Return to Campus FAQ’s
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Return to Campus FAQ’s

Updates Return to Campus COVID FAQ

Converse’s COVID-19 Response Team continues to take the appropriate preventative measures to do all that we can to ensure a safe and successful campus for you. We care for the well-being of the Converse family and our community.

Converse will begin Jan Term in a virtual/remote format during the week of January 11-15, 2021. In-person classes will begin on January 19, 2021. We are implementing a testing program that complements our other health protocols to promote a safe campus environment. Read more about the testing program here.

Jan Term 2021

  • Converse’s 2021 Jan term begins on Monday, January 11, 2021. Jan Term will begin in a virtual/remote format the week of January 11-15. In-person classes will begin on January 19.
  • Classes will not be held on Monday, January 18 in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
  • The last day of classes will be Friday, February 5, 2021.

Spring Term 2021

  • Spring term begins on Thursday, February 11, 2021.
  • Spring Break will be Thursday, April 1–Friday, April 2, 2021
  • The last day of classes will be Thursday, May 13, 2021.
  • Final exams will begin on Monday, May 17, and continue through Thursday, May 20, 2021.
  • Baccalaureate will be held on Friday, May 21, 2021
  • Graduation will be on Saturday, May 22, 2021

Converse’s courses will have the necessary online components should administrators have to adjust the academic schedule again due to a resurgence of the virus, with the understanding that some courses such as laboratories and performances may not be able to be completely moved online.

To minimize your potential exposure to COVID-19, we strongly encourage you to isolate yourself from others outside of your immediate household at least 14 days prior to your return.

How will move-in day be affected?
Students can select a move-in time slot here. Select “Move-In January 2021” from the drop-down menu to schedule your 1-hour move-in appointment time. Students are limited to ONE GUEST with them during move-in. Students must move in only during their scheduled time.

When can I move in?

  • Move-in for January Term is January 14-17. You must schedule a move-in time to return to campus here. Select “Move-In January 2021 Revised” from the drop-down menu to schedule your two-hour move-in appointment time. If you previously scheduled a move-in date prior to January 14, you will need to schedule a new date using this revised form. You will need to be tested for COVID 3-5 days before your return to campus, so please plan ahead.

How many people can help me move in?

One guest may help you move in, and both you and your guest must complete the daily questionnaire and get your green checkmark prior to move-in. Guests must follow college social distancing guidelines and wear a mask/face covering at all times while on campus. Guests that do not follow campus guidelines may be asked to leave campus. Students are encouraged to bring their own equipment to move in. The college can not move items for students.

Will the Dining Hall be open?

Beginning January 14, Gee Dining Hall will be open for take-out only. Gee Dining Hall operating hours will be Monday through Sunday for Brunch from 10 am to 12:30 pm, and Dinner from 5 pm to 6:30 pm. Gee Dining Hall and Freshens plan to resume full operating hours once the college moves back to on-campus operations.

Should I do anything prior to returning to campus?

Social distancing is crucial. Students are advised to minimize their contact with persons outside of their household 14 days prior to arrival on campus or the start of classes.  Students should avoid engaging in parties and large-scale events during the 14 days prior to arrival on campus or the start of classes.

Do I have to take a COVID test prior to returning to campus?

We are implementing a screening and quarantining program for when you return to campus to mitigate virus spread. These screening and quarantining processes apply to all students, faculty, and staff who are working on campus. See the full details here and check your campus email for additional communications.

Do I still have to have a COVID test if I’ve received the vaccine?

Converse continues to encourage even those who are starting to receive COVID vaccinations to continue routine testing as more is monitored and understood about the vaccine’s ability to stop the spread of the virus. Continued adherence to the other campus-wide protocols around masking, social distancing, hand hygiene and more is also required at this time even if you have had the vaccine. Thank you for taking this important step in mitigating the spread of the virus.

Do I have to quarantine when I return to campus in January?

