SPU Announces Changes to Campus COVID-19 Guidelines

Responding to Governor Inslee’s updated guidance for higher education, administration relaxes COVID-19 guidelines

Carlos Snellenberg-Fraser

SPU announced changes to its campuswide COVID-19 guidelines in an email that was sent out to students Sunday evening. The email outlined changes for dining, residences, lounges and library hours. This comes in response to the recently updated guidance for higher education from Governor Inslee’s office.

“As always, our investment in each other prioritizes the health of the Falcon community in all aspects- whether that be physical safety, mental health, or spiritual well being,” the email states. 

New dining guidelines allow students to eat with one other person of their choosing. SPU announced that tables and chairs will be reconfigured in dining spaces around campus and that students will be able to eat in the Collegium in the Student Union Building from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Residence hall main lounges and common spaces in Arnett, Ashton, Emerson and Hill are now allowed to only hold five people at a time. Floor lounges at this time still remain unavailable for people to congregate in.

The university also announced that it is evaluating the possibility of allowing students in the communal dorms Ashton and Hill to have roommates as long as the overall density of the floor remains the same. 

Students who wish to share a dorm room need to identify a potential roommate from their current floor. If students wish to have a roommate after identifying someone they would like to room with, they will need to make room changes before the residence halls close on November 25.

The university will also evaluate the possibility for students to become roommates if they live on separate floors, but that evaluation will not take place until early winter quarter.

The email sent out thanks students for their continued prioritization of keeping their fellow students safe by taking the necessary steps to remain healthy. 

“But, it’s our hope that we have each committed to take steps to care for each other and not merely to follow the rules. Thank you for continuing to make this your priority,” the administration says in the email. 

The SPU library has extended its current hours for students. Now the library will be open Monday until Thursday from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. On Friday, the library will be open from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. The library will be closed on Saturday. On Sundays the library will remain open from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m.

The university is asking students to take on the shared responsibility of following these guidelines to help keep students safe during these times and to encourage each other to do the same.

“As before, we all carry our share of responsibility to care for one another and to encourage others to do the same,” the email states.

If students have any further questions regarding these new updates and changes to the policy, they should contact the COVID-19 Decision Group at [email protected]