Living and Learning during COVID-19

The health and welfare of Northwestern State University faculty, staff, students,
campus partners and visitors remain our highest priority.

Student Affairs 2020-09-16T12:25:32+00:00

Student Affairs

Physical store location(s) that are open are taking steps to keep the environment safe and healthy by following the city, state and government public health protocols. Store staff has been provided Coronavirus awareness information, prevention and resource tips. As we continue to monitor the changing COVID-19 situation, updates will be provided. Both NSU Bookstores will have a team member monitor the front door to make sure we are in compliance with the max occupancy at 50% for Phase 2. We will adjust as the Phases go into effect.

The store is open and books are on shelves now.  We will be offering curbside pickup within the first couple of weeks of school.  Students can order from our website nsushop.com and select instore pickup OR shipped to your home.  We accept the NSU Campus card as a tender on our website as well as PayPal and all major credit cards.

The campus stores in Shreveport and Natchitoches will carry gloves, masks and hand sanitizer for purchase – non-imprinted and those with the NSU logo.

Yes, students visiting the office of Counseling and Career Services (both sides) are required to wear  masks and social distance while receiving services. Hand sanitizer will be available in the waiting areas and individual offices.

Yes, crisis intervention services will be provided 24 hours a day. During regular working hours counselors can be reached in the office of Counseling and Career Services at (318) 357-5621. After 5 p.m. and on weekends the counselor on call can be contacted by calling (318) 357-5431 . To prevent the spread of Covid-19 and depending on the nature of the crisis, contact with the student may be made via FaceTime, WebEx or Zoom. Counselors coming to campus during a crisis will be expected to wear masks and social distance. The national suicide hotline is 988.
  • Students can receive any service via WebEx, Zoom or FaceTime.
  • Staff members are required to wear masks in their individual offices when providing services to students.
  • Offices are to be wiped down with disinfectant wipes after each visit from students.
  • Interns will be required to wipe down counseling rooms after each client.
  • The number of student workers, interns and Graduate Assistants that will be allowed in the counseling and career offices at one time will be limited to 2 to allow for social distancing. They will be required to wear masks and social distance. They must wipe down the desk, keyboard and phone when they leave the office.
  • Chairs in the waiting area cannot be moved due to social distance. Additional seating is provided in a waiting area outside of the counseling and career offices. There will only be 2 students allowed in the Counseling waiting area and 1 student on the career side. There is room in the hallway for 4 students to sit and social distance. Additional seating may be provided down the hall.
  • The Xerox copier will be required to wiped down after by any staff member using it.
  • At this time, the Job Location and Development Part-Time Job Fair will be held face-to-face in the Student Union Ballroom. The number of recruiting vendors will be capped at 15 and spread throughout the room. The number of students allowed in the Ballroom at one time will be controlled to ensure that only 50 people are in the Ballroom at one time. All participants (students, staff, recruiters) will be required to wear masks. Those students who do not have masks but wish to participate will be provided a mask. All participants will be expected to social distance. Disinfecting wipes will be provided to recruiters to wipe down tables between visits. A hand sanitizer station will be placed at the entrance for students to use prior to entry to the Ballroom and upon exiting.
  • The Fall Career Fair scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 29 will be held virtually via Handshake.
Workshops/presentations held face to face will be capped at 25 participants in rooms that accommodate social distancing. Participants will be required to wear face masks and social distance. Hand sanitizer will be provided at the door for students to use prior to entry to the room and upon exiting the room. Presentations will also be recorded and delivered virtually.
Yes! We will still be having recruitment and intake for the fall semester. However, we know that it will look a bit different than it has in the past. There will be virtual components to the joining process for all three of our Greek councils. Please know that the Office of Greek Life is continuously working on ensuring as smooth of a recruitment and intake process as possible. Be sure to visit our website to stay up to date at greeks.nsula.edu.

Formal Panhellenic (CPH) sorority recruitment will still take place September 4-6 but at this time each round will take place virtually. Women wanting to join a Panhellenic sorority will need to register for formal recruitment at www.nsula.edu/greeklife/how-to-join/.

