Guide for Returning Students

Guide for Students Returning to Campus

Mask Protocols

  • All students, regardless of vaccination status, must wear masks in all indoor public spaces at all NJCU locations.

The University will continue to monitor infection rates closely and take additional precautions or remove restrictions as public health conditions warrant.

Student Screening, Testing, and Contact Tracing Protocol

The following requirements will continue to be in effect for all students who will participate in in-person activities on campus this fall:

All students must receive their first vaccination no later than Friday, September 17, 2021, and their second and final dose by Friday, October 8, 2021 – the deadline to withdraw from classes – in order to continue in-person activities.

Prior to those deadlines, any student that will be on campus in any capacity at any NJCU location and is unvaccinated — either in a class that meets in person, an athletics practice, or any other in-person activity — is expected to provide proof of negative COVID testing before the in-person activity begins.

  • Unvaccinated students must undergo, at a minimum, weekly COVID-19 rapid testing. Testing will be provided on the main campus in the Gilligan Student Union Building (GSUB) for unvaccinated students. The Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs will be sending students their steps for testing.
  • Testing will be available five (5) days per week for all students, faculty, and staff. Rapid tests result from a personal physician or pharmacy/laboratory that is less than 72 hours old before attending an in-person activity on campus will be accepted. Fully vaccinated individuals are encouraged to avail themselves of on-campus surveillance testing. Sign up for COVID-19 tests here.
  • Contact tracing: Students who test positive will be required to participate in public health investigations, including contact tracing. 
  • Self-isolation: Students who test positive or develop symptoms consistent with COVID-19 will be required to self-isolate under guidance provided by the CDC. Space will be reserved for students to self-isolate while they recover and until cleared to leave by a designated health care professional. Students who live on campus will be permitted to self-isolate in their permanent residence (off-campus). During periods of self-isolation, students will be provided with access to academic materials. In addition, if isolation occurs on campus, students will be provided food, medical care, and other necessary services.
  • Health checks at log-in: The University has instituted a Daily Screening application to collect baseline information on the community's wellness. Students and employees are prompted to fill out a three-question survey upon logging on to their computers the first time each day.
  • Sick Notification: Students must report suspected COVID-19 infection to the Wellness Center (856-256-4333) and report symptoms through the Self-Reported Symptom Assessment Survey. Fever is the most common symptom of COVID-19, but it could also indicate another illness, especially as seasonal diseases like the flu emerge. Therefore, symptomatic individuals must avoid all face-to-face interactions and public gatherings regardless of physical distancing practices.
  • Health Checks: Before coming to campus, individuals must self-screen for any of the following new or worsening signs or symptoms of possible COVID-19: cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, loss of taste or smell, diarrhea, feeling feverish or a measured temperature (greater than or equal to 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit), or known close contact with a person who is lab-confirmed to have COVID-19.
  • Testing: NJCU utilizes a rapid point of care testing solution. NJCU has implemented a testing protocol for asymptomatic testing, as well as testing of close contacts. NJCU will meet or exceed requirements for testing of NCAA athletes or other regulated groups on campus. 
    • Symptomatic testing: Students will be required to have PCR testing through their personal health care provider or Diligent Urgent Care before returning to campus.
    • Asymptomatic surveillance testing: All unvaccinated students will be required to be tested weekly.  This test will be a shallow, nasal test. Individuals will be assigned a time for collection. Following each collection day, a report will be sent to the Dean of Students and Human Resources. Failure to report for testing will result in progressive disciplinary action. 
    • Residential students will have a rapid test before check-in for housing.If positive, the student must be PCR tested through their personal health care provider or Diligent Urgent Care with a negative result before moving into the residence halls.
  • Enforcement: Compliance expectations have been included in the Student Code of Conduct.

