Academics

Commencement for December 2020 Graduates
Updated 9/22/2020

The safety and well-being of graduates, guests, faculty and staff is our utmost priority. Out of an abundance of caution and consistent with public health guidance, December commencement will be postponed until May 2021. Degrees for December graduates will be conferred as scheduled on December 12, 2020.

The Office of the Registrar will communicate directly with graduates about regalia and diploma ordering. These items will be shipped directly to graduates.

December graduates will receive additional information in the Spring about plans for May commencement. It is the university’s intent to celebrate and honor the achievements of the class of December 2020, just a few months later than originally planned. 

What circumstances could prompt the university to discontinue residential life and transition to online learning for the semester?
Updated 9/15/2020

The decision to transition to online learning is complex and does not rely on any one factor. In making operational decisions, Samford administrators consider a number of variables beyond positive cases of COVID-19 on campus. The administration is closely monitoring the public health situation within our local community and throughout our state. In addition to our own assessments, operational decisions also are influenced by guidance from the Jefferson County Department of Health, the Alabama Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control. A team of dedicated administrators, faculty and staff are assessing the situation regularly and any anticipated changes to course delivery and on campus operations will be communicated promptly.

Study Abroad
Updated 9/14/2020

All university-sponsored international student programs and travel are canceled through Jan Term 2021.

I am in the high risk category for COVID-19. Can I take all of my classes online?
Updated 8/25/2020

Students with disabilities which fall into the vulnerable populations for COVID-19, as defined by the CDC, should consult the Disability Resources website.

Will courses taught this fall still include in-person teaching?
Updated 8/14/2020

Yes, approximately 86% of all courses across all degree programs will include in-person learning this fall. If you are unsure about the delivery method of your course, please consult Banner and use the course delivery guide to help you better understand your schedule.

How many of my classes will be online this fall?
Updated 7/30/2020

Samford will be delivering classes in several different modalities this fall. Those include face to face, remote, web-based, and hybrid. Most of our courses will involve some degree of face to face instruction. Students may check the delivery method of their courses in Banner where updates will be completed by August 1.

If I am an on-campus student and become sick or must quarantine, how will I attend classes this fall?
Updated 7/16/2020

We understand the challenges associated with COVID-19 and are preparing to provide courses using an array of virtual modalities. If students are unable to attend class in person due to illness or quarantine, they should communicate with their instructor to arrange for remote options.

Internships, Clinical Instruction, Off-Campus Instruction and Experiential Learning
Updated 7/14/2020

Our primary goal is always the safety and well-being of our students. With this in mind, the level of risk will determine whether students go to external training sites. Utilizing shared guidelines, each school will determine individual approaches in consultation with the Provost.

These experiences will be evaluated based on whether or not sites/agencies are accepting students and the overall level of risk associated with the site. Generally, high-risk placements will be avoided and will only be considered based on availability of proper personal protective equipment, expected interactions associated with student placement and a student-based risk assessment.

Students who are permitted to go to sites must follow CDC and relevant health department regulations as well as site specific safety measures including personal protective equipment. If a scheduled placement does not occur, the school will reschedule the placement or provide a comparable experience consistent with accreditation requirements.

Students may “opt-out” of upcoming placements with no academic penalty (i.e., no grade reduction); if a student chooses to opt-out of an assigned placement, the school/college will inform him/her in writing that this change may affect academic status, financial aid, and/or planned training schedule, and it may delay graduation, licensure, and/or job placement.

Students have a responsibility to self-report “known exposure” or “positive PCR testing” to their immediate university clinical/experiential supervisor. Students also have a responsibility to follow self-reporting guidelines defined by the university.

Academic Calendar
Updated 7/8/2020

August 24 will be the first day of classes for the Fall semester for all students except Cumberland School of Law. The semester will begin on August 17 for law students.

In an effort to minimize travel and possible transmission of the virus, all on-campus instruction will end prior to the Thanksgiving holiday. Undergraduate students will complete the semester by Tuesday, November 24; graduate programs will have varying schedules. Graduate students will hear directly from their academic dean or program director regarding the end of the term for their respective programs.

Labor Day and Fall Break will be regular class days for all students and employees in order to allow for an earlier conclusion of the Fall semester.

Library Access
Updated 7/1/2020

Samford University libraries will be opened only for enrolled students, faculty and staff. Visitors will not be permitted during the Fall semester.

Each facility will observe university standards for traffic flow, circulation, signage, maximum capacity and social distancing. Maximum occupancy requirements will be implemented based on a minimum 6-foot separation between persons. Access and occupancy levels will be managed by card swipe when possible and furniture will be configured to accommodate 6-foot social distancing requirements.

To promote equitable access for all students and employees, libraries may implement a reservation system. Books may be reserved or checked out by phone or at the websites for the respective libraries. Special collections, microfiche and other areas requiring personal service by library employees will operate by appointment only.

Contactless transactions will be available for many services such as photocopy equipment and check-outs. Sanitization of high touch surfaces will occur at least twice daily and employees and students will be equipped with disinfectant wipes to sanitize after use of spaces. Returned books will be allowed to “cure” in accordance with National Library standards before being returned to stacks.

Are there Assistive Technology tools available for taking online courses?
Updated 7/1/2020

Yes. View a list of suggestions for Assistive Technology tools in Resources section of the Disability Resources website.