Interfraternity Council (IFC) fraternity recruitment is an open process where men register their contact information and fraternity chapters host events to meet incoming students. Recruitment events for IFC fraternities will take place virtually and there may be small gatherings but they must follow all COVID-19 safety protocols with masks, social distancing, gathering size limitations, and hand sanitization. Men wanting to join an IFC fraternity will need to register at www.nsula.edu/greeklife/how-to-join/.

Our National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) organizations, which are our historically African American fraternities and sororities, are expected to host intake in the fall semester. Intake is the process where NPHC fraternities and sororities bring in new members to their chapters. Intake is hosted by each individual chapter. Chapters will announce when they will have an informational to begin the intake process. COVID-19 safety protocols with masks, social distancing, gathering size limitations may impact how these informationals are conducted.

In order to provide the safest move-in experience possible, Fall Move-In will take place over a 7-day period, August 10-16.  Residential students will be emailed the link to select their preferred move-in date and to choose a morning or afternoon arrival time.  The link will be emailed to students that have signed a lease the week of July 20.  Morning arrival time slot will be 8 a.m. – noon and the afternoon time slot will be 1-5 p.m.  We will have a limited number of students that can move in each day and will grant requests on a first come basis.

  • Students will be allowed to bring two family members to assist them with moving in. Wrist bands will be given to students and their two family members and only those with a wrist band will be allowed into the community.
  • Masks must be worn during move-in.
  • To promote social distancing, one student at a time will move in to an apartment.  Family members will be expected to leave at the end of the assigned time slot so that the next student and their family can move-in.
  • Only two people at a time will be allowed in an elevator unless they are members of the same family.
  • There will be designated entrances and exits to all buildings. Directional signage will be used throughout each building.
  • Stairwells will be designated for up and down traffic.

All apartments will be cleaned by our cleaning vendor. After being cleaned, all apartments and community baths at Varnado Hall will be sanitized by Orkin using their VitalClean service. The service uses an EPA-registered disinfectant labeled for use against a wide variety of pathogens and included on EPA’s “N List” of products that meet their criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

Students will be required to clean and sanitize their apartments during the academic year.  Common areas such as clubhouses, laundry rooms, hallways, stairwells, elevators, study rooms, practice rooms and the Varnado Hall community baths will be cleaned and sanitized daily using electrostatic sprayers.

At this time, visitation will not be allowed and the residential communities are for residents only.  We will review this policy as COVID-19 conditions change.

The preference will be for the student to return home if possible. If not, a student will be allowed to quarantine in one of the vacant apartments we have designated for that purpose.  Only on-campus residential students will be allowed to quarantine in the residential community.

Freshman Connection events are planned for Friday, August 14 so entering Freshman should plan to move in between Monday and Thursday.

To social distance and minimize contact, check-in to the residential communities will be a drive-thru process and students and family members will not leave their vehicles.  Our check-in paperwork will be all online and can be done on your mobile device.  More details will be sent in the coming weeks regarding where to enter campus and where the drive thru check-in will be located.  There will be volunteers along the route and within the residential communities to point you in the right direction.  There will be assigned move-in time slots of either morning or afternoon.  The morning time slot will be 8am until noon and the afternoon will be 1-5 p.m.  Family members can only be in the apartments during their student’s assigned time slot.  We will “close” our buildings from noon to 1 p.m. to sanitize hallways, stairwells, elevators and common restrooms before the afternoon time slot begins.  We ask that all students and family members respect the assigned time slots so that we can promote social distancing.

With social distancing guidelines, we will not have campus or community volunteers to assist with move-in this year.

Our website, www.nsula.edu/campushousing, has resources such as What to Bring List, Community Guides, Frequently Asked Questions, Video Tours of each apartment type and more.  If the answer to your question is not on our website, please contact our office at nsuleasing@campushousing.com or (318) 214-5400 and we will be happy to assist you. Over the three weeks prior to move-in, we will send weekly emails on topics such as Connecting with Roommates, Tips for Move-In Day, Apartment Style Living and much more.

