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Georgia Southern’s Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Georgia Southern’s COVID-19 numbers, like the region, state, and country, have decreased significantly, while we also continue to provide vaccines to our faculty, staff, and students. 

Following the latest guidance, we are planning for full return to campus in Fall 2021, which means resuming “normal” operations with in-person instruction, research, events, service, and activities, and full dining and housing operations. 

As we outlined in our Return to Campus Plan, we will continue to be guided and directed by health and safety guidelines, which will ultimately determine our timeline and whether we need to again shift to a contingency plan outlined in the document.

We will maintain our practice of regularly assessing business continuity measures to ensure we can continue to meet public health guidelines and our core mission of student success.

The COVID-19 situation is fluid, and guidance will very likely change over time, even after plans are prepared and adopted. Everyone at the university has an individual responsibility to contribute to proper behavior and to adhere to public health guidance to protect themselves and others as well as to help control the spread of the virus. Institutional controls are only as effective as the willingness of individuals to carry them out.

Contact the Georgia Southern University CARES Center for answers to all your COVID-19 related questions; to self-report test results and symptoms; get help evaluating your situation; and receive support for your COVID-19 related academic, employment and on-campus notification needs. There are several ways to reach the CARES Center:

University Messages

Select audiences and/or categories to filter the list to relevant topics. You can also search for specific keywords within the email text (e.g. “mask” or “class”).

Date Sent and WhoMessage
Sent July 30, 2021 to Faculty, Staff and Students

COVID update from Dr. Brian DeLoach, GS’s Medical Director

Eagle Nation,

Over the past year and a half, we have closely monitored the COVID-19 pandemic. The university will continue to provide updates on the disease, the precautions needed to prevent transmission, and vaccine-related details, as they become available. However, I wanted to provide some information, as we know it today, to help you all prepare for a successful and healthy semester.

First, I cannot over-stress the importance of getting vaccinated. I continue to remind everyone that the safest way to move forward is to get the COVID-19 vaccine. My immediate family and I have been vaccinated, including my 14-year-old son, my wife, my parents, and my 93-year-old grandmother. I continue to confidently recommend COVID-19 vaccination to my patients, friends, and other family members. While being vaccinated does not guarantee that you will never get COVID-19, the data has consistently shown the COVID-19 vaccines drastically reduce the risk of severe illness, hospitalization, and death from the disease.  Additionally, most people who are asymptomatic and fully vaccinated will not be asked to self-quarantine if they are exposed to COVID-19.

We continue to offer regular opportunities to get vaccinated on campus at no cost to you. Also, the vaccine is available to you at no cost at pharmacies, health departments, and other settings throughout our communities. Please see our COVID-19 vaccine information page for details on upcoming vaccine clinics on our campuses and watch your email for more details.

Per state and University System of Georgia (USG) guidance, we cannot require the vaccine or ask our students or fellow employees for proof of their vaccination, and we should not treat vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals differently unless dictated by law or applicable guidance. There are some campus exceptions, such as in a medical setting where students may be asked about their vaccination status, and masks are still required in our Student Health Centers and while on buses. Students also may be required by off-campus partners to wear masks and/or be vaccinated as a condition of participation in activities such as internships, healthcare work settings and other experiential learning opportunities.

Other precautionary measures we can take to prevent infection and slow the transmission of COVID-19 continue to include washing your hands, covering your mouth when coughing or sneezing, staying home if you feel unwell, remaining physically distant from others, and wearing a face-covering.  While none of these steps are required on our campuses at this time, beyond the exceptions outlined above, they remain good practices for everyone to continue. We are now encouraging everyone to wear a mask or face covering while inside campus facilities.

The university’s CARES Center continues to be an amazing resource for answers to all your COVID-19 related questions. Through the CARES Center, you can self-report test results and symptoms, get help evaluating your situation, and receive support for COVID-19 related academic, employment and on-campus notification needs. The latest guidance, tips, educational resources, and graphics can be found through this link as well.

As we continue to confront the challenges of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, I am reminded of the opportunity every individual has to impact their community for good. To promote the health and well-being of students and employees across our campuses, I encourage all of Eagle Nation to continue to follow public health guidelines and go Wings Up! Sleeves Up! for your vaccination as soon as possible.

Yours In Good Health,

Brian M. DeLoach, M.D.
Medical Director
Georgia Southern University Student Health Services

Faculty and Staff, Students
Sent July 30, 2021 to Faculty, Staff and Students

WINGS UP, SLEEVES UP! | COVID-19 vaccine appointments available next week

July 30, 2021

Vaccine availability at Georgia Southern next week:

  • Armstrong Campus - Appointments are available for vaccination at the Health Professions Academic Building. Appointments are available on Wednesday, August 4, for both the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Statesboro Campus - Appointments are available for vaccination at the Student Health Center. Due to high demand, the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is now available on Tuesday, August 3, and Wednesday, August 4. The Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is available on Thursday, August 5. 

Please note all appointments must be made online in advance through the MyGS portal. To schedule an appointment, go to the MyGS portal and click on the "COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Form" under the heading of "COVID-19 Information and Resources.” 

The Moderna vaccine is for anyone 18 years and older and requires two doses to be fully effective. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is for anyone 18 years and older and requires one dose to be fully effective. For more information about receiving your vaccine at Georgia Southern, please visit https://www.georgiasouthern.edu/covid-19-information/vaccine/.

Vaccine availability at Georgia Southern for the first week of the Fall semester:

You are now able to reserve a spot to be vaccinated at one of our clinics during the first week of class through the MyGS portal. Appointments are available for those needing their first or second dose for the Moderna vaccine only. The clinics will run on the following days: 

  • Tuesday, August 10, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m., on the Statesboro Campus in the MAC gym at the Recreation Activity Center (RAC)
  • Thursday, August 12, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m., on the Armstrong Campus in Savannah at the Armstrong Recreation Center (ARC) gym

All faculty, staff, and students are strongly encouraged to receive a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible, so be sure to reserve your spot soon!

Faculty and Staff, Students
Sent July 23, 2021 to Faculty, Staff and Students

WINGS UP, SLEEVES UP! | COVID-19 vaccine appointments available next week

July 23, 2021

Vaccine availability at Georgia Southern next week:

  • Armstrong Campus - Appointments are available for vaccination at the Health Professions Academic Building. Appointments are available on Wednesday, July 28, for both the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Statesboro Campus - Appointments are available for vaccination at the Student Health Center. The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is available on Wednesday, July 28, and the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is available on Thursday, July 29. 

Please note all appointments must be made online in advance through the MyGS portal. To schedule an appointment, go to the MyGS portal and click on the "COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Form" under the heading of "COVID-19 Information and Resources.” 

The Moderna vaccine is for anyone 18 years and older and requires two doses to be fully effective. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is for anyone 18 years and older and requires one dose to be fully effective. For more information about receiving your vaccine at Georgia Southern, please visit https://www.georgiasouthern.edu/covid-19-information/vaccine/.

Vaccine availability at Georgia Southern for the first week of Fall semester:

Starting Monday, July 26, you will be able to reserve a spot to be vaccinated at one of our clinics during the first week of class through the MyGS portal. The clinics will run on the following days: 

  • Tuesday, August 10, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m., on the Statesboro Campus in the MAC gym at the Recreation Activity Center (RAC)
  • Thursday, August 12, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m., on the Armstrong Campus in Savannah at the Armstrong Recreation Center (ARC) gym

All faculty, staff, and students are strongly encouraged to receive a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible, so be sure to reserve your spot soon!

Faculty and Staff, Students
Sent July 21, 2021 to Faculty, Staff and Students

Important COVID-19 Information for Fall:

  • Safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines are available for free for everyone.
  • All faculty, staff, and students are strongly encouraged to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Georgia Southern currently offers the Moderna (two doses, 28-days apart) and Johnson & Johnson (one dose) COVID-19 vaccines on-campus.
  • Vaccinations will continue to be offered on-campus throughout the upcoming semester. Vaccination clinics for the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine are scheduled for the first week of classes on the following days:
    • Tuesday, Aug. 10, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. on the Statesboro Campus in the MAC gym at the Recreation Activity Center (RAC)
    • Thursday, Aug. 12, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. on the Armstrong Campus in Savannah at the Armstrong Recreation Center (ARC) gym

  • To date, Georgia Southern has administered more than 7,600 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine on campus.
  • Masks/face coverings are not required on campus, except inside the Health Center and on buses around the Statesboro campus, the intercampus shuttle and football gameday bus shuttles.
  • Unvaccinated individuals are strongly encouraged to continue wearing a mask or face covering and to continue social distancing whenever possible.
  • Based on current DPH guidance, vaccinated individuals who do not have COVID-19 symptoms will not have to quarantine after a close contact with a person who tests positive for COVID-19.

  • Students should not be asked about their vaccine status, and no student, faculty or staff member should be treated differently based on their COVID-19 vaccination status.
  • Students may be required by off-campus partnering organizations to wear masks and/or be vaccinated as a condition of participation in experiential learning opportunities such as study abroad programs, externships and delivery of medical services.

Faculty and Staff, Students
Sent July 16, 2021 to Faculty and Staff

WINGS UP, SLEEVES UP! | COVID-19 vaccine appointments available next week

July 16, 2021

Vaccine availability at Georgia Southern next week:

  • Armstrong Campus - Appointments are available for vaccination at the Health Professions Academic Building. Appointments are available on Wednesday, July 21, for both the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Statesboro Campus - Appointments are available for vaccination at the Student Health Center. The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is available on Wednesday, July 21, and the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is available on Thursday, July 22. 

Please note all appointments must be made online in advance through the MyGS portal. To schedule an appointment, go to the MyGS portal and click on the "COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Form" under the heading of "COVID-19 Information and Resources.” 

The Moderna vaccine is for anyone 18 years and older and requires two doses to be fully effective. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is for anyone 18 years and older and requires one dose to be fully effective. For more information about receiving your vaccine at Georgia Southern, please visit https://www.georgiasouthern.edu/covid-19-information/vaccine/.

Be sure to reserve your spot today!

Faculty and Staff
Sent July 9, 2021 to Faculty and Staff

WINGS UP, SLEEVES UP! | COVID-19 vaccine appointments available next week

July 9, 2021

Vaccine availability at Georgia Southern next week:

  • Armstrong Campus - Appointments are available for vaccination at the Health Professions Academic Building. Appointments are available on Wednesday, July 14, for both the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Statesboro Campus - Appointments are available for vaccination at the Student Health Center. The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is available on Wednesday, July 14, and the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is available on Thursday, July 15. 

Please note all appointments must be made online in advance through the MyGS portal. To schedule an appointment, go to the MyGS portal and click on the "COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Form" under the heading of "COVID-19 Information and Resources.” 

The Moderna vaccine is for anyone 18 years and older and requires two doses to be fully effective. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is for anyone 18 years and older and requires one dose to be fully effective. For more information about receiving your vaccine at Georgia Southern, please visit https://www.georgiasouthern.edu/covid-19-information/vaccine/.

Be sure to reserve your spot today!

Faculty and Staff
Sent July 1, 2021 to Faculty and Staff

WINGS UP, SLEEVES UP! | COVID-19 vaccine appointments available next week

July 1, 2021

Vaccine availability at Georgia Southern next week:

  • Armstrong Campus - Appointments are available for vaccination at the Health Professions Academic Building. Appointments are available on Wednesday, July 7, for both the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Statesboro Campus - Appointments are available for vaccination at the Student Health Center. The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is available on Wednesday, July 7, and the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is available on Thursday, July 8. 

Please note all appointments must be made online in advance through the MyGS portal. To schedule an appointment, go to the MyGS portal and click on the "COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Form" under the heading of "COVID-19 Information and Resources.” 

The Moderna vaccine is for anyone 18 years and older and requires two doses to be fully effective. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is for anyone 18 years and older and requires one dose to be fully effective. For more information about receiving your vaccine at Georgia Southern, please visit https://www.georgiasouthern.edu/covid-19-information/vaccine/.

For those interested in the Moderna vaccine, scheduling an appointment now will ensure you have time to receive both doses prior to the start of the fall semester. 

Be sure to reserve your spot today!

Faculty and Staff
Sent June 25, 2021 to Faculty and Staff

WINGS UP, SLEEVES UP! | COVID-19 vaccine appointments available next week

June 25, 2021

Vaccine availability at Georgia Southern next week:

  • Armstrong Campus - Appointments are available for vaccination at the Health Professions Academic Building. Appointments are available on Wednesday, June 30, for both the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Statesboro Campus - Appointments are available for vaccination at the Student Health Center. The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is available on Wednesday, June 30, and the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is available on Thursday, July 1. 

Please note all appointments must be made online in advance through the MyGS portal. To schedule an appointment, go to the MyGS portal and click on the "COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Form" under the heading of "COVID-19 Information and Resources.” 

The Moderna vaccine is for anyone 18 years and older and requires two doses to be fully effective. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is for anyone 18 years and older and requires one dose to be fully effective. For more information about receiving your vaccine at Georgia Southern, please visit https://www.georgiasouthern.edu/covid-19-information/vaccine/.

Be sure to reserve your spot today!

Faculty and Staff
Sent June 23, 2021 to Students

A message from President Marrero regarding COVID-19 vaccine availability

Dear Students,

June 23, 2021

It is now easier than ever for current and incoming students to get vaccinated for COVID-19. Here at Georgia Southern, we continue to offer weekly opportunities to get vaccinated in Statesboro or Savannah, and now there are also opportunities for you to get a first or second shot at another University System of Georgia (USG) campus if you are home for the summer.

All USG students can now get vaccinated at any of 15 campuses in Georgia, regardless of which institution you attend. That means you can get your first and second doses over the summer at the campus closest to you. This includes students who got their first dose at Georgia Southern before heading home.

To schedule an appointment, please visit www.usg.edu/vaccination today to locate the USG vaccination site nearest to you. In addition to these 15 USG campus vaccination sites, students may also locate additional community vaccination sites through the Georgia Department of Public Health’s vaccination locator.

I appreciate all our campus community has done to keep Eagle Nation healthy and safe. USG strongly encourages all faculty, staff, students and visitors to get vaccinated, although it is not mandatory. Getting vaccinated is an individual decision and not required to be a part of our campuses. 

We look forward to welcoming you back this fall.

Hope you are having a great summer!

Kyle Marrero
President

Students
Sent June 18, 2021 to Faculty, Staff and Students

WINGS UP, SLEEVES UP! | COVID-19 vaccine appointments available next week

June 18, 2021

Vaccine availability at Georgia Southern next week:

  • Armstrong Campus - Appointments are available for vaccination at the Health Professions Academic Building. Appointments are available on Wednesday, June 23, for both the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Statesboro Campus - Appointments are available for vaccination at the Student Health Center. The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is available on Wednesday, June 23, and the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is available on Thursday, June 24. 

Please note all appointments must be made online in advance through the MyGS portal. To schedule an appointment, go to the MyGS portal and click on the "COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Form" under the heading of "COVID-19 Information and Resources.” 

The Moderna vaccine is for anyone 18 years and older and requires two doses to be fully effective. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is for anyone 18 years and older and requires one dose to be fully effective. For more information about receiving your vaccine at Georgia Southern, please visit https://www.georgiasouthern.edu/covid-19-information/vaccine/.

Community immunity requires a team effort, so be sure to reserve your spot today!

Faculty and Staff, Students
Sent June 15, 2021 to Faculty and Staff

WINGS UP, SLEEVES UP! | COVID-19 vaccine appointments available THIS week

Vaccine availability at Georgia Southern this week:

  • Armstrong Campus - NEW!! Appointments are now available for vaccination at the Health Professions Academic Building. Appointments are available on Wednesday, June 16, for both the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Statesboro Campus - Appointments are available for vaccination at the Student Health Center. The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is available on Wednesday, June 16, and the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is available on Thursday, June 17. 

Please note all appointments must be made online in advance through the MyGS portal. To schedule an appointment, go to the MyGS portal and click on the "COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Form" under the heading of "COVID-19 Information and Resources.” 

The Moderna vaccine is for anyone 18 years and older and requires two doses to be fully effective. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is for anyone 18 years and older and requires one dose to be fully effective. For more information about receiving your vaccine at Georgia Southern, please visit https://www.georgiasouthern.edu/covid-19-information/vaccine/.

Community immunity requires a team effort, so be sure to reserve your spot today!

Faculty and Staff
Sent June 4, 2021 to Faculty, Staff and Students

WINGS UP, SLEEVES UP! | COVID-19 vaccine appointments available next week

June 4, 2021

Vaccine availability at Georgia Southern next week:

  • Armstrong Campus - We are excited to announce we will now be offering vaccine appointments in the Health Professions Academic Building! Appointments are available on Wednesday, June 9, for both the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Statesboro Campus - Appointments are available for vaccination at the Student Health Center. The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is available on Wednesday, June 9, and the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is available on Thursday, June 10. For those individuals who are already scheduled for their second Moderna dose on Friday, June 11, at the RAC on the Statesboro Campus, they will still report to the RAC at the scheduled time.

Please note all appointments must be made online in advance through the MyGS portal. To schedule an appointment, go to the MyGS portal and click on the "COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Form" under the heading of "COVID-19 Information and Resources.”

The Moderna vaccine is for anyone 18 years and older and requires two doses to be fully effective. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is for anyone 18 years and older and requires one dose to be fully effective. For more information about receiving your vaccine at Georgia Southern, please visit https://www.georgiasouthern.edu/covid-19-information/vaccine/.

Be sure to reserve your spot today!

Faculty and Staff, Students
Sent June 1, 2021 to Faculty, Staff and Students

WINGS UP, SLEEVES UP! | COVID-19 vaccine appointments available this week

June 1, 2021

Vaccine availability on campus this week:

  • Statesboro -- Moderna AND Johnson & Johnson vaccines are now available. Appointments for the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine are available for Wednesday, June 2, and for the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine for Thursday, June 3, both in the Student Health Center on the Statesboro Campus. Appointments must be made online in advance through the MyGS portal. Be sure to schedule today to reserve your spot!  To schedule an appointment, go to the MyGS portal and click on the "COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Form" under the heading of "COVID-19 Information and Resources.” Note: For those individuals who are already scheduled for their second Moderna dose on Wednesday, June 2, at the RAC on the Statesboro Campus, they will still report to the RAC for their second dose at the scheduled time.
  • Savannah -- Tuesday, June 1, in the Armstrong Center. The vaccine will be distributed through the Southside COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic hosted by SouthCoast Health and other community partners.

The Moderna vaccine is for anyone 18 years and older and requires two doses to be fully effective. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is for anyone 18 years and older and requires one dose to be fully effective. 

Faculty and Staff, Students
Sent May 24, 2021 to Faculty, Staff and Students

WINGS UP, SLEEVES UP! | COVID-19 vaccine availability on campus this week

May 24, 2021

Statesboro -- Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are now available. Appointments for the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine are available for Wednesday, May 26, and the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine for Thursday, May 27, both in the Student Health Center on the Statesboro Campus. Appointments must be made online in advance through the MyGS portal. Be sure to schedule today to reserve your spot! To schedule an appointment, go to the MyGS portal and click on the "COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Form" under the heading of "COVID-19 Information and Resources.” Note: For those individuals who are already scheduled for their second Moderna dose on Friday, May 28 at the RAC on the Statesboro Campus, they will still report to the RAC for their second dose at the scheduled time on Friday, May 28.

Savannah -- Tuesday in the Armstrong Center. The vaccine will be distributed through the Southside COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic hosted by SouthCoast Health and other community partners. The clinic is now walk-in only, so no appointments will need to be scheduled in advance. Note: The Southside Clinic schedule has changed. Currently, the clinic is scheduled to be open on Tuesday of this week and Tuesday of next week before it closes. After June 1, second doses will be handled by the Health Department. The university is developing plans to continue offering the COVID-19 vaccine on the Armstrong Campus. 

The Moderna vaccine is for anyone 18 years and older and requires two doses to be fully effective. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine also is for anyone 18 years and older but requires one dose to be fully effective.

Faculty and Staff, Students
Sent May 17, 2021 to Faculty, Staff and Students

May 17, 2021

COVID-19 vaccine availability on campus this week
Vaccine availability on campus this week:

  • Statesboro -- Moderna AND Johnson & Johnson vaccines are now available. Appointments for the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine are available for Wednesday, May 19, and the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine for Thursday, May 20, both in the Student Health Center on the Statesboro Campus. Appointments must be made online in advance through the MyGS portal. Be sure to schedule today to reserve your spot! To schedule an appointment, go to the MyGS portal and click on the "COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Form" under the heading of "COVID-19 Information and Resources.” Note: For those individuals who are already scheduled for their second Moderna dose on Wednesday, May 19, at the RAC on the Statesboro Campus, they will still report to the RAC for their second dose at the scheduled time on Wednesday, May 19.
  • Savannah -- Tuesday and Thursday in the Armstrong Center. The vaccine will be distributed through the Southside COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic hosted by SouthCoast Health and other community partners. The clinic is now walk-in only, so no appointments will need to be scheduled in advance. Those who receive first doses will be able to schedule their follow-up appointment while on site.
  • The Moderna vaccine is for anyone 18 years and older and requires two doses to be fully effective. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine also is for anyone 18 years and older but requires one dose to be fully effective.

New Guidance now available for vaccinated individualsUpdated direction from the University System of Georgia, which follows guidance from the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) and is subject to change based on recommendations from DPH or Executive Orders from the Governor’s office, now means: 

  • Fully vaccinated individuals can resume campus classes and other activities without physically distancing. Unvaccinated individuals are strongly encouraged to continue socially distancing from others when possible. Summer courses may continue to observe appropriate levels of social distancing as determined by the institution.
  • Fully vaccinated individuals can resume campus classes and other activities without wearing a mask. Unvaccinated individuals are strongly encouraged to continue wearing a face covering while inside campus facilities.

See more at https://www.georgiasouthern.edu/covid-19-information/ under "View Updated USG COVID-19 Guidance."

Faculty and Staff, Students
Sent May 13, 2021 to Faculty and Staff

Updated guidance for Fall 2021 from the University System of Georgia

As we communicated in March, Georgia Southern plans for a full return to campus this fall, which means resuming “normal” operations with in-person instruction, research, events, service, and activities, and full dining and housing operations. 

The University System of Georgia today provided further guidance (attached) to help with our transition throughout the summer months in preparation for fall. As has been done since the beginning of this pandemic, this direction follows guidance from the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) and is subject to change based on recommendations from DPH or Executive Orders from the Governor’s office. 

Every institution is expected to continue to educate and remind students, faculty, and staff of the individual responsibility to practice all of the behaviors known to reduce the spread of COVID-19, to include encouraging vaccination against the disease.

Please see attached guidance. Georgia Southern will be updating signage and posted guidance accordingly.

View Updated USG COVID-19 Guidance

Faculty and Staff
Sent May 10, 2021 to Faculty, Staff and Students

COVID-19 vaccine availability on campus this week

Vaccine availability on campus this week:

  • Statesboro -- Friday, May 14 on the Statesboro Campus. Appointments must be made online in advance through the MyGS portal. Be sure to schedule today to reserve your spot!  To schedule an appointment, go to the MyGS portal and click on the "COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Form" under the heading of "COVID-19 Information and Resources.”
  • Savannah -- Tuesday and Thursday in the Armstrong Center. The vaccine will be distributed through the Southside COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic hosted by SouthCoast Health and other community partners. Beginning this week, the clinic will be walk-in only, so no appointments will need to be scheduled in advance. Those who receive first doses will be able to schedule their follow-up appointment while on site.

The Moderna vaccine is for anyone 18 years and older and requires two doses to be fully effective. When you sign up for an appointment with Georgia Southern, a second appointment is automatically scheduled. Please note that those who received their first dose of the Moderna vaccine on May 14 will be due to receive their second dose of the vaccine on June 11.

Faculty and Staff, Students
Sent May 3, 2021 to Faculty and Staff

May 3, 2021

In accordance with our Return to Campus plan, here are Five Things You Should Know This Week:

  1. COVID-19 vaccine availability on campus this week
    Vaccine availability on campus this week:
    1. Statesboro -- Wednesday, May 5, in the RAC. Appointments must be made online in advance through the MyGS portal. Be sure to schedule today to reserve your spot! To schedule an appointment, go to the MyGS portal and click on the "COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Form" under the heading of "COVID-19 Information and Resources.”
    2. Savannah -- Tuesday and Thursday in the Armstrong Center. The vaccine will be distributed through the Southside COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic hosted by SouthCoast Health and other community partners. Beginning this week, the clinic will be walk-in only, so no appointments will need to be scheduled in advance. Those who receive first doses will be able to schedule their follow-up appointment while on site.

      The Moderna vaccine is for anyone 18 years and older and requires two doses to be fully effective. When you sign up for an appointment with Georgia Southern, a second appointment is automatically scheduled. Please note that those who received their first dose of the Moderna vaccine on May 5 will be due to receive their second dose of the vaccine on June 2.
  2. Spring Commencement Ceremonies begin Saturday
    Georgia Southern’s spring commencement ceremonies start Saturday with two ceremonies in Savannah and then are followed with four ceremonies next week in Statesboro. Approximately 4,200 undergraduate and graduate students from Georgia Southern University’s Statesboro, Armstrong and Liberty campuses will receive associate, baccalaureate, masters, specialist and doctoral degrees this semester. For more information, or to download a copy of this year’s commencement program (available later this week) go online to https://www.georgiasouthern.edu/commencement/.
  3. May is Mental Health Awareness Month
    Your mental health matters, which is why Georgia Southern is dedicated to providing faculty, staff and students with mental health resources. The Department of Human Resources provides a list of ways to access mental health resources in addition to providers employees can see through their health insurance coverage. The University Counseling Center also offers various resources for faculty, students and staff, specifically the H.E.R.O. Folder, which is a tool that helps members of Eagle Nation recognize signs of distress and offer support to others. 

    It’s our house. It’s our people. It’s our purpose. It takes our action. To support Georgia Southern Mental Health initiatives visit GeorgiaSouthern.edu/Awareness.
  4. GS Golf team wins Sun Belt Championship
    Fifth-year seniors Brett Barron and Jake Maples led the Georgia Southern golf team last week to the Sun Belt Championship at Mystic Creek Golf Club. The Eagles topped Coastal Carolina 4-0-1 in the semifinals and defeated Little Rock 3-1-1 in the finals. It is the program's second Sun Belt team title (2015) and 10th conference championship overall. The Eagles earned the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Championships. It will be their 26th appearance, the fourth under head coach Carter Collins and the ninth in Collins' 14-year tenure on the coaching staff. The selection show for the NCAA Championships will air on the GOLF Channel Wednesday, May 5, at 2 p.m. As mentioned last week, this title follows the GS Women's Tennis team’s championship, which they earned in April for their first Sun Belt title.
  5. May is Military Appreciation Month
    The Office of Military & Veteran Services (MVS) at Georgia Southern University will honor active and former members of the Armed Forces, as well as their dependents and spouses, during National Military Appreciation Month this month. The University first observed Military Dependent Day on April 30 to recognize more than 3,000 children of military personnel on Georgia Southern’s campuses. For Military Spouse Appreciation Day, which is May 7, MVS encourages military spouses from the campus community to stop by the Military Resource Centers on the Statesboro, Armstrong and Liberty campuses beginning on May 12 to receive special gift bags in thanks for their many sacrifices. On May 15, the University will recognize active military men and women across all campuses for Armed Forces Day. To nominate a University-affiliated member currently serving in the Armed Forces visit here. Find out more online.
Faculty and Staff
Sent April 26, 2021 to Faculty and Staff
  1. COVID-19 vaccine availability on campus for the week of April 26-30 Vaccine availability on campus this week:
    • Statesboro -- Friday, April 30, in the RAC. Appointments must be made online in advance through the MyGS portal. To schedule an appointment, go to the MyGS portal and click on the “COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Form” under the heading of “COVID-19 Information and Resources.”
    • Savannah -- Tuesday and Thursday in the Armstrong Center. The vaccine will be distributed through a new Southside COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic hosted by SouthCoast Health and other community partners. To make an appointment at the Southside Clinic, go to www.covidvaxdial311.com.

      Both clinics will be distributing the Moderna vaccine, which is for anyone 18 years and older and requires two doses to be fully effective. Please note that those who receive their first dose of the Moderna vaccine this week will be due to receive their second dose of the vaccine after the semester ends. See below for advice from the American College Health Association.
  2. Research Symposium this week highlights student research
    Georgia Southern University’s Spring 2021 Honors Research Symposium, which is being held virtually today through Friday, will showcase faculty-student partnerships through a broad range of scholarly and creative research projects produced by more than 100 honors students across multiple disciplines on the Statesboro and Armstrong campuses. Presentations will be posted on YouTube and the comments section will be open for audience engagement with presenters. While many of the presentations will still be accessible after May 1, the comments will be turned off.
  3. College students should prepare now to get both vaccine doses
    Across the nation, everyone 16 years of age and older is now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccination. With the end of the spring semester approaching, millions of students will soon be leaving campus for their other destinations, the American College Health Association urges college students who have not yet initiated the COVID-19 vaccine series to:
    1. Schedule their first vaccination appointment as soon as possible.
    2. Make a plan for their second dose at the same time.
    3. Protect and duplicate vaccine documentation cards.

      Resources for locating a vaccination appointment:
      • Visit VaccineFinder.org to find vaccination providers near you. In some states, information may be limited while more vaccination providers and pharmacies are being added.
      • Check your local pharmacy’s website to see if vaccination appointments are available. Find out which pharmacies are participating in the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program.
      • Contact your state health department to find additional vaccination locations in the area.
  4. New online toolkit now available to help encourage vaccinations
    The CDC says many factors influence vaccine decision-making, however confidence in the vaccines, the vaccinator, and the system all support the decision to get vaccinated. To help build this confidence at Georgia Southern, the university has provided a new online COVID-19 messaging toolkit, including an email signature, videos and social media messages. Information is guided by experts in our Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health.
  5. Volunteers sought for Operation Move-In
    Operation Move-In is a collaborative effort for faculty, staff, student and community volunteers to assist in welcoming our students back to campus. Faculty and staff volunteers are being sought to assist in getting our students back into the residence halls by meeting and greeting families, answering questions, monitoring elevator traffic, unloading cars, and many other activities that go into moving about 3,000 students into the residence halls in just a few hours! Be a part of this True Blue tradition and sign up online. Operation Move-In on the Armstrong and Statesboro Campuses on August 6 and 7.
Faculty and Staff
Sent April 23, 2021 to Faculty, Staff and Students

WINGS UP, SLEEVES UP! | COVID-19 Vaccine appointments available now for April 30

Appointments are now available for the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for Friday, April 30 on the Statesboro Campus. Appointments must be made online in advance through the MyGS portal. Be sure to schedule today to reserve your spot!  

To schedule an appointment, go to the MyGS portal and click on the "COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Form" under the heading of "COVID-19 Information and Resources.”

The Moderna vaccine is for anyone 18 years and older and requires two doses to be fully effective. When you sign up for an appointment with Georgia Southern, a second appointment is automatically scheduled. 

Please note that those who receive their first dose of the Moderna vaccine on April 30 will be due to receive their second dose of the vaccine on May 28, after the semester ends.

NEW: Check out our new online COVID-19 messaging toolkit, including an email signature, videos and yard signs.
ALSO:  Remember that COVID-19 vaccines are available Tuesdays and Thursdays in Savannah at the Armstrong Center. The vaccine will be distributed through a new Southside COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic hosted by SouthCoast Health and other community partners. To make an appointment at the Southside Clinic, go to www.covidvaxdial311.com.

Faculty and Staff, Students
Sent April 19, 2021 to Faculty and Staff

April 19, 2021

In accordance with our Return to Campus plan, here are Five Things You Should Know This Week:

  1. Vaccine availability on campus this week
    Statesboro -- Wednesday, April 21, in the RAC. Appointments must be made online in advance through the MyGS portal. To schedule an appointment, go to the MyGS portal and click on the “COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Form” under the heading of “COVID-19 Information and Resources.”

    Savannah -- Tuesday and Thursday in the Armstrong Center. The vaccine will be distributed through a new Southside COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic hosted by SouthCoast Health and other community partners. To make an appointment at the Southside Clinic, go to www.covidvaxdial311.com.

    Both clinics will be distributing the Moderna vaccine, which is for anyone 18 years and older and requires two doses to be fully effective. Please note that those who receive their first dose of the Moderna vaccine this week will be due to receive their second dose of the vaccine after the semester ends.
  2. GS Women's Tennis wins first Sun Belt title
    Georgia Southern overcame a 3-1 deficit, winning a pair of third-set matches to win the 2021 Sun Belt Conference Tournament Championship with a 4-3 victory over East top seed South Alabama on Sunday afternoon at the Peachtree Tennis Center.

    The Eagles run their win streak to 11 straight and claim their first Sun Belt tournament title, as well as their first NCAA Championships berth after earning the league's automatic qualifier. Georgia Southern moves to 19-9 on the campaign, extending its school-record single-season win total. The Eagles also avenged a 4-1 loss to South Alabama in the 2019 Sun Belt Tournament Championship match.
  3. Those vaccinated need to still take precautions
    Individuals are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine. If you don’t meet these requirements, you are NOT fully vaccinated. 

Once you have met the criteria above to be considered fully vaccinated, the CDC reports that you can:

  • Visit inside a home or private setting without a mask with other fully vaccinated people of any age
  • Visit inside a home or private setting without a mask with one household of unvaccinated people who are not at risk for severe illness
  • Travel domestically without quarantining after travel

If you have been fully vaccinated, the CDC reports that you should not:

  • Visit indoors, without a mask, with people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19
  • Attend medium or large gatherings
  1. Volunteers needed for spring commencement ceremonies
    The Commencement Committee is still seeking faculty and staff volunteers to serve as Commencement Hosts for each ceremony. Ceremonies will be at the following times and locations:
    • Saturday, May 8, Savannah Convention Center at 10 a.m. & 3 p.m. (2 ceremonies)
    • Monday, May 10, through Thursday, May 13, Paulson Stadium: 1 ceremony per day at 9 a.m.  

All staff will be asked to arrive for their shifts two hours prior to the start of the ceremony. Staff who work on Saturday, May 8, will be expected to work with their supervisor to adjust their work schedule for the week of commencement, or alternatively, be provided compensatory time for their efforts.  Sign-up is online.

  1. COVID-19 vaccines are effective at protecting you from getting sick
    The CDC reports that, as of last week, more 189 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine were administered in the United States since Dec. 14, 2020, and that the vaccines continue to be proven safe and effective. COVID-19 vaccines were evaluated in tens of thousands of participants in clinical trials and met FDA’s rigorous scientific standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality needed to support emergency use authorization. The millions of people in the United States who have received COVID-19 vaccines will undergo the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history. This monitoring includes using both established and new safety monitoring systems to continue ensuring that COVID-19 vaccines are safe.
Faculty and Staff
Sent April 16, 2021 to Faculty, Staff and Students

WINGS UP, SLEEVES UP! | COVID-19 Vaccine appointments available now for April 21

April 16, 2021

Appointments are now available for the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for Wednesday, April 21, on the Statesboro Campus. Appointments must be made online in advance through the MyGS portal. Be sure to schedule today to reserve your spot!  

To schedule an appointment, go to the MyGS portal and click on the "COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Form" under the heading of "COVID-19 Information and Resources."

The Moderna vaccine is for anyone 18 years and older and requires two doses to be fully effective. When you sign up for an appointment with Georgia Southern, a second appointment is automatically scheduled. 

Please note that those who receive their first dose of the Moderna vaccine on April 21 will be due to receive their second dose of the vaccine on May 19, after the semester ends.

Faculty and Staff, Students
Sent April 13, 2021 to Faculty, Staff and Students

Important updates about vaccine distribution this week

Following guidance from the CDC and the Georgia Department of Public Health (GDPH), Georgia Southern will not be administering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine on Friday in Statesboro. Instead, Georgia Southern will provide the Moderna vaccine.

Vaccines will be distributed in the MAC Gym in the RAC on the Statesboro Campus and appointments must be made online in advance through the MyGS portal. To schedule an appointment for this Friday, go to the MyGS portal and click on the “COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Form” under the heading of “COVID-19 Information and Resources.” 

The Moderna vaccine is for anyone 18 years and older and requires two doses to be fully effective. When you sign up for an appointment with Georgia Southern, a second appointment is automatically scheduled.
The Moderna vaccine also will be distributed from 1 to 4 p.m. in the Armstrong Center ballroom in Savannah today through a new Southside COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic hosted by SouthCoast Health and other community partners. Appointments for this clinic also must be made online in advance, but through a different scheduling system. The Southside Clinic will be open after today from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday. To make an appointment after today, go to www.covidvaxdial311.com.

Faculty and Staff, Students
Sent April 12, 2021 to Faculty and Staff

April 12, 2021

In accordance with our Return to Campus plan, here are Five Things You Should Know This Week:

  1. Opportunities for COVID vaccines on our campuses this week – PLEASE READ THIS CAREFULLY AND IN ITS ENTIRETY
    • Tuesday: first doses of Moderna vaccine will be distributed from 1 to 4 p.m. in the Armstrong Center ballroom through a new Southside COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic hosted by Southcoast Medical Group and other community partners. Appointments must be made online in advance. This is for first doses only!
    • Tuesday: Faculty, staff and students who received their first dose of Moderna on the Armstrong Campus on March 16 will receive their second dose of Moderna on Tuesday in the Armstrong Recreation Center (ARC) gymnasium. If you are scheduled for your second dose at Armstrong on Tuesday, you will receive an email later today reminding you of the time of your appointment along with further instructions. Please do not attend the Southside clinic on Tuesday for your second dose.
    • Friday’s vaccine distribution in Statesboro will be the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which requires only one dose. Vaccines will be distributed to eligible students, faculty and staff in the MAC Gym in the RAC on the Statesboro Campus. Johnson & Johnson is the only one-shot COVID-19 vaccine authorized for use in the United States. Having this vaccine available on campus now means those who receive the shot will be fully vaccinated and do not need to return to campus for a second dose after the semester ends. To make an appointment, go to the MyGS portal and click on “COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Form” under the heading of “COVID-19 Information and Resources.”
  2. COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective
    The CDC reports that, as of last week, more than 167 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine were administered in the United States since Dec. 14, 2020 and that the vaccines continue to be proven safe and effective. COVID-19 vaccines were evaluated in tens of thousands of participants in clinical trials and met FDA’s rigorous scientific standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality needed to support emergency use authorization. The millions of people in the United States who have received COVID-19 vaccines will undergo the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history. This monitoring includes using both established and new safety monitoring systems to continue ensuring that COVID-19 vaccines are safe.
  3. Employee Engagement Survey results discussion now available online
    For those who were unable to join today’s town hall meeting presenting the results of the Employee Engagement Survey, a recording of the meeting is now available at GeorgiaSouthern.edu/EEsurvey. As a reminder, the Employee Engagement Survey is part of our journey of assessment, growth and improvement. The survey results provide Georgia Southern the information to develop action plans at the institutional, divisional and departmental levels to help create a best place to work environment.
  4. Faculty and staff can use ‘Non-Closure Emergency Leave’ to receive the COVID-19 vaccine In response to the Governor’s Executive Order No. 03.31.21.02, the University System of Georgia has provided guidance on procedures to record time and absences related to COVID-19 vaccinations. The USG now will allow faculty and staff to use “Non-Closure Emergency Leave” as of March 31, 2021 for the purpose of COVID-19 vaccinations. Individuals will be compensated for this time without deducting from vacation or sick leave balances. For more details, click here.
  5. Inclusive Excellence Climate Survey results presentations now available online
    In November, the university launched our inaugural Inclusive Excellence Climate Survey, a university-wide assessment that will help inform critical areas of intervention by illuminating employees’ views on the workplace and campus environment, equity, fairness and partiality. Most importantly, it will help us focus on the greatest areas of improvement in alignment with our Inclusive Excellence Action Plan and programs. Results of this survey via executive summaries and a presentation are now available under the "Performance Excellence" tile in the MyGS portal.
Faculty and Staff
Sent April 9, 2021 to Faculty, Staff and Students

Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine available in Statesboro Friday, April 16

Georgia Southern has received its first shipment of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine -- which requires only one dose -- and will be distributing it to eligible students, faculty and staff on Friday, April 16, in the MAC gym at the RAC on the Statesboro campus. 

