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

  • What about the remainder of spring 2020?

    The residence halls will remain open for the remainder of the semester. 

    Prorated credits for housing and dining services will be offered for those who elect to move out or forgo using dining services. These credits will be applied to your Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 bills. Graduating seniors in May 2020 or December 2020 may receive a pro-rated cash refund. 

  • What about dining services?
    Dining services will resume in a limited capacity.  See Dining Services for more information.
  • 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 
  • 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.
  • Is the cashier's window open? How do I pay my bills?
    While taking an active part to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the LU Cashier’s office will remain open with limited staff during the hours of 10 a.m.—3 p.m. We recommend students utilize the Lamar University website, www.lamar.edu/pay to make all payments for the upcoming Summer 2020 and Fall 2020 semesters.

    Students needing additional time to make summer payments can fill out the short term/emergency deferments form by going to lamar.edu, quick links, and then cashiers. All questions regarding statements/bills or payments should be directed via email to cashiering@lamar.edu. We will be monitoring emails continuously and will answer questions in the order in which they are received.

    For your safety and ours, only students who must pay with cash or students using an international debit card should come to the cashier’s window at this time. This will help eliminate lines and observe social distancing.

    Please contact us if you have any questions.

    cashiering@lamar.edu

    409-880-8390
  • Will we still have a graduation ceremony/commencement in May?

    No. In accordance with Governor Abbott’s office and the CDC’s recommendations, we are suspending all university-sponsored events through the end of May. Unfortunately, this will include the commencement ceremonies scheduled for May 15 and 16. While this is one of the most exciting events of the year, it is in the best interest of our students and their families to postpone this event and they will become part of our August celebrations.

    Those scheduled to graduate in May will still have their degrees conferred with May’s date, but in-person ceremonial celebrations will be postponed.

    Even though we cannot celebrate spring 2020 graduates together in-person, Lamar University will celebrate 1,800 spring 2020 graduates with a tour and virtual commencement ceremony.

    Events for May 2020 Graduation

     

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 for the Spring term if courses are moved online for the remainder of the semester. This means, that the stipend of Monthly Housing Allowance payments will remain at your current rate. The Department of Veterans Affairs is currently working with Congress to pass a bill which will give the VA the authority to continue GI Bill payments uninterrupted 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

  • Will campus remain open for staff?
    All normal campus operations will continue at this time with campus remaining open.
  • What is the university doing to protect employees who are 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:

    • Most of our students have moved off campus, and courses are being offered online or by alternative instruction format.
    • The majority of our faculty and staff are working remotely.
    • Offices are only staffed from 10 a.m. -3 p.m. each business day with the balance of time allowing remote work where feasible.
    • Employees, whose work does not permit working from home, will be allowed additional working distances within offices and limited meetings and group gatherings.
    • Lamar University campus is closed to the general public. Only individuals with an employee or student ID card and approved contractors will be allowed on campus.
    • Multiple campus buildings are now closed, and other buildings will have restricted access.
    • We continue vigorous cleaning routines for common spaces/touch points, including door handles, elevator buttons and areas of shared usage, such as restrooms and computer labs.
  • How will the university notify faculty and staff if a fellow employee tests positive for COVID-19?
    In the unfortunate event that other 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 

  • Will staff continue to work remotely?

    Most employees continue to engage in alternative work configurations (i.e., telecommuting, flexible work options, rotations, etc.).  Essential employees not working remotely continue to report to campus.

    Because the health and safety of our faculty, staff and students is our first priority, we will strategically phase our return, mindful that if the virus reemerges, efforts to resocialize may be slowed or halted for a time until the situation improves and the gating criteria are once again met. 

    Read about the campus phased reopening in the May 5 letter from Dr. Evans.

