Contents:

A. Campus Safety Committee

B. Vaccination FAQs

C. Community Life FAQs

D. Chapel Updates

E. Registrar Office FAQs

F. Styberg Library FAQs

G. Field Education FAQs

H. Residence Halls, Apartments, and Food Service FAQs

I. Safety Measures on Campus


Created on March 31, 2021 and last updated on April 15, 2021 (Section B).
This FAQ for students is based on the latest information and guidelines available from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the State of Illinois, and the City of Evanston. As new information is made available in the months leading up to the Fall 2021 semester the FAQ will be updated and dated.

 


 

A. Campus Safety Committee 

1. Who is responsible for planning for campus reopening? 

The Seminary created a Campus Safety Committee (CSC) and tasked them with making the plans to safely reopening campus. Kevin Miller, Vice President for Business Affairs and Chief Financial Officer, is the chair of this committee. The committee is comprised of the following members of faculty and staff: 

  • Ron Anderson, Associate Dean of Institutional and Educational Assessment and Ernest and Bernice Styberg Professor of Worship 

  • Jaeyeon Lucy Chung, Director of the Styberg Library and Assistant Professor of Pastoral Theology 

  • Katie Fahey, Director of Admissions and Recruitment 

  • Krista McNeil, Director of Academic Studies and Registrar 

  • Carrie Moore, Senior Administrator for Academic Affairs 

  • Erin Moore, Assistant Vice President for Human Resources 

  • Shane Nichols, Assistant Vice President for Marketing and Communications 

  • Benjamin Reynolds, Assistant Vice President for Student Services and Dean of Students
     

CSC is arranging subgroups to work on specific topics related to reopening. These subgroups will engage staff, faculty, students, and trustees as needed on topics and issues based on their work and expertise.

 

2. What information and resources are the CSC using to create reopening plans? 

The CSC is predominantly focused on the following resources for reopening: 

  • The Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) website. The CDC continues to update its webpage with guidance for the general public and with specific guidance for higher education. 

  • Public health websites for Illinois and the cities of Evanston and Chicago. While the CDC has a national approach, the CSC needs to ensure plans fit with local public health guidance. 

  • Resources that have been vetted by trusted higher education and other professional associations in which the seminary is a member. We have received reopening checklists, guides, and other helpful information from the Association for Theological Schools (ATS), American Council on Education (ACE), EIIA (our insurance provider that serves higher education exclusively), College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR), and more. 

  • Conversations with and reviewing the websites of peer seminaries and theological schools, Northwestern University, and other higher education institutions. Many schools returned to in person learning in January 2021 or sooner. There is a lot we can learn from the processes, procedures, and safety measures that have served these other schools.

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B. Vaccination FAQs

 

1. Will Garrett require students to be immunized against COVID-19? 

Garrett is updating its immunization policy to require all students to be fully vaccinated in advance of arriving on campus in the fall. 

2. How do I provide proof of vaccination? 

To submit your COVID-19 Immunization Verification, you will need a picture of your completed vaccination card prior to using the submission form. You can find the submission form on the Wellness and Health Care webpage on myGETS (log-in required); follow the instructions there to complete your verification. If you encounter any difficulties, please contact student.life@garrett.edu with the subject line “Issues with Immunization Verification.”
 

3. Do I need to be vaccinated to take classes in person for fall 2021? 

Yes. Only students who have been vaccinated will be eligible to attend classes in person for fall 2021.  

4. Will there be exemptions to immunizations against COVID-19? 

Students attending on-campus classes may request an exemption from the vaccination requirement for medical or religious reasons. Students enrolled in only online classes (typically defined as having no access to on-campus facilities), as well as individuals participating in fully online or off-campus programs, will not need to provide proof of vaccination. Those seeking exemption for medical reasons should inquire with the Director of Academic Studies and Registrar, Ms. Krista McNeil, at krista.mcneil@garrett.edu. Those seeking exemption for religious reasons should inquire with the Office of Student Life at student.life@garrett.edu.  

5. What if I have been diagnosed with COVID-19, do I still need to be vaccinated? 

From the CDC’s website, “Yes, you should be vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID-19. That’s because experts do not yet know how long you are protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. Even if you have already recovered from COVID-19, it is possible—although rare—that you could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 again.

"If you were treated for COVID-19 with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, you should wait 90 days before getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Talk to your doctor if you are unsure what treatments you received or if you have more questions about getting a COVID-19 vaccine."

Experts are still learning more about how long vaccines protect against COVID-19 in real-world conditions. CDC will keep the public informed as new evidence becomes available.”  

6. Will I be able to register for classes for Fall 2021 without having been vaccinated yet? 

Yes, you will be able to register for classes prior to vaccination, but you will have to provide proof of vaccination before coming to campus to attend classes or live in Garrett housing (dormitories or apartments). Instructions for how to provide proof will be provided to students by April 15.
 