Johnson & Johnson is the only one-shot COVID-19 vaccine authorized for use in the United States. Having this vaccine available on campus now means those who receive the shot do not need to return to campus for a second dose after the semester ends.

To make an appointment, go to the MyGS portal and click on “COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Form” under the heading of “COVID-19 Information and Resources.”

Appointments are available online only on a first-come, first-served basis for Georgia Southern faculty, staff and students.

Johnson & Johnson vaccines will be administered indoors and all clinics require registration ahead of time. A designated parking area will be marked for vaccine recipients and signage will direct you to the proper entrance to the MAC gym.

The CDC recommends everyone should get the first COVID-19 vaccine that is available and while all COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective, the CDC does not recommend one vaccine over another. More about the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which is approved for people aged 18 years and older, is available online. 

Additional vaccine distribution days are being planned on both campuses. Updates will be sent by email.

Faculty and Staff, Students
Sent April 5, 2021 to Faculty, Staff and Students

Appointments now available for Wednesday's COVID-19 vaccination clinic on the Statesboro Campus

Appointments are now available for this week's drive-through COVID-19 vaccination clinic, specifically for GS faculty, staff, and students. The clinic will be held on Wednesday, April 7, on the Statesboro Campus.

Georgia Southern is currently using the Moderna vaccine, which is only approved for individuals 18 years of age and older. Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are made available, free of charge, to our faculty, staff and students. 

Appointments are now available, online-only, on a first-come, first-served basis.

To make an appointment, go to the MyGS portal and click on “COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Form” under the heading of “COVID-19 Information and Resources.” 

Additional distribution days are being planned on both campuses. Updates will be sent by email.

Faculty and Staff, Students
Sent April 5, 2021 to Faculty and Staff

April 5, 2021

In accordance with our Return to Campus plan, here are Five Six Things You Should Know This Week:

  1. OneUSG Connect will be offline this weekend
    OneUSG Connect will be unavailable to all University System of Georgia employees from 11:15 p.m. on Friday, April 9, until 7 a.m. on Sunday, April 11. During this time, Employee Self Service and Manager Self Service will not be available. Time clocks and Benefits will be available. Note that W-2s and pay statements will be unavailable for viewing and printing during this time so, please plan accordingly.

    The process to submit time, approve time, and request absences will be changing as USG transitions to the new “Fluid” interface in OneUSG Connect with a new release on April 10, 2021. The user experience will be modified to have a more modern look and the flexibility to use Time & Absence on phones, tablets, and desktop devices. More information will be provided later this week.  
  2. Georgia Southern continues COVID-19 vaccinations for the University community
    Since early February 2021, Georgia Southern has distributed approximately 3,500 vaccine doses to eligible faculty, staff and students.

    The vaccines met the FDA’s rigorous scientific standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality needed to support emergency use authorization (EUA). Visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/safety/safety-of-vaccines.html for more information on the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine.

    Share your #WingsUpSleevesUp COVID-19 experience and tag Georgia Southern on social media! Please use caution when sharing vaccination card and personal health information on social media.
  3. COVID-19 vaccine information in our communities
    As Georgia Southern is able to increase its COVID-19 vaccine distribution, GS officials continue to stress there is no need to wait for our vaccine distribution if you are able to get the vaccine sooner from your local health department or other outlets. Members of our university family who qualify for a vaccine in their community are encouraged to take advantage of those opportunities should they wish to receive a vaccine. For information on COVID-19 vaccinations and testing in our communities, please see the following:
  4. Office of Inclusive Excellence funding opportunities
    To further expand the impact of the University Strategic Plan and the Inclusive Excellence Action Plan, the Office of Inclusive Excellence is offering funding opportunities to departments and student organizations that host events centered around the idea of Inclusive Excellence and increasing the awareness thereof.

    The two opportunities available for funding are Campus Life Enrichment Committee (CLEC) funding and Inclusive Excellence Action Plan Seed Grants. The maximum award amount for the grants are $1,500 and $750 respectively. More information about each grant is on the OIE Website.

    Information sessions to aid in the education of the purpose and the process of accessing the funds are scheduled as listed below:
    • Thursday, April 8, from 4 to 5 p.m.
    • Thursday, April 15, from 2 to 3 p.m.
    • Thursday, April 22, from 1 to 2 p.m.
  5. Upcoming survey results presentations
    The Climate Survey institutional results will be presented by TaJuan Wilson, Ed.D., Associate Vice President for Inclusive Excellence on Wednesday, April 7, at 1 p.m., and the Employee Engagement Survey results will be presented to campus on Monday, April 12, at 10 a.m. Both presentations will be recorded and posted. Immediately following the campus presentation, divisional and unit reports will be provided as we begin our rollout and action plan development.

    Look for more information through email and the Midweek Memo. 
  6. Georgia Southern vaccine dispensation this week
    A drive-through COVID-19 vaccination clinic specifically for Georgia Southern faculty, staff and students will take place on Wednesday (April 7) on the Statesboro Campus.

    Georgia Southern is currently using the Moderna vaccine, which is only approved for individuals 18 years of age and older. Appointments remain available on a first-come, first-served basis for Georgia Southern faculty, staff, and students for Wednesday, April 7, on the Statesboro Campus.

    To make an appointment, go to the MyGS portal and click on “COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Form” under the heading of “COVID-19 Information and Resources.”

    Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are made available, free of charge, to our faculty, staff and students. Additional distribution days are being planned on both campuses. Updates will be sent by email.
Faculty and Staff
Sent April 1, 2021 to Faculty and Staff

Gratitude – Spring is in the air!

Dear Colleagues,

April 1, 2021

As I start this message to you on this first day of April, with spring blooming, I am celebrating two years as President of Georgia Southern University.  Since my first official day on April 1, 2019, we have experienced many challenges and successes. What I’ve come to know and understand is that we grow most when we are faced with adversity and challenges, and this is evidenced by what we have experienced the last two years. Together, we have persevered, adapted, innovated, improved and grown.  We have depended on one another with a “can-do” attitude and an emerging sense of positivity and trust in a future full of hope.  I am so grateful and thankful to have been granted this opportunity to be the President of Georgia Southern University during this important time in our history.  Thank you!

As we reflect upon exactly one year ago – toggling over to fully online instruction for the remainder of spring 2020 – I want to acknowledge not only the incredible effort of our faculty to reimagine how we deliver more than 5,000 courses fully online, but to also herald our staff, many of whom, as designated essential personnel, came to campus every day during this time – ensuring technology, admissions, financial aid, HR, payroll, facilities, grounds, custodial and health and safety continued to function at the highest level.  Thank you!

Now, a year later, we emerge into spring 2021 with much to celebrate!  The General Assembly closed out the 2021 legislative session yesterday, and we are thrilled to report that the Jack and Ruth Ann Hill Convocation Center was fully funded in the budget as passed by the Legislature. I want to give a special thanks to Majority Leader Jon Burns for his leadership and support and to the Georgia Southern legislative delegation for their efforts in seeing this project to fruition. The FY22 state budget also includes formula growth funding for the USG. Over the next few weeks, bills that have passed the Legislature will be sent to the Governor’s desk for signing consideration, including a bill to expand the Logistics Innovation Corridor map to encompass a six-county region inclusive of all of our campus locations. Also heading to the Governor’s desk is a bill to extend our ability to carryforward 3% of our tuition revenue as well as a bill that will grant all state employees the ability to take up to three weeks of paid parental leave.

Upon final approval of the budget, the Board of Regents will provide our specific institutional budget information and, as we always do, we will provide transparent budget reporting to all campus constituents.  We are grateful for the continued support of the Governor, our local delegation, and the Board of Regents.  Thank you!

It is also time for us to show our gratitude and thanks to our outstanding faculty, staff and teams during our upcoming University Awards of Excellence. Award recipients will be announced Friday at 10:00 a.m. via email to all faculty and staff with a link to read more about each of our outstanding recipients and a congratulatory message from me! This year, we had 147 individual nominations and 10 team nominations.  We will award 21 individual and 1 team award aligned with our institutional values and pillars of our university strategic plan.  In addition, we will honor 408 faculty and staff for years of service ranging from 5 to 30 years – over 4,000 years of service in totality.  Wow, and thank you!

Over the next several weeks, we will continue our journey of growth and improvement by sharing the results of both our institutional Climate Survey and our Employee Engagement Survey.  The Climate Survey institutional results will be presented by Dr. TaJuan Wilson on Wednesday, April 7, at 1:00 p.m., and the Employee Engagement Survey results will be presented to campus on Monday, April 12, at 10:00 a.m. Look for more information through email and the Midweek Memo. Both presentations will be recorded and posted, and immediately following the campus presentation, divisional and unit reports will be provided as we begin our roll out and action plan development.  I want to thank our faculty and staff for their participation in these voluntary surveys – reaching over 77% participation for the Employee Engagement Survey.  That’s an amazing participation rate and will provide us with comprehensive data and information to grow ourselves to grow others.  Thank you!

Finally, I am proud to be part of an institution that is able to provide COVID-19 vaccines on both its Statesboro and Armstrong campuses.  We have already provided approximately 2,000 vaccinations through our closed pod vaccination sites, and now that the Governor has opened up eligibility to the general population, we will come close to doubling that number this week. Additionally, we are exploring ways to continue partnering with our communities to expand vaccine availability. A few open appointments remain for our drive-through vaccine clinic on Friday in Statesboro. If you wish to sign up, register through your my.georgiasouthern account as soon as possible. As more vaccine appointment slots become available, we will continue to notify you through email.  

Spring is in the air and with that a sense of hope and positivity as we navigate our future together.  I invite you to take a moment and think of all that you are grateful for – family, friends, and being part of an institution that transforms lives and serves communities.

Sincerely,
Kyle

People. Purpose. Action: Growing Ourselves to Grow Others!

Faculty and Staff
Sent March 30, 2021 to Faculty and Staff

March 30, 2021

In accordance with our Return to Campus plan, here are Five Things You Should Know This Week:

  1. COVID-19 vaccine appointments remain available this week
    A few appointments remain available for Friday’s drive-through vaccination clinic established specifically for GS faculty, staff and students. 

    As a reminder, all adults in Georgia are now eligible for the vaccine. Georgia Southern is currently using the Moderna vaccine, which is only approved for individuals 18 years of age and older.

    Appointments are available online only, on a first-come, first-served basis for Friday, April 2, on the Statesboro Campus. 

    To make an appointment, go to the MyGS portal and click on “COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Form” under the heading of “COVID-19 Information and Resources.” 

    Additional distribution days are being planned on both campuses. Updates will be sent by email. Appointments are full for today’s vaccine distribution on the Armstrong campus in Savannah.
  2. Parking will be impacted this week by COVID-19 vaccinations
    To accommodate Georgia Southern’s COVID vaccine distribution plan Tuesday (3/30) on the Armstrong Campus in Savannah, the Science Center parking lot and all of Arts Drive parking will be closed today. 

    To accommodate Georgia Southern’s COVID vaccine distribution plan on Friday (4/2) in Statesboro, all parking lots at Paulson Stadium and on Malecki Drive will be closed all day and bus routes that stop at Paulson Stadium will be redirected on Friday. Setup will begin Thursday (4/1), but parking and bus routes will not change until Friday.

    While these lots are closed in Statesboro, anyone without a parking permit may park at the RAC, lot 42 and lot 29 (formerly University Villas) ONLY during the days the stadium area is closed. The three bus routes will be directed as follows:
    • Blue route will stop at the College of Education, Freedom's Landing (temporary stop), and the RAC.
    • Gold route will stop at the Russell Union/Dining Commons, Cambridge, and Eagle Village.
    • Temp route will stop at the Russell Union/Dining Commons and the RAC.
  3. New mental health resources website available for GS employees
    Georgia Southern faculty and staff have access to a variety of mental health resources through your health insurance coverage, the University System of Georgia and the university.

    The GS Human Resources office has put together a website to make it easier for employees to find the mental health resources available.

    This website complements the Counseling Center, which is focused on our students’ mental health. The Counseling Center maintains a 24/7 crisis line. Students can call during business hours and request to be transferred to the crisis counselor, or when the center is closed, can call 912-478-5541 and select option 2 from the voicemail menu. After-hours crisis services can also be used by campus partners needing a consultation about a student of concern.
  4. Reminder to participate in VPBF search Three more candidates are scheduled to visit campus as part of Georgia Southern’s search for its next Vice President for Business and Finance (VPBF). The search committee is interested in garnering as much feedback as possible on each candidate, so open forums have been scheduled for each finalist. Each session will be done via Zoom, and details will be emailed to all faculty and staff the morning of each session. All the candidates’ vitas, schedules and feedback forms have been posted on the VPBF search website, which also lists the job description and search committee members.
  5. Ready to help promote Georgia Southern?
    Just a reminder that when writing or talking about Georgia Southern University, please keep in mind these brand pillars to support our university wide messaging campaign:
    • We are ready. Opportunities abound here.
    • We are a talent powerhouse.
    • We’re committed to access for everyone.
    • We are always ready to roll up our sleeves and get to work -- together.
    • There’s no other school that feels so much like home while still making such a significant public impact. 
Faculty and Staff
Sent March 29, 2021 to Faculty, Staff and Students

More appointments available for Friday’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution in Statesboro

Georgia Southern has scheduled additional appointments on Friday, April 2 for its drive-through vaccination clinic specifically for GS faculty, staff, and students.

Georgia Southern is currently using the Moderna vaccine, which is only approved for individuals 18 years of age and older.  Appointments are now available, online-only, on a first-come, first-served basis for Friday April 2 at Paulson Stadium in Statesboro.

To make an appointment, go to the MyGS portal and click on “COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Form” under the heading of “COVID-19 Information and Resources.” 

Additional distribution days are being planned on both campuses. Updates will be sent by email. All appointments have been filled for Tuesday’s vaccine distribution on the Armstrong campus in Savannah.

Faculty and Staff, Students
Sent March 25, 2021 to Faculty and Staff

COVID-19 vaccines reserved for GS faculty, staff, and students will be available next week

As vaccine eligibility expands in Georgia to all adults, Georgia Southern has scheduled two drive-through vaccination clinics next week specifically for GS faculty, staff, and students. Georgia Southern is currently using the Moderna vaccine, which is only approved for individuals 18 years of age and older.  Appointments are now available on a first-come, first-served basis for Georgia Southern faculty, staff, and students for Tuesday, March 30, at the Armstrong Campus in Savannah AND for Friday, April 2, on the Statesboro campus. 

To make an appointment, go to the MyGS portal and click on “COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Form” under the heading of “COVID-19 Information and Resources.” 

Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are made available, free of charge, to our faculty, staff and students.  Additional distribution days are being planned on both campuses. Updates will be sent by email.

Faculty and Staff
Sent March 22, 2021 to Faculty and Staff

March 22, 2021

In accordance with our Return to Campus plan, here are Five Six Things You Should Know This Week:

  1. COVID vaccine being distributed in Statesboro Wednesday and in Savannah on March 30
    A very small number of appointments remain for Wednesday’s (3/24) vaccine distribution in the Paulson Stadium parking lot in Statesboro.Appointment slots will open this afternoon for another distribution site being scheduled for Tuesday, March 30 at the Armstrong Campus in Savannah. The vaccineis available for any Georgia Southern faculty, staff and student over 18 years old who GDPH lists as currently eligible for the COVID vaccine in Georgia AND who lives or works in Georgia. To make an appointment, go to the MyGS portal and click on “COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Form” under the heading of “COVID-19 Information and Resources.”

    To accommodate Georgia Southern’s vaccine distribution plan on Wednesday, all parking lots at Paulson Stadium and on Malecki Drive will be closed all day and bus routes that stop at Paulson Stadium will be redirected. Setup will beginTuesday (3/21), but parking and bus routes will not change until Wednesday.

    While these lots are closed in Statesboro, anyone without a parking permit may park at the RAC, lot 42 and lot 29 (formerly University Villas) ONLY during the days the stadium area is closed. The three bus routes will be directed as follows:
    • Blue route will stop at the College of Education, Freedom's Landing (temporary stop), and the RAC.
    • Gold route will stop at the Russell Union/Dining Commons, Cambridge, and Eagle Village.
    • Temp route will stop at the Russell Union/Dining Commons and the RAC.As a reminder, Georgia Southern is a designated COVID-19 vaccine provider by the Georgia Department of Public Health (GDPH) and administers doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, as they are available, free of charge to populations within our faculty, staff and students who GDPH lists as currently eligible for the COVID vaccine in Georgia. Additional distribution days are being planned on both campuses. Updates will be sent by email.
  2. OneUSG Connect Payroll Upcoming Functionality EnhancementsPlease be aware that OneUSG Connect Payroll system functionality enhancements are being scheduled and will impact all employees. The OneUSG Connect upgrade is scheduled to begin at 11:15 p.m. on Friday, April 9. and conclude at 7 a.m. on Sunday, April 11. Upon completion of the upgrade, the user experience will be enhanced to have a more modern look as well as the flexibility to process time and absence requests seamlessly on phones, tablets and desktop devices.
  3. The latest information on vaccines
    Georgia is now vaccinating adults 55 and older and any adult with certain medical conditions, as outlined at https://dph.georgia.gov/covid-vaccine-eligibility.

    In Bulloch County, an online scheduling portal is now available for those eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine at https://dph.georgia.gov/covid-vaccine and selecting the blue box that states “Health Dept. Scheduling.” For Chatham and Liberty counties, go to chdcovidvax.org to schedule an appointment. The online appointment scheduling system will allow for scheduling first dose appointments only, up to eight days in advance. If you do not see any available appointments, check back frequently.

    Additionally, the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) has opened up drive-through mass vaccination sites in Savannah and Waycross. Visit myvaccinegeorgia.com for more information.

    The GEMA mass vaccination site in Savannah is no longer requiring appointments. The site is located at Gulfstream Aerospace at 2 Innovation Drive in Savannah, and is open Tues. – Sat., 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. The site is giving Pfizer vaccine, which is authorized for age 16 and older (anyone under 18 must be accompanied by a parent/guardian).
  4. COVID-19 testing availability continues in our region
    The Georgia Department of Public Health (GDPH) continues to offer COVID-19 testing to all Georgians who request it, whether they have symptoms or not. Mako Medical has contracted with the GDPH to provide testing services in our area to free up health department staff and resources to focus on COVID-19 vaccinations.

    To register for Mako Medical COVID-19 testing in Bulloch and Chatham county locations, please visit https://mako.exchange/splash/GAmakotesting/.

    The Southeast Health District will continue to offer free COVID-19 testing in other areas. To schedule an appointment at one of these COVID-19 testing sites, call 1-855-473-4374 or visit covid19.dph.ga.gov for all other public health testing locations.
  5. Bonus pay will start going out this week
    The statewide plan to provide a one-time $1,000 bonus to employees whose annual salary is less than $80,000 will be enacted starting this week. The bonus will be paid to employees who are regular, full-time benefits-eligible employees who were active on February 15, 2021. Part-time employees and those whose standard schedule is under 30 hours per week are not eligible. The bonus payment will be paid on March 26 for bi-weekly paid employees and on March 30 for monthly paid employees. Please note payments will be subject to all applicable FICA Taxes, Federal Income Tax, and State Income Tax. Federal and state Income tax will be withheld at the employee’s normal tax rate. The bonus funds do not count toward the overtime calculation for non-exempt employees for hours worked during the pay period in which it is paid, and is NOT eligible for retirement contribution.
  6. Enrollment Services opens Statesboro Campus walk-in service center as second location
    Enrollment Services, a one-of-a-kind office that provides support and advocates on behalf of students, has officially opened its Statesboro Campus walk-in service, making it the second walk-in service center available to students at the University.

    Located on the first floor of the Rosenwald Building, the collaborative hub is the first stop for undergraduate and graduate students who may have questions regarding admissions, student records, student accounts, and student aid.

    Enrollment Services opened the first walk-in service center and call center in September on the Armstrong Campus in Victor Hall. For more information, visit GeorgiaSouthern.edu/enrollmentservices.
Faculty and Staff
Sent March 15, 2021 to Faculty, Staff and Students

Additional appointments have been added for tomorrow’s (3/16) vaccine distribution at the Armstrong Campus in Savannah. If you qualify and tried before to make an appointment but found all slots filled, please try again now. Appointments also are still available for March 24 on the Statesboro Campus for anyone who GDPH lists as currently eligible for the COVID vaccine in Georgia AND who lives or works in Georgia. To make an appointment, go to the MyGS portal and click on “COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Form” under the heading of “COVID-19 Information and Resources.” 

To accommodate Georgia Southern’s vaccine distribution plan, the Science Center parking lot and all of Arts Drive parking on the Armstrong Campus in Savannah will be closed most of the day tomorrow (3/16). 

As a reminder, Georgia Southern is a designated COVID-19 vaccine provider by the Georgia Department of Public Health (GDPH) and administers doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, as they are available, free of charge to populations within our faculty, staff and students who GDPH lists as currently eligible for the COVID vaccine in Georgia

GDPH says the following groups are now eligible for COVID-19 vaccine in Georgia:

*Health professions students enrolled in clinical rotations in Georgia and students who are student teaching or serving in other roles in Georgia in Pre-K, K-12, DECAL licensed or exempt childcare programs are also considered eligible.

**Georgia Southern is currently using the Moderna vaccine, which is only approved for individuals 18 years of age and older. For individuals aged 16 and 17 who are in an eligible population for vaccination, Pfizer is the only vaccine currently approved for these ages. To locate a Pfizer vaccine provider, click here.

Please do not wait for our vaccine distribution if you are able to get the vaccine sooner from your local health department or other outlets. Members of our university family who qualify for a vaccine in their community are encouraged to take advantage of those opportunities should they wish to receive a vaccine. If you have any questions, please contact the CARES Center at covidsupport@georgiasouthern.edu or by phone at 912-478-CARE (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.).

Faculty and Staff, Students
Sent March 12, 2021 to Faculty, Staff and Students

March 12, 2021

As a designated COVID-19 vaccine provider by the Georgia Department of Public Health (GDPH), Georgia Southern University will be administering a limited number of doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine on March 16 on the Armstrong Campus in Savannah and on March 24 on the Statesboro campus, free of charge, to populations within our faculty, staff and students who GDPH lists as currently eligible for the COVID vaccine in Georgia.

As of Monday (3/15), GDPH says the following groups are eligible for COVID-19 vaccine in Georgia:

*Health professions students enrolled in clinical rotations in Georgia and students who are student teaching or serving in other roles in Georgia in Pre-K, K-12, DECAL licensed or exempt childcare programs are also considered eligible.

**Georgia Southern is currently using the Moderna vaccine, which is only approved for individuals 18 years of age and older.  For individuals aged 16 and 17 who are in an eligible population for vaccination, Pfizer is the only vaccine currently approved for these ages.  To locate a Pfizer vaccine provider, click here.

Vaccines will be administered via a drive-through system by appointment only on Tuesday, March 16 on the Armstrong Campus in Savannah, and on Wednesday, March 24 on the Statesboro campus. Any Georgia Southern faculty, staff or student who qualifies is eligible to sign up for either day/campus. 

If you meet any of the criteria listed above AND you live or work in Georgia, you are eligible for a COVID-19 vaccination in Georgia and invited to make an appointment for an on-campus vaccine distribution. Please go immediately to the MyGS portal and click on “COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Form” under the heading of “COVID-19 Information and Resources.” 

Please do not wait for our vaccine distribution if you are able to get the vaccine sooner from your local health department or other outlets. Members of our university family who qualify for a vaccine in their community are encouraged to take advantage of those opportunities should they wish to receive a vaccine. If you have any questions, please contact the CARES Center at covidsupport@georgiasouthern.edu or by phone at 912-478-CARE (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

Faculty and Staff, Students
Sent March 8, 2021 to Faculty and Staff

Dear Colleagues,

March 8, 2021

March is well underway, and we are now in our ninth week of the semester – the week leading into spring break – wow! It is hard to believe one year ago we made the decision to transition to fully online instruction. I don’t think any of us could’ve predicted the last twelve months. We persevered through difficult challenges - adapting, innovating, learning, teaching, researching, and growing ourselves to grow others!

As you read in the announcement last week, our COVID-19 numbers, like the region, state, and country, are trending down significantly and we continue to provide vaccines to our eligible faculty, staff, and students -- anticipating expanded availability of the COVID-19 vaccine through the spring and summer months.

As institutions around the state make announcements about Fall 2021, we too at Georgia Southern are planning a full return to campus - resuming normal operations – with in-person curriculum delivery, full dining and housing operations, student services, activities, and events. Please understand that Fall 2021 plans remain subject to change based on adherence to GDPH and CDC guidance. The 2021 summer semester will look much like this spring, with our normal mix of online and face-to-face course offerings, some very innovative lab and studio delivery options for our students, and an expanding array of opportunities to engage our communities on campus.

This is all great news – but we must continue to be vigilant to ensure we complete the semester strong - following all safety guidelines and protocols and promoting vaccine participation for those who are eligible. Most immediately, we need everyone to continue practicing our "Eagles Do Right” behaviors throughout spring break, understanding that our return to campus at the end of March will help our summer and fall plans become a reality.

This is also an exciting time of year as we celebrate the accomplishments of our most distinguished Alumni. Last Friday night, we honored 11 alumni who represent the very best of Georgia Southern - who are leaders, business men and women, and continue to give back and support our Eagle Nation (see award winners here). The Talon Award, our most prestigious Alumni award, was presented to Jon Burns, Majority Leader of the Georgia State House of Representatives. Jon’s legacy and impact on our region and the state continues as he helps support our institution each and every legislative session.  

Speaking of the legislative session, we are grateful to the Georgia General Assembly and the Governor for the FY21 amended budget, that supported formula growth for the University System of Georgia, and for the support in the Governor’s and the House’s version of the FY22 budget. The Senate will be finalizing their version of the budget in the coming weeks as we move toward the final day of this year’s legislative session on March 31. Our major capital project, the Jack and Ruth Ann Hill Convocation Center continues to move through the process. We are grateful to the Governor and the Legislature for supporting this project in honor of Jack and Ruth Ann Hill. We are also grateful to Representative Ron Stephens for supporting the expansion of the Logistics Innovation Corridor Map to include our entire region. This will help us continue our collaboration and expansion of Logistics Technology innovation and development from the Port of Savannah to all three of our campus locations.

Hopefully, you have all received the link inviting you to complete the Employee Engagement Survey. Remember, the purpose of the survey is to gain input from all employees about their work environment, what is working well and where there may be opportunities for improvement. The survey will remain open until close of business on March 15. Your participation is critical in helping us create an engaging work environment. Also, we will be rolling out the institutional results of the Inclusive Excellence Climate Survey in the next few weeks providing further direction for our Inclusive Excellence Action Plan.  

This week, we will be disseminating the student grant portion of the HEERF II funds totaling approximately $11.4M in direct grant aid to students. These funds will impact more than 11,600 of our students with grants ranging from a minimum $390 to $1,250 based on demonstrated need through the FAFSA and by having an Expected Family Contribution of less than $11,000. The grants will support student needs, including cost of attendance and/or emergency expenses that arise due to coronavirus, such as tuition, food, housing, health care, or childcare.

Finally, I’m excited to announce that we are very close to introducing the new Dean of our College of Education after a comprehensive national search. I want to thank Dr. Amy Heaston for her interim leadership and career impact at Georgia Southern. Also, we will be finalizing the Vice President for Business and Finance search with finalists on campus the end of March – of which you will have the opportunity to engage virtually in open forums.  
As we progress through the remainder of the semester – take time to enjoy the beautiful spring weather, walk around Sweetheart Circle or the Arboretum, watch a baseball or softball game, run or walk on one of our many jogging trails or throw a Frisbee on any of our beautiful campuses. The future is bright at Georgia Southern!

Sincerely,
Kyle

People. Purpose. Action: Growing Ourselves to Grow Others!

Faculty and Staff
Sent March 6, 2021 to Faculty, Staff and Students

As a designated COVID-19 vaccine provider by the Georgia Department of Public Health (GDPH), Georgia Southern University will be administering a limited number of doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine this week on both the Armstrong and Statesboro campuses, free of charge, to populations within our faculty, staff and students who GDPH lists as currently eligible for the COVID vaccine in Georgia.

Currently GDPH says the following groups are eligible for COVID-19 vaccine in Georgia:

  • Healthcare workers (physicians, nurses, laboratory technicians, EMS personnel, environmental services, etc.)*
  • Residents and staff of long-term care facilities
  • Adults aged 65+ and their caregivers
  • Law enforcement, firefighters, first responders

*Health professions students enrolled in clinical rotations in Georgia and students who are student teaching or serving in other roles in Georgia in Pre-K, K-12, DECAL licensed or exempt childcare programs are also considered eligible.

Vaccines will be administered via a drive-through system by appointment only on Wednesday, March 10 on the Statesboro campus, and on Friday, March 12 on the Armstrong campus in Savannah. Any Georgia Southern faculty, staff or student who qualifies is eligible to sign up for either day/campus. Note that the Moderna vaccine is only approved for persons age 18 years and older.  Persons under the age of 18 are not eligible to receive the Moderna vaccine.

If you meet any of the criteria listed above AND you live or work in Georgia, you are eligible for a COVID-19 vaccination in Georgia and invited to make an appointment for an on-campus vaccine distribution. Please go immediately to the MyGS portal and click on “COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Form” under the heading of “COVID-19 Information and Resources.” 

Please do not wait for our vaccine distribution if you are able to get the vaccine sooner from your local health department or other outlets. Members of our university family who qualify for a vaccine in their community are encouraged to take advantage of those opportunities should they wish to receive a vaccine. If you have any questions, please contact the CARES Center at covidsupport@georgiasouthern.edu or by phone at 912-478-CARE (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.).

Faculty and Staff, Students
Sent March 5, 2021 to Faculty, Staff and Students

From President Marrero: Looking ahead to summer and fall semester at Georgia Southern

Eagle Nation,

March 5, 2021

It was almost one year ago that we transitioned our spring 2020 semester to fully online instruction. I don’t think any of us could have predicted how much we were challenged and how much we have grown over the last twelve months.

Today, our COVID-19 numbers, like the region, state, and country, are trending down significantly and we continue to provide vaccines to our eligible faculty, staff, and students -- anticipating expanded availability of the COVID-19 vaccine through the spring and summer months.

As we look ahead, what does that mean for Georgia Southern?

The 2021 summer semester will look much like this spring, with our normal mix of online and face-to-face course offerings, some very innovative lab and studio delivery options for our students, and an expanding array of opportunities to engage our communities on campus. 

All our safety protocols, as guided by the Georgia Department of Public Health (GDPH), will remain in place this summer. At home and on campus, we must continue to Do Right by limiting face-to-face gatherings, remaining socially distant, wearing face-coverings, and washing our hands. Please visit https://www.georgiasouthern.edu/covid-19-information/ to review the protocols and guidance our university community will continue to follow into the summer months.

For Fall 2021, we are currently planning for a full return to campus, which means resuming “normal” operations with in-person instruction, research, events, service, and activities, and full dining and housing operations. 

As we outlined in our Return to Campus Plan, we will continue to be guided and directed by health and safety guidelines, which will ultimately determine our timeline and whether we need to again shift to a contingency plan outlined in the document.

We will maintain our practice of regularly assessing business continuity measures to ensure we can continue to meet public health guidelines and our core mission of student success.

We also will continue to provide regular updates about our operations, vaccine availability and public health issues important to our communities.

Because of you – our faculty, staff, and students – we have persevered, adapted, even grown throughout this pandemic. Our commitment to the transformational power of education has remained steadfast, and we look forward with optimism to the days ahead.  

Sincerely,
Dr. Kyle Marrero
President

Faculty and Staff, Students
Sent March 2, 2021 to Faculty

Dear Faculty,

The global pandemic has resulted in challenges to the emotional and mental well-being of our faculty, staff, and students, and is a growing concern on our campuses. Human Resources has pushed out information regarding mental health resources for faculty and staff, which I include here for your use.

You should have also received a crisis intervention resource packet for students in your campus mailbox. This H.E.R.O. (Helping Eagles Recognize Distress & Offer Support) folder has been designed to assist you in supporting a student or colleague in distress and connect them with the appropriate resources. For those of you currently unable to come to campus, here is the link to the digital version.

At the next Chairs Council meeting, we will be providing some additional information about these resources.

I also hope that you have heard about the ad hoc emotional and mental well-being committee proposed by your associate deans. The committee has three goals: better identify mental health challenges currently faced by the faculty, identify potential practical solutions, and work with a team of chairs and faculty who have experience and expertise in emotional and mental well-being in order to provide realistic and actionable recommendations that (where possible) can be adapted and implemented in cooperation with the University’s administration.

This committee of associate deans is currently working through the first of two phases. Please be on the lookout for messages from them about this process, and please thank them for working at a truly impressive speed.

Thank you for your continued concern and support for our students and each other. Please stay safe.

Sincerely,
Carl

Carl L. Reiber
Provost & Vice President Academic Affairs
Marvin Pittman Administration Building, Room 2012
P. O. Box 8022
Statesboro, GA 30460
Phone: 912-478-5258

Faculty
Sent March 1, 2021 to Students

March 1, 2021

  1. Public health diligence is still needed
    Thank you for caring about your community and for continuing to take public health precautions such as wearing your mask and reminding your friends about their responsibility during this pandemic. Your vigilance has indeed helped keep our campuses safe, but now is not the time to relax our efforts. While we may want to celebrate the warmer weather, we simply cannot let our guard down. We must continue to limit face-to-face gatherings, remain socially distant, wear masks, and wash our hands. Please visit https://www.georgiasouthern.edu/covid-19-information/ to see the protocols and guidance we continue to stress that our university community should follow.
  2. SGA elections are now open
    Student Government Association (SGA) applications for the 2021-2022 academic year are now open! SGA serves as the official voice of the student body on all matters regarding student life and well-being for all three campuses. If you are interested in making a difference, APPLY NOW! For more information regarding elections and the mandatory information sessions, please visit their website or email SGA at sga@georgisasouthern.edu.
  3. Please be aware of parking lot closures this week
    Parking on Arts Drive and in the Science Center parking lot on the Armstrong campus in Savannah, and on Malecki Drive and behind Paulson Stadium on the Statesboro Campus will close temporarily this week for two days at each campus.

    The entire Science Center parking lot and all of Arts Drive parking on the Armstrong campus in Savannah will be closed all day today (3/1) and tomorrow (3/2). 

    For the Statesboro campus, all parking lots at Paulson Stadium and on Malecki Drive will be closed all day Thursday (3/4) and Friday (3/5), and bus routes that stop at Paulson Stadium will be redirected. 

    While these lots are closed in Statesboro, anyone without a parking permit may park at the RAC, lot 42 and lot 29 (formerly University Villas) ONLY during the days the stadium area is closed.

    The two bus routes will be directed as follows:
    • Blue route will stop at the College of Education, Freedom's Landing (temporary stop), and the RAC.
    • Gold route will stop at the Russell Union/Dining Commons, Cambridge, and Eagle Village.
    • Temporary route will stop at the Russell Union/Dining Commons and the RAC

Thank you for your understanding during this temporary situation while these lots are being used to enact our vaccine distribution plan, in accordance with GDPH Phase 1A+ criteria.

  1. The latest information on vaccines
    The Georgia Department of Public Health reports that beginning March 8, the following groups will also be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine:
    • Educators and staff (Pre-K, K-12, DECAL licensed or exempt childcare programs)
    • Adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their caregivers
    • Parents of children with complex medical conditions

Anyone who wants a COVID-19 vaccine should visit their website often as the participating vaccine site locations list will be updated frequently. Additional locations statewide will be added when providers are ready to safely administer vaccines, and as vaccine supply allows. Public health departments are scheduling vaccines by appointment only, as are most other providers. In Bulloch County, the Southeast Health District reports they are scheduling COVID-19 vaccination appointments. Find out more at https://www.sehdph.org/. For up-to-date COVID-19 information in Chatham and Liberty counties, where the district reports they continue to actively vaccinate, visit https://covid19.gachd.org/.

Georgia Southern has been designated as a provider of the vaccine in accordance with the phased approach established by the Centers for Disease and Control and Georgia Department of Public Health, currently DPH criteria is for Phase 1A+. When more details and/or vaccines are available, information will be passed along as quickly as possible. We encourage members of our University community who qualify for a vaccine to take advantage of any opportunity to receive one. In support of our employees being vaccinated against COVID-19, we are asking supervisors to be as flexible as possible with employee work schedules to allow everyone the opportunity to receive both doses of the vaccine. Georgia Southern has established a vaccine website for more information at https://www.georgiasouthern.edu/covid-19-information/vaccine/.

  1. SGA Student Appreciation Week is March 8-12
    The Student Government Association (SGA) wants to recognize students and all of their hard work that has contributed to their academic success. The week of March 8 through 12 the SGA will host multiple events. On March 8, SGA will kick off SGA Student Appreciation Week with 'Motivation Monday'  from 11 a.m to 1 p.m. at the Russell Union Rotunda and the Armstrong Student Center Porch. The first 50 students who visit each event location will receive a self-care pack. On March 11, SGA will host ‘Screen on the Green” at Sweetheart Circle from 6 to 7 p.m. The first 50 students will receive a free Georgia Southern blanket. Come relax and enjoy Disney’s animated feature, “Soul.” Social distancing and mask guidelines will be enforced at all events. If you have any questions, please email sga@georgiasouthern.edu. For more information about all upcoming SGA events, visit their website.
  2. SNAP benefits for eligible students during the COVID-19 pandemic
    As part of its ongoing efforts to ease the economic burden on millions of Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Department of Education — in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture — has temporarily expanded Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) eligibility for students in need. 

