Updated 9:54 a.m. Friday, August 14, 2020
Continue to check this page for the latest updates regarding COVID-19-related changes and operations plans. All information is subject to change based on health regulations and COVID-19 activity in each community where SBU operates a campus. These plans are developed in consultation with guidance from local health departments.
As the University works through its COVID-19 response, our mission remains at the forefront of our decision-making process: Southwest Baptist University is a Christ-centered, caring academic community preparing students to be servant leaders in a global society.
Christian distinctiveness: The world is watching how we, as Christians, are responding to the pandemic. We must not live in fear, but rather place our hope in Jesus Christ. We must choose love and respect for our neighbors.
Compassion and care for others: SBU is a caring community. Scripture teaches that all individuals are worthy in the eyes of God. Therefore, we will honor and serve one another in love. For the Bearcat Blueprint to be successful, the entire campus community must commit to caring for and respecting others. We have a tremendous opportunity to follow Christ’s example of loving our neighbors.
Student and employee wellness: The University must take every feasible action to ensure a safe and healthy campus environment. We expect to have some positive cases of COVID-19 on our campuses. Our goal is to mitigate the transmission of the COVID-19 virus among students, employees and guests on our campuses.
Maintain academic excellence: As an academic community, SBU pursues excellence in teaching, scholarship and service. Students will be prepared to meet the challenges of a global society through the integration of Christian faith, liberal arts, research and professional studies.
Maintain the college experience: Social and spiritual development are an integral part of the Bearcat experience. Students should be provided intentional opportunities to grow spiritually, intellectually and emotionally.
Guidance from government and health officials: The University will follow all requirements related to COVID-19 provided by any government agency; consult the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control; and work closely with local public health agencies to guide decisions made regarding the health and safety of the Bearcat family and local communities. If the guidance varies among the four communities SBU serves, some aspects of the Bearcat Blueprint may vary by campus.
"Love your neighbor as yourself." — Matthew 22:39
The success of the Bearcat Blueprint for in-person classes during the Fall 2020 semester depends on each Bearcat doing your part by following the expectations listed below. We likely will have positive cases of COVID-19 on our campuses, but our community can work together to minimize the spread of the virus and create the safest environment possible.
Extra health and safety measures being taken on all campuses for Fall 2020 include:
Every Bearcat — whether living in a residence hall or off-campus — can help mitigate the transmission of COVID-19 within our community by utilizing these basic hygiene measures:
Each student will receive a Bearcat Care Kit with items to assist with the procedures outlined below. Kits will be distributed in the residence halls for students living on-campus. All other students will receive information later about how to pick up their Bearcat Care Kits.
The kit will include:
Additionally, students with a meal plan will receive a card to redeem for Green Box to-go meals from the cafeteria.
Example SBU face mask:
To help identify potential cases of COVID-19 in the earliest stages, students and employees are expected to self-monitor by recording symptoms and temperature readings daily. Recording this information will help you if you test positive or have been in direct contact with someone who tests positive and need to provide information to health center employees conducting contact tracing.
Many free mobile apps are available in the Apple and Google app stores for smartphones to assist with recording this information.
Each building will have contactless thermometer stations, and residential students will be given a thermometer at the beginning of the semester.
What to do if you think you are sick:
SBU’s facilities staff has added new protocols and disinfectants to further ensure the cleanliness of all facilities. These include:
Anyone who traveled outside the United States within 14 days of arriving on campus will be required to quarantine for 7 days upon arrival. On the 7th day, the student will be tested for COVID-19.
Individuals with underlying health conditions or who have other factors believed to make them at high-risk for COVID-19, may request accommodations according to existing procedures. Employees should contact the Office of Human Resources at (417) 328-1513. Students should contact the Office of the Provost at (417) 328-1598.
Our goal is in-person, in-class instruction. We are planning for as many courses as possible to meet in classrooms where appropriate physical distancing is possible. In cases where physical distancing is not possible, we have developed options for a combination of in-person and online class sessions. In all cases, most of the instruction will be in-person.
For students on the Bolivar campus, the last two weeks of the semester will be all remote learning conducted online. Students on the Mountain View, Salem and Springfield campuses will receive information later this summer regarding the final two weeks of their semester.
Log in to the Blackboard Learning Management System after August 12 for details about the courses in which you are enrolled. The syllabus will include course delivery details.
Assigned classroom is large enough to accommodate faculty and all students enrolled in the class while maintaining appropriate physical distancing between desks.
All classes determined not to be able to meet fully face-to-face will utilize one of these two options, to be determined by the faculty member teaching the course.
Option 1: Hybrid Instruction
Example Class Schedules:
Option 2: Hyflex Instruction
Example Class Schedules:
Semester start and end dates remain the same, but classes will meet on Labor Day and the previously scheduled Fall Break dates. Course instruction moves online after Thanksgiving Break, and students are not required to return to campus. This is designed to limit the amount of student travel and thus potential exposure to COVID-19.
Significant dates throughout the semester include:
If you enroll in a face-to-face course, you are expected to attend all face-to-face class sessions unless you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or other health-related concerns.