How are Samford faculty preparing to utilize various forms of instruction for the Fall semester?
Updated 6/30/2020

Samford faculty utilize a variety of resources in preparation for each semester. Whether instruction takes place on-campus, online, or using a hybrid model, Samford faculty receive personalized support through the university’s Faculty Success Collaborative. Learn more about resources available to faculty.

Do students receive accommodations in online courses?
Updated 6/30/2020

Yes. Students who are registered with Disability Resources (DR) continue to receive accommodations in online formats. If students need additional accommodations due to the different format or students have not registered with DR in the past, they should review the procedure on the Disability Resources webpage.

Classroom Protocols
Updated 6/29/2020

Classrooms will observe university standards for traffic flow, circulation, signage, maximum capacity and social distancing. Face coverings and social distancing will be required in all public spaces, including classrooms, for employees and students. Additional information may be provided in the course syllabus.

Is Disability Resources staff still available for faculty and student questions and concerns?
Updated 6/27/2020

Yes. Staff continue to hold virtual meetings, receive and review documentation and conduct intake interviews with students. They can be reached at disability@samford.edu.

Where can I get assistance on general academic concerns like selecting or declaring a major or if I have an academic question and do not know who to contact?
Updated 6/27/2020

The Academic Success Center continues to work virtually with students to provide support and assistance to all students during their time at Samford. Please contact the office at success@samford.edu.

Admission

Will you host Preview Day?
Updated 7/17/2020

Our goal is to host on campus Preview Days in the fall. Details, schedule, and dates will be released and communicated to prospective students and parents in August.

Am I allowed to take a gap year, and how may this affect my scholarship or financial aid?
Updated 7/16/2020

Students are allowed to take a gap year, but each individual situation is unique in terms of how it affects scholarships, financial aid and plans of study. Current students should contact the Samford One Stop for additional information. Entering freshmen and transfer students (planning to begin in Fall 2020) should contact their admission counselor.

I am considering attending Samford University. Where can I find more information regarding COVID-19 and the admission process?
Updated 6/30/2020

FAQs for admitted students, prospective students, parents, transfer students and counselors are available on the Admission COVID-19 Update page. Details related to campus tours are available on the Admission visit page.

Prospective graduate students should contact the recruiter or program director for your desired program.

Athletics and Events

Commencement for December 2020 Graduates
Updated 9/22/2020

The safety and well-being of graduates, guests, faculty and staff is our utmost priority. Out of an abundance of caution and consistent with public health guidance, December commencement will be postponed until May 2021. Degrees for December graduates will be conferred as scheduled on December 12, 2020.

The Office of the Registrar will communicate directly with graduates about regalia and diploma ordering. These items will be shipped directly to graduates.

December graduates will receive additional information in the Spring about plans for May commencement. It is the university’s intent to celebrate and honor the achievements of the class of December 2020, just a few months later than originally planned. 

Will you host Homecoming?
Updated 8/19/2020

Samford has announced its annual Homecoming celebration will occur virtually this fall given the health challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.  For the first time in university history, Homecoming 2020 will be delivered virtually November 12-14 through the event platform Zoom.  A complete schedule of activities will be released by the end of September, and can be found on Samford’s Homecoming website.

Athletic Events
Updated 8/19/2020

The Southern Conference has decided that all fall league competition has been postponed until the spring of 2021 due to health and safety concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The university also announced that the sports of football, men's and women's cross country, soccer, and volleyball, as well as all non-championship segment sports will not participate in nonconference competition this fall. Read more here.

Can I host an event or meeting on campus?
Updated 8/17/2020

Campus events and meetings are limited to employees and students only. The maximum suggested size for all gatherings is 50 people and all events must adhere to room capacity restrictions. Campus event locations should be reserved through SPACES, the university’s space management room reservation system.

In order to mitigate COVID-19 related risks, no external events involving outside organizations or visitors are being scheduled at this time.

Can I come on campus to take photos or videos?
Updated 8/17/2020

At this time, visitors to campus are strongly discouraged. With this in mind, outside organizations and visitors are not allowed to take photos or videos on campus.

Are visitors allowed on campus?
Updated 8/17/2020

In an effort to mitigate the risks for contracting and transmitting COVID-19 on our campus, visitors are strongly discouraged. Ongoing exceptions to this include prospective students registered for campus tours through the Office of Admission, approved vendors, and those approved by a vice president or academic dean. Any visitors to campus must abide by the requirements set forth in the Guide for Returning to Campus. Visitors are not allowed in residence halls, the library and many other spaces on campus.

What are the plans for student athletes returning to campus?
Updated 7/14/2020

Samford Athletics has created a comprehensive guide for student athletes. It is available here.

Finance

If I want to speak with someone specifically about my student account, whom should I contact?
Updated 7/23/2020

Although the Samford One Stop is physically closed, your adviser and other team members are available to assist you over email and phone. You may call 205-726-2905 and leave a voicemail with your contact information. Those messages are being checked throughout the day, Monday through Friday. If you prefer email, we recommend sending an email to OneStop@samford.edu and let them know if you would like a return call. Provide your contact information and you will receive a call back. Otherwise, your adviser or a member of the Samford One Stop team will email you a response.

What is the CARES Act and who is eligible to receive funding?
Updated 7/23/2020

The CARES Act is one of several acts passed by the US Congress and signed into law by President Donald J. Trump in the spring of 2020 that intended to provide economic relief to Americans and American businesses during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Institutions of higher education were supported by the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund as part of the CARES Act.