    Under regular SNAP eligibility requirements, students enrolled at least half-time in an institution of higher education are typically ineligible for SNAP benefits unless they meet certain specific exemptions. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 temporarily expands SNAP eligibility to include students who either:
    • Are eligible to participate in state or federally financed work-study during the regular academic year, as determined by the institution of higher education; or
    • Have an expected family contribution of 0 in the current academic year. This includes students who are eligible for a maximum Pell Grant.

Students who meet one of the two criteria outlined above may receive SNAP benefits if they meet all other financial and non-financial SNAP eligibility criteria. The new, temporary exemptions will be in effect until 30 days after the COVID-19 public health emergency is lifted. More information can be found on the SNAP benefits for students webpage and Q&A on student eligibility.

  1. Identifying caregivers of persons age 65 and older for COVID-19 vaccines
    As Georgia Southern University receives COVID-19 vaccines to be administered to faculty, staff and students who meet GDPH Phase 1A+ criteria, one of the eligible groups within this population is caregivers of persons age 65 and older.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines caregivers as:

    Caregivers provide care to people who need some degree of ongoing assistance with everyday tasks on a regular or daily basis. The recipients of care can live either in residential or institutional settings, range from children to older adults, and have chronic illnesses or disabling conditions.

    If you feel you meet the CDC definition of a caregiver and would like to be notified when Georgia Southern has vaccines available to distribute, please click this link:  https://forms.gle/bv6G2GsEFpxZzVf9A. You can also find the link in the COVID-19 tab within MyGS.
Students
Sent March 1, 2021 to Faculty and Staff

March 1, 2021

In accordance with our Return to Campus plan, here are Five Things You Should Know This Week:

  1. Please be aware of parking lot closures this week
    Parking on Arts Drive and in the Science Center parking lot on the Armstrong campus in Savannah, and on Malecki Drive and behind Paulson Stadium on the Statesboro campus will close temporarily this week for two days at each campus.

    The entire Science Center parking lot and all of Arts Drive parking on the Armstrong campus in Savannah will be closed all day today (3/1) and tomorrow (3/2). 

    For the Statesboro campus, all parking lots at Paulson Stadium and on Malecki Drive will be closed all day Thursday (3/4) and Friday (3/5), and bus routes that stop at Paulson Stadium will be redirected. 

    While these lots are closed in Statesboro, anyone without a parking permit may park at the RAC, lot 42 and lot 29 (formerly University Villas) ONLY during the days the stadium area is closed.

    The two bus routes will be directed as follows:
    • Blue route will stop at the College of Education, Freedom's Landing (temporary stop) and the RAC.
    • Gold route will stop at the Russell Union/Dining Commons, Cambridge and Eagle Village.
    • Temporary route will stop at the Russell Union/Dining Commons and the RAC

Thank you for your understanding during this temporary situation while these lots are being used to enact our vaccine distribution plan, in accordance with GDPH Phase 1A+ criteria.

  1. The latest information on vaccines
    The Georgia Department of Public Health reports that beginning March 8, the following groups will also be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine:
    • Educators and staff (Pre-K, K-12, DECAL-licensed or exempt childcare programs)
    • Adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their caregivers
    • Parents of children with complex medical conditions

Anyone who wants a COVID-19 vaccine should visit their website often as the participating vaccine site locations list will be updated frequently. Additional locations statewide will be added when providers are ready to safely administer vaccines, and as vaccine supply allows. Public health departments are scheduling vaccines by appointment only, as are most other providers. In Bulloch County, the Southeast Health District reports that they are scheduling COVID-19 vaccination appointments. Find out more at https://www.sehdph.org/. For up-to-date COVID-19 information in Chatham and Liberty counties, where the district reports that they continue to actively vaccinate, visit https://covid19.gachd.org/.

Georgia Southern has been designated as a provider of the vaccine in accordance with the phased approach established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Georgia Department of Public Health, currently DPH criteria is for Phase 1A+. When more details and/or vaccines are available, information will be passed along as quickly as possible. We encourage members of our University community who qualify for a vaccine to take advantage of any opportunity to receive one. In support of our employees being vaccinated against COVID-19, we are asking supervisors to be as flexible as possible with employee work schedules to allow everyone the opportunity to receive both doses of the vaccine. Georgia Southern has established a vaccine website for more information at https://www.georgiasouthern.edu/covid-19-information/vaccine/.

  1. Employee Engagement Survey opens today
    All full-time, benefitted employees who were employed at Georgia Southern prior to December 1, 2020, should receive an email today from Studer Education asking them to participate in Georgia Southern’s first Employee Engagement survey. If you don’t see the email in your inbox, check the spam or other folders for the Engagement Survey link from Studer. This survey continues our efforts to build an engaged and inspiring work environment at Georgia Southern. Our goal is to foster an environment where every individual knows and owns their role and responsibility in achieving the strategic direction of Georgia Southern. To maintain absolute assurance in the confidentiality of the Employee Engagement survey, Studer Education will administer the survey, manage the data collection, and aggregate the data to provide results reports to leaders. We are using Studer Education as our partner because we simply want to make sure that all employees feel as secure as possible expressing their opinions and written comments. The survey will remain open through March 15. If you have any questions about the survey or the survey analysis and reporting process, please feel free to contact Julie Kunselman at Julie.Kunselman@StuderEducation.com or by phone at 850-516-4294.
  2. Identifying caregivers of persons age 65 and older for COVID-19 vaccines
    As Georgia Southern receives COVID-19 vaccines to be administered to faculty, staff and students who meet GDPH Phase 1A+ criteria, one of the eligible groups within this population is caregivers of persons age 65 and older. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines caregivers as:

    Caregivers provide care to people who need some degree of ongoing assistance with everyday tasks on a regular or daily basis. The recipients of care can live either in residential or institutional settings, range from children to older adults, and have chronic illnesses or disabling conditions.

    If you feel you meet the CDC definition of a caregiver and would like to be notified when Georgia Southern has vaccines available to distribute, please click this link:  https://forms.gle/bv6G2GsEFpxZzVf9A. You can also find the link in the COVID-19 tab within MyGS.
  3. COVID-19 testing availability continues in our region
    The Georgia Department of Public Health (GDPH) continues to offer COVID-19 testing to all Georgians who request it, whether they have symptoms or not. Mako Medical has contracted with the GDPH to provide testing services in our area to free up health department staff and resources to focus on COVID-19 vaccinations.

    To register for Mako Medical COVID-19 testing in Bulloch and Chatham county locations, please visit https://mako.exchange/splash/GAmakotesting/.

    The Southeast Health District will continue to offer free COVID-19 testing in other areas. To schedule an appointment at one of these COVID-19 testing sites, call 1-855-473-4374 or visit covid19.dph.ga.gov for all other public health testing locations.
Faculty and Staff
Sent February 24, 2021 to Faculty, Staff and Students

Identifying caregivers of persons age 65 and older for COVID-19 vaccines

As Georgia Southern University receives COVID-19 vaccines to be administered to faculty, staff and students who meet GDPH Phase 1A+ criteria, one of the eligible groups within this population is caregivers of persons age 65 and older.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines caregivers as:

Caregivers provide care to people who need some degree of ongoing assistance with everyday tasks on a regular or daily basis. The recipients of care can live either in residential or institutional settings, range from children to older adults, and have chronic illnesses or disabling conditions.

If you feel you meet the CDC definition of a caregiver and would like to be notified when Georgia Southern has vaccines available to distribute, please click this link: https://forms.gle/bv6G2GsEFpxZzVf9A

You can also find the link in the COVID-19 tab within MyGS.

Faculty and Staff, Students
Sent February 22, 2021 to Faculty and Staff

February 22, 2021

In accordance with our Return to Campus plan, here are Five Things You Should Know This Week:

  1. Employee Engagement Survey Information Sessions this week
    The University Strategic Planning Committee is hosting two additional informational sessions this week to help employees understand more about the Employee Engagement Survey that will launch next week. The remaining Employee Engagement Survey Informational Session are:

You will receive an email invitation to participate in the survey on March 1, and the survey will remain open through March 15.

  1. Annual performance evaluations are due this week
    All full-time Georgia Southern staff will be evaluated annually on their work performance. Performance evaluations should be used for supervisors and employees to further communicate about performance, as well as set goals, expectations and development opportunities for the coming year. The evaluation will be based on performance between January 1, 2020 – December 31, 2020. The forms are available at https://jobs.georgiasouthern.edu/pd/evaluations/. Completed and signed evaluations and position descriptions are due by Feb. 26 through an HR MyHelp Ticket or by emailing hrservice@georgiasouthern.edu.
  2. The latest information on vaccines
    The Georgia Department of Public Health reports that anyone wanting a COVID-19 vaccine should visit their website often as the participating vaccine site locations list will be updated frequently. Additional locations statewide will be added when providers are ready to safely administer vaccines, and as vaccine supply allows. Public health departments are scheduling vaccines by appointment only, as are most other providers. In Bulloch County, the Southeast Health District reports they are scheduling COVID-19 vaccination appointments. Find out more at https://www.sehdph.org/. For up-to-date COVID-19 information in Chatham and Liberty counties, where the district reports they continue to actively vaccinate, visit https://covid19.gachd.org/.

    Georgia Southern has been designated as a provider of the vaccine in accordance with the phased approach established by the CDC and Georgia Department of Public Health, currently DPH criteria is for Phase 1a. We have made extensive preparations and now are ready to deliver vaccines -- when they become available -- on both the Statesboro campus and on the Armstrong campus in Savannah. When more details and/or vaccines are available, information will be emailed directly to those who qualify. We encourage members of our university community who qualify for a vaccine to take advantage of any opportunity to receive one. In support of our employees being vaccinated against COVID-19, we are asking supervisors to be as flexible as possible with employee work schedules to allow everyone the opportunity to receive both doses of the vaccine. Georgia Southern has established a vaccine website for more information at https://www.georgiasouthern.edu/covid-19-information/vaccine/.
  3. Georgia residents can now pre-register for the COVID-19 vaccine
    The Georgia Department of Public Health reports that COVID-19 vaccines continue to arrive in Georgia in extremely limited supply. As we await additional vaccine supply from the Federal Government, GDPH is urging currently eligible Georgia residents to pre-register for the vaccine at https://myvaccinegeorgia.com/. Those who do not meet the criteria listed on the website can sign up to receive email updates and to learn when you will be eligible to receive the vaccine.
  4. Our CARES Center is important in our efforts to Do Right!
    Georgia Southern University CARES Center is available for all your COVID-19 related questions; to self-report test results and symptoms; get help evaluating your situation; and receive support for your COVID-19 related academic, employment and on-campus notification needs. There are several ways to reach the CARES Center:
Faculty and Staff
Sent February 15, 2021 to Faculty and Staff

February 15, 2021

In accordance with our Return to Campus plan, here are Five Six Things You Should Know This Week:

  1. A $1,000 bonus coming for many GS employees
    The University System of Georgia announced Friday afternoon that all USG full-time employees earning less than $80,000 a year will soon receive a one-time $1,000 bonus. More information will be provided as soon as it is available.
  2. Commencement details finalized for May
    Taking into consideration the continuing pandemic, all public health considerations, the weather, visitors’ comfort, as well as overwhelming feedback in favor of in-person commencement ceremonies, university officials have developed a plan to host a series of commencement ceremonies this spring.

    The schedule will include six Spring 2021 graduation ceremonies from May 8 through May 13. As usual, all ceremonies will be livestreamed on the university’s Facebook pages and at https://www.georgiasouthern.edu/commencement/, and all ceremonies are rain or shine events. 

    For details, see https://www.georgiasouthern.edu/commencement/.
  3. COVID-19 vaccine forum scheduled for Wednesday evening
    Hear from the experts! Is the Covid-19 vaccine safe? How does it work? Why should I get it? Get answers to these questions and many more on Wednesday, Feb. 17, 6-7 p.m. Georgia Southern’s medical director and two faculty members from our own Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health will provide valuable information and answer questions regarding the COVID-19 vaccine. Moderated by Student Wellness & Health Promotion, participants will be able to submit questions to the experts after hearing a presentation about the vaccine, the technology behind it, and how the state and Georgia Southern are trying to distribute the vaccine.

    Please click the link below to join the webinar:
    https://georgiasouthern.zoom.us/j/82538612884?pwd=c0R2bXdyaG9XWGdGemhxZ29HNW9RZz09
    Passcode: 283438
    Or iPhone one-tap :
    US: +16468769923,,82538612884#,,,,*283438#  or +13017158592,,82538612884#,,,,*283438#

    Or Telephone:
    Dial (for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):
    US: +1 646 876 9923  or +1 301 715 8592  or +1 312 626 6799  or +1 669 900 6833  or +1 253 215 8782  or +1 346 248 7799
    Webinar ID: 825 3861 2884
    Passcode: 283438

    International numbers available: https://georgiasouthern.zoom.us/u/kmqr2XFPl
  4. A reminder to be vigilant with public health guidelines
    Please be reminded to continue prioritizing all of the precautions we know so well: Do Right by wearing face coverings, remaining socially distant from others, staying home when sick, washing your hands frequently, and contacting Georgia Southern’s CARES Center when needed. We have shown our ability to keep COVID-19 largely away from our campuses, but we must remain vigilant in exercising responsibility both on and off campus so we can continue to keep our university community safe. Find out more at https://www.georgiasouthern.edu/covid-19-information/.
  5. Sexual Assault Awareness Week is February 22-26
    Georgia Southern’s Sexual Assault Response Team is hosting Sexual Assault Awareness Week February 22-26. As part of that week, the Clothesline Project will have displays in the Russell Union Commons, Henderson Library, RAC, and over the pedestrium on the Statesboro Campus, and in the Student Union, Lane Library, and Learning Commons on the Armstrong Campus in Savannah. Information about Sexual Assault Awareness Week events can be found at  https://students.georgiasouthern.edu/counseling/sexual-assault-response-team/sexual-assault-awareness-week/.
  6. The latest information on vaccines
    The Georgia Department of Public Health reports that anyone wanting a COVID-19 vaccine should visit their website often as the participating vaccine site locations list will be updated frequently. Additional locations statewide will be added when providers are ready to safely administer vaccines, and as vaccine supply allows. Public health departments are scheduling vaccines by appointment only, as are most other providers.  In Bulloch County, the Southeast Health District reports they are reactivating their COVID-19 vaccination appointment scheduling process. Find out more at https://www.sehdph.org/. For up-to-date COVID-19 information in Chatham and Liberty counties, where the district reports they are actively vaccinating, visit https://covid19.gachd.org/.

    Georgia Southern has been designated as a provider of the vaccine in accordance with the phased approach established by the CDC and Georgia Department of Public Health, currently DPH criteria is for Phase 1a. We have made extensive preparations and now are ready to deliver vaccines -- when they become available -- on both the Statesboro campus and on the Armstrong campus in Savannah. When more details and/or vaccines are available, information will be emailed directly to those who qualify. We encourage members of our university community who qualify for a vaccine to take advantage of any opportunity to receive one. In support of our employees being vaccinated against COVID-19, we are asking supervisors to be as flexible as possible with employee work schedules to allow everyone the opportunity to receive both doses of the vaccine. Georgia Southern has established a vaccine website for more information at https://www.georgiasouthern.edu/covid-19-information/vaccine/.
Faculty and Staff
Sent February 10, 2021 to Faculty and Staff

A February Update from President Marrero

Dear Colleagues,

Feb. 10, 2021

We are now well into the second month of our spring semester! Certainly, we still face obstacles due to COVID-19 – its economic impact and the hardships on people and families – as well as the unrest that continues to challenge our country and our communities. At Georgia Southern, we have set a course to strive for excellence, to achieve Inclusive Excellence on our campuses and the communities we serve, to keep our campus communities safe, and in this journey, continue to grow individually and collectively, guided by our principles and our values. There is no doubt in my mind that we have been largely successful these past nine months and have grown in our appreciation of the collective intellect and impact of our work together. In this, we must never forget our mission – to educate and serve our students!

Speaking of students and our mission to educate, we are excited to announce several significant philanthropic contributions that will support our students and further elevate our nationally recognized academic programs. This week, the Board of Regents approved the naming of the department of music to become the Fred and Dinah Gretsch School of Music with a $3M gift commitment plus the Gretsch Collection of historic drums, guitars, and company archives! Downtown Savannah has already been identified as an exhibit venue for the Gretsch Collection, as Georgia Southern is establishing the Fred and Dinah Gretsch School of Music Performance Stage at the Atlantic Building of the new downtown Plant Riverside District.

In the last few weeks, we also received the second-largest estate gift to date by the Georgia Southern University Foundation – a $1.48M gift from the Castle family to provide scholarship support for our College of Education students! These types of gifts are transformational - impacting students, programs, and our communities for generations to come.

Also this week, the Board of Regents approved the naming of our planned convocation center, the Jack and Ruth Ann Hill Convocation Center. Together, Ruth Ann (a triple Eagle) and Senator Jack Hill ('66 alum) left an indelible mark on Georgia Southern, southeast Georgia and the state. This building will be a tremendous addition to our Statesboro campus, for our community, and for our students. We are grateful to the Governor and the Legislature for supporting this project, which will be an important reminder of the generational impact made by Jack and Ruth Ann Hill. 

My thanks also to all of you who contributed to our annual For the Love of Blue campaign, which wraps up on Feb. 14. It sends a powerful message to our external donors when they see the level of support exhibited by our faculty and staff – those who are closest to the students we impact every day.

Recently, you received an email from me and from your divisional leaders announcing the administration of an Employee Engagement survey. The purpose of the survey is to gain input from all employees about their work environment, what is working well and where there may be opportunities for improvement. I know the timing (March 1 - 15) is not ideal, in that viewpoints may or may not be conflated due to the challenges mentioned earlier...but, I believe our future path of improvement must include your input and engagement...and there is not a better time to start than now! Your participation will be important to help all of us create an engaging work environment that supports growing ourselves as highlighted in our strategic plan.

As we work through this month and for the remainder of the semester, I challenge us to model civil discourse and a shared commitment to continuous improvement and caring for each other. Guided by our values and our mission, we will propel our institution to the future beyond COVID-19. That future is indeed bright for Eagle Nation!

Sincerely,
Kyle

People. Purpose. Action: Growing Ourselves to Grow Others!

Faculty and Staff
Sent February 8, 2021 to Faculty and Staff

February 8, 2021

In accordance with our Return to Campus plan, here are Five Things You Should Know This Week:

  1. The latest information on vaccines
    The Georgia Department of Public Health reports that anyone wanting a COVID-19 vaccine should visit their website often as the participating vaccine site locations list will be updated frequently. Additional locations statewide will be added when providers are ready to safely administer vaccines, and as vaccine supply allows. Public health departments are scheduling vaccines by appointment only, as are most other providers. For up-to-date COVID-19 information in Chatham and Liberty counties, visit https://covid19.gachd.org/. In Bulloch County, find out more at https://www.sehdph.org/interested-in-receiving-your-covid-19-vaccine/.

    Georgia Southern is a provider of the vaccine in accordance with the phased approach established by the CDC and Georgia Department of Public Health, currently DPH criteria is for Phase 1a. We have made extensive preparations and now are ready to deliver vaccines -- when they become available -- on both the Statesboro campus and on the Armstrong campus in Savannah. When more details and/or vaccines are available, information will be emailed directly to those who qualify.

    We encourage members of our university community who qualify for a vaccine to take advantage of any opportunity to receive one. In support of our employees being vaccinated against COVID-19, we are asking supervisors to be as flexible as possible with employee work schedules to allow everyone the opportunity to receive both doses of the vaccine. Georgia Southern has established a vaccine website for more information at https://www.georgiasouthern.edu/covid-19-information/vaccine/.
  2. Once someone is vaccinated, wearing a face covering IS still required
    Not enough information is currently available to say if or when CDC will stop recommending that people wear face coverings and avoid close contact with others to help prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. Experts need to understand more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide in real-world conditions before making that decision. Other factors, including how many people get vaccinated and how the virus is spreading in communities, will also affect this decision. CDC hasn’t yet been able to make a determination whether getting a COVID-19 vaccine will prevent you from spreading the virus that causes COVID-19 to other people, even if you don’t get sick yourself. Find out more at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/faq.html.
  3. Wings Up! Sleeves Up!
    To encourage students and employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it becomes available to them, and to help direct Eagle Nation to point of dispensing (POD) vaccine sites, the university is launching a campaign called “Wings Up, Sleeves Up.” Developed with input by faculty in our Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health, the campaign will provide information for individuals to make informed decisions to take the vaccine, show why individuals are choosing to vaccinate, and reinforce the safety of the vaccination. Look for more information soon, and if you receive a vaccination, post it on social media and let everyone see your #WingsUpSleevesUp selfie!
  4. Vaccines appear to work against new COVID-19 variants
    The CDC reports that, so far, studies suggest that antibodies generated through vaccination with currently authorized vaccines recognize these variants. This is being closely investigated and more studies are underway. Viruses constantly change through mutation, and new variants of a virus are expected to occur over time. Sometimes new variants emerge and disappear. Other times, new variants emerge and persist. Multiple variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 have been documented in the United States and globally during this pandemic. Rigorous and increased compliance with public health mitigation strategies, such as vaccination, physical distancing, use of face coverings, hand hygiene, and isolation and quarantine, is essential to limit the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 and protect public health. Learn more at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/transmission/variant.html.
  5. Those who have had COVID-19 should still get vaccinated
    The CDC recommends that because of the severe health risks associated with COVID-19 and the fact that reinfection with COVID-19 is possible, people should be vaccinated regardless of whether they already had COVID-19 infection. If anyone was treated for COVID-19 symptoms with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, they should wait 90 days before getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Consult a doctor with questions or if unsure what treatments were received. Find out more at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/faq.html.
Faculty and Staff
Sent February 1, 2021 to Faculty and Staff

Feb. 1, 2021

In accordance with our Return to Campus plan, here are Five Things You Should Know This Week:

  1. The latest information on vaccines
    The Georgia Department of Public Health continues to report that vaccine supply is very limited. Public health departments are scheduling vaccines by appointment only, as are most other providers. For up-to-date COVID-19 information in Chatham and Liberty counties, visit https://covid19.gachd.org/. In Bulloch County, find out more at https://www.sehdph.org/interested-in-receiving-your-covid-19-vaccine/.

    Georgia Southern continues our plans to be a provider of the vaccine in accordance with the phased approach established by the CDC and Georgia Department of Public Health, currently DPH criteria is for Phase 1a. We have made extensive preparations and now are ready to deliver vaccines -- when they become available -- on both the Statesboro campus and on the Armstrong campus in Savannah. When more details and/or vaccines are available, information will be emailed directly to those who qualify. 

    We encourage members of our university community who qualify for a vaccine to take advantage of any opportunity to receive one. In support of our employees being vaccinated against COVID-19, we are asking supervisors to be as flexible as possible with employee work schedules to allow everyone the opportunity to receive both doses of the vaccine.
  2. COVID-19 testing availability continues in our region
    Beginning today, all COVID-19 testing services by the Coastal Health District (which serves Liberty and Chatham counties) will shift to two regional testing sites. All testing through the department of public health will be offered in Chatham and Glynn Counties. Public Health will no longer offer COVID-19 testing in Bryan, Camden, Effingham, Liberty, Long, and McIntosh counties. For more information on COVID-19 testing or vaccine, go to covid19.gachd.org or to register for a testing appointment in Bulloch or Chatham county, go to https://mako.exchange/splash/GAmakotesting/#test-site-id.
  3. Personal Skills for a Diverse Campus
    A new inclusive excellence training course has been loaded into “Building a Better U” for all employees. The course, titled “Faculty and Staff: Personal Skills for a Diverse Campus,” can be found under the “Training” header in the MyGS portal. This is a baseline course that starts with basic diversity competencies. This course is also being delivered for students. The courses are free and not required -- they are personal enrichment training sessions the university has developed to help faculty, staff and students achieve our university-wide goal of inclusive excellence. 
  4. Electronic W-2s are now available in OneUSG Connect
    Electronic 2020 W-2s are now available in OneUSG Connect. To view or download your W-2, follow these steps:
    1. Log into OneUSG Connect.
    2. Click the Payroll tile.
    3. Click the Taxes tile.
    4. Land on the View W-2/W-2c Forms page.
    5. For the Tax Year 2020, click Year End Form.

For more information, visit https://news.georgiasouthern.edu/my/2021/01/20/electronic-w-2s-now-available-in-oneusg-connect/

  1. The ‘For the Love of Blue’ campus giving campaign launches today
    For the Love of Blue, our campus giving campaign, allows all faculty and staff to unite to show their LOVE for the University community through giving to their favorite areas on campus. There are more than 1,300 designated funds that faculty and staff can choose from to make an impact. Gifts can be made from Feb. 1 through Feb. 14 at GeorgiaSouthern.edu/FTLOB or via your pledge card that you will receive from your area volunteer. 
Faculty and Staff
Sent January 25, 2021 to Faculty and Staff

Jan. 25, 2021

In accordance with our Return to Campus plan, here are Five Four Things You Should Know This Week:

  1. The latest information on vaccines
    The Georgia Department of Public Health is reporting that vaccine supply is very limited. Public health departments are scheduling vaccines by appointment only, as are most other providers. Depending on vaccine supply allocations from the federal government, it may be weeks before additional providers will have vaccines available for quicker and more widespread distribution. For up-to-date COVID-19 information in Chatham and Liberty counties, visit https://covid19.gachd.org/. In Bulloch County, find out more at https://www.sehdph.org/interested-in-receiving-your-covid-19-vaccine/.

    Georgia Southern continues our plans to be a provider of the vaccine for our students, faculty, staff and immediate families in accordance with the phased approach established by the CDC and Georgia Department of Public Health. When details and/or vaccines are available, information will be emailed directly to those who qualify. In support of our employees being vaccinated against COVID-19, we are asking supervisors to be as flexible as possible with employee work schedules to allow everyone the opportunity to receive both doses of the vaccine.  While supervisors and employees must still report time accurately, it is appropriate to allow employees to flex their schedule to accommodate appointments for vaccinations.  In many cases, individuals will be notified with short notice that a vaccine appointment is available for them and we should be as accommodating as possible.
  2. COVID-19 testing availability continues in our region
    Mako Medical has contracted with the Georgia Department of Health to provide COVID-19 testing services in our area for anyone who wants a test for any reason. To register for Mako Medical COVID-19 testing in Bulloch and Chatham county locations, please visit https://mako.exchange/splash/GAmakotesting/. The Georgia Department of Public Health will continue to offer free COVID-19 testing in other areas. To schedule an appointment at one of these COVID-19 testing sites, call 1-855-473-4374 or visit covid19.dph.ga.gov for all other public health testing locations. 
  3. The annual performance evaluation process is underway
    All full-time Georgia Southern Staff will be evaluated annually on their work performance. Performance evaluations should be used for supervisors and employees to further communicate about performance, as well as set goals, expectations and development opportunities for the coming year. That process began for staff employees this month. The evaluation will be based on performance between January 1, 2020 – December 31, 2020. The forms are available at https://jobs.georgiasouthern.edu/pd/evaluations/. Completed and signed evaluations and position descriptions are due by Feb. 26 through an HR MyHelp Ticket or by emailing hrservice@georgiasouthern.edu.
  4. Please remain vigilant with public health guidelines
    Help prevent the spread of the virus by practicing social distancing, both inside and outside of the classroom. When inside campus buildings, maintain at least six feet of distance and wear a mask when conversing with others. Georgia Southern continues to prioritize the health and safety of students, faculty and staff, and help ensure the well-being of the community. Everyone at the University has an individual responsibility to contribute to proper behavior and to adhere to public health guidance to protect themselves and others as well as to help contain the spread of the virus. Institutional controls are only as effective as the willingness of individuals to carry them out. Find out more at https://www.georgiasouthern.edu/covid-19-information/campus-health-faculty-staff/.
Faculty and Staff
Sent January 19, 2021 to Faculty and Staff

Jan. 19, 2021

In accordance with our Return to Campus plan, here are Five Things You Should Know This Week:

  1. COVID-19 testing availability continues in our region
    Mako Medical has contracted with the Georgia Department of Health to provide testing services in our area to free up health department staff and resources to focus on COVID-19 vaccinations. 

    To register for Mako Medical COVID-19 testing in Bulloch and Chatham county locations, please visit https://mako.exchange/splash/GAmakotesting/.

    The Southeast Health District will continue to offer free COVID-19 testing in other areas. To schedule an appointment at one of these COVID-19 testing sites, call 1-855-473-4374 or visit covid19.dph.ga.gov for all other public health testing locations. 
  2. Vaccine information for our area
    Vaccine scheduling for new requests in Chatham and Liberty counties is temporarily paused. For up-to-date COVID-19 information in these counties, visit https://covid19.gachd.org/. In Bulloch County, the Georgia Department of Public Health Southeast Health District continues to ask anyone interested in a vaccine to verify eligibility and schedule an appointment by calling 1-855-473-4374. An appointment is required to receive your vaccine at one of their mass vaccination sites. Find out more at https://www.sehdph.org/interested-in-receiving-your-covid-19-vaccine/.

    Georgia Southern continues our plans to be a provider of the vaccine for our students, faculty, staff and immediate families in accordance with the phased approach established by the CDC and Georgia Department of Public Health. Further details of phased dissemination and timeline will be forthcoming.
  3. Safety and precautionary signage is available to download
    Downloadable signage to encourage adherence to public health protocols is available online for departments to print and hang within their office suite areas as needed. We do ask that you refrain from posting additional signage in public areas, but if you have a concern over an area you feel needs signage, please contact the Division of Facilities Services.
  4. Reminder: face coverings are almost always required inside campus buildings.
    All Georgia Southern faculty, staff, students and visitors are required to wear an appropriate face covering while inside campus facilities/buildings because six feet social distancing may not always be possible. Face covering use will be in addition to, and is not a substitute for, social distancing. Face coverings are not required in one’s own dorm room or suite, when alone in an enclosed office or study room, or in campus outdoor settings where social distancing requirements are met.
  5. Continue to use the CARES Center.
    It’s imperative that you continue to use the CARES Center to report your health status should you test positive for COVID-19, have COVID-19 symptoms, or become a close contact. Please also continue to reinforce use of this center to our students. Now is not the time to become complacent. The CARES Center has proven its value as an important tool to supplement the practices we all know are so effective: wear a face covering, remain socially distanced from others, wash your hands. 
Faculty and Staff
Sent January 11, 2021 to Faculty and Staff

Dear Colleagues,

Jan. 11, 2021

Happy New Year and welcome back to a new spring semester! I hope you had a chance to recoup, rest, and prepare and ready yourself for a continuation of serving our students and communities. I know we are all ready to say goodbye to 2020, and although 2021 has already started with some challenges, I look forward to a new year with greater hope and belief of a return to some degree of normal.

First, I want to start this message with recognition and gratitude to you – our faculty and staff! Together, we demonstrated that we are able to innovate, adapt, and continuously improve to provide a safe, quality educational experience. Last semester, we welcomed a record freshman class, managed through an early spike in positive cases with our CARES Center, celebrated Homecoming in new and innovative ways, competed in intercollegiate athletics (one of only two teams to play 13 games, finishing with a bowl win), and ended the semester with five face-to-face commencement ceremonies celebrating the success of our 2,100 graduates. Most importantly, we have learned so much and we are ready to engage our students in our Spring 2021 semester!

As we resume classes this week, it is critical that we remain vigilant in our safety protocols – wearing masks, social distancing, washing hands, etc.! With COVID-19 cases increasing in our region, it will be especially important that all our instruction, student activities, and events continue to follow all health and safety guidelines. We have worked to create more face-to-face opportunities in the classroom and student activities for the Spring semester but they will only be successful if we continue to practice what we know works.

We are preparing for first-phase implementation of the COVID-19 vaccine for campus individuals aligned with current DPH criteria for Phase 1a. We continue our plans to be a provider of the vaccine for our students, faculty, staff and immediate families in accordance with the phased approach established by the CDC and Georgia Department of Public Health. Further details of phased dissemination and timeline will be forthcoming. Until that time, the Southeast and Coastal health districts are offering vaccines starting this week by appointment, to select groups.  We encourage members of our campus community and family who qualify for a vaccine to take advantage of this opportunity. Read about Georgia's COVID-19 vaccine plan and see the Georgia DPH COVID-19 Vaccine Status Dashboard at https://dph.georgia.gov/covid-vaccine/.

Additional updates and opportunities:

Federal Stimulus funding has been approved and includes direct grant aid to students and much-needed recovery funds for lost revenue and expenses associated with COVID-19.  Once we receive the guidelines from the U.S. Department of Education, we will work immediately to process the direct grant aid to our eligible students.

Last Friday, January 8, we officially cut the ribbon on our state-of-the-art, 140,000-square-foot, Engineering and Research Building.  As the faculty and students of our Allen E. Paulson College of Engineering and Computing activate this building with its 21 labs, manufacturing bays, classrooms, and conference space, there will be a resounding call and acknowledgment that Georgia Southern is the regional leader in talent development!

Today, January 11, marks the beginning of the 2021 State Legislative Session in Georgia. We are grateful to be supported by our local delegation and Governor and will closely follow our projects and interests – Convocation Center construction, expansion of the Logistics Technology Innovation Corridor map, and reauthorization of tuition carry-forward legislation.

The Inclusive Excellence Climate Survey remains open for our students for an additional week. Our goal is to match the same engagement percentage of our faculty (40%) and staff (30%).  We will share the results, analysis, and improvement actions aligned to our Inclusive Excellence Action Plan later this semester. Please encourage your students to complete this survey.

The Performance Excellence Employee Engagement Survey will be launched March 1-15. The University Strategic Planning Committee has been hard at work preparing for this assessment and improvement tool. As part of our vision statement — Growing Ourselves to Grow Others — I believe that becoming a great place for faculty and staff to work and grow will help us produce results such as better faculty and staff retention, student experience and improved student retention and graduation. The employee engagement survey is designed to measure our employees’ current ability and desire to engage with the institution and to determine how well the university provides an environment and culture in which employees want to engage. More information will be shared about this important improvement effort in the coming weeks.

With the events and historic impact of last week's rioting at our nation's capital, I am reminded of the importance of our shared commitment to upholding the laws of our nation and the American ideals we hold so dear. As educators, moments like this underscore the vital role we play in preparing students through civic engagement and public service opportunities, like those offered through the Office of Leadership and Community Engagement. It is also why we continue to take actionable steps toward achieving Inclusive Excellence at Georgia Southern. Our values, mission, and vision at Georgia Southern demand that we collaborate, respect, and care for each other even when we may have differing opinions and/or beliefs. Together, we will achieve transformative success through modeling the very ideals we so desire for our nation.

As you can see, we are growing and will continue to grow and improve – not for our own sake, but to impact others! This is, and must continue to be, our goal even during challenging times. During this break, I was able to do some reading and was reminded of a quote by Viktor Frankl: "When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves."  With 2020 behind us and 2021 still representing challenges…we will continue to change, adapt, innovate, and learn from each other!  

I am renewed, ready, and thankful to be part of the Eagle Nation in this New Year, 2021!

Sincerely,
Kyle 

Faculty and Staff
Sent January 8, 2021 to Students

Dear Students:

Happy New Year! As we begin the spring 2021 semester, we are excited to let you know Georgia Southern is enhancing its student mental health services during the COVID-19 pandemic thanks to a new University System of Georgia (USG) initiative. We want you to be successful because successful students are healthy students!

While the pandemic focused a lot of attention on the physical health habits of remaining socially distant, wearing a face covering and washing your hands, the mental health impact of this pandemic is significant, and many of you asked for more resources. We are excited about our expanded ability to allow every student to have access to support whenever and wherever they need it.

Remember, Health Services is available for all your physical health concerns and that Student Wellness & Health Promotion can help you identify positive behaviors and coping strategies related to a healthy lifestyle.

For all your mental health needs, our Counseling Center is available for students at Armstrong, Liberty, and Statesboro campuses. The Counseling Center is your resource for individual therapy, same-day sessions, after-hours crisis response, and drop-in workshops. 

Thanks to the new USG initiative, we are expanding services to include:

  • An additional mental health support line for another counseling option with off-campus counselors at no additional cost to you for five sessions.
  • Expanded psychiatric appointments after referral from Health Services or the Counseling Center.
  • Increased online tools to promote health and wellbeing exclusively for students.
  • Coordinated local and national mental health resources for students in one place.

Look for more information on these expanded services this semester. The Georgia Southern University Counseling Center has two locations:

Statesboro:
Building 435 on Forest Drive
Phone: 912-478-5541

Savannah (Armstrong):
7000 Compass Point Annex
Phone: 912-344-2529

The Counseling Center clinicians provide services on an individual, relationship, and group basis at no additional cost to those enrolled as full-time students at Georgia Southern.

Hours are 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Friday except on official holidays. You can call 912-478-5541 to schedule an appointment or access a counselor anytime by selecting option 2.

We both want our community to be one where we support one another. If you see someone who is distressed or at risk for suicide, Step In & Speak Out.  It’s Our House. It’s Our People. It’s Our Purpose. It Takes Our Action. If you have any questions, please reach out to one of us at the contact information below.

Stay well and have a great semester!

Sincerely,

Shay Davis Little, Ph.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs
vpstudentaffairs@georgiasouthern.edu
912-478-2796

Kahria Hadley
SGA President
sga-president@georgiasouthern.edu
912-478-7329

Students
Sent January 7, 2021 to Faculty, Staff and Students

Jan. 7, 2021

COVID-19 vaccinations have begun in Georgia, an effort coordinated through the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH). Georgia Southern is taking steps to plan for vaccine deployment to our faculty, staff and students in accordance with the phased approach established by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Georgia Department of Public Health (GDPH). More information will be forthcoming regarding vaccine availability and distribution process on our campuses.

Until that time, the Southeast and Coastal health districts are offering vaccines starting Monday, Jan. 11, by appointment, to select groups, including:

  • Healthcare workers in clinical settings (e.g., nurses, physicians, EMS, laboratory technicians, environmental services)
  • Staff and residents of long-term care facilities
  • All law enforcement and fire personnel (including volunteer departments)
  • Adults aged 65 and older (and their caregivers as applicable)

Members of our campus community and families who qualify for a vaccine as noted above are encouraged to take advantage of this benefit through the health department, should they wish to receive a vaccine at no cost. 

The DPH continues to offer free COVID-19 testing in our areas. An appointment is required.

  • For Bulloch County, starting on Monday, Jan. 11, testing will be on Mondays only, from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Testing will also be available in Toombs county on Tuesdays and in Candler county on Thursdays. To make an appointment, schedule online or call 1-855-473-4374.
  • For Savannah/Chatham County, testing is available on weekdays and on Saturday, Jan. 16, at the Savannah Civic Center, 301 West Oglethorpe Ave. in Savannah. To make an appointment, schedule online or call 1-912-230-9744.
  • For Liberty County, testing is available weekly on Wednesdays from 8 a.m. to noon at 1113 East Oglethorpe Highway in Hinesville. To make an appointment, schedule online or call 1-912-230-974.