When you return to campus, and until we get test results back and begin classes, everyone will be in “Light Quarantine,” which means:

  • You continue to follow safety protocols: masks, distancing, and handwashing.
  • Students may not gather in groups, and no room or suite visits are allowed.
  • Students are strongly encouraged to limit contact with others until negative test results are received.
  • Inside gathering and common areas will be closed until January 19.
  • The Montgomery Gym, labs, and studios will be closed until January 19.

How many masks should I bring with me?

We suggest you bring 7 to 10 additional reusable masks and wash them after every use.

How is the campus prepared for in-person classes?

Staff members on campus are wearing face coverings and adhering to social distancing protocols. Employees also are submitting self-screening health checks daily. Safety shields are being utilized in customer service areas to separate visitors from staff, and the Budd Group is frequently cleaning and wiping down high-touch areas as well as setting up self-help sanitation areas around campus.

Do I have to wear a face-covering? Where do I have to wear it?

After careful consideration of  CDC recommendations, the College requires all students and employees to wear a face-covering or mask when in the presence of others and in indoor public settings (e.g., common workspaces, meeting rooms, classrooms, etc.) or outdoor public settings where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. Appropriate use of face masks or coverings is critical in minimizing risks to others near you. You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick. The mask or cloth face covering is not a substitute for social distancing. Masks/face coverings are to be worn and social distancing is to be maintained at all times in shared campus community spaces such as kitchens, common areas, copier rooms, meeting rooms, and bathrooms.

What will classes/classrooms look like now?

Students should be prepared to show their daily green checkmark upon entry into the classroom. Classroom assignments have been modified whenever possible to allow for social distancing of students.  Students may not enter a classroom if they are not wearing a face mask. Classroom buildings will have directional signage to encourage one-way traffic flow in stairwells and at entry/exit points.  Students may be asked to aid in the disinfecting of desks/work areas after classes.  Students should not congregate in the hallways or common areas and should follow social distancing guidelines.  Hand sanitizer will be available in classrooms.  Classes may utilize a variety of formats/teaching practices so students should check their email for communications on any changes.

Will any classes be taught outside?

Converse has established outdoor learning environments. We have three outdoor classroom spaces outside Carmichael Hall, between Pell and Dexter and also in front of Blackman Hall facing the Quad. These spaces will also be available for clubs and organizations to meet. You can reserve a space on my.converse.edu via the Room Reservation system.

What is the status of the Winter 2021 study-travel programs?

2021 Jan term study-travel programs have been canceled.

How do we report if a classroom or lab setting is not following proper safety protocols?

You may contact Dean Boone Hopkins or Dr. Jeff Barker if you feel safety protocols are not being adhered to on-campus.

What will happen to my internship or student teaching if the term has to be partially or fully completed online?

Internships will move forward on an individual basis, either online or in-person, taking into account the public health conditions and the willingness of the internship site to continue to receive interns. Cathy Gowan will work with each student on their internship.

Student teaching will follow the guidance of the State Department of Education and individual school districts, keeping in mind public health conditions.

What happens to my work-study if Converse shifts to online learning?

The federal work-study program and the ability to receive payments under that program will depend upon your status as a student, whether you can continue to work given Converse’s status, and the federal government’s guidance.

If I have to be isolated or quarantined due to COVID-19, how can I still ensure I’ll be academically successful?

Converse faculty and staff want you to succeed. You can move your class to be online-only if you become ill. If you become seriously ill, you can take a medical withdrawal without penalty. Communication with your faculty members is the key to success.

Do I have to wear a face-covering in my room?

No, you don’t have to wear it in your room, but you are advised to wear it in the hallway/bathrooms/communal spaces of your residence hall.

Do employees have to wear a face mask in shared spaces if they are the only person present?

When other employees are present, it is recommended that employees wear a mask in shared spaces. It is required that employees wear a face mask in the shared space, even if they are the only person in the room. Individual circumstances can be evaluated on a case-by-case basis in consultation with Human Resources.

Can I have visitors and overnight guests in my room/residence hall this fall?

Students may not have off-campus guests or overnight guests in their rooms.  You may visit with guests in common areas and outside. ALL guests must complete this self-screening questionnaire before coming onto campus.

