FIU Latest Town Hall: How Students Should Prepare For Fall

Jordan Coll/ Asst. News Director

FIU hosted its second town hall meeting through Zoom this week laying out the plans for students this coming fall. 

Here’s what to expect: students attending campus have to download the Panthers Protecting Panthers mobile app, answer a series of questions to determine if they are able to go on campus and get tested for COVID-19 before returning in August, among other adjustments.

President Mark B. Rosenberg and several other faculty members spoke on how they plan to implement university policies that will help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

The town hall meeting was moderated by Dr. Elizabeth Bejar, senior vice president of Academic & Student Affairs.

Town Hall meeting with several faculty and staff members discussing the fall semester

Students attending campus are asked to download the Panthers Protecting Panthers application (P3) and to fill out the screening questionnaire. The questionnaire will be available in English, Spanish, and Creole and will have to be filled out every time students come to campus.

According to FIU professor of epidemiology Dr. Mary Jo Trepka, filling out these questions will help identify students who may have been in contact with the virus. 

“This not only ensures that students are safe but also helps us use contact tracing on campus,” said Trepka.

The screening guidelines on the application will be based on the symptoms listed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Students who will not be attending during the fall are not required to do the questionnaire.

The application is projected to be available to students on Aug.18 according to Chief Information Officer, Roberto Grillo. On campus activities such as club fair, Fraternity/Sorority recruitment and homecoming will be held virtually for the remainder of the year. Organization registration will be available to students Aug.1.

Returning students who will be dorming are asked to get tested prior to arriving on campus. 

“We strongly encourage students to test for COVID-19 and self quarantine before coming,” said Andrew Naylor, senior director for housing and residential life.

Management of student facilities on campus for the semester was also addressed in the town hall. 

“Students facilities will be cleaned with chemicals approved by the CDC every night,” according to Sanyo Mathew, assistant vice president of Auxiliary Operations. 

With the university taking measures to secure the health of students and faculty on campus, FIUPD will also be stepping in to enforce these safety guidelines.

“Students are required to file an incident report if they feel that a faculty member or staff is not complying with the new COVID-19 student conduct guidelines,” said FIU Chief of Police Alexander Casas. “All students who attend campus will be given masks.”

On campus resources such as the Student Health Center will be operational for students who wish to get tested for the virus.

“This gathering is a reminder that we are all in this together… we are learning every day how to protect ourselves, our families, and the community against this virus,” said Rosenberg.

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