Because of your vigilance, the fall semester showed the effectiveness of the precautions and planning we undertook to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on our campuses. Thank you for your care and partnership last semester – now, we must continue these efforts, which include wearing a face covering, avoiding large groups, washing our hands and remaining socially distant from others. These guidelines, and much more, for employees are archived online at https://www.georgiasouthern.edu/covid-19-information/campus-health-faculty-staff/.

Faculty and Staff, Students
Sent January 6, 2021 to Faculty

Dear Faculty,

Happy New Year and welcome back for the Spring 2021 term. I hope you had a restful and enjoyable winter break. It was some well-deserved time off.

As we turn our attention to the Spring, I want to reiterate that we will be delivering our curricula the same way we did for the Fall. As such, please make sure you and your students follow all COVID-19 guidelines and protocols established by the CDC and the Georgia Department of Health, and our institutional policies.

Additionally, here are a few quick reminders to get our term off to a successful and safe start:

  1. Please remain vigilant. Help prevent the spread of the virus by practicing social distancing, both inside and outside of the classroom. When inside campus buildings, maintain at least six feet of distance and wear a mask when conversing with others. Classrooms will continue to have COVID caps, so please adhere to these limits. We will be following the policies established for the Fall term unless otherwise advised.
  2. The new year brings hope as availability of a vaccine becomes more widespread, and we look forward with anticipation to improved conditions by the middle of the term. The vaccine is being distributed nationally and throughout Georgia. We will provide updates as we get more information from the Georgia Department of Public Health regarding local and regional distribution.
  3. Please activate your course Folio accounts. Make sure you have uploaded the syllabus and mode of instruction, as well as any available course content. This minimal level of information on Folio will allow students to make informed decisions and be ready for the start of classes. Having your course Folio accounts active and current will also aid in the event you or your students need to transition to remote instruction mode because of quarantining.
  4. The attendance verification policy for the Fall will be in effect for the Spring. Please use the attendance verification quiz in Folio.
  5. We will continue to use the CARES center to report illnesses, close contacts, and positive COVID tests. Please submit by phone at 912-478-CARE or on the MyGeorgiaSouthern portal. Please share this with your students.

We did a great job of preventing the spread of the virus in the Fall, and to ensure a safe and successful Spring, we must not let our guards down. Thank you again for your continued adherence to our health and safety protocols and to keeping each other safe.

Sincerely,
Carl

Carl L. Reiber
Provost & Vice President Academic Affairs
Marvin Pittman Administration Building, Room 2012
P. O. Box 8022
Statesboro, GA 30460
Phone: 912-478-5258

Faculty
Sent January 4, 2021 to Faculty and Staff

Jan. 4, 2021

In accordance with our Return to Campus plan, here are Five Things You Should Know This Week:

  1. We must continue our commitment to Do Right!
    Because of your vigilance, the fall semester showed the effectiveness of the precautions and planning we undertook to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on our campuses. Thank you for your care and partnership last semester – now, we must continue these efforts for the Spring 2021 semester. These guidelines for employees are archived online at https://www.georgiasouthern.edu/covid-19-information/campus-health-faculty-staff/.

When you’re a True Blue Eagle, you do what Erk said — Do Right.

  • Eagles Do Right when we follow public health guidelines.
  • Eagles Do Right when we wash our hands.
  • Eagles Do Right when we spread our wings (and remain at least 6 feet apart).
  • Eagles Do Right when we encourage each other.
  • Eagles Do Right when we respect our nest (by staying home when not feeling well).
  • Eagles Do Right when we cover our beaks (with an appropriate face covering).
  1. Reminder: face coverings are almost always required inside campus buildings.
    All Georgia Southern faculty, staff, students and visitors are required to wear an appropriate face covering while inside campus facilities/buildings because six feet social distancing may not always be possible. Face covering use will be in addition to, and is not a substitute for, social distancing. Face coverings are not required in one’s own dorm room or suite, when alone in an enclosed office or study room, or in campus outdoor settings where social distancing requirements are met.
  2. CARES Center is a valuable tool in our fight against COVID-19
    The CARES Center (for COVID-19 self-reporting) has proven to be an important University resource that not only provides University officials real-time indication about COVID-19’s impact on our campuses, but also initiates a support system for students to assure their well-being and academic success.
    The CARES Center’s ability to mitigate the spread of the virus on our campuses relies on the University community’s willingness to engage and be forthcoming with information. In order to monitor public health, it is important to encourage both students and employees to contact the CARES Center to report if they:
  • Have tested positive for COVID-19, or
  • Are experiencing COVID-19-related symptoms, or
  • Were notified they are a close contact with a COVID-19 positive case.

There are several ways to reach the CARES Center:

  • Use the MyGS mobile app
  • Complete the CARES Center COVID-19 self-reporting form available through the MyGeorgiaSouthern portal under the tile titled “COVID-19 Information & Resources”
  • Call 912-478-CARE (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
  • Email covidsupport@georgiasouthern.edu
  1. Students arrive next week; let’s set a good example
    Classes begin Jan. 11, and students in residence halls will return this week. To comply with public health guidelines, housing staff are staggering move-in appointments and limiting the number of people who can be present to help students as they move in. As students start appearing on campus, there is no higher priority than the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff. We need everyone to do their part to keep our campus communities and visitors safe. It’s important for staff and faculty to set a good example for our students. To learn more about how Georgia Southern is responding to this pandemic, go to https://www.georgiasouthern.edu/covid-19-information/, where you can also find online education and training, a symptom checker and other resources.
  1. New mental health resources are now available for students
    Through a University System of Georgia (USG) partnership, Georgia Southern is significantly expanding student mental health services during the COVID-19 pandemic. The additional resources available to students include:
    • Expanded psychiatric care and clinical counseling services to provide additional support to Georgia Southern’s Counseling Center. Expanded services include telephonic or in-person counseling options through a partnership with Christie Campus Health and well-being support programs. 
    • Expanded training and resources for mental health and wellness thanks to $1.725 million in mini-grants made available to campuses. These funds can be used to establish new technology resources, increase campus programming or enhance communications. One example at Georgia Southern is a new folder full of materials to help you know more about local and national resources along with steps you can take to assist a student or colleague. These folders will be distributed soon, but you can see a digital version at https://students.georgiasouthern.edu/counseling/herofolder/
    • A partnership with The Jed Foundation (JED) to help create a long-term strategic plan while implementing immediate actions and programs to support student mental health on campus. JED provides a comprehensive public health approach in promoting emotional well-being and preventing suicide and serious substance abuse.

Look for more information soon at https://students.georgiasouthern.edu/.

Faculty and Staff
Sent December 23, 2020 to Faculty

Dear Faculty,

I want to thank everyone for doing a great job this semester in helping to minimize the spread of COVID-19. By following the guidelines and protocols established by the CDC, the Georgia Department of Health, and our institutional policies, we were able to complete the semester with minimal disruptions. Thank you for doing your part in this effort.

As we go into the winter and Spring term, I want to remind everyone of the need for all of us to stay vigilant. Toward the end of the Fall term, there were a few instances where faculty, staff, and students strayed away from our guidelines and protocols, resulting in several close contacts with positive cases. It’s human nature to want to convene and catch up with friends and colleagues once we return from winter break, but we must remember how important it is to remain vigilant as the virus continues to be a threat in our state and across the nation. Please follow our policies, practice social distancing, and wear masks when social distancing is not possible.

For more resources on how to minimize the spread of the virus, please visit the university’s COVID-19 information web page.

The new year brings hope as the vaccine availability becomes more widespread, and we look forward with anticipation to improved conditions in the future. Until then, thank you for your continued adherence to our health and safety protocols and to keeping each other safe.

Please have a happy and safe holiday season and winter break.

Sincerely,
Carl

Carl L. Reiber
Provost & Vice President Academic Affairs
Marvin Pittman Administration Building, Room 2012
P. O. Box 8022
Statesboro, GA 30460
Phone: 912-478-5258

Faculty
Sent December 21, 2020 to Faculty and Staff

Dec. 21, 2020

In accordance with our Return to Campus plan, here are Five Things You Should Know This Week:

  1. Have a happy, healthy, restful holiday!
  2. Free COVID testing remains available in Chatham and Bulloch counties
    The Georgia Department of Public Health continues to offer free COVID-19 testing in Chatham and Bulloch counties on the following schedule during the upcoming holidays. Appointments may be required. Register for either location online or call 855-473-4374. Find out more at https://www.sehdph.org/covid-19/where-and-when-can-i-receive-free-covid-19-testing/

Bulloch County (at the Bulloch County Health Department, 1 West Altman Street)

  • Dec. 21 & 23, 2020 -- open, 8-10 a.m.
  • Dec. 24 & 25, 2020 -- closed
  • Dec. 26, 2020 -- open, 8-10 a.m.
  • Dec. 31, 2020 and Jan. 1, 2021 -- closed
  • Jan. 2, 2021 -- open, 8-10 a.m.

Savannah/Chatham County (at the Savannah Civic Center, 301 West Oglethorpe Ave.)

  • Dec. 21 - 23, 2020 -- open, 8:30 am-3:30 p.m.
  • Dec. 24 - 27 -- closed
  • Dec. 28 - 31, 2020  -- open, 8:30 am - 3:30 p.m.
  • Jan. 1, 2021 -- closed
  • Jan. 2, 2021 -- open,  8:30-11:30 a.m.
  1. CARES Center will be available during the break
    The CARES Center (for COVID-19 self-reporting), which will be staffed during the holiday break, continues to be an important University resource that not only provides University officials real-time indication about COVID-19’s impact on our campuses, but also initiates a support system for the student’s benefit to assure their well-being and academic success.

    The CARES Center’s ability to mitigate the spread of the virus on our campuses relies on the University community’s willingness to be honest and forthcoming with information. In order to monitor public health, it is important that students and employees are encouraged to contact the CARES Center to report if they:
  • Have tested positive for COVID-19, or
  • Are experiencing COVID-19-related symptoms, or
  • Were notified they are a close contact with a COVID-19 positive case.

There are several ways to reach the CARES Center:

  • Use the MyGS mobile app
  • Complete the CARES Center COVID-19 self-reporting form available through the MyGeorgiaSouthern portal under the tile titled “COVID-19 Information & Resources.”
  • Call 912-478-CARE (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
  • Email covidsupport@georgiasouthern.edu
  1. Campuses are closed Dec. 25, 2020 through Jan. 3, 2021
    As a reminder, all campuses are closed for Winter Break and the New Year’s holiday, December 25-31, 2020 and Jan. 1, 2021. Regular operations resume on Jan. 4, 2021. Classes begin again on Jan. 11, 2021.
  2. Eagles football to play in nationally televised bowl game Wednesday
    For the fourth time in history, Georgia Southern football is headed to an NCAA postseason bowl game when the Eagles (7-5) meet Louisiana Tech (5-4) of Conference USA in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl at 3 p.m. (ET)/2 p.m. (CT) on Wednesday, Dec. 23 in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The game will be televised nationally by ESPN. Find out more at https://gseagles.com/
Faculty and Staff
Sent December 14, 2020 to Faculty and Staff

Dec. 14, 2020

As we continue with the fall semester in accordance with our Return to Campus plan, here are Five Things You Should Know This Week:

  1. Georgia Southern has updated its quarantine guidance
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Department of Public Health (DPH) have updated their quarantine guidance to provide new options for quarantine duration. After careful consultation with DPH, Georgia Southern has implemented the CDC option to reduce the duration of quarantine for persons identified as close contacts of a confirmed positive case of COVID-19 from 14 days to 10 days. 

    This means that if you have been identified as a close contact of a confirmed positive case, you will be required to self-quarantine for 10 days after the day the contact occurred. This change will become effective today (Monday, Dec. 14) and will also apply to any student, faculty or staff member already under self-quarantine. If you are currently self-quarantining because you are a close contact, the CARES Center will adjust your quarantine end date accordingly and will notify you (and your faculty and/or supervisors) of your new quarantine end date. We also will update our FAQs and flowsheets accordingly over the coming days to reflect the change to a 10-day quarantine period.

    After completing the 10-day quarantine period, you should continue to monitor your health and follow mitigation strategies until 14 days after your most recent exposure. If symptoms develop, you should isolate immediately. Mitigation strategies that should be practiced include, but are not limited to, correct and consistent mask use, social distancing, hand and cough hygiene, environmental cleaning and disinfection, and avoiding large crowds.  

    It is important to note that this new quarantine guidance ONLY applies to asymptomatic close contacts. The isolation guidance for persons with symptoms and/or a positive COVID test result remains unchanged. Persons with symptoms and/or a positive COVID test result should self-isolate until their symptoms have improved, AND they have gone 24 hours without a fever, AND 10 days have passed since their symptoms started (or since their positive test was taken if they are asymptomatic).

    These new guidelines for Georgia Southern have been developed after consultation with DPH and careful consideration of our resources, testing capabilities and our continued efforts to keep our campuses safe. Please contact the CARES Center with any questions.
  2. CDC offers guidance to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 during the holiday season
    The CDC reports that travel and gatherings with family and friends who do not live with you can increase your chances of getting or spreading COVID-19 or the flu. Whether or not you choose to travel, the CDC provides a number of recommendations on how to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 during the holiday season. The more steps you take, the more you are protected against COVID-19. To find out more from the CDC on staying safe during the winter holidays, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays/winter.html.
  3. CARES Center will be available during the break
    The CARES Center (for COVID-19 self-reporting), which will be staffed during the holiday break, continues to be an important University resource that not only provides University officials real-time indication about COVID-19’s impact on our campuses, but also initiates a support system for the student’s benefit to assure their well-being and academic success. 

    The CARES Center’s ability to mitigate the spread of the virus on our campuses relies on the University community’s willingness to be honest and forthcoming with information. In order to monitor public health, it is important that students and employees are encouraged to contact the CARES Center to report if they:
  • Have tested positive for COVID-19, or
  • Are experiencing COVID-19-related symptoms, or
  • Were notified they are a close contact with a COVID-19 positive case.

There are several ways to reach the CARES Center:

  • Use the MyGS mobile app
  • Complete the CARES Center COVID-19 self-reporting form available through the MyGeorgiaSouthern portal under the tile titled “COVID-19 Information & Resources.”
  • Call 912-478-CARE (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
  • Email covidsupport@georgiasouthern.edu
  1. Keep up with Eagle athletics
    Georgia Southern Eagles men’s and women’s basketball teams have several games scheduled before the holiday break. The slate of games includes two at home tomorrow (12/15). Find out more details at https://gseagles.com/calendar.
    Bowl games will be announced this week, so look out for the final opportunity to cheer on your Eagles for the 2020 football season!
  2. Fall 2020 commencement ceremonies continue this week
    Following all health and safety protocols, Georgia Southern looks forward to hosting four face-to-face commencement ceremonies on Wednesday and Thursday at Paulson Stadium. CDC and GDPH guidelines will be strictly adhered to, and all participants are expected to wear a face covering. Additionally, all staff working the ceremonies will be screened as they enter the facility. Find out more at www.GeorgiaSouthern.edu/commencement.
Faculty and Staff
Sent December 11, 2020 to Students

Dec. 11, 2020

Dear Students:

As we finish up finals and prepare to honor our graduates at commencement, now is certainly the time to reflect on a milestone year, to applaud your resilience and resourcefulness, and to commend you for navigating through a semester unlike any we have ever experienced.

I want to take a moment to acknowledge what we have accomplished this year. You worked through classes, tests, projects, research and other assignments with masks, Zoom, social distancing requirements and a list of other precautions. You helped welcome in a record-breaking class of first-year students and an overall enrollment increase of 3.45% over fall 2019! Not only did we attract an unprecedented number of new students, but our faculty and staff’s ability to excel in educating, preparing, and supporting our students contributed to a post-consolidation record-high 79% retention rate from freshman to sophomore year as well as record four- and six-year graduation rates.

Other outstanding accomplishments that come to mind include a $2 million grant from the National Science Foundation to support training and experiences for underrepresented minority students, the work of our CARES Center to help monitor and prevent the spread of COVID-19 on our campuses, the resiliency of our student-athletes and athletics staff to adhere to strict public health guidelines so they can continue to represent Eagle Nation on the field/court, the launching of our first Inclusive Excellence Action Plan, the approval of new degree programs, the elevation of the Honors Program to an Honors College, and many more!

I am sure that each of you can share a story of a mentor, professor, or fellow student who went above and beyond for our students or our community. Those stories are the ones that have far-reaching impact and illustrate the transformative power of education here at Georgia Southern, and I am thrilled – but not surprised – that these occurrences have continued during a global pandemic that has changed the way we do almost everything. We have shown our ability to be nimble and responsive, while still working together to accomplish our goals. Please take a moment to congratulate yourself and thank someone who helped.

As we look to the start of spring semester, we do so with a plan to engage more with students and to increase the number of true face-to-face courses. Building on what we learned during the fall term, we have made some improvements to course scheduling and class descriptions as we continue to adhere to social distancing and health and safety protocols to ensure the safety of our learning environments.

Of course, we will continue to assess all business continuity measures and remain in communication with government and community leaders, GDPH, and healthcare partners to ensure we can continue to meet public health guidelines and our core mission of student success. As we learned during the fall semester, our protocols and precautions do work when followed. It truly is important for the safety of our entire community that each of us to continue wearing a face covering, remaining socially distance, washing our hands, staying home when sick, calling into the CARES Center, and following public health guidelines.

When we return in January, our new Engineering and Research Building will be open to students! This $65 million learning center provides new opportunities for Georgia Southern to continue leading South Georgia in research and economic development. This three-story facility, encompassing more than 135,000 square feet of laboratory and collaborative learning space, will provide access to advanced technologies that will prepare our students to meet the changing needs of the industry and the training to meet the demands of the workforce of today and tomorrow.

As we finish this semester strong, I hope you will join me in cheering on our Eagles against App State at home this weekend!

I also look forward to honoring our graduates next week through five in-person commencement ceremonies, all with thorough health and safety measures in place! You can watch the ceremonies live on the university’s Facebook pages or at www.GeorgiaSouthern.edu/commencement.

Thank you again for a very successful semester. Jane, Lily, and I wish you a restful, safe winter break and a very Happy Holiday!

Kyle Marrero
President

Students
Sent December 11, 2020 to Faculty and Staff

A time to reflect – the December message from President Marrero

Dear Colleagues,

Dec. 11, 2020

As we finish up finals and prepare to honor our graduates at commencement, now is certainly the time to reflect on a milestone year, to applaud our resilience and resourcefulness, and to commend one another for navigating through a semester unlike any we have ever experienced.

I want to take a moment to acknowledge what we have accomplished this year. Ultimately, your efforts contributed to a record-breaking class of first-year students and an overall enrollment increase of 3.45% over fall 2019! Not only did we attract an unprecedented number of new students, but our faculty and staff’s ability to excel in educating, preparing, and supporting our students contributed to a post-consolidation record-high 79% retention rate from freshman to sophomore year as well as record four- and six-year graduation rates.

Other outstanding accomplishments include a $2 million grant from the National Science Foundation to support training and experiences for underrepresented minority students, the work of our CARES Center to help monitor and prevent the spread of COVID-19 on our campuses, the resiliency of our student-athletes and athletics staff to adhere to strict public health guidelines so they can continue to represent Eagle Nation on the field/court, the launching of our first Inclusive Excellence Action Plan, the approval of new degree programs, the elevation of the Honors Program to an Honors College, and many more!

It’s likely that each of you can share a story of a colleague who went above and beyond for a student or for another colleague. Those stories are the ones that have far-reaching impact and illustrate the transformative power of education here at Georgia Southern, and I am thrilled – but not surprised – that these occurrences have continued during a global pandemic that has changed the way we do almost everything. We have shown our ability to be nimble and responsive, while still working together to accomplish our goals and most importantly, serve our students. Please take a moment to congratulate yourself and your colleagues.

As we look to the start of spring semester, we do so with a plan to engage more with students and to increase the number of true face-to-face courses. Building on what we learned during the fall term, we have made some improvements to course scheduling and class descriptions as we continue to adhere to social distancing and health and safety protocols to ensure the safety of our learning environments. We will continue to assess all business continuity measures and remain in communication with government and community leaders, GDPH, and healthcare partners to ensure we can continue to meet public health guidelines and our core mission of student success.

When we return in January, our new Engineering and Research Building will be open to students! This $65 million learning center provides new opportunities for Georgia Southern to continue leading South Georgia in research and economic development. This three-story facility, encompassing more than 135,000 square feet of laboratory and collaborative learning space, will provide access to advanced technologies that will prepare our students to meet the changing needs of the industry and the training to meet the demands of the workforce of today and tomorrow.

As we finish this semester strong, I hope you will join me in cheering on our Eagles against App State at home this weekend! I also look forward to honoring our graduates next week through five in-person commencement ceremonies, all with thorough health and safety measures in place!

Thank you again for a very successful semester. Jane, Lily, and I wish you a restful, safe winter break and a very Happy Holiday!

Sincerely,
Kyle 

Faculty and Staff
Sent December 7, 2020 to Faculty and Staff

Dec. 7, 2020

As we continue with the fall semester in accordance with our Return to Campus plan, here are Five Six Things You Should Know This Week:

  1. Free COVID testing remains available in Chatham and Bulloch counties
    The Georgia Department of Public Health continues to offer free COVID-19 testing in Chatham and Bulloch counties. In Chatham County, an appointment is now required for all COVID-19 testing by the Chatham County Health Department. Schedule online or by calling 912-230-9744. In Bulloch County, testing is available on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., with 10:30-11 a.m. set aside specifically for Georgia Southern faculty, staff and students. Register for either location online or call 855-473-4374. Find out more at https://www.sehdph.org/covid-19/where-and-when-can-i-receive-free-covid-19-testing/
  2. Continue encouraging each other to contact the CARES Center when necessary
    The CARES Center (for COVID-19 self-reporting), which will be staffed during the holiday break, continues to be an important university resource that not only provides university officials real-time indication about COVID-19’s impact on our campuses, but also initiates a support system for the student’s benefit to assure their wellbeing and academic success. The CARES Center’s ability to mitigate the spread of the virus on our campuses relies on the university community’s willingness to be honest and forthcoming with information. In order to monitor public health, it is important that students and employees are encouraged to contact the CARES Center to report they:
  • Have tested positive for COVID-19, or
  • Are experiencing COVID-19-related symptoms, or
  • Were notified they are a close contact with a COVID-19 positive case.

There are several ways to reach the CARES Center:

  • Use the MyGS mobile app
  • Complete the CARES Center COVID-19 self-reporting form available through the MyGeorgiaSouthern portal under the tile titled “COVID-19 Information & Resources.”
  • Call 912-478-CARE (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
  • Email covidsupport@georgiasouthern.edu
  1. Fall 2020 commencement ceremonies start this week
    Following all health and safety protocols, Georgia Southern looks forward to hosting five face-to-face commencement ceremonies beginning on Sunday, December 13. CDC and GDPH guidelines will be strictly adhered to, and all participants are expected to wear a face covering. Additionally, all staff working the ceremonies will be screened as they enter the facility. Find out more at www.GeorgiaSouthern.edu/commencement
  2. Quarantine Guidance
    We are aware of the updated guidance related to quarantine length requirements which was released by CDC last week and adopted by the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) on December 4. We are consulting with DPH to determine how to best apply these new recommendations to our current processes. Once we have adopted a plan to implement the new guidance for our students, faculty and staff, we will communicate those changes to the campus community. Until that time, we will continue to apply the 14-day quarantine rule that has been in place for the past several months.
  3. Update on Nursing/Chemistry Building
    Cleanup and restoration of the Nursing/Chemistry building continues after a sprinkler system activation last week. Power, HVAC and life safety systems were restored on Friday. The building is currently accessible to faculty and staff only. Faculty and staff with offices or labs affected by the incident should speak with the dean of the College of Science and Mathematics before accessing their spaces. Students with questions related to finals week should contact their professors.
  4. Prepare your offices for a deep cleaning over the break
    The Division of Facilities Services will deep clean offices and all campus public areas during the holiday break. To assist, faculty, staff and students are asked to be mindful of the following items before heading home for the winter break:
    1. Be sure to turn off and unplug all electronic items, but do not unplug refrigerators!
    2. Close all window blinds.
    3. Residential students should turn their thermostat to the heat mode and set it at 65 degrees.
    4. Do not leave any perishable food behind.
    5. Take out your trash. Faculty and staff may leave office trash cans outside of their office door. Students should take all trash (kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom) to the residential complex dumpsters.
Faculty and Staff
Sent December 1, 2020 to Students

Dec. 1, 2020

Welcome back; remember to Do Right!
We hope you had a great Thanksgiving break and were able to get some much-needed rest. As we head into our final weeks of the semester, please be reminded to continue prioritizing all of the precautions we know so well: wear face coverings, remain socially distant from others, and wash your hands frequently! We have shown our ability to keep COVID-19 largely away from our campuses, but we must remain vigilant in exercising responsibility both on and off campus so we can continue to keep our university community safe.

Take care of yourself; resources are available to help.
Especially at this time of year, it’s important to remember to take care of your mental health. If you need any help, there are several tools located on the Counseling Center website to help you manage your stress. Mindful Yoga, Emotional Wisdom, Art Therapy and mental health apps are just a few of the tools available. Another opportunity to find resources is tomorrow night at Eagle Talks, an open discussion about mental health and effective, supportive ways of dealing with stress. The event is Dec. 2, 6-8 p.m. in the Russell Union Theatre on the Statesboro Campus, the Armstrong Campus Student Union Theater or via Zoom. Find more details at https://students.georgiasouthern.edu/counseling/.

Holiday lighting ceremonies
Please join us as we kick off the holiday season at Georgia Southern with socially distanced fun at the annual, holiday lighting ceremonies. The Armstrong Campus ceremony will begin today at 5:30 p.m. in front of Burnett Hall. The ceremony for the Lighting of Sweetheart Circle on the Statesboro Campus, will begin at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 3 in front of the Marvin-Pittman Building.

Register to vote in Georgia’s runoff election
A runoff election is scheduled for Jan. 5 for Georgia’s two senate seats. If you have not already done so, you can register to vote by Dec. 7 to participate in this election. Learn more at our Eagles Vote website

Extended library hours
The University Libraries will extend their hours during the week prior to finals and the week of finals, Nov. 29 to Dec. 10, to continue to support student success. The Henderson Library at Statesboro and the Lane Library and Learning Commons at Armstrong will either open earlier, close later, or will be open on Saturdays. Please visit the University Libraries website for a complete schedule.

Students
Sent November 30, 2020 to Faculty and Staff

Nov. 30, 2020

As we continue with the fall semester in accordance with our Return to Campus plan, here are Five Things You Should Know This Week:

  1. Welcome back; remember to Do Right!
    We hope you had a great Thanksgiving break and were able to get some much-needed rest. As we head into our final weeks of the semester, please be reminded to continue prioritizing all of the precautions we know so well: wear face coverings, remain socially distant from others, and wash your hands frequently! We have shown our ability to keep COVID-19 largely away from our campuses, but we must remain vigilant in exercising responsibility both on and off campus so we can continue to keep our university community safe. ­
  2. Holiday lighting ceremonies
    Please join us as we kick off the holiday season at Georgia Southern with socially distanced fun at the annual, holiday lighting ceremonies. The Armstrong Campus ceremony will begin at 5:30 p.m. in front of Burnett Hall on Tuesday, Dec. 1. The ceremony for the Lighting of Sweetheart Circle on the Statesboro Campus, will begin at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 3 in front of the Marvin-Pittman Building.
  3. Register to vote in Georgia’s runoff election
    A runoff election is scheduled for Jan. 5 for Georgia’s two senate seats. If you have not already done so, you can register to vote by Dec. 7 to participate in this special election. Learn more at our Eagles Vote website
  4. Extended library hours
    The University Libraries will extend their hours during the week prior to finals and the week of finals, Nov. 29 to Dec. 10, to continue to support student success. The Henderson Library at Statesboro and the Lane Library and Learning Commons at Armstrong will either open earlier, close later, or will be open on Saturdays. Please visit the University Libraries website for a complete schedule.   
  5. Free COVID testing remains available in Chatham and Bulloch counties.
    The Georgia Department of Public Health continues to offer free COVID-19 testing in Chatham and Bulloch counties. In Chatham County, an appointment is now required for all COVID-19 testing by the Chatham County Health Department. Schedule online or by calling 1-912-230-9744. In Bulloch County, testing is available on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, from 8-11 a.m., with 10:30-11 a.m. set aside specifically for Georgia Southern faculty, staff and students. Testing also is available on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., but there is no specific time set aside for Georgia Southern. Register for either location online or call 855-473-4374. If you want a time within the 10:30 a.m.-11 a.m. window in Statesboro, do not book a specific appointment time when registering online.  
Faculty and Staff
Sent November 23, 2020 to Faculty and Staff

Nov. 23, 2020

As we continue with the fall semester in accordance with our Return to Campus plan, here are Five Things You Should Know This Week:

  1. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
  2. Be safe.
  3. Enjoy the break.
  4. Take care of yourself.
  5. Do Right! 
Faculty and Staff
Sent November 19, 2020 to Students

Good morning!

As we all approach a much-needed Thanksgiving break, we want to thank each of you for how you have contributed to what can only be hailed as a very successful semester. When we began the fall 2020 semester, we followed a detailed plan that relied a great deal on individual responsibility. Especially when we saw a spike in COVID numbers at the beginning of this term, there were -- understandably -- a lot of questions about how this semester would unfold.

Now, after completing 13 full weeks of classes at Georgia Southern, your actions have played a significant part in preventing the spread of this virus on our campus. So, thank you for that and for Doing Right.

For those who are traveling next week, please know that, especially during a pandemic, you should treat your home family just as you have your university family. Continue to remain vigilant in exercising responsibility both on and off campus so we can continue to keep our university community safe. Remember to wear face coverings, remain socially distant from others, and wash your hands frequently! The CDC has put together some tips so that we can all enjoy Thanksgiving activities while also taking steps to protect yourself from getting or spreading COVID-19. 

When you return to campus, remember that we are all connected in ways we never thought about before. The practices you exhibit away from campus could have an impact on the operations on campus upon your return. Your diligence is key to keeping our campuses protected and will help us finish the semester safely.

As communicated to you previously, when you sign up for classes in the spring semester, you will see that we are increasing the number of face-to-face course offerings by expanding class times throughout the week. We are, of course, still following all public health and safety guidelines to include appropriate social distancing standards for students and faculty in classrooms. When you register for spring semester, you will see that we have clearly identified the course mode of delivery for each class. We have asked faculty to update their Folio sites as soon as possible with at least a basic syllabus and mode of course delivery. We want to be as transparent as possible with students about course delivery in the Spring. Please consult the course instructor or your academic advisor should you have questions.

We wish you a safe, healthy, and relaxing break. You deserve it!.

Go Eagles!

Dr. Brian Deloach
Medical Director

Dr. Shay Little
Vice President for Student Affairs

Students
Sent November 19, 2020 to Students

Dear Students and Parents,

As we move closer to the end of the year and solidify plans for the Spring 2021 semester, students may see some changes in a course’s delivery mode, location, and/or times when they register for Spring classes. As part of our commitment to provide a more traditional learning environment while continuing to adhere to health and safety protocols, we have broadened the times that courses are scheduled, and we are working hard to reduce the number of sub-sectioned courses by moving classes to larger rooms where possible. While our priority is to provide opportunities for students to engage directly with their faculty by increasing the number of more traditional face-to-face courses where possible, we will still see some courses traditionally taught face-to-face move to an online format this Spring. 

We have been strategic by moving only the most appropriate courses to an online format. We encourage students to regularly check on both the Course Search page and their courses’ Folio pages in case there are changes. Permanent changes to location, time, or delivery mode will be noted in the Course Search and Folio. Temporary changes in delivery mode will be noted in Folio.

These changes could result from situations like the following reasons:

  • The instructor is quarantining and waiting for a test result for COVID-19.
  • The instructor has tested positive for COVID-19 and is quarantined for the CDC’s recommended timeframe.
  • The instructor is quarantining because of a close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
  • The instructor has a documented condition or circumstance requiring the University to allow remote delivery of the course.

We take the health and safety of each member of our community seriously, and we appreciate your patience and understanding as we work to balance our scheduling preferences with the realities of the continuing pandemic. It’s up to us all to Do Right and protect our nest!

Sincerely,
The Office of the Provost

Students
Sent November 16, 2020 to Faculty and Staff

Nov. 16, 2020

As we continue with the fall semester in accordance with our Return to Campus plan, here are Five Things You Should Know This Week:

  1. Remain vigilant with public health guidelines
    Thanksgiving and the holidays are popular times for much-needed time away from work and to be with family and friends. For those who are traveling, please remember that, especially during a pandemic, you should treat your home family just as you have your university family. Continue to practice all of the precautions we have been taking throughout the year that have contributed to the low and stable numbers of positive COVID cases at Georgia Southern. Our practices, our Return to Campus Plan, and our CARES Team have shown their effectiveness, but we must remain vigilant in exercising responsibility both on and off campus so we can continue to keep our university community safe. ­Remember to wear face coverings, remain socially distant from others, and wash our hands frequently! 
  2. The Legal Affairs Boot Camp has gone virtual!  
    The University’s Legal Affairs Boot Camp is now online and includes the following seven recorded Zoom sessions:
    • Foundations of Higher Education Law 
    • Student Legal Issues
    • Employee Legal Issues
    • Civil Rights Law
    • Free Expression
    • Data & Intellectual Property
    • Campus Safety

Employees can earn up to 14 of the 20 professional development hours outlined in University Policy. Registration is easy by submitting a Legal Affairs Helpdesk Ticket to place on your schedule. For more information, please visit the Professional Development tab on the Legal Affairs website or call 4-3152. You don't have to be a lawyer to be a "Legal Eagle."

  1. This is the final week for the Inclusive Excellence Campus Climate Survey
    Friday, Nov. 20, is the deadline to complete Georgia Southern’s inaugural Inclusive Excellence Campus Climate Survey. Please encourage your students to fill it out also. The feedback is critical for one of the action steps in addressing Goal #1 of the Inclusive Excellence Action Plan. Your confidential, unique survey link came via email from the Office of Institutional Research, in partnership with the Office of Inclusive Excellence. If you did not receive the survey, please email iroffice@georgiasouthern.edu.
  2. Our virtual Homecoming was a success!
    Thanks to all who had a hand in developing, or participated in, the Homecoming events last week. There were 18 events in total, and we saw 213,703 virtual views of all the different activities.
  3. Commencement is around the corner.
    More than 1,700 students have signed up to participate in our in-person commencement activities, scheduled for Dec. 13, 16 & 17.  We are thrilled so many faculty and staff have already offered to work the ceremonies, but we may need a few more people to help. If you are able to assist with any of the ceremonies, please notify your supervisor. See https://www.georgiasouthern.edu/commencement/ for more details about commencement plans.
Faculty and Staff
Sent November 9, 2020 to Faculty and Staff

Nov. 9, 2020

As we continue with the fall semester in accordance with our Return to Campus plan, here are Five Things You Should Know This Week:

  1. This week is Ethics Awareness Week at Georgia Southern and across the University System of Georgia
    The University System of Georgia (USG) and Georgia Southern University are committed to an ethical culture. Ethics Awareness reminds employees of our commitment to an ethical culture and our shared ethical values and expectations. It also serves as a reminder of how we incorporate ethical decision-making in all we do and how we are good stewards of the resources entrusted to us. Ethics Awareness brings awareness to ethics, reinforces the principles of recognizing the hard work of employees, and promotes our shared values. For more information on Ethics Awareness Week, visit https://www.georgiasouthern.edu/ethicsawareness/. View the USG Ethics Policy here: https://www.usg.edu/policymanual/section8/C224/#p8.2.18_personnel_conduct
  2. Don’t miss the Ethics Roundtable Discussion today at 10 a.m.
    Georgia Southern will host a virtual ethics roundtable discussion today at 10 a.m. with AVP for Inclusive Excellence TaJuan Wilson, Ed.D., VP for Student Affairs Shay Little, Ph.D., and Executive Counsel Maura C. Copeland, J.D., LL.M. 

    The panel will discuss:
    • The recent Executive Order on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping
    • Ethics and Legality
    • Bystander Interventions
    • Group Think
    • COVID-19 and Ethics

The audience will be able to ask questions about these or any ethics topic.

Join the roundtable discussion here: https://georgiasouthern.zoom.us/j/83479810103?pwd=a2wyVnhiK3AyUUN0ZnVKR3lzdEF6Zz09

Passcode: 297371

  1. Complete your Inclusive Excellence Campus Climate Survey
    Gaining input from our faculty, staff and students is critical to Georgia Southern’s progress toward creating an equitable and inclusive environment for all. The Inclusive Excellence Campus Climate Survey serves as a vehicle to gather this feedback, and it is also one of the action steps in addressing Goal #1 of the Inclusive Excellence Action Plan. The campus-wide survey will inform critical areas of intervention by illuminating your views on workplace environment, equity, fairness and partiality. Most importantly, it will help us focus on Georgia Southern’s greatest needs in creating an equitable and inclusive environment. Complete the survey you received from the Office of Inclusive Excellence in partnership with the Office of Institutional Research by November 20, and make sure your voice is heard! If you did not receive the survey, please email iroffice@georgiasouthern.edu.
  2. Help is available if you need it
    There is no question that this semester has been challenging and stressful for many, especially in the face of one of the most uncertain times we have experienced as a nation in many years. Please continue to utilize the resources that are available to you and remember that we must take care of our personal wellbeing before we can invest in and grow others. The University System of Georgia has partnered with KEPRO to provide employees and their family members with a comprehensive Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Full-time and part-time employees, family, and household members have access to the program, and services are free and confidential, within the bounds of the law. See https://www.usg.edu/hr/benefits/2020_benefits/eap, contact KEPRO at 1-844-243-4440 or go to www.eaphelplink.com and use the company code USGcares.
  3. It's still important to Do Right with public health guidance
    While the numbers of confirmed cases and self-reported cases of COVID-19 at Georgia Southern remain stable, we must remain vigilant and Do Right by limiting face-to-face gatherings, remain socially distant, wear masks, and wash our hands. As the flu season is upon us, these efforts will be especially important to maintain the health and safety of our communities. With fall and winter holidays approaching, the CDC has provided new guidance to help protect individuals and their families, friends, and communities from COVID-19. The site lists considerations and recommendations for a variety of celebrations, including low-risk, medium-risk and high-risk behaviors, and a wealth of other information such coping with stress and traveling safely during a pandemic.
Faculty and Staff
Sent November 5, 2020 to Students

Nov. 5, 2020

Dear Students,

I hope you are participating in Homecoming week: the Soaring 20s! The Division of Student Affairs, the Office of Alumni Relations, and many others have been hard at work to make this modified experience one to remember for our students, faculty and staff, community and alumni! I encourage you to participate in our virtual events and socially distant gatherings, which will culminate with us cheering on the Eagles to victory against Troy on Saturday. Thank you to our staff and our students who have worked tirelessly to plan a memorable week for us all!

