Important Announcement - Return to Campus Update

Dear Stockton Community,

When New Jersey began the reopening process this summer, we hoped that by September Stockton would be able to offer a broad range of courses and campus events as long as appropriate health and safety protocols were in place. Our fall plans had these goals in mind, and I want to commend all of our faculty and staff, particularly Facilities and Operations, for their tremendous work in preparing campus for the upcoming term.

We have been monitoring the course of the pandemic and amending campus operations to conform to state guidelines. New Jersey remains in Stage 2 of Governor Murphy’s reopening plan, and the public health risks from COVID-19 persist, but today’s signing of Executive Order 175 allows us to resume broader in-person instruction and activities.

Here is a summary of our updated plans:

  • HEALTH AND SAFETY: Stockton’s Return to Campus plan is promoting a Soar Safely Ospreys program, reminding everyone to “Mask Up, Back Up, Wash Up.” Guidance signage and hand sanitizing stations have been installed across all of our campus locations. Additionally, sanitizing wipes will be available in every classroom and office. Rooms will have limited capacity based on space modification protocols and masks are required in all campus buildings. 
  • COURSES: Our courses will be offered under a variety of modalities including in person, hybrid and online.  There will be some modest changes to the current course schedule in Banner.  Impacted faculty and students will be contacted directly regarding these changes early next week. All courses held fully or partially on campus will adhere to our strict health and safety guidelines.
  • LIBRARY: New Jersey college and university libraries can now operate at no more than 25% capacity.  Most of our Library’s holdings--journals, media materials, and many books--are available digitally and can be accessed remotely. In addition, in-person seating has been adapted and hours of operation modified; details can be found on the Library website. To further reduce the need to visit the Library in person, staff are offering “curbside” service that allows faculty and students to order materials for scheduled next-day pickup.
  • COMPUTER LABS: Computer labs will operate within the limitations of the revised Stage 2 guidance and have protocols in place to ensure physical distancing limitations, infection control practices, population density controls, adequate sanitization materials and an enhanced cleaning schedule. Stockton’s VDI platform, which allows for the use of the University’s computer lab software remotely from off-campus locations will also remain fully operational during Stage 2. This will provide remote access to the software and utilities found within the computer labs to all faculty, staff, and students. 
  • HOUSING: A reduced number of students will live in campus housing in Galloway and Atlantic City.  Safety protocols restrict the use of common areas, lounge areas and gaming areas, and prohibit visitors to dorm rooms. Move-in days will be staggered, and students given assigned dates and times. Students who choose not to live on campus in the fall can apply for housing in the spring term if restrictions are lifted. See Stockton’s Residential Life webpage for additional information.
  • TRANSPORTATION:  With fewer people on campus, we do not anticipate any parking issues this fall.  We encourage faculty, staff, and students to drive to work and elsewhere on campus, where possible.  We will provide limited shuttles, and the schedule will be available shortly.

    We will waive transportation and safety fees for students who are not living on campus and those whose courses are fully online for the fall semester.  We will also waive the priority parking fees for faculty and staff for the fall term.
  • DINING: As of today, in person dining is now permitted.  Chartwells will offer a variety of options that will be described in our updated restart plan next week. Fall hours of operations will be posted shortly. When dining on campus, a face mask or covering is required except when eating and we will adhere to our strict health and safety guidelines.

    If you are eating in your work environment (break room, office, etc.), maintain six feet distance between you and others. Break rooms now have reduced capacity to support social distancing practices between employees. All surfaces in common areas must be wiped, including table, refrigerator handle, coffee machine, etc. after using.
  • STUDENT SERVICES AND PROGRAMS: Our campus services are up and running. Students will have in-person and online access to Academic Advising, Financial Aid, the Bursar, the Career Center, the Library, and the Wellness Center, and some Student Life programs. In addition, the Information Technology Help Desk will be open to assist with technology issues.
  • TESTING: Symptomatic faculty, staff and students can secure their own COVID-19 tests as needed via their primary health care provider or a testing site. They also have the option of setting up a tele-health visit with an AtlantiCare primary care physician who can generate an order and direction for COVID-19 testing.
  • CONTACT TRACING: Stockton is working closely with the Atlantic County Department of Health to provide contact tracing for faculty, staff and students who test positive for COVID-19 and/or who come in close contact, as defined by the CDC, with someone who tests positive or is symptomatic. All campus community members who receive a call from a contact tracer are expected to cooperate as part of their obligation as a member of the Stockton community.

I look forward to providing additional details at the next Presidential update scheduled for August 20th at 11:30 a.mDetails to follow in a separate email.

We understand the effect of these policies on Stockton’s “student experience” this fall but want to assure everyone that the University will be ready to adapt and lift restrictions if conditions improve and state reopening continues. 

As Stockton’s President in these most trying of times, I’d just like to close on a personal note:  I have missed the energy and enthusiasm of an active and vibrant campus and look forward to welcoming everyone back in-person as soon as we can do so safely. Let’s do all we can to ensure a productive semester that supports everyone who is a part our Osprey community, no matter where you live, work, or study.

Best regards,

Harvey Kesselman
Stockton University