7. I am fully vaccinated! Do I still need to wear a face covering and watch my distance? 

Yes. Until public health experts see evidence that it is safe to not use these protective measures, which guard against transmission of the virus, Garrett will continue to require social distancing and the use of face coverings. We will be providing more guidelines for precautions we will be taking on campus in early summer. You can also see section I. Safety Measures FAQ section below.

8. Where can I get vaccinated? 

There are many locations to be vaccinated. Garrett strongly urges members of its community to get an available appointment as soon as they become eligible. Here are resources for you: 

  1. CDC Vaccination Finder to find a location anywhere in the United States: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/reporting/vaccinefinder/about.html

  2. For locations specifically in Illinois https://coronavirus.illinois.gov/s/vaccination-location. 

  3. Here are some places to check for appointments that are near campus or in the Chicago area:

    1. Walgreens Pharmacy: people have found more availability with Walgreens in using their app versus their website. You can download the app from the Apple App Store or Google Play.

    2. CVS Pharmacy

    3. If you live in Chicago, then www.zocdoc.com is where you can search for appointments at the United Center and about 15 other Chicago vaccination sites.

    4. You get on a list to be vaccinated in Evanston: https://www.cityofevanston.org/government/departments/health-human-services/covid-19-vaccinations#ad-image-0. Complete the “Vaccination Contact Form” on this site. 

 

9. Will Garrett offer vaccinations? 

Garrett will not offer vaccinations at this time. 

10. Why should I get vaccinated? Is it safe? 

According to the CDC, the vaccines are all safe and effective, and studies have shown they prevent severe illness and death from the virus. See https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/faq.html for information. 

11. Will I have to pay to be vaccinated? 

No! The State Department of Health has made clear that no one will have to pay for the vaccine. There is no out-of-pocket cost to get a COVID-19 vaccine, regardless of location. If you have health insurance your insurance company may be billed, but costs will not be passed on to you. See https://coronavirus.illinois.gov/s/vaccine-faqs for more information.
 

12. My child is only 16-years old. Is a vaccine available? 

The Pfizer vaccine may be administered to 16- and 17-year-olds. Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines may be administered to those 18 and older. 

13. I’m an international student, and I have been vaccinated in my home country with a vaccine not approved in the US. Can I still come to campus in the fall? 

Garrett will be following public health guidelines. The seminary will accept any of the three vaccines that have been authorized for use by the United States FDA under an Emergency Use Application (EUA) and recommended by the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, as well as any others that receive that same authorization and recommendation by the beginning of the Fall 2021 semester. As international students begin the process of enrolling, the Office of Student Life will work with them, if necessary, to help them get vaccinated upon arrival in the United States and in accordance with those same public health guidelines. 

14. What if I am having trouble making a vaccination appointment? 

The Office of Student Life will aid any student struggling to find an appointment. After April 15, 2021 you can contact the Office of Student Life at student.life@garrett.edu, and they will assist you in getting an appointment.  

15. I currently live in Garrett housing (apartments or dormitories) or I plan to move into Garrett housing, must I and/or my family be vaccinated to live in Garrett housing (dormitories and apartments)? 

Any person over the age of 16 who resides in Garrett Housing must be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus and must provide evidence of such to the Office of Student Life (as described in question B2 above) by Friday, August 13, 2021. Anyone who cannot or will not provide such evidence will have their housing agreement terminated and be given 30 days to move out. If you are a new resident to Housing, anyone wanting to move in after August 1, 2021 must be fully vaccinated. Please remember if you are struggling to get an appointment, you can email the Office of Student Life after April 15, 2021, at student.life@garrett.edu for assistance. 

16. If I sign a housing agreement and am unable to move to campus because I cannot get a vaccine will I still be responsible for the agreement? 

No, as has been our policy since the pandemic began, any situation caused by the pandemic that affects your ability to fulfill the obligations of your housing agreement will be released and any prepayments will be refunded. 

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C. Community Life FAQs  

1. Will we have Community Meal? 

There will be Community Meal. While it may be slightly different from the previous iteration, we will maintain a sense of community and keep best practices while dining.

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D. Chapel Updates  

1. What will Chapel be like in Fall 2021? 

The Chapel Advisory Committee, liturgical studies faculty, Chapel Team, and IT Department are in ongoing conversation about how we can responsibly adapt our seminary worship life for Fall 2021. We anticipate that we will utilize more than one mode of worship both seizing the opportunity to be back in the Chapel of the Unnamed Faithful as well as attending to the digital liturgical space in which we have gathered for the past year. A key priority that is guiding our work is attending to the full inclusion of all members of the seminary community whether they choose to join worship online or in person.