The NSU Post Office is operating under regular hours, 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 7 a.m.-noon Friday.

The Fall 2020 term will be a time of change for the Northwestern State University community, and we are updating operating guidelines for student organizations and Student Affairs offices to meet that change. Our goals are to ensure groups have opportunities to engage with each other and our campus community.

Student organizations play an important role in maintaining a safe campus environment.  As a result of Northwestern State’s response to Coronavirus, activities and events must be modified to ensure the safety of our students and community members.  As your organization or office prepares events and activities for this coming fall, these guidelines will serve as a comprehensive resource for event planning and operations.  Please keep in mind that all University announcements and up-to-date information regarding COVID-19 can be found on the Northwestern State University Return to Campus Plan.

For assistance with planning your program or meeting, please email studentactivities@nsula.edu.

NSU encourages all events to be conducted virtually. For those events that are held face-to-face, there should be virtual options for participants if possible.

There are multiple tools that can be used to conduct meetings, events, and activities virtually. Those recommended by the NSU are:

WebEx
Webex is a video conferencing system that is available for all faculty and students to use. It allows you to speak to organization members in real time and can be utilized for a variety of different kinds of meetings. Click here for more information on WebEx. Training sessions can also be provided to organizations.

Microsoft Teams
NSU has a Microsoft feature called “Teams” that allows you to meet online (similar to Zoom, Skype, etc.).  This is a great way to conduct virtual organization, general body, executive board, or one-on-one meetings. Click here for more information on Microsoft Teams. Training sessions can also be provided to organizations.

Purple Portal
NSU Purple Portal offers a variety of features to help your organization operate online, including document uploads, roster management, form creation, event attendance tracking, and a custom website for each organization. For questions about Purple Portal, please email studentactivities@nsula.edu.

Yes, organization meetings are still allowed. Protocols must be followed in terms of event logistics noted above.

Activities, events, meetings, etc can be cancelled due to the likelihood that protocols may change as new information is released by the state and national authorities.

There are multiple tools that can be used to conduct meetings, events, and activities virtually. Those recommended by the NSU are:

WebEx
Webex is a video conferencing system that is available for all faculty and students to use. It allows you to speak to organization members in real time and can be utilized for a variety of different kinds of meetings. Click here for more information on WebEx. Training sessions can also be provided to organizations.

Microsoft Teams
NSU has a Microsoft feature called “Teams” that allows you to meet online (similar to Zoom, Skype, etc.).  This is a great way to conduct virtual organization, general body, executive board, or one-on-one meetings. Click here for more information on Microsoft Teams. Training sessions can also be provided to organizations.

Purple Portal
NSU Purple Portal offers a variety of features to help your organization operate online, including document uploads, roster management, form creation, event attendance tracking, and a custom website for each organization. For questions about Purple Portal, please email studentactivities@nsula.edu.

Events and Gatherings – Face to Face

Meetings and Events

  • All events, meetings, and activities shall be limited by the current guidance from the University and State of Louisiana.
  • All events, meetings, and activities shall observe facial covering and 6 feet social distancing requirements and the option of virtual participation for members who are not comfortable attending a face to face meeting. All meetings with a requirement that members attend must have a virtual option.
  • All events, meetings, and activities must be registered on the Purple Portal and booked through the Event Management System (EMS).
  • Only Purple Portal admin users have access to create events to register activities on the Purple Portal.
  • Organizations should make sure members and guests know that if they are sick, they should not attend face to face activities, events, or meetings
  • Organizations should provide information to all members regarding appropriate action steps if a member reports being ill/sick and/or may have been exposed to COVID-19.
  • Events with an expected attendance of greater than 100 will not be scheduled until further notice with the exception of Academic, Athletic, and other University sponsored events.
  • Bring sanitation wipes/spray for your attendees to disinfect surfaces.  High touch areas are to be cleaned before, after, and periodically throughout the event.
  • Currently, all on-campus events and activities may be scheduled through the last day of class for the semester.  This may change if the campus moves to virtual learning for the remainder of the semester.
  • The event host is responsible for following and enforcing all applicable guidelines. Meetings or events found in violation may result in loss of reservation privileges for the remainder of the semester and/or referral through the student organization accountability process.

