COVID-19 challenged us in ways never before experienced. Now, we must plan for a safe return to campus and the incremental resumption of normal operations in anticipation of approval to do so by public-health officials. Here, we present that roadmap toward "repopulation" in the form of policy statements, related frequently-asked-questions, and other resources.
Site information refreshed on August 7, 2020
Fall sports competition has been postponed until after January 1 (July 29, 2020)
President Conoley announces travel restrictions for 2020-21 (July 15, 2020)
President Conoley reflects on safely reuniting the campus (June 23, 2020)
Plans and Related FAQs
Academic Planning and Instruction
Fall semester 2020 will rely primarily on remote instruction and be combined with limited in-person and hybrid classes on campus.
How do students know if a class is being held in person, online, or as a hybrid?
Students should consult the online Schedule of Classes. Students who seek further clarity should consult with their advisor or the course instructor.
How has the university adapted to offering alternative instruction?
The university has an Academic Continuity plan that has provided a framework for offering primarily remote instruction during the pandemic.
Many buildings on campus have been closed in light of our primarily virtual environment. An online map has been developed to help illustrate specific closure information.
For those buildings that are open, posted signage regarding entry, movement direction, occupancy limits, waiting in lines, and elevator use should be followed to ensure appropriate physical distancing. Other signage will offer reminders about handwashing, cleaning, and other safety precautions. (See "Health and Safety Protocols" below.)
The university explored many options for rescheduled commencement ceremonies for the Class of 2020. Unfortunately, local public health officials did not approve our latest, most cautious proposal for commencement ceremonies this Fall.
The Class of 2020 is now scheduled to celebrate alongside the Class of 2021 during the week of May 17-23, 2021. While the delay may be disappointing, it is necessary to safeguard the health of those in attendance and meet the expectations of our students and families to offer an in-person experience.
We will provide an additional update about ceremony, venue and activities in December 2020.
To ensure continued communication, we have extended student email accounts for six additional months. Virtual content for the class of 2020 are available on the Commencement website, where we celebrate the accomplishments of our graduates, including special congratulatory messages from President Jane Close Conoley and the college deans.
Please visit the Commencement website for further information.
Dining and Retail
The Outpost will open in late July. The University Dining Plaza will be closed through Spring 2021. The University Student Union vendors El Pollo Loco, Sbarro and Robeks will remain closed for fall. Carl’s Jr., Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Elektric Hair and Subway in the University Student Union will open in the fall with reduced hours.
Residential dining will have grab-and-go services.
Catering services are available through authorized vendors as listed on the catering homepage. Given financial considerations, there is an exception to the use of campus-approved caterers through a self-catered events option in which food has been purchased from a store or restaurant. Self-catered events may not use food that has been stored or prepared at an individual’s home.
Convenience stores and the art store will be open in fall 2020, depending on which buildings can be safely opened and cleaned regularly. The on-campus bookstore and Beach on 2nd Street have been open as of early July. The CSULB bookstore will be open with limited hours. Books, supplies and Beach gear may be purchased in person or may be ordered online for pick-up or shipping.
Faculty are encouraged to use electronic texts. There are several options available through the bookstore for purchase and online delivery of electronic resources.
Employment Issues and Employee Rights (for Staff)
Find out more about sick leave and expanded family and medical leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
When will staff return to working on campus?
Those staff members not already working on campus will likely begin to return once public-health guidance is modified. Human Resources has posted a series of frequently asked questions as a resource.
Does the university offer leave programs for those unable to work due to COVID-19?
The CSU and the U.S. Department of Labor have implemented COVID-related leave programs that may be available to some employees. Please contact Staff Human Resources at COVID19-Staff-Info@csulb.edu for more information.
Enrollment Services offers services in admissions, financial aid, student records, and student administration systems through Beach Central’s intake and counseling offices. On-site services are available, including two open intake windows for on-campus students. In addition, inquiries are handled through phones, the online Beach Central ticketing system, and Zoom appointments. In order to continue to meet the needs of the majority of students who will be enrolled in remote classes for Fall 2020, Enrollment Services has begun to rollout e-forms with automatic routing workflows. Approvals flow from students to faculty to department chair to associate dean providing students the ability to complete their transactional needs online (for example, adding classes, withdrawing from classes, applying for educational leaves, etc.). These enhanced processes will reduce foot traffic on campus while providing the necessary services and support for on-campus and off-campus students and faculty.
May students defer their admission to a different semester?
No, at CSULB admission is offered for a specific semester. Any change in a student’s plans would require a new application.
May students elect "Credit / No Credit" grading?
Policies regarding grading are available on the Enrollment Services website.
Events and Meetings
May students, faculty, and staff reserve on-campus facilities this fall?
Students and employees may not reserve on-campus facilities for events and meetings being held before January 1, 2021. Requests for exceptions may be reviewed by the appropriate divisional vice-president.