Eligible students were defined as having met all the following criteria at the time of awarding in May 2020. Any Spring 2020 Samford student who: 1) was enrolled at the time of Samford’s campus closing, 2) who has an approved 2019-2020 FAFSA on file at Samford AND 3) who was not enrolled in a normally all online program for Spring 2020.

How will the shortened fall 2020 term impact costs for room and board?
Updated 7/23/2020

Samford recognizes the abbreviated on campus calendar for fall 2020 will eliminate a few days from the end of the academic calendar. Therefore, room and board rates for fall 2020 will be reduced to fall 2019 rates.

Am I allowed to take a gap year, and how may this affect my scholarship or financial aid?
Updated 7/16/2020

Students are allowed to take a gap year, but each individual situation is unique in terms of how it affects scholarships, financial aid and plans of study. Current students should contact the Samford One Stop for additional information. Entering freshmen and transfer students (planning to begin in Fall 2020) should contact their admission counselor.

Is support available for students who cannot cover basic expenses like rent, utilities or groceries?
Updated 7/1/2020

Yes! The Student Emergency Assistance Fund exists to help students with these types of needs.  Apply Online

I am returning in the Fall, but I will not be living in on-campus housing. Will my credit from Spring 2020 apply towards Fall 2020 tuition and fees?
Updated 6/30/2020

Your room and board credit from Spring 2020 will reduce your tuition and fees the next time they are charged.

Food Service

How can I share feedback about food service?
Updated 9/9/2020

Samford Dining is committed to serving your needs and your feedback is always appreciated. You can share your ideas or concerns through this feedback form or by emailing dining@samford.edu. Samford Dining also works alongside the SGA Food Committee to ensure student voices are heard.

Can I place an order online and pick-up my food?
Updated 9/9/2020
Yes! The Grubhub app is available for easy online ordering and pick-up from most food venues on campus. Online ordering is not available for the Caf.
How can I find out what food options are available in the Caf?
Updated 9/9/2020

You can view the Caf menu online or in the Bite app before visiting the Caf.

Are reservations required in the Caf?
Updated 9/9/2020

All students and employees can dine in the Caf on a first come, first served basis; reservations are no longer required.

What will Samford Dining look like this fall?
Updated 7/25/2020

Samford Dining will provide a range of new dining options on campus this fall. This includes new outdoor seating, food trucks, more grab-and-go prepackaged options, online ordering, meal kits for students who can cook at home and new locations that will accept students’ card swipes. The Caf will remain open with a host of full-service meal options.

Food Service Protocols
Updated 7/23/2020

Campus dining is provided and managed by Sodexo Operations, LLC. Food service operations will be in accordance with applicable government health standards, including those for ServSafe operations. On-campus food service in Fall 2020 will be provided pursuant to the following requirements:

  • High touch surfaces in dining areas will be sanitized on a determined schedule throughout the day.
  • Food service operations will follow university standards for traffic flow, circulation, signage and social distancing of at least six feet.
  • Reservations by students wishing to eat in the Caf will be required using the Sodexo BITE app.  In order to adhere to capacity restrictions required for social distancing, only students will be permitted to eat in the Caf for the Fall semester.  
  • Stanchions, hand sanitizers, plexiglass, signage and other controls will be installed in queue areas and throughout the Caf.
  • Whenever practicable, contactless service techniques will be employed, such as cashless payment, card “tap,” wireless payment technologies, and door props.
  • Food service hours will be extended to align with extended class schedules.
  • Students and employees shall wear face coverings when standing or moving about food service areas or when queueing for entrance. Face coverings may be removed and properly stored while eating.
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is required for all food service employees including gloves and masks. Face shields also are required for front-line employees (i.e. those with direct customer contact).
  • All food service employees must receive COVID-19 specific training.
Menus and Food Distribution
Updated 6/30/2020
  • All dining patrons are encouraged to order take-out food, which will be available for all meals. Grab and go menu options will be expanded.
  • Additional food distribution points will be established across campus, such as food trucks, food lockers, concession areas and catering.
  • Grocery boxes will be available for sale to students to prepare their own meals.
  • All self-service food or drink stations will be closed. Utensils, plates, cups and condiments will be single-use and disposable.

Health

Will I be notified if I have been in contact with someone on campus (a student or employee) who has tested positive for COVID-19?
Updated 9/11/2020

Yes, you will be notified through Samford’s contact tracing process if the university learns that you are a “close contact” of an infected individual. Close contacts are defined by the CDC as someone who was within 6 feet of a COVID-19 infected person for at least 15 minutes cumulatively in a 24-hour period starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic cases, 2 days prior to positive specimen collection) until the time the case is isolated.

Will health services be available on campus this Fall?
Updated 8/27/2020

University Health Services is available by appointment only for students and employees from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. To learn more or make an appointment, visit the University Health Services website. Outside of these hours, you should contact St. Vincent’s Urgent Care or another primary care provider for your health care needs.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, or believe you have been exposed to COVID-19, you should CALL the clinic at 205-726-2835 for a telehealth appointment with our nurse practitioner. If a COVID-19 test is recommended, you will be referred to St. Vincent's Primary Care in Hoover for an in-car test--possibly the same day. Results are received within 48-72 hours.