This week, and in the coming weeks, as we witness how the nation moves forward in the wake of the election results, we must remember that it is important for us, as a university community, to model Inclusive Excellence in our words and our actions and to honor and respect what makes each of us unique. This is a time for us to lead by example - to grow together and to unite in our shared vision of creating a campus climate that values our differences and encourages positive dialogue on subject matters of which we may or may not agree. We have stated these words in our new Inclusive Excellence Action Plan - now let’s live them together!

Speaking of Inclusive Excellence, this week you should have received an invitation to participate in our first Inclusive Excellence Climate Survey, the implementation of which represents the last of seven recommendations from Damon Williams’ Inclusive Excellence Report. This survey is a university-wide assessment that will help inform critical areas of intervention by illuminating our campus community’s views on the workplace and campus environment. Most importantly, it will help us focus on the greatest areas of improvement in alignment with our Inclusive Excellence Action Plan and programs. 

Our Return to Campus Plan and our CARES Team efforts continue to work in mitigating the spread of COVID-19 within our campus environments, but we must remain vigilant in exercising responsibility both on and off campus­—to wear face-coverings, remain socially distant from others, and wash our hands frequently!

With Thanksgiving and other winter holidays approaching, the CDC has provided new guidance to help protect individuals and their families, friends, and communities from COVID-19. The site lists considerations and recommendations for a variety of celebrations, including low-risk, medium-risk and high-risk behaviors, and a wealth of other information such as coping with stress and traveling safely during a pandemic.

As you begin registration for spring semester, you will see that we have clearly identified the course mode of delivery and scheduled more fully face-to-face course offerings. Following all public health and safety guidelines and maintaining appropriate social distancing standards for students and faculty in the classroom, we have increased the number of face-to-face course offerings by expanding times throughout the week.

Finally, I would like to acknowledge and give my appreciation to you for your hard work and willingness to make this semester successful. You have adapted and innovated in the face of one of the most difficult and uncertain times we have experienced as a nation in many years. There is nothing normal or certain in these times other than the continued implementation of our planning, continued assessment, active communication, and most importantly caring for each other.

I remain thankful, inspired and in awe of Eagle Nation’s continued efforts to go above and beyond each and every day for you, our students, and for our communities.

Go Eagles!

Sincerely,
Dr. Kyle Marrero
President

Students
Sent November 2, 2020 to Faculty and Staff

Nov. 2, 2020

As we continue with the fall semester in accordance with our Return to Campus plan, here are Five Things You Should Know This Week:

  1. Free COVID testing remains available in Chatham and Bulloch counties.
    The Georgia Department of Public Health continues to offer free COVID-19 testing in Chatham and Bulloch counties. In Chatham County, COVID-19 testing is offered at the Savannah Civic Center several days each week with no appointment required. Testing is also offered each Wednesday by appointment at various mobile testing sites around the region. In Bulloch County, testing is available on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 8-11 a.m., with 10:30-11 a.m. set aside specifically for Georgia Southern faculty, staff and students. Testing also is available on Saturdays from 8-11 a.m., but there is no specific time set aside for Georgia Southern. Register for either location online or call 855-473-4374. If you want a time within the 10:30 a.m.-11 a.m. window in Statesboro, do not book a specific appointment time when registering online.
  2. The CDC has updated language for the definition of close contact.
    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has updated their language for who is considered a “close contact” of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. A close contact is now someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to test specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated. Click here for more information from the CDC.
  3. Homecoming is this week!
    Georgia Southern hosts a series of Homecoming activities throughout the week. Show us your True Blue spirit all next week by wearing Georgia Southern colors and your favorite GS branded gear. The celebration includes a variety of special events, reunions, social gatherings and even a virtual parade! The week is highlighted by a virtual parade on Friday and the Eagles Homecoming game Saturday against Troy at Paulson Stadium. Find out more about the Homecoming and how you can participate at https://students.georgiasouthern.edu/homecoming/.
  4. COVID-19 still presents a threat.
    Some parts of Georgia and elsewhere in the country are seeing major increases in COVID-19 cases. While the numbers of confirmed cases and self-reported cases of COVID-19 at Georgia Southern remain stable, we must continue to Do Right by limiting face-to-face gatherings, remaining socially distant, wearing masks, and washing our hands. As the flu season approaches, these efforts will continue to be important to maintain the health and safety of our communities. With fall and winter holidays approaching, the CDC has provided guidance to help protect individuals and their families, friends, and communities from COVID-19. The site lists considerations and recommendations for a variety of celebrations, including low-risk, medium-risk and high-risk behaviors, and a wealth of other information such coping with stress and traveling safely during a pandemic.
  5. Complete open enrollment by Friday.
    USG benefits are centered around you to help balance your health, work and financial well-being goals. Choose from an array of benefits and programs for 2021. Review your options and enroll by Nov. 6. Now is the time to start exploring and creating an experience centered on you.
Faculty and Staff
Sent October 26, 2020 to Faculty and Staff

Oct. 26, 2020

As we continue with the fall semester in accordance with our Return to Campus plan, here are Five Things You Should Know This Week:

  1. Homecoming starts next week!
    Georgia Southern hosts Homecoming activities next week, Nov. 2-7. Of course, things will look different because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but this weeklong observance plays host to Georgia Southern alumni, current students and community members. The celebration includes a variety of special events, reunions, social gatherings and even a virtual parade! The week is highlighted by the Eagles Homecoming game on Nov. 7 against Troy at Paulson Stadium. Find out more about the Homecoming and how you can participate at https://students.georgiasouthern.edu/homecoming/.
  2. We cannot become complacent with COVID-19
    While the numbers of confirmed cases and self-reported cases of COVID-19 at Georgia Southern remain stable, some parts of the country are seeing a rise in cases. We must continue to limit face-to-face gatherings, remain socially distant, wear masks, and wash our hands. As the flu season approaches, these efforts will continue to be important to maintain the health and safety of our communities. With fall and winter holidays approaching, the CDC has provided new guidance to help protect individuals and their families, friends, and communities from COVID-19. The site lists considerations and recommendations for a variety of celebrations, including low-risk, medium-risk and high-risk behaviors, and a wealth of other information such coping with stress and traveling safely during a pandemic. 
  3. HR offices in Statesboro have moved
    Human Resources personnel in Statesboro have consolidated and moved all their offices into the building formerly known as Human Ecology Building, next to the Child Development Center and across the street from Public Safety. The building will now be called the Human Resources Building. The former HR location will be renovated for a new Enrollment Services Center to make it more convenient for students to get fast and friendly service.
  4. IT volunteers needed for Nov. 3 election
    The Georgia Secretary of State’s office is seeking volunteers to provide information technology support at polling locations and election offices across the state. Volunteers can fill out this poll worker sign-up form and list the University System of Georgia under “organization.” For volunteers interested in providing IT support, they can check the box to serve as a “tech worker.” This information will then be provided to county election offices, which have the responsibility of staffing polling places and training poll workers. Poll workers and tech workers are paid by the County Election Boards and serve in the county where they are registered to vote. Employees should notify their supervisor of the request to volunteer and submit a request to use appropriate leave. For more information about becoming a poll worker, interested volunteers can visit https://securevotega.com/poll-worker-faq.
  5. Experts remind us to take care of our physical health
    Georgia Southern’s Student Wellness & Health Promotion office reminds everyone that the body is primarily composed of water, so, staying hydrated is crucial to your physical health. Staying properly hydrated helps the body's cells to function more efficiently. Cutting back on sugary drinks is good for your dental health, your weight and your budget. Exercising regularly is also important. Take a walk, ride a bike, or jog around the neighborhood. Push-ups, sit-ups, squats, lunges and stretching go a long way toward improving your health. Getting off the couch to play kickball or go on a hike with friends creates memories and good habits. Follow @GSCampusRec on social media for ideas!
Faculty and Staff
Sent October 20, 2020 to Students

Oct. 20, 2020

Students,

For many, the fall is a favorite time of year. Football, cooler weather, Thanksgiving and Homecoming are just a few of the things that make the fall semester so enjoyable. Enjoy, but here are some important reminders for you along the way.

  • While the fall often brings a smile, it can also be a time of great stress, especially during a pandemic. If you need it, Georgia Southern’s Counseling Center is available to all students. An explanation of mental health services along with how students can access each service is available on the Counseling Center website home page. Do not hesitate to contact their office if you have any questions, or if you just want someone to talk with.
  • The number of COVID-19 positive cases in Georgia and within the Georgia Southern community have stabilized, but experts are in agreement that diligence is required to keep the rates of infection low. The virus has not gone away. It is just as important now to wear a face covering, remain socially distant from others, avoid large gatherings, wash your hands frequently and continue to Do Right!
  • Getting a flu vaccine is more important than ever this year to protect yourself and the people around you from flu, and to help reduce the strain on healthcare systems responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since it takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against flu, the CDC recommends that you get a flu vaccine by the end of October. The flu vaccine is available on a walk-in basis Monday through Friday at the Statesboro campus Health Services Pharmacy and the Armstrong Health Services Center for students, faculty and staff.  Additionally, the flu vaccine is also available at most pharmacies throughout the region.
  • Building on what we learned during the Fall term, as you start registering for the Spring 2021 semester, you will see that we have made some improvements to course scheduling and how classes will be described. While a return to complete pre-COVID traditional face-to-face teaching remains our ultimate goal for the future, we will be increasing the number of true face-to-face courses in the Spring as we continue to adhere to social distancing and health and safety protocols. As you explore courses in the Course Search, you will now be able to see a fuller description of how the course will be taught. Find out more about Spring 2021 Schedule Changes and Improvements online.
  • Get ready for Homecoming 2020, the Soaring 20s! Georgia Southern looks forward to hosting Homecoming activities this year during the week of Nov. 2-7. Of course, things will look different because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but this weeklong observance plays host to Georgia Southern alumni, current students and community members. The celebration includes a variety of special events, reunions, social gatherings and even a virtual parade! The week is highlighted by the Eagles Homecoming game on Nov. 7 against Troy at Paulson Stadium. Find out more about the Homecoming and how you can participate.  
  • Early voting (sometimes referred to as advanced voting) can help Georgia voters avoid crowds or find a time to vote that’s better for their schedules in the weeks prior to Election Day. For faculty, staff, and students who are registered to vote in Bulloch County, the Russell Union Ballroom is available for early voting on Oct. 20-22 from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. All students can click here for a listing of early voting locations, including those locations near the Armstrong campus in Savannah or the Liberty Campus. For those on the Armstrong campus who need assistance getting to a voting location, the Chatham Area Transit system has a stop on Abercorn Street right in front of campus.
  • SGA Elections are coming soon! Look for more information on the SGA website. Your voice counts in the SGA elections too!

Thank you again for your diligence in keeping our communities safe! Go Eagles!

Students
Sent October 20, 2020 to Faculty and Staff

Oct. 20, 2020

As we continue with the fall semester in accordance with our Return to Campus plan, here are Five Things You Should Know This Week:

  1. Experts suggest getting a flu shot before October ends.
    Getting a flu vaccine is more important than ever this year to protect yourself and the people around you from flu, and to help reduce the strain on healthcare systems responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since it takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against flu, the CDC recommends receiving a flu vaccine by the end of October. The flu vaccine is available on a walk-in basis Monday through Friday at the Statesboro campus Health Services Pharmacy and the Armstrong Health Services Center for students, faculty and staff. Additionally, the flu vaccine is available in most other pharmacies throughout the region.
  2. The virus has not gone away.
    While the number of COVID-19 positive cases in Georgia and within the Georgia Southern community have stabilized, experts are in agreement that diligence is required to keep the rates of infection low. It is just as important now to wear a face covering, remain socially distant from others, avoid large gatherings, wash your hands frequently and continue to Do Right! 
  3. Early voting is now underway in Georgia.
    Early voting can help Georgia voters avoid crowds or find a time to vote that’s better for their schedules in the weeks prior to Election Day. Find out more about early voting at https://georgia.gov/early-voting. For faculty, staff, and students who are registered to vote in Bulloch County, the Russell Union Ballroom is available for early voting on Oct. 20-22 from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. For a listing of early voting locations near the Armstrong campus in Savannah or the Liberty Campus in Hinesville go to https://students.georgiasouthern.edu/eaglesvote/how-to-vote/. For those on the Armstrong campus who need assistance getting to a voting location, the Chatham Area Transit system has a stop on Abercorn Street right in front of campus. For more information and bus routes, see https://www.catchacat.org/current-schedules/.
  4. CDC has new guidance in place related to holidays.
    With fall and winter holidays approaching, the CDC has provided new guidance to help protect individuals and their families, friends, and communities from COVID-19. The site lists considerations and recommendations for a variety of celebrations, including low-risk, medium-risk and high-risk behaviors, and a wealth of other information such coping with stress and traveling safely during a pandemic. 
  5. Georgia Southern’s new Inclusive Excellence Action Plan is now available.
    The university’s new Inclusive Excellence Action Plan was released last week after a thorough vetting with a wide variety of constituents across campus. The development and implementation of our Inclusive Excellence Action Plan is the next key step toward the realization of Georgia Southern’s vision to become a national model for Inclusive Excellence. The plan represents a roadmap to advance Inclusive Excellence by leveraging existing successful initiatives and embracing new innovative ideas while ensuring measurable success and accountability. Review the plan online at https://president.georgiasouthern.edu/inclusive-excellence/2020-2024-action-plan/.   
Faculty and Staff
Sent October 12, 2020 to Faculty and Staff

Oct 12, 2020

  1. Take care of your mental health and be ready to help our students.If a student is in immediate crisis, a step-by-step process on how to respond is outlined at https://students.georgiasouthern.edu/counseling/crisis/. To facilitate students' access to mental health services, Georgia Southern’s Counseling Center has drafted an explanation of fall mental health services along with how students can access each of our services on the Counseling Center website home page. For employees, mental health services are among the available options through KEPRO for Georgia Southern University. The University System of Georgia has partnered with KEPRO to provide employees and their family members with a comprehensive Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Full-time and part-time employees, family, and household members have access to the program. Services are free and confidential, within the bounds of the law. See https://www.usg.edu/hr/benefits/2020_benefits/eap, contact KEPRO at 1-844-243-4440 or go to www.eaphelplink.com and use the company code USGcares.
  2. Remain vigilant with public health efforts.The numbers of confirmed cases and self-reported cases of COVID-19 at Georgia Southern, in our local communities and in the state, continue to indicate that our collective efforts are working. Public health officials warn, however, that now is not the time to celebrate. We simply cannot let our guard down. We must continue to limit face-to-face gatherings, remain socially distant, wear masks, and wash our hands. As the flu season approaches, these efforts will continue to be important to maintain the health and safety of our communities.
  3. Free COVID testing available in Chatham and Bulloch counties.The Georgia Department of Public Health continues to offer free COVID-19 testing in Chatham and Bulloch counties under a new schedule. In Chatham County, testing at the Savannah Civic Center will have new operational hours beginning Monday, October 5. Every Wednesday, the Civic Center site will close, and testing will instead be offered at varying locations by appointment. In Bulloch County, the Health Department continues to reserve times just for Georgia Southern University faculty, staff and students. Beginning Oct. 5, times reserved for Georgia Southern are Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 11:30 a.m. until noon. Register for either location online or call 855-473-4374. If you want a time within the 11:30 a.m. - noon window in Statesboro, do not book a specific appointment time when registering online.
  4. Training is available on the university's COVID-19 resources page.Reminder: the university’s COVID-19 information and resources page has an abundance of resources available to help navigate through this pandemic. Two of the most useful tools are training modules -- one developed by HR for supervisors and one developed by Student Wellness & Health Promotion to help anyone learn more about COVID-19 and how to keep yourself and your campus community safe. These and more are available under “Georgia Southern Resources” at https://www.georgiasouthern.edu/covid-19-information/.
  5. Get ready for Homecoming 2020, the Soaring 20s!Georgia Southern looks forward to hosting Homecoming activities this year during the week of Nov. 2-7. Of course, things will look different because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but this week-long observance plays host to Georgia Southern alumni, current students and community members. The celebration includes a variety of special events, reunions, social gatherings and even a virtual parade! The week is highlighted by the Eagles Homecoming game on Nov. 7 against Troy at Paulson Stadium. Find out more about the Homecoming and how you can participate at https://students.georgiasouthern.edu/homecoming/.
Faculty and Staff
Sent September 29, 2020 to Students

Sept. 29, 2020

Dear Students:

The last time we wrote to you at the end of August, we were in the midst of an expected -- but still concerning -- increase in COVID-19 reports on our campuses. We asked you to double down on following health and safety guidelines to ensure that we could continue the semester as we have started.

In response, you stepped up to support these efforts. Student groups came together to challenge one another to Do Right, and individual responsibility to adhere to proper preventative practices and behaviors was on display across our campuses.

Now, as we approach the midpoint of our semester, it's clear that our planning and our precautions have been working. This past week, we recorded 19 cases into the CARES Center, the fourth consecutive week that the numbers have sharply dropped.

We want to thank you.

Thank you for caring through your actions; taking precautions; wearing your mask; reminding your friends about their responsibility during this pandemic. Your vigilance has indeed helped keep our campuses safe.

And while we may want to celebrate, we simply cannot let our guard down. We must continue to limit face-to-face gatherings, remain socially distant, wear masks, and wash our hands. As the flu season approaches, these efforts will continue to be important to maintain the health and safety of our communities.

We are continuing to find ways to provide a rich educational and collegiate life experience for you. We are planning homecoming activities that will be fun but still socially distant. We are seeking ways to increase the face-to-face interaction with faculty next semester. We are challenging our student groups to come up with innovative ideas for activities and gatherings that bring students together in a safe and responsible way.

Look for more information soon, and look for ways to engage with us or any faculty or staff leader. We remain committed to your health and safety, and to creating a campus environment that honors the transformative experience that has come to define Georgia Southern University.

Dr. Kyle Marrero
President

Dr. Carl L. Reiber
Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs

Dr. Shay Davis Little
Vice President for Student Affairs

Students
Sent September 28, 2020 to Faculty and Staff

Sept. 28, 2020

  1. Now is not the time to become complacent with public health efforts.
    The numbers of confirmed cases and self-reported cases of COVID-19 at Georgia Southern have been significantly dropping, indicating effectiveness in protecting our campus classrooms, offices, and communities. However, this virus has not gone away and we must remain vigilant with our adherence to public health guidelines. We also must continue to use the CARES Center to support our students’ needs. The CARES Center has proven to be an effective tool in keeping our communities safe. As a reminder, free COVID-19 testing remains available through the Bulloch Health Department. Appointments are available throughout the week, but the Health Department continues to reserve times for just for Georgia Southern University faculty, staff and students. Beginning Oct. 5, times reserved for Georgia Southern are Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 11:30 a.m. until noon.  Register online at covid19.dph.ga.gov or call 855-473-4374. If you want a time within the 11:30 a.m. - noon window, do not book a specific appointment time when registering online.  
  2. A flu vaccine is especially important this year.
    The 2020–21 influenza season is coinciding with the COVID-19 pandemic. The CDC says flu vaccinations will reduce symptoms that might be confused with those of COVID-19. Prevention of and reduction in the severity of influenza illness and reduction of outpatient illnesses, hospitalizations, and intensive care unit admissions through influenza vaccination also could alleviate stress on the U.S. healthcare system. Experts recommend getting a flu vaccine as an essential part of protecting your health and your family’s health this season. The flu vaccine is available on a walk-in basis Monday through Friday at the Statesboro campus Health Services Pharmacy and the Armstrong Health Services Center for students, faculty and staff.  Additionally, the flu vaccine is also available in most other pharmacies throughout the region.
  3. Complete the census online.
    Responding to the 2020 Census is THE most important thing you can do to positively impact Georgia Southern and your community for the next decade! Census results determine legislative districts, city council districts, school districts and federal funding that goes toward programs affecting health care, food, education, transportation and many other areas. Responding to the census can be done online. It's safe, easy and confidential.
  4. Voter registration deadline is approaching.
    The deadline to register to vote in the November elections is October 5. Student Affairs has established a voting website at georgiasouthern.edu/eaglesvote with information such as How to Vote, Voting Locations, and Register to Vote. Please share this information especially with our students. For students on the Armstrong campus, remember that Chatham Area Transit system has a stop on Abercorn Street right in front of campus. For more information and routes, see https://www.catchacat.org/current-schedules/
  5. Stress can be managed.
    Stress is an inevitable part of life and may be elevated during a pandemic. Health and wellness experts recommend practicing coping skills. For example Tai Chi, yoga, exercise, a nature walk, playing with your pet or journal writing all help with reducing stress. Also, remember to smile and look for the humor in life. Research shows that laughter can boost your immune system, ease pain, relax your body and reduce stress.
Faculty and Staff
Sent September 21, 2020 to Faculty and Staff

Sept. 21, 2020

As we move forward with the fall semester as part of our Return to Campus phased-in plan, here are Five Things You Should Know This Week:

  1. Eagles Do Right when we encourage each other.
    These are unprecedented times and it is important to recognize that your colleagues are dealing with their own challenging circumstances while navigating an influx of unique issues and questions. Please remember to show others kindness, grace and understanding in your daily interactions and don’t forget to show yourself grace as well.
  2. Participate in the 2020 Census!
    Responding to the 2020 Census is THE most important thing you can do to positively impact Georgia Southern and your community for the next decade! Census results determine legislative districts, city council districts, school districts and federal funding that goes toward programs affecting health care, food, education, transportation and many other areas. Responding to the census can be done online through Sept. 30. It's safe, easy and confidential.
  3. September is suicide prevention awareness month. 
    Suicide is a leading cause of death in the U.S. In 2018, the National Institute of Mental Health reported that 48,344 Americans died by suicide. Georgia Southern’s Counseling Center is invested in taking all measures necessary to decrease the rates of suicide by offering education, training, and treatment for our students. Please be on the lookout for any students who might need some help. Find out more about this effort, and all the services available for students through our Counseling Center by visiting https://students.georgiasouthern.edu/counseling/.
  4. The CDC recommends flu vaccination.
    As we enter fall, now is the time to receive your flu vaccine. The CDC recommends that everyone over the age of 6 months get a flu vaccine each year.  While getting a flu vaccine will not protect against COVID-19, a flu vaccination has many other important benefits. Flu vaccines have been shown to reduce the risk of flu illness, hospitalization and death. Getting a flu vaccine this fall will be more important than ever, not only to reduce your risk from flu but also to help conserve potentially scarce health care resources.

    The flu vaccine is available on a walk-in basis Monday through Friday at the Statesboro campus Health Services Pharmacy and the Armstrong Campus Health Center for students, faculty and staff.  Additionally, the flu vaccine is also available in most other pharmacies throughout the region.
  5. Continue to use the CARES Center.
    It’s imperative that you continue to use the CARES Center to report your health status should you test positive for COVID-19, have COVID-19 symptoms, or become a close contact. Please also continue to reinforce use of this center to our students. While the numbers of cases are trending down, now is not the time to become complacent. The CARES Center has proven its value as an important tool to supplement the practices we all know are so effective: wear a face covering, remain socially distanced from others, wash your hands.
Faculty and Staff
Sent September 15, 2020 to Faculty and Staff

Sept. 15, 2020

As we move forward with the fall semester as part of our Return to Campus phased-in plan, here are Five Things You Should Know This Week:

  1. The flu vaccine helps Eagles care for themselves and their community.
    While we must continue to focus on mitigating the spread of COVID-19,in Georgia, the flu season begins in early October and lasts as late as May. 

    According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), getting a flu vaccine is especially important during 2020-2021.

    While getting a flu vaccine will not protect against COVID-19, there are many important benefits, such as:
    • Flu vaccines have been shown to reduce the risk of flu illness, hospitalization and death.
    • Getting a flu vaccine can also save healthcare resources for the care of patients with COVID-19.

Click here to learn more about the benefits of flu vaccination. Look for more information soon about flu vaccination opportunities.

  1. Eagles must continue to Do Right.
    Last week’s report of COVID-19 cases on campus shows that total confirmed positive and self-reported cases of COVID-19 at Georgia Southern University as a whole are trending down. While this is the direction we want to be headed, we must remain vigilant in doing right. It is more important than ever to continue following public health guidelines. 

    Remember, Eagles Do Right when we:
    • Follow public health guidelines
    • Spread our wings 6 feet apart
    • Wash our hands
    • Cover our beaks
    • Respect our nest
  1. Eagles Do Right when we encourage each other to contact the CARES Center when necessary.
    The CARES Center (for COVID-19 self-reporting) continues to prove to be an important university resource that not only provides university officials real-time indication about COVID-19’s impact on our campuses, but also initiates a support system for the student’s benefit to assure their wellbeing and academic success. The CARES Center’s ability to mitigate the spread of the virus on our campuses relies on the university community’s willingness to be honest and forthcoming with information. In order to monitor public health, it is important that students and employees are encouraged to contact the CARES Center to report they:
    • Have tested positive for COVID-19, or
    • Are experiencing COVID-19-related symptoms, or
    • Were notified they are a close contact with a COVID-19 positive case.
      There are several ways to reach the CARES Center:
    • Use the MyGS mobile app
    • Complete the CARES Center COVID-19 self-reporting form available through the MyGeorgiaSouthern portal under the tile titled “COVID-19 Information & Resources.”
    • Call 912-478-CARE (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
    • Email covidsupport@georgiasouthern.edu
  2. Test score requirements waived for Spring, Summer, Fall ’21
    ACT/SAT test score requirements for Spring, Summer and Fall 2021 admission have been waived at Georgia Southern University due to uncertainty about the scheduling of SAT/ACT testing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The University System of Georgia made the decision to waive requirements for all USG institutions after monitoring testing availability during the spring and summer, when multiple test date cancellations caused limited testing availability and negatively impacted students. This temporary adjustment will allow students to apply for Spring, Summer and Fall 2021 admission without submitting ACT or SAT scores. Students must still meet all other admission requirements and must meet adjusted minimum grade point average eligibility thresholds for admission to each USG sector. Students who have SAT/ACT scores may still submit them.
  3. Eagles Do Right when we cover our beaks - the right way.
    The CDC has provided robust information on how to select, wear and clean your mask. CDC recommends that you wear masks in public settings around people who don’t live in your household and when you can’t stay 6 feet away from others. Masks help stop the spread of COVID-19 to others.  Click here to learn more from the CDC
Faculty and Staff
Sent September 4, 2020 to Faculty, Staff and Students

Sept. 4, 2020

Labor Day weekend typically marks the end of summer and is a popular time for traveling. If you plan to go home or take a trip for the long weekend, please be mindful that your behavior while away could impact people and operations here at Georgia Southern. The CDC has some specific guidance about traveling during the COVID-19 pandemic. You may feel well and not have any symptoms, but you can still spread COVID-19 to others. You and your travel companions (including children) may spread COVID-19 to other people including your family, friends, and community for 14 days after you were exposed to the virus.

Therefore, this holiday weekend might be a good time for a “stay-cation” and we are encouraging all students to stay on-campus instead of taking the opportunity of a long weekend to travel. We hope that you will take this opportunity for a well-deserved break, relax, and recharge. Use this holiday break to practice self-care and re-energize yourself for the remainder of fall semester.

If you are staying near one of our campuses, here are 7 things that might spark your interest, while minimizing your risk:

You can also look at other options via the Visit Savannah or Visit Statesboro websites. No matter what you do for the weekend, plan it safely.  Do Right and remember to minimize your risks this weekend by:

  • Wear a face covering and bring extras if possible (remember, it’s mandated by ordinance in Statesboro and Savannah)
  • Practice physical distancing by keeping at least 6 ft. between you and others
  • Wash your hands often and have hand sanitizer available
  • Keep interactions to small groups with social distance in outdoor settings

We wish you a fun, relaxing, and safe Labor Day weekend!

Faculty and Staff, Students
Sent September 1, 2020 to Students

Sept. 1, 2020

As we move forward with the fall semester as part of our Return to Campus phased-in plan, here are Things Eagles Need to Know Now:

  1. Testing options are available on and off campus for students
    There are a variety of COVID-19 testing options for students through the student health centers on both the Armstrong and Statesboro campuses, and in those communities. Information about testing can be found online at https://auxiliary.georgiasouthern.edu/healthservices/2020/08/13/covid-testing- information/. For detailed information on how to make an appointment, go to https://auxiliary.georgiasouthern.edu/healthservices/about-appointments/.

    In Statesboro, the Department of Public Health will reserve testing hours specifically for GSU students, faculty and staff on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and on Saturday from 11 a.m. until noon.  These new reserved hours for free tests begin Wednesday, Sept. 2 at DPH’s COVID test site at the Bulloch County Health Department, located at 1 West Altman Street in Statesboro. To take advantage of these reserved times, you can call 855-473-4374 or enter your information online in advance at covid19.dph.ga.gov. During the online registration process, once you reach the prompt that states: “You qualify to book an appointment online, Click next to register, DO NOT CLICK "NEXT" unless you want to register for testing at the site during the other times that are open (and not devoted to GS employees or students). Students can then just show up at one of the days/time blocks that are set for Georgia Southern.
  2. The CARES Center is an important resource for students!
    Have you tested positive for COVID-19? Not feeling well? Were you notified that you are a close contact with a COVID-19 positive case? If so, please log into the CARES Center (for COVID-19 self-reporting) now. This new resource is vitally important to help university leaders gauge COVID-19 impact on our campuses. There are several ways to reach the CARES Center:
  • Use the MyGS mobile app
  • Complete the CARES Center COVID-19 self-reporting form available through the MyGeorgiaSouthern portal under the tile titled “COVID-19 Information & Resources.”
  • Call 912-478-CARE (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
  • Email covidsupport@georgiasouthern.edu
  1. If you are asked to isolate or quarantine, be responsible!
    According to the CDC, quarantine is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others. Quarantine helps prevent spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they are sick or if they are infected with the virus without feeling symptoms. People in quarantine should stay home, separate themselves from others, monitor their health, and follow directions from their state or local health department. These precautions help ensure your health, and also the health of the larger Georgia Southern community.
  2. The university has a new tool for reporting COVID-19 Exposure and Health Alerts
    The university has developed a webpage to provide current, relevant information about the status of the COVID-19 pandemic on our campuses as collected through our CARES Center for COVID-19 self-reporting. The information will be updated weekly on Mondays at noon and can be found on Georgia Southern’s COVID-19 information and resources page under "Georgia Southern Resources." While all positive cases from the previous week will be reported, not all of the individuals who tested positive would have been on campus upon their diagnosis or during their illness. Please be reminded that the university is legally bound to protect the health and privacy information of individual faculty, staff, and students.
  3. Game on! Athletics announces seating capacity and other adjustments for Eagle Football
    Georgia Southern and the Department of Athletics remain committed to the safety and well-being of all students, faculty and staff as the university welcomes everyone back for the fall. To adhere with public safety guidelines, Georgia Southern will begin its football season at up to 25 percent stadium capacity at Allen E. Paulson.

    For football, the Eagles are still scheduled to play all six home games, starting with Campbell on Sept. 12. Paulson Stadium will begin the season with up to 25 percent capacity in the facility as the four grass hills and other previously unused spaces beyond the seating bowl will be open for seating this season. While at a reduced capacity number, all season ticket account holders will have the ability to attend all six home games this season. Conversations are underway to determine how student tickets will be distributed. Read more here.
  4. Face covering mandates are in effect in our communities
    Please be advised the cities of Statesboro and Savannah have issued local ordinances that require the wearing of face coverings when in public. This complements Georgia Southern’s requirement, which states that:

    ...all faculty, staff, students, and visitors wear an appropriate face covering while inside campus facilities/buildings because six feet social distancing may not always be possible. Face covering use will be in addition to, and is not a substitute for, social distancing. Face coverings are not required in one’s own dorm room or suite, when alone in an enclosed office or study room, or in campus outdoor settings where social distancing requirements are met.

    Remember, these requirements are designed to protect the health of our communities. Each member of the university community has an individual responsibility to exercise proper behavior, to protect themselves and others as well as to help contain the spread of the virus. Institutional protocols are only as effective as the willingness of individuals to carry them out.

    To view the specific ordinances online, click here for Statesboro, and click here for Savannah. Please be aware of local laws and national public health and safety guidelines, and Do Right!
Students
Sent September 1, 2020 to Faculty and Staff

Sept. 1, 2020

As we move forward with the fall semester as part of our Return to Campus phased-in plan, here are Five Things You Should Know This Week:

  1. Statesboro DPH has reserved COVID testing hours just for GS students and employees.
    In Statesboro, the Department of Public Health will reserve testing hours specifically for Georgia Southern students, faculty and staff on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and on Saturday from 11 a.m. until noon. These new reserved hours for free tests begin Wednesday, Sept. 2, at DPH’s COVID test site at the Bulloch County Health Department, located at 1 West Altman Street in Statesboro. To take advantage of these reserved times, you can call 855-473-4374 or enter your information online in advance at covid19.dph.ga.gov. During the online registration process, once you reach the prompt that states: “You qualify to book an appointment online, Click next to register, DO NOT CLICK "NEXT" unless you want to register for testing at the site during the other times that are open (and not devoted to GS employees or students). Employees can then just show up at one of the days/time blocks that are set for Georgia Southern.
  2. Encourage colleagues and students to use the CARES Center.
    The CARES Center (for COVID-19 self-reporting) is an important university resource, providing university officials real-time indication about COVID-19’s impact on our campuses. The CARES Center’s ability to mitigate the spread of the virus on our campuses relies on the university community’s willingness to be honest and forthcoming with information. In order to monitor public health, it is important that students and employees contact the CARES Center to report they:
  • Have tested positive for COVID-19, or
  • Are experiencing COVID-19-related symptoms, or
  • Were notified they are a close contact with a COVID-19 positive case.

There are several ways to reach the CARES Center:

  • Use the MyGS mobile app
  • Complete the CARES Center COVID-19 self-reporting form available through the MyGeorgiaSouthern portal under the tile titled “COVID-19 Information & Resources.”
  • Call 912-478-CARE (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
  • Email covidsupport@georgiasouthern.edu
  1. Face coverings are almost always required inside campus buildings.
    All Georgia Southern faculty, staff, students, and visitors are required to wear an appropriate face covering while inside campus facilities/buildings because six feet social distancing may not always be possible. Face covering use will be in addition to and is not a substitute for social distancing. Face coverings are not required in one’s own dorm room or suite, when alone in an enclosed office or study room, or in campus outdoor settings where social distancing requirements are met.
  2. Take care of your mental wellbeing.
    Mental health services are among the available options through KEPRO for Georgia Southern University. The University System of Georgia has partnered with KEPRO to provide employees and their family members with a comprehensive Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Full-time and part-time employees, family, and household members have access to the program. Services are free and confidential, within the bounds of the law. See https://www.usg.edu/hr/benefits/2020_benefits/eap, contact KEPRO at 1-844-243-4440 or go to www.eaphelplink.com and use the company code USGcares.
  3. Training is available on the university COVID-19 resources webpage.
    As a reminder, the university’s COVID-19 information and resources webpage has an abundance of resources available to help navigate through this pandemic. Two of the most useful tools are training modules -- one developed by HR for supervisors and one developed by Student Wellness & Health Promotion to help anyone learn more about COVID-19 and how to keep yourself and your campus community safe.
Faculty and Staff
Sent August 28, 2020 to Students

*Please read this message in its entirety as it relates to Student Code of Conduct enforcement for violations of health and safety guidelines.*

Aug. 28, 2020

Dear Students:

As we end the second week of classes this fall, we want to thank you for being diligent on campus by following the Eagles Do Right guidelines, including social distancing and wearing face coverings.  Your commitment to following these Do Right guidelines is critical to our ability to continue offering an in-person experience this fall.  While your attention to these essential health guidelines on campus is impressive, we cannot let each other become complacent.

If you care about the wellbeing of your friends, their families, your faculty and the staff that support you; if you want to preserve the health of our campus and local communities; if you desire to continue the semester in-person and enjoy the learning experience you expect from Georgia Southern; and if you hope to continue this semester alongside your friends and fellow students, then we must follow these practices always – on and off campus.

You have been so excited for this semester. We have planned, prepared, and enacted thorough health and safety measures. We do not want to be forced into the same decisions as some of our institutional peers who have already had to restrict and cancel all student activities and move to fully remote instruction.  If necessary, we will utilize the Student Code of Conduct to protect the safety and well-being of our campus communities.

The Student Code of Conduct states,

The University may apply sanctions or take other appropriate action when the Conduct of a Student interferes with the University's (a) responsibility of ensuring the opportunity for attainment of educational objectives; or (b) responsibility of protecting property, keeping records, providing services, and sponsoring non-classroom activities such as lectures, concerts, athletic events, and social functions. Georgia Southern University reserves the right to take necessary and appropriate action to protect the safety and well-being of the campus community.

Faculty and staff are trying to keep you and our communities safe. We very much desire to provide an on-campus learning environment that enables you to enjoy your friends and Georgia Southern and pursue your studies successfully.

College is a time for growth and transformation. Socialization is a part of that process, and we want that to continue, but we implore you to limit face-to-face gatherings, remain socially distant, wear your masks, and wash your hands.  Each of us – each student, faculty, and staff member – must do our part in exhibiting responsible practices and behaviors. We are working very hard to ensure the University does its part to keep you safe and keep our campuses open – we are asking you to do yours.

We are in this together, and our success relies on one another.  We must all continue to Do Right and keep our campuses safe. Thank you for joining us in this effort!

Dr. Kyle Marrero
President

Dr. Carl L. Reiber
Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs

Dr. Shay Davis Little
Vice President for Student Affairs

Students
Sent August 24, 2020 to Faculty and Staff

Aug. 24, 2020

As we move forward with the fall semester as part of our Return to Campus phased-in plan, here are Five Things You Should Know This Week:

  1. The university has a new tool for reporting COVID-19 Exposure and Health Alerts
    The university has developed a webpage to provide current, relevant information about the status of the COVID-19 pandemic on our campuses as collected through our CARES Center for COVID-19 self-reporting. The information will be updated weekly on Mondays at noon and can be found on Georgia Southern’s COVID-19 information and resources page under "Georgia Southern Resources." While all positive cases from the previous week will be reported, not all of the individuals who tested positive would have been on campus upon their diagnosis or during their illness. Please be reminded that the university is legally bound to protect the health and privacy information of individual faculty, staff, and students.
  2. Face covering mandates are in effect in our communities
    Please be advised the cities of Statesboro and Savannah have issued local ordinances that require the wearing of face coverings when in public. This complements Georgia Southern’s requirement, which states that:

    ...all faculty, staff, students, and visitors wear an appropriate face covering while inside campus facilities/buildings because six feet social distancing may not always be possible. Face covering use will be in addition to, and is not a substitute for, social distancing. Face coverings are not required in one’s own dorm room or suite, when alone in an enclosed office or study room, or in campus outdoor settings where social distancing requirements are met.

