Centenary University COVID-19 Student Policy
Centenary University is a place of higher education that prides itself on the sense of community and responsibility to each student. In Centenary’s response to the pandemic, security is front and center starting with the protective measures that have been put in place to the training and that staff, faculty and staff will receive. As a member of this community, it is the responsibility of the students to adhere to policies and procedures that have been put in place for social distancing. We all must do our part to keep our campus safe. The procedures in this policy are subject to change as more information is provided from the CDC along with state and national directives. For some students, you will have to follow this policy along with more stringent policies that are set for your participation in activities, on and off campus. If you have questions about compliance or seeking clarification, please contact the Office of Residence Life by email or call 908-852-1400 ext. 3950.
You are responsible for your own safety and well-being at all times. To reduce the risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19, it is imperative that you practice good hygiene and safety protocols.
You are required to comply with this policy by:
- Wearing a face covering inside unless you are in your residence hall room. If you have a guest over, and social and distancing cannot be maintained, both of you should wear a face covering.
- Social distancing provisions – 6 feet between people, inside of buildings and outside on campus.
- Frequent washing of hands for 20 seconds or more and using the hand sanitizer stations located around campus.
- Sanitizing communal spaces before and after use, such as desks, computers, and bathrooms.
- Wiping down items daily in your residential spaces, whether on or off campus.
Social Distancing and Common Space usage
With the exception of your own residential bedroom, you must always maintain at least 6 feet from another person(s) whether inside or outside. In stage 2 of the New Jersey reopening plan, lounges, and lobbies will be closed. Kitchen spaces will be open. When New Jersey moves into stage 3 of the reopening plan, these spaces will be opened and you must abide by all posted signs and policies for use. Those of you utilizing common space(s) must follow all social distancing norms. There will be occupancy limits posted in all common spaces as well as next to any elevator. When the Fitness Center is able to open, you must follow the strict protocols for utilizing the space on a limited basis.
The cafeteria and food spaces on campus will operate under strict requirements and policies. You must follow these along with occupancy limits. If the state of New Jersey changes phases, usage and occupancy limits may change.
As members of the university community, everybody must wear face coverings in all public buildings and indoor spaces at all times. In the cafeteria, face coverings may be removed when eating but must be placed back on when traveling in and out of the cafeteria. Face coverings do not have to be worn by the resident of the room in the residence hall unless they have a guest and social distancing cannot be maintained.
While the New Jersey reopening plan is in effect, no outside visitors are permitted to enter campus, with the limited exception of daytime visits for University business and staff or faculty needs and emergency family visits to campus. All visitors must check in at the Welcome Center and sign the contact tracing log along with completing a short health questionnaire. Once this is done, the visitor will receive a pass that they must keep with them and furnish on request. Residential students are allowed to host one guest in their room from the hall where they live. Should New Jersey change the phase that it is in, the guest policy may be revised.
International Travel and Domestic Travel to Areas Designated as High Risk
Those of you who travel, either abroad or domestically, to locations designated as hot spots by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) must disclose their travel itinerary to the Residence Life office prior to returning to campus. Before returning to campus, the University retains the discretion to require you to complete a 14-day quarantine off campus. Any student who develops COVID-19 symptoms while in quarantine will be directed to begin an isolation period from the first day of the onset of symptoms. You will be cleared by the Office of Health Services to end your isolation when you are 1) found to be at least fourteen days from the date of the initial symptom and 2) three days fever free without the use of antipyretic (fever-reducing) medications. A student who is symptom free during the 14 days of quarantine must be cleared by the Office of Health Services to return to campus. Residential Students are advised to disclose their travel plans to these locations by e-mailing the Office of Residence Life.
COVID-19 Reporting Procedures
If you are a commuter student and display any COVID-19 symptoms, you must leave campus if possible and seek medical attention from a professional health care provider. For those of you waiting on a COVID-19 diagnosis, you must self-isolate for the recommended time period. You must report the COVID-19 diagnosis to the Office of Health Services within one business day. You are prohibited from entering campus without written clearance from a professional health care provider. After being cleared, you must inform the Office of Health Services and show the written clearance to obtain approval to return to campus.