  • What can I do to be prepared for remote work?
    1. Enroll personal mobile device in LEA 2-step (https://www.lamar.edu/it-services-and-support/lea-2-step/index.html )
    2. Install LU VPN client on laptops (LU-owned preferred; personal laptops allowed)
      https://www.lamar.edu/it-services-and-support/remote-access-service.html )
    3. If remote access to your LU desktop computer is required contact your local technician or central IT service desk by:
      Access the IT service portal ( https://lamaredu.service-now.com/sp ) then click Request Something, Information Security, Remote Access and VPN Service.
    4. Submit paperwork for any equipment that will be / has been taken off-campus.  ( https://www.lamar.edu/_files/documents/finance-operations/administrative-services/property-management/university_property_equipment_checkout_04-10-18.pdf )
    5. In addition to the inventory management paperwork (#4), notify IT of any computers taken off-campus.  Access the IT service portal ( https://lamaredu.service-now.com/sp ) then click Request Something, Information Security, Remote Access and VPN Service.  In the description, please enter “The following computer (has been / will be) removed from campus: “ and include the campus location (building and room); new location; LU tag number, and computer name.
  • What are some security measures I should take with my computer?
    1. Do not share your username or password.
    2. Do not leave your computer unattended.
    3. Do not provide access to your work computer to unauthorized individuals such as spouse and children.
    4. Report any suspicious logins or activity to the IT service desk.
    5. Do not store/save university work on personal devices or computers.  One Drive is available for storage of work documents (see 'What are commonly used tools to support remote work')
  • What are commonly used tools to support remote work?
    • Web-based MS O365 email and One-Drive
      No VPN required
    • Microsoft Teams
      No VPN required
    • Remote Desktop – Access your LU desktop remotely
      VPN is required
    • Checking Voicemail
      dial (409) 880-1890 and wait for the automated voice attendant, press “*” (star) and follow instructions.  Enter the telephone extension with asked for ID.
      No VPN required
    • Adobe Sign: Adobe Sign is an e-signature tool that replaces paper and ink signatures with automated electronic signatures.  The following guidelines have been established for campus use: 

      1. Internal use only.  Adobe Sign is designated for use to support internal LU processes only.  Forms should be routed to and from LU email addresses.
      2. Not intended for contracts.  All official university contracts must be processed through the Office of Contract Management and follow established university policies and procedures. 
      3. Do not collect confidential information.  Since documents are stored in the Adobe cloud, please do not ask for or include sensitive or confidential information using an Adobe Sign form.  Examples of confidential information include social security numbers, credit card numbers and other PCI data, HIPAA data, and FERPA data.  The LU data classification standard is available for reference:  https://intranet.lamar.edu/employee/documents/internal-services/information-technology/internal-policies/data-classification-standard.pdf

      For information on how to use Adobe Sign please visit https://www.lamar.edu/it-services-and-support/adobe-sign/index.html

  • If I need to hold a web conference call, what tools should I use?

    LU uses Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, Adobe Connect and Microsoft Teams for web conferencing. In addition to these, Zoom has seen an uptake in adoption – primarily because of a free version of the tool. However, we have also seen recently that Zoom has become a target for attackers. A type of attack, known as “zoom bombing” has arisen whereby uninvited guests can interrupt and access content in a meeting. This is due to an incorrect meeting security setting.

    To promote security in web conferencing, please review the following information:

    Blackboard Collaborate: https://help.blackboard.com/Collaborate/Ultra/Moderator/Moderate_Sessions/Session_Best_Practices

    Adobe Connect: https://helpx.adobe.com/adobe-connect/using/attendees.html

    Microsoft Teams: https://support.office.com/en-us/article/change-participant-settings-for-a-teams-meeting-53261366-dbd5-45f9-aae9-a70e6354f88e

    Zoom: https://blog.zoom.us/wordpress/2020/03/20/keep-uninvited-guests-out-of-your-zoom-event/

     

    In addition, keep in mind these general security tips:

    • As a rule, do not generate and share "public" meeting invitations on social media
    • Do not exchange sensitive information on public meetings
    • Make sure share mic, share video and share screen are turned off by default
    • Other than the host, everyone should have permissions of participant
    • If you set up a personal Zoom account, do not use your LEA password as your Zoom password
    • Remember to clear out chat content between meetings
    • Keep the software used for web conferencing up to date
    • Do not click on meeting links you weren’t expecting. The links can install malware, damage your computer, or compromise information.
  • How do I forward my campus-based phone line?
    1. Department head submits a service desk ticket or email with a list of the personnel that are approved to have their phone forwarded.  The ticket must include for each employee:  employee name, extension, number to be forwarded to, supervisor’s name, and supervisor’s extension….all on one ticket.
    2. Suggested Cell Phone Greeting:
      “You have reached the phone of “……..”. Please leave your name, callback number, and the reason for your call and I will call you back as soon as possible. Thank you.”
  • How do I get help?
    1. Instructions are available by clicking next to each item above.
    2. Visit the LU Tech Support website (www.lamar.edu/its).
    3. Call the service desk for assistance at 409-880-2222. If additional assistance is required walk-in assistance will be available upon request.

Travel

Courses/Advising

  • How do I prepare for online instruction?

    All faculty should move their courses 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

    After careful consideration, End of Course Evaluations will continue as planned for Spring 2020 semester. 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.


Community / General

Campus Preparedness/Events

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 get 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. Youcan call 211 option 6 or visit setinfo.org.