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E. Registrar Office FAQs  

1. How will I receive information about registration for summer and fall? 

Students will be receiving the usual “Tips from the Registrar” communication shortly about summer and fall 2021 registration. Priority Registration for BGTS, Doctoral, and Senior Students will begin on April 20. General Registration will begin on April 27. 

 

2. What will be the formats and modalities of classes in the summer and fall? 

Summer courses will remain fully online.  

 

Fall courses will be offered four varied formats, including:  

  • In-person classes (will meet in person at 2121 Sheridan Rd, Evanston, IL 60201) 

  • Online classes (courses will be conducted remotely online.  Some may require synchronous online meetings) 

  • Hybrid classes (will be a mix of in-person and online meetings) 

  • Hyflex classes (the professor will be teaching from a classroom on campus and students may join in-person or online) 

Each modality will be designated in the following way in the course schedule: 

  • In-person class numbers will follow the standard format: FIELD-### 

  • Online class numbers will be designated with an “X” at the end: FIELD-### X 

  • Hybrid class numbers will be designated with an “Y” at the end: FIELD-### Y 

  • Hyflex class numbers will be designated with a “Z” at the end: FIELD-### Z 

 

3. How will a “hyflex” course count toward my online course limit? 

If students enroll in a hyflex course and attend more than half of it virtually, it will count as an online course.  Students and advisors should heed the online course limits carefully for degree programs (as well as ordination and licensing limits on online classes).   

 

4. Will a “hybrid” course count as in-person or online?  

Hybrid courses are planned to meet in-person more than half of the semester, so they will count as in-person courses.   

 

5. How do accreditation requirements affect the modalities that I choose for my classes? 

Garrett is accredited by the Association of Theological Schools (ATS), the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), and University Senate of The United Methodist Church (University Senate). The ATS is “mode neutral” in its standards for Master’s degrees, but expects synchronous or in-person instruction for doctoral programs. The University Senate currently allows for up to two-thirds of Master’s programs to be online. With the HLC, we are currently allowed to provide only up to 50% of our degree programs online. Students should heed these limits when selecting courses and modalities. 

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F. Styberg Library FAQs  

1. Will the library be open for in-person services in the fall? 

Throughout the pandemic, our Seminary community has demonstrated tremendous resilience and patience. While the presence of COVID-19 will require continued adherence to health and safety protocols, Styberg Library staff looks forward to welcoming Garrett students, staff, and faculty back to campus. Our reopening plans are aligned with the Seminary’s Campus Reopening Plan, and we are working tirelessly with the Campus Safety Committee to determine the library open hours, the use of the library space, and other in-person services.   

 

2. What services will be available? 

While concrete details about the reopening plans will be made available later, the Styberg Library will continue to provide the Seminary community with the following services:

  • Access to a wide range of electronic and digital collections  

  • Curbside pickup and mailing of physical book requests  

  • Scans of physical items (including Reserves)  

  • Interlibrary loan (ILL 

  • Remote patron services such as library instruction and research requests  

  • Virtual programs including library display and office hours  

  • Patron-driven acquisitions – Suggest a book purchase  

  • Online research guides and tutorials – Suggest a topic  

 

Library staff can be contacted via email (styberg.library@garrett.edu), phone (847-866-3909), or chat (library.garrett.edu/chat) Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. Students can also speak with one of the librarians during virtual office hours on Tuesday and Thursday, 2-4 pm (CST). Should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. For more information about the library service during the pandemic, visit the library website. 

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G. Field Education FAQs  

1. Can I take the INT 600/605 Leadership Seminar online? 

INT600 and INT605 will be offered Hyflex (e.g. students can choose between online and in person modalities) in both the Fall and Spring semesters of Academic Year 2021-2022.   

  • Fall 2021: INT605 will be Hyflex during the Thursday morning block (9:00-11:00am) and INT600 will be Hyflex during the Thursday evening block (6:30-8:30pm).    

  • Spring 2022: INT600 will be Hyflex during the Thursday morning block (9:00-11:00am) and INT605 will be Hyflex during the Thursday evening block (6:30-8:30pm).

 

2. How will FE600/610 Field Education work for in person and distance students? What kind of safety precautions can I count on at my field placement site? 

FE600/610 Field Education will be offered both semesters of Academic Year 2021-2022 with the following provisions: 

  • Site placement: Field Education staff have been working to place students with sites in and outside of Chicagoland, according to their plans. All sites, site supervisors and students must agree and adhere to the Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary Field Education Covid Placement Policy. 

  • Peer Groups:  Both in person and online peer groups will be offered during the Wednesday afternoon block (1:00-3:00pm) and Wednesday evening block (6:30-8:30pm).  Distance students will be given priority for online peer groups.

