News and Events

Fall 2020 Student Safety Protocol

Safety Expectations

Southern Union will maintain the following safety expectations in classrooms and other academic spaces:
Students are required to sign a waiver at the beginning of the semester prior to attending class.

Face Coverings
In accordance with the Governor’s Safer at Home Order, face coverings are required until the mandate is lifted.  Once lifted, specific departments or instructors may require face coverings before entering certain areas. Signs will be posted in these areas.  Please be prepared and have a face covering with you. 

Building Entry
Buildings will have designated entrances and exits to maintain social distancing guidelines.

  • Prior to entering a building, students must complete the COVID-19 Active Screening Questionnaire provided by the Alabama Community College System (ACCS).  To complete the required daily Health Screening, students will need a smartphone or laptop computer.
  • Once cleared to enter the building, students will be issued a disposable wristband indicating that they have met safety requirements.
  • Those who are turned away onsite for signs of symptoms or failure to meet building entry requirements will be given direction as to how to return to campus.
  • All persons shall be asked to self-screen. All persons are expected to monitor their own health to limit the spread of the virus.

Physical Distancing
All faculty, staff, and students are expected to practice appropriate physical distancing while on campus. For many rooms, this can be accomplished by leaving one empty seat between each student. Practicable distancing will be followed between individuals engaged in lab work or clinicals.  Students should also maintain appropriate physical distance when utilizing non-classroom space that allow for study, gathering, etc.

Cleaning stations will be available in classrooms for faculty and students to wipe down their spaces prior to class. In addition, classrooms and other areas will be disinfected frequently.

Increased Personal Hygiene
 All students, faculty, and staff should practice enhanced personal hygiene. This includes washing hands with soap and water frequently and thoroughly for at least 20 seconds, especially after touching door handles, equipment, handrails, or other public surfaces. Hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol will be available throughout each building for use by students and employees.

Employees will be responsible for disinfecting office areas between each in-person meeting.  Additionally, everyone on campus is expected to cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or use the inside of the elbow. Used tissues should be thrown in the trash and hands should be washed immediately with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

Traditional academic classes will begin on all three campuses August 17, 2020. It is possible, due to instructional needs or public health recommendations, that courses may have to shift to a different delivery method at any time during the semester.

Classes will be offered in traditional (in-person), online (asynchronous), hybrid, and virtual (synchronous) delivery formats.  The majority of courses will be offered in either an online or virtual format.  A limited number of traditional and hybrid courses will be offered. 

To be prepared for online instruction, students should have reliable and regular access to a Windows or Macintosh computer/laptop, webcam, microphone, and access to internet. 

The college is aware that the various instruction methods may differ from what students may have experienced to date. No matter the method, our faculty and staff strive to offer academic and student support and continue to ensure that students receive a strong educational foundation preparing them for their future careers.

For specific questions about instruction in your program, please contact your instructor or the instructional dean’s office.

Academic: Tyler Laye -
Health Sciences: Melinda Clanton -
Technical: Michelle Etris -

Course Attendance
Students who are diagnosed with COVID-19 or who are engaging in self-quarantine at the direction of a health care professional should not attend class. Students are asked to provide confirmation of diagnosis. Reporting protocol set forth by ACCS will be followed. 

When possible, students should provide formal documentation from a health care provider for absences. If students have to miss class, they should:

  • Notify instructors in advance of the absence, if possible.
  • Keep up with classwork if they can do so.
  • Submit assignments digitally.
  • Work with their instructors to try to reschedule exams, labs, and other critical academic activities.

The number of students allowed in each campus library will be limited to comply with the social distancing recommendations; Students will be required to practice social distancing while using computers (labs), study rooms, study tables, and waiting in line for student identification cards. 

  • Only two people at a time may use a study room. Books that are used will be placed out of circulation for 72 hours before being re-shelved. Tables will be limited to one person each and seating areas will have a two or three-person limit.
  • Any student that needs to meet with a staff person in their office will be required to wear a mask.

Residence Hall
Residential students will be required to present a negative COVID-19 test prior to moving into the dorms. 

The college will not provide testing directly for COVID-19; however, testing information will be made available for students needing to be tested.

The following safety protocols and procedures will be utilized in campus housing facilities:

  • The college has five dorm rooms reserved for quarantined students. If a student has been exposed or tested positive for COVID-19, both the student and their roommate will be required to undergo COVID-19 testing. If only one roommate tests positive or is exhibiting symptoms, they will be moved to a single occupancy quarantine room.
  • All students should enter through the main front entrance. Students may exit through any door. 
  • Sanitizer stations are located at all entrances/exits and common areas.
  • Stairwells, exterior doors, and common areas will be sanitized at least twice a day.
  • Temperature checks will be required before students and/or guests may enter the dorm.  
  • Face coverings will be required in common areas.
  • Limit of one (1) support person to assist students with move in unless otherwise authorized.
  • Reconfigure common areas to support social distancing guidelines.

Dining Hall
All meals will be served. Self-service is not allowed. Take out meal options will be available along with single-use disposable cutlery and “grab and go” menu items.

  • Floor is marked to assist individuals with maintaining 6-foot distance in serving lines.
  • Furniture will be rearranged to properly space chairs to allow for social distancing.
  • Staff will coordinate with the maintenance department to schedule monthly deep cleaning/sanitation.


Please note: any order issued by the Governor will supersede these guidelines.


To download and print this information in pdf form click here.