Social Distancing & Attendance Limitations

  • All events, meetings, and activities will observe 6 feet social distancing requirements.
  • At this time, events indoors are limited to no more than 50 people OR room capacity with social distancing in place, whichever is less. If event/meeting attendance is at or over 50 individuals, the Fire Marshal Event Notification Form is required to be submitted on the Purple Portal prior to the event, whether indoors or outdoors. This form must be completed at least two weeks before the scheduled event.
  • Large events should be held outside and in a space that encourages and permits physical distancing of 6 feet between individuals.
  • The maximum number of individuals for student organization events is currently 100.
  • Refer to facility guidelines to determine the number of individuals allowed in each room/facility.
  • Limit group size when possible.
  • Provide controlled flow of participants as much as possible from start to end of the event (utilize floor markings, physical barriers, etc.)

Attendance and Card Readers

  • Attendance at all events and activities must be controlled by invitation, tickets, or reservations for contact tracing purposes. It is highly recommended that guest lists for events be generated at least 24 hours prior to an event.
  • All events and activities, on or off campus, must maintain a record of attendance in the Purple Portal by creating an event and tracking those attending for contact tracing purposes.
  • Card readers, check-in lists, and manual input on the Purple Portal are recommended ways to track attendance.
  • Cell phone card readers will be available to be checked out from the Office of Student Activities and Organizations to track event attendance.
  • Readers should be wiped with a sanitizing wipe between each card swipe.
  • Contact the Office of Student Activities and Organizations to learn more and reserve a card reader at studentactivities@nsula.edu.

Organization Office Hours

  • Based on office space size and structure, occupancy will be limited and, in some cases, will be 1 member/student at a time. Office hour requirements may be reduced or held virtually.
  • No visitors in offices where space is limited.
  • Occupants must clean/wipe down surfaces before and after use.
  • Organizations need to communicate with their office mates when they plan to be in the office and maintain an office hours schedule.
  • We expect organizations to work together and provide for fair and equitable sharing of office space.Finding an Event Space
  • Meeting and event space on campus will be limited in capacity due to social distancing requirements at this time. Be sure to consider these capacity limitations when planning your event.
  • Find facility use policies as well as current capacity for meeting and event spaces on campus here.

Face Coverings

  • A mask (preferably cloth), scarf, bandana or other such facial covering must be worn at all events, meetings, and gatherings regardless if indoors or outdoors. Please provide a virtual participation opportunity when possible.

Hand Sanitization

  • All meetings, events, and activities should have hand sanitizing stations available to participants and attendees.

Screening Questions & Temperature Checks

  • Event hosts may perform temperature checks for attendees on a “pass/fail” basis prior to entry to the event as long as notice is given prior to the event that temperature checks will occur.  No records of names and temperatures may be kept.  Attendees may enter the event if they meet the required temperature of 100.4°F and below.
  • Examples of screening questions may be found here.  Please note that these are examples and that the most up-to-date screening  questions may be found through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
  • Those failing the required temperature and screening questions may be denied entry to a meeting, event, or activity.

If a Member Tests Positive with COVID-19 or has Symptoms

Information Tables

  • Tabling will be available at outdoor locations only. Indoor information tables are not allowed at this time.
  • Items on the table must be for display only. Students may not touch the display items.
  • If the host/organization has giveaways, they must be kept behind the table and given to students individually. Examples of items include flyers, promo items, etc.
  • If the host/organization has a sign up or registration, they must have enough writing utensils to give away to everyone who uses one, OR they must have a “sanitized” and “unsanitized” holder for the writing utensils.  The individual tabling must give the sanitized writing utensil to the individual signing the form.
  • The event host is responsible for bringing sanitation wipes/spray to disinfect the table before and after use.
  • Each table may only have 2  representatives from the host/organization, and there may be no more than two 2 visitors at a time.  All individuals at the table must maintain six 6 feet of distance between one another at all times.