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H. Residence Halls, Apartments, and Food Service FAQs  

See questions 15 and 16 in section B. Vaccination FAQs for information about vaccination requirements for those living in Garrett housing (residence halls and apartments). 

 

1. Will food service be returning to Loder Hall? 

No, food service will not be returning to Loder Hall.  We will be installing a vending mart that will have many options from salads and sandwiches to chips and beverages. Each dorm room will be equipped with a refrigerator and there are kitchens in the basement and second floor of Loder Hall for student use. 

 

2. Where can students get food on campus? 

Northwestern University has many options for food on the campus, please visit their website for information: https://dineoncampus.com/northwestern 

 

3. Is there a meal plan that Garrett students can purchase? 

We are in the process of working with Northwestern University to see if Garrett students can sign up for a pre-paid meal plan through Northwestern University. We will provide this information to Garrett dorm residents once we have it available. Based on early discussions with Northwestern University, this pre-paid meal plan would need to be arranged directly between the student and Northwestern University.  

 

4. How do I sign up for housing? 

Housing applications for the Fall 2021 semester will be made available after April 15, 2021. The housing application will be made accessible through the housing webpage on Garrett's main website and myGETS. Housing applications for the Fall 2021 semester should be submitted by June 15, 2021. The official move in weekend is August 27, 2021 through August 29, 2021. Early move ins begin August 1, 2021. Special circumstances will be reviewed on a case-by-case manner. Please contact the Housing Office for any specific questions at garrett.housing@garrett.edu   

 

5. What are the housing costs? 

The housing cost for the 2021-2022 academic year can be found here. At minimum, the housing deposit must be paid prior to moving into housing. Please note, if living in an apartment charges are applied and due by the first of the month. If living in a residence hall charges are applied at the beginning of the semester. Please contact the Housing Office for more information about cost and housing payments at garrett.housing@garrett.edu 

 

6. Will tours of housing units be available? 

Unfortunately, physical tours are not available. Please contact the Housing Office at garrett.housing@garrett.edu for more information regarding other options to view units. 

 

7. Will Old Dorm be open for the fall? 

Yes, at this time Old Dorm is slated to be open this academic year. 

 

8. Will face covering and social distancing still need to occur in the housing?  

Yes. Please see the face covering and social distancing information found in section B. Vaccination FAQ. 

 

9. Will there be other safety protocols in place for moving in and for living in housing? 

Yes. We will have more information about safety protocols for the move-in process as well as any other measures that need to be taken in housing as we get closer to August. 

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I. Safety Measures on Campus

1. Who will be able to be on campus? 

We will only enable the faculty, staff, and students who have been vaccinated to return to campus in fall 2021. We will not be open to the general public including Northwestern University students. The exceptions to the general public/visitors would be prospective students (visiting Admissions), alums/donors (visiting the Development Office), and invited speakers for classes or events  who would have a scheduled appointment and would provide proof of vaccination. We still need to finalize how to manage proof of vaccination for specific visitors, considering such options as training each department, providing guidelines for acceptable proof of vaccination, and having centralized oversight of this to ensure greater security and privacy of health information.
 

2. How will we prevent the general public from entering our buildings? 

During the time campus has been closed due to COVID-19, we moved the reception desk from its prior position to now be to the immediate left when you enter through the Main Entrance. In its former position, it was too easy for people to enter and walk through our building without stopping at the front desk. The new placement will enable us to implement standard long-term practices for visitors, so we know who is on campus and their purpose for visiting campus. We still need to determine the role of the front desk and its staffing during the return to work. Plexiglass is installed already for an added layer of security for any front desk worker. 

We will also be posting information on our website and signage on and around the Main Building and all other buildings indicating we are not open to the general public and only faculty, staff, students, and those with appointments who have provided proof of vaccination can enter our buildings. 

The Campus Safety Committee will be thinking through additional measures to secure our buildings from the general public. 
 

3. Since COVID-19 is an airborne virus, what changes will be made to ventilation on campus? 

We have completed a study of the ventilation on campus. Our air handling system was already designed to pull in fresh air versus recirculating air. In using the information provided by the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-conditioning Engineers (ASHREA) Epidemic Task Force, we decided to install plasma air filters that will clean the air of COVID-19 and other viruses and bacteria. In addition, in each classroom and throughout the Styberg Library we will be installing HEPA air filters. 

  

4. What safety measures will be in place during class? 

The Campus Safety Team is monitoring CDC and public health guidelines and is determining the safety measures needed with plans for how we will implement these measures. These will be shared closer to reopening since guidance continues to change. Rest assured, we will continue to prioritize the health and safety of our Garrett community and will err on the side of caution. 

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