Viterbo University releases “Moving Forward @ Viterbo” plan

The plan includes safety measures to keep students and staff safe as they return to campus this fall.
Viterbo Social Work Degree

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) – Viterbo University will implement key safety measures to keep students and employees safe as they return to campus this fall.

The Viterbo plan, “Moving Forward @ Viterbo,” will continue to be refined and will be reviewed by health officials.

“The plan will be responsive to the situation and will continue to integrate new information and recommendations from health officials throughout the summer,” said Glena Temple, Viterbo University President.

All details have not yet been finalized, but safety measures being planned include:

·       Classes will be held in rooms that allow for physical distancing. Most classes will have fewer than 30 students and no classes will have more than 50 students. More hybrid and online courses will be offered. Schedules will need to be adjusted to accommodate rescheduling courses to larger rooms.

·       Masks will be required to be worn in all common spaces, including classrooms. Plexiglass shields will be installed across campus. Mandatory safety training will be required of all students and employees. Hand sanitizer will be widely available across campus. Physical distancing requirements will be clearly articulated.

·       Protocols will be in place for COVID-19 testing and daily health monitoring requirements. Anyone exhibiting any symptoms will be required to stay home whether it be on or off-campus.

·       Classes will begin Monday, Aug. 31 as originally scheduled, and end according to the originally published schedule. Viterbo officials will continually assess the situation at the university and in the region and will work with health officials to ensure the safety of students and employees. As much notice as possible will be provided in the event changes in the academic calendar or class format are required. If changes are necessary, keeping clinical and other hands-on experiences face-to-face will be prioritized if more courses need to shift to online due to the local situation.

·       Study abroad and most university-sponsored travel have been canceled for the fall semester. A decision regarding the spring semester study abroad will be made by Nov. 1.

In the residence halls:

·       Residence hall population density will be reduced. Students may request a single room, with priority given to students who are at higher risk because of health reasons. There will be an increased number of single rooms available. Quarantine protocols will be developed and rooms for quarantine have been reserved. Apartments and dorm rooms will be considered “family units” and therefore mask use will not be required inside the residence.

·       Additional changes to policies and common spaces will be implemented to increase safety.

·       Resident students will receive an email with additional information on Monday, June 29. Resident students will be required to confirm their plans and preferences by July 15.

Regarding athletics:

·       Fall sports athletes will receive notification of practice start dates from the athletics department or their coach directly.

·       Most fall sports teams will begin practices on Aug. 15 or later, in keeping with NAIA directives. Strength and conditioning activities may start earlier.

·       The fall sports seasons will have a reduced number of competitions from what was originally scheduled and additional modifications to promote safety will be implemented. This is also in keeping with NAIA guidance.

Earlier this month, Viterbo, along with UW-La Crosse and Western Technical College, released a joint announcement stating each institution was planning to offer on-campus classes, with each institution working on a more detailed plan specific to their campus.

“A great deal of planning and care has gone into our plans for this fall,” Temple said. “I believe our policies will allow us to provide students with the excellent education they expect while keeping everyone in the Viterbo community as safe as possible.”