Safe Return to Campus Plan for Fall 2020

The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor has a Safe Return to Campus Plan posted on its website that addresses safety in nine key areas, each with information that can be found on the website, in a purple box at the lower left of the page.

The areas of interest address safety within academics, student life, student services, student housing, athletics, and dining services. They also highlight cleaning protocols, health and safety protocols, the mandatory reporting of symptoms of exposure, and there is a section where student notices addressing these issues can be downloaded.

The topic on academics explains the CRUflex plan of content delivery and teaching this fall semester that offers students three different options for participation and learning. CRUflex has already begun to offer students the opportunity to attend class, and/or attend online synchronously, or to attend asynchronously online. The academics topic also discusses the computers required and the safe use of them, and lets students know that in some cases, specific lab instructions and protocols are provided in class. 

This section also lists the general safety protocols for being physically on campus, and interacting with fellow students and professors. These protocols, guided by CDC guidelines (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), involve using masks, staying at a safe social distance, and the section specifically addresses when masks and face coverings are required, as follows:  

Student Health and Safety Protocols

All UMHB community members are required to properly wear face coverings or face masks:

  • Upon entering all campus buildings
  • In all common areas and shared environments on campus, including hallways, restrooms, elevators, or university-provided group transportation (i.e. vans).
  • When entering/exiting classrooms and lecture halls and
  • For students, throughout the duration of the class, lab, clinical activity, etc.

Faculty must wear a mask until everyone is seated and properly socially distanced in class. So as to assist in communication with the class, faculty may or may not elect to wear a mask while they are teaching.

Students and employees are typically not required to wear face coverings in outdoor areas of the campus, as long as at least 6 ft. social distancing is maintained.

Students are required to furnish their own face coverings or face masks that conform to CDC guidelines; plan to bring at least two to campus.

Hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes will be available in all classrooms, labs and on-campus clinical areas. All students must sanitize hands upon entering a classroom.

Students who do not comply with health and safety protocols in the face-to-face class classroom, lecture hall, labs, or clinical areas will be required to leave the academic activity immediately. Disciplinary action may be imposed by the Dean of Students.

This academic section also addresses grading this semester, as well as this semester’s suspension of travel abroad. It talks about the availability of library resources, faculty office hours, advising, and student services such as The Writing Center and Center for Academic Excellence.

An athletics section of the Safe Return to Campus Plan points to an announcement by the American Southwest Conference  that the Crusader football team will play five games beginning Feb. 5 through March 13th  in this later-than-usual upcoming season. In addition, the site highlights other sports news and a calendar of events for tennis and golf, which can be found at:

The student life, student services, and student housing sections discuss further safety concerns such as elevator usage and the capacity per elevator that encourages more use of stairs, as well as the spacing for seating in spaces. It also advises the use of virtual meetings over in-person meetings whenever possible, and the restriction of campus visitors. It also address the full operational functions of the police department on campus, the CruCard and Copy Center’s online help contact information, and it gives the protocols use of the Center for Academic Excellence, the CRU Writing Center, Career Services, and Student Counseling Center.

These sections also address the availability and use of Student Health Services, Disability and Testing Services, The Townsend Memorial Library, the Campus Store, and The Source (food pantry). It also lists information for the Registrar’s Office, Bursar’s Office, Financial Aid, Information Technology Help Desk, and hours and protocols for using the Mayborn Campus Center.

The student housing section of the Safe Return to Campus gives instructions regarding how to safely move into campus housing, and also how to manage the end of the semester.  This section also gives details on the safe use of kitchens, laundry rooms, and other common areas, and the requirement for masks and social distancing, with reduced capacities per space.

While seating is more limited in order to follow social distancing guidelines, the Student Dining section of the Safe Return to Campus Plan states that the campus eating facilities are in operation and gives the hours, including the dining hall and the 1845 Grill in Bawcom Student Union, and The Flying Star Diner inside the dining hall. It also affirms that also open are Moe’s Southwest Grill, Chick-fil-A, Mabee Market, and Starbucks.   This section also addresses safety measures that is being taken in food preparation.

The remaining sections of the Safe Return to Campus Plan, such as Cleaning Protocols, Health and Safety Protocols, Mandatory Reporting of Symptoms and Exposure, and Student Notices, all address specific and detailed guidelines for campus safety. There are documents to download in Student Notices that give specific phone numbers and emails for the people and contacts available to help.  The primary people to be contact for any concerns or reports of symptoms are:

Dr. Brandon Skaggs, vice president for student life at 254-295-4150 or


Michael Burns, dean of students, (405- 308-7336) or

Again, this information can all be found on the website, in a purple box at the lower left of the page.

Author: The Bells Staff

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