University Health Services will not facilitate COVID-19 testing required for returning to campus. If you have questions about return to campus testing, please contact covid19health@samford.edu.

What to do if you are sick (Rapid Identification Protocols)
Updated 8/27/2020

Students with a fever, cough, sudden loss of smell or taste, or other symptoms of COVID-19 shall call University Health Services at 205-726-2835 for a telehealth appointment. If a COVID-19 test is recommended, you will be referred to St. Vincent's Primary Care in Hoover for an in-car test--possibly the same day. Results are received within 48-72 hours.

Employees with a fever, cough, sudden loss of smell or taste, or other symptoms of COVID-19 shall be promptly tested by their primary health care provider.

ALL employees and students shall immediately report to Covid19health@samford.edu suspected cases of COVID-19; confirmed cases of COVID-19; or if they or other employees or students have been exposed to someone with (i) COVID-19 symptoms, (ii) confirmed COVID-19; or (iii) suspected COVID-19. The report shall be made within two hours of first obtaining any of the foregoing information.

Quarantine and Isolation
Updated 8/20/2020

The university will help facilitate quarantine or isolation, as appropriate, pursuant to one or more of the following measures:

  • Employees, students, and regular campus contractors with confirmed COVID-19 are required to isolate for up to 14 days and can’t return or resume campus activities until three days have passed with no fever and medications, all symptoms have passed, and at least 10 days have passed since the COVID-19 symptoms first appeared.
  • Students and employees residing in a dwelling with a person who tests positive for COVID-19 - regardless of whether there has been close contact - must quarantine for 14 days before returning to campus.
  • If a student or employee has been in close contact with a person who tests positive for COVID-19, the student or employee shall self-quarantine for 14 days before returning to campus. Close contact is defined as any individual within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes.
  •  Individuals in quarantine shall self-monitor their symptom development (check temperature twice daily) and keep a record of the results using Samford Healthcheck.
  • Anyone exposed to a person with COVID-19 shall quarantine at their home if possible. Quarantine requires that the student remain exclusively in the assigned space for 14 days (no exceptions).
  • Quarantine may also be required if employees or students travel to areas of wide community transmission (i.e. “hot spots”), as determined by the CDC.
  • The university will facilitate regular check-ins and social support to students quarantined on Samford’s campus or in facilities assigned by Samford.
  • Assistance for loss of resiliency, stress, depression and suicidal ideations is particularly important. As part of its case management protocol, Samford will seek to inform diagnosed individuals as to accessible and confidential support services available through web-based, mobile and other traditional modalities.
Quarantine vs. Isolation
Updated 6/30/2020

Quarantine is used to keep someone who is reasonably believed to have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others. Quarantine aids in preventing the spread of the disease that can occur before a person knows he or she is ill or infected with the virus. People in quarantine should remain at home, separate themselves from others, monitor their health, and follow instructions from their state or local health department and primary health care provider.

Isolation is used to separate people infected with the virus (those who are sick with COVID-19 and those who are asymptomatic) from people who are not infected. People in isolation should remain at home until it is safe for them to be around others. In the home, anyone who is sick or infected should separate themselves from others by staying in a specific “sick room” or area and using a separate bathroom (if available).

View the CDC guide to determining whether you should quarantine or isolate.

Masks
Updated 6/30/2020

Face coverings are required in all public spaces on campus including classrooms, the library, event venues and dining facilities. They are not required in private offices or a student’s assigned room or apartment.

COVID-19 can be spread by people who do not have symptoms and do not know that they are infected. This is why it is so important that everyone consistently wear a face mask. Cloth face coverings provide an extra layer to help prevent the respiratory droplets from traveling in the air and onto other people. This is not an individual decision but a requirement for the common good. Learn more about proper use, storage, cleaning and replacement of face coverings.

Sanitization Processes
Updated 6/30/2020

Samford has implemented stringent sanitization processes across campus operations in accordance with CDC guidelines. Samford’s custodial services are performed by Southeast Service Corporation D/B/A SSC Service Solutions (SSC). SSC will certify that CDC required sanitization, including approved EPA products, will be utilized on the campus in accordance with the university’s sanitization plan.

Sanitization of personal office spaces and high touch surfaces inside offices should be performed twice daily (in the morning and before lunch) by each office occupant. This includes, for example, desks, computer keyboard, staplers and surfaces on the desk, light switch, door knob, copier machine, phone, and cell phone. If you need cleaning supplies, request them from your supervisor or the Purchasing Department.  Students and employees are encouraged to maintain their own supply of disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer for personal use.  If anyone has difficulty locating wipes or sanitizer for purchase, he or she should contact the Samford Shop or Purchasing Department.

Reservations and assigned seating may be required in some spaces on campus to aid sanitization and contact tracing, and to minimize use of high touch surfaces.

Social Distancing
Updated 6/29/2020

Samford University is following CDC guidelines related to social and physical distancing.

Social distancing must be observed in, among other locations, classrooms, labs, large gathering areas, food venues, event venues, athletic venues, gathering spaces, restrooms and conference rooms.

Samford’s social distancing may also include alternate pedestrian traffic flow plans and limiting capacity in university facilities using a standard of six feet per person to calculate space capacity. Furniture and space configurations will be considered and diagrams and maximum capacities will be posted in each classroom. The university shall strive for six feet per person, recognizing that such distancing will not be achievable in all classrooms and venues.