If you are a residential student and display any COVID-19 symptoms, you must seek medical attention from the Office of Health Services during office hours or through Residence Life staff outside of office hours. You will have to answer questions about your health in order to assess the situation. You could be placed in a quarantine space on campus for the evening until testing can be done to determine a COVID result if you cannot go home.
A residential student diagnosed with COVID-19 is required to travel home for the isolation period. After speaking with a member of Office of Health Services or a Residence Life staff member, you will arrange for your departure at your own expense. Arrangements may be made for those who cannot feasibly travel home for the isolation period to be placed in a quarantine site. Once you have vacated the residence hall, you are prohibited from entering campus for any reason until you are cleared to be back on campus unless you have been placed in a designated quarantine site. After being cleared by the Office of Health Services, you may return to campus.
If you are placed in a designated quarantine space on campus, you will be able to order food from the cafeteria. This food will be delivered to the quarantine space. You are responsible for placing your orders (Breakfast Menu and Lunch/Dinner Menu) by the designated times listed on the dining website.
Isolation & Quarantine
With a pandemic, the best course of action is to avoid contact with any other person. The CDC has described two types of actions, isolation and quarantine. Isolation is when you have contracted the disease. In isolation, you should have no contact with anyone as you are able to spread the disease. You would be in isolation for 14 days. At the end of that time, you will need to be cleared to return to your residence hall. For those of you who might have had contact with someone from a hot spot, you will quarantine for 14 days. Quarantine is precautionary as it could take up to fourteen days for symptoms to show. Should you be in quarantine and start to have symptoms, then you would start an isolation period. For both isolation and quarantine, we ask that you return home as the University has very limited space for isolation / quarantine.
Liability & Risk
All students understand that by being on Centenary campus, you are at risk of contracting COVID-19. By choosing to enter campus, you understand and acknowledge the risk of illness or death related to COVID-19 and hereby RELEASE, WAIVE, DISCHARGE, AND COVENANT NOT TO SUE (on behalf of yourself and any minor children for whom you have the capacity to contract) Centenary and its officers, directors, agents, employees and assigns from any liability related to COVID-19 which might occur as a result being on Centenary Universities campus.
Academic Calendar and Operational Procedures
The University will begin the fall 2020 semester as scheduled and move to online instruction following Thanksgiving break. Residence hall occupancy will close for Thanksgiving Break on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and reopen on the Sunday following Thanksgiving. You will have the choice to apply for Housing for the final three weeks of the semester as the residence halls and cafeteria will remain open.
The University may choose to limit or suspend operations based upon the risks COVID-19 presents to the health and safety of the campus community. Centenary University has the right to change policies pertaining to guests, closing lounges and buildings, classes, amenities and occupancy limits of spaces on campus. The university will communicate with the campus community as changes are implemented to current operations.
The University has a cleaning protocol in place by the Facilities Department to sanitize high touch areas and clean common spaces/bathrooms using chemicals that are listed by the CDC recommended standards. At times, you may see facilities members wearing face coverings cleaning areas throughout the residence halls. Facilities staff must be given access to perform their daily cleaning duties without disruption. There will be sanitizing solution in each classroom and hand sanitizers outside of every bathroom for you to use so you can sanitize their spaces as necessary. You are also strongly encouraged to carry your own sanitizing supplies.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Centenary University has implemented a screening requirement. Effective August 1, 2020 all students, employees, and visitors coming to campus will be required to complete a COVID-19 self-screening. The self-screening needs to be completed each day you are on campus.
The screening can be done using the Campus Clear app (Apple Store and Google Play) and will only take a minute to complete. Upon completion of the screening, you will receive a confirmation. You may be asked to show proof of the screening confirmation prior to entering any public space. If you do not have access to a smart phone or the app, you can fill out a self-screening form in the Visitor Center in the Seay Building.
Anyone who receives a negative response to the self-screening should follow up with your health care provider or the university health center. Anyone who fails to conduct the self-screening may be prevented from entering any public space and may face further disciplinary actions.
For those students that do not follow the policy, you could be referred to the Community Standards office for a judicial Hearing. Potential sanctions could range from:
- Caring Conversation about your role in the community
- Creating posters or writing papers about your responsibility to the community
- Loss of Guest Privileges for a short time up to the year
- Removal from campus for persistent infractions. This removal could range from a weekend to the semester.