University Updates on Coronavirus (COVID-19) & Travel Restrictions

Have more questions? Visit our COVID-19 student FAQs page.

Travel Restrictions & Mandates

Friends University students, faculty and staff will adhere to new KDHE travel mandates

KDHE has issued the following new guidelines regarding travel for individuals who have traveled on or after March 15 to hot-spot locations. These individuals are mandated to follow the 14-day home quarantine procedures. Friends University students, faculty or staff who have traveled to the wide-spread COVID-19 areas will not be allowed on campus or in residence halls until the 14-day quarantine has been completed. In the event a student is in quarantine during the specified move out days, they can contact Residence Life at reslife@friends.edu to schedule an alternative time to retrieve their belongings.

The following locations are considered hot-spot areas and require the 14-day quarantine:

  • Traveled to or attended a mass gathering/event in which 500 or more people were in attendance. 
  • Traveled on or after July 14 to countries with a CDC Level 3 Travel Health Notice and restrictions on entry into the United States, including China, Iran, European Schengen area, United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, and Brazil. International travelers must follow CDC guidance and protocols.
  • International travelers from other countries will need to follow CDC re-entry protocol and subsequent quarantine guidance upon entry into the U.S. and Kansas. 
  • Traveled on a cruise ship or river cruise on or after March 15

For more information on KDHE travel regulations and proper quarantine procedures, visit https://www.coronavirus.kdheks.gov/175/Travel-Exposure-Related-Isolation-Quaran.

Helpful CDC Guidelines:

Classroom guidelines and mask policy will be provided soon.

NAIA Guidelines and Recommendations

The NAIA released guidelines for fall sports returning to play. Visit https://www.naia.org/covid19/files/Fall_2020_Guidelines_7.10.20_v2.pdf for more information.

Important COVID-19 Updates

Aug. 6, 2020 Athletics Safety Guidelines and Policies Update

 Coaches and Student-Athletes, 

We will welcome fall athletes to campus in one week. We are excited to begin the new year and to have students back on campus. The purpose of this letter is to give an update of the recent NAIA and KCAC decisions and to inform you of institutional policies that will need to be followed to have a successful return to play. 

We want to reiterate that we understand individuals have different levels of comfort with returning to school and participating in athletics. Any student-athlete that wishes to opt out of competition due to health concerns but wants to remain a student at Friends University will be allowed to retain their athletic scholarship. 

Last week, the NAIA announced that all fall sports championships are moved to the spring. They are allowing conferences to have autonomy determining schedules for the fall. Currently, the KCAC Board of Presidents has asked our KCAC COVID Task Force to present options of playing a normal schedule in the fall and splitting the schedule between the fall and spring. We anticipate a decision being made within the next week. 

Internally, we have developed numerous policies and protocols to develop as safe an environment as possible. All Friends University updates can be found at www.friends.edu/coronavirus

Within athletics, we will be following all policies and procedures that are required of us. This includes, but is not limited to, city, county, state, KCAC, NAIA, and Friends University policies. The KCAC has released return to play protocols that were developed by the KCAC COVID Task Force in partnership with the KCAC Athletic Trainers. They have approval by the KCAC Board of Presidents and can be found at: 

https://www.kcacsports.com/d/2020-21/KCAC_2020_COVID_Return_to_Competition_Guidelines.pdf

Within athletics, there are six basic guidelines that must be followed for us to have a successful year. They are as follows: 

  1. Complete the Athletic Training Software Symptom Checker every day beginning no later than August 7, 2020.
  2. Masks are required on campus and in the Garvey Building.
  3. Maintain social distancing whenever possible.
  4. Wear masks until practice starts. There may be times during practice when masks are appropriate.
  5. Enhanced cleaning protocols will continue.
  6. Athletics will follow all Friends University, federal, state of Kansas, Sedgwick County, KCAC, and NAIA guidelines. www.friendsathletics.com 2100 West University Avenue Wichita, KS 67213 (316) 295-5700 Fax (316) 295-5030 

Completing the daily symptom checker is essential to having a successful fall. It will be done through the Athletic Training Software. Coaches and our Athletic Training Staff have sent out information on how to sign up. All student-athletes, coaches and athletic staff should begin recording daily symptom checks no later than Friday, Aug. 7, 2020. Failure to begin completing the symptom checker by this date may result in not being allowed to practice. 

In the event of a report of a positive test, we will follow guidelines provided by Friends University, the state of Kansas, Sedgwick County, and the KCAC. If these guidelines conflict, we will follow whatever guidelines are the strictest. Friends University is also providing a telehealth service to students with the cost covered by the University. 

At this point, we are planning on having fans at games, but it will likely be limited due to county guidelines. However, we are not going to make an official decision yet as games do not start for another month and things can change. 

During your first team meeting and new student-athlete orientation, we will have COVID educational sessions to discuss these policies in more depth. It will take all of us being accountable to one another and these policies to have a successful year. 

Sincerely, 

Dr. Rob Ramseyer
Athletic Director
Friends University 

Aug. 3, 2020 Guidelines for Reporting Positive COVID-19 Test

Goals 

  1. Keep people physically safe. 
  2. Keep students academically safe. 

Student reports having a positive Covid 19 test. Asymptomatic or symptomatic

Faculty member reports having a positive Covid 19 test. Asymptomatic or symptomatic

Staff member reports having Covid 19. Asymptomatic or symptomatic 

In some cases, you may be contacted by HR if they determine that you were in close contact with a person who tested positive for Covid 19.  Close contact is defined as being within 6 feet for more than 10 minutes, with or without a mask.