Residence Life

What circumstances could prompt the university to discontinue residential life and transition to online learning for the semester?
Updated 9/15/2020

The decision to transition to online learning is complex and does not rely on any one factor. In making operational decisions, Samford administrators consider a number of variables beyond positive cases of COVID-19 on campus. The administration is closely monitoring the public health situation within our local community and throughout our state. In addition to our own assessments, operational decisions also are influenced by guidance from the Jefferson County Department of Health, the Alabama Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control. A team of dedicated administrators, faculty and staff are assessing the situation regularly and any anticipated changes to course delivery and on campus operations will be communicated promptly.

How can I confirm I have completed the requirements for returning to campus?
Updated 8/18/2020

The university has created a site where all students may log in to confirm receipt of their COVID-19 test results as well as the completed COVID-19 Student Expectations and Assumption of Risks form.

COVID-19 Protocols for Residence Life
Updated 7/1/2020

In order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, Residence Life will implement the following protocols:

  • Each student residing in on-campus housing will be required to sign and return a release, waiver and assumption of risk form pertaining to the risk of acquiring COVID-19 on campus.
  • Move-in procedures will incorporate social distancing, extended schedules to minimize populations and proximities in hallways and stairwells, baseline health checks, and other requirements that may be necessary to comply with CDC guidelines.
  • Triple occupancy will not be allowed.
  • Double occupancy of smaller rooms may be reduced to single occupancy due to the size of the room.
  • Social distancing will be required in all common spaces in residential halls, including lobbies, hallways, stairwells and other shared spaces. Shared spaces that cannot accommodate social distancing requirements will be closed or have occupancy limits.
  • Individuals who do not live in that residence hall shall not be granted entry to the building.
  • Visitation in private rooms is prohibited to maximize social distancing.
  • Face coverings are required throughout all residence halls, except when a student is in his or her own room or apartment.
  • Temperature checks may be required pursuant to then applicable University policies.
  • Non-compliance with residence hall COVID-19 protocols and practices will result in disciplinary action.
  • Ice machines and water fountains without touchless fill stations will be turned off.
Quarantine and Self-isolation for Residential Students
Updated 7/1/2020

Students will be required to self-isolate and/or quarantine pursuant to Samford’s COVID-19 protocols.

If permissible by the Jefferson County Department of Public Health, students should return to their homes to isolate or quarantine. Campus housing charges will not be refundable for students who leave campus to quarantine or isolate at home.

The university may require students identified by the Jefferson County Department of Health or appropriate agency as a contact to a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis, as well as healthy students sharing spaces with those confirmed or exposed, to relocate to a different housing location for an indeterminate amount of time. This location may be on or off campus. 

Samford may close a portion or the entirety of a residence hall if the incident(s) of COVID-19 in the facility is classified as moderate or substantial spread or if deemed necessary by the university or the Jefferson County Department of Health.

Samford will endeavor to provide for the basic needs of students who must quarantine or isolate on campus such as food, wellness checks and mental health support.

Move-In
Updated 6/30/2020

Residence Life is working on a move-in plan for students to meet the CDC guidelines for social distancing. All residential students will be emailed detailed instructions by the end of July. Room assignments for new students will be emailed by this time as well.

Healthy Habits in Residence Halls
Updated 6/30/2020
  • Students should open windows and doors daily to allow fresh air in buildings where possible.
  • Hand sanitizers will be placed in building entrances and exits.
  • No touch entries for hallway and stairway doors will be provided as possible.
  • Healthy Habit signage will be prominently displayed.
  • Healthy Habit training will be provided to students.
  • Upon request, students in double occupancy residence hall rooms will be provided a clear curtain room partition.
  • Plexiglass will be installed in Residence Life offices and may be installed in shared spaces.
  • Resident Assistants (RAs) will be trained to recognize COVID-19 symptoms and RA responsibilities for residence hall management.
  • Students should perform self-health checks daily and report any COVID-19 related symptoms.
  • Residential students should have hand sanitizer, cloth face coverings, a thermometer and disinfectant wipes. These supplies may be purchased in the Samford Shop.
  • Schedules for community bathrooms may be required to reduce occupancy and promote social distancing.
  • Students should keep personal logs of off-campus activities and locations traveled.
Sanitization in the Residence Halls
Updated 6/30/2020

Sanitization of residence halls will be performed according to CDC guidelines and university standards. High touch surfaces in common areas such as doorknobs, handrails and elevator buttons in common areas shall be cleaned twice daily, seven days per week. Shared spaces such as shared or community bathrooms shall be cleaned with an electrostatic sprayer or comparable method at least twice daily.

Students should clean their personal spaces and items daily, with particular attention given to high touch items such as light switches, cell phones, door knobs, furniture handles, and bathroom sinks, toilets and bathing areas.

If a person in a residence hall is determined to have COVID-19, the university will revise sanitization processes to include: electrostatic spraying three times per day, cleaning high touch surfaces three times per day and closing common bathrooms for a deep clean daily.

Visitors in Residence Halls
Updated 6/30/2020

There will be no visitors in residence halls. Individuals who do not live in that residence hall will not be granted entry to the building. In order to maximize social distancing, visitation in private rooms is also prohibited.

Masks in Residence Halls
Updated 6/30/2020

Face coverings are required throughout all residence halls, except when a student is in his or her own room or apartment.

