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Spring 2021 Semester FAQs

View the answers to the most common questions related to housing and the return to campus this spring.

Spring 2021 Frequently Asked Questions

What are the plans for the spring semester calendar?

We saw great success with a delayed start in the fall, and plan to start classes a week later in the spring, with all students returning together (not in phases) on assigned move-in dates and starting classes on January 19. We will finish the semester in May, according to our regular schedule. Visit the academic calendar.

A one-week delayed start allows time for evaluating the severity of the 2021 flu season and COVID-19 conditions, and yet still allow for an on-campus May Experience. The details of the May Experience calendar are still under consideration, and we are discussing how to adjust to allow for in-person experiences. We will continue to study the viability of international travel and will determine later whether we can conduct May Experience study away programs as conditions evolve.

Spring break has been removed since extended travel opportunities pose health and safety risks for our campus community.

A virtual Furman Engaged! day has been retained in the new calendar and classes will not meet that day. Commencement for the class of 2021 is scheduled to be held on Saturday, May 8.

Remote learning will remain an option for students. All students must submit the Spring Semester Plans Form by November 13.

Will there be more breaks for students during the spring semester?

In response to faculty, staff, and student feedback this fall, in addition to keeping one of the April student holidays, another one-day break in instruction has been included in March. The faculty committee that oversees the calendar is currently exploring additional days off.  The academic calendar will be updated with any spring semester adjustments.

If I’m currently a remote learner this fall, can I request campus housing for the spring?

Yes, fall semester remote learners can request campus housing for spring, and fall resident students can request to be remote learners for the spring.  All students must submit the Spring Semester Plans Form by November 13. We require a response by November 13 so that we may plan for housing arrangements. View the schedule for making adjustments to your spring semester plan. Students can email HousingandResidenceLife@furman.edu with any housing questions.

Can students choose the remote-learning option and live off campus locally for the spring semester?

Furman’s four-year residency requirement is still in effect.  Therefore, only students who have been approved for an off-campus housing exemption should be living in the Greenville community for the spring semester.
The purpose of providing a remote-learning option is to allow students who have concerns about their health and safety a way to continue their academic coursework and other academic-related experiences at their homes. Consequently, students who choose the remote-learning option should not be on campus for any reason during the spring semester. In addition to academic buildings, the PAC, dining facilities, athletic facilities, residence halls, the Trone Student Center, in-person library access, and in-person club and organization activities will not be accessible to remote-only students.  These students’ Furman ID cards will be deactivated for the spring semester, removing access to Furman facilities.

Providing the remote-learning option to students requires that we make adjustments to our staffing, classrooms, dining, housing, and programs and services for the spring semester, so it is essential that we have an accurate record of students’ housing selection by November 13, via the Spring Semester Plans Form. We are relying on your selection as we plan for the return of all students, whether in person or remote.

If students, including those living off-campus, put other Furman students at risk by, for example, hosting social gatherings and parties at their homes or apartments, they will be subject to student conduct action up to and including expulsion.  Abiding by the Paladin Promise is going to continue to be essential to the health and safety of the Furman community, and ultimately the successful completion of any in-person, on-campus learning for the spring semester.

What percentage of courses are estimated to be in person for the spring semester?

Over 60% of courses will be offered with an in-person component. All courses will continue to offer the personal interaction with faculty and limited class enrollment that Furman is known for. The average enrollment for online courses for the spring is less than 20 students and for FurmFlex courses it is less than 15 students.

If, at some point, Furman must send resident students home for the remainder of the spring semester, will room and board be refunded?

Refunds of tuition, room, and board are available up until the day before the first day of class, and following that, refunds follow a schedule. Notwithstanding such schedule, if Furman decides that a switch to remote learning is in the best interest of the campus community, then Furman intends to offer pro-rated refunds for lost use of room and board.

Will the meal plan cost remain the same? What are the dining options in the spring?

Meal plan options and costs will remain the same for the spring semester.

The Dining Hall will be full service, but with limited seating capacity. The food will be made from scratch and will offer vegan, vegetarian, made without gluten, special dietary needs, and high-quality farm to fork offerings. Reusable grocery bags will be distributed to all students to carry the containers of food. All food will be served to guests in disposable containers including disposable utensils. All self-service items will be eliminated with all lines served by attendants.

A typical meal service in the dining hall will offer two hot entrees, 2-3 vegetables, grilled chicken, hamburgers, French fries, salad, fresh fruit, yogurt, desserts.  We also offer a Vegan station and the Pure station which provides lean proteins, roasted vegetables, and a Made without Gluten station.

Salads will be freshly-prepared daily with assorted toppings and homemade dressings at the salad bar.  Daily soups and pre-made sandwiches will also be available at the salad bar.  The Mongolian Grille station will feature made to order omelets for breakfast and street foods for lunch and dinner.  Waffles and toasted breads with assorted toppings can be ordered at the Waffle and Breakfast Breads station and is open for all meal periods.  All desserts are prepackaged, in-house baked items that will be individually wrapped. Bottled and can beverages are located in Pepsi coolers throughout the dining hall.

