Students: UNI Forward Together Updates

Dear UNI Students,

As we move closer to the start of the Fall 2020 semester, our UNI Forward Together planning committees are solidifying details designed to keep our students and employees safe when classes resume on August 17.

As a reminder, all UNI offices will fully reopen by August 3. We realize the changes we are making to keep our community safe during the COVID-19 pandemic will unavoidably impact campus life. With this in mind, we’re asking for your help in keeping your friends and fellow students as safe as possible through some simple modifications and actions.

  • Face Coverings - Effective July 7, face coverings will be required inside all campus buildings. Exceptions to this rule will include times when a person is in their residence hall, while eating in Maucker Union or other campus eateries, and other limited locations as posted. Face coverings will also be required in outdoor spaces when physical distancing is not possible.

To prepare our campus community for this, each student and employee will receive two free UNI face coverings as well as one free face shield. These can be picked up at the UNI bookstore simply by showing your university ID. These face coverings can also be picked up at Essentials in Maucker Union beginning Aug. 10. All residential students will pick up their face coverings during their residence hall check-in.

  • Protecting our Panthers Training - Before returning to the UNI campus for class or for work, all UNI students are required to complete a brief online tutorial prepared by UNI’s health and safety experts, which will help you understand the changes and expectations for the Fall semester. The Forward Together: Protecting our Panthers training for students will be available on Blackboard in mid-July. The training concludes with a commitment all students are required to complete noting their understanding of the steps we will take to protect ourselves, each other, and our Panther community. 
  • Classrooms and the Delivery of Courses - In order to maintain physical distancing in classrooms this fall, we are adjusting classroom locations in order to utilize more spacious rooms that allow for greater seating distance between individuals. In some cases, faculty may use a combination of in-class and online elements to allow smaller groups of students to meet together. In a limited number of cases, classes may move to online delivery. New course schedules will be available for students to view in the near future - students will be notified as soon as the schedules are ready. In order to assist the Iowa Department of Public Health with contact tracing, faculty will request students adhere to a seating chart in all classes.
  • Remember the Basics - You hear it often, and at UNI, we want everyone to remember:
    • Wash your hands frequently, especially after touching shared surfaces and objects like doors, counters, sink knobs, desks, etc.

    • Practice physical distancing whenever possible. The CDC continues to recommend maintaining a distance of six feet from others.

    • Cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing.

    • Perform self-checks before starting your day to observe how you’re feeling, and whether you need to check your temperature.

    • Stay home if you feel sick.

    • If you’ve been exposed to COVID-19, self-isolate for 14 days.

    • If you’re ill and need to be tested, contact the Student Health Center at or 319-273-2311.

  • Remember to check - For the latest updates on our work to prepare for the return of in-person classes and operations this fall, continue to check the Forward Together website.  The website also offers instructions on which units to contact with various questions and concerns. 

Thank you to the Forward Together steering committee as well as the subcommittees who have spent a significant amount of time over the past few months considering a multitude of details in order to safely bring us back together.

We are excited to see everyone next month. Enjoy the rest of your summer, and stay healthy and safe.

Mark A. Nook,