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Spring Semester 2021 Plans

Our plan is to teach traditional face-to-face classes for Spring 2021. SWOSU will rely on guidance from state and federal health authorities if changes are needed. The following items provide details about spring operations on campus

Spring semester classes start January 11, and students return to on-campus classes.

There will be no traditional spring break but the semester will end one week earlier than normal and the last day of the semester is April 30.

SWOSU will require cloth facial coverings for students, faculty, visitors, and staff in hallways and classrooms for the fall 2020 semester. Students who choose not to wear a mask are encouraged to enroll in sections that will not require on-campus attendance. Students with questions regarding this requirement can contact Dean of Students Joshua Engle at 774-3767 or at

Thank you for taking the SWOSU face covering mandate seriously. You are helping us combat the spread of COVID-19 and remain open; it truly is the new normal to wear a mask indoors.

Gaiters will be allowed as face coverings, but we ask that you double them (fold the tube inside itself to provide two layers). A single thin layer may not be enough protection.

SWOSU encourages students to follow CDC guidelines on wearing masks and protecting yourself and others in order to keep the campus safe.

We have adjusted classrooms to maintain at least four feet between students. In some classrooms, we have placed clear plastic at the front of rooms and in front of podiums. SWOSU provides hand sanitizer in hallways and classrooms and asks that students use it frequently throughout the day. 

Commencement is scheduled for May 1. More details will be announced soon on the website.

If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms such as fever, cough, and/or difficulty breathing, contact your medical provider as soon as possible. Consider calling ahead to tell the health care provider’s office about any recent travel, symptoms, and concerns. Please also avoid contact with others and do not travel unnecessarily. The CDC provides this link for additional information about COVID-19 and its symptoms. To find out if you should be tested and where, call the Oklahoma State Department of Health Coronavirus Call Center at 877-215-8336 or visit the state’s coronavirus web site.

Signage has been placed on campus buildings to alert students, employees, and visitors of the safety policies within the building. When possible, buildings have designated entrance and exit doors and signage designating traffic flow. Signage has been placed on areas to increase the practice of social distancing, including stairwells and elevators.

The university follows CDC guidelines in cleaning university buildings and rooms. Each classroom is cleaned daily. Common areas are cleaned frequently. Hand sanitizers are located in hallways in campus buildings.

Residence Halls will implement measures to increase social distancing, including rearranging furniture in commons areas. Students will be expected to wear masks in commons areas. Staff will increase frequency of cleaning. Accommodations for vulnerable populations will be provided.

The Alma Mater Merc store space in the Student Union will have masks for purchase, including SWOSU masks. Additionally, department offices in each building will have free disposable masks when possible.

Students are encouraged to go through a voluntary self-screening check using this online checklist each day before arriving on campus.

The Great American Conference is working on details for all winter and sprint sport competitions. Updated information is available on the SWOSU Athletics website.

SWOSU will follow state and federal guidance when limiting attendance or changing the schedule for large events. Many large outdoor events will have safety measures to ensure social distancing. Indoor event attendance will be limited.

Public health restrictions on gathering sizes guide SWOSU’s plans regarding everything from club meetings to on-campus events. SWOSU is working to create safe ways for all students to engage in these activities.

Clubs, lectures, fraternities, sororities, study sessions, intramurals, and other activities that occur in person will be limited in size and are expected to observe precautions such as physical distancing and face coverings based on guidance from state and local public health authorities, university guidance, and the space used.

SWOSU will provide in-person activities to the extent that it is safe and practical to do so. We expect all of these activities to adhere to the precautions recommended by state and local health authorities.

The following guidelines are provided to balance the need for some events to take place at the university during COVID-19 and the obligation to mitigate the risks of these events. For purposes of this guidance, events include a coordinated gathering of 10 or more individuals at a SWOSU location for a purpose outside of a normal workplace or instructional meeting.

