- Tuesday, August 17, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
- Monday, August 23, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
- Wednesday, August 25, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
- Effective immediately, the university will require face coverings in indoor public spaces on campus, regardless of vaccination status. This includes public office spaces, classrooms, conference rooms and other academic spaces like laboratories and libraries. Additionally, masks will be required while traversing public spaces in residence halls, dining facilities, the Student Union, Campus Rec, and retail spaces. Masks will be required for extracurricular activities held in indoor on-campus spaces. Face coverings are not required when outdoors.
- SOCIAL DISTANCING: Social distancing must be maintained at all times (indoors and outdoors).
- CAPACITY: Must adhere to COVID capacity limitations and regulations currently in effect for that space or venue (consult current executive orders, city restrictions, etc.).
- MASKS: Cloth face coverings or masks required at all times except when actively drinking or eating (indoors and outdoors).
• Lower Risk Requirement: Food allowed if served while seated and adhering to dining restrictions.• Moderate Risk Requirement: Food services Grab and Leave only.
- EVENT MONITORS: Minimum of three designated Event Monitors present.
- ATTENDEE LIST: Attendee list provided to Ole Miss Student Union (OMSU) or Fraternity & Sorority Life (FSL) at least seven days in advance. Only current students and/or organization advisors will be allowed to attend.
- REGISTRATION: Activities must be registered in ForUM. Activities prior to March 11 must be registered ASAP. Activities on or after March 11 must be registered at least 15 business days in advance.
- NON-UNIVERSITY-MANAGED VENUES: Additional requirements must be met for non-university-managed venues. See the activities protocols and parameters for full details.
- Explore events and organizations at The ForUM.
- Read The Powder Blue, the weekly student newsletter that provides helpful information, connection and campus happenings for all students.
- Follow the social feeds of Ole Miss Student Services and the Associated Student Body.
- Check out the university’s events calendar.
With the fall semester upon us, I know many of you are eager for our return to campus and the Ole Miss spirit we feel when we’re together. You may have questions about the upcoming school year and how it will look, and I hope to be able to answer some of them in this letter. Whether this will be your first fully in-person Ole Miss college experience or you’re returning to face-to-face learning, events and gatherings, let’s make this the best year possible. Here’s what we anticipate the beginning of this school year will look like and how we can help keep each other healthy while on campus.
With the spread of the highly contagious COVID-19 Delta variant, we have adopted guidance from the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) and the CDC and will temporarily require masks for everyone in indoor settings on campus, regardless of vaccination status.
While this is not what we expected the Fall 2021 semester to look like, we hope this temporary policy will allow us to preserve two of our biggest priorities at Ole Miss: keeping our university community safe and helping students stay on track to earn their degrees. If we can limit the spread of COVID-19, we will be able to continue fully with in-person classroom instruction and on-campus operations. More information about the university’s Fall 2021 campus protocols is available here, including answers to frequently asked questions and contact info to address any questions that are not answered on the website.
University departments and registered student organizations (RSOs) may plan in-person events, gatherings and extracurricular activities. All in-person events must be submitted through The ForUM and should comply with the university’s event registration policy. RSOs must attend Fall 2021 RSO Orientation to be able to register events and apply for Student Activity Fee funding from the Associated Student Body. Please see these requirements and recommendations for event planning for Fall 2021.
COVID-19 INFORMATION RESOURCES
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August 4, 2021
Dear students, faculty and staff,
As the fall 2021 semester approaches, our university leadership team is excited to return to in-person learning and the full on-campus experience. While our anticipation builds, we must recognize the latest wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. A sharp spike in cases in Mississippi and nationally is being caused by the Delta variant that is highly contagious and spreading quickly.
Considering where we were this time last year, we can all be grateful for the availability of effective, safe and free vaccines. Even with vaccines, however, the recent surge is cause for concern because the Delta variant is easily transmitted. We have reviewed updated guidance and recommendations from the CDC and the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH). We have regular communications with the IHL and other universities in the system, MSDH, the City of Oxford, the local school district, and the local hospital to assess the impact on our community. These discussions further inform our decision making for expanding or reducing community intervention and mitigation strategies.
