Frequently Asked Questions

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Updated June 29, 2020

Academics

Study abroad has been suspended for the Fall 2020 semester. Students should contact Chris Borda, cborda@berry.edu, to make alternate plans for the fall semester, and to identify study abroad opportunities for the future.

We are a residential college at heart, and it is our planning priority to open in the fall – with a commitment to the safety of all members of the community as well as an emphasis on quality education and the continued success of our students.

See the Fall Opening web section.

There were plans to hold commencement on Saturday, July 25, but due to the steady rise of confirmed cases in Georgia and in Floyd County, we are no longer confident that we would be in a stable position to hold the event in late July.

In evaluating the next opportunities for a commencement ceremony, it will be problematic to hold a ceremony anytime this fall. Once returning students are on campus for the fall, it will be necessary to limit access to visitors, and we may well be prohibited from having large assemblies of any kind. We will be re-opening the campus to returning students in early and mid-August, so that month is also not an opportune time for a commencement.

Various options have been discussed with leaders from the class of 2020, and we've decided to explore possible commencement dates in December and May. Both options allow the possibility of a more normal commencement ceremony as well as some creative enhancements to make the 2020 commencement special despite the wait. (The December date, however, may coincide with projected winter increases in COVID-19.) This group will work with Vice President Lindsey Taylor and Provost Mary Boyd to develop descriptions of the December and May options. Later in July, we will schedule a virtual meeting open to anyone in the class of 2020 who wants to discuss these options. Afterwards, a poll will be conducted to determine preferences.

Campus Access

Beginning July 1, the campus will be open to the public daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. for outdoor campus recreation ONLY.  At present there is no building access, so plan ahead for things like bathrooms and drinks or snacks. Visitors will continue to be screened with temperature checks at the entrance between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. Commercial photo sessions cannot be accommodated at this time.

The campus will close again to the public beginning Aug. 1 for the safety of returning students and employees.

Campus events are being rescheduled or cancelled. As appropriate and possible, speakers or lectures will be taped and made available.

The Southern Athletic Association has suspended all conference competition for the season. 

The Cage Center is open on a limited basis.  Access is limited to faculty, staff, students living on campus, and immediate family members of faculty and staff also living on campus.  The fitness center and track are the two primary areas available for workout purposes.  All other areas of the building are closed.

In the fitness center, a maximum number of 10 people are allowed at any given time.  People are allowed to enter the fitness center on a first-come first-served basis, and encouraged to keep workouts to a maximum of 1 hour. Once capacity has been reached, the front desk attendants keep a waitlist for those wishing to workout.  Patrons may wait in the lobby or walk the track until they are granted permissions to enter the fitness center. 

All patrons are strongly encouraged to be responsible for wiping down and cleaning any equipment they use while in the fitness center.  Hours of operation will be as follows.  

Monday – Friday
7 a.m. – 9 a.m.
11a.m. – 2 p.m.
4 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Memorial Library is open on a limited basis.  Access is limited to faculty, staff, students living on campus, and immediate family members of faculty and staff also living on campus.  Memorial Library is not open to community members or alumni at this time. 

If you would like to return materials, please place all items in the drop box located to the left side of the front library entrance. 

Hours of Operation:
Monday-Thursday 10am-3pm.
Friday-Sunday Closed. 

More info is here https://libguides.berry.edu/about/reopening

COVID-19

On June 5, a Berry employee received a positive test for the coronavirus. The employee was first alerted to symptoms through the screening process at the front gate.  The employee then alerted Human Resources, was tested, is following local health department protocols and is in self-isolation at home.  The director of human resources is in regular contact and the employee is doing well.  Our thoughts and prayers are for a quick and routine recovery.  Given the circumstances, the risk to the broader campus community is believed to be low.

If a Berry student (on-campus) exhibits symptoms that are consistent with COVID-19, that person should call Emma Cordle, Director of Health Center (706.236.2267) and follow the instructions received. Should a case be positively identified, appropriate communications will go into effect as guided by the Georgia Department of Public Health.

The college will then:

  • Notify local health officials for guidance and advice.
  • Instruct the person to self-isolate.
  • Restrict access to the area occupied by that person until it is cleaned and thoroughly disinfected.
  • Contact people (as instructed) with whom that person has had close contact and recommend they self-quarantine.
  • Administrators will work with faculty to make accommodations for extended student absences.

If a Berry student has been residing with a family member who is confirmed to have COVID-19, that student must inform the Health Center. The college will then:

  • Notify local health officials for guidance and advice.
  • Instruct the student to self-quarantine.
  • Restrict access to the area occupied by that student until it is cleaned and thoroughly disinfected.
  • Contact people (as instructed) with whom that person has had close contact.

If you are concerned about a student, please contact Emma Cordle at the Health Center or Lindsey Taylor, Dean of Students.

If a Berry student (on-campus) feels sick but does not appear to exhibit COVID-19 symptoms, that person should call the Health Center and follow the instructions received.

Students: Contact Student Health Center (706.236.2267) or your primary care physician via telephone.

Suggested steps for risk assessment:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use and alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Take your temperature twice a day and remain alert for fever, coughs, or difficulty breathing.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • If you develop a fever, cough, or have difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headaches, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea, call and speak with a medical professional before arriving at the health care facility.
  • For further guidance, see the CDC pageInterim US Guidance for Risk Assessment and Public Health Management of Persons with Potential COVID-19 Exposure in Travel-associated or Community Settings.

