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Texas Southern University announces the Return to TigerLand

Written by on May 19, 2020

By: Isaiah Robinson

HOUSTON—Texas Southern University is strategically planning and preparing for students’ return to campus with a phased re-opening system called, “Return to TigerLand”, for the Fall 2020 semester as COVID-19 relentlessly strikes the Houston community.

With growing concerns regarding the safety of students and faculty mounting as the beginning of the school year approaches hastily, TSU is making sure the well being of those reporting back to campus is the main priority.

TSU announced the phased re-opening plan, “Return to TigerLand” to the university community on May 19 through its social media platforms.

The system is a three-phased approach developed by the University COVID-19 Task Force to not only systematically reinstate campus operations according to federal, state and local guidelines; but, also to address the safest and most efficient means of operation known to date.

The three phases include: Phase 1- Remote Operations (Current-June 14, 2020), Phase 2- Transition (June 15 to August 9, 2020), Phase 3- Return (August 10 through Fall Semester).

In phase 1, staff members will work remotely (through mid June) except for those who are deemed critical: police, facilities, buildings & grounds, warehouse, custodial, housing, campus dining, payroll, procurement services, student accounting; treasury, information technology, postal service, KTSU, and research faculty.

Approval will be needed from a supervisor and the TSU Police Department to come to be on campus, plus; facial coverings are required to be on campus.

Faculty will also work remotely and would need approval from a supervisor and TSU PD to be on campus.

            Students will continue remote instruction through the Summer 2020 semester.

Guests or visitors are not allowed except for approved vendors/contractors.

 No special events will be held.

In phase 2: For staff members, essential employees can return to campus if approved by a supervisor.

TSU students would continue remote instruction.

Critical on-site administrative, business operations and others can continue to work remotely.

Faculty will continue to work remotely, however; appointed faculty will return on campus.

In regards to procedures, both faculty and staff would have to observe a “Return to Work” training video & acknowledgment form, plus, an employee & manager “Return to Work” checklist.

Facial covering will be required, there will be a single entry point to buildings with screening/check-in required and  social distancing (6 feet, no in-person meetings, no social visits) will be enforced.

Guests, visitors and hosting special events will follow the same protocols under phase 1; all of which will have to be approved by the university to be on campus.

In phase 3, staff members will work on site and all personnel can return to campus.

Faculty and students will mix face-to-face, hybrid, and online instruction, depending on the status of COVID-19 in the Houston community.

Campus events will have size limits and must be approved by the university.

As for procedures, faculty and staff will to continue practicing social distancing, good hygiene, facial coverings are required, there will be a single entry point to buildings with mandatory screening.

Students will also go through the required check-in before entering a building, contactless entry will be into dining halls; with take-out meal options.

The seating of classrooms, dining halls, lobby areas, library, etc. will be reduced.

Residential students will have a modified move-in process into their new dorms, students are assigned to groups of 10 or less for activities, tutoring, etc.

The TSU Recreational Center will have limited services & activities.

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