out details. Currently, students can request to remain on campus during any part of break (late stay or early arrival) via a form on Voyager. All students who are necessary to be on campus for break (e.g. athletes/D-Term students) do not need to complete this form.
- Testing and Protocol for Returning to Campus: We will test all students and employees living, learning, and working on campus on January 3 and 4, 2022. Faculty and staff and students will also continue to participate in weekly surveillance testing through random selection; they may also voluntarily participate in testing if they are asymptomatic. As was our protocol during fall term, all unvaccinated community members will be tested weekly.
- Living on Campus Safety Protocols: All members of the Lawrence community will be expected to Honor the Pledge and be vaccinated (or have filed an exemption) to live, learn, and work on campus. We ask all students to take preventative steps for 14 days before coming to campus to ensure a safe and healthy arrival at Lawrence (e.g., practice physical distancing, self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms, consider taking a COVID-19 test). All eligible vaccinated students and employees are also encouraged to get a booster shot prior to returning to campus.
One of the most important lessons we have learned through the pandemic is that the spread of COVID-19 remains unpredictable, and we must remain diligent. We cannot determine our path forward without considering the current situation in the Fox Cities where the widespread community transmission of COVID-19 has continued to be a challenge. We will continue to monitor the health of our campus and surrounding communities and to adjust university operations, following the stoplight guide, if needed.
To stay up-to-date on all COVID-19 protocols and information, we encourage you to visit the COVID-19 News website and dashboard, which is updated every Monday. In addition, please read the weekly LU Insider e-newsletter, as well as emails from the LPPT. Any questions or concerns regarding our plans for winter term or other issues can be emailed to email@example.com.
Lawrence’s successful return to a fully in-person campus this fall is an accomplishment of which we should all be proud. Yet sustaining a healthy and successful academic year will continue to be a community effort, and we remain committed to doing everything within our power to keep the Lawrence experience strong, supportive, and safe.
As always, be well and stay well.
Lawrence Pandemic Planning Team