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10 things to know for fall semester

"In the last year, Emory has been challenged like never before, but we’re ready to teach, learn, create, dream and build, all together in person again." — Watch the message from Emory President Gregory L. Fenves.

Excitement is in the air as students, faculty and staff prepare for their return to Emory’s Atlanta and Oxford campuses this fall. Here are 10 things to keep in mind as the university transitions to full on-site capacity.

1. Most students will move in this weekend, with most classes starting next week.

Atlanta campus move-in days begin Aug. 17 for pre-orientation participants; most first-year students move into Atlanta campus housing Aug. 21, with other undergraduates following on Aug. 22. Oxford College move-in days are Aug. 20 for first-year students and Aug. 23 for second-year students. Learn more about Atlanta campus move-in procedures and Oxford College move-in. Classes for Emory Law students began Aug. 16; undergraduate and all other graduate classes begin Aug. 25. If you are not involved with move-in for students, you may want to avoid these areas on those days due to heavier traffic.

2. Emory Forward is still your central source for COVID-19 information.

As the full Emory community returns to campus, we need to continue working together to keep our campuses safe. Visit the Emory Forward website often for the latest information about policies, vaccines, testing, resources and more.

3. COVID-19 vaccines are required for students, faculty and staff.

Emory is continuing to implement COVID-19 protocols as informed by public health guidance to maintain a safe and healthy campus community. All students, faculty and staff are required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19, and vaccination rates are high — close to 90% for the entire Emory University community as of Aug. 16. Students, faculty or staff members with an approved vaccination exemption due to medical conditions or strong personal objections will be required to conduct a weekly screening test. Learn more about vaccination compliance and testing procedures.

4. You can help keep our community safe by adhering to the Community Compacts.

All members of the Emory community have a responsibility to follow established guidelines to keep themselves safe and encourage others to do the same. Community compacts outlining expected behaviors and requirements remain in place for students, faculty and staff. Learn about these expected behaviors and review the community compacts for fall 2021.

5. Masks are required for everyone in indoor public and common spaces.

Due to the highest risk for COVID-19 transmission occurring in indoor settings, all students, faculty and staff, regardless of vaccination status, are required to wear masks indoors and on shuttles, unless in an enclosed single occupancy or non-shared space, while actively eating or drinking, or when in their personal living space on campus. Some indoor spaces on campus may have more restrictive protocols in place. Masks are not required when outdoors on campus, although unvaccinated persons are still advised to wear masks outdoors when physical distancing cannot be maintained. Emory is in the green operating condition but will continue monitoring changes in public health guidance and community indicators and will provide further revisions to campus policies and protocols as needed.

6. From arts to athletics, there will be plenty to do on campus.

Emory athletes will be competing this fall, with spectators welcomed; check the Emory Athletics and Oxford Athletics websites for schedules and news. Visit the Emory Arts and Schwartz Center for Performing Arts websites for information on concerts, theater performances and other arts activities. The Woodruff PE Center and the Student Activity and Academic Center on the Atlanta campus are open, as are Oxford College athletic facilities and the Blomeyer Health Fitness Center for Emory faculty, staff and retirees. Keep an eye on the Hub, Emory’s virtual home for student-led organizations and events, and the Emory University and Campus Life calendars, which will continue to fill with events as the semester begins. Additionally, each of Emory’s undergraduate, graduate and professional schools maintain calendars for academic and other school-specific events, so be sure to check on the calendar for your school(s) of choice.

7. There will also be support available if you need it.

The pandemic has been difficult for everyone, and shifting back to living and working on campus is a significant adjustment. Confidential support services are available for anyone who needs them, whether related to COVID-19 or other issues. Students can reach out to Emory’s Counseling and Psychological Services department, Oxford Counseling & Career Services, or TimelyCare for telehealth appointments. University faculty and staff can access a range of emotional support programs including webinars, well-being check-ins, counseling and more through the Faculty Staff Assistance Program (FSAP). Emory Healthcare employees can access services through the MyBHS Portal (user name: EHC). 

8. Emory Libraries and the Michael C. Carlos Museum are ready to welcome you back.

Emory Libraries and the Carlos Museum are open and ready for visitors, with new exhibits set to open this fall. COVID-19 safety protocols are in place; get the latest information on their websites. And don’t forget — museum admission is free for Emory students, faculty and staff.

9. There are lots of options for getting to and around campus.

Changes to parking passes and the fee structure have been implemented, including the introduction of the FlashParking app that can be used to access approved parking decks and lots. Visit Emory Transportation and Parking Services to learn more about student parking, university faculty/staff parking and Emory Healthcare staff parking for fall 2021.

Emory’s shuttles begin their fall schedule Aug. 23; you can learn more about shuttle routes here. Shuttle riders will all be seated, with no standing allowed. The Smart Commute Program also offers plenty of perks for those who choose biking, walking, carpooling, vanpooling, public transportation, Emory shuttles, or combinations of those. Several adjustments have been made to suit the evolving needs of employees and to better support workplace flexibility on the Atlanta campus.

10. Remember campus safety tips and how to stay informed in an emergency.

Returning to campus together is a good time to be reminded of safety tips from the Emory Police Department and Emory Transportation and Parking Services. Download the LiveSafe app for additional peace of mind by receiving safety alerts, requesting a police escort to your destination and more. Emory’s Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response also offers detailed preparedness checklists for students and faculty and staff, as well as the “Just in Time” guide to campus emergencies.

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