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. 

We are in Phase III for reopening and we would like to remind everyone there is a mask requirement in all buildings on campus.

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

Community / General

Campus Preparedness/Events

  • Are face masks required on Lamar University's campus?

    Yes. Face masks are now required on the Lamar University campus.

    In early July, Governor Abbott issued an order that requires face masks be worn in counties with more than 20 COVID-19 cases. In compliance with this order, anyone on the LU campus must wear a face mask while on campus, unless one of the following exceptions is met:

    --Have certain health conditions that prevent wearing a mask
    --While consuming food or drink
    --Are outside where six feet of social distancing is possible
    --Under the age of 10 years old.

    The governor’s order states that violators could face up to $250 in fines. Individuals not wearing a face mask when required may receive a written or verbal warning for their first violation.

    We ask for everyone's support as we implement this new requirement, designed to protect the health of the entire LU community.

  • How is LU protecting the university community?
    As Lamar University gradually reopens, the health and safety of the LU community remains top priority, with the university mindful that if the virus re-emerges, efforts to resocialize may be slowed or halted for a time until the situation improves. To learn about ways LU is working to mitigate the risks of the virus and protect its community, visit Campus Announcements Regarding Coronavirus.
  • What precautions is LU taking with regard 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 hand-washing; and providing safety equipment to employees based on job responsibilities and OSHA risk levels.

    LU is also complying with Governor Abbott's requirement that face masks be worn. To learn more about the requirement that face masks be worn on the LU campus, read President Evans' July 2 letter.  

    These are only a few of the precautions LU is taking. For more information, visit Campus Announcements Regarding Coronavirus. 

  • 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.
  • Will I be asked to show ID if I come to campus?

    Lamar University is gradually reopening its campus, and certain precautions remain in place to protect the LU community. For example, all persons on LU's campus must wear masks at this time. As part of these precautions, it is possible that anyone on campus may be asked to show ID. We ask for patience and understanding as we take these measures to safeguard everyone's health.

  • When will on-campus events resume?
    On-campus events remain suspended until further notice. As part of its gradual reopening, 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 LU athletic events?
    The status of athletic events is evolving as the coronavirus outbreak evolves. For updated information, check the Lamar University website, social media and other communication channels as well as the LU Athletics page
  • Are campus tours taking place at this time?
    Campus tours are 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.

Students

Campus

  • Is campus open this summer and fall?
    Yes, the Lamar University campus is open. Effective July 13, Lamar University has moved into Phase III of its reopening, mindful that if Coronavirus/COVID-19 re-emerges, efforts to reopen may be slowed or halted until the situation improves. Phase III is a part of a gradual reopening of campus, and certain precautions remain in place to protect the campus community.
  • Are face masks required on Lamar University's campus?

    Yes. Face masks are now required on the Lamar University campus.

    In early July, Governor Abbott issued an order that requires face masks be worn in counties with more than 20 COVID-19 cases. In compliance with this order, anyone on the LU campus must wear a face mask while on campus, unless one of the following exceptions is met:

    --Have certain health conditions that prevent wearing a mask
    --While consuming food or drink
    --Are outside where six feet of social distancing is possible
    --Under the age of 10 years old.

    The governor’s order states that violators could face up to $250 in fines. Individuals not wearing a face mask when required may receive a written or verbal warning for their first violation.

    We ask for everyone's support as we implement this new requirement, designed to protect the health of the entire LU community.

  • Is the cashier's window open? How do I pay my bills?

    The Cashier’s Office is 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 encourages students to use www.lamar.edu/pay to make all payments. Online payments can be made using a checking account or credit card. If you are paying your bill with a debit card, select electronic check as the form of payment and enter the bank routing and checking account number that corresponds with your debit card. 

    Students needing additional time to make payments can enroll in the Emergency Deferment Plan or Installment Plan by going to www.lamar.edu/pay. Enrolling in either plan is ONLINE ONLY. No applications will be accepted at Cashier’s window. Please contact the Cashier's Office if you have any questions at cashiering@lamar.edu or 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, please select 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?
    It has been Lamar University’s tradition to celebrate August commencements face-to-face with warm handshakes and congratulatory pats on the back. We delayed our plans in hopes a traditional commencement celebration could be realized. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, LU will not be able to host a traditional commencement ceremony. A virtual celebration will be held on Saturday, Aug. 15 at 7 p.m. 

    We will provide more information in the coming weeks. 

    Commencement is a rite of passage, a celebration of tremendous significance and a symbolic tradition of an incredible life achievement. Lamar University looks forward to bringing back commencement as soon as it is safe. Every student who has graduated without the opportunity to participate in a traditional commencement will be invited to come back to LU and take part in the graduation ceremony.

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/veterans-affairs.  
  • How will my GI Benefits be affected if LU moves 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. 


Faculty and Staff

  • Are face masks required on Lamar University's campus?
    Yes. Face masks are now required on the Lamar University campus.

    In early July, Governor Abbott issued an order that requires face masks be worn in counties with more than 20 COVID-19 cases. In compliance with this order, anyone on the LU campus must wear a face mask while on campus, unless one of the following exceptions is met:

    --Have certain health conditions that prevent wearing a mask
    --While consuming food or drink
    --Are outside where six feet of social distancing is possible
    --Under the age of 10 years old.

    The governor’s order states that violators could face up to $250 in fines. Individuals not wearing a face mask when required may receive a written or verbal warning for their first violation.

    We ask for everyone's support as we implement this new requirement, designed to protect the health of the entire LU community.
  • Are staff working on campus now?

    As Lamar University gradually reopens, all staff are expected to return to their normal work schedules and places of work. Exceptions would be staff who have received approved extensions* of alternative work configurations (i.e., remote work or telecommuting, flexible work options, rotations, etc.).

    Health and safety precautions remain in place to protect staff on campus. To learn about these precautions, review LU's Campus Announcements Regarding Coronavirus

    *Approved extensions of alternative work arrangements are discussed in a later question.

  • Have campus offices returned to their normal work hours?

    Yes. Campus offices have returned to their normal hours of Monday-Friday, 8:00am–5:00pm.

    Certain specialized offices (post office, shipping/receiving, etc.) may have hours outside the standard 8:00am–5:00pm schedule. Call these offices for their 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:

    • Requiring face masks be worn in all buildings on campus and outside when six feet of social distancing is not possible. See exceptions to this requirement in the above question regarding face masks.
    • 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.
    • 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. Many faculty are teaching and working remotely, reducing the number of people on campus.

  • 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. Can I talk to someone?

    Yes. Please contact Bert Wagner:

    Robert (Bert) Wagner, Ph.D., SPHR, SHRM-SCP
    Executive Director, Campus Operations
    Lamar University

    Phone: (409) 880-8474 
    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, Executive Director of Campus Operations, at (409) 880-8474 or rwagner3@lamar.edu.

Travel

Courses/Evaluations/Tenure

  • 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.

  • Can I still request 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