Vaccines

NJCU has arranged to continue bringing vaccines to the campus. COVID-19 vaccinations will be offered twice a week on campus in the Gilligan Student Union (GSUB) room 129 by the Jersey City Department of Health and Human Services for the month of September from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The FDA has approved the Pfizer vaccines for usage. Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson doses will be available on the following dates:

  • Thursday, September 9
  • Tuesday, September 14
  • Thursday, September 16
  • Tuesday, September 21
  • Thursday, September 23
  • Tuesday, September 28
  • Thursday, September 30
  • October dates to be determined and announced in a future communication

Academics

For Academic Year 2021/22 the University will offer in-person instruction, online and hybrid courses offered in the same way as pre-pandemic times.  Expanded online course offerings or remote instruction will be available. Further information can be found in the Student Services section below.

The University remains positioned to respond to government directives and public health conditions and maintains readiness for restrictions on in-person instruction should this become necessary.

Our hyflex technology is installed and faculty training readily available through IT and Online Learning. Faculty will have updated information regarding student vaccination status through GothicNet on their roster each week.

Student Success Services & Initiatives

This fall, NJCU's offices are offering in-person and virtual services. Unvaccinated students are asked to utilize virtual student services when possible.

Academic Support

The University Advisement Center, Office of Centralized Tutoring and Academic Support Programming, and the Office of Student Outreach and Retention (SOAR)  will be available in person, with virtual options available. In addition, NJCU continues to support student well-being and academic success through extensive outreach via emails, phone calls, and text messages.

Disability Resources

Our caring staff is available to assist students either in person or virtually. Students registered with the Office of Specialized Services who have certain health risks may have questions and concerns about in-person meetings and learning environments. Our staff is available to assist you with these matters. For more information, please get in touch with jaitken@njcu.edu or call 201-200-2091 during office hours.

Military Services

Students registered with The Office of Military & Veterans Services can be assured their needs will be met through in-person and virtual options. Additionally, deployed students will receive support with enrollment and course completion options.

Mental Health Resources

The COVID-19 pandemic may be stressful for people. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions. The NJCU Counseling Center offers its services to students regarding a wide range of mental health issues impacting the campus community. The staff provides confidential personal counseling and other psychological services free of charge to currently enrolled students.

Students can contact the Counseling Center at counselingcenter@njcu.edu or 201-200-3165. Also, the NJ Mental Health Cares Helpline helps people dealing with anxiety and worry related to the pandemic. Students can call 1-866-202-HELP (4357) for free, confidential support from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week. 

Student Life

Athletics 

To promote the safety, health, and well-being of student-athletes, coaches, and other University personnel, Conference and University leaders are currently reviewing guidelines for fall activities and competitions. Our student-athletes, coaches, and other staff remain a high priority for NJCU as we examine essential data, recommendations, and guidelines to inform future decisions.

Sports clubs and intramural sports will follow guidance used by Athletics as it is developed and implemented by University personnel and will follow standards set by state and local entities.

  • Screening and testing

    Athletics staff members work with trainers and health care professionals to develop protocols for effectively monitoring student-athletes and coaches. Examples include, but are not limited to:

     
    • practices and skill-development using appropriate physical distancing techniques
       
    • tracking the temperatures and symptoms of student-athletes and coaches
       
    • implementing enhanced travel precautions and maintaining competition venues in a manner that limits health-related risks to the fullest extent possible
       
    • Student-athletes, coaches, and other personnel associated with Athletics will be evaluated and restricted from participation/work using appropriate isolation protocol for known and/or suspected exposure to COVID-19.

NJCU Athletics personnel (trainers, coaches, staff, etc.) will continue to take the lead in initiating conversations to ensure that all reasonable risk-reduction protocols/practices are in place. Regular meetings are occurring with conference athletic directors, institutional presidents, and others. In addition, the Athletic Director/AVP for Athletics and Vice President of Student Affairs engage in several conversations a week to monitor information and ensure that appropriate questions/concerns are being considered.

Dining

Students, faculty, and staff have access to dining options University-wide.  Gourmet Dining has implemented operational changes that follow current NJ State and Board of Health guidelines about food service, physical distancing, and group gatherings. Although subject to change based upon real-time conditions and data, the following is a general outline for dining options.

