First Full Week of Fall Semester

Sent: August 26, 2020
From: President Mary A. Papazian


Spartan Community Promise; What’s Open; SJSU COVID-19 Symptom Check Tool

SJSU campus community,

Our thoughts continue to be with those who are affected by the burning wildfires and the emergency responders who are working tirelessly to keep everyone safe. The fires have caused additional uncertainty, anxiety, and suffering to begin an already unprecedented fall semester, and I thank all of you for the flexibility, patience, and kindness you have shown throughout these trying times.

As our community faces these multiple challenges, I want to quickly share a bit of good news during this first full week of the fall semester—yesterday, SJSU was ranked the #1 “Most Transformative College” in the country by Money Magazine. During a transformative time in our world’s history, we are also transforming the world together. And now, more than ever, we must show our Spartan spirit and come together around the common goal of having a safe, healthy and successful semester.

Spartan Community Promise

Wherever we are this fall—on campus or working or learning remotely—we have a responsibility to care for ourselves and our fellow campus community members. With that in mind, SJSU has created the Spartan Community Promise, which I hope you will join me in making.

Spartan Community Promise: As Spartans, we can make a difference

I will prioritize my health and well-being as well as that of my family, friends, colleagues, classmates, university, and community. I will do my part as a socially responsible citizen of the Spartan Community to protect our collective health and well-being through the following actions.

Daily SJSU COVID-19 Symptom Check Tool

As mentioned in recent messages to the campus community, students, staff, and faculty who must be present on campus or have approval to come to campus are expected to self-check for symptoms consistent with COVID-19 before coming to campus. SJSU has created the SJSU COVID-19 Symptom Check Tool to facilitate your daily self-assessment of symptoms. 

If you are exhibiting symptoms consistent with COVID-19, you must stay home. If you are already on campus and begin to exhibit any of these symptoms, notify your professor or supervisor and go home. If you live in University Housing, please return to your residence hall and notify your Residence Life Coordinator (RLC). Please review Santa Clara County Public Health Department’s Home Isolation and Quarantine Guidance

If you have tested positive for COVID-19 or believe you may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, you are expected to report information through the COVID-19 Report a Case portal. This confidential questionnaire collects information that will be shared with the necessary campus officials to ensure that we can appropriately assist you.

Who Will Be on Campus

Permitted on campus are essential staff; faculty who teach in-person classes or have approval to access resources located on campus to teach online; faculty, staff or students who have approved, essential Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity (RSCA); and students who have in-person classes or are residing in university housing. At this time, in accordance with state guidance, unauthorized personnel are not allowed on campus. Non-essential staff must request permission from their supervisor to come to campus.

What’s Open on Campus

We have identified the buildings that can safely operate in compliance with state and county public health guidelines for the fall semester. An interactive campus map shows which buildings on campus are accessible. Limiting the number of buildings in operation allows SJSU to focus cleaning and security measures to keep the campus community safe, 

Your Tower or building access card is required for entry to buildings that are open on campus. Your card will not unlock buildings that are not currently operating. Please look over the interactive campus map before coming to campus, which also identifies buildings that will have staff monitoring entrances to manage density. 

What to Bring With You If You Must Come to Campus 

Face coverings or masks must be worn at all times on campus, unless you are alone inside of a private room/office with the door closed. So along with your Tower or access card, you must wear a face covering or mask when you come to campus. If you do not have a mask, there are supplies available at several areas on campus, including at Facilities Development and Operations (located at the Corporation Yard A building) and at a kiosk located near the Event Center and Student Wellness Center. If campus operations are further restricted due to air quality concerns, masks will only be available during regular operating hours at FD&O.

These last few days, the combination of wildfires and COVID-19 have complicated the risks to individuals’ respiratory health such that I think it important to share the following observation. In the past, when we have experienced air quality issues, it was common for people to wear N-95 masks. However, many N-95 masks have an exhalation valve that actually permits the release of respiratory droplets and potential virus into the air. Please be sure to choose a face covering or mask that does not inadvertently do this.

More information can be found in the Face Coverings section of the SJSU Adapt plan. Exemptions are permitted as articulated in the California Department of Public Health guidelines. Students who need accommodations should contact the Accessible Education Center (AEC). Faculty and staff should contact Employment Accommodations Resource Center (EARC).

Although the use of shared objects is not a primary way to spread COVID-19 according to the CDC, we encourage you to minimize the sharing of equipment and tools. If you must share equipment or tools, you should disinfect them before and after use.

Continual Adaptation

Finally, we are continuing to review the COVID-19 Industry Guidance: Institutions of Higher Education issued by California Department of Public Health and Cal-OSHA on Friday, August 7. We continue to update the SJSU Adapt plan to ensure we are complying with the new state guidelines. I encourage you to visit the plan website, as well as the SJSU Health Advisories website, to stay up to date on information about how SJSU is navigating the COVID-19 pandemic and any changes to campus policies that may affect you.

I wish each of you a safe, healthy and successful fall semester. We are stronger together, and despite the challenges we face, I know we will have a productive fall semester.

With caring and appreciation, 

Dr. Mary A. Papazian