We strongly recommend each student bring a personal computer for completing coursework in between in-person class sessions and completing remote coursework during the final two weeks of the semester. The University recommends the use of a Windows PC or Apple computer. A Chromebook may not be the best choice for many disciplines. However, computer labs will be open for use by students who do not have a computer. Cleaning supplies will be available for students to clean computers before and after use.
The SBU Campus Store inside the Goodson Student Union is open with increased safety measures and operational changes.
Student are encouraged to order their textbooks online as soon as possible. With only 10 customers allowed in the store at a time, advanced ordering will expedite your textbook retrieval once you are on campus.
Follett Discover helps you determine what books you need. Select "Launch Follett Discover" within the Blackboard LMS and choose "Purchase All Materials." This link will take you straight to the SBU Campus Store website, where you can choose to purchase your textbooks.
Store Hours: Open from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. (closing at 3 p.m. on Fridays). Expanded hours during move-in weekend include:
Curbside service: Available by calling (417) 328-1530.
For more information, contact the SBU Campus Store at bookstore@SBUniv.edu or (417) 328-1530.
Any student on any campus who tests positive for COVID-19 should immediately notify the SBU Killian Health Center at (417) 328-1888.
In consultation with governmental health agencies, we have developed these guidelines for when we have a positive COVID-19 test on any of our campuses.
SBU’s nurse will coordinate contact tracing with the appropriate local governmental health agency.
This section applies to undergraduate students on the Bolivar campus only. While some components apply only to students living in residence halls, many apply to all students, regardless of their housing location.
The Office of Residence Life is using SignUp Genius to facilitate move-in time scheduling. Each student is allowed up to two guests. Face coverings are required. You must complete the COVID questionnaire before being allowed to check-in.
You will receive information from the Office of Residence Life with details on how to set up a move-in time. If you have not received an email regarding this by August 3, contact the Office of Student Life at (417) 328-1885.
SBU continues to work closely with Fresh Ideas, the University’s food service provider, to implement protocols providing a safe dining environment.
Changes to the dining experience include:
You still will have many of the same food options served by Fresh Ideas staff:
Because seating in Mabee Chapel is limited to comply with occupancy limitations as outlined by local governmental health authorities, several changes are being made for chapel attendance during the Fall 2020 semester.
In-person attendance requires pre-registration
A pre-registration system will be used for students to sign up for in-person Chapel services. A link to the registration app is on the student portal. Registration will be on a first-come, first-served basis, and we ask that all students register before entering Mabee Chapel.
All Chapel services will be available for viewing via livestream for personal enrichment and participation in the important discussions on brokenness, race, anxiety, and politics we will have during chapel this fall
CLW point policy for Fall 2020
Students will receive 11 “free” CLW points, meaning that students will only need to acquire 14 points to reach the 25-point total for the semester.
In addition, two CLW points will be given for each chapel service attended in person. The number of points a student may earn through other CLW categories will remain unchanged. Therefore, students may attend seven chapel services during the semester to earn 14 points or combine chapel attendance with other CLW point options (small groups, etc.) to reach 14.
The temporary reduction to the CLW point requirement will be re-evaluated for the Spring 2021 semester. More information regarding CLW points is available in the CLW Handbook posted on the MySBU portal.
Other CLW point options for Fall 2020
On-campus small groups, community service through pre-approved organizations, short-term mission projects (as available), and other special interest opportunities for CLW points will be available throughout the semester as usual.
The Jane and Ken Meyer Wellness and Sports Center is open with extra precautions in place in response to COVID-19. Find the most-current information on the Wellness Center page on the SBU website.
For more information, contact the Meyer Wellness and Sports Center at bbeckham@SBUniv.edu or (417) 328-1411.
Campus life activities will continue where we can make adjustments with appropriate health protocols. We also will be increasing the number of events and activities we offer throughout the semester.
Status of outside events being held on campus will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
All sports will operate with a reduced competition schedule in accordance with NCAA and GLVC rules and guidelines. All decisions related to athletics will follow NCAA and GLVC guidance as it becomes available. Game day operations plans are being developed.
While the University strongly desires face-to-face, on-campus instruction for the entire Fall 2020 semester, new developments throughout the semester could cause the University to change approaches. University administration is planning for various scenarios.
Residents of Polk County, Missouri may use the Community Connections Resources Helpline by calling (417) 777-7411. This helpline is a resource for those needing help finding supplies or connections, or who have questions about living needs. It is not an information line for COVID-19.
Through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), Southwest Baptist University has received $1,150,794 in funding to provide emergency financial aid grants for students experiencing financial hardship as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Funds will be awarded to eligible students on all four campuses who have demonstrated the greatest need as determined by the FAFSA. In the initial round of distributions, Southwest Baptist University identified a pool of 1,537 eligible students who have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 related disruptions to normal campus operations.
Anyone who was a student during the Spring 2020 semester and meets the following guidelines is eligible to apply for an additional Emergency Financial Aid Grant award of up to $2,000.
Funds are limited for the second round and only those students with exceptional circumstances will be considered. You will have to provide a brief statement of your current financial need as it relates to disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus.
The application is available for download on the MySBU Portal. For more information, contact finaid@SBUniv.edu.