To align with the CDC and the directive from MSDH stating, “that masks be worn universally indoors for all students, faculty, staff, and visitors, regardless of vaccination status. Due to the prevalence of the highly transmissible Delta Variant, masks must be worn in all indoor facilities to mitigate the risk of infection at this time” the university is implementing the following update to campus protocols:
This new, temporary protocol is an evidence-based mitigation strategy which will assist us in delivering in-person learning and maintaining a full on-campus experience with the least amount of disruption. We’re optimistic that this temporary mask utilization indoors will help ensure a successful start to the school year. In fact, to have the full in-person experience, this strategy is being embraced by all eight public universities in Mississippi, as well as other SEC universities. We will evaluate this protocol daily based on how spread of the virus evolves on campus and in our community. Let me emphasize that we are implementing this temporary mitigation strategy as the least disruptive way to ensure a full campus experience.
We’re incredibly grateful to all those who are doing their part to protect themselves, their families, and others by getting vaccinated. We know that many of you who have received the vaccine will be frustrated about once again returning to masking, even if it is temporary. It is important to note that the effectiveness of vaccines against virus spread, hospitalization, and the most severe outcomes offer us the best path forward and your individual choice to be vaccinated will remain advantageous to you. Please know that when we are able to lift the temporary mask mandate for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals, it is very likely that anyone who is unvaccinated will still need to wear a mask indoors, as it will be their only protection from the effects of getting the virus. We urge everyone to do their part to keep themselves and our community safe: Take advantage of the free and widely available vaccines.
Our teams continue to monitor this fluid situation daily, and we will keep you apprised of any changes to the campus protocols. Thank you for your commitment to our shared success — it will require all of us, working collectively and in alignment, to limit the spread of the virus.
Glenn F. Boyce
Dear students, faculty and staff,
In light of the new state and local orders issued this week, we have reviewed our guidance and protocols and are issuing the following updates.
The university will continue to require all people to wear a cloth face covering or mask for the rest of the Spring 2021 semester in classroom settings and office settings. In addition, masks continue to be required while traversing public spaces in residence halls, dining facilities, the Student Union, Campus Rec, retail spaces and other on-campus facilities. We continue to promote good hand hygiene and distancing protocols for indoor spaces.
In outdoor areas of campus, social distancing of at least six feet continues to be strongly recommended as well as wearing a mask when you cannot maintain distance unless the protocols for the outdoor venue differ.
The implications of the orders for off-campus student events will be forthcoming and will be communicated directly to Registered Student Organizations.
Our community has done a tremendous job of adopting and adhering to our university protocols to limit spread of the virus, and those protocols continue to work effectively. We look forward to getting vaccines on campus to administer to faculty, staff and students, which may offer future opportunities to reevaluate our approach.
Glenn F. Boyce
Feb. 26, 2021
Dear students, faculty and staff,
We have seen a return this semester of much of the vibrancy and vitality for which our campus is beloved and so well-known.
As we look ahead, priority registration for Fall 2021 begins on April 12. We will offer the Fall 2021 semester as a full in-person, campus experience. We will continue to monitor the health and safety of our campus community and adapt if necessary to government orders and public health guidance.
The growing adoption and distribution of multiple vaccines against the COVID-19 virus enables us to plan for a full resumption of in-person classes for Fall 2021 and fully return our campus to pre-COVID-19 operations. As we remain committed to doing all we can to operate similar to Fall 2019, we will monitor the distribution of the vaccine closely as well as other relevant indicators.
While we do not have an update yet regarding summer session and intersession, we are working on that now and hope to have an update for you soon. As we shared earlier, we look forward to hosting the Class of 2021 and Class of 2020 for in-person Commencement ceremonies on consecutive weekends in early May. Full details about Commencement can be found here.