To best meet the community's needs, mobile ordering has been expanded.  Additional preventative measures designed to protect the community include converting all self-serve dining options to full service and the temporary exclusion of reusable to-go containers and mugs.

Gourmet Dining operates within the NJ State guidelines of safe food service at the GSUB dining hall and Dunkin Donuts.  GSUB is open for both take-out and dine-in services daily.

Residence Life & Housing

NJCU will provide on-campus housing to students who apply and will assign students to rooms.

The safety and well-being of our students, faculty, and staff remain our top priority. In addition, living on campus provides students with essential resources and services that are not always available at the same levels when off-campus. Therefore, adhering to all public health and legal guidelines, the following housing plan will be implemented:

  1. New or continuing students who wish to live on campus for fall 2021 should submit the standard housing application and be assigned housing by the Office of Housing & Residential Life.
     
  2. NJCU will maintain isolation housing should that be necessary for students who are ill or who test positive for COVID-19 who cannot return home.
     
  3. Residence Life staff will make assignments using standard room configurations, in either double or single occupancy, in all residence halls and apartments. Students will be assigned to apartments based on their standard configuration (double or single rooms).
     
  4. Residence Life is training staff extensively to reduce health-related exposure and risks to all students. All training will be completed before students arrive on campus for move-in.
     
  5. Residence Life and Facilities staff are implementing robust, enhanced cleaning protocols to ensure that all common areas of residential facilities are appropriately cleaned and disinfected. This will be achieved through consistent, seamless communication and training to follow all cleaning and disinfection protocols to the fullest extent possible.
     
  6. If a residential student has known or suspected exposure to COVID-19, Reslife staff, in conjunction with the Vice President for Student Affairs, will implement a comprehensive isolation protocol for that student. The plan includes, but is not limited to, isolation housing on campus, dining accommodations, contact tracing, regular monitoring of the student's health (physically, mentally, and physically), etc.
     
  7. Students will be encouraged to use their own wipes, disinfectant spray, or soap and water to sanitize surfaces in personal spaces. In addition, students responsible for self-cleaning their bathrooms will receive educational information and instruction to enhance their understanding of appropriate procedures and disinfection supplies to use.

Shuttles/Transportation

NJCU appreciates that the shuttle provides important services for many students, faculty, and staff. As a result, The Department of Public Safety has created a plan that offers shuttle services to the fullest extent possible while implementing protocols to reduce health-related risks. As a result, the following procedures have been implemented:

  • Updated Cleaning Procedures: First Transit will continue the same 24 hour disinfecting with First Transit approved Signet Neutral Disinfectant DS1 for the disinfecting of all buses when cleaned inside.
  • PPE and Face Covering: First Transit staff and all passengers will continue with wearing of Face Coverings at all times while on an  NJCU bus.
  • Reduce Vehicle Capacity: New Jersey no longer requires any limited occupancy for bus transportation.  Therefore, all NJCU Bus occupancy will revert to existing NJ DOT standards for seating and standing limits.  Maximum 24 seated passengers.  Bus 3422 ADA setup can hold a maximum of 20 seated passengers.
  • Riders who fail to comply with the safety measures will not be allowed to ride the shuttle.

Prospective Students

The University offers guided tours of campus on an ongoing basis. With its top music, dance and theatre department, NJCU has a full Calendar of Arts Events including concerts, art exhibitions, theatrical performances and more—all of which are open to the public.  Plus, NJCU has a range of Division III Athletic Events for sports fans, so stop by to cheer on the Gothic Knights

Prospective students may sign up for personal tours of campus by appointment. All tours must follow COVID-19 safety protocols. The campus tour is limited to one student and two guests per family, and a maximum of eight families to maintain social distancing. All parties will be required to wear a mask for the full duration of the tour.

Please email campustours@njcu.edu to arrange a virtual tour.