Fundraising and Bake Sales

  • Host is required to wear a face covering (see Face Coverings section above) and gloves.
  • Hand sanitizer should be available for guests and the host.
  • At this time, no food may be sold, including homemade and pre-packaged items.
  • Non-food items for sale must be kept behind the table and directly given to students purchasing the item individually (one at a time).

Events with Food

  • At this time, events with food must be held outdoors.
  • No self-prepared food is allowed at this time. All food must be purchased from an approved food service provider (Sodexo or other approved vendor, on campus. Licensed caterer or restaurant, off campus) or retail location.
  • Food items must be prepackaged and be individually handed out by the host.
  • Buffets are not allowed but plated meals are allowed by an approved food service provider (Sodexo or other approved vendor, on campus. Licensed caterer or restaurant, off campus)
  • Bake sales and other food sales are not allowed at this time.
  • Those serving food must wear masks and gloves.
  • There must be hand sanitizing stations provided.
  • Utensils should be distributed by servers.
  • Consider having food trucks with appropriate licenses at events.
  • Off-campus events with food may be held in restaurants or other venues only when social distancing protocols are in place.
  • Consider food allergies as well. View guidance on food allergies here.

Events with Alcohol

  • All events with alcohol, whether on or off campus, are prohibited at this time by student organizations.

Performance Activities

  • All performances involving 1 performer may occur indoors. Performances involving 2 or more performers should occur in reservable outdoor spaces, and all performers must wear face coverings when 6 feet of social distancing cannot be guaranteed.

Travel

  • At this time, student organization travel to off-campus events or activities is prohibited, including when student organization members utilize private funds for travel, competition fees, registration fees, etc.
  • Student Affairs departmental travel is restricted at this time.

Recruitment and Intake

  • Recruitment and intake will still take place for the fall semester ,however, it will look a bit different than it has in the past. There will be virtual components to the joining process for each of the three Greek councils.
  • Formal Panhellenic (CPH) sorority recruitment will still take place September 4-6 but at this time each round will take place virtually.
  • Recruitment events for Interfraternity Council (IFC) fraternities will take place virtually and there may be small face-to-face gatherings, but they must follow all COVID-19 safety protocols with masks, social distancing, gathering size limitations, hand sanitizing, etc.
  • National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) may still conduct informationals and intake. COVID-19 safety protocols with masks, social distancing, gathering size limitations, hand sanitizing, etc. may impact how these informationals are conducted. Please seek additional guidance from your inter/national headquarters and regional directors on how to conduct intake, initiation, and new member presentations following safety protocols.
  • Virtual meetings and events are strongly encouraged.

New Member Education

  • New member education and intake meetings must take place following all COVID-19 safety protocols with masks, social distancing,
    gathering size limitations, hand sanitization, etc. Virtual meetings for new member education and intake are highly recommended.

Ritual of Initiation

  • The ritual of initiation for each organization must take place following all COVID-19 safety protocols with masks, social distancing, gathering size limitations, hand sanitization, etc.
  • We advise that chapters seek specific guidance on conducting their ritual of initiation following safety protocols from their inter/national headquarters.

Organization Facilities

  • At this time, gathering sizes in organization facilities, whether on or off-campus, will be limited to no more than 50 individuals or 50 percent of room or space capacity as determined by the Fire Marshal with social distancing in place, whichever is smaller.
  • It is highly encouraged that as many meetings, gatherings, and events take place outside and virtually as possible.
  • Organizations should implement set hours of when the facility will be open to members and under what provisions they may have access and organizations must maintain a record of who is present in the facility and when for contact tracing purposes.
  • Facilities should be regularly cleaned and disinfected.
  • Organizations should make efforts to cover or not allow the use of fabric furniture for the time being. Surfaces and materials should be easy to wipe down and disinfect.
  • If a live-in member or an organization facility, whether on or off-campus tests positive with COVID-19 or has symptoms immediately contact NSU Health Services at demonsreportcovid@nsula.edu and follow the protocols outlined here.
  • Additional guidance for organization housing can be found in the “resources” section of the guidelines.