In general, all events and gatherings should follow the same mask and social distancing requirements in place for the fall semester. These requirements include the wearing of masks and responsible distancing of at least four feet between individuals in all classrooms, hallways, and commons areas. Outdoor events and gatherings should include responsible distancing.

Organizers should follow state guidelines for the preparation and serving of food and drink.

Decisions regarding gatherings must be made in the interest of the health and safety of our university community and in accordance with current public health guidance. SWOSU will continue to reassess this guidance and update these temporary restrictions as appropriate.

Student Gatherings

The normal Student Organization Activity process will still be in place for student events.

Requests can be submitted to via the Application for Approval of Student Organization Activity (Green Sheet) located on the Dean of Students student organizations webpage.

Employee/Department Events and Gatherings

Employee gatherings, outside of normal daily business and similar interactions, must follow all applicable rules and public health guidance, as outlined by the Oklahoma State Department of Health.

Requests requiring a reservation of academic space can be submitted by going to SWOSU’s Calendar of Events webpage and clicking on the Submit An Event link.

SWOSU-Sponsored Events

Events sponsored by a university department must follow all applicable rules and public health guidance, as outlined by the Oklahoma State Department of Health.

Organizers of these events are encouraged to submit a safety plan to their Department Head or Division Director for approval. The plan should include the date, time/duration, and location of the event; the names of attendees; and steps outlined to ensure social distancing, the wearing of face coverings and other measures designed to ensure the healthiest possible situation.

SWOSU Special Events

Guidelines for spectators attending NCAA competitions are still being drafted by the relevant bodies. The university will follow all rules as outlined by the CDC, NCAA, Great American Conference and Oklahoma State Department of Health when it comes to these kinds of gatherings.

All concerts and similar performing arts presentations scheduled to take place at SWOSU will follow safety rules as outlined by the CDC and Oklahoma State Department of Health.

Community Special Events

Community members seeking to rent space at SWOSU for an event must ensure the event follows all applicable rules and public health guidance, as outlined by the Oklahoma State Department of Health, including steps to ensure social distancing, the wearing of face coverings and other measures designed to ensure the healthiest possible situation.

Students who test positive or are exposed to someone known to be positive to COVID-19 should contact the Dean of Students.

Faculty or staff who test positive or are exposed to someone known to be positive should contact Human Resources.

In both cases, the Custer County Health Department will be notified and will coordinate contact tracing with SWOSU. If a student tests positive, or if a student has been in close contact with a person who tests positive, the student will be required to quarantine at SWOSU, which has designated living arrangements on campus for students living in the Residence Halls who cannot go home.

On-campus faculty will choose to hold office hours as normal, virtually or in person, and will notify students and advisees of those hours.

Library hours are listed below; however, access to study rooms will be limited for responsible distancing.

Spring schedule for Weatherford:

  • Monday – Thursday: 7:30am to 8:00pm
  • Friday: 7:30am to 5:00pm
  • Saturday: 1:00pm to 5:00pm
  • Sunday: 4:00pm to 8:00pm

Spring schedule for Sayre:

  • Monday – Friday: 9:00am to 5:00pm
  • Saturday & Sunday: closed

Until further notice, out-of-state student and faculty travel and study abroad will be postponed. Field trips and other experiential learning activities will occur where possible.

The following outlines expectations of all SWOSU students while on campus. This is not only to protect your health, but the health of our entire community. Your continued support of these guidelines is appreciated.

  • All students are asked to take special precautions to avoid exposure for at least two weeks prior to the start of the fall semester.
  • Students showing symptoms of COVID-19 must not go to class on-campus.
  • Self-screening checklists should be performed daily before arriving on campus. Temperature must be less than 100.4⁰ F/38⁰ C. 