Bread & Bowl will serve fresh salads, hot & cold sandwiches, and personal pizzas (including gluten-free). Meal swipes/Meal Exchanges/Food points accepted.

The P-Den will be open with Chick-Fil-A, Moe’s Southwest Grill, and Sushi with Gusto each day. Meal Exchange/Food points accepted.

The Paddock Restaurant will serve as the convenience store during spring semester. Food points accepted.

The Library Café will serve freshly made bagels, bagel sandwiches, Upcountry Provisions pastry and baked goods, coffee drinks and smoothies. Grab-n-go cooler will have salads, sandwiches and sushi. Food points accepted.

Milford Mall Tent will be available for lunch only Monday through Friday. This new option will feature street foods from around the world in a quick grab-n-go environment. Tacos, Banh mi, BBQ (Korean and American), etc. Rainsite will be Hartness Pavilion. Meal Exchange/Food points accepted.

On Monday evenings, students can look for the Snatch a Snack Truck at 9 pm in the residence hall areas and grab a themed snack. No swipe required.

The Hump Day Tent will offer additional themed snacks from 6 – 8 pm on Wednesday evenings at the Milford Mall Tent.  No swipe required.

Is COVID-19 testing required prior to returning to campus in January?

Yes, all students (including student-athletes) must provide a negative COVID test prior to returning in January. Students approved to live in campus housing over the winter break must get tested between January 10-15 and provide the test results to the Earle Student Health Center at furmanstudenthealth@prismahealth.org.

Approved early arrivals returning between January 4-14, must provide a a documented negative test to the Earle Student Health Center prior to their arrival to campus.  The SARS-CoV-2 PCR test must be administered no earlier than five days prior to returning and the negative test result should be sent to furmanstudenthealth@prismahealth.org.

Students returning to campus on January 15-18, must provide a documented negative test to the Earle Student Health Center prior to their arrival to campus.  The SARS-CoV-2 PCR test must be administered between January 10-15 and the negative test result should be sent to furmanstudenthealth@prismahealth.org.

Rapid antigen test results will not be accepted.

If a student already tested positive for COVID-19 using a SARS-Cov-2 PCR test in the 90 days prior to their return date in January, the student may submit those results to the Earle Student Health Center instead of being tested again.

Most medical insurance plans will cover the cost of the test, and many state health departments or other agencies, provide free testing opportunities. Furman will cover the difference using the Student Sickness Benefits plan. You will just need to submit a claim for reimbursement.

Will random asymptomatic testing continue during the spring?

Yes, Furman will continue to asymptomatically test the student body each week.  Students living in campus housing and commuting to campus are required to participate when selected.  This includes graduate students.
Student-athletes will continue to be tested more frequently than non-athletes following NCAA and Southern Conference guidelines.

Will any adjustments be made to our symptomatic testing or quarantine and isolation protocols moving forward?

There are no changes anticipated to our symptomatic testing, contact tracing, isolation, and quarantine protocols although we continue to monitor and follow the evolving guidance from CDC, ACHA, SC DHEC, and our Public Health and Safety Advisory Group.  Based on input from the fall, students report being much more comfortable at home during the quarantine and isolation period (10-14 days).

What are the lessons learned from quarantine and isolation in the fall and how should students prepare for the spring?

Quarantine can last up to approximately 14 days. Here is a list of items that makes the transition into quarantine much easier and less stressful, if students are already prepared:

  • Toiletries and personal hygiene items
  • Multiple changes of clothes
  • Laptop
  • Academic materials and resources
  • Phone and computer chargers
  • Prescriptions and over-the-counter medications
  • Creature Comforts
  • Entertainment (playing cards, books, music, etc.)
How will campus life be different in the spring semester?

We want students to enjoy their Furman experience and we are always looking for ways to engage differently while keeping students safe. Spring will feel similar in many ways to the fall, but we are exploring adjustments while monitoring the impact of the flu and keeping our eye on the spread of COVID-19.

We are working closely with student organizations and clubs on holding in-person events and social gatherings. We have been offering organized activities for students and will continue to do so. We continue to gather feedback about the programming and social opportunities students would like to see happen in the spring.

Student organizations have the ability to meet in person, but often choose to do so virtually for several reasons: it allows them to include remote learners; some students are not comfortable meeting in person, and spaces on campus for larger indoor gatherings are limited. That said, groups are getting together in person and we expect that to continue and perhaps expand.

Student organization expectations for health measures will remain the same, including registering in-person events and no off-campus events. Student organizations may learn more about hosting an event by contacting the Office of Student Involvement and Inclusion.
We are working with club sports to explore opportunities for students to participate in safe ways in the spring.