Chapter Consultant Visits

  • It is highly encouraged that chapter consultant visits to take place virtually if possible.
  • Any face to face meetings must take place following all COVID-19 safety protocols with masks, social distancing, gathering size limitations, hand sanitization, etc.
  • If staying in town, consultants should stay in private hotel accommodations and not at chapter facilities or in chapter member homes or apartments.

Virtual Events/Meetings

  • NSU encourages all events to be conducted virtually. For those events that are held face-to-face, there should be virtual options for participants if possible.
  • There are multiple tools that can be used to conduct meetings, events, and activities virtually. Those recommended by the NSU are:
    • WebEx
      Webex is a video conferencing system that is available for all faculty and students to use. It allows you to speak to organization members in real time and can be utilized for a variety of different kinds of meetings. Click here for more information on WebEx. Training sessions can also be provided to organizations.
    • Microsoft Teams
      NSU has a Microsoft feature called “Teams” that allows you to meet online (similar to Zoom, Skype, etc.).  This is a great way to conduct virtual organization, general body, executive board, or one-on-one meetings. Click here for more information on Microsoft Teams. Training sessions can also be provided to organizations.
    • Purple Portal
      NSU Purple Portal offers a variety of features to help your organization operate online, including document uploads, roster management, form creation, event attendance tracking, and a custom website for each organization. For questions about Purple Portal, please email studentactivities@nsula.edu.

Events such as board or video game activities may be held if there is no physical exchange of controllers, game pieces, cards, dice, or other objects. Participants must have the ability to physically distance from other participants.

Yes, indeed. The organization must comply with all rules and regulations set forth by the local community, private entity, state requirements, etc. regarding Covid-19 protocols.

In accordance with university and state guidelines, we are taking extra precautions to help our campus community stay safe and healthy. This includes extensive cleaning protocols, enhanced procedures, and social distancing practices within our facility. Guests will be asked to follow signs and floor decals located throughout the facility to ensure the safety of all.

Please pay attention and follow all directional/instructional signs posted throughout the Union.
Please maintain physical distancing of six feet whenever possible.
Masks will always be required in the Student Union.
Hours will remain the same for the Student Union unless mandated otherwise:

Mon-Thurs 8am – 10pm
Friday: 8am – 5pm
Saturday: Open as needed for events
Sunday: 5pm – 10pm

Rooms will have max capacity posted and chairs will be set with proper social distancing. We have removed tables from some of our rooms to better utilize the space.

New maximum capacities are listed below:

Lobby – 50
Ballroom – 100
221 – 12
Cane River Room – 28
President’s Room – 31
315 – 6
314 – 5
316 – 13
320 – 37
321 – 18

Do not rearrange any furniture in meeting rooms except for the Ballroom.
Do not rearrange any furniture in the Student Union Lobby.
If tables are needed for any event, only 2 people will be allowed per table (both round and banquet style).
No food in any room of the Student Union except for the Student Union Ballroom.
No food will be allowed in the Student Union Lobby.
When walking through the Union, please follow basic traffic patterns. Stay to your right when walking down hallways or stairs. When you enter or exit a building with double doors, always use the door on your right. This will help people move through the building while maintaining social distancing.

Please note that the stairwells leading to the 3rd floor will be one way. The stairwell nearest the Cane River Room will be up only. The Stairwell nearest 221 will be down only. There is no way to socially distance in the stairwells.

Please follow all posted traffic patterns when walking in the hallways.
No more than 1 person in the elevator at the same time.
Please obey all posted signage relating to new Covid-19 regulations.
We will continue to work with Red River Sanitors to increase cleaning protocols recommended by the CDC to ensure that all areas of the Student Union are cleaned and sanitized consistent with that guidance.
We continue to make the health and safety of our campus community a top priority and will follow the recommendations of public health officials.