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Return To Campus Plan

Lipscomb University's comprehensive plan to return to campus.

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COVID-19 Update

Lipscomb University Novel Coronavirus COVID-19 update and response.

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Student Life

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We are planning for an exceptional on-campus experience this fall! Will things be a bit different? Yes. But, the student life team as well as several students have been hard at work to create new and different events, programs and opportunities for our community that are tailored to our new expectations. And, faculty are creating classroom teaching experiences to meet the needs of a flexible learning environment. We will share more about all of these new experiences as we near the beginning of school. If you have any questions about Student Life, please reach out to the student life team at studentlife@lipscomb.edu.


What will the fall semester be like for students?

We are planning for an exceptional on-campus student experience this fall. Will things be a bit different? Yes. But, the student life team and many of your student peers are hard at work to create new and different events, programs and opportunities for you that are tailored to our new expectations! You will learn more about these new experiences as we near the beginning of school.

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When can we move into residence halls?

To allow for proper physical distancing, move-in for new students is scheduled over three days this year—August 17-19. Stay tuned for more details from Housing and Residence Life. Returning student move-in is August 21-23. Returning students recently received an email to their Lipscomb email address with specific move-in day instructions and information. 

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Will there be health and safety education for residential students?

Each student who will live on campus will be required to complete a health and safety education packet to be cleared to move on to campus. That packet will arrive soon at the student’s Lipscomb email address. The packet will educate residents on required practices related to room arrangement, personal belongings, interpersonal interactions, cleanliness, sanitization, and the use of bathrooms, lobby areas, laundry rooms, hall kitchens, and study room spaces. It will also provide detailed instructions on how to respond to health concerns.

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When is new student orientation and QuestWeek?

For undergraduate students, New Student Orientation is scheduled for Thursday, August 20, and QuestWeek is scheduled for August 21-23. If you are an incoming freshman, it is important for you to make arrangements and plans to be on campus for all these days. You should already be in steady communication with your Quest Team small group where you will receive more information and start building new friendships with your peers. If you are not already engaged with a Quest Team, please reach out to the Office of Student Life.

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Will Chapel still happen with COVID-19?

Yes! Chapel is a vibrant part of our community and we believe that chapel contributes to the positive spiritual formation of Lipscomb students. With the reality of COVID-19, we anticipate the majority of chapel opportunities will be provided through both virtual and small group options. We continue to require chapel attendance based on our belief that chapel can contribute to the positive spiritual formation of Lipscomb students. We will require students to attend 80% of The Gathering opportunities on Tuesdays and 80% of a specific “breakout chapel” that students will have the opportunity to choose.

Here is more detailed information about chapel options for this fall. 

  • The Gathering. The Gathering will occur in an online format throughout the fall semester and will be led by Lipscomb faculty, staff, and students. The Gathering will be recorded for viewing at times other than the “live” sessions so students can more easily fit the viewing into their busy schedules. 
  • Breakout Chapels. There will be many more breakout chapel offerings, including more offerings at alternative times, and several that meet only by Zoom. To build a deeper sense of community, each student will meet with the same breakout chapel group throughout the semester.

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What will on-campus housing be like with COVID-19?

Our on-campus housing communities will be operated in a manner consistent with the health, safety, and distancing recommendations of both Lipscomb and governmental experts. Students will continue to share rooms, but special attention will be paid to room arrangement and cleaning schedules. Unfortunately, no outside guests will be permitted for resident health and safety purposes, and schedules will be developed for use of laundry rooms, kitchens, and study spaces.

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What will dining be like on campus?

Lipscomb’s food services are provided by Sodexo. We have been working with Sodexo’s leadership regarding the enhanced health and sanitation protocols used in the area of dining services. Sodexo’s leadership is committed to not sacrifice food quality or service as they implement service changes to meet current health and safety needs. In general, Sodexo’s sanitation standards will be enhanced with additional high-profile sanitation practices to include wearing gloves and masks, enhanced cleaning frequency and protocols in serving, daily staff symptom checks, and addition of plexiglass barriers at all food pick up areas, cashier stations and guest dining areas. In addition, dining locations on campus will observe social distancing in lines and seating capacity will be reduced by 50% and adjusted further if needed. For more information, please review the Dining on Campus in the Now and New Normal. A few more things to know include:

  • Buffet service will be touch free for all guests, and Sodexo staff will serve all guests from the service lines and drink stations.
  • Disposable, eco-friendly cutlery kits with salt, pepper, and napkin will be distributed to all guests for each meal.
  • Implementation of Bison Café “to-go” program which will include options for takeout meals from the dining hall to promote social distancing while accommodating high guest counts.
  • Limited number of guests allowed in the dining hall at any given time.
  • No reuse of plates or cups by a guest for refills.
  • No self-service drink stations in the food court area—only bottled drinks.
  • No personal, refillable containers will be allowed in any dining location
  • No self-service condiment, flatware, or napkin dispensers.