We will continue to offer students engaged learning experiences in the spring, and our athletics teams are scheduled to compete.
Fraternity and sorority recruitment will take place virtually as required by their national organizations. This also allows remote learners to participate virtually.

Student support services and programs will continue to be accessible in-person and online to allow those who choose remote learning.

Will Furman “relax” the Paladin Promise restrictions?

We understand the stress and difficulty that comes with the Paladin Promise expectations and related health measures. If conditions on campus and in Greenville allow, we all want to be able to do more. It is because of the commitment of our students, faculty and staff that we were able to report low numbers of positive cases through most of the fall. We do not have plans to substantially relax the restrictions, but will continuously assess them as the conditions evolve. Any future adjustments to the Paladin Promise and enforcement will be posted.

Students have asked for clarification on whether Paladin Promise violations during the fall semester will “reset” for the spring semester. Students who violated the Paladin Promise this semester – whether they received an informal warning or conduct action – will start with a “clean slate” for the spring semester, unless they received explicit notice that future conduct action would take into account fall violations.

Will the visitation limitations in campus housing change at all in the spring semester?

We firmly believe one of the reasons we have been able to control the viral spread on campus is because of our visitation limitations in campus housing.  Contact tracing during the fall semester has shown close contacts in campus housing to be one of the more significant methods of spreading the virus.

We have benchmarked with peer institutions and our current practice is less restrictive by comparison. Even so, we are going to make a minor adjustment for the spring semester and allow residential students to visit one another in other housing areas.  For example, students living in South Housing can visit other students in the Clark Murphy Complex.  All of the other restrictions remain the same (i.e. face coverings, visitor limits, etc.).

The number of in-person/commuter students who can gather together in the apartments is a maximum of 8. In the residence halls, it is a maximum of 4 unless an individual lives in a single, in which case the maximum is 2. The maximum includes those students who reside in the apartment or residence hall room.

Students can relax and engage with friends in the residence hall lounges, apartment living rooms, outdoor spaces, and the Trone Student Center while abiding by the Paladin Promise expectations. There are currently no plans to allow for greater numbers of visitors in residential spaces.

When is move-in and how will that process work?

When students who are on campus now leave for the winter break, they will simply leave campus with the personal items they will need while on break, making sure to lock their room and/or apartment upon their departure. Students planning not to return for the spring will be sent instructions to move out completely, return their key(s), and check-out with a Resident Assistant before leaving (no later than Saturday, November 21 at 5 p.m.).

Students who have been remote for the fall, but plan to return to campus for the spring will be provided an on-campus housing assignment.  Any questions can be referred to  HousingandResidenceLife@furman.edu.

Students’ return for the spring will look differently from the fall. New students will move in on Friday, January 15.  Students who have been remote for the fall will move in on Saturday, January 16, during one of three assigned, two-hour arrival windows. All other students will return to campus at their convenience (no pre-scheduled times) on January 17 and 18, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. More information on move-in will be sent to students.

What steps are being taken to address the mental health concerns of students?

The emotional and psychological toll this pandemic is having on all of us is real.  It’s important that we take care of ourselves and each other, and now more than ever before.

Due to the prolonged nature of the pandemic, students must create new or adjusted routines around daily functioning with attention to nutrition, sleep, and exercise. Students can benefit from leaving their rooms and using campus spaces for studying, taking classes, and socializing. Maintaining cool, dark, and quiet sleeping spaces for nighttime sleep and restricting the use of their beds for sleep goes a long way to improving mood. Students who experience Seasonal Affective Disorders may benefit from light therapy starting in early November. “Happy Lights” are usually widely available for purchase from national retailers.

Students who need assistance with managing their emotional or psychological well-being have numerous resources available to them on our campus.  The Counseling Center has been retooled to offer remote access to students. From convenient links on our website, students can access anytime, anywhere tools that support wellbeing factors such as sleep, relaxation, anxiety, and stress. Additionally, short-term counseling, med management, and referral services are available during business hours by appointment. Same-day access to non-crisis counseling is usually available if students call in the morning.  To maximize safety and access, we are also offering private spaces where students can attend their online counseling appointments. The Counseling Center is staffed during business hours for emergencies and limited in-person appointments.  The Office of Spiritual Life provides pastoral care and counseling, as well as opportunities for students to engage with an assortment of religious student groups and campus ministers.

What happens with students' mail over the winter break?

Forwardable items received for students from USPS with first class and Priority postage will be forwarded to the home address on file at P2X. This will include letter mail up to packages and boxes sent via USPS.

Items received from FedEx, DHL, UPS, etc. that do not offer forwarding will be returned to the sender.

Mail forwarding will take place from Nov. 23 until Dec. 23. Starting Dec. 24 all mail will be processed and held at P2X for student pickup.

Students can call 864.294.2107 or email P2X@furman.edu with questions and/or concerns about their mail.