What will a return to campus look like?

Student Union. Photo credit Jonathan Merin.

Student Union. Photo credit Jonathan Merin.

Zach Yearwood, Managing Editor

It’s that time of year again — back to school. Students have already begun moving into dorms as classes begin on Monday. In the midst of a pandemic, a return to campus is going to look different than in past years.

Earlier this week, President Szymanski held a town hall and discussed a lot of the details about safely reopening campus. Here’s everything you need to know:


COVID-19 testing will be available for free to all students, faculty and staff. Results should be available within 48 hours. 

At first, on-campus testing will try to prioritize those living on campus and faculty teaching in-person classes.

The university is asking students to download the Safe Osprey’s app and complete a daily self-screening. There is also a resource to self-report if you have traveled recently or if you are showing symptoms.


Despite concerns that the virus would potentially reduce the number of incoming students, enrollment appears to be roughly the same compared to last fall.

In terms of the format of the classes being offered, the school’s statistics showed that roughly 36% of classes will be in-person while 46% are remote (assumingly via Zoom). The remaining 18% will be online classes.


In the town hall, it was announced that housing will be reduced to about 64% capacity. This is on par with other universities across the country.

The reduction of students in dorms will reportedly give housing room to “space” students in an effort to help reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.

Masks and Social Distancing

Masks will be required on campus, as the school announced in June.

For those who do not have masks, the Office Fraternity and Sorority Life (FSL) announced Monday that they will have tables set up during the first week of classes to hand out face masks. 

Per the announcement:

The Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life is committed to having five tabling locations across campus available from 9:00am – 5:00pm Monday through Thursday and 9:00am – 3:00pm Fridays, beginning August 17th through August 28th (weekdays only).


The Tabling Locations are as follows:

1.)    Outside of the Osprey Café on the Boardwalk

2.)    Student Union Plaza/Pond Area

3.)    The Green

4.)    Chick-fil-A and Retail Courtyard

5.)    Library Walkway

At each table, two FSL community members will be available to distribute masks to students, answer any questions, welcome students back to campus, and provide UNF maps.   

Additionally, OFSL will have its Greek Ambassadors stationed at the four major entry locations to distribute masks.  These locations include:

  1. The Student Union Parking Deck Stairway
  2. The Fine Arts Center Parking Deck Stairway
  3. The Student Union Drop-Off Area
  4. The Library Bus Stop

The Greek Ambassadors stationed at these posts will provide the same services as our tables; however, they have an emphasis to volunteer between 10:00am and 3:00pm weekdays beginning August 17th through August 28th.”

Students are also encouraged to not gather in groups and to maintain the CDC-recommended six feet distance from others.

Recreation and Wellness

The Student Wellness Complex (Khorri Newton)

All RecWell facilities will be in Phase 1 of reopening once school starts. 

  • Anyone wanting to participate in any RecWell activity or facility will have to sign a COVID Agreement stating that they understand the increased risk.
  • Temperature checks may be used as a screening tool. Anyone reading 100.4 F or higher will be denied access.
  • Face masks will be required, just like everywhere else on campus.
  • Student Wellness Complex
    • We know that the Wellness Center will be open with limited occupancy.
    • Locker rooms will have limited access. Showers, daily lockers and rental lockers will be unavailable.
    • “Facility will have a 1-hour cleaning each day at 10:00 AM, 1:00 PM, 4:00 PM and 7:00 PM. All participants will be expected to leave the building. Announcements will be made in advance.”
  • Field House
    • Open-rec play will be limited to individual activities
  • Intramural Sports
    • Very few intramural sports are currently listed but they all are conducive to social distancing. Participation for outdoor sports will be limited to 50 people:
      • Disc Golf, North Field, Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m.
      • HORSE , Field House, Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m.
      • Home Run Derby, North Field, Thursdays at 7:30 p.m.
  • Eco Adventure
    • Groups will be limited to 50 people. Those will then be split into teams of 10.

For more information about Recreation and Wellness facilities and activities, click here.

Game Room

Darvin Nelson

The Game Room’s page on the school’s website is currently showing that they are currently closed for remodeling. Spinnaker is currently working to find out how long remodeling will take and if it will open once remodeling is completed.

Thomas G. Carpenter Library

The school’s library — or Tommy G, as it’s referred to by many on campus — will be open to current students, faculty and staff only. Like the rest of campus, masks will be required and social distancing is encouraged. The library also asks that everyone keeps food and drinks outside.

Other information

As this is an unprecedented situation, there is still a lot we do not know about campus reopening. Spinnaker is working on learning about the status of the following and more:

  • Voting on campus
  • Club sports

This is a developing story. We will update this page as we learn more.


For more information or news tips, or if you see an error in this story or have any compliments or concerns, contact [email protected].