    Remember, these requirements are designed to protect the health of our communities. Each member of the university community has an individual responsibility to exercise proper behavior, to protect themselves and others as well as to help contain the spread of the virus. Institutional protocols are only as effective as the willingness of individuals to carry them out. 

    To view the specific ordinances online, click here for Statesboro, and click here for Savannah. Please be aware of local laws and national public health and safety guidelines, and Do Right!
  3. Game on! Athletics announces seating capacity and other adjustments for Eagle Football
    To align with guidance put in place by Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, and following NCAA, Sun Belt Conference, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Georgia Department of Public Health and University System of Georgia social distancing standards Georgia Southern will begin its football season at up to 25 percent stadium capacity at Allen E. Paulson.

    Georgia Southern and the Department of Athletics remain committed to the safety and well-being of all students, faculty and staff as the University welcomes everyone back for the fall.

    For football, the Eagles are still scheduled to play all six home games, starting with Campbell on Sept. 12. Paulson Stadium will begin the season with up to 25 percent capacity in the facility as the four grass hills and other previously unused spaces beyond the seating bowl will be open for seating this season. While at a reduced capacity number, all season ticket account holders will have the ability to attend all six home games this season. Read more here.
  4. Protect the privacy and security of your Zoom meetings
    Zoom, Georgia Southern’s web collaboration tool, allows all students, faculty, and staff to engage in safe, secure interactions by using in-application privacy tools. With in-person meetings and gatherings, facilitators might shut a classroom door or not publish meeting details publicly in an effort to exclude unintended participants who may create a distraction or who may not be the intended audience for the meeting or class. 

    Zoom allows users to “shut the door” to virtual meetings by not publicly posting meeting details on websites, requiring a password or registration for the meeting, or implementing a number of other security features that are native to the software platform. For more details on how Zoom meetings can be secured and for step-by-step instructions, please visit https://its.georgiasouthern.edu/zoom/zoom-advanced-options/

    ITS MyTech Support representatives are happy to guide users through these instructions or to provide assistance with any technology issues you may encounter. If you have questions about Zoom or other technology resources, please feel free to contact ITS.
  5. The CARES Center is available to help!
    The CARES Center (for COVID-19 self-reporting) is available for anyone at Georgia Southern University to report they:
    • Have tested positive for COVID-19, or
    • Are experiencing COVID-19-related symptoms, or
    • Were notified they are a close contact with a COVID-19 positive case.

This is an important element in our plan to protect the health of Eagle Nation. Thank you for your help in keeping our campus community safe and well!

Faculty and Staff
Sent August 21, 2020 to Students

Students: 

Our first week of classes at Georgia Southern has been great! The students have been so enthusiastic about the semester, and we are so very pleased with how everyone has adapted to our health and safety guidelines, especially social distancing and face-coverings. 

As you go into the weekend, it is very important that you continue these habits on your own time. You should also know that the cities of Statesboro and Savannah have issued local ordinances that require the wearing of face coverings when in public. This complements Georgia Southern’s requirement, which states that:

..all faculty, staff, students, and visitors wear an appropriate face covering while inside campus facilities/buildings because six feet social distancing may not always be possible. Face covering use will be in addition to, and is not a substitute for, social distancing. Face coverings are not required in one’s own dorm room or suite, when alone in an enclosed office or study room, or in campus outdoor settings where social distancing requirements are met.

Remember, these requirements are designed to protect the health of our communities. In addition to always wearing your face covering, please:

  • Remain socially distant from others,
  • Avoid crowded places such as large groups or parties,
  • Wash your hands thoroughly and regularly,
  • Don’t share personal items such as drinks, food or water bottles,
  • Clean and disinfect your own spaces.

Each member of the university community has an individual responsibility to exercise proper behavior, to protect themselves and others as well as to help contain the spread of the virus. Institutional protocols are only as effective as the willingness of individuals to carry them out. 

To view the specific ordinances online, click here for Statesboro and here for Savannah. Please be aware of local laws and national public health and safety guidelines, and Do Right! 

Shay

Shay Davis Little, Ph.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs

Students
Sent August 17, 2020 to Faculty and Staff

As we move forward with the fall semester as part of our Return to Campus phased-in plan, here are Five Things You Should Know This Week:

  1. Students are back and headed to class.
    As the fall semester begins today, please be on the lookout for students who might need assistance or directions. There are a number of welcome tents around our campuses (see attached map) that may provide extra help for those who need it. Remember, student success is at the center of all we do, and each of us plays an important role in that effort.
  2. Join us for Weeks of Welcome events.
    Weeks of Welcome (W.O.W) begins this week with both in-person and virtual events. We invite you to participate in W.O.W. to help prepare students for success during their time on campus. W.O.W. is the first two weeks of classes, packed with a variety of events and activities to assist first-year, transfer and returning students in making new friends, connecting to the university’s many resources and getting involved in campus life. Visit the Georgia Southern welcome website at GeorgiaSouthern.edu/welcome to view a calendar of W.O.W. events and for a printable Fall semester checklist!
  3. Eagle Dining is already cooking!
    Eagle Dining has modified their services and accommodations for the campus community this fall. All dining locations have instituted social distancing and safety measures according to public health guidelines, and all staff have their temperature checked before each shift. In addition, residential dining has reduced seating by 75% and will provide to-go packages for all customers as there will be no self-serve options. Most dining retail locations will offer to-go only service and limiting seating where available. There will also be a food trailer outside Dining Commons from 9 to 11 p.m. to provide late-night options, and students can use their Eagle Card to swipe into a dining location up to four times per day. Visit the Eagle Dining website location hours and availability. 
  4. Extra face coverings are available on campus.
    Thanks to the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) and the University System of Georgia (USG), more than 50,000 disposable masks will be available throughout our campuses this week for employees/guests/students who forget theirs or who do not have a face covering when they arrive on campus. As a reminder, anyone not using a face covering when required will be asked to wear one or must leave the area. Repeated refusal to comply with the requirement may result in discipline through the applicable conduct code for faculty, staff, or students.
  5. There is a right way to wear face coverings.
    The CDC has recommended face coverings as an additional step to help slow the spread of COVID-19 when combined with everyday preventive actions and social distancing in public settings. For tips on how to properly wear a mask or face covering, please see CDC guidance at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/how-to-wear-cloth-face-coverings.html. The CDC recommends that people wear masks in public and when around people who don’t live in your household, and reports that surgical masks and N95 respirators are critical supplies that should be reserved for healthcare workers and other first responders. Consistent with University System of Georgia guidance, Georgia Southern will require all faculty, staff, students, and visitors to wear an appropriate face covering while inside campus facilities/buildings where six feet social distancing may not always be possible. Face covering use will be in addition to and is not a substitute for social distancing.
Faculty and Staff
Sent August 17, 2020 to Students

As we move forward with the fall semester as part of our Return to Campus phased-in plan, here are Things Eagles Need to Know Now:

  1. Welcome back!
    As the fall semester begins today, faculty and staff are prepared to help you in any way possible and to welcome you officially into the Eagle Nation. If you need any assistance or need to pick up your complimentary face coverings, please visit one of the official welcome tents that are set up around our campuses. A map is attached to help you locate a welcome tent near you. 
  2. Join us for Weeks of Welcome activities!
    Weeks of Welcome (W.O.W) begins this week with both in-person and virtual events. We invite you to participate in W.O.W. to prepare you for success during your time on campus. W.O.W. is the first two weeks of classes, packed with a variety of events and activities to assist first year, transfer and returning students in making new friends, connecting to Georgia Southern University resources and getting involved in campus life. Visit the Georgia Southern welcome website at GeorgiaSouthern.edu/welcome to view a calendar of W.O.W. events and for a printable Fall semester checklist!
  3. Eagle Dining is already cooking!
    Eagle Dining has modified their services and accommodations for the campus community this fall. All dining locations have instituted social distancing and safety measures according to public health guidelines, and all staff have their temperature checked before each shift. In addition, residential dining has reduced seating by 75% and will provide to-go packages for all customers as there will be no self-serve options. Most dining retail locations will offer to-go only service and limiting seating where available. There will also be a food trailer outside Dining Commons from 9 to 11 p.m. to provide late-night options, and students can use their Eagle Card to swipe into a dining location up to four times per day. Visit the Eagle Dining website location hours and availability. 
  4. University bookstores on both campuses are now open.
    University Store, managed by Georgia Southern University Auxiliary Services, now operates the bookstores on the Statesboro and Armstrong campuses and provides a seamless textbook purchasing process for all Georgia Southern students. Curbside pick-up is currently available on the Statesboro campus. Textbooks (new, used, rental and ebooks), official Georgia Southern apparel, health and safety supplies, and more are available online at https://gsustore.com/.
  5. There is a right way to wear face coverings.
    The CDC has recommended face coverings as an additional step to help slow the spread of COVID-19 when combined with everyday preventive actions and social distancing in public settings. For tips on how to properly wear a mask or face covering, please see CDC guidance at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/how-to-wear-cloth-face-coverings.html. The CDC recommends that people wear masks in public and when around people who don’t live in your household, and reports that surgical masks and N95 respirators are critical supplies that should be reserved for healthcare workers and other first responders. Consistent with University System of Georgia guidance, Georgia Southern will require all faculty, staff, students, and visitors to wear an appropriate face covering while inside campus facilities/buildings where six feet social distancing may not always be possible. Face covering use will be in addition to and is not a substitute for social distancing.
Students
Sent August 17, 2020 to Faculty and Staff

Dear Faculty and Staff Instructors,

Students are reporting that they are unable to access the attendance verification quiz in many of their classes.  

In order to give students access to the Attendance Verification quiz, the FOLIO section for your course must be active.  To double check whether your class is active or not, go to "edit course" in your FOLIO section and click on "course offering information".  Check "course is active" and hit save.  

Attendance verification is used for several important reasons, not the least of which is remaining in compliance with federal regulations (those also include reporting the ‘last day of attendance’ in cases where a student withdraws from the university). Perhaps most importantly to our students, financial aid cannot be released to a student’s account until their attendance has been verified. This quiz is the uniform tool for Attendance Verification and will be used in every course.

Individual “syllabus” or “day one” quizzes or activities can be used in addition to the Attendance Verification quiz, but cannot be used in place of it. We know that taking attendance is an important part of getting to know your students, and this quiz is not intended to take the place of that kind of interaction. Please feel free to call roll, do introductions, or utilize any other first-day activities designed to engage students.

This 0-credit quiz will be auto-loaded into each Folio course site at 7:00 a.m. on Monday, August 17 and will not require any additional set up by the instructor. Please do not adjust the quiz settings (specifically the title and date) as this will break the automation and could cause a student to be dropped from the course.

Please remind all students to complete the quiz prior to the point in time where drops take place (see image #2 attached). Beginning on Thursday, Aug. 20th, you will receive an injection page in the MyGeorgiaSouthern portal alerting you about any students who have yet to complete the Attendance Verification quiz.

There might be instances, such as student withdrawals or if a student is administratively dropped but indicates that they attended a class, where you may be asked to verify face-to-face or virtual zoom attendance if the student did not complete the attendance quiz or did something else academically related in Folio.  This supplemental verification will help to ensure our compliance with federal regulations.  

Thank you,
Office of the Provost     

View Attachment

Faculty and Staff
Sent August 15, 2020 to Students

Students,

Georgia Southern’s Student Health Services department has a variety of COVID-19 testing options for students on both the Armstrong and Statesboro campuses. 

Detailed information about these testing options, including the cost of each test option can be found on the Health Services COVID testing information page.  Information about services available through the student health center on both campuses, including information about associated fees, hours of operation, and instructions for scheduling appointments can be found on the Health Services main website

Students
Sent August 12, 2020 to Faculty

Dear Faculty,

With classes starting on Monday, I just want to send a quick thank you to everyone who has activated their Folio course sites and contacted their students.

If you haven’t done so already, please activate those courses quickly. Students need access to the Folio site in order to see which attendance pattern they will follow for the first week.

Please also reach out to your students. They are expecting to hear from you about the following:

  • A course and instructor introduction
  • A description of how Groups will work in your course (if applicable) 
  • Directions on where to go for Groups and meeting days
  • Specific information on field placements/clinicals, etc... (if applicable)

Thank you again for your flexibility and all the hard work you have put into preparing for the semester.

Sincerely,
Carl 

Carl L. ReiberProvost & Vice President Academic Affairs

Faculty
Sent August 11, 2020 to Students

To:  All Students
From:  Office of Academic Affairs
Re:  Attendance Verification and Folio

Welcome back!  We’re excited about the Fall semester. 

If you didn’t take classes at Georgia Southern this summer, this semester will be your first time using our new attendance verification tool. 

On the first day of class, your instructors will direct you to the attendance verification quiz in Folio. Keep in mind that attendance verification must be completed for each class. This brief quiz secures your seat in the class and documents your attendance.

Our new attendance verification tool is how your attendance will be verified in all your classes, whether your class is online, in person, hybrid, off-campus, etc. Attendance verification is required for all classes, including internships, practicums, and thesis and dissertations. For those of you in courses using Groups for social distancing, you will need to complete the attendance verification quiz on the first day the class is scheduled – regardless of when your Group meets face-to-face – per the instructions provided by your professor. Please click here to watch a video that explains how to find your classroom group assignment in Folio.

Attendance verification is used for several important university processes. You should also know that in accordance with federal regulations, financial aid cannot be released to a student’s account until their professors have verified class attendance. 

If you have classes that meet in-person, on campus, and you’re unable to attend the first day of class because you are under self-quarantine instructions, you’ll need to use the CARES Center self-reporting form, which will prompt a notification to the Dean of Students’ office and your instructor. They will instruct you on how to attend your class remotely, complete your attendance quiz, and verify a timeline for when you’ll be able to attend your class in person.

Students
Sent August 10, 2020 to Students

Students,

As we move toward the fall semester and continue to implement our Return to Campus plan, here are some additional Things Eagles Need to Know Now:

  1. The LiveSafe app now provides another tool to keep our community safe.
    Georgia Southern’s LiveSafe app now includes a COVID-19 Health Check tool that allows users to proactively check-in online and self-attest that they are feeling well and remain symptom-free. Likewise, they can report they’re not feeling well with the touch of a button, which will provide them with a means to contact the University’s new CARES Center self-reporting tool. This resource could be useful for organizers of events on campus who want to ensure attendees conduct a health check for COVID-19 symptoms before attending.

    In addition to the questionnaire and information regarding the University's response to the pandemic, the LiveSafe app provides two-way, real-time interactions with Public Safety that include text, calls, photos and videos. The app also provides relevant safety resources and peer-to-peer safety tools and is available as a free download for all Georgia Southern students, faculty and staff. In addition, Georgia Southern parents may also download LiveSafe.
  2. Buses will be running this fall on and between campuses, with some precautions.
    The intercampus shuttle and on-campus shuttle buses will be running again this fall, but some changes and precautions are being implemented to aid in public health and safety efforts. Face coverings will be required, and social distancing measures will be implemented on all buses and shuttles. The intercampus shuttle will start at 6:40 a.m. to reach the Armstrong campus in better time for 8 a.m. classes. The full schedule is here. For on-campus shuttles in Statesboro, bus routes will change to better support the campus and ensure social/physical distancing. Most routes will be on the exterior of the campus. Passengers will be limited to 25 people per bus. Riders will enter only through the back door and seats will be marked for availability. Look for updated information and routes at auxiliary.georgiasouthern.edu/parking/transit/.
  3. The University has a plan to isolate and offer support to on-campus residents.
    If a University housing resident tests positive for COVID-19 and/or is asked to isolate away from others as a precautionary measure, the University will offer support to these students. On the academic side, students' professors will be notified and arrangements can be made to continue the learning process, just as it would when a student becomes ill or has an extenuating circumstance that requires them to be away for an extended period of time. From a housing perspective, students will be asked first to leave their on-campus residence and go home for the period of isolation. If that option is not possible, the University has identified a limited number of rooms in Statesboro and in Savannah where students can isolate, but still take advantage of their meal plan if they have one. A team from Student Affairs is prepared to guide and support students through this process.
  4. Student face coverings will be available for pickup starting next week.
    The University has ordered two cloth face coverings for every student. For those moving into University housing, your face coverings will be available as you check into your room. Some groups, such as athletics and student workers, are managing their own distribution and will be communicating pickup details with members. For all other students, masks will be available for pickup at the Welcome Back Tents on all three campuses from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on August 17 and 18. Remaining face coverings for students who cannot pick them up on the first two days of classes will be available at card service centers on both campuses and the RAC on the Statesboro campus. Look for more details on the various Welcome Back Tent locations.
  5. Changes to Eagle Athletics this fall
    The Sun Belt Conference announced that September 3rd will be the first permissible date of competition for the 2020-21 academic year. For Georgia Southern, this delays the start of volleyball and men's and women's soccer. The 2020 Sun Belt Conference football season will consist of an eight-game conference schedule with an option for each member institute to add as many as four non-conference opponents, beginning with Week Zero. The Sun Belt will host a football championship game on Dec. 5 between the East Division and West Division champions. If necessary, the date of the championship game may be adjusted. Georgia Southern's first football game is currently scheduled for Sept. 12, as the previously scheduled opening game at Boise State has been canceled. However, the schedule remains fluid and contests could be added/dropped at any point during the season. The Sun Belt Conference and each member institute will continue to adhere to guidance provided by the conference's COVID-19 Advisory Panel, which has worked diligently to establish protocols and guidelines that will ensure the health and well-being of student-athletes, coaches and staff as they return to play. Georgia Southern Athletics provides current information on all its sports through its official website, GSEagles.com.
  6. Be aware of the need for good mental health.
    Based on predictions from health organizations and disaster response experts, counseling centers expect a higher demand for mental health services this fall. To facilitate students' access to mental health services, Georgia Southern’s Counseling Center has drafted an explanation of fall mental health services along with how students can access each of our services on the Counseling Center website home page.  
  7. Robots are roaming around the Statesboro campus.
    Georgia Southern is taking contact-less food delivery to a new level with a fleet of six-wheeled robots independently navigating the streets and sidewalks on Georgia Southern’s Statesboro Campus. The robots, which are energy-efficient, are now available to deliver food from on-campus dining locations to designated pickup spots across campus. The robots will be initially tested on the Statesboro campus, and then will be expanded to the Armstrong campus in Savannah if the service is well-received. To order food with robot delivery, go to https://auxiliary.georgiasouthern.edu/eagledining/starship-delivery/ online at GeorgiaSouthern.edu/dining or download the Starship app in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. Select "Georgia Southern University" in the list of schools.
Students
Sent August 10, 2020 to Faculty and Staff

Aug. 10, 2020

As we move toward the fall semester and continue our Return to Campus phased-in plan, here are Six Things You Should Know This Week:

  1. Students arrive this week; let’s set a good example
    “Operation Move-In” begins this week in residence halls. To comply with public health guidelines, housing staff are staggering move-in appointments and limiting the number of people who can be present to help students as they move in. As students start appearing on campus, there is no higher priority than the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff. We need everyone to do their part to keep our campus communities and visitors safe. It’s important for staff and faculty to set a good example for our students by wearing face coverings, washing our hands, and remaining socially distant. For a reminder on how to stay safe, stay well on campus, please see the video at https://www.usg.edu/staysafestaywell.
  2. The President’s annual State of the University address is Wednesday
    President Marrero will officially kick off the semester on August 12 at 10 a.m., with the annual State of the University Address. Faculty and staff will hear from the President, Provost, Staff Council Chair, and Faculty Senate President. We will also take this time to recognize our University Awards of Excellence Recipients, and there will be a Q&A period at the end of the presentation. Details on how to join the virtual event via Zoom will be emailed out Wednesday morning.
  3. Eagle Dining is prepared for the semester
    Eagle Dining has modified their services and accommodations for the campus community this fall. All dining locations have instituted social distancing and safety measures according to public health guidelines, and all staff have their temperature checked before each shift. In addition, residential dining has reduced seating by 75% and will provide to-go packages for all customers as there will be no self-serve options. Most dining retail locations will offer to-go only service and limiting seating where available. There will also be a food trailer outside Dining Commons from 9-11 p.m. to provide late-night options, and students can use their dining card to swipe into a dining location up to four times per day. Visit the Eagle Dining website for more information, and for location hours and availability.  
  4. Robots are roaming around the Statesboro campus
    Georgia Southern is taking contact-less food delivery to a new level with a fleet of six-wheeled robots independently navigating the streets and sidewalks on Georgia Southern’s Statesboro Campus. The robots, which are energy-efficient, are now available to deliver food from on-campus dining locations to designated pickup spots across campus. The robots will be initially tested on Statesboro campus, and then will be expanded to the Armstrong campus in Savannah if the service is well-received. To order food with robot delivery, go to https://auxiliary.georgiasouthern.edu/eagledining/starship-delivery/ online at GeorgiaSouthern.edu/dining or download the Starship app in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. Select "Georgia Southern University" in the list of schools.
  5. Additional protective equipment is on campus
    The Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA), through the University System of Georgia (USG), has supplied Georgia Southern with an additional shipment of personal protection supplies last week, which included 54,000 disposable masks, 72 gallons of hand sanitizer, 300 gallons of disinfectant solution, more than 9,000 gloves and 50 cases of disinfectant wipes. As a reminder, all faculty, staff, students, and visitors must wear an appropriate face covering while inside campus facilities/buildings where six feet social distancing may not always be possible. Face covering use will be in addition to, and is not a substitute for, social distancing. Face coverings are not required in one’s own dorm room or suite, when alone in an enclosed office or study room, or in campus outdoor settings where social distancing requirements are met. 
  6. Changes to Eagle Athletics this fall
    The Sun Belt Conference announced the first permissible date of competition for the 2020-21 academic year will be Sept. 3. For Georgia Southern, this delays the start of volleyball and men's and women's soccer. The 2020 Sun Belt Conference football season will consist of an eight-conference game schedule with an option for each member institute to add as many as four non-conference opponents, beginning with Week Zero. The Sun Belt will host a football championship game on Dec. 5 between the East Division and West Division champions. If necessary, the date of the championship game may be adjusted. Georgia Southern's first football game is currently scheduled for Sept. 12, as the previously scheduled opening game at Boise State has been canceled. However, the schedule remains fluid and contests could be added/dropped at any point during the season. The Sun Belt Conference and each member institute will continue to adhere to guidance provided by the conference's COVID-19 Advisory Panel, which has worked diligently to establish protocols and guidelines that will ensure the health and well-being of student-athletes, coaches and staff as they return to play. Georgia Southern Athletics provides current information on all its sports through its official website, GSEagles.com.
Faculty and Staff
Sent August 10, 2020 to Students

Dear Students,

The start of the fall semester is just around the corner, and we look forward to welcoming you back to campus to start the semester with in-person classes. Given the precautions we are taking for COVID-19, this semester will look a little different for you.

At Georgia Southern University, your safety and well-being are our top priorities. That’s why we are strictly following the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control, the Georgia Department of Public Health, and the University System of Georgia in anticipation of your arrival on campus.

We have put numerous measures in place to protect you and our faculty and staff. For instance, we will practice social distancing in our buildings and require the use of face coverings when social distancing is not possible, including your classes. There will be signage all around campus to guide you on how to stay safe, and sanitation stations will be readily available.

You should plan to return to campus and attend your classes as outlined in your Folio account. If you fall into a high-risk group according to the CDC COVID-19 guidelines, please contact the Student Accessibility Resource Center to apply for an ADA Accommodation.

You can also visithttps://www.georgiasouthern.edu/covid-19-information/ for additional return to campus information and resources, including return to campus plans, FAQs, and public health information. This page is updated frequently.

I hope you are keeping well, and I look forward to seeing you on campus soon. Please be on the lookout for more information from the University as we get closer to the start of the semester.

Sincerely,
Carl L. Reiber
Provost and Vice President Academic Affairs

Students
Sent August 3, 2020 to Faculty and Staff

Aug. 3, 2020

As we move toward the fall semester and continue our Return to Campus phased-in plan, here are Five Things You Should Know This Week:

  1. The LiveSafe app now provides another tool to keep our community safe.
    Georgia Southern’s LiveSafe app now includes a COVID-19 Health Check tool that allows faculty, staff, students and visitors to proactively check-in online and self-attest that they are feeling well and remain symptom-free. Likewise, they can report they’re not feeling well with the touch of a button, which will provide them with a means to contact the university’s new CARES Center self-reporting tool. The Health Check questionnaire is HIPAA compliant. This resource could be useful for event organizers on campus who want to ensure attendees conduct a health check for COVID-19 symptoms before attending.

    In addition to the questionnaire and information regarding the University's response to the pandemic, the LiveSafe app provides two-way, real-time interactions with Public Safety that include text, calls, photos and videos. The app also provides relevant safety resources and peer-to-peer safety tools and is available as a free download for all Georgia Southern students, faculty and staff. In addition, Georgia Southern parents may also download LiveSafe.
  2. Buses will be running this fall on and between campuses, with some precautions.
    The intercampus shuttle and on-campus shuttle buses will be running again this fall, but some changes and precautions are being implemented to aid in public health and safety efforts. Face coverings will be required, and social distancing measures will be implemented on all buses and shuttles. The intercampus shuttle will start at 6:40 a.m. to reach the Armstrong campus in better time for 8 a.m. classes. The full schedule is here. For on-campus shuttles in Statesboro, bus routes will change to better support the campus and ensure social/physical distancing. Most routes will be on the exterior of the campus. Passengers will be limited to 25 people per bus. Riders will enter only through the back door and seats will be marked for availability. Look for updated information and routes at https://auxiliary.georgiasouthern.edu/parking/transit/.
  3. Be aware of the need for good mental health.
    Based on predictions from health organizations and disaster response experts, counseling centers are expecting a demand for mental health services this fall. To facilitate students' access to mental health services, Georgia Southern’s Counseling Center has drafted an explanation of fall mental health services along with how students can access each of our services (and how faculty/staff can refer students) on the Counseling Center website home page.  For employees, there are many resources available, including the Employee Assistance Program. This program offers no-cost telecounseling to all employees and dependents for no charge. The University System Wellness Initiative provides wellness activities that include physical and emotional wellness components. Any employee whose emotional well-being impacts their ability to complete their job responsibilities should reach out to HR for additional options that may be available to them such as an ADA accommodation or Family Medical Leave.
  4. HR has developed Virtual Training On COVID-19 Reopening.
    Human Resources has developed a training to help you better understand all that has been done to ensure a safe return to work, and what you should do to support this effort. While this training is beneficial for all employees, supervisors are strongly encouraged to view the training to know their responsibilities in assisting with the safe return to campus operations.  The training is featured content under the “Training” tile in Building a Better U (BBU), which can be accessed through your MyGeorgiaSouthern portal.  Once you are in BBU, simply click on the icon of GUS covering his beak and then click enroll. Launch the course and you are on your way to being up to speed about returning to campus.
  5. Today begins Phase 3 of our Initial Return to Campus Plan
    We are working through our Initial Return to Campus Plan, which means Phase 3 begins today with faculty and staff returning to campus to begin final preparations for the start of the semester. As a reminder, the email you received on Friday detailed several return-to-work options through Human Resources for employees who seek extended work flexibility for continued childcare needs in light of recent school district decisions. Check here for more information on the Telework/ Flextime Request Process.

Visit https://www.georgiasouthern.edu/covid-19-information/ for additional return to campus information and resources, including return to campus plans, FAQs and public health information. This page is updated frequently.

Faculty and Staff
Sent August 3, 2020 to Faculty and Staff

August 3, 2020

Good Morning Colleagues,

As of today, Phase 3 of our Initial Return to Campus Plan is underway as faculty return to campus and as we all begin final preparations for the start of fall semester. As a reminder, the email you received on August 1 detailed several return-to-work options through Human Resources for employees who seek extended work flexibility for continued childcare needs in light of recent school district decisions.

I want to convey my sincere appreciation to the faculty for your hard work and adaptability in preparation for this upcoming semester. You have been asked to modify face-to-face courses and be creative and innovative in order to educate our students with the same level of service and commitment we pride ourselves on. Your efforts have not gone unnoticed - I am inspired and grateful for your dedication to our students!

We continue to communicate frequently via email, updated FAQs, bi-monthly meetings with the Faculty Senate Executive Committee and Staff Council, as well as town halls. Please plan to join me virtually on August 12, at 10 a.m., for our annual State of the University Address. The format will be different than previous years, just as our upcoming year will be. We must remain flexible as we continue to navigate this changing environment and the modifications that will come as we progress through the semester. I look forward to sharing updates with you as we set the stage for the upcoming academic year. More details on the State of the University Address will be coming soon.

Before the new academic year begins, I invite you to visit the Performance Excellence tile on your my.georgiasouthern homepage, where you can view each division leader’s annual scorecard report for the past fiscal year as well as each cabinet member’s 90-day actions. The scorecard provides a measurement of each division’s progress toward the key performance indicators aligned with the University’s Strategic Plan. The 90-Day Actions tab allows you to review, in real time, what your leadership is focused on accomplishing. These actions are updated frequently and allow us to review and continue to progress, assess and/or refocus as needed, toward our goals. The work that each of you do every day contributes to our progress, so it is very important to me that you know these goals and that you are able to actively see your contribution to Georgia Southern’s success.

After input from many of our students, alumni, faculty, and staff, our Inclusive Excellence Action Plan is almost ready for distribution. Tenets of this plan will be embedded within the annual goals and actions of each division, department, and individual employee. I look forward to sharing the plan with you and working together to achieve the goals laid out within the plan.

We have been preparing extensively to meet the challenges that will arise when the academic year begins. Just one example of this is the implementation of our new CARES Center, which is designed as another tool to help mitigate the spread of the virus on our campuses. CARES Center team members are graciously providing their time to care for us, so please exercise our core values of collaboration and integrity when interacting with the center. It’s not an easy job, but it’s a significant job, and I want to thank them for their willingness to serve.

Together, this new center – along with social distancing protocols, use of face coverings, and our enhanced cleaning measures – will help us to promote the health and safety of our university community.

Finally, please remember that we continue to monitor the impact of the virus daily and are in frequent communication with state and local public health officials, the University System of Georgia, as well as local government and healthcare administrators so that we can continue to make informed decisions as we navigate this changing environment. I ask that you continue to remain flexible as new information comes and we must adjust accordingly. Please continue to read through the information that is shared. It is each of our responsibility to remain informed and up-to-date with current protocols and practices that will allow us to navigate this semester successfully.

Colleagues – Georgia Southern is indeed a special place – a resilient, tough, roll-up-our-sleeves kind of place. Through these challenging times, we must support each other and run the race together – albeit six feet apart! Thank you for your continued flexibility, support, and hard work for Eagle Nation.

Sincerely,

Kyle

Faculty and Staff
Sent August 1, 2020 to Faculty and Staff

Aug. 1, 2020

Phase Three Return to Campus Begins Monday

As we move toward the fall semester and continue to implement our Initial Return to Campus Plan, Monday (8/3) marks the beginning of Phase 3 (pushed back from July 20). As a reminder, over the course of the next week, all faculty and staff should begin returning to their offices unless they have made alternative arrangements after submitting a request through HR. During Phase 3, faculty should be ensuring that they are prepared to deliver instruction in their adjusted environments and communicating with their classes on what to expect. By August 10, which is when Phase 3 will be complete, our goal is to have full presence back on our campuses.

Return-to-Work Options through HR for Parents of School-aged Children

We recognize the unique circumstances of parents of school-aged children. We continue to monitor school reopenings closely and meet regularly with school district leadership to stay abreast of plans.

Some school systems impacting our employees are offering a choice of in-person instruction or virtual education. As such, choosing to keep your children at home for virtual education is generally not covered under any protected leave.

Employees opting for virtual education for their children when the school is open for in-person instruction, may be eligible for a telework or flextime agreement. The employee should be fully engaged in work during work hours. Telework and flextime is an employee privilege, not an employee right. Also, not all positions are eligible for telework or flextime. Please review the telework policy to understand the requirements of this arrangement

In school systems that are not offering in-person instruction, employees may qualify for telework or flextime. Not all positions are eligible for telework or flextime. Please review the telework policy to understand the requirements of this arrangement.

Employees with children in schools not offering in-person instruction may also qualify for leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

Some employees are working together with their neighbors and each other to establish a shared responsibility of providing instruction and assistance to children learning virtually. In these situations, it minimizes exposure to a much smaller group and allows employees to minimize the time that work schedules and locations are disrupted.

Check HERE for more information on the Telework/ Flextime Request Process.

Virtual Training Offered On COVID-19 Reopening

 Human Resources has developed a training to help you better understand all that has been done to ensure a safe return to work, and what you should do to support this effort. While this training is beneficial for all employees, supervisors are strongly encouraged to view the training to know their responsibilities in assisting with the safe return to campus operations.  The training is featured content under the “Training” tile in Building a Better U (BBU), which can be accessed through your MyGeorgiaSouthern page.  Once you are in BBU, simply click on the icon of Gus covering his beak and then click enroll.  Launch the course and you are on your way to being up to speed about returning to campus.

As you return to campus, remember:

  • Meetings and professional development should remain virtual as much as possible, especially in spaces where social distancing measures cannot be maintained.
  • All Georgia Southern faculty, staff, students, and visitors are now required to wear an appropriate face covering while inside campus facilities/buildings where six feet social distancing may not always be possible, or in campus outdoor settings where social distancing requirements are not met.
  • Please continue to follow public health guidance to protect yourself and others from exposure to the virus: wear a face covering, practice social distancing, wash hands regularly and thoroughly, avoid touching face, and stay home if experiencing symptoms of illness.
  • Travel must be approved by your supervisor and travel remains limited to essential trips only for USG employees.

For more information, please see the university’s COVID-19 response page, including an extensive FAQ for faculty and staff, at https://www.georgiasouthern.edu/covid-19-information/.

Faculty and Staff
Sent July 31, 2020 to Faculty

Dear Faculty,

As the fall semester draws near, we continue our preparations for the reopening of the university. Obviously, this year will not be business as usual. Our plan remains to open the fall semester with in-person classes that will be adjusted to meet social distancing guidelines.

We recently shared with you our plan to use Folio’s Groups function to create subsections for all sub-sectioned courses. We also shared this plan with students. I want to thank you for your flexibility and for the time and effort you put into creating subsections for your classes. I’m excited about all the great ideas you came up with for subsections, and I really appreciate your dedication to our students’ success in this new environment.

The next step will be for you to reach out to your students. They are expecting to hear from you at the beginning of August about the following:

  • A course and instructor introduction
  • A description of how Groups will work in your course (if applicable) 
  • Directions on where to go for Groups and meeting days
  • When those Groups will be set up and available
  • Specific information on field placements/clinicals, etc... (if applicable)

I know I’m repeating myself, but it bears mentioning again. Please activate your Folio account as soon as possible. Students will need access to the Folio site in order to see which attendance pattern they will follow for the first week. We highly recommend that your Folio site be active (with at least your course policies posted and Groups built) by August 6th.

My office is working on providing you with more information to help you navigate the reopening. In the coming weeks, please be on the lookout for messages on:

  • Technology training and reference material
  • Folio quick guides
  • Preferred materials to clean areas (by users)
  • Appropriate use of facilitators
  • Workflow information for students reporting illnesses (language for “what to do if you’re sick”)
  • Loading and unloading class

Thank you.
Carl L. Reiber

Faculty
Sent July 30, 2020 to Students

Students,

As the University previously communicated, we are looking forward to welcoming you back to campus this fall. Our plan remains to start the fall semester with in-person classes that will be adjusted as needed to comply with social distancing guidelines. 

Previously, we shared some information on Folio, and introduced Groups for socially distanced face-to-face courses. As many courses will be using Zoom or Hangouts in addition to meeting in-person, Groups will be how you know how and where you will engage with your class each day. Each course will have variations on how Groups are constructed. Be sure to check your Folio site for each of your courses in case there are differences between the classes. 

Linked here are: 

  1. a step-by-step guide on navigating Folio (in general), and 
  2. a step-by-step guide on how to access the Groups description in Folio. 

Between August 6 and August 13, your instructors will be sending out specific information about each course. Providing you a safe learning environment while maintaining some direct engagement with your instructors is our top priority. 

We hope that you are keeping well, and please be on the lookout for reopening information from the university through the rest of the summer. 

Office of the Provost


For more information, please see the university’s COVID-19 response page, which includes an extensive FAQ for students, at https://www.georgiasouthern.edu/covid-19-information/.

Students
Sent July 29, 2020 to Students

July 29, 2020 

Students, 

As we move toward the fall semester and continue to implement our Return to Campus plan, University Communications and Marketing will be sending you regular updates on Things Eagles Need to Know Now. 

As we get closer to the first day of classes, your emails will increase as different departments and your professors start detailing expectations for the Fall 2020 semester. 

It is important you read these emails, which are official university communications. Your success this fall may be linked to you understanding this critical information. There is an expectation that you will read what’s sent to you, engage with the FAQs and online information, and take responsibility for understanding what is presented.

Please continue to monitor your MyGS portal and your Georgia Southern email account. You will be hearing more from Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, Health Services, your professors and others as details are finalized about things such as Operation Move-In (for housing), student activities, and your individual classes.

1: The new CARES Center is now operational online, via phone and via the GS mobile app.

To help with reporting and tracking of COVID-19 cases on our campus, Georgia Southern has developed the CARES Center. Standing for COVID-19 Answers, Resources, Evaluation and Self-reporting, we are providing this center to streamline communications in an effort to mitigate the spread of the virus on our campuses. The center provides answers to your COVID-19 related questions; a way for you to self-report your test results, symptoms, and quarantine directions due to COVID-19 exposure; evaluation of your situation; and resources for your COVID-19 related academic, employment and on-campus notification needs.

There are several ways to reach the CARES Center:

2. Georgia Southern Health Services is ready and currently providing testing for students.

Testing students and tracking positive cases of COVID-19 remain important parts of keeping our community safe. Georgia Southern’s Health Services Center has been, and will continue to be, able to test COVID-19 symptomatic students this fall with several testing options including rapid test results. For employees, any person who wants a test can be tested through one of the Georgia Department of Public Health (GDPH) test centers. Locate and contact the test center nearest to you at https://dph.georgia.gov/covid-19-testingdirect-patient-lines. Additionally, testing is offered through local medical providers, urgent care, and now at local drugstores. We will keep you updated as more testing options and information become available.

3. Face-coverings are to be worn inside and outside where six feet social distancing may not always be possible.

All Georgia Southern faculty, staff, students and visitors are now required to wear an appropriate face covering while inside campus facilities/buildings where six feet social distancing may not always be possible. This means wherever you are on campus, if there’s a chance you will come within six feet of someone else, (for instance, passing one another in a hallway), face coverings must be worn. Face covering use will be in addition to, and is not a substitute for, social distancing.

Face coverings are not required in one’s own dorm room or suite, when alone in an enclosed office or study room, or in campus outdoor settings where social distancing requirements are met.