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What will community life be like on campus this fall?

Lipscomb students will continue to enjoy many activities on campus although in a modified format. Activities will be limited in number and follow appropriate physical distancing and face covering protocols. In many cases, a single activity will be offered multiple times to allow for more students to join in other sessions. Additional student gathering locations will be created in outdoor spaces. Students are encouraged to bring a comfortable lawn chair with them so they can meet up with other students in these outdoor venues. Here are a few more things to know about Community Life this fall:

  • The amount of seating in the lower and main levels of the Bennett Campus Center will be reduced by roughly 50% to encourage physical distancing. 
  • There will be more opportunities and invitations to have student meetings and gatherings virtually. 
  • Since in-person gatherings of no more than 25 or 50 (depending on health and safety guidelines) will be allowed, the fun programs, events, and activities offered throughout the semester will require students to sign up and reserve spots rather than simply showing up for the event. However, these same events will be offered multiple times to give more students the opportunity to participate. All events coordinated through Community Life will follow appropriate physical distancing and face covering protocols. 

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What about immunizations?

Like every year, there are required immunizations for the health and wellbeing of you and our community. Documentation of required immunizations is mandatory PRIOR to your arrival to campus. You can review the required immunizations for the general Lipscomb student population on the Health Center web page. Please note that some programs may have additional requirements, especially within the health sciences programs.

Locations where you can generally receive the required immunizations include your personal physician’s office or a local health department (generally for a reduced fee or even free in some locations). If you have not provided immunization documentation, once you arrive on campus you will be required to go to Lipscomb University Health Services where you may receive the required vaccinations for a fee. Students who do not submit evidence of the required immunizations will receive a medical hold on their student account that may limit their ability to register for or attend classes and delay approval for moving into campus housing. The medical hold will be removed once evidence of the required vaccinations has been submitted to Health Services.

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What is the Bisons Student Care Plan?

The Bisons Student Care Plan will activate if a student needs to self-isolate or quarantine due to COVID-19 and will be administered by the student care coordinator in the Office of Student Wellbeing. The student care coordinator will contact each student who is in self-isolation to determine the level of services desired and needed. Basic services provided will include regular check-ins with students in isolation, assisting with student needs during isolation, and continued access to medical and mental health professionals.

The Bisons Student Care Plan includes the following activities and services.

  • Frequent Care Checks. When a student is in self-isolation, the student care coordinator will check in with the student on a regular basis to ascertain the student’s wellbeing and identify and help with any needs. Students are required to meet with the student care coordinator as requested throughout the quarantine period. This enables us to not only care for the student but also serve as a conduit for any specific communication needs with other parts of the institution with the student that can be helpful.
  • Personal Items and Assistance. Residence life staff will provide students in on-campus self-isolation with additional support to retrieve personal items from the student’s dorm room, provide additional food supplies and continue to be available to the student throughout the quarantine period for any additional needs.
  • Food Service. Sodexo will provide meals for students in COVID-19 self-isolation in an on-campus facility with safe meal delivery options to specified locations. For more information, please review the Dining on Campus in the Now and New Normal
  • Exercise/Outside Access. Exercise and access to outdoor space is important for all of us and especially for those in a self-isolation period. We recognize the importance of providing this activity in a safe and scheduled way to those students who are in a period of self-isolation on campus. The director of campus recreation will provide a fitness plan that is conducive to the student’s quarantined space and that includes examples of exercises to complete while in self-isolation. In addition, students in on-campus self-isolation will have daily safe and scheduled opportunities to be outdoors while maintaining a safe distance from others within the campus community.  
  • Health Center Access. The Lipscomb Health Center is available to any student experiencing any illness symptoms and will provide appropriate medical care and supplies. The clinic staff will use telehealth as the medical governing boards allow to contact students to check on their progress. Students who need more extensive medical care than can be provided by the Health Center will be referred to a local hospital. To contact the Lipscomb Health Center, email   healthservices@lipscomb.edu or call 615-966-6304.
  • Mental Health Access. The University Counseling Center is available at no cost to any student who would like to access their services. The counseling center is available both in person and via telehealth as the medical governing boards allow. To contact the University Counseling Center, email counselingcenter@lipscomb.edu or call 615-966-1781.
  • Spiritual Formation. When students must be in quarantine due to COVID-19, the Office of Spiritual Formation will provide pastoral care and spiritual growth through regular contact with students using email, text, phone, and video conferencing. 
  • Academic Course Access. Students who can’t attend classes in person will be provided with a remote learning option. Students should consult with each instructor regarding the details of their specific courses. 

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