LifeWorks

Not necessarily. We anticipate a very different summer at Berry and some Gate Scholars may be assigned to positions for the summer (temporarily) based on the operational needs of the college. In many cases, Gates scholars who are reassigned for the summer will be able to return to their regular assignments for fall semester. We will work with LifeWorks supervisors to determine the most effective use of returning Gate Scholars this summer.

Yes. Starting in the fall, incoming students will be limited to 10 hours per week, returning students will normally be limited to 12 hours per week, and returning Gate Scholars will be limited to 16 hours per week.

Yes, first year students will be placed into ‘good fit’ campus work positions, but using a process that will be modified from that used in previous years. Details about this process are being developed and will be shared as soon as they are ready.

You can submit your requirements now. Please complete the required survey form.

Yes, we will. Your suggestions and concerns through the renewal process enabled us to work with NextGen to request some enhanced features for the JobX/TimesheetX systems. The LifeWorks Office will develop training materials to teach supervisors how to use effectively the following new features / tools:

  • A new budget tracking feature that shows expenditures in your departments based on paid timesheets and the balance remaining for the year (available in July).
  • The ability to view student academic schedules.
  • Built-in procedures which block hiring a student into a position requiring more weekly hours than the student has available.
  • Built-in procedures which will warn you if a hire has the potential to cause your department to be over budget.
  • Built-in warnings which will notify you if a student is attempting to enter more hours in a timesheet than a student has available for that week.

BERRY EMPLOYEES
WORKING ON CAMPUS/REMOTELY

Employees whose work by its nature needs to be conducted on campus should plan to return to campus.  Employees who can fully complete their work from a remote location should seek approval from their supervisor and discuss appropriate measures of productivity as well as a cycle of rotation through their office.  Employees whose normal works activities have been disrupted by the COVID-19 crisis should initiate a conversation with their supervisor regarding alternate work assignments at Berry during this period.  Employees whose home responsibilities, including child care, have been complicated by COVID-19 should contact your Vice President and Wayne Phipps, Director of Human Resources.

It is important that all employees engage in meaningful work so that the college and its employees can continue to thrive.  If employees would prefer to reduce their work hours during this summer in response to the unusual circumstances, please contact your Vice President and Wayne Phipps.

Yes. We are asking all employees returning to campus to self-screen prior to your return to campus. All employees and visitors will have their temperature taken at the main entrance every day. Employees will receive a sticker for the day verifying screening, and employee can access campus the remainder of the day without having to have their temperature taken again. Employees who have a temperature of 100.4 or higher should not return to campus or will be turned away from campus. Employees who answer “yes” to the self-screening questions should not return to campus until cleared by Human Resources.

1. Are you currently ill?

2. Are you experiencing any of the following symptoms?

  1. Fever
  2. Chills
  3. Repeated shaking with chills
  4. Muscle pain
  5. Cough
  6. Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  7. Headache
  8. Sore Throat
  9. Loss of taste or smell
3. In the last 14 days, did you have close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19?

Our Welcome Center staff will be taking your temperature when you arrive to campus. You will stop before the gate arm, and a staff member will take your temperature. No information will be recorded or kept. Employees registering a temperature of 100.4 or higher will be asked to turnaround and exit campus.

Masks or face coverings are preferred. We ask all employees and students to be mindful of wearing a mask or face covering in public settings (i.e. hallways, bathrooms). Some offices may state mask required based on ability to successfully distance employees or if there is an at risk employee in the office. Employees are asked to carry a mask or face covering at all times in case you need to access an area requiring a mask.

Employees should use vacation and sick time as they would if they were not working from home. If there is a day where you are unable to perform the functions of your job because you are not feeling well or need to take care of someone in your home who is not feeling well, use a sick day. If you want to take a day off to celebrate an event or spend time on personal things, use a vacation day. Employees should record sick and vacation days on their leave card or time sheets accordingly.

Employees may also use portions of vacation and sick time. For example, if an employee works 4 hours in the morning but wishes to take the afternoon off, the employee can use 4 hours of vacation time or sick time (depending on the reason) to cover the afternoon.

Working from home may bring a level of flexibility that an employee may or may not have when coming onto campus. Be mindful of this and work with your supervisor to make your schedule fit the needs of the students and colleagues we engage with most. This new normal should not add extra stress; the college does not expect employees to now be available 24/7. But during this time employees should continue to perform the tasks essential to the success of their department and the college, our worthwhile work done well.

Employees should contact the Human Resources department to work through that scenario.

FINANCIAL & WELLNESS RESOURCES

Berry employees have free access to Enrich, a financial wellness site that can be found on myapps.berry.edu. There is a great section of resources on financial topics entitled “Coronavirus and Your Financial Health” that employees are encouraged to review. That information can be found specifically at https://berry.enrich.org/landing/coronavirus-and-your-financial-health.

Berry employees who may need help with feelings of stress or anxiety during this unprecedented time are encouraged to utilize our Employee Assistance Program through Unum. Details about that program can be found at https://www.unum.com/employees/services/life-balance or by calling 800.854.1446.

The Georgia COVID-19 Emotional Support Line provides 24/7 free and confidential assistance to callers needing emotional support or resource information as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Emotional Support Line is staffed by volunteers, including mental health professionals and others who have received training in crisis counseling. The phone number to call is 866.399.8938.

Anthem (formerly Blue Cross Blue Shield) continues to send information to those enrolled in our medical plan. One partnership they have announced that may be of benefit during this time is with Aunt Bertha, which provides help with food, housing, transportation and other social support. Employees can find services such as help with food, housing and transportation by visiting their website and entering your ZIP code at https://anthembcbs.auntbertha.com/.

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