Flu Shots
Updated 6/29/2020

Students may be required to get an influenza vaccine to remain in residence halls.

Services

Will health services be available on campus this Fall?
Updated 7/14/2020

University Health services will be available by appointment only for students and employees from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, beginning August 10. To learn more or make an appointment, visit the University Health Services website. Outside of these hours, you should contact St. Vincent’s Urgent Care or another primary care provider for your health care needs.

IMPORTANT - If you have symptoms of COVID-19, or believe you have been exposed to COVID-19, you should CALL the clinic at 205-726-2835, please DO NOT visit the clinic without first calling for an assessment and instructions.

Is support available for students who cannot cover basic expenses like rent, utilities or groceries?
Updated 7/1/2020

Yes! The Student Emergency Assistance Fund exists to help students with these types of needs.  Apply Online

How can students that are struggling academically or personally get connected to support resources?
Updated 6/27/2020

Simply reach out to the CARE Team. Email samfordcares@samford.edu, call 205-726-2083 or complete the online CARE form.

Are counseling services available to students?
Updated 6/27/2020

Yes, the counseling staff is available to students. If you have questions or need to speak with a counselor, you may contact the staff at counseling@samford.edu or 205-726-4083. Please note that virtual access to certain services may be restricted by state regulations.

Student Life

What are the plans for Greek Recruitment?
Updated 7/31/2020

Samford University and the Office of Greek Life are committed to providing incoming and interested students with a quality process for cultivating connection and forming relationships through Greek organizations. Visit www.samford.edu/greeklife to register for IFC and Panhellenic recruitment. Interested in NPHC, visit our website to learn more.

College Panhellenic

Health and safety is our highest priority along with the overall experience for potential new members and active members. Moving to a hybrid recruitment model and utilizing a virtual platform will allow potential new members to be in the comfort of their residence hall and show their facial expressions since masks are not required in their own living space. Potential new members will be able to engage with more active chapter members than the in-person model for the first two rounds.

Panhellenic has made the following changes to the recruitment schedule.

  • Philanthropy Round: September 6 via Zoom. Potential New Members will meet all six chapters and meet multiple active sisters. T-shirts will be provided to all PNMs to wear for this first round. Twenty-five minute virtual parties.
  • Sisterhood Round: September 7–9 via Zoom. Potential New Members will have the ability to meet up to four chapters. Chapters will focus on the sisterhood core values of their organization. Potential new members will have the ability to virtually meet multiple active chapter sisters during this round. Thirty minute virtual parties spread out over 3 evenings.
  • Preference Round: September 10–12. Location, times, and logistical details are still being worked out, but we are hopeful to maintain an in-person round.

Interfraternity Council

Health and safety is our highest priority along with the overall experience for potential new members and active members. IFC has decided to restructure formal recruitment and move to a hybrid model that allows for informal events and formal events.

IFC has made the following changes to the recruitment schedule

  • September 1: Virtual Open House with all 5 Chapters via Zoom and breakout rooms
  • August 24 - September 17: Informal Recruitment Events hosted by chapters.
  • September 14: Chapters may begin extending bids to membership
  • September 19-20: Chapters host formal, invitation-only events following all gathering and social distance guidelines.
  • September 21: Formal Bid Day for those who have not already received bids

Operations and logistics for Greek recruitment and new member education events will adhere to all university protocols and CDC guidelines for social distancing, sanitization and space capacity. This includes on and off campus events.

All Greek organizations are asked to have a 6-week new member education process for Fall 2020.

If you have questions about Greek recruitment, new member experiences or events, please contact Julie Mincey, Director at greeklife@samford.edu.

What will student activities look like on campus this fall semester?
Updated 7/25/2020

We are planning now to provide you with campus recreation, convocations, student activities and events that are such a central part of the Samford experience. While many of these events will be virtual, there also will be many smaller events and small group opportunities to connect with friends and form new relationships.

Fortunately, given the weather in Birmingham, you will have many opportunities to spend time outdoors, where you can spread out and enjoy the fresh air. We are in the process of adding tents around campus for this reason, and we will encourage you to meet, eat, work, and study outdoors. 

Will I be able to participate in campus sport intramural teams this fall semester?
Updated 7/25/2020

At this time, intramurals are scheduled for the Fall Semester.  Participants will be required to abide by health and safety guidelines related to COVID-19.  Spectators will not be permitted at intramural events in the Fall Semester.  Any changes to the intramural schedule will be updated on the Campus Recreation website.

What other fitness and exercise facilities will be available this fall?
Updated 7/25/2020

Fitness Center 

The Fitness Center will be open for students to use this Fall.  Due to social distancing guidelines, the fitness machines have been spaced apart, and a limited number of students will be permitted in the Fitness Center at a given time.

Seibert Gym/Bashinksy Fieldhouse Facilities

Recreation spaces in these buildings will be open for students to use this Fall.  These areas include gyms, racquetball courts, the swimming pool, the Cage, the Loft, and the cardio area.  Due to social distancing guidelines, a limited number of students will be permitted in these areas at a given time.  

Aerobic Classes

A variety of aerobic classes will be offer to students in the Fall semester.  Some class options include Zumba, core barre, pound, yoga, and spin.  Class sizes will be limited due to the size of the room and social distancing guidelines.