Thank you again for all of your efforts and contributions to our campus community, and for your continued commitment to keeping our campus safe and healthy. Like you, I’m very excited and looking forward to returning fully to the academic, operational and campus atmosphere that we all know and cherish. We will continue to share updates, and I encourage you to monitor our COVID-19 website for more information.
Glenn F. Boyce
As we settle into the rhythm of the spring semester (despite this week’s weather disruptions), I’m excited to share information below about the wide range of current events and activities, how you can stay plugged into campus life and our next steps for expanding engagement opportunities safely for the remainder of the semester.
We’re so proud of the way our students have found creative ways to host events while following our campus protocols. We now have more than 380 registered events scheduled across our campus this semester, and we expect to add many more before the term ends. We’ve already had our first Flagship Friday, Welcome Week on the Student Union Plaza and are looking forward to Engagement Week featuring our registered student organizations, free food and giveaways. You can see the entire list of registered student events in The ForUM.
Events and activities are an incredibly important part of campus life, and I’m committed to the university doing all we can to help you make the most of your college experience through this period. I’m grateful to you, our students, for all that you have done to help us navigate this pandemic to date. We appreciate your continued patience and commitment to do your part to protect all in our community.
In January, we shared that we would monitor our COVID-19 positivity rate for the first month of the semester to inform decision-making about future on- and off-campus activities. We must follow public health guidance and current executive and local orders in effect for the respective venue, and that requires good information to understand the health status of our community. Please note that all events are subject to approval and changes may occur based on our positivity rate.On the Events page of our COVID-19 website, you will find the positivity rate framework that we will follow for the remainder of the semester. The framework outlines conditions that must be met to host events, based on a series of thresholds for the positivity rate. Also, on the Events page (and in the snapshot below), you will find the minimum requirements for all events and activities regardless of venue (university-managed and non-university-managed) for the current positivity rate.
You can start now! Activities must be registered through The ForUM. Events prior to March 11 need to be registered ASAP. Events on or after March 11 must be registered 15 business days in advance as outlined by standard Union procedures. The latest updates for Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) regarding protocols for events and activities for this semester can be found here. If you have questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Events and activities can be submitted now and will be reviewed by OMSU or FSL staff for adherence to the requirements outlined for this semester. Staff will do their best to be flexible with requests so that events and activities can proceed.
Events and activities can be hosted as long as the specified requirements are met and it is submitted through the appropriate channels.
Non-university-managed venues must be reviewed and approved by the Ole Miss Student Union or Fraternity and Sorority Life. At this time, group travel outside Lafayette County is prohibited unless a waiver is obtained through the Event Registration process.
Yes, organizations can schedule up to two shifts of maximum capacity for each shift. Additional details about how shifts must be managed is posted on the Events page.
We know this is a lot to sort through as we navigate new and creative ways of gathering and holding activities. We also know this is not college life before COVID-19, but it is more open than we could be in the fall. It is important that we recognize the pandemic does not mean that we can’t do the things that we used to do before COVID-19, it just means we need to do them differently. Take, for example, college sports. COVID-19 didn’t mean we didn’t get to cheer on Lane Kiffin, Matt Corral and our football team. It just meant we had to do so with fewer people in the stadium, with masks on and social distancing. The same holds true for student activities
Our Asymptomatic Testing Program is an important part of this strategy. We understand that some people who are infected with the virus don’t exhibit symptoms, yet they can spread illness to others. Understanding the positivity rate among those who do not have symptoms is an important tool to help us protect our community. Your participation in testing is essential — more testing does not equate to more positives, so please do your part to stop misinformation that students should not get tested because it will drive up the positivity rate. The more students who are tested, the larger the pool for calculating the rate. Please participate in the testing program and encourage your classmates and friends to do so.
Each Friday, the university updates its COVID dashboard based on the previous week’s positivity rate. The rate measures the percentage of positive RT-PCR tests performed during the prior seven days through the Asymptomatic Testing Program.
Details will be shared soon for a Zoom panel session for RSO and FSL leadership to review this process and get questions answered.