Coronavirus Frequently Asked Questions

Come here often to find answers to the most frequently asked questions as this page is updated on a regular basis. Also see Finance and Operations announcements forms and policies regarding Covid-19.

Not finding what you need?  Submit your question using our online form.

Students

Campus

  • Is campus open this summer?
    Effective June 1, Lamar University has moved into Phase II of its re-opening, mindful that if Coronavirus/COVID-19 reemerges, efforts to re-open may be slowed or halted until the situation improves. Phase II is a partial reopening of campus, and certain precautions remain in place to protect the campus community. Details about Phase II (hours of operation, who is allowed on campus, occupancy limits, sanitization) can be found in President Evans' letter of May 22, 2020.
  • Will I need to show ID while on campus?
    Phase II of Lamar's re-opening states that only faculty, staff, students or contractors are permitted on campus at this time. LU has instituted this policy to protect the campus community by creating greater social distance by reducing the number of people on campus. For this reason, it is possible you may be asked to show a valid student ID or other form of LU identification if you visit campus.
  • Is the cashier's window open? How do I pay my bills?
    As part of LU's Phase II re-opening, the Cashier’s Office is now open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. To increase social distancing, only students who must pay in person (cash payments, international debit cards, etc.) should come to the cashier’s window. The university recommends that, if possible, students use www.lamar.edu/pay to make all payments for the Summer 2020 and Fall 2020 semesters.

    Students needing additional time to make payments can fill out the short term/emergency deferments form by going to lamar.edu, quick links, and then cashiers.

    Please contact the Cashier's Office if you have any questions.

    cashiering@lamar.edu

    409-880-8390
  • Can I order or pick up my parking permit without coming to campus?
    You can order your parking permit online. See Parking for complete instructions. When ordering your permit, you may choose to have your permit mailed to you.
  • What about dining services this summer?
    Campus dining services are closed this summer, including Brooks-Shivers Dining Hall and other restaurants on campus. See Dining Services for more information.
  • Will we have a graduation ceremony/commencement this summer?

    University officials are still discussing whether LU will hold graduation ceremonies this summer, either for summer graduates or spring graduates who did not have a chance to walk in May. The health and safety of students and their families will determine whether in-person graduation takes place.

    Those scheduled to graduate this summer will still have their degrees conferred with the correct date of graduation. 

    For the most up-to-date information, Summer and Spring 2020 graduates should regularly check the LU website and their LU email and announcements.

  • Can I get a refund or credit for my parking pass for the rest of this academic year?
    Unfortunately, parking pass refunds or credits cannot be processed at this time. This decision is based on parking usage prior to online or alternate deliver method status and ongoing usage for on-campus assignments during this period. However, in consideration of this, there will not be increases to parking rates for the upcoming academic year.
  • Who Is eligible for a Housing/Meal Plan credit or refund?
    • To be eligible for a credit or refund, you must have applied to move out of Residential Housing by April 3, 2020.
    • Your housing and/or meal plan balance must have been paid in order to receive a credit.
    • If you are not a graduating senior, you must be a returning student for Fall 2020 to receive the credit
    Refund Status for Housing/Meal Plans
    Student Aid/Funding Status Students Who Are Not Graduating Seniors Seniors Graduating in May 2020, August 2020, or December 2020
    Was your housing and/or meal plan paid by University Room and Board scholarship, including but not limited to: Mirabeau, Athletics, Excellence, Cardinal Scholars, Transfer Excellence, Cheer/Dance Team, Music Excellence, or 3rd Party non-LU entity? Because your housing/meal plan were paid by scholarship or 3rd party vendor, you will not be eligible for a credit for Fall2020/Spring2021 or a cash refund. Because your housing/meal plan were paid by scholarship or 3rd party vendor, you will not be eligible for a cash refund.
    Was your housing paid by State or Federal Financial Aid? You may be eligible for a credit for Fall2020/Spring2021. You will not be eligible for a cash refund. You may be eligible for a cash refund for some or all depending on graduation date.
    Was your housing paid by you or another personal payment? You may be eligible for a credit for Fall2020/Spring2021. You will not be eligible for a cash refund. You may be eligible for a cash refund for some or all depending on graduation date.