What are the plans for Home Groups/Small Groups?
Updated 7/17/2020

We are currently working on plans to edit our approach to on-campus small groups in order to allow students opportunities to connect with one another. Additional information will be provided on the Spiritual Life website when available.

Will you host the Freshmen Retreat?
Updated 7/17/2020

Unfortunately, we are unable to take students overnight for the Freshmen Retreat due to university COVID-19 policies and retreat facility guidelines. All registration fees will be refunded for those who have already registered. We are considering an optional approach that would still provide an opportunity to connect spiritually with other students. Additional information will be provided to freshmen soon.

Campus Worship/Convocation
Updated 7/17/2020

For the Fall semester, we are planning virtual campus worship experiences that will continue to bring students together around worship and meaningful messages from scripture. We will continue to offer other smaller events and small group opportunities for convocation credit as well.

Testing

Is participation required in the sentinel testing program?
Updated 9/3/2020

Yes, participation in the sentinel testing program is mandatory. Sentinel testing is an important component of the university’s plan to have students and employees on campus this fall. This testing allows us to identify increases in infection rates and promptly respond.

Who should I contact if I have additional questions?
Updated 9/3/2020

E-mail covid19health@samford.edu if you have questions about sentinel testing. General information is available on the GuideSafe website.

How will I be notified if I am randomly selected?
Updated 9/3/2020
  • Samford employees and students will receive an email from Healthy@Verily.com asking you to schedule an appointment for COVID-19 random sentinel testing.
  • If you receive this e-mail, please promptly click on the link provided to log into your Verily account and complete the pre-test symptoms screen and select an appointment time from the options listed.
Is there a cost associated with sentinel testing?
Updated 9/3/2020

No, sentinel testing is provided through GuideSafe supported by CARES Act funding through the State of Alabama.

Is anyone excluded from sentinel testing?
Updated 9/3/2020

Yes, the following individuals are excluded from sentinel testing:

  • Students enrolled in a fully online program who will not be on campus at any time during the fall semester
  • Employees who will not be on campus for the fall semester
  • Students or employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 12 weeks
  • Students and employees experiencing symptoms of COVID-19
If I have been chosen for sentinel testing, can I continue to be on campus while waiting for results?
Updated 9/3/2020

Yes. You can continue to be on campus as long as you are without COVID-19 symptoms.

When does sentinel testing start?
Updated 9/3/2020

Samford will begin sentinel testing the week of September 7.

What is sentinel testing?
Updated 9/3/2020

Sentinel testing is COVID-19 testing program that tests a random sample of individuals within our Samford community (faculty, staff and students) to monitor campus prevalence. This data will help us understand the underlying prevalence of COVID-19 within our campus community and will allow us to promptly respond to changes in infection rates on campus.

Who do I contact with questions about testing?
Updated 8/24/2020

If you are attempting to obtain an in-person test through GuideSafe, you should direct your questions to testing@guidesafe.org or call 866-839-5308 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. The GuideSafe website also offers a chat function.

If you have questions or concerns about Samford’s testing requirements, you should address them to covid19health@samford.edu.

How do I arrange for my COVID-19 test?
Updated 8/20/2020

Register to be tested at one of the 14 GuideSafe testing locations in Alabama. You will need to register for an appointment at least 48 hours prior to your planned arrival on campus. The Birmingham locations are open 7 days a week and additional appointment times are being added. You will make an appointment, go to the testing site at your appointed time and after a quick test (averaging under 10 minutes) you will receive your results within 48 hours. This in-person testing option is available for ALL returning students, whether your home of residence is inside or outside the state of Alabama. There is no cost for testing at a GuideSafe location.

Test with your health care provider. If you are unable to test at a GuideSafe location, you may make arrangements with your health care provider for a PCR or antigen test. You should then provide your results to covid19health@samford.edu. You will be responsible for any costs incurred with your provider.

If for some reason you are unable to test at a GuideSafe location or arrange a test with your health care provider, please complete this form to request another option for testing. You must complete this form as soon as possible in order for additional options to be provided. Please do not contact University Health Services for return to campus testing; you should direct all return to campus testing questions to covid19health@samford.edu.

How can I confirm Samford has received my test results?
Updated 8/18/2020

The university has created a site where all students may log in to confirm receipt of their COVID-19 test results as well as the completed COVID-19 Student Expectations and Assumption of Risks form.

Can I be tested by another health care provider?
Updated 8/17/2020

Yes, you may be tested by another health care provider. However, the test must be a PCR or antigen test and you will be responsible for the cost of the test. In order to return to campus, you must submit your results to covid19health@samford.edu.

What if I am not eligible for testing through GuideSafe?
Updated 8/17/2020

Due to FDA restrictions, minors under 18, those living outside of the United States or residents of New Jersey, New York, Maryland and Rhode Island were not be able to participate in the GuideSafe at-home testing kit option. Students who are not eligible for an at-home testing kit have the following other options to complete the COVID-19 entry testing requirement prior to coming to campus:

  • Make arrangements with a health care provider for a PCR or antigen test. This can include a testing option in your community or once you are in Alabama, as long as it is within the 14-day window of your entry to campus.
  • GuideSafe Testing provides free COVID-19 testing to students at colleges and universities in Alabama and has 14 test sites set up across Alabama. If you will be in Alabama prior to your return to campus, you may use this option. To do so, visit https://healthy.verily.com/ to register to receive a test at one of these locations once you are in Alabama. Testing locations have been established in Auburn, Birmingham, East Huntsville, Florence, Hoover, Huntsville, Jacksonville, Livingston, Marion, Mobile, Montgomery, Talladega, Troy and Tuscaloosa. Students under 19 years of age must have parental consent to be tested. Have your parent complete this consent form as soon as possible.
Am I required to participate in re-entry testing?
Updated 8/12/2020

Yes. All students are required to be tested for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, before they return to campus in the fall. Students may not return to campus, move into residence halls or attend classes (in person or online) without being tested. Those who test negative will be permitted to return as scheduled. Those who test positive must isolate for 10 days from the date of the positive test if asymptomatic, or for 10 days from the onset of symptoms, and be symptom free for 24 hours before returning to campus.

