Parent and Family Updates

As parents and family members of Augsburg students, you are vital partners in the education of our students. 

We know the COVID-19 pandemic has created widespread anxiety and we share your utmost concerns for our Augsburg students as well as the broader community. This page provides updates on how the campus is responding to the pandemic and how we are planning for the continuation of education while ensuring the safety of our students. 

As President Paul Pribbenow has written to the Augsburg community, “Remember our mission and our 150 years of offering our students an education that equips them for life in the world; remember that we are a community that shows up for each other, with generosity and grace; and remember that we have found ways over and over again throughout our history to navigate difficult challenges—as we will do together in this moment.”

We urge you to frequently check this page for updates as this situation continues to evolve.

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How Augsburg University Is Responding

Augsburg’s university leaders convened the COVID-19 Task Force in early 2020. The task force is actively planning for continuity in student learning, student life, operations, employee work, and student support in light of the coronavirus pandemic. The task force engages in ongoing communication with the Minnesota Department of Health, regularly reviews guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and consults with national leaders in higher education including the Council of Independent Colleges and Universities.

Dean of Students Sarah Griesse and other leaders continue to update students via email as various decisions have been reached regarding everything from alternative modes of course delivery to residential life on campus to changes to student organization meetings and events and more. Our communications to students are available on the Resources for Students page; highlights appear below.

Vaccine Mandate

Augsburg University is implementing a COVID-19 vaccine requirement for students, faculty, and staff for fall semester 2021. Documented medical and non-medical exemptions will apply. Learn more.

Note: On August 23, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration fully approved the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for those 16 and up. This means that the vaccine is not considered experimental and that it meets the high standards the FDA requires for approval.

COVID-19 Testing

Augsburg has a relationship with the People’s Center Clinic and Services across the street from the Minneapolis campus. The clinic offers COVID-19 testing 12:30-4 p.m. Mondays. This testing is free to students without insurance and covers uninsured portions for those who do have insurance. Additional easy-to-access testing is available at the Minneapolis Convention Center, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. on weekdays. Walk-ins are welcome but appointments are encouraged. Appointments can be scheduled online. In addition, the state of Minnesota offers fast and accurate at-home saliva testing, at no cost, to any person who feels they need a test. You can find more information on COVID-19 testing, including testing sites in Minnesota, on the Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 Testing webpage.

Classes

We are prepared that courses may need to move to fully remote learning during the semester if directed by the Minnesota Department of Health or the governor’s office. Students must not come to an in-person class while feeling ill. Faculty have made adjustments to courses, programs, and policies to ensure that students who are quarantined or isolated are able—whenever possible—to achieve the learning outcomes in courses in which they are enrolled. 

Augsburg University has returned to face-to-face classes. For full details, read President Paul Pribbenow’s email from March 22, “Our plans for Fall 2021.”

Face Covering Policy

All students, staff, and faculty are required to wear face coverings in indoor campus spaces, except when eating in dining areas or when in one’s own residential unit or individual office with the door closed. This applies to all U.S. Augsburg locations. (International Augsburg locations are following local protocols.) Masks or face coverings are not required outdoors.

Augsburg reinstated the indoor face covering requirement, effective August 3, 2021, because regional case rates moved to a “substantial” transmission rate (between 50 and 99.99 cases per 100,000 population over 7 days, as defined by the CDC) over the weekend of July 31-August 1.

Feeling Sick?

Students, faculty, and staff who feel sick are required to stay home. Many classes are being offered in hybrid formats so students can participate remotely. Faculty have made adjustments to courses, programs, and policies to ensure that students who are quarantined or isolated are able—whenever possible—to achieve the learning outcomes in courses in which they are enrolled. 

Screening and Safety Measures

All members of our community—students, faculty, and staff—must complete a daily symptom screening before coming to campus (or leaving their residence hall). Hand sanitizer is readily available across campus, and we have developed enhanced cleaning protocols as well as reduced occupancy standards. Our Center for Wellness and Counseling is an important resource available and offers virtual appointments during the academic year. Augsburg is following domestic and international travel guidelines from the CDC. 

Student Services Index

Featuring 40+ searchable info boxes, the Student Services Index explains how to access departments and services during a unique time when there are both in-person and virtual opportunities for engagement. The tool provides bite-sized descriptions, location and contact information, and additional key details for the Augsburg offices and departments that are dedicated to student success and support.