4. If “enforcement” of the face-coverings requirement is necessary, it should be carried out with civility and respect.

The university will use messaging, signage and peer communication to remind others of the requirement to wear an appropriate face covering while inside campus facilities/buildings where six feet social distancing may not always be possible. Appropriate use of face masks or coverings is critical in minimizing risks to others near you. You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you have no symptoms. The mask or cloth face covering is not a substitute for social distancing and should be considered as just one precaution people should take to ensure our community remains healthy.

Faculty should use their classroom management expertise and training when working with students who are not following protocols. Anyone not using a face covering when required can be asked to wear one or leave the area. Repeated refusal to comply could be considered a disruption and may result in discipline through the applicable conduct code for faculty, staff or students.

For more information, please see the university’s COVID-19 response page, which includes an extensive FAQ for students, at https://www.georgiasouthern.edu/covid-19-information/.

Students
Sent July 27, 2020 to Faculty and Staff

As we move toward the fall semester and continue our Return to Campus phased-in plan, here are Five Things You Should Know This Week:

  1. The new CARES Center is now operational online, via phone and via the GS mobile app.
    To help with reporting and tracking of COVID-19 cases on our campus, Georgia Southern has developed the CARES Center. Standing for COVID-19 Answers, Resources, Evaluation and Self-reporting we are providing this center to streamline communications in an effort to mitigate the spread of the virus on our campuses. The center provides answers to your COVID-19 related questions; a way for you to self-report your test results, symptoms, and quarantine directions due to COVID-19 exposure; evaluation of your situation; and resources for your COVID-19 related academic, employment and on-campus notification needs.

    There are several ways to reach the CARES Center:
  2. Georgia Southern Health Services is ready and currently providing testing for students.
    Testing students and tracking positive cases of COVID-19 remain important parts of keeping our community safe. Georgia Southern’s Health Services Center has been, and will continue to be, able to test COVID-19 symptomatic students this fall with several testing options including rapid test results. For employees, any person who wants a test can be tested through one of the Georgia Department of Public Health (GDPH) test centers. Locate and contact the test center nearest to you at https://dph.georgia.gov/covid-19-testingdirect-patient-lines. Additionally, testing is offered through local medical providers, urgent care, and now at local drugstores. We will keep you updated as more testing options and information become available.
  3. We are aware that many parents of school-aged children are dealing with unique decisions and circumstances right now.
    University officials, especially in Human Resources, are continuing to monitor the situation closely and University leadership meets regularly with leadership of the local school systems to stay abreast of plans. Please check the Human Resources website HERE for more information about options for parents of school-aged children and updated policies related to this situation (scroll to the bottom of the page).

    Need help finding quality child care that is open? Call 1-877-ALL GA Kids (1-877-255-4254) or go to https://families.decal.ga.gov/ChildCare/Search to find child care or Pre-K programs near you.
  4. Face-coverings are to be worn inside and outside where six feet social distancing may not always be possible.
    All Georgia Southern faculty, staff, students, and visitors are now required to wear an appropriate face covering while inside campus facilities/buildings where six feet social distancing may not always be possible. This means wherever you are on campus, if there’s a chance you will come within six feet of someone else, (for instance, passing one another in a hallway), face coverings must be worn. Face covering use will be in addition to, and is not a substitute for, social distancing.

    Face coverings are not required in one’s own dorm room or suite, when alone in an enclosed office or study room, or in campus outdoor settings where social distancing requirements are met.
  5. If “enforcement” of the face-coverings requirement is necessary, it should be carried out with civility and respect.
    The university will use messaging, signage and peer communication to remind others of the requirement to wear an appropriate face covering while inside campus facilities/buildings where six feet social distancing may not always be possible. Appropriate use of face masks or coverings is critical in minimizing risks to others near you. You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you have no symptoms. The mask or cloth face covering is not a substitute for social distancing and should be considered as just one precaution people should take to ensure our community remains healthy.

    Faculty should use their classroom management expertise and training when working with students who are not following protocols. Anyone not using a face covering when required can be asked to wear one or leave the area. Repeated refusal to comply could be considered a disruption and may result in discipline through the applicable conduct code for faculty, staff or students.
Faculty and Staff
Sent July 27, 2020 to Faculty and Staff

Georgia Southern Cares Center

The COVID-19 Answers, Resources, Evaluation and Self-reporting (CARES) Center for faculty, staff and students launches today. 

For your safety and for the safety of our community, Georgia Southern is providing this center to streamline communications and mitigate the spread of the virus on our campuses.

The center provides answers to your COVID-19 related questions; a way for you to self-report test results and symptoms; evaluation of your situation; and resources for your COVID-19 related academic, employment and on-campus notification needs.

Contact the CARES Center if you:
  • Need to self-report a confirmed or suspected positive COVID-19 diagnosis
  • Have received self-quarantine requirements due to direct or presumed exposure to COVID-19
  • Have symptoms with pending test results
  • Have questions about Georgia Southern’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Need academic or employment resources related to COVID-19
There are several ways to reach the CARES Center:

A CARES team member also will perform contact notification to help notify campus community members who likely had close contact with a person who has self-reported positive test results. Unlike contact tracing, which is performed by the Department of Public Health, contact notification helps the University quickly communicate to affected faculty, staff, and/or students to mitigate the potential spread of the virus.

The CARES Center should not be used for medical advice. If you need medical advice, you need to call your health provider or 911.

Faculty and Staff
Sent July 24, 2020 to Students

Students,

We can’t wait to have you back on campus next month! Our plan remains to start the fall semester with in-person classes on Aug. 17. 

Classes have been adjusted as needed to comply with social distancing guidelines.  Adjustments also will be made to many student activities, so we are writing to give you an update on how things will look for you when you arrive back on campus. 

In terms of your classes, details on individual courses are still being finalized, but we can tell you that less than 10 percent of our fall classes that were scheduled in-person are moving fully online. Most will be a mix of face-to-face and some kind of virtual/online experience. All of your courses this fall will utilize Folio for communicating and sharing course content. For those of you who haven’t used it yet, Folio is our Learning Management System. In addition to finding things like your syllabus and course policies, Folio allows your instructor to share course resources, collect assignments, and provide feedback in a wide range of courses.  

This semester, Folio will also be where you will find information about your in-person courses that have been social-distanced to create classroom Groups. In the days before classes start, your instructors will be sending out specific information about each course, and the university will also provide a step-by-step guide to navigate Folio and detailed information on Groups.  Look for more information from your teachers about 10 days before classes begin.

In terms of student activities and events, we are committed to providing a rewarding schedule of co-curricular activities. We have developed an extensive set of guidelines to keep students, faculty and staff engaged yet safe. We have mapped out room capacities, identified outdoor spaces that can be used, and developed checklists for registered student organizations to use in planning events. We’ll be asking questions such as:

  • Can your organization meet those guidelines reasonably with the resources at your disposal? If no, then the program should be restructured or offered in a virtual format.
  • Will these guidelines impact the integrity of the program? - If yes, then the program should be restructured or offered in a virtual format.

Please know that as we move forward, all our decisions are being made using the latest health information and with your safety as our top priority. On Monday, look for more information about a new CARES Center, which willprovide answers to your COVID-19 related questions; be a way for you to self-report test results, symptoms; evaluate your situation; and provide support for your COVID-19 related academic, employment and on-campus notification needs. It will be available via the MyGS mobile app, Georgia Southern’s official mobile app available from the Apple App Store and Google Play.

We hope that you are keeping well. Look for more information soon in your Georgia Southern email as well as through Folio messages and announcements. Please regularly check the resource page (https://www.georgiasouthern.edu/covid-19-information/) for updated return to campus information and resources, including return to campus plans, FAQs and public health information. 

See you in a few weeks!  Go Eagles!

Carl Reiber, provost and vice president for academic affairs
Shay Little, vice president for student affairs

Students
Sent July 20, 2020 to Faculty and Staff

As we move toward the fall semester and continue our initial Return to Campus phased-in plan, here are Five Things You Should Know This Week:

  1. The CARES Center for faculty, staff and students launches next week. 

    Last week, we shared that Georgia Southern is developing a centralized COVID-19 support system for faculty, staff and students. For your safety and for the safety of our community, Georgia Southern is providing this center to streamline communications in an effort to mitigate the spread of the virus on our campuses.

    The COVID-19 Answers, Report, Evaluation and Support (CARES) Center provides answers to your COVID-19 related questions; a way to report test results, symptoms, and COVID-19 exposure; evaluation of your situation; and support for your COVID-19 related academic, employment and on-campus notification needs.

    By completing one report through the MyGeorgiaSouthern portal, faculty, staff and students will be able to report if they have received COVID-19 positive test results, if they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, or if they have been informed by the Department of Public Health that they are a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. A CARES team, trained to help, is mobilized once the report is submitted. 

    This is the only report you will need to complete. You and those around you will receive further instructions as needed. A CARES team will handle all of the necessary notifications. 

    A contact notification process will be in place to help notify campus community members who likely had close contact with a person who has reported positive test results. Unlike contact tracing, which is performed by the Department of Public Health, contact notification helps the University quickly communicate to affected faculty, staff, and/or students to mitigate the potential spread of the virus.

    In addition, CARES Center personnel will be available for the University community to answer general COVID-19 questions by phone, chat and email. 

    The CARES Center should not be used for medical advice. If you need medical advice, you need to call your health provider or 911. 
    Check your email next week for more information!

    Until this process is announced to campus with details on how to reach out to the CARES Center, please continue to reach out to HR as well as your supervisor per guidance that has previously been shared by HR.
  2. We are still waiting on delivery of some items for campus.

    The Division of Facilities Services (DFS) reports that suppliers are backed up and have been delayed in providing disinfectant, germ shields and wall-mounted hand-sanitizer dispensers that the university has ordered. Each will be installed and distributed as soon as they arrive on campus.
  3. More on how to wear, adjust and care for your mask or cloth face covering.

    Human Resources’ distribution of cloth face coverings to faculty and staff should be completed by the end of this week. As a reminder, each employee is scheduled to receive five coverings -- these are not medical-grade protective equipment but do provide an extra layer to help prevent respiratory droplets from traveling in the air and onto other people. Staff whose job duties require the use of personal protective equipment will continue to be provided with appropriate gear. 

    The cloth face coverings provided to faculty, staff and students by Georgia Southern are designed to be one size fits most. There are many ways to adjust your mask to fit more comfortably around your ears, including using items such as rubber bands, string or shoelaces, to loop around the ear and tie around the back of your head. Many other techniques can be found by searching online.

    Watch this video to learn more about properly wearing, adjusting and caring for your mask or cloth face covering.
  4. The Department of Facilities Services has provided more details on building cleaning.

    In response to several questions about cleaning schedules and procedures, the Department of Facilities Services is providing more information (see attachments) about office cleaning schedules, times, locations and procedures

    The attachment titled “Office cleaning schedule” includes information about cleaning dates for all buildings, listed by building name. “Office cleaning procedures” lists the tasks that staff perform on the nights when offices are cleaned (on the nights that offices are not on the schedule to be cleaned we ask that faculty and staff place trash cans outside of their door if they need to be emptied). “Cleaning Service times” lists when faculty and staff can expect to see a staff member in their building providing services. During the morning and afternoon service the staff focus on high touchpoints. The fourth attachment “HighTouchSurfaces Cleaning” is from Diversey, the company that provides our core cleaning products and provides a great visual for what gets disinfected.
  5. Chick-fil-A and Starbucks are open on the Statesboro campus.

    Eagle Dining Services locations on the Statesboro and Armstrong campuses are returning to operation. Today, you may visit Starbucks, Chick-fil-A on the Statesboro campus. Locations on the Armstrong campus will be opening soon. Please be advised that social distancing and CDC guidelines will be observed. Most locations are available for to-go only.

    Additional dining locations will open closer to the beginning of fall semester. If you have any questions, please contact eagledining@georgiasouthern.edu. Please visit our website for an updated list of summer 2020 hours of operation.
Faculty and Staff
Sent July 13, 2020 to International Students

Dear International Students at Georgia Southern:

Georgia Southern University is a member of the American Council on Education (ACE), which has issued a letter to Congressional leaders regarding the July 6 ICE directive on international students studying in the United States. The letter asks that if the Department of Homeland Security is unwilling to withdraw the directive, that Congress act quickly to pass legislation that grants flexibility for international students and institutions during the global pandemic. A copy of this letter can be found here: https://www.acenet.edu/Documents/Letter-DHS-ICE-Fall-2020-Guidance-071020.pdf

The Office of International Student Admissions and Programs (ISAP) has been actively communicating with and providing support to our international students during this uncertain time in preparation for the fall semester. We continue to monitor developments on this important issue and are reviewing potential impacts to our international students. We will share more information with you as soon as it becomes available.
Georgia Southern remains committed to supporting you and providing the assistance you need during this time of uncertainty. Please reach out to the Office of International Student Admissions and Programs with any questions. 

Students, International Students
Sent July 13, 2020 to Faculty and Staff

As we move toward the fall semester and continue our Initial Return to Campus phased-in plan, here are Five Things You Should Know This Week:

  1. As of July 15, face coverings (masks) are required inside campus buildings. Appropriate use of face masks/coverings is critical in minimizing risks to others near you. COVID-19 can be spread to others even if you have no symptoms. The mask or cloth face covering is not a substitute for social distancing and should be considered just one step we all should take to ensure our community remains healthy. 

    As of Wednesday, July 15, and until further notice, all Georgia Southern faculty, staff, students, and visitors are now required to wear an appropriate face covering while inside campus facilities/buildings where six feet social distancing may not always be possible. Face covering use will be in addition to and is not a substitute for social distancing.

    Face coverings are not required in one’s own dorm room or suite, when alone in an enclosed office or study room, or in campus outdoor settings where social distancing requirements are met.

    Anyone not using a face covering when required will be asked to wear one or must leave the area. Repeated refusal to comply with the requirement may result in discipline through the applicable conduct code for faculty, staff or students.

    Reasonable accommodations may be made for those who are unable to wear a face covering for documented health reasons.
  2. How to care for your cloth face covering. According to the CDC, cloth face coverings should be washed after each use. It is important to always remove face coverings correctly and wash your hands after handling or touching a used face covering.  
    • How to clean:
      • Washing machine: you can include your face covering with your regular laundry. Use regular laundry detergent and the warmest appropriate water setting for the cloth used to make the face covering.
      • Washing by hand: prepare a bleach solution by mixing 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) household bleach per gallon of room temperature water or 4 teaspoons household bleach per quart of room temperature water. (Check the label to see if your bleach is intended for disinfection. Some bleach products, such as those designed for safe use on colored clothing, may not be suitable for disinfection. Ensure the bleach product is not past its expiration date. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser.) Soak the face covering in the bleach solution for 5 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with cool or room temperature water. Make sure to completely dry cloth face covering after washing.
    • How to dry:
      • Dryer: use the highest heat setting and leave in the dryer until completely dry.
      • Air dry: lay flat and allow to completely dry. If possible, place the cloth face covering in direct sunlight.
  3. Phase 2 of the Initial Return to Campus Plan is now extended through July 31. We know that offices are still being prepared to welcome guests safely and many decisions with regard to schooling and daycare accommodations are not yet finalized. To remain as flexible as possible during this time of transition, Phase 2 of the Initial Return to Campus Plan will be extended through Friday, July 31. On Monday, August 3, we will begin Phase 3 of the plan, and Phase 3 steps should be complete by August 10 in preparation for our students' arrival. 

    As a reminder, Phase 3 is when we finalize preparations for the fall semester and when all faculty and staff are scheduled to fully return to their offices, unless work schedule accommodations are made after initiating a request through HR. 
  4. We are still on track to offer classes in-person this fall. We are well into preparations to host face-to-face courses this fall, but with social distancing in those spaces. Classes will surely look a little different than last fall's classes as some classes are being moved to larger spaces, some might be via Zoom or Hangouts rather than only in the physical space, and some will be a combination of in-person and virtual experiences. 

    Academic Affairs has been working hard on contingency planning as part of our reopening plans. We've seen the largest (ever) enrollment from our faculty in our online preparedness and teaching programs through our Center for Teaching Excellence, and the university has invested in infrastructure that will aid in those new kinds of delivery as well. 
  5. The university is working on a centralized structure for COVID-19 reporting and assistance.

    We are in the process of developing a centralized support team for faculty, staff and students to report COVID-19 cases or ask questions. A contact notification process will also be in place to identify and notify Georgia Southern persons who are considered close contacts of a positive case with potential exposure. 

    Until this process is announced to campus with details on how to reach out to the support team, please continue to reach out to HR as well as your supervisor as per guidance that has previously been shared by HR.

Visit https://www.georgiasouthern.edu/covid-19-information/ for additional return to campus information and resources, including return to campus plans, FAQs and public health information. This page is updated frequently.

Faculty and Staff
Sent July 10, 2020 to Students

To: All GS students
From: Office of the Provost
Re: Classes this fall

As the university previously communicated, we are looking forward to welcoming you back to campus this fall. Our plan remains to start the fall semester with in-person classes that will be adjusted as needed to comply with social distancing guidelines.

As you can imagine, our Fall semester will be new territory for us all. The No. 1 question that seems to be on everyone’s minds right now is “what will classes be like in the Fall?” For many of our courses, “face-to-face” might look a little different than it has in the past.

Some of our courses will only see the change in social distance spacing and the use of masks in class. Some of your courses might also use Zoom or Google Hangouts in addition to the traditional physical classroom experience. All of your courses will utilize Folio for communicating and sharing course content. We are currently in the process of reviewing each class space with social distancing requirements in mind, and we will provide a full update to what our classes will look like once that process is complete at the end of July.             

There remains a great deal of uncertainty right now, and what we are doing is preparing for every option while also following public health guidelines. Just last week, we learned that all Georgia Southern faculty, staff, students, and visitors are now required to wear an appropriate face covering while inside campus facilities/buildings where six feet social distancing may not always be possible. Use of face coverings will be in addition to, and is not a substitute for, social distancing.

Providing you a safe learning environment while maintaining some direct engagement with your instructors is our top priority.

We hope that you are keeping well, and please be on the lookout for reopening information from the university through the rest of the summer.

You can always visit https://www.georgiasouthern.edu/covid-19-information/ for additional return to campus information and resources, including return to campus plans, FAQs and public health information. This page is updated frequently.

Students
Sent July 10, 2020 to Faculty and Staff

To All GS faculty and staff
From:  Office of the Provost
Re: Classes this fall

As you can imagine, our fall semester will be new territory for us all. This year will not be business as usual.

Our plan remains to start the fall semester with in-person classes that will be adjusted as needed to comply with social distancing guidelines. Many of you have been working at various levels on reopening plans and new types of course engagements. As you know, we are moving ahead with having face-to-face courses, but with social distancing in our classrooms. For many of those courses, “face-to-face” will look different than it has been in the past.

While there's still a great deal of uncertainty right now, we are preparing for every option while also following public health guidelines as outlined in our Fall 2020 Return to Campus Plan shared by President Marrero on June 18th.

Some of our courses will only see the change in social distance spacing and the use of masks in classrooms. Many more will have to make use of Zoom or Google Hangouts in addition to the traditional classrooms to allow as much face-to-face engagement as possible. We are currently in the process of reviewing each class space with social distancing requirements in mind, and we will provide a full update to what our classes will look like once that process is complete at the end of July.

This week, the university will send an initial message to students about any changes to the fall schedule. This initial step is vital to prevent confusion about how and where they will be attending classes.

You can always visit https://www.georgiasouthern.edu/covid-19-information/ for additional return to campus information and resources, including return to campus plans, FAQs and public health information. This page is updated frequently.

We hope that you all are keeping well, and please be on the lookout for reopening information from the university through the rest of the summer.

Faculty and Staff
Sent July 8, 2020 to Faculty and Staff

**Sent on behalf of University Housing

Good morning,

University Housing is excited to welcome back students for the upcoming start of the year. Due to the need to accommodate for more social distancing and to provide for fewer points of contact, Operation Move-In is going to look very different this year from years past. We hope that you will take the time to review the changes to operations within this email as it pertains to dates and times of check-in, volunteer opportunities, and early arrival processes.

Check-in Dates and Times

The biggest change to Operation Move-In is the need to have multiple days for check-in to accommodate for social distancing both at the point of check-in as well as within the residence halls after check-in. Statesboro Campus move-in operations will begin on Monday, August 10, and Armstrong Campus move-in operations will begin on Wednesday, August 12. Students will be able to select their check-in time online through the housing portal located in the My.GeorgiaSouthern.edu portal.

Check-In Process

The check-in process will vary slightly by campus but essentially the effort will be to minimize the points of contact. University Housing is working to develop a seamless transition that should result in a drive-up/drive-off process once students arrive on campus. We will then direct them to their unloading zones(s) for their residence hall after checking in to get their key.

Volunteers

With the changes to Operation Move-In the need for volunteers is still great on both campuses. This year volunteers cannot help students with their belongings, but will be helpful in managing traffic flow, assisting with unloading zone monitoring, and in helping to check students in at our remote check-in locations. Volunteer sign-up information will be coming out shortly for individuals who remain interested in volunteering.

Early Arrivals

Many offices on campus have a need for students to arrive early in order to prepare for a variety of programs and jobs on campus. Early arrival is available to students who are affiliated with an official university office/function. Check-in dates on the Statesboro campus are available between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday-Friday beginning on July 31 and will continue through move-in week. Check-in dates on the Armstrong Campus are available between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday-Friday beginning on Monday, August 10. Students who arrive early are subject to an early arrival fee of $25 per day. This can be paid by the sponsoring department or can be billed directly to the student’s account. If your office has students who must arrive on campus prior to the official move-in dates listed above we ask that you do the following steps. 

  1. Designate a point of contact for your office.
  2. Email University Housing at housing@georgiasouthern.edu the names, Eagle ID numbers, and needed arrival dates for your students.
  3. Individual departments are responsible for communicating with your student(s) on their arrival date, time, and cost.
  4. Early Arrival students (with the exception of students participating in Sorority Recruitment and Residential Learning Communities) do not need to sign up for a check in time during the week of Operation Move-In.
Faculty and Staff
Sent July 6, 2020 to Faculty and Staff

As we continue to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and prepare for the next phase of our return-to-campus plans, Cabinet leadership and I have been meeting with staff council and faculty senate executive committee every two weeks to ensure we are addressing concerns and updating campus leaders on the latest information we have available. To establish a regular flow of valuable information sharing, University Communications and Marketing (UCM) has begun sending out a weekly email update, HR is developing a regular newsletter, regular messages will continue to go out to students through various channels, and we are frequently updating our online FAQs.

Around our campuses, we have:

  • Installed more than 7,600 new signs to remind everyone about public health best practices and encourage social distancing
  • Ordered almost 70,000 cloth face coverings (two for every student and five for each employee)
  • Installed 1,000 new hand-sanitizer stations
  • Delivered approximately 3,300 bottles of personal hand sanitizer to employees
  • Begun the process to ensure each of more than 5,000 classes scheduled for this fall can be done safely. Some will be reconfigured or moved to a larger room to allow for social distancing; some will meet online part of the time, some may meet entirely, or almost entirely online, and certain lab and studio classes will require face coverings/masks due to limited social distancing.

We will continue to work our plan and keep a close eye on updated public health advisories and guidelines so we can ensure the health and safety of our people and our communities. We are also closely monitoring our public school systems’ opening plans, as we know that may have an impact on our staff and faculty.

Read the full Message from President Marrero here.

Faculty and Staff
Sent July 6, 2020 to Faculty and Staff

Recently the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its guidance for managing COVID-19 related issues. In response to those changes from the CDC, the University System of Georgia is providing updated guidance on the wearing of face coverings and for who is eligible to seek alternate work arrangements due to falling into one of the below categories.

Therefore, Georgia Southern is providing two additional things you should know this week. 

1. Face Coverings Will Be Required on Campus

Effective July 15, 2020, University System of Georgia (USG) institutions will require all faculty, staff, students, and visitors to wear an appropriate face covering while inside campus facilities/buildings where six feet social distancing may not always be possible. Face covering use will be in addition to and is not a substitute for social distancing.

Face coverings are not required in one’s own dorm room or suite, when alone in an enclosed office or study room, or in campus outdoor settings where social distancing requirements are met.

Anyone not using a face covering when required will be asked to wear one or must leave the area. Repeated refusal to comply with the requirement may result in discipline through the applicable conduct code for faculty, staff or students.

Reasonable accommodations may be made for those who are unable to wear a face covering for documented health reasons.

2. Guidance is updated on who is eligible to seek alternate work arrangements due to falling into one of these categories:

  • The CDC no longer gives a minimum age for those at risk.  The USG will continue to use 65 as its measure for evaluating requests for alternate work arrangements.  Individuals who are younger than 65 can provide documentation from a health care provider that their age is a determining factor for risk that should prevent them from working on campus as scheduled.
  • People with the following underlying medical conditions may request alternate work arrangements under the previously developed process:
    • Chronic kidney disease
    • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
    • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant
    • Obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30 or higher)
    • Serious heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies
    • Sickle cell disease
    • Type 2 diabetes mellitus
    • Asthma (moderate-to-severe)
    • Cerebrovascular disease (affects blood vessels and blood supply to the brain)
    • Cystic fibrosis
    • Hypertension or high blood pressure
    • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from blood or bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV, use of corticosteroids, or use of other immune weakening medicines
    • Neurologic conditions, such as dementia
    • Liver disease
    • Pregnancy
    • Pulmonary fibrosis (having damaged or scarred lung tissues)
    • Smoking
    • Thalassemia (a type of blood disorder)
    • Type 1 diabetes mellitus

Georgia Southern will be updating FAQs, HR processes and guidance this week.

Visit https://www.georgiasouthern.edu/covid-19-information/ for additional return to campus information and resources for Georgia Southern, including return to campus plans, FAQs and public health information. This page is updated frequently.

Faculty and Staff
Sent July 6, 2020 to Faculty and Staff

As we move toward the fall semester and continue our Return to Campus phased-in plan, here are Five Things You Should Know This Week:

1. What to do if you are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms.

Human Resources has developed an easy-to-follow workflow graphic for anyone concerned about possibly exhibiting symptoms that may or may not be COVID-19. Please refer to the Covid Symptom Checker document online at https://jobs.georgiasouthern.edu/hr-covid-19/covid-19-decision-trees/.

2. What to do about work if you are tested for COVID-19.

Human Resources has developed an easy-to-follow workflow graphic for anyone who has been tested for COVID-19 and wondering what happens with their work status. Please refer to the Covid-19 Testing Decisions document at https://jobs.georgiasouthern.edu/hr-covid-19/covid-19-decision-trees/.

3. You are eligible for paid sick leave if you must self-quarantine.

You are eligible for paid sick leave if a health care provider directs or advises you to stay home or otherwise quarantine yourself because the health care provider believes that you may have COVID-19 or are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19, and quarantining yourself based upon that advice prevents you from working (or teleworking). Only the first 80 hours of this is covered under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act - Emergency Paid Sick Leave. Any additional time would come from an employee’s accrued leave.

4. There are work options for employees now and in the fall.

As the campus re-opens, the expectation is that employees return to campus to conduct their work. With that in mind, managers may stagger employee schedules, create rotating in-office schedules, and other flexible arrangements throughout their staffing structure in order to maintain social distancing and other safety measures within their unit. 

5. There are special considerations for employees who are considered at high risk of illness or exposure.

For employees who are subject to high-risk of illness or exposure to COVID-19, Georgia Southern does allow for flexible utilization of leave. 

  • All available leave will be allowed for COVID-19 illness or to minimize exposure for those that are high-risk and unable to telework.
  • At the point that all accumulated leave has been exhausted, the institutional shared sick leave pool is available to employees who are members of the program.
  • Employees who exhaust their paid leave options will be able to request “authorized leave without pay” in order to take care of themselves and our community without negatively impacting their continued participation in their USG insurance plan. FMLA leave will be available to eligible employees who contract COVID-19 or are caring for a qualified family member that has contracted COVID-19.

For more information, view the entire Return to Campus Plan >> https://drive.google.com/file/d/14m7KCHR5UulIj2G5-rR0i4TyYaIdsECN/view

Visit https://www.georgiasouthern.edu/covid-19-information/ for additional return to campus information and resources, including return to campus plans, FAQs and public health information. This page is updated frequently.

Faculty and Staff
Sent June 30, 2020 to Faculty, Staff and Students

The university is aware of the emergency order signed by City of Savannah Mayor Johnson that will require the wearing of face masks in certain areas within Savannah city limits beginning at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, July 1.  State property, to include our campuses, is not subject to terms of local regulation.  Following current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance, the university very strongly recommends wearing face masks or cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. 

Remember, it is the responsibility of each and every one of us to do our part to minimize the spread of COVID-19 on our campuses and in our communities.  Please visit the COVID-19 FAQ page on the Georgia Southern website for more information.

Faculty and Staff, Students
Sent June 29, 2020 to Faculty and Staff

Georgia Southern faculty and staff:

Over the last couple weeks, you have been inundated with information as we move into our Return to Campus Plan. To make information easier to digest, we are beginning a regular, weekly email to all employees with updated information as we prepare for the fall semester. Every Monday, we will highlight at least 5 things you need to know that week. This will add to the information provided on the university’s COVID-19 Resources page, which now includes a searchable FAQ.

This communications effort will be supplemented by updates from Human Resources via the HRNews email, President Marrero’s monthly campus update, as well as virtual town hall meetings and additional emails when necessary.

Today’s update is long -- longer than future updates will be -- but includes 7 valuable things you need to know this week:

  1. Safety measures that are coming for University departments (provided by Division of Facilities Services)
  2. 1,000 additional hand sanitizers going up around the University
  3. Campus signage being installed throughout campuses, and a link for downloadable signs for your areas
  4. Information on custodial services during this time
  5. Answers about HVAC systems
  6. Face-coverings and personal hand sanitizers the university will provide to employees
  7. Some information about COVID-19 testing and notifications 

Please see below for more details:

Safety Measures for University Departments

The Division of Facilities Services (DFS) will provide hand sanitizer, germ shields, and disinfectant throughout campus. Divisional leaders were responsible for identifying high-traffic or public-facing areas where a germ shield is needed. DFS collected all the suggested locations and have ordered almost 400 germ shields to be installed across our campuses. They are expected to start shipping on July 3. Upon receipt, they will be delivered to the areas previously identified. These shields are portable desktop units, the majority of which are 36” wide by 34” tall with an 18” wide cut out at the bottom to allow for the transfer of papers and materials if necessary.  Some larger areas will be provided a 48” wide by 34” tall unit.  

In addition to being provided germ shields, these areas also will be provided with gallon containers of hand sanitizer, 32 oz. bottles of disinfectant, and rolls of paper towels.  The sanitizer is provided for you to place at your germ shield areas so that patrons may utilize it prior to doing business at your point-of-service locations.  Disinfectant and paper towels are being provided so that employees working the point-of-service areas can routinely disinfect the areas – this will be of great assistance to DFS, as we simply don’t have enough capacity within our custodial staff to cover all areas of campus throughout the day.  Along with these items, we will provide instructions on the use of the disinfectant to include the frequency of cleaning, as well as instructions for how to re-order the supplies as you begin to run low.  We do not currently have a delivery time frame for the disinfectant.  The sanitizer is on-hand and we are hoping to be able to make one complete delivery to each area if we receive the disinfectant in the next two weeks.  

Hand Sanitizer throughout Buildings

DFS will install an additional 1,000 wall-mounted hand sanitizer units across our campuses.  As you can imagine, hand sanitizer is in high demand, so the delivery of our units is several weeks out.  When they are delivered to campus, DFS will install these units in prominent locations in all buildings on campus – one unit in every major lobby/entryway, and one unit outside of each public restroom (if two sets of restrooms are adjacent to one another, there will be one unit installed between the two).   Wall units will also be installed in all open and instructional computer labs.  This will take several weeks to complete, but DFS expects to have all units up and ready for the beginning of the semester.  Custodial services will have responsibility of ensuring these units are kept filled.  However, if you find any dispensers that are empty, please contact the Service Response Center at 8-5588 (Statesboro) or 4-2545 (Armstrong/Liberty) and we will dispatch someone to refill the dispenser.

DFS has also procured a smaller quantity of portable floor stand dispensers to be used in strategic locations and for a limited purpose – namely events.

Campus Signage

DFS has worked closely with University Communications & Marketing (UCM) to identify a myriad of signage to be placed across our campuses.  The signage will be a combination of standard 8.5”x11” signage and 16”x16” vinyl decals as well as yard signs.  DFS is currently installing signage in elevators, restrooms, and entrances/exits.  Additional signage for social distancing reminders and one-way stairwells is forthcoming and will be installed soon.  We ask for your continued patience as we work diligently to ensure all of this signage is installed in its intended locations.  

In addition, UCM is providing downloadable PDFs via the University website for a number of different signs that departments are encouraged to print and hang within their office suite areas.  We do ask that you refrain from posting additional signage in public areas, but if you have a concern over an area you feel needs signage, please contact DFS directly.

DFS will be identifying – where feasible – entrance-only and exit-only points in most buildings on all campuses.  Not all doors will have these signs as we do need to ensure continued ADA access points.  For doors marked as exit only, we will be transitioning those doors to 24-hour lock.  This will ensure that they are not used as entry points but will continue to allow for egress in the event of an emergency.  Stairwells within buildings will also be taken to one way either up or down and will be marked accordingly.  Elevator capacity in all instances will be limited to 2 occupants at any given time.

We anticipate having all signage installed across our campuses by August 1.

Custodial Services

Custodial Services has resumed normal night-time servicing routines across our campuses.  This includes nightly cleaning and disinfection of all public spaces, restrooms, locker rooms, classrooms, lobbies, hallways, etc.  In order to focus our attention on high-touch/high-traffic areas, Custodial Services has moved all private offices to a once-weekly servicing schedule.  This schedule will be disseminated to the Building Managers shortly and will also be posted to the Facilities Services website.  If you would like for the trash in your office to be emptied on the evenings where we are not scheduled to service your office, we ask that you leave your trash can outside of your office door.  We do ask that individual office occupants assist us in maintaining cleanliness within your office spaces.

The normal cleaning procedures used by Custodial Services for nightly cleaning meets all CDC guidance for cleaning during this pandemic.  The disinfectants we are using are EPA-registered to kill Coronavirus, and our custodial staff has been retrained on all proper cleaning and disinfecting methods and are provided all applicable personal protection to ensure they complete their jobs thoroughly and safely.

Custodial Services will be reworking our daytime custodial staff to allow for a focus on high-touch areas – handrails, door handles, restrooms, elevator keypads, etc. – across our campuses.  

DFS will not be removing hand dryers from buildings and/or installing paper towel dispensers in lieu of hand dryers at this time. If you see a member of our custodial staff, please thank them as they are working very hard to ensure our safety!

HVAC and other Building Systems

DFS has continued to maintain all building systems since the University moved to a remote status in March.  All proper preventive maintenance on these systems continues to be completed, as has a full check of our systems to ensure they are functioning as designed and as efficiently as possible.  

DFS will continue to monitor and manage all air exchange rates and hold firm to our preventive maintenance schedule for filter change-outs and system flushings.  We have also increased the outside air intake to our buildings as much as we can while still maintaining necessary humidity levels.

We ask that faculty, students, and staff keep their office and apartment/bedroom doors open as much as possible to assist with air circulation.  

Face Coverings & Personal Hand Sanitizers

The University will be providing five branded face coverings and one 8 oz. bottle of hand sanitizer to each faculty and staff member.  Human Resources is coordinating the disbursement, which should begin this week. 

 All employees are strongly encouraged to wear a cloth face covering on campus.  Cloth face coverings are important in preventing transmission from asymptomatic individuals who have COVID-19.  There may be scenarios under which an employee would be required to wear a face covering (e.g. indoor spaces where social distancing is impossible to practice).  Employees who are typically required to wear a face covering or other personal protective equipment should continue to do so.

Testing and Notifications

The university is only aware of infections that we diagnose within the student health center, those that are reported to us by Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) as being associated with GS, and those reported to us directly by students/faculty/staff who test elsewhere. Any time we report cumulative case reports, it must be reported in the context of understanding that we are only reporting on the cases we are aware of.

 When we do learn of a positive case, the university notifies DPH, which is responsible for taking appropriate steps to mitigate transmission – that includes contact tracing and notifications to anyone who may be at risk because of contact with an infected individual. Privacy laws prevent the university from identifying or publicly reporting details of individuals who have been tested positive for COVID-19. We are currently defining clear pathways for faculty/staff/students to notify the University if they are positive or are a close contact.  We continue to encourage widespread testing and see opportunities to do so expanding. For example, at least one local pharmacy chain is advertising free drive-through COVID-10 testing.  

Please continue to monitor the COVID-19 resources page, and especially the FAQ for faculty and staff for more information.

Faculty and Staff
Sent June 19, 2020 to Faculty and Staff

To help encourage our university community to Do Right, you will find "Return to Campus" signage posted across our campuses. Facilities Services is in the process of posting a variety of this signage in public spaces. 

When you’re a true blue Eagle, you do what Erk said — Do Right.

  • Eagles Do Right when we follow public health guidelines. 
  • Eagles Do Right when we wash our hands.
  • Eagles Do Right when we spread our wings. 
  • Eagles Do Right when we encourage each other.
  • Eagles Do Right when we respect our nest. 
  • Eagles Do Right when we cover our beaks.

For other areas across campus, downloadable "Return to Campus" signage resources are provided online for you to download, print and post. These resources will help communicate public health guidelines to ensure the safety and welfare of your area. Visit https://www.georgiasouthern.edu/covid-19-information/return-to-campus-faculty-staff/signage/ to download the signage that you need.

If the signage you need is not available online, please submit a project request to University Communications and Marketing. 

Visit https://www.georgiasouthern.edu/covid-19-information/ for additional return to campus information and resources, including return to campus plans, FAQs and public health information. This page is updated frequently.

Faculty and Staff
Sent June 18, 2020 to Students

Students:

Georgia Southern staff began returning to the workplace this week in preparation for a fall semester when we can welcome YOU back to campus. We have missed the vibrancy of our campuses being alive with students, and we look forward to welcoming you back home!

Some details are still being worked out, but our plan is to start the fall semester with in-person classes that will be adjusted as needed to comply with social distancing guidelines. Additional precautions, such as the wearing of face coverings and maintaining at least 6 feet of distance from one another, will be strongly recommended.

For classes, labs or other situations where social distancing is not reasonable, other accommodations will be made. 

For students planning to live on campus, University Housing has done an extensive cleaning of all buildings and will be taking a series of steps to keep students as safe as possible. Community bathrooms and common areas will receive regular thorough disinfecting. We also plan to add more sanitizing stations, towel dispensers, soap dispensers and trash receptacles throughout our complexes. Please note that residents are responsible for cleaning their own rooms and suite and apartment bathrooms.

In addition to these precautions in the residence halls, you will notice other modifications to many campus activities and programs to adhere to social distancing guidelines.  As we get closer to the beginning of the academic year, you will receive more detailed information about what new expectations you will find on campus, such as in the dining halls and recreation facilities. You can see the university's plans online at our COVID-19 resources page.