Maintain social distancing guidelines

  • Students should avoid gathering in groups where responsible distancing cannot be maintained. Even outdoors, if distance cannot be maintained, wear a mask.
  • Students should also avoid gathering in confined areas, including elevators. Elevator occupancy is limited to two masked persons.
  • Masks should be worn at all indoor gatherings.
  • Students are expected to wear cloth face coverings (masks) in all campus buildings excluding individual residence hall rooms. Masks are optional for outdoor activities where 6 feet of social distancing is possible.
  • Students should avoid using anyone else’s phones, computer equipment, desks, workstations or other personal items, work tools and equipment. There are some situations where work tools must be shared. In those situations, students should take precautions to sanitize them between use.
  • Common spaces in the residence halls, academic buildings and student union will have furniture rearranged or restacked to promote social distancing.
  • Please observe all campus signage pertaining to social distancing protocols. Doors may be designated for entrance and exit, and stairwells may be designated for up and down travel.

You are also expected to wear a face covering if you are near or are encountering others.

Wash hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Keep a supply of hand sanitizer (as possible). 

Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw it away. Wash your hands afterwards.

Disinfect all high-touch areas in your living area on a regular basis. Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.

A SWOSU identification card is required for entry into the Wellness Center and cloth facial coverings are required in all areas of the Wellness Center. Increased cleaning procedures have been implemented due to Covid-19; therefore, the Wellness Center will operate under a revised schedule, with additional precautions.

Monday – Friday               7:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.
Saturday                              10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Sunday                                 5:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.

Weight Room

  • The weight room is limited to 20 patrons per session.
  • Sessions are limited to 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  • Patrons will sign in with the student worker, register their beginning time, and leave their student ID card.
  • Student worker will monitor time to ensure patrons rotate out of room at the appropriate time.
  • Patrons may sign up on a waiting list if the room is full.

Cardio Equipment (upstairs)

Separated by plexiglass, so all stations are open.

Strength Training Machines (upstairs)

One patron per machine.

Running/Walking Track

Patrons will practice appropriate social distancing.

 Indoor Basketball Courts

Indoor courts are not open for team activities such as basketball, soccer, or volleyball.

Rock Wall

The rock wall is closed until further notice.

Intramural Sports

No fall intramural sports are scheduled at this time but the university will continue to monitor the situation.

Student Employees

During peak operating hours (3:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.), one student worker will be stationed at each of the following areas: front desk, weight room, upstairs cardio area.

We ask that you wear your mask in the Student Union and continue wearing it until you are seated with your food.

Duke’s Diner

When you enter the Duke’s Diner you will notice some changes. You will be asked if you will be dining in or if you would like take out.  The staff will be serving all food items to you. Please make them aware of what food choices you would like.    If you are dining in, they will fill your plate for you and you will be allowed to fill your own drink.  Condiments will also be available in prepackaged containers. Seating is limited, so please enjoy your food and then let us clean it for the next guests.

If you choose take out, the staff will also fill the to go container for you.  Your container will be placed in a to go sack with silverware and condiments, you will be given a to go cup for your drink.  At that time, you can move to the salad bar to make your selections.

The Salad Bar has changed in that we will only have prepacked items.  You will have your choice of a green salad /spinach salad and then be able to select other items as well.  We will rotate different choices each day.  Desserts will also be prepacked and you can make that choice also.

The Food Court/Grill

In the Food Court we have hung Plexiglass in many areas and ask that you practice social distancing.

Your food items will be placed in take-out containers and all condiments and silverware are prepackaged for you.  You are allowed to sit and eat in the Student Union dining area, we just ask that you social distance yourself and no large groups.

The Beanery

The Beanery has had Plexiglass installed at the counter area.  We ask that you social distance yourselves when in the beanery and to be mindful of others waiting on their drinks. There is limited space for studying/sitting in the Beanery this fall, but we know some of you are ready for your coffee so we will be open as usual.


Our catering has changed some in that we have to serve all food items to the guests.  So, when considering an event, please communicate with us and we will work to make it a successful event for you.

Grab n Go/ The Merc

The Grab N Go store has been converted into the temporary Alma Mater Merc.  This will be great for SWOSU clothing shopping and bookstore needs, until the new location is renovated and ready.

An assortment of items like chips, breakfast bars, donuts, and other Grab N Go items are available through the grill area.