Check out the Student Services Index today!

 

Student Services and Programs on Campus

All of our student-facing departments—from academic advising to the library to the wellness center, and everything in between—are supporting students both on campus and off campus this fall, modifying operations and physical spaces to support health and safety requirements. 

In addition to existing student services and programs, we have created a new (physically distanced) gathering space in the quad for the first couple of months of the fall semester. As long as the weather permits, we will use this space for special “Augsburg Bold” experiences—events that provide an opportunity to bring people together, safely. Likewise, student leaders, clubs, and organizations have planned various events and opportunities for students to be engaged on campus, with the goal of making sure that, while we are safely physically distanced, we are also connecting and interacting with one another as an active learning community. 

Residence Life

Minnesota Department of Health officials visited campus in June to review Augsburg’s residence hall plans for fall, including the planned number of residents per unit and per floor. Augsburg has worked directly with the health department to establish quarantine and isolation protocols.

Dining on Campus

The Commons offers a variety of foods for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Einstein’s provides hot sandwiches and coffee drinks along with chilled beverages and grab-and-go items. Kafe Kafeega is open 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m. weekdays; it offers coffee and other hot beverages as well as pastries, fruit cups, salads, and wraps.

Nabo is temporarily closed.

Communications

Email from VP of Operations: An update on university COVID-19 mitigation efforts and indoor dining (September 28)

Email from VP of Operations: August 2021 Campus Update From Augsburg University (August 9)

Indoor Mask Requirement Reinstated – Email from COO (August 3)

From the Dean of Students: Verifying your vaccination status by August 26 (July 28)

Email from President Pribbenow: Augsburg mandates vaccination for all students, staff, and faculty (July 22)

Email from President Pribbenow: End of indoor mask policy and ongoing vaccine work (June 11)

A-mail: All Welcome for Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Starting Monday in OCG (June 11)

Email from VP of Operations: June 2021 Campus Update From Augsburg University  (June 1)

A-mail: Walk-in Johnson & Johnson Vaccination Clinic Thursday, May 20, 1-3 p.m. at People’s Center (May 19)

Email from President Pribbenow: Indoor face covering requirement at Augsburg (May 14)

A-mail: Walk-ins Now Welcome for Free COVID-19 Vaccine (May 12)

COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs (April 15)

Email from Paul Pribbenow: Our Plans for Fall 2021 (March 22)

A-mail: Free On-campus COVID-19 Testing (March 3)

A-mail: Sign Up for the Minnesota COVID-19 Vaccine Connector (February 26)

Temporary Changes to Grading Options for Students for Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 (February 2)

Email from Vice President of Operations: COVID-19 Campus Update Spring 2021 (January 8)

Auggie Guide for Spring Semester 2021 (January 7)

A-mail: Textbook Rental Charge Deadline Extended to December 28 (December 17)

A-mail: Textbook Rental Returns (December 8)

From the Dean of Students: Finishing the Semester Strong (December 1)

COVID-19 Campus Update from President Pribbenow (November 20)

Email from Vice President of Operations: New Statewide Restrictions and Free On-campus Testing (November 10)

A-mail: Free Testing for COVID-19 (November 10)

Guest Policy Change from Dean of Students (October 18)

COVID-19 Guest Policy from Dean of Students (August 28)

Top 2 Things Students Need to Know This Week (August 26)

Community Commitment Statement (August 25)

Message from Dean of Students: restricting activities before returning to campus (August 18)

Key Upcoming Dates (August 10)

MIAC Postpones Competition Seasons for Several Fall Sports to Spring (July 28)

Provost Letter to New and Returning Traditional Undergraduate Students (July 27)

Upcoming Fall 2020 Town Hall Sessions for Parents and Families (July 27)

President’s Fall 2020 Planning (July 9)

Letter About Augsburg Bold Fall 2020 Plan (June 11)

Top 2 Things Students Need to Know this Week (May 19)

Top 3 Things Students Need to Know this Week (May 14)

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Contact us

Feel free to reach out with questions and concerns we have not yet addressed. You can submit your question or comment using the Coronavirus Question Form, and it will be reviewed and sent to the appropriate office.

We appreciate your trust and patience as we focus our attention on many moving parts in an effort to best serve our students and community.