Following guidance from the NCAA and adhering to strict health guidelines, Georgia Southern Athletics is starting to welcome back student-athletes this summer in anticipation of a full slate of fall sports. While current state guidelines still place limitations on gatherings, departments throughout campus are planning for fall events with the understanding that some social distancing guidelines may still be in place.

We will continue to evaluate all our plans and operations -- and continue to rely on guidance from the state, Georgia Department of Public Health (GPDH) and the CDC -- as we move forward. The health and safety of all our community members will always remain our top priority.

We will continue to update our COVID-19 resources page at https://www.georgiasouthern.edu/covid-19-information/ with additional details as they become available. Please also check out the FAQ for students online on this page. If you have a specified issue that needs to be addressed, please contact the Dean of Students Office (Statesboro Campus: (912) 478-3326 • deanofstudents@georgiasouthern.edu / Armstrong Campus: (912) 344-2514 • armdeanofstudents@georgiasouthern.edu).

And please remember, you play an important role in keeping our community safe. Please check out this video to learn more about how you can help fight COVID-19.

Students
Sent May 28, 2020 to Faculty and Staff

Colleagues:

Georgia Southern University is planning to bring our students back to our campuses to begin the fall semester 2020 engaged in the classroom, laboratory, clinical, experiential, extramural, and co-curricular environments. Throughout this process of preparation and implementation, our decisions will be guided by the University System of Georgia (USG), Gov. Brian Kemp’s office, the Georgia Department of Public Health (GDPH), and the Centers for Disease Control and prevention (CDC). The health, safety, and wellbeing of our students, faculty, staff, and communities will continue to be our utmost priority.

As we continue through the summer months with remote instruction, we must prepare for a resumption of in-person instruction in August, 2020. In anticipation of this effort, Georgia Southern will begin a staggered, sequenced, and gradual return to campus for employees (faculty, staff, and student workers) who have been in telework or flexible arrangements for the past several months.

Our “Initial Return to Campus Plan,” which you can access under My Messages & Alerts in the MyGeorgiaSouthern portal, addresses and outlines this phased-in approach to the initial return of all employees. Guided and directed by health and safety guidelines, each phase of the return details workplace expectations, staffing options, symptom monitoring, personal safety best practices, specific workplace scenarios, enter/exit control, and mental and emotional wellbeing.

As detailed in the plan, the institution is currently progressing through elements of the Phase 1 plan. The target timeline for completion of full Phase 1 implementation is June 1 - June 15. On June 15, the institution will begin taking steps to implement Phase 2 return to campus, for a completion of Phase 2 implementation on July 20. On July 20, the institution will begin taking steps to implement Phase 3 return to campus, in preparation to be fully operational by August 1, 2020.

The COVID-19 situation is fluid, and guidance may likely change over time, even after plans are prepared and executed. Georgia Southern is committed to protecting the health of employees, ensuring the well-being of the community and carefully and deliberately preparing for the fall semester. Everyone at the university has an individual responsibility to adhere to public health guidance to protect themselves and others as well as to help contain the spread of the virus. Institutional controls are only as effective as the willingness of individuals to carry them out.

Throughout all phases of return to the workplace, all employees are expected to fully comply with the policies, protocols, guidelines and personal safety practices outlined in the “Initial Return to Campus Plan.”

We know many of you will have questions. Please review the attached document thoroughly and review an extensive FAQ that has been developed at https://www.georgiasouthern.edu/covid-19-information/. We will continue to email updated information to all employees and post regularly to our COVID-19 information page. Additional guidance and details as applicable for each division and department will come from your divisional leader.

Additionally, I will host a virtual town hall meeting for faculty and staff on June 8, beginning at 10 a.m., to outline this plan and answer questions related to our initial return to campus and budget planning. Details will be shared next week on how to participate in the town hall discussion.

Please note that this plan details our initial return to campus only, and communication with regard to the full implementation plan for Fall semester 2020 will be forthcoming.

For additional questions, please contact your supervisor directly or email your questions to hrservice@georgiasouthern.edu.

Sincerely,
Kyle Marrero
President

Faculty and Staff
Sent April 10, 2020 to Students

Dear students,

We are now two weeks into our new fully online environment and I want to thank you for adapting, innovating, and connecting during these challenging times. Thank you also for supporting your professors as they work to provide you with a meaningful educational experience to close out this semester.  As I said in my video message last week, I am inspired and encouraged by you!  THANK YOU!

I wanted to let you know that the university’s leadership continues to meet daily to update each other, resolve issues, develop and implement response strategies, and provide real-time information. In each of those meetings, we ask what we are doing to help our students, and how we can help our students overcome any issues we have heard about.

I would like to share with you some important information and updates, as we know them today:

  • Please make sure you are visiting the Online Learning Resources webpage for Faculty and Students at https://www.georgiasouthern.edu/online-learning-resources/. We have collected a wealth of information there to help you with this transition to online-only learning.
  • The Governor’s Executive Orders on schools and shelter in place allows for continued access to remote education and maintaining minimal operations for students.  At this point, it does not directly impact our current status or delivery of online instruction at Georgia Southern. Students are permitted to travel as necessary to engage in distance learning. It may be advantageous to you to keep your student ID with you.
  • As you know, May and summer semester terms will be delivered online. This could present a great opportunity for our students to catch up or make great academic progress.  We are working to update our course offerings with a goal of providing a full slate of opportunities for our students to continue their progress toward their degrees.
  • Student refunds will be processed this week and should all be issued by the end of today (April 10).  The combined refunds of housing, dining and fees will return more than $11 million to our students.  We know how important it is to get these funds back into the hands of our students during this time.
  • Operation Move-out was an emotionally difficult process, but operationally very successful as we quietly and quickly moved out more than 4,500 students from our residence halls.  We have approximately 200 students remaining in housing.  We are taking special care to accommodate social distancing and access to meals for those students remaining in housing.  I want to thank the housing staff and volunteers for their incredible work in this effort.
  • For those students still in housing, or who live nearby and are having trouble making ends meet right now, we have been stocking up our student food pantries in Savannah and in Statesboro. Look for more information soon on how to take advantage of these resources. 
  • Our Health Services, led by Dr. Brian DeLoach, continue to operate on both campuses screening students and providing testing if necessary. Additionally, our Counseling Center, led by Dr. Jodi K. Caldwell, is contacting clients and transitioning operations to telemental health.
  • We have provided FAQs and MyHelp options to ensure our faculty, staff, and students are getting the answers they need -- please keep the questions coming!
  • Spring Commencement plans continue with different opportunities to engage our students. We are working on virtual ceremonies for each college on May 8 and 9 (graduating students need to provide their information through MyGS by April 10); we are scheduling a face-to-face ceremony at a date yet-to-be announced for late summer; and we are inviting graduates to walk at the fall commencement ceremony in December if they cannot participate in the rescheduled in-person ceremony. Details can be found at www.GeorgiaSouthern.edu/commencement.  I do want to acknowledge the entire team that has been producing the virtual ceremony...it's going to be really cool!
  • We continue to monitor and interpret the guidelines of the Federal Stimulus packages, specifically the CARES Act funding, to help our students impacted by the Coronavirus outbreak.  More information will be provided in the coming weeks.

Mostly, I want you all to know and acknowledge to each other that it's okay to feel uneasy, unsure, and even a little disheartened.  Personally, I miss you all so much...I'm a people person and I miss the face-to-face interaction with our students who bring our campuses to life. 

I have no doubt Georgia Southern will be stronger and certainly more innovative as a result of this event.  Our students and our communities depend on us!  It will be our innovation, sustainability and dependability that will guide the economic recovery and future beyond COVID-19.  Education will always be relevant but we must be ready to adapt, and I am the most proud of our adaptability accomplishments to date. 

Please continue take the time to care for each other, support each other, and follow all health safety guidance.  Remember, it is our people (you, our students), that make Georgia Southern great!  So, take care of yourself!  We need each other!

Sincerely,
Dr. Marrero

Students
Sent April 6, 2020 to Faculty and Staff

It has been one week into our fully online environment and I want to thank everyone — faculty, staff, and students — for adapting, innovating, and connecting during these challenging times. As I said in my video message last week, I am inspired and encouraged by you! THANK YOU!

The leadership team continues to meet daily to share real-time information, resolve issues, and develop and implement response strategies. Information and guidance continue to evolve so I wanted to highlight and acknowledge some important topics as we know them today:

  • The Governor’s Executive Orders on schools and shelter in place allow for continued access to remote education and maintaining essential operations for students, faculty, and staff. At this point, it does not directly impact our current status or delivery of online instruction at Georgia Southern. We will continue to implement our current telework and flexible work strategies so that only a minimum number of staff are on campus to maintain operations and support remote instruction. 
  • May and summer semester terms will be delivered online, via remote instruction.  We are working to update our course offerings in this mode of delivery with a goal of providing a full slate of opportunities for our students to continue progress toward their degrees.
  • Student refunds will be processed this week and should be issued by April 10. The combined refunds of housing, dining and fees will be more than $11 million to our students. We know how important it is to get these funds back into the hands of our students during this time.
  • Understanding the importance of each paycheck for many of our students, I am very proud of our commitment to keeping our student workers employed through our supervisors’ creativity in moving tasks and job duties to online and remote environments so that we can continue to meet our operational goals while supporting our students.
  • Operation Move-Out was an emotionally difficult process, but tactically very successful as we quietly and quickly moved out more than 4,500 students from our residence halls. Currently, we have approximately 210 students remaining in housing. We are taking special care to accommodate social distancing and access to meals for those students remaining in housing. I want to thank the housing staff and volunteers for their incredible work in this effort.
  • Our Health Services, led by Dr. Brian DeLoach, continues to operate on both campuses, screening students and providing testing if necessary. I am very grateful to Dr. DeLoach and his team for their outstanding level of service and care for our students. 
  • We have provided FAQs and MyHelp options to ensure our faculty, staff, and students are getting the answers they need. Please keep the questions coming! 
  • We are accommodating needs for teleworking, flex scheduling and leave requests to ensure our faculty and staff are safe and able to navigate care needs for their loved ones.
  • We have transitioned more than 5,500 courses online. This is nothing short of heroic! Thank you, faculty and students, for your innovation and adaptation!!!
  • Spring Commencement plans are underway and will offer three opportunities to honor our students. Details can be found here. Please know that our students are invited to participate in both the virtual ceremony AND an in-person ceremony, and we hope that they will participate in both formats! I do want to acknowledge the entire team that has been producing the virtual ceremony…it’s going to be really cool!
  • We continue to monitor and interpret the impact of the Federal Stimulus packages to help institutions of higher education through these uncertain economic times. We will know more about the budget in the coming months and will keep you updated.
  • For my Eagle Nation spotlight, I would like to highlight a group of people who continue to soar above and beyond: the crews who keep our students fed and who keep our campuses clean. While most of us have been able to conduct our work remotely for the last few weeks, there are employees who continue to show up to ensure we can still support our students and remain operational. My thanks to each of you for the pivotal role you play at Georgia Southern.

So — these are only a few of the top-of-mind topics. Please let us know what other questions you may have.  

Mostly, I want you all to know and acknowledge to each other that it’s okay to feel uneasy, unsure, and even a little disheartened.  Personally, I miss you all so much…I’m a people person and I miss the face-to-face interaction with my colleagues and, most importantly, our students who bring our campuses to life.  

Colleagues, we will make it through all of this…I have no doubt we will be stronger and certainly more innovative as a result of this challenge.  Our students and our communities depend on us! It will be our innovation, sustainability and dependability that will guide the economic recovery and future beyond COVID-19.  Education will always be relevant but we must be ready to adapt, and I am certain — given our accomplishments to date — that we will continue to lead in this effort.

Please take the time to care for each other, support each other, and follow all health safety guidance. Remember, it is our people (you), that make Georgia Southern great. So, take care of yourself, my friends.  We need each other! 

Sincerely,
Kyle

Faculty and Staff
Sent April 2, 2020 to Faculty and Staff

Georgia Southern University and all the University System of Georgia’s 26 institutions will continue to deliver instruction remotely during May and summer semesters, with only limited exceptions.

USG institutions are tentatively planning to return to normal on-campus operations for the fall semester should guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Georgia Department of Public Health allow it.

In the interim, all institutions have been asked to continue their current telework and flexible work strategies for faculty and staff. USG institutions overall have remained open, with only minimal staff physically on-site to ensure continuity of certain services.

We continue to prioritize the safety of our students, faculty and staff as we do our part to help stem the spread of the coronavirus in Georgia and fulfill our mission to graduate our students in these challenging times.

We understand that we are all overcoming many challenges during these uncertain times. The University is committed to your well-being and success. We have several resources available online related to online learning and the University’s response to COVID-19. 

In addition, we have answered Frequently Asked Questions for students, faculty and staff, and the public. These FAQ’s are being updated regularly, so please check them often.

Faculty and Staff
Sent March 24, 2020 to Students

Georgia Southern Students:

We understand that these uncertain times have left you with many questions. Please rest assured that we are working diligently to provide answers as fast as possible.

To that end, we are now able to announce that Georgia Southern intends to implement a prorated refund of Housing and Dining plans, as well as the entire graduation fee for spring graduates, a $25 parking refund for spring only permits, and a portion of the Activity, Recreation/Wellness, Transit, and Residence Life programming fees. This refund plan was completed in coordination with the University System of Georgia.
A breakdown is outlined below:

Housing and dining:  Refunds are based on March 16 as the last day of service, which means approximately 44% of remaining plans will be refunded. The exact amount depends on the plan that was originally purchased. Students who were granted an exception to remain in the residence halls will not be refunded their housing rent, but they will be refunded for dining. Dining services are continuing to offer limited service on a cash/credit card/Eagle Express card basis. The dining service will be pick-up only.

Graduation: A full refund of the graduation fee paid by spring graduates only ($35 per student) will be issued.

Parking: A $25 refund will be issued to all students who purchased a spring parking permit.

Activity: A refund will be issued -- $10.10 per Statesboro campus student and $4.90 per Armstrong campus student.

Recreation:  A refund will be issued -- $4.50 per Armstrong campus student and $4.20 per Statesboro campus student.

Transit: This fee is paid only by Statesboro students. A refund of $24.37 per student will be issued. 

Housing Residence Life: A refund of $8.83 per student will be issued.

Refunds of these fees will mirror students’ normal refund check process, so it is imperative that students’ home address and direct deposit information is up-to-date. If any corrections are needed to your personal information, please reference this direct deposit link for instructions for updating your banking information.  If you want to continue to receive manual checks, then please confirm or update your permanent home address in your WINGS account by selecting "Personal Information," then "View Address & Phone."  Our goal is to disperse refunds April 6-10. We will communicate with you directly if there are any delays in this process.

All other fees have been carefully studied and vetted with the University System of Georgia and deemed to be essential to the continuity of instruction and business operations.

Please note that Georgia Southern has passed the deadline for a student to withdraw from the full spring term. Students who have registered for a spring minimester Term B can withdraw through April 16. Refunds for Term B withdrawals would be processed under normal refunding guidelines.

Students
Sent March 20, 2020 to Students

All students at University System of Georgia institutions are now eligible to consult with doctors, nurses and mental health specialists as they work through issues related to COVID-19. These consultations are no cost for students enrolled in the USG Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) and $40 for non-enrolled students. There is a 24/7 helpline available for all students at no charge.

Students who have questions or concerns about whether they are experiencing symptoms related to COVID-19 should immediately call their healthcare provider or member services number through their insurance plan. For students who need guidance or may not have a provider or insurance, the Georgia Department of Public Health has established a hotline. That number is: 844-442-2681.

Services available for ALL students

Telehealth Services
  • Telehealth services (on-line or by phone doctor’s visits) are available for all students through UnitedHealthcare StudentResources HealthiestYou program by Teladoc. Download the HealthiestYou mobile app, call 1-855-870-5858 or go online at www.telehelp4students.com.  
  • Telehealth services are available at no charge to students enrolled in the USG Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP)
  • Students not enrolled in the SHIP program pay $40 per visit.
  • Behavioral Health Visits
    • Students enrolled in the SHIP program have access to licensed therapists and psychologists at no charge at www.telehelp4students.com.
    • Students not enrolled in the SHIP program have access to licensed therapists and psychologists through www.betterhelp.com for a monthly charge of $180.
Optum Support Line
  • To support students who may be experiencing anxiety or stress following the recent developments around COVID-19, UHCSR is offering an Emotional-Support Help Line, through Optum, providing access to specially trained mental health specialists.
  • Optum’s toll-free help line number, 866-342-6892, will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for as long as necessary. The service is free of charge to all students.

Additional information for Students enrolled in the USG SHIP program

Access to Medical Care, Coverage
  • If a student thinks they may have been exposed to COVID-19 or are experiencing symptoms of the disease, students should immediately call a provider. To find a network provider, visit www.uhcsr.com/MyAccount or utilize their UHCSR mobile app.
  • All testing for COVID-19 will be covered by UHCSR at no charge.
  • Additional updates will be made on United Healthcare StudentResources website at www.uhcsr.com/news-main
Student Assistance Program

The USG SHIP program offers a student assistance program through Optum which provides a wide range of resources to students telephonically. The phone number is available on your UHCSR Mobile App or your www.uhcsr.com/MyAccount.

  • Counseling - 24/7 access to crisis intervention services and confidential counseling from licensed clinicians.
  • LiveAndWorkWell.com - health risk assessments, health/fitness calculators and other helpful resources.
  • Legal and Financial Services - provides help with issues such as credit card debt, divorce, child custody and shelter from abusive relationships.
  • Mediation - access to a national network of mediators to help resolve family-related disputes such as divorce, separation, child custody, visitation and support.

If you have any questions, please contact Georgia Southern's Dean of Students office at: 

Georgia Southern's Student Health Services office is also a resource: https://auxiliary.georgiasouthern.edu/healthservices/.

Students
Sent March 20, 2020 to Students

Georgia Southern students,

Like you, we are working every day to establish a plan for what our ‘new normal’ looks like for the remainder of the spring semester. Rest assured that the faculty and staff here are working diligently to ensure your success. Together, we will navigate these unprecedented times. Together, we will soar.

Here are some questions we know we can answer right now. We are working on more answers and will put them on a new FAQ we are developing that you will be able to find off our new operational status webpage, under "useful links," at https://www.georgiasouthern.edu/covid-19-information/.

How do I get my belongings out of the residence halls?

Communication started going out yesterday to all students in the residence halls. We will stagger your move-out to ensure your safety and the health of staff who will be on hand to assist. Please look for that communication directly from housing and follow their direction on when you are scheduled to come to campus. For questions, or if you need to make arrangements to come at a time other than those provided, please email housing@georgiasouthern.edu.

What about my stuff in the academic buildings (lockers, labs, offices)?

Please follow the attached schedule to determine when you may come to campus. If you received information from University Housing, please follow that schedule. In addition, you will find the specific location of the building where you should meet and the person who will be available to let you into the locked space. If they are not in the location when you arrive, please call them and let them know you are waiting. If you need to make arrangements to come at a time other than those provided, please email provost@georgiasouthern.edu.

Is Georgia Southern working to issue partial refunds?

All 26 University System of Georgia institutions are working as quickly as possible to issue partial refunds to students, especially those required to move out of on-campus housing and those who no longer have access to dining services. More information will be forthcoming soon to our campus communities.

What about dining services?

Dining services will switch to a pick-up only service on Friday, March 20. We expect this pick-up only service to continue through Friday March, 27, After March 27, we will have limited services available at the Galley, Dining Commons, and Gus Mart I and IV. Our preference is you use your EagleExpress, credit/debit or other cashless options (We will still take cash if that is all someone has). We will charge $8.75 per meal and normal prices at Gus Marts.

Hours of operation will be as follows beginning Friday, March 20:

Dining Commons (Statesboro campus) and the Galley (Armstrong campus in Savannah):
Monday - Sunday from 11 am to 2 pm and then from 4 pm to 6 pm.

Gus Mart I (Statesboro campus) and Gus Mart IV (Armstrong campus in Savannah):
Monday - Friday from 8 am to 2 pm.

How do I learn more about switching to online learning?

The University has set up a page for online learning resources that has lots of information and tips to help ease any nervousness about this transition to online-only learning, which starts March 30. It is easily accessible from the home page or you can go there directly at https://www.georgiasouthern.edu/online-learning-resources/.

We will pass along more information as it becomes available.

Students
Sent March 18, 2020 to Faculty, Staff and Students

Dear Georgia Southern faculty, staff and students,

In our continuing effort to keep you informed of developments as soon as possible, we wanted to pass along the latest direction from the University System of Georgia.

The University System of Georgia (USG) has directed all 26 USG institutions to cancel Spring 2020 commencement ceremonies. Students will still graduate consistent with academic standards, but the actual ceremonies will not be held as originally scheduled.

The USG continues to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance to avoid gatherings of more than 50 people.

“We don’t make this decision lightly, nor do we want to diminish all our students have achieved,” USG Chancellor Steve Wrigley said. “Our institutions are working on creative, alternative ways to celebrate their students’ accomplishments, and I am grateful for the commitment and dedication our students have shown in the face of extraordinary times. They have worked hard and rightfully expect to celebrate and mark their graduation.”

This announcement follows a statement from President Kyle Marrero earlier today.

"As a follow-up to our initial announcement of spring commencement ceremony cancellation, we know that this decision is profoundly disappointing for many of our graduates and their families," Marrero said. "This decision was made in adherence to CDC and DPH guidance that all University System of Georgia institutions are following. During these unprecedented and challenging times, the safety and well-being of our students remains our top priority. As an update, our commencement committee met this morning, and we are working on a plan for alternative options to celebrate our students' achievements. All options are on the table, including rescheduling, and we will communicate the plan out as soon as possible."

Faculty and Staff, Students
Sent March 17, 2020 to Faculty, Staff and Students

Georgia Southern Faculty, students and staff:

As we manage this ever-changing situation with the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), our primary goal is to protect students, faculty, and staff. One of the most important preventative measures is to avoid having people in large groups as advised by the Georgia Department of Public Health and the CDC. Accordingly, we unfortunately need to cancel all public events to include our planned commencement exercises on May 8 & 9. Students will still be able to graduate, consistent with academic standards, but the actual spring ceremony will be cancelled. We are beginning discussions now on what options we might still have to celebrate our graduates’ accomplishments.

Faculty and Staff, Students
Sent March 16, 2020 to Faculty, Staff and Students

See below for updated guidance just released from the University System of Georgia. Please note that we will provide further information as soon as possible.

Following last week’s decision to suspend instruction for two weeks, the University System of Georgia (USG) has decided:

  • All 26 institutions will move to online instruction for all courses for the remainder of the semester, with extremely limited exceptions.
  • Residence halls will be closed, with minimal exceptions for students unable to return home or who cannot find housing elsewhere. Students are not allowed to return to campus until given permission by their institution.
  • Institutions will make every effort to accommodate students who are unable to depart campus.

The USG will provide guidance to campuses on refunds to students. Additional details are forthcoming.

All USG institutions will remain open with minimal staff physically on-site to ensure continuity of certain services.

Please continue to adhere to public health and CDC guidelines regarding hygiene and social interactions, and be especially mindful during the transition this week and next.

Further guidance will be forthcoming.

Faculty and Staff, Students
Sent March 13, 2020 to Faculty, Staff and Students

Georgia Southern Community:

While Georgia Southern University has suspended instruction for two weeks, effective Monday, March 16, 2020, this announcement does not mean the university is closing. 

This announcement from the University System of Georgia (USG) followed new guidance from the state’s coronavirus task force and the Georgia Department of Public Health. This move is designed solely for the health and welfare of our faculty, staff and students. 

Here’s what this means for Eagle Nation.

For students: since Georgia Southern is on Spring Break next week, this announcement means all Georgia Southern classes -- including those online -- will NOT be held until March 29, 2020. Students currently on campus are asked to depart campus by close of business today (Friday, March 13, 2020), and to remain away from campus until March 29, 2020.  At this time, students are NOT being asked to move out of their residence halls for the remainder of the semester. For students who are unable to leave campus for the next two weeks, our residence halls will remain open, and some of our dining facilities will be operational on a limited schedule. Look for details at https://auxiliary.georgiasouthern.edu/eagledining/.

For students who may need to remain in housing, please help us assist you better by filling out this form: https://forms.gle/WhsMi7QzXBoANEZn9

The university is committed to the continued employment of students who need to have hours. If you need employment, please reach out to your immediate supervisor or contact the Student Employment office in Human Resources at 912-478-6947 or put in a ticket with hrservice@georgiasouthern.

For faculty: since Georgia Southern is on Spring Break next week, this announcement means that faculty are not teaching from March 16-20. However the week of March 23-27 is a work week, and faculty need to spend their time ensuring Folio sections are properly built out and ready to be used in the event that a decision is made to convert classes to fully online. Faculty also may engage in research and/or service activities, but are encouraged to do so as much as possible from home. You should also know that the USG has suspended all non-essential travel.

More detailed information will be provided by Academic Affairs leadership.

For staff: this class suspension does not mean the university is closed. However, a goal of this decision is to reduce the number of people on our campuses. Accordingly, division leaders need to provide direction to their employees as to who may be allowed to work from home, and who is an essential employee that needs to come onto campus. You should also know that the USG has suspended all non-essential travel.

We understand there may be more specific questions, so HR is developing an FAQ about this situation at  https://docs.google.com/document/d/1v8VyPZWcHGTuE_WYBGCRzcn0qqu1vwFy1NgVQxUXS-4/edit?usp=sharing

For visitors: most events -- including sporting events -- on our campuses will be postponed or canceled. Please check online if there is an event you planned to attend. Organizers should work with anyone who has rented space on campus to allow them to easily cancel or reschedule their event.

We expect further direction soon from state officials as they continue to assess the current situation regarding coronavirus (COVID-19) in Georgia.

In the interim, all students, faculty and staff who may be traveling in any capacity (either domestically or internationally) are being encouraged to register their travel information through the MyGS portal so we may provide relevant updates. 

The CDC strongly advises against anyone traveling to a location subject to a Level 3 or higher Travel Health Notice, including most of Europe, South Korea, China and Iran. We also encourage community members to check with the U.S. Department of State website, and talk with family and travel companions to make a wise decision about travel plans, particularly related to travel in Europe. Remember the USG will not authorize official travel to any countries subject to a Level  3 or higher CDC Travel Health Notice.

We urge all community members to practice good preventive measures and to visit the USG resource guide for the latest information concerning travel advisories and other guidance. You can also find additional information from the CDC here.

Prevention of COVID-19 is paramount, and we urge everyone to take appropriate measures such as: 

  • Wash hands regularly.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

  • Cover coughs and sneezes with tissues.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

  • Be responsible and courteous to others and stay home if you are sick or experiencing symptoms.

  • Respect personal space when greeting others and during conversations.

  • Be mindful of those in high risk populations such as those with underlying health conditions and the elderly.

  • Follow CDC and DPH guidance on personal and business travel to avoid increasing your risk and that of others.

Guidance from DPH identifies those with the highest risk to contract COVID-19 are travelers to countries with widespread outbreaks, as well as those travelers’ close contacts. Additionally, those most likely to develop serious illness after contracting COVID-19 include persons who are older than 60, as well as persons with chronic health conditions.

Health officials advise that the incubation period of COVID-19 is 2-14 days, with an average period of 5 days. Symptoms include coughing, fever and shortness of breath. Most people experience mild to moderate symptoms. Those who experience flu-like symptoms are urged to contact the Department of Public Health at 1-866-PUB-HLTH.

Faculty and Staff, Students
Sent March 12, 2020 to Faculty, Staff and Students

Coronavirus (COVID-19)
University System of Georgia
March 12, 2020

The University System of Georgia (USG) is consulting constantly with the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) and the Governor’s Coronavirus Task Force. 

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp today announced state agencies, school systems and local communities have been given the flexibility to implement closures.

Effective Monday, March 16, 2020, all 26 USG institutions will temporarily suspend instruction for two weeks to allow time for USG institutions to test their business continuity plans and online instruction modules and for state officials to continue to assess the current situation regarding coronavirus (COVID-19) in Georgia.

Students who are currently on spring break are strongly encouraged not to return to campus. Students on campus are asked to depart campus by close of business Friday, March 13, 2020, and to remain away from campus until March 29, 2020. At this time, students are not being asked to move out of their dorms for the remainder of the semester. All institutions are being asked to work with students who are unable to leave campus.

We take very seriously the responsibility to make prudent and well-informed choices for the well-being of our campus communities and the public. We continue to prepare for all scenarios in this rapidly evolving situation. All USG institutions have plans to ensure academic continuity as operations are impacted.

The USG is providing regular updates to all institutions and the public at its website, https://www.usg.edu/coronavirus.

In the interim, all students, faculty and staff who may be traveling in any capacity (either domestically or internationally) are being encouraged to register their travel information so we may provide relevant updates. (Georgia Southern’s travel registry can be found on the MyGS portal.)

The CDC strongly advises against anyone traveling to a location subject to a Level 3 or higher Travel Health Notice, including most of Europe, South Korea, China and Iran. We also encourage community members to check with the U.S. Department of State website, and talk with family and travel companions to make a wise decision about travel plans, particularly related to travel in Europe.

We urge all community members to practice good preventive measures and to visit the USG resource guide for the latest information concerning travel advisories and other guidance. You can also find additional information from the CDC here.

Prevention of COVID-19 is paramount, and we urge everyone to take appropriate measures such as:

  • Wash hands regularly.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with tissues.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Be responsible and courteous to others and stay home if you are sick or experiencing symptoms.
  • Respect personal space when greeting others and during conversations.
  • Be mindful of those in high-risk populations such as those with underlying health conditions and the elderly.
  • Follow CDC and DPH guidance on personal and business travel to avoid increasing your risk and that of others.

Guidance from DPH identifies those with the highest risk to contract COVID-19 are travelers to countries with widespread outbreaks, as well as those travelers’ close contacts. Additionally, those most likely to develop serious illness after contracting COVID-19 include persons who are older than 60, as well as persons with chronic health conditions.

Health officials advise that the incubation period of COVID-19 is 2-14 days, with an average period of 5 days. Symptoms include coughing, fever and shortness of breath. Most people experience mild to moderate symptoms. Those who experience flu-like symptoms are urged to contact the Department of Public Health at 1-866-PUB-HLTH.

The health of our students, faculty and staff is our highest priority. We will continue to work with USG leaders in collaboration with state officials and DPH to act on the most up-to-date guidance available.

Faculty and Staff, Students
Sent March 12, 2020 to Faculty, Staff and Students

From the University System of Georgia:
The University System of Georgia is consulting constantly with the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) and the Governor’s Coronavirus Task Force.  DPH has advised that the risk of contracting the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Georgia remains low.

Therefore, all 26 USG institutions will remain open for face-to-face education at this time. 

For those of you, or anyone on your campus who may be traveling, please make sure they remain in regular contact with your campus for operational updates. 

Many of you have asked, what can we do?   The most important responsibility we each have is to practice prevention.  Prevention is paramount.

Please urge your faculty, staff and students to take appropriate measures such as:

  • Wash hands regularly.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with tissues.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Be responsible and courteous to others and stay home if you are sick or experiencing symptoms.
  • Respect personal space when greeting others and during conversations.
  • Be mindful of those in high risk populations such as those with underlying health conditions and the elderly.
  • Follow CDC and DPH guidance on personal and business travel to avoid increasing your risk and that of others.

We take very seriously the responsibility to make prudent choices for the well-being of the USG community.

The latest information is that (as of Thursday morning) there are 12 confirmed and 19 presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in Georgia. These numbers are likely to change.

For the latest updates, please monitor DPH’s website.

Health officials advise that the incubation period of COVID-19 is 2-14 days, with an average period of 5 days. Symptoms include coughing, fever and shortness of breath.  Most people experience mild to moderate symptoms.

Guidance from DPH identifies those with the highest risk to contract COVID-19 are travelers to countries with widespread outbreaks, as well as those travelers’ close contacts. Additionally, those most likely to develop serious illness after contracting COVID-19 include persons who are older than 60, as well as persons with chronic health conditions.

As you are aware, the CDC strongly advises against anyone traveling to a location subject to a Level 3 or higher Travel Health Notice, including Italy, South Korea, China and Iran. USG will not approve travel to those countries.

We urge all community members to practice good preventive measures and to visit the USG resource guide for the latest information concerning travel advisories and other guidance. You can also find additional information from the CDC here.

We will continue to work with DPH and communicate with you regularly and fully as conditions change. Thank you for all you do for USG.

Faculty and Staff, Students
Sent March 11, 2020 to Faculty, Staff and Students

In coordination with, and under the direction of, the Georgia Department of Public Health and the University System of Georgia, Georgia Southern is continuing to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation, which is dynamic and changing frequently.

As of today, Georgia Southern University has no suspected cases of coronavirus, and Georgia Southern has not been notified that any member of the campus community is suspected of having the virus or being in contact with anyone who has the virus. While the current risk level associated with COVID-19 in the United States remains low, we are continuing our efforts to be prepared to respond if necessary.

To that end, we are asking a few things:

● All students, faculty, and staff, we encourage you to voluntarily register any upcoming travel plans for Spring Break or any other reason. Please log your travel through the Travel Registry link within the MyGS portal. This will allow us to communicate directly with travelers and to provide guidance to ensure that your safety is top priority if you have visited an area that is named an area of concern by the CDC. Currently, CDC recommends travelers should avoid nonessential travel to any country designated as a Warning Level 3. A list is available at the following link: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html. As a reminder, anyone traveling to a country that is designated as a CDC Warning Level 3 must not return to any USG campus or facility for 14 days following their return.

● Though we are not directing classes to move online, we do ask that faculty keep coursework up to date on our online education platform — Folio, and keep our campuses’ wellbeing in mind when students request not to attend class due to illness. Folio is designed to let students continue their instruction.  We do not want to force students to come to class if they are ill, and students should not be required to provide proof of a medical visit when absent. It is better to allow students the opportunity to use Folio than come to class.

● Employees, if you do not feel well, please stay home. Supervisors, please be understanding that if anyone has a fever or a cough, they should not return to work or school until their temperature has been normal for 24 hours without the use of medication.

There remains NO current guidance from the state that we need to cancel classes, close the University, or cancel large gatherings of any kind. If anything changes with regards to the operational status of our campuses, we will update the university community as soon as possible.

As usual, we want to remind everyone to take the following important steps every day to reduce the spread of the flu, coronaviruses, and other respiratory viruses:

  • wash your hands frequently with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • cover your cough or sneeze with a disposable tissue, or if a tissue is not available then coughing or sneezing into your elbow
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • stay home when you are sick
  • avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
Faculty and Staff, Students
Sent March 4, 2020 to Faculty, Staff and Students

We have been closely watching reports of a new coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China, and there have been no identified cases at Georgia Southern or in the state of Georgia. As of today, there have been five confirmed cases in the United States.

As you may be aware, the Georgia Department of Public Health has confirmed Georgia’s first cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) involving two residents of Fulton County who live in the same household. According to officials, one recently returned from Italy. Both have mild symptoms; they are isolated at home with other relatives to keep the illness from spreading.  

State, local and university officials continue to closely monitor the COVID-19 coronavirus situation, and to date, there are no reports of community transmission occurring within Georgia. Additionally, there have been no suspected nor confirmed cases on any Georgia Southern campus.

Georgia Southern is actively following anticipatory guidance provided by the CDC, Georgia Department of Public Health, and the University System of Georgia to minimize the risk of transmission on our campuses.

We have a robust emergency response plan, and we are in frequent discussion with officials on-campus and throughout the state to ensure Georgia Southern is prepared to respond as necessary.   

We have a robust emergency response plan, and we are in frequent discussion with officials on-campus and throughout the state to ensure Georgia Southern is prepared to respond as necessary.

The latest CDC recommendations ask that universities consider postponing or canceling student foreign exchange programs.

These guidelines appear to have a limited impact on Georgia Southern at this moment. We are currently undergoing discussions about future programs, and have identified 7 students who are currently abroad and confirmed that only one of our students is in an area currently designated as Level 3. We are reaching out to those students to provide guidance and assistance as needed.

Georgia Southern officials will continue to monitor the situation and are in constant contact with state officials to ensure the safety of all students, faculty and staff.

As we approach Spring Break, anyone planning to travel is encouraged to stay up-to-date with current travel alerts from the U.S. State Department and the CDC.  Currently, both organizations are recommending that people should avoid nonessential travel to any country designated by CDC as a Warning Level 3.

Anyone who has traveled from China, or any other area with apparent community spread of COVID-19, in the past 14 days and who has a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing should seek medical care immediately and are advised to call ahead to inform medical staff about their recent travel and symptoms. Students with any concerns can call the Statesboro campus health center at 912-478-5641 or the Armstrong campus health center at 912-961-5726, and faculty and staff should call their primary care provider. 

While the COVID-19 virus is attracting attention, the flu remains a much more serious public threat. Georgia Southern Health Services continues to see flu cases on a regular basis. It is not too late to receive your flu vaccine. The CDC recommends that everyone over the age of 6 months get a flu vaccine each year.

The flu vaccine is available Monday through Friday at the Statesboro campus Health Services pharmacy and the Armstrong campus Health Services clinic for students, faculty and staff. The flu vaccine is also available in most other pharmacies throughout the region.  

All students, faculty, and staff are urged to take the following important steps every day to reduce the spread of the flu, coronaviruses, and other respiratory viruses:

  • washing your hands frequently with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • covering your cough or sneeze with a disposable tissue, or if a tissue is not available then coughing or sneezing into your elbow
  • avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • staying home when you are sick
  • avoiding close contact with people who are sick 
  • cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces
Faculty and Staff, Students
Sent January 29, 2020 to Faculty, Staff and Students

We have been closely watching reports of a new coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China, and there have been no identified cases at Georgia Southern or in the state of Georgia. As of today, there have been five confirmed cases in the United States.

Our health professionals will continue monitoring the situation and are following the direction given by public health experts.  It is important to note that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a recommendation to avoid all nonessential travel to Hubei Province, China.

Symptoms of coronavirus are similar to the seasonal flu, which remains the higher risk for our population. This is also the time of year when we typically see a rise in cases of seasonal flu.

Persons on any Georgia Southern campus who have traveled from China in the past 14 days AND have a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing should seek medical care immediately and are advised to call ahead to inform medical staff about their recent travel and symptoms.  Students can call the Statesboro campus health center at 912-478-5641 or the Armstrong campus health center at 912-961-5726, and faculty and staff should call their primary care provider.

We encourage everyone on campus to follow the same preventative strategies used during a normal cold and flu season: getting a flu shot, washing hands regularly, covering coughs and sneezes, and staying home when experiencing symptoms of illness.  Flu shots are still available in the student health centers on both the Armstrong and Statesboro campuses for Georgia Southern students, faculty, and staff.

It is recommended that anyone over the age of 6 months get the flu shot, and especially people with chronic medical conditions who are at high-risk for flu-related complications.

Faculty and Staff, Students