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Return To Campus Plan

Lipscomb University's comprehensive plan to return to campus.

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Return To Campus Plan

Lipscomb University's comprehensive plan to return to campus.

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Student Life

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We are planning for an exceptional on-campus experience again this spring! Will things continue to be a bit different? Yes. But, the student life team continues to be hard at work to create new and different events, programs and opportunities for our community that are tailored to our new expectations. And, faculty will continue to create classroom teaching experiences to meet the needs of a flexible learning environment. If you have any questions about Student Life, please reach out to the student life team at

What will the spring semester be like for students?

We are planning for an exceptional on-campus student experience this spring. 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 the spring semester

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When can we move into residence halls?

To allow for proper physical distancing, move-in for new students is scheduled for Saturday, January 9 from 9 a.m. - noon. Returning residential students will be allowed to return over a three day period beginning Friday, January 8 through Sunday, January 10. Students will receive an email from the Residence Hall director that will allow them to sign up for a scheduled time to return to the residence hall. Student meal plans for the spring semester will not begin until Sunday, January 10. 

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Will there be health and safety education for residential students?

New students for the spring 2021 semester 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 January New Student Experience?

For new undergraduate students, January New Student Orientation is scheduled for Sunday January 10th. If you are an incoming student it is important you make plans to attend this program to assist in ensuring your future success as a Bison. You should have already received communication from your Admissions recruiter as well as from  the New Student Orientation team. If you are not already registered for this program and plan to be a new student in the spring of 2021 please contact your Admissions recruit or

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Will Chapel still happen with COVID-19?

Yes! We believe chapel experiences, through both The Gathering and Breakouts, provide shared communal rhythms that help us flourish. We continue to require chapel because we believe it 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 will require students to attend 80% of The Gathering opportunities and 80% of a specific Breakout that students will have the opportunity to choose.

  • The Gathering. The Gathering will occur in an online format throughout the spring semester and will be led by Lipscomb faculty, staff, and students. The Gathering will be recorded, aired on Tuesdays, and then made available for one week afterwards so students can more easily fit the viewing into their busy schedules. 
  • Breakout Chapels. We will continue to have dozens of Breakouts, 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 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 spring?

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 spring:

  • 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. 
  • We will continue to follow campus and Nashville safety guidelines to determine the number of people that can attend in-person activities.  The fun programs, events, and activities offered throughout the semester will continue to require students to sign up and reserve spots rather than simply showing up for the event.  These same events will continue to 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. 
  • To include more of the student body, some events will be offered in either a hybrid or virtual format. Allowing students to participate and attend in-person or remotely. 
  • All student programs, events (including live stream), and activities should follow the university’s Event Management Protocols as well as the Social Club Handbook, and Student Organization Handbook. 
  • Student clubs and organizations should present and discuss your event idea with your group advisors/sponsors. Clubs and organizations will need to submit their event for approval through the Student Event Submission Form
    • All Lipscomb student organizations' special events must be registered through the Office of Community Life Special Event Submission Form and approved by the Office of Community Life. Failure to register any special event may lead to sanctions for the organization, which could include loss of recognition status.

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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. If you already submitted this information in the fall you will have met this requirement, all first time Lipscomb students in the spring of 2021 will need to submit this documentation . 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 on campus 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 or quarantine to determine the level of services desired and needed. Basic services provided will include regular check-ins with students in isolation/quarantine, assisting with student needs, 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/quarantine, 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 isolation/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/quarantine 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/quarantine 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 or call 615-966-6304.
  • Mental Health Access. All students are eligible to access services at the University Counseling Center as space allows. Students will come in for an intake session where a counselor will help to determine the appropriate next steps for the client’s needs. The counseling center is available both in person and via telehealth as the medical governing boards allow. To contact the University Counseling Center, email or call 615-966-1781.
  • Spiritual Formation. When students must be in quarantine due to COVID-19, the Office of Spiritual Formation will be available to provide pastoral care and spiritual growth through regular contact with students using email, text, phone, or 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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What travel notifications or quarantining is required this spring?

In the spring semester, students or employees who travel internationally, will be required to report their travel using this link. After submitting this information, students and employees will be notified of the appropriate post-travel protocols based on their travel location. Depending on the travel location, individuals may be required to quarantine for a 10-day period and be without any COVID symptoms before returning to campus. We will continue to monitor the CDC’s travel guidelines and will update these protocols as appropriate throughout the semester on the travel planning website.   

If you choose to travel, you are encouraged to follow CDC Travel Guidelines to help protect yourself and our community. When traveling, please use extreme caution and take general precautions to be cognizant of less-controlled health environments such as that of airplane travel, large public events and public transportation. 

The list of affected countries and the warning level is dynamic. We encourage you to monitor developments through the CDC travel notices and the State Department.
Students and employees must follow all post-travel health guidelines and notices as published by the CDC regarding the location of their travel.

Please review the CDC's travel site as well as the State Department at for additional information on border restrictions and other relevant information for your specific travel location. 

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