May outside, third-party organizations reserve CSULB facilities this fall?
Outside organizations may not reserve on-campus facilities for events and meetings being held before January 1, 2021. Requests for exceptions will be reviewed by the vice president for Administration and Finance.
Will performances and visual-arts events be held on campus this fall?
No performances or visual-arts events will be held on campus prior to January 1, 2021.
Health and Safety Protocols When On Campus
Students, staff and faculty must complete a health questionnaire each day they plan to come to campus (before they arrive). The questionnaire can be found on the Single Sign-On page.
Those on campus are expected to wear a mask and practice good social distancing, maintaining at least six feet from other people. Those returning to campus will be provided a washable, reusable face covering.
A training course that will cover new procedures on campus is being developed by Environmental Health and Safety.
While Beach Building staff will increase cleaning to reduce any health risk, every member of the CSULB community has a joint responsibility to sanitize their own work area and shared resources, including meeting rooms and commonly touched surfaces. Disinfecting materials will be provided in these areas so occupants can do their part to prevent the transmission of pathogens on surfaces.
In the event that a member of the community who has been on campus later tests positive for COVID-19, the affected areas will be isolated, flushed with outside air for the remainder of the day and disinfection crews dispatched to perform cleaning. In the event that several people in one area test positive, the building will be closed for 4-5 days and the HVAC system flushed for up to three days. Air filters will be vacuumed and the building will receive enhanced cleaning.
Housing and Residential Dining
No more than 480 students will be accepted into student housing in order to achieve required physical distancing. All rooms will be single occupancy.
Residential dining will be take-out only, with preparation by staff instead of self-service by residents.
The following will be required of students living in campus housing:
• Wear a mask in public areas and limit restroom usage to one person at a time.
• Limit socializing to no more than seven individuals who are wearing masks with six-feet distancing.
• Participate in educational programs about health and safety as it relates to viral transmission.
• Move-in and move-out times will be assigned and spread over several days.
• Students will be placed by cohort/major to limit the number of regular interactions and sign a supplemental agreement with expectations for social distancing and transmission mitigation.
For more information, please visit the Housing and Residential Life website.
How are applications for housing being assessed?
Priority will be given to applicants who are experiencing homelessness; Guardian Scholars; receiving applicable services from the Bob Murphy Access Center; receiving in-person instruction; or participating in programs such as Presidential Scholars and Beach Athletics.
What health protocols will be adopted to help ensure safety?
In addition to having all rooms be single occupancy, all shared restrooms will be cleaned and disinfected twice daily. High-touch spaces will be cleaned daily, including door handles and other surfaces. Masks will be required outside of rooms, and guests in the residence halls will be restricted. There are detailed plans in place in the event that a resident becomes ill, which are designed to help ensure the health of other students.
While it is likely that the library building will remain closed during fall 2020, services are still being provided remotely.
Text your question: 562-286-6857
A pickup service is offered for physical media. Users should email their list of items with name, campus ID and a contact phone number. Circulation staff will contact patrons with pick up instructions when items are ready. Due dates will be extended until the building is open. The two book bins in front of the library and the one in front of the McIntosh Building are open for book returns. All others are locked. Borrowing of physical materials is temporarily suspended for books and media using CSU+, LINK+ and BeachReach.
What resources are available to support online instruction?
Is library instruction available in coordination with individual faculty and their librarians?
Yes, library instruction may include email/chat consultations, research assignments developed by librarians and faculty together, instructional videos posted on the web, and/or Zoom meetings. Librarians can be added as instructors to BeachBoard and can assist with research assignments through that medium, if arrangements are made in advance between the librarian and instructor.
Details on a phased approach for research activities on campus are available on the website of the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs. ORSP is transitioning to its "Phase 2" of operations with the following guidance:
Human Subject Research
All human subject research activities that can be done remotely should continue.
In general, in-person human subject research activities (including in-person recruitment, interview/focus group, collection of biological samples, etc.) remain to be paused until further notice from the Director of Research Integrity & Compliance.
For any request for exceptions, an amendment must be submitted for the Institutional Review Board (IRB) to review, with (1) compelling scientific justification as to why the benefits of such in-person interactions outweigh the potential risks of COVID-19 infection, and (2) sufficient description on the methods to mitigate the risks.
No in-person interactions can start/continue prior to the amendment being approved by the IRB.
For essential research, a request must be submitted and approved by the Department Chair, Dean, and Provost before proceeding.
For nonessential research, a request must be submitted and approved by the Department Chair, Dean, and AVP for Research before proceeding. It is highly unlikely that such approval will be granted in the current circumstances.
All faculty conducting laboratory research must maintain social distancing; regulate maximum occupancy; preserve good hygiene practices; wear personal protective equipment; and implement cleaning and disinfection procedures.
Faculty request for field research must be approved by the Department Chair and Dean.
