Fall 2021 was promised to be regarded as a return to pre-covid experiences for staff, students and faculty. The vaccination rollout and requirement for all Pace students, staff and faculty pointed in the right direction, but the recent uptake in Delta Variant COVID cases has altered the initial plans.
In July, Pace removed the mask mandate requirement on campus. However, on August 13, Pace announced that face coverings are required in all indoor spaces and recommended outdoors where social distancing cannot be possible.
While in-person classes remain prominent for the current schedule and social distancing has been eliminated from the university’s guidelines, masks will be required in these daily activities for students.
All students who have not updated their vaccine information or received a medical/religious exemption will not be permitted to enter campus grounds. Remote and hybrid classes still remain available but are limited compared to the past year. Moreover, not all degree programs will have these options available like performing arts and nursing courses.
Students, staff and faculty who receive the exemption from the university are required to wear masks at all times and participate in weekly community testing. These individuals are required to arrive onto campus with a negative test. Those who are vaccinated are recommended to arrive onto campus with a negative test, but it is not required.
Anyone who enters campus has to complete the PaceSafe App health and safety check questionnaire daily. This goes for residential and commuter students, staff and faculty. Guests permitted onto campus will also have a questionnaire to complete by Teamworks. Those who do not complete the test are not allowed on campus grounds.
Social distancing and signage will maintain in certain areas such as dining halls, common areas, staircases, Pace transportation etc.,
As of July, the Office of Residential Life and Housing had opened the housing policy to allow Pace commuter students and other Pace residential students to visit other dorm rooms. However, no outside guests are permitted to enter the residential halls.
Students who are dorming/living with each other will continue to be considered a “family unit” for contact tracing purposes.
Residential Life and Housing, SDCA, Student Organizations and academic departments work to put on a variety of events for students over the course of the semester. The number and accessibility of events are looking to be closer to normal capacity with RSVPs through SetterSync and face masks in-tact. At this time, only individually packaged foods are allowed at events.
In an email from SDCA, it was announced that guests are allowed at student events. However, guests have to be registered and complete the daily visitor healthy and safety screening from teamworks.
Inflatables at events and tabling around campus are permitted to take place again after over a year of absence.
According to the Return to Campus site, the dining hall will continue to utilize mobile ordering, pickup stations and contactless payment options.
The dining hall will increase its capacity to full occupancy, but will close seating when the dining hall is close and individuals are not actively dining.
Face masks are required in the indoor capacity and glass dividers will remain at certain tables. Pace states that sanitation of the counters and common areas will be taking place every 30 minutes to reduce transmission of the virus.
The Big Picture
Pace is returning to a more normal campus environment and schedule. In the 2020-2021 academic year, Pace altered its schedule to reduce holidays and maximize dorm time. For 2021-2022, the semester will consist of days off for religious and national holidays. The semester began after Labor Day on Wednesday Sept. 8 and will finish on Wednesday Dec. 22. Students will have more opportunities to engage with in-person classes, clubs, events and activities. However, the Delta variant continues to provide a threat to complete normality in society and policies are continuing to update daily.