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Community Life

Students will have the opportunity to live in campus housing this fall, and residence life will continue to include experiences like Bible studies, recreational activities, and Shack, with some modifications to accommodate for social distancing. 

Residence Life

  • Room Occupancy
    • All dorm rooms and rooms within suites and apartments will house no more than two students.

  • Hygiene and Cleaning Expectations
    • Students should practice frequent handwashing.
    • Students who have a bathroom in their suite/apartment must create and follow a daily cleaning schedule for the bathroom.
    • Students who have a kitchen or make use of a residence hall kitchen must clean their dishes and utensils after each use.

  •  Accommodations for students in high-risk categories
    • Students in high-risk categories should contact the Office of Accessibility Resources and Services (OARS).
  •  Residence hall events and programs
    • All events must follow social distancing guidelines and face covering policies. 
    • Events should not exceed the current Minnesota Department of Health group gathering guidelines.

  •  Residence hall shacks, lounges, and other common areas
    • Adherance to face covering policy is expected in every common space inside residence halls.
    • Shacks, lounges, study rooms, laundry rooms, and kitchens will remain open to student use. 
    • Students will be able to use only those kitchen items that they provide for themselves.
    • Shack hours may be limited to accommodate more frequent cleaning. 
    • Capacity limits will be posted in every common space. 
    • Couches and tables will be set up to keep 6 feet of separation between people. They must not be moved closer together.
    • Recreational equipment will be open to student use. Table tennis and pool equipment will be available, but sanitizing items must occur before and after use. Sanitizing products will be provided.

Student Activities, Events, and Clubs

  • Large events (more than 250): Some have been canceled, some will be modified, some will be held virtually.
  • Smaller events (less than 100): All have been modified to follow university distancing protocols.
  • Group meetings (i.e. BSG departmental meetings) of more than 25 people should be held virtually.
  • All food served at events should be individually packaged.
  • All events will require registration, which helps organizers plan for capacity limits. 

Athletic Facilities

  • Athletic facilities will be open for use with new safety precautions, including changes to availability, in order to ensure proper social distancing and accommodate increased frequency of cleaning.

Dining 

  • The Monson Dining Center will follow MDH guidelines for restaurants and have reduced seating capacity, with seats spaced 6 feet apart.
  • Community members will be expected to sanitize their hands before entering the dining center, and face coverings are required in the common spaces and any time community members are not eating or drinking.
  • All menus will be simplified and promote speed of service to prevent dense gathering. 
  • Community members will have the option of dining in or taking a box to go to eat outside the dining center. 
  • Online ordering will be available at 3900 Grill, Royal Grounds, and the C-Store with scheduled pickup times.
  • Seating capacity outside of the 3900 Grill will be limited, and capacity inside the dining center will be monitored and regulated.
  • The C-Store will have an increased product line and be integrated into space by the Grill.

Internal and External Visitors

  • All visitors will be required to comply with all face covering, social distancing, and visiting hour policies. 
  • External visitors will be required to show Bethel or government-issued identification in order to enter the campus at the security checkpoint. 
  • Students must limit the total number of people in their apartment/rooms at one time. Occupancy limits will be posted in each dorm. 
  • When gathering in dorms for more than 15 minutes in close contact, students are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings per the current CDC recommendations.
  • For fall semester 2020, no overnight guests are permitted.

Spiritual Formation

  • Faith is at the center of community life at Bethel. Chapel and Vespers services will continue to be held with reduced seating capacity in Benson Great Hall to ensure proper social distancing. A livestream option will also be available for those unable to attend, and we will continue to upload Chapel recordings to the Bethel Chapel Vimeo site
  • Face coverings will be required. 
  • Chapel services will be 30 minutes long. 
  • Traffic flow into and out of the Great Hall will be guided with signage. 
  • Congregational singing may be limited according to public health guidance 
  • Additional faith formation media resources such as video podcasts will also continue to be produced: Devos with PLB with Pastor Laurel Bunker, The New Abnormal with Pastor Jason Steffenhagen, and Beyond the Brick with Pastor Matt Runion.

University Athletics 

  • The Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) has announced that cross country, football, soccer, and volleyball competitions scheduled for fall will be postponed to the spring. Golf and tennis will be permitted to compete this fall—against conference members only—in accordance with Bethel, MDH, and NCAA guidelines. 
  • Bethel University's Athletic Department provides a robust sports medicine infrastructure that is the foundation for all healthcare needs for our athletes. This infrastructure is overseen by a designated athletics healthcare administrator/head athletic trainer and by designated team physicians.
  • As we resocialize athletes for practice and competition environments, initial health screens and paperwork will be completed during the first week of school. Each athlete will also complete a daily health screen before being allowed to attend practice. 
  • No medium or high-risk sports will begin practice before September 8.   
  • In addition to our fall sports, baseball and softball (medium risk) will begin practices in September, as is customary for their non-traditional season.
  • All medium and high-risk athletes will be on campus between 11-13 days before beginning practice. This provides additional time for any symptoms to appear after travel to campus, before beginning practices.
  • After beginning practice, all medium and high-risk athletes will move through a 14-day phasing period with their teams when contact will be limited and they will be practicing within pods of 10 or less. If one member of a pod tests positive, that pod will cease practice. Other pod members will be tested and isolated as determined by Bethel's contact tracing protocols. 
  • Any symptomatic athletes and their close contacts will be tested on campus and isolated per Bethel's policies. 
  • Low risk sports (golf and tennis), while competing this fall, will follow social distancing and face covering protocols per Bethel and MDH policy. 
  • Team meetings will adhere to Bethel's policies for Student Activities/Clubs and any classroom protocols. 
  • Locker rooms, athletic training rooms, film room, and conference rooms have reduced capacities and enhanced cleaning protocols.
  • Density will be reduced in all vehicles for off-campus travel, face coverings will be required, and windows must be at least partially opened throughout the entire trip. All off-campus travel must be approved by athletic administration. 

Recreational Sports

Club Sports

  • Plans for club sports are still being finalized.