Many of the changes are part of the Texas Tech Commitment, the university’s pledge to maintain a safe campus environment during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Classes resume in-person on Monday (Aug. 24) for many Texas Tech University students. As Red Raiders return to campus, some for the first time since the campus closure in March, they may notice some changes to Raiderland. Many of the changes are part of the Texas Tech Commitment, the university's pledge to maintain a safe campus environment for students, faculty, staff and visitors as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.
Two of the biggest changes students will experience are the implementation of social distancing measures throughout campus and the use of appropriate face masks and coverings. Beginning June 24, Texas Tech President Lawrence Schovanec announced a mandatory face-covering policy for everyone while they are on campus. Read more about the policy here.
Here is what students can expect as they return.
Campus health, safety are top priorities
Since March, employees across campus have been working diligently to ensure the best possible return to campus this fall, one that offers both the full university experience of on-campus living, in-person classes and campus events and the increased health and safety measures necessary to maintain that experience. This includes COVID-19 testing options, alternative on-campus housing options for students who test positive and mental health support. Read more about campus health and safety efforts here.
On-campus housing experience will include new visitor, occupancy rules
University Student Housing has been working diligently to ensure students get an on-campus living experience, even if it looks different than it has in years past. The department made changes to the move-in process, visitor rules, cleaning procedures and occupancy, as well as preparations in case students become ill. Read more about living on campus.
Campus dining locations, hours adjusted for fall
Hospitality Services offers more than 50 dining options at 21 different locations. This fall, students will have a new way to order and pay for their food via Grubhub (available on the App Store or Google Play). Hospitality Services has implemented a hybrid version of dining that includes limited seating, where available, and the option to purchase food for pick up through mobile ordering. Operational hours have been adjusted to ensure the frequent sanitation of all production, serving and high-traffic areas. Read more about changes to campus dining.
Campus Life offers virtual engagement experiences
Sororities and fraternities, student organizations, community volunteer and outreach opportunities and campus events all will continue to be a part of the Texas Tech student experience despite COVID-19. Planning led by the Center for Campus Life and the Office of the Dean of Students will include ways to maintain social distancing, decide which events are virtual versus in-person and follow guidelines when it comes to personal hygiene and personal protective equipment like face masks and coverings. Read more about changes to campus life.
Fall academic instruction includes hybrid, face-to-face instruction
When students come back in the fall, not only will their living situations and on-campus experiences be different, so will the way they learn and attend classes. Texas Tech is dedicated to maintaining social distancing, deeply sanitizing campus facilities and ensuring student safety as much as possible. That includes utilizing hybrid forms of academic delivery, changes to the academic calendar and maintaining safety and sanitization in the classroom. Read more about the changes to academics.
Rec Center opens with new hours, occupancy limits
When Texas Tech closed its campus in March, that included the Robert H. Ewalt Student Recreation Center. But now, the Rec Center has reopened, with some adjustments. Visits to the center are by reservation only and capped at 50% occupancy. Rec Center operating hours also have been adjusted to accommodate thorough cleaning and sanitization processes. Read more about the Rec Center changes.
Transportation & Parking updates bus schedules, limits traffic on campus
As the campus began a phased reopening to prepare for the fall semester, Transportation & Parking Services put into action an updated plan to manage the increase in traffic. Special attention has been given to the on- and off-campus busing system, managing the different types of traffic on campus, limiting the number of vehicles allowed within the academic core of campus – the area that exists past the campus entry booths – and ensuring the health and safety of all those who walk, ride and drive on campus. Read more about the changes to Transportation & Parking Services.
Students also may notice changes in leadership across campus. These include:
- Earnstein Dukes, who began her role as dean of University Libraries on Aug. 1.
- Tim Dodd, who began his role as dean of the College of Human Sciences on Aug. 1.
- Michael San Francisco, who will begin his role as interim dean of the College of Arts & Sciences on Sept. 1.
- Genevieve Durham DeCesaro, who will begin her role as interim dean of the J.T. & Margaret Talkington College of Visual & Performing Arts (TCVPA) on Sept. 1.
- Aliza Wong, who will begin her role as interim dean of the Honors College on Sept. 1.
- Aaron David Pan, who began his duties as executive director of the Museum of Texas Tech University on May 18.
- Dane Webster, who began his duties as director of the School of Art in TCVPA on July 9.
- Janice Magness and Jennifer Hamrick, who began their duties as interim co-directors of the Burkhart Center for Autism Education & Research in the College of Education on July 28.
Construction projects begin, end across campus
COVID-19 may have slowed progress on construction on campus, but it didn't completely stop. Crews still are working hard on renovation and new-construction projects across campus.
- Renovations were completed in July on Weeks Hall. The former residence hall now includes office space for faculty and staff.
- A new traffic roundabout was completed at the intersection of Main Street and Indiana Avenue, just east of the Animal & Food Science building. The C-10 parking lot, north of the intersection, should be open later this fall.
- Work continues on the Dustin R. Womble Basketball Center and Texas Tech's historic Dairy Barn, with plans for both projects to be completed later this fall.
- Updates also have been made to academic spaces across campus, including Raider Rooms in the Mathematics & Statistics building and laboratories in the Chemistry building. Click here to learn more.