Students are encouraged to socialize outdoors or in common spaces with guests or friends who live in other residence halls.  Common area spaces in the residence halls like study spaces, lobbies, computer labs, and kitchens will be open. All common areas will have posted maximum capacity occupation limits. Students are expected to abide by social distancing protocols when in commons spaces. In an effort to assist students with distancing, we have reduced and rearranged the furniture in commons spaces and posted signs with limited capacity requirements.

Students should follow posted guidelines that will help identify paths of travel to prevent close interactions and maximum capacity limitations in common spaces. The success of remaining on campus hinges on all of us working together to follow posted guidelines and practice healthy behaviors such as wearing a mask in public spaces.

What does dining look like now?

Dining services has adapted operations to incorporate physical distancing, enhanced sanitization protocols, and modified service style. While our dining facilities may look different, know that the focus on the safety and well-being of the Converse community has never been stronger.

Plates and metal silverware have been removed from service areas and will be replaced with disposable products to limit the potential spread of biological contaminants. All items will be served in disposable containers and then passed to the guest; each station will require a new container to reduce contact.

All self-service salad and dessert stations are no longer in place. We now offer individually-wrapped, in-house prepared items.

All employees follow check-in procedures that will ensure that prescribed health standards are met at a minimum before their workday begins. Employees wash their hands and have to complete a self-evaluation prior to starting their work shift. Appropriate personal protection will be worn by all employees based on their role and responsibilities and in adherence to state and local regulations and guidance. Training on how to properly use, proper laundering and dispose of all personal protective gear is mandatory. Every employee entering the dining locations is required to wear a mask while on site.

All employees change gloves frequently, including after handwashing and in between tasks. There is an increased frequency of swapping serving utensils and platters during and after service times, with full sanitizing and disinfecting of food contact surface areas, serving areas, cooler door handles. Service stations, service carts, beverage stations, counters, and handrails are sanitized frequently.

Will you provide disinfecting supplies to students?

Students will need to provide supplies for their individual spaces or in suites or apartments.

I’m part of a club/ organization that meets on campus. How many people can meet in a room? Do we have to physically distance? There will be signs in communal areas advising you of the maximum capacity for that specific area. Physical distancing is expected within these spaces, as well as wearing a face covering. We are depending on you to follow the guidelines in order to keep our campus community safe.

Are convocations still required?

Yes, but they will look different this year and have remote-only options for students learning virtually. They will not be the traditional convocations, but will still allow students to engage with the community and have diverse conversations and learning experiences.

What do I do if I see someone (student/faculty/staff) not adhering to safety/social distancing guidelines on campus?

Gently remind the person of the guidelines and that they signed an agreement to follow the rules.  If that doesn’t work, remind them of your obligation under the Honor Code to report them if they do not follow those rules.  Finally, notify the Dean of Students Office.

Campus Store

The online store is accessible 24/7.

Regular hours will resume in January 2021 for Jan term. *Be sure to wear a face-covering and adhere to physical distancing protocols.

For questions please call or email Alex Talley:

Phone: 864-596-9453 or 864-596-9454

Email: 1484mgr@follett.com

Financial Planning

Financial Planning will be open beginning January 4 from 8:30 am – 5 pm. The Director and Associate Director are available for Zoom, GoogleHangouts, or FaceTime meetings.

Email them at financial.planning@converse.edu.

Gee Dining Hall

See the dining hall menus here.

Beginning January 10th, Gee Dining Hall will be open for all students and faculty/staff for TAKE-OUT ONLY.

Gee Dining Hall operating hours will be January 6 through January 18 for brunch from 10 am to 12:30 pm, and dinner from 5 pm to 6:30 pm. Gee Dining Hall and Freshens plan to resume full operating hours once the college moves to on-campus operations on January 19. Dining services has adapted operations to incorporate physical distancing, enhanced sanitization protocols, and modified service style. While our dining facilities may look different, know that the focus on the safety and well-being of the Converse community has never been stronger. Read more about Gee Dining Hall’s new protocols here.