     

  • What amount can I receive for a Housing/Meal Plan credit or refund?
    The following amounts will be credited to your Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 university bills (not just to your housing/dining bills). This amount will be split into two equal credits: 50% for Fall 2020 and 50% for Spring 2021. *We will begin processing refunds for graduating seniors once graduation conditions have been met.
    Single, 2-Person Suite $1,075.00
    Single, 3-Person Suite $970.00
    Double, 3-Person Suite $725.00
    Meal Plan D - All Access + $125 Dining Dollars $600.00
    Meal Plan C - 14 Meal/wk Plan + $150 Dining Dollars $550.00
    Meal Plan B - 10 Meal/wk Plan + $350 Dining Dollars $550.00
    Meal Plan A - 90 block Plan + $450 Dining Dollars $500.00
    Questions? Contact cashiering@lamar.edu  or housing@lamar.edu 

Courses

Advising

Financial Aid

Veterans/Military

  • How can I contact the Veterans Affairs Office?
    The best way to contact our office is via email at va@lamar.edu. Our phone line is still open but may result in longer hold times. We also encourage you to ask questions to Chirp, our digital assistant, on the LU Veterans webpage at https://www.lamar.edu/veteran-affairs.  
  • How will my GI Benefits be affected in LU move to online courses?
    At this time, we have been directed by the Department of Veterans Affairs to leave enrollment certifications as is if courses are moved online. This means, that the stipend of Monthly Housing Allowance payments will remain at your current rate. The Department of Veterans Affairs has worked with Congress to pass a bill which gives the VA the authority to continue GI Bill payments uninterrupted through December 2020 in the event of national emergencies. We will continue to update this page as more information becomes available and encourage you to follow the Department of Veterans Affairs Facebook page for active updates.
  • What happens if I am in the National Guard and have been activated?

    If you are currently receiving Military Tuition Assistance, any current course enrollment that changes from resident to online delivery will not affect your benefit at this time. If you are receiving the GI Bill, current guidance from the Department of Veterans Affairs is to leave enrollment certifications as is. Guidance is forthcoming from the VA and we will continue to update this page as we receive official notification.

    Additionally, many activated Guard members have access to the Internet to continue courses online. We encourage students to keep an open line of communication with their instructors in the event that you are activated. 


Additional information and guidance on university travel, cost tracking and telecommuting can be found on the VPFO Announcements and Resources for Coronavirus information page.

Faculty and Staff

  • When should remote staff return to campus?
    Effective June 1, Lamar University has moved to Phase II (a partial re-opening of campus), and employees without approved extensions* of alternative work configurations (i.e., remote work or telecommuting, flexible work options, rotations, etc.) will return to normal work schedules and places of work.

    Health and safety precautions remain in place to protect campus staff. For details about Phase II, its effect on staff and precautions LU is taking, see the May 22 letter from President Evans.

    *Approved extensions of alternative work arrangements are discussed in a later question.
  • What hours will campus offices be open as Lamar University re-opens?
    Effective June 1, campus has returned to its standard Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. office hours.
  • What is the university doing to protect employees working on campus?

    Lamar University is taking every precaution and strictly following changing CDC and other guidance to mitigate the risks of COVID-19 to our employees on campus. LU's precautions include:

    • Sanitizing and disinfecting common and high-traffic areas.
    • Making hand sanitizer available, especially in areas where soap and water for handwashing are not readily available.
    • Allowing cloth facemasks or other protective equipment items to be worn at the discretion of individuals.
    • Providing safety equipment to employees based on job responsibilities and OSHA risk levels.

    In addition, the majority of students are off campus this summer. Summer courses are being offered online or by alternative instruction format, and students can receive advising and academic support through online meetings. Many faculty are teaching and working remotely, reducing the number of people on campus. LU's campus remains closed to the general public. Only individuals with an employee or student ID card and approved contractors are allowed on campus.

    Further ways that LU is protecting campus employees can be found in President Evans' May 22 letter

  • How will the university notify faculty and staff if a fellow employee tests positive for COVID-19?
    In the unfortunate event that any additional employees test positive for COVID-19, LU will follow changing CDC and other guidance to protect the campus community. This includes alerting the proper health authorities, notifying coworkers and those who have likely come in contact with the individual as well as following rigorous cleaning protocols to the facility or facilities in which they work, specifically the individual’s workspace.
  • I'm concerned about my work environment, who may I contact?