There are two exceptions to this requirement. If you are enrolled in a fully online program and will not be on campus at any time during the fall semester, you are not required to test at this time. Students who have tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 12 weeks should not retest. Instead, please provide covid19health@samford.edu documentation of your positive test in order to affirm necessary time has passed for returning to campus.

How will I get my results?
Updated 8/12/2020

If testing through GuideSafe, you will receive your results report via email.

If you test positive, you will be notified via email from covid19@pwnhealth.com and then over the phone (within 48 hours).

If you test negative, you will receive an email with your test result from covid19@pwnhealth.com.

Do I have to pay for the test?
Updated 8/12/2020

There is no cost for testing provided through GuideSafe; GuideSafe testing is supported by CARES Act funding through the State of Alabama. Should you choose to use your own health care provider, you are responsible for any costs incurred.

I am enrolled in an online program and will not be returning to campus this fall. Am I required to participate in testing?
Updated 8/12/2020

If you are enrolled in a fully online program and will not be on campus at any time during the fall semester, you are not required to test at this time. However, if you plan to return to campus at any point this semester you are required to test.

What do I do if I test positive, but do not show symptoms?
Updated 8/12/2020

Those who test positive must isolate for 10 days from the date of the positive test if asymptomatic, or for 10 days from the onset of symptoms, and be symptom free for 24 hours before returning to campus.

What is GuideSafe?
Updated 8/12/2020

All Samford students coming to campus for the fall semester will receive a free COVID-19 test as part of the GuideSafe entry to campus program, supported by CARES Act funding through the State of Alabama. GuideSafe will communicate testing directives to Samford students via their university email address. It is imperative that you be on the lookout for emails from testing@guidesafe.org.

What is Verily and why does Verily mention “work” in my email confirmation and when I log in to the system?
Updated 8/12/2020

Don’t worry, you are in the right place! Verily is GuideSafe’s scheduling partner and their “Healthy at Work” system supports organizations and their efforts for a safe return to work and school.

I live in Alabama. Can I request a kit to test at home?
Updated 8/7/2020

No, all Alabama residents must test at a GuideSafe location.

Can I be tested at a different GuideSafe testing location than I was originally assigned?
Updated 8/7/2020

Students are able to schedule their own testing appointment - location, date, time. To change your scheduled appointment, contact Verily User Support at healthyatwork@verily.com.

Will the test hurt?
Updated 8/5/2020

No.  The test consists of a self-swab just inside the nose that is painless.

I have already been tested for COVID-19. Do I need to participate in Samford’s re-entry testing?
Updated 8/5/2020

If you have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 12 weeks, please do not re-test at this time. Instead, please provide Covid19health@samford.edu documentation of your positive test in order to affirm necessary time has passed for returning to campus.

If you have not received a positive diagnosis within the past 12 weeks, you are required to participate in Samford’s re-entry testing.

What do I tell my friends and family if I test positive?
Updated 8/5/2020

Those who receive a positive diagnosis for COVID-19 should let family and friends who you have come in contact with know. Identify someone who can care for you through monitoring and for provision of nourishment, while keeping their distance. Those with a positive COVID-19 diagnosis will need to isolate for 14 days to prevent spread of the virus. Best practices in isolation include: 

  • Use a separate bathroom and bedroom
  • Wear a mask
  • Practice social distancing
  • Wash hands often
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or elbow 
  • Avoid sharing personal household items
  • Clean all “high-touch” surfaces everyday
What if I test positive and am unable to attend the first day of class?
Updated 7/25/2020

If you test positive and must miss the first day of class, you should contact your faculty directly to make arrangements.

Travel

International Travel
Updated 9/14/2020

All university-sponsored international student programs and travel are canceled through Jan Term 2021.

For your personal well-being and in consideration of the health of others in the campus community, students and employees are strongly encouraged to refrain from personal travel outside of the United States throughout the Fall semester.

Following recently updated CDC Guidance regarding travel, students and employees arriving to the United States from international travel are no longer required to self-isolate/quarantine for 14-days after arrival to the U.S. However, all Samford employees and students are encouraged to follow normal preventative steps including social distancing, masking, and handwashing and monitor their health upon returning from international travel.

Domestic Travel
Updated 8/12/2020

For your personal well-being and in consideration of the health of others in the campus community, students are strongly encouraged to refrain from personal travel beyond the Birmingham metropolitan area throughout the Fall semester.

View the CDC considerations for domestic travel.

The plan to Bring Back the Bulldogs is continually evolving, and some of our planning may change as new information becomes available. We recommend that you return to this website often, in the event that pertinent updates have been communicated.