Mail Room

*Be sure to wear a face-covering and adhere to physical distancing protocols.

Hours:

Monday, December 21 – Friday, January 8, 2021: Closed for scheduled holiday
January 11-15, 2021: 10 am – 2 pm.
Starting January 19, 2021: Monday – Friday 8:30 am – 12:30 pm and 1:30 pm – 4:45 pm.

Mail will not be forwarded during the break. Please contact the mail room should you have an issue or specific need.

Mickel Library

Hours:

Beginning Monday, Jan 4, 2021
Monday – Friday 8:30 am – 5 pm (REMOTE/ONLINE ACCESS ONLY)
Saturday & Sunday Closed

Converse students, faculty, and staff still have the option of 24/7 access, via the Internet, to periodical and reference databases, eBooks, and other online resources and services on the

Please feel free to contact the library staff at mickel.library@converse.edu, by phone at 864.596.9071 or through Ask a Librarian if you have any questions about your patron account.

Office of the Registrar

The Office of the Registrar will be open January 11-15, 2021 from 10 am – 2 pm. Beginning January 19 the office will be open: Monday – Friday 8:30 am – 12:30 pm and 1:30 pm – 4:45 pm. You may contact us at registrar@converse.edu for assistance. Be sure to wear a face-covering and adhere to physical distancing protocols. Please wait outside the door if another person is being assisted by the staff.

Wellness Center

Visits are APPOINTMENT ONLY. We are not accepting any walk-in appointments. All patients must call 864.596.9258 or email in advance so that the Wellness Center can screen you prior to coming in.

IF YOU HAVE A FEVER AND RESPIRATORY ISSUES PLEASE LET US KNOW WHEN YOU CALL.

Converse has received a grant to assist students in having real-time access to healthcare. Effective July 1, we have deployed iSelectMD, a service that allows students to have 24/7 access to tele-healthcare for COVID-19 concerns as well as many other non-urgent, acute illnesses. This service is only available to currently enrolled Converse students. Click here to learn more.

What if I am diagnosed with COVID-19 during the semester? Will I have to leave campus?

Students whose permanent residence is within a 3-hour drive of campus will be strongly encouraged to return home.  Residential students who are unable to safely return home either because of their own situation or because of a vulnerable person at home can reside on campus in an isolation room until they are cleared to return to their rooms.

What happens if there’s another COVID-19 outbreak during Jan or Spring term?

If the outbreak is serious and exceeds Converse’s capacity to quarantine, then Converse will revert to a hybrid learning scenario where most courses will take place online.

For less severe outbreaks, students who are symptomatic or who test positive and whose permanent residence are within 3 hours of Converse will be asked to return home, if it is safe for them to do so.  The remaining students will be quarantined if exposed and isolated if symptomatic or confirmed to be positive.  Courses will be delivered online for students who are isolated or quarantined.

How is Converse assessing risk levels on campus and within the community?

The COVID-19 Response Team has developed a 4-level system that assesses the risk of COVID-19 community spread. The COVID-19 Response Team will continually evaluate our current level based on information that we receive from DHEC, campus reports, and other relevant stakeholders and will provide updates should the level of risk change. We are currently at LEVEL 3 on the Converse campus.

Level 3 – Statewide stay-at-home orders are in place OR the Spartanburg community and/or College’s conditions make it imperative to shift to eliminate all unnecessary activity and interactions on campus. Classes will shift to virtual/remote. All non-essential personnel will work from home. Students may be encouraged to temporarily move home or to an off-campus location; exceptions may be made for students due to visa requirements or home situations.

Level 2 – The College is open; however, at times, additional time-limited restrictions may be added in order to prevent the College from raising to a higher level. Possible restrictions include (but are not limited to) asking students and employees to stay home for a short period of time; greater limits on community access, increased PPE use, and elevated precautions. High-risk individuals may be asked to limit their presence on campus.

Level 1 – The College and the community of Spartanburg are operating with moderate-to-low confirmed cases of COVID-19. The College is open, though protective measures are actively in place. The underlying threat of outbreak remains, but the prevalence of the virus is moderate- to-low and contact tracing capabilities are robust enough to serve the College.