    Please contact Bert Wagner:

    Robert (Bert) Wagner, Ph.D., SPHR, SHRM-SCP
    Assistant Vice President, Human Resources
    Lamar University

    Phone: (409) 880-7912
    Email: rwagner3@lamar.edu 

  • How do I get an approved extension of my alternative work arrangement (remote work, rotations, etc)?
    Staff who believe a medical condition or other situation merits an approved extension can first speak with their direct supervisor. Next, the staff member will provide the supervisor with a written request (email or print) for the extension. The request should include a justification for the extension and a timeframe for when the extension will end. Supporting documentation may be attached.

    The supervisor, appropriate department head, and Human Resources will review the request and work with the employee to determine if an extension is justified.  

    Finally, staff not eligible for approved extensions may wish to explore other options, including emergency leave through the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). For information, staff may contact Robert (Bert) Wagner, Assistant VP of HR, at (409) 880-7912 or rwagner3@lamar.edu.

Travel

Courses/Advising

  • How do I prepare for online instruction this summer?

    All Summer 2020 courses have been moved online or to alternative instructional methods delivery. 

    How can faculty prepare for remote instruction?

    The Office of Digital Learning has prepared resources to assist faculty in delivering courses online, or to alternative instructional methods for laboratory and clinical courses if required. Go to https://luonline.blackboard.com and at the bottom of the page under the Support area, find help for moving your courses to an online format.

    Additional help:

    email: blackboard@lamar.edu 
    phone: 866-585-1738.

    See the Academic Contingency Plan for more information

  • How do I advise remotely?
    The UAC is setting up a “listserv” in Microsoft Teams to share best practices, develop remote operations plans, and other information. After confirming with your supervisor that you are still responsible for remote advising, email advising@lamar.edu and/or lhederman@lamar.edu to be added to the “listserv”. 
  • Can I still get help with EAB Navigate issues?
    Success Technology staff members are available at  successtech@lamar.edu  or via their regular LU email addresses. If faculty and staff members need EAB Navigate training and support, email successtech@lamar.edu.
  • What about course evaluations and tenure?

    Course Evaluations

    End of Course Evaluations will continue as planned. Many LU faculty have transitioned to online teaching for the first time, and while doing so, many have made significant changes to the way they teach in order to foster ongoing student learning and student success.

    Your collective efforts have been exceptional by anyone’s measure which stands as important reason for seeking meaningful student feedback across the curriculum. The students appreciate that many faculty are working outside of their comfort zone and the students are very appreciative. We would not want that extra work to go unnoticed or unappreciated.

    Faculty who believe that technology has negatively affected their performance, should include a note of explanation with their annual evaluations or their tenure or promotion packets next year. It will then be incumbent upon their faculty colleagues to consider their perspectives in evaluation of others’ performance. 

    Toll the Tenure Clock

    Individuals who feel that COVID-19 and social distancing have seriously disrupted their progression towards tenure and/or their applications for tenure and/or promotion may apply to the Provost in writing for consideration of tolling the tenure clock (Faculty Handbook, Chapter II, Section 19.3.8, ppg. 59-60, January 2019). Decisions will be made on a case by case basis.

Technical Issues


Community / General

Campus Preparedness/Events

  • How is LU protecting the university community?
    On June 1, Lamar University entered Phase II, a partial re-opening of campus. The health and safety of the LU community remains top priority during Phase II, with the university mindful that if the virus reemerges, efforts to re-socialize may be slowed or halted for a time until the situation improves.

    Phase II includes a campus-wide effort to mitigate the risks of the virus. To review specific ways LU is working to protect its community, read President Evans’ letter from May 22.
  • What precautions is LU taking with regards to sanitary issues?

    Lamar University’s campus-wide efforts to mitigate virus risks include sanitizing and disinfecting common and high-traffic areas; making hand sanitizer available; encouraging enhanced personal hygiene practices, including regular handwashing; and providing safety equipment to employees based on job responsibilities and OSHA risk levels. These are only a few of the precautions LU is taking. Additional precautions are listed in President Evans’ May 22 letter announcing the partial re-opening of campus. 