Approvals depend on local and regional health guidelines in the counties/states or specific offsite locations where field research is to be conducted.
All field research must follow current travel restrictions and required approvals as indicated by Federal, State, and Local government guidelines and the University.
While many physical offices are closed, staff are working remotely and continue to serve students by email, video conferencing, and telephone. Some services are still offered on site, and some offices use online appointment scheduling. Consult the website of the office you are wishing to contact for details. If you encounter a webpage that does not provide sufficient information about hours or how services are delivered, please let us know.
What should students do if they need to come to campus but cannot safely do so?
Students who cannot safely travel to campus due to COVID-19 concerns should contact the Bob Murphy Access Center (BMAC), which continues to serve students virtually.
Where can students find more information about available services?
Beyond information on various university webpages, Student Affairs has also created a comprehensive guide to campus and community resources available to you during this time. The guide includes links and phone numbers for food resources, financial resources, housing options, health and well-being resources, and more. Use the table of contents to navigate the 50+ pages of resources available around Southern California. They have also posted information on COVID-19-related resources as well as a reference sheet of Student Affairs programs and services.
Are there any programs that provide financial assistance to undocumented students?
The university has been working to make support available to those who do not qualify for federal CARES Act funds. Contact Student Affairs for more information. In addition, California is providing one-time state-funded disaster relief assistance to undocumented adults who are ineligible for other forms of assistance, including assistance under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and pandemic unemployment benefits, because of their immigration status.
Is study abroad available to students?
Study abroad programs have been suspended pending further analysis.
May faculty, staff, and students travel on academic and university business?
Travel has been suspended through June 30, 2021. Requests for exceptions should be presented to the appropriate dean or division vice-president. If travel is deemed essential, it will be forwarded to the president for final approval.
Exceptions will only be considered if the travel is essential for the academic and/or co-curricular mission of the campus, if there is an available budget, and if there is safe and secure shelter, medical care, transportation, and other necessities at the destination.
Tuition and Fees
Will tuition be adjusted for the fall semester?
Tuition is established by the CSU’s Board of Trustees. At this time, there is no type of adjustment planned as instruction is being offered and academic credit is being earned. Of note, at CSULB approximately 77% of the university’s operating funds support compensation for faculty and staff who are working hard to deliver instruction, student services, and related operations.
Will campus-based mandatory fees such as the Student Excellence Fee, health fee, or University Student Union fee be suspended this fall?
No. Charges such as the Student Excellence Fee and health fee provide support to programs that students continue to benefit from, even if those services are, in many cases, temporarily provided remotely. In the case of the USU and its Student Recreation and Wellness Center, while Associated Students, Inc. — an organization separate from the university — may have seen some reductions in day-to-day maintenance costs during our predominately virtual environment, there are ongoing costs related to facility upkeep and staff compensation for programs that continue to run remotely. More importantly, the USU fee, for example, should not be viewed as a usage fee or what's termed a "fee for service." Rather, past student referendums in 1994 and 2007 committed the CSULB student body to make ongoing payments on building projects that have 30-year construction loans. So while the current pandemic temporarily does not allow for use of those facilities for safety reasons, there are payments that must continue to be made. In fact, in the past, students elected to begin paying fees for facilities that had not yet been constructed knowing instead they would benefit Beach students in the future. That obligation continues today. Further, we are proud of CSULB's role as an accessible pathway for social mobility and personal empowerment. Over 71% of Beach students receive some form of financial aid, and over 57% of students have these particular campus-based fees paid in full through their financial aid awards.
Due to the postponement of Commencement 2020, will "Apply to Graduate" fees be refunded?
No, refunds cannot be issued because the "Apply to Graduate" fee pays for services already rendered, including the costs associated with degree audits as well as creating and shipping diplomas. The fee also partially funds the Commencement ceremony itself, which is currently scheduled for the week of May 17-23, 2021.
WiFi and Technology
Where can students access WiFi?
Students may access campus Wi-Fi in public spaces on campus as long as social distancing is observed.
Are laptops available to students?
If a student needs a Chromebook loaned to them, they should call 562-985-5587 (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.) or visit Brotman Hall 377 (Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.).
Is technology support available?
The Technology Help Desk continues to provide support services through email, an online request form, or by telephone at 562-985-4959. Live technology support by phone is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. After-hours BeachBoard support is available by pressing “0” when reaching the helpdesk voicemail greeting. Service requests via email are monitored throughout the day and after hours. Our Division of Information Technology has created a webpage outlining technology options for working remotely. With increased use of the video-conferencing tool Zoom, it's important to keep in mind some important safeguards to prevent the new phenomenon of “Zoom-bombing.”
Will a computer lab be available this fall?
The university is planning a computer lab in the University Student Union that provides for for student access to desktop computers and provides for physical distancing and appropriate disinfecting of surfaces.