Level 0 – The College and the community of Spartanburg can operate normally in a high-density environment. Once vaccines and/or highly-effective treatments are approved and widely available, and there is low circulation of coronavirus, prevention practices can be gradually lifted more fully.

Will we have to take a COVID test prior to returning to campus?

We are implementing a screening and quarantining process for when you return to campus to mitigate virus spread. These screening and quarantining processes apply to all students, faculty, and staff who are working on campus. All residential students are REQUIRED to test again upon their return to campus. You will not be allowed to move back into your residence hall until you have uploaded your results into the my.converse COVID portal.

On-site testing will be available during student move-in. Testing will be conducted in the Fairview Lot on:

  • Wednesday, January 13 from 1 pm – 5 pm
  • Friday, January 15 from 1 pm – 5 pm
  • Saturday, January 16 from 10 am – 2 pm

Do I have to wear a face-covering? Where do I have to wear it?

After careful consideration of CDC recommendations, the College requires all students and employees to wear a face-covering or mask when in the presence of others and in indoor public settings (e.g., common workspaces, meeting rooms, classrooms, etc.) or outdoor public settings where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. Appropriate use of face masks or coverings is critical in minimizing risks to others near you. You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick. The mask or cloth face covering is not a substitute for social distancing. Masks/face coverings are to be worn and social distancing is to be maintained at all times in shared campus community spaces such as kitchens, common areas, copier rooms, meeting rooms, and bathrooms.

If I had tested positive for COVID-19, but either remained asymptomatic or exhibited symptoms and recovered, and I take a second test prior to returning to campus, and it comes back positive (but I am asymptomatic), does this mean that I cannot return?

If this is your situation, please contact the Wellness Center at 864.596.9258 to discuss the next steps.

Is Converse offering free COVID-19 testing to its students, staff and faculty?

On-site testing will be available in the Fairview Lot on Thursdays from 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM beginning January 21. From 8 am to 10 am, testing is only for Converse students and employees. Starting at 10:00 AM, the testing site will become open to the public. You will be required to pre-register with DHEC here and show the QR code that will be emailed after DHEC pre-registration when arriving at the testing site. Testing is free; no insurance required. Test results may take between 36-72 hours from the date that your test was taken.

Students who are uninsured can obtain free testing through the CARES Act at several local locations.

What do I do if I have been exposed to someone with COVID-19?

Notify the Director of the Wellness Center and stay isolated until you receive further guidance. Depending upon the level of exposure and your current health conditions, you may either be allowed to return to campus, you may be required to isolate, and/or you may need to be tested beginning at 7 days post-exposure.

What do I do if I see someone (student/faculty/staff) not adhering to safety/social distancing guidelines on campus?

Gently remind the person of the guidelines and that they signed an agreement to follow the rules. If that doesn’t work, remind them of your obligation under the Honor Code to report them if they do not follow those rules. Finally, notify the Dean of Students Office.

I’m planning to travel; do I need to tell anyone at Converse?

Yes, students, faculty, staff, third party/external vendors or suppliers who have plans to travel this semester should fill out the “Intent to Travel” form.

If you or any close contacts are diagnosed with COVID-19, call the Wellness Center at 864.596.9258 immediately so we can respond.

Your Converse faculty and academic leaders have been hard at work preparing for an educational experience this fall that is engaging, dynamic, flexible, and safe. As you have no doubt experienced in other places, this means that we will be operating differently because your health and safety is our top priority.

The best way to prevent viral illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus. As a reminder, everyday preventive actions help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

See additional up-to-date information and resources on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

Converse’s Fall 2020 Return to campus updates and guidelines web page

Converse’s COVID-19 web page

COVID-19 Confirmed Cases in South Carolina

Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Web Page

Symptoms of COVID-19

S.C. Department of Mental Health

CDC Travel Health Notices

See COVID-19 campus updates, office hours and resources  COVID-19 Updates >
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