CTX August Town Hall Recap

Aug. 24, 2020 by Adriana Thompson

Concordia University Texas entrance signProvost Kristi Kirk hosted the CTX Town Hall on Facebook on August 14, where she shared information about the Fall 2020 semester and answered important questions.

Overview of Fall Plans

Read your CTX email, log into Blackboard soon and check MyInfo to find information about the fall. There are three components to the learning format this semester.

  1. All classes for Fall 2020 are offered in the Hybrid-Flexible (HyFlex) format. You as a student decide how you want to participate in every class — online or in person. "We recognize that each student has a unique circumstance, and we wanted to provide you with the flexibility to have a successful academic experience," Kirk said.

    HyFlex classes are synchronous; whether you're online or on campus, you will attend class at the same time.

  2. Because of current local and state guidelines, CTX has to reduce capacity in classrooms. This means that if the number of students who choose to participate in person exceeds capacity, some students will be asked to remain virtual. Your professor will be in contact with you to determine who can attend each class.

  3. Concordia prioritized the experiences of freshmen and sophomore students. That's why lower-level classes are offered face-to-face from the first day of class. Upper-level classes (3000+) and graduate classes will be online until September 14. At that time, they will shift to the HyFlex model.

Campus Services

The campus is open, and almost all services are available with HyFlex options. You can choose to engage with campus services virtually or in person. WiFi services are also available on campus.

There are some exceptions. The gym and weight room are open only to student-athletes, the Library has reduced hours and the Dining Hall will look different, with spaced tables and more pre-packaged food.

Athletics

The Concordia Tornados compete in the American Southwest Conference (ASC), which has decided to delay all fall sports to the Spring 2021 semester. There will be conditioning and training sessions in the fall, and Concordia Athletics will follow all guidelines and legislation. Coaches will communicate with student-athletes.

Campus

Masks are required while on campus inside any building. They're also required outside on the walkways or when you're near other people.

If you are alone on Tornado Trail or alone walking to your car, you do not have to wear your mask. But any time you're in a building or within six feet or less of someone, a mask is required.

Also, please note that the campus has new directional signage, indicating which direction foot traffic should flow and where to enter and exit. Hand sanitizers are stationed around campus, and CTX has masks if you forget yours.

Town Hall Q&A

If I plan to attend some classes in person but also have a virtual class the same day, can I attend my virtual class in a spot on campus?

Yes, you can find a place on campus to participate in a virtual class. Spaces in the Student Center (Building B), the Library and other places have been reworked to allow for social distancing.

If a teacher tests positive for COVID-19, what will happen to the class?

If a teacher and/or a student tests positive, CTX will evaluate the situation on a case-by-case basis. We have established a process for contact tracing, and we will use that to determine whether or not the class can continue. The professors have established backup plans as well for someone to teach the course in their place if they become sick.

How will you deal with students and/or faculty who deny the pandemic and/or refuse to wear a mask?

CTX will ask everyone to wear masks on campus; it is not optional. We will ask them politely and if they don't comply, we will then talk about violations of Concordia's Student or Employee Code of Conduct.

During Chapel, will people be spread apart six feet or more, and will you reduce the number of people allowed in?

Yes, Concordia is following the government's guidelines for large group gatherings and will reduce capacity in the chapel. If it continues as it is already set up, there will be at least two empty seats between people.

How does the 50% capacity work for the classes that are in person? Is there a way to sign up to reserve your spot? Do you have to do it for each class time?

Work with your professors because they will determine how in-person classes will work.

Please talk about dorms and what happens if a roommate is positive or exposed.

If a roommate tests positive or is exposed, Concordia will move the students into isolation. If possible, CTX will ask the positive/exposed student to go home. If not possible, Concordia has isolation rooms where they can quarantine. The exposed student's roommate will be asked to isolate for 14 days as well.

Will there still be Chapel and the Refuge?

Stay tuned. Dr. Joshua Chai, Pastor Fick and the rest of the Campus Ministry team is determining how to maintain Chapel and the Refuge while operating within the social distancing guidelines.

When will we get to opt into HyFlex learning or know whether it is offered in class? And what about labs?

HyFlex is offered for every class. You don't have to opt-in and get to choose whether you participate virtually or in person each day. It's important to communicate continually with your professor.

If you choose to participate virtually, you will simply log onto Blackboard.

Lab classes are also designed to be HyFlex. Lab kits are prepared and ready to mail for students who want to participate virtually.

What kind of social activities will happen, and how will they be controlled?

Stay tuned. CTX will communicate which activities will happen in person and how they will happen. You will have the opportunity to participate in activities virtually.

Any physical activities will require masks and social distancing, which will be controlled by the faculty and staff who sponsor activities.

There is some flexibility, such as moving events outside. We invite students to share their ideas, and we will do our best to accommodate them safely.

Why are spring sports still practicing/working out in the fall? Shouldn't you prioritize fall sports to reduce the chances of positive cases?

CTX is following the recommendations of the ASC and NCAA, which includes extensive protocols for testing, cleaning, contact, etc. Concordia is committed to giving our student-athletes the best experience possible, and because we will not put teams in the same spaces at the same time, we believe we can do that in ways that allow them to continue to practice.

If I pack my own lunch and bring it to campus, can I eat it in the Dining Hall?

Yes, you will be able to use the Dining Hall.

If the government steps in and sends students home, will we be reimbursed for meals and dorm stay?

Yes. If we are forced to shut down or decide to shut down in the best interest of students, both meal and dorm costs will be refunded.

Tuition will not be refunded because we will continue to offer classes online, just like we did in the Spring 2020 semester.

For students who choose to be online, how do we officially indicate this decision?

You don't need to; simply log into Blackboard during the course's regular meeting time.

However, we encourage you to regularly communicate with your professors about your decisions.

Do you consider bandanas masks?

Yes, as long as your nose and mouth are adequately covered.

Will testing be available on campus at Concordia for COVID-19?

Concordia will not administer tests but is actively working to establish a partnership with a local medical provider just across the street to administer tests.

Is the Concordia Bookstore open?

Yes.

Will our temperatures be taken on campus?

No, Concordia asks students to self-assess, checking for COVID-19 symptoms. If you feel unwell or think you have symptoms, please do not come to campus, and contact a doctor.

Check the Concordia University Texas COVID-19 web page for updates, and view the Fall 2020 Planning page for more information about this semester.

 

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