FMU carefully kicking off its spring semester
Francis Marion University was set to begin spring classes Jan. 19 with all COVID-19 protocols from the fall remaining in place. Classes for the spring semester began Tuesday, following the Martin Luther King Day holiday on Monday. Residential students were returning to campus Jan. 12-18. All residential students must provide evidence of a recent, negative COVID-19 test prior to entering residence halls for the spring semester. PCR, saliva, or antigen tests will be accepted. FMU student-athletes are also being tested prior to returning to campus through a separate protocol. All students, faculty, and staff will observe the same regulations and protocols this spring that helped the FMU community navigate a safe fall semester. These include: Masks in all indoor spaces and at all university events. Plexiglas barriers in place in classrooms and offices across campus. Appropriate distancing (at least 6 feet between individuals), all times on campus. Utilization of new classroom spaces and configurations to accommodate distancing. A stringent routine of cleaning and disinfecting classrooms and other buildings throughout each week. FMU’s classroom spacing will be further enhanced in the spring by the opening of the new Honors Center on the main campus and the Hugh and Jean Leatherman Medical Complex in downtown Florence. Additionally, FMU will have a higher percentage of online classes in the spring than in previous years, just as it did in the fall. FMU has already altered its traditional fall calendar as an additional safety step. The university calendar does not include a week-long spring break. However, four “Patriot Pause Days” are included. No classes will be held on Patriot Pause Days. Most university events during the semester will be postponed, moved to a virtual environment, or held with limited attendance in well-spaced areas. Athletic contests will be limited to less than 25 percent capacity of the venue and tickets will not be sold the day of the contest.