  • Are there safety concerns for the LU community?
    LU administration and campus health officials, in coordination with local health departments, the Texas Department of State Health Services and the CDC, continue to monitor the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. The university will respond, as needed, to protect its community's health and safety as the outbreak evolves.
  • Has the LU campus re-opened? Can I visit campus?
    Effective June 1, Lamar University has moved into Phase II, a partial re-opening of campus. Certain precautions remain in place to protect the LU community. Campus will remain closed to outside persons, and only faculty, staff, students and approved contractors are permitted on campus at this time.
     
    LU looks forward to the day when it can welcome everyone back to campus. For the time being, we ask for the public’s patience as we all respond to the challenges COVID-19 has created.
  • I am not LU faculty or staff, a student or contractor, but I have business at LU. What do I do?
    Because campus remains closed to outside persons at this time, we invite you to call or email the department you wish to contact. Most business can be conducted virtually, and you may not need to be physically on campus. Visit the LU website for extensive contact information.
  • Will I be asked to show ID if I come to campus?
    As part of Lamar University's Phase II re-opening, only faculty, staff, students and approved contractors are permitted on campus at this time. Campus remains closed to outside persons. LU has instituted this policy to protect its community by restricting the number of people on campus. For this reason, it is possible that anyone (faculty, staff, students, contractors, general public) may be asked to show ID while on campus. We ask for the public’s understanding as we take these measures to safeguard the health of the LU community and its neighbors.
  • When will on-campus events resume?
    On-campus events remain suspended until further notice. As part of its phased re-opening, Lamar University will monitor "gating criteria" to determine whether on-campus events may resume with reduced capacity, physical distancing and sanitization in place. Updates related to campus events will be posted to the LU website, social media and other communication channels. 
  • What about athletic events?
    Following Southland Conference guidelines, all athletic events will be suspended until further notice.
  • Are campus tours taking place at this time?
    Campus tours will be suspended until further notice.
  • Will LU offer any camps this summer?
    To protect the health of Lamar University and surrounding communities, LU will not hold any camps this summer.

General Information on COVID-19

  • What is COVID-19?

    The 2019 novel coronavirus, also known as coronavirus COVID-19, is a member of a large family of viruses, which can cause a variety of illnesses in animals and humans. One type of coronavirus causes about 20% of common colds in humans. Other types of coronavirus have caused more serious illnesses in the past, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).

    After apparently originating in the Wuhan province of China, the coronavirus COVID-19 spread worldwide, including North America. Like all members of the coronavirus family, it has a single strand of RNA to carry its genetic code. So far, it has caused illness in thousands of people. Among those with the illness, the severity has varied from simple “cold symptoms” all the way up to death. The fraction of those with a severe infection is a small portion of the total number infected with coronavirus, based on current data. The Centers for Disease Control and Preventions (CDC)’s website is the best source for up-to-date information, as well as the Texas Health and Human Services' coronavirus information page.

  • How can I protect myself from COVID-19?

    You can protect yourself and help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the following ways:

    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
    • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

    Stay 6 feet apart for social distancing to keep from getting sick from covid-19 and visit http://www.texas.gov/covid19

  • Where can I find information from other public organizations / counties in the area?

    South East Texas InfoSouth East Texas Info provides a “one stop shop” with links that will enhance information delivery regarding Covid-19 (coronavirus).  You will find links to different county resources.

    Contact: 

    web: setinfo.org
    phone: 409-730-4432
    email: carol.riley@beaumonttexas.gov 

     

     

    Visit the Texas Department of Human Services COVID-19 Case Count dashboard for more information across the state.

  • What do I do if I believe I have been exposed or have symptoms (fever, dry cough, shortness of breath)?

    If you are experiencing symptoms (fever, dry cough, shortness of breath) or you believe you have been exposed to an infected individual, you can call the Southeast Texas Call Center at 409-550-2536 to be evaluated for testing.

    The Call Center is open 24-hours, seven days a week. If you are looking for information about COVID-19, please do not call the Call Center. You can call 211 option 6 or visit setinfo.org.