July 31, 2020 KCAC Fall 2020 Guidelines for Return to Campus, Sport and Conference Competition

KCAC has released a set of guidelines pertaining to COVID-19 and fall sporting competition. You can view the guidelines using the PDF below:

https://www.kcacsports.com/d/2020-21/KCAC_2020_COVID_Return_to_Competition_Guidelines.pdf

July 24, 2020 Friends Athletic COVID-19 Update

Coaches and Student-Athletes:

As we continue to see schools and conferences make different decisions regarding fall sports, I wanted to send this update to you about where we are as of today. As fluid as the situation is, I can’t guarantee that it will stay the same, but I want to continue to give as much information as possible.

I am part of the KCAC Conference COVID Task Force that is charged with planning return to play. We have been meeting weekly since the end of April. This group, in partnership with the KCAC Athletic Trainers, has developed guidelines for safely returning to campus. These guidelines will likely be released to the public next week. We also plan to post additional athletic department policies at that time. In addition, the NAIA has released a document of requirements and guidelines that includes requiring COVID testing for all student- athletes seven days prior to competition. You can find the NAIA document at:

https://www.naia.org/covid19/files/Fall_2020_Guidelines_7.10.20_v2.pdf

As a University, we have been working hard preparing for the fall as well. Our decisions are being guided by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Kansas Department of Health (KDHE), and the work of several task forces on campus. We have an Athletic COVID Task Force working together to ensure all policies and procedures are followed and we provide the safest environment possible for student-athletes. We will require daily screenings for student-athletes, we will test all student-athletes as required by the NAIA, and then test on an as-needed basis. Outside of the KCAC and NAIA documents, below are links of institutional decisions, KDHE, and CDC resources that we are utilizing:

The question I receive most often is if we are going to play. Our plan is to play as allowed within the KCAC, NAIA, and governmental regulations. We will be ready administratively, and our coaches are ready to get to work coaching, training, and mentoring student-athletes. However, we are preparing for any changes that may occur. We are working on multiple levels of contingency plans as a conference so that we can allow our student-athletes to compete this year.

We are committed to providing the safest environment possible for our student-athletes and coaches. This is a unique situation we are in and we appreciate your dedication and patience as we navigate through the fall athletic season together. Please continue to communicate with your coaches and watch for updates at https://www.friends.edu/coronavirus.

Sincerely,

Dr. Rob Ramseyer
Athletic Director
Friends University

2020 Commencement Canceled

Dear Graduates:

We have made the very difficult decision to cancel our plans for the in-person 2020 Commencement event scheduled on August 8 due to the recent spike in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Wichita, and a new order limiting the gathering of groups to 45 persons. As much as I want to congratulate and honor each one of you, for the health and safety of everyone involved, it is not possible to gather at this time.

We are saddened that we are unable to provide an in-person Commencement. We know this is not what you had planned as you wrapped up your college journey. We do want to celebrate and recognize you for your accomplishments and we invite you to participate in the 2021 Commencement event scheduled for Saturday, May 8, 2021. Future Commencement dates and information will be updated at friends.edu/commencement. I know that many plans have already been made for Aug. 8, so I will be in Alumni Auditorium in my regalia from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. to personally congratulate you and be available for a photo. If you decide to come to campus that morning, please wear your mask and check-in at the front entrance of Davis Hall for an opportunity to come in to the auditorium.

COVID-19 has disrupted so many plans for celebrations, but it doesn’t take away from all of your achievements. As you enter this new chapter in your life after graduation, I hope you will always know how proud your Falcon family is of you and your resilience during this time. I wish you the best and look forward to seeing what your future holds.

Congratulations to the Class of 2020!

Sincerely,

Dr. Amy Bragg Carey

July 10, 2020 Face Covering Policy and Classroom Guidelines

Friends University Face Covering Policy

Friends University faculty, staff, and students are required to wear face coverings in public spaces on campus.  Face coverings do not need to be worn when an individual is alone or is eating or drinking, provided social distancing protocols are followed.  Faculty, staff, and students are expected to supply their own face coverings.  The university will provide face coverings for campus guests, as well as for members of the university community who forget their face coverings.

Please note: If social distancing protocols are observed, the following exceptions to this policy apply:

  • Faculty members do not need to wear face coverings while teaching.
  • University personnel may designate specific activities in which face coverings need not be worn.  For example, university personnel may allow face coverings to be removed during athletic events, fine arts performances, public speaking exercises, and similar activities. 

Classroom Guidelines for Mitigation of COVID-19 Transmission Risk

The guidelines below should be followed to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission for faculty, staff, and students:

  1. Classrooms will be arranged in such a way as to allow a minimum of 6 feet between students. 
  2. A 6-foot buffer will be maintained between students and faculty at the front of the room.
  3. Students are required to wear face coverings in all classes.
  4. Students who refuse to wear a face-covering will be asked to leave the class.
  5. Faculty members are not required to wear face coverings when teaching, as long as a 6-foot buffer is maintained between faculty and students.
  6. Instructors have the ability to allow students to temporarily remove their face coverings if they determine the use of face coverings significantly diminishes the quality or effectiveness of a specific educational activity.  Examples of such activities include, but are not limited to, public speaking exercises and student presentations. Social distancing protocols must be followed if an instructor decides to allow students to temporarily remove their face coverings.
  7. Group activities will be conducted in such a way as to allow for social distancing.
  8. Students should sit in the farthest available seat from the doorway while entering class and those closest to the door should exit class first.
  9. Students should not congregate in groups in hallways or other common areas before or after class.
  10. Disinfecting wipes will be available at the entrance to each classroom, to allow students to wipe down their desks before the class begins. 

Friends University is working with local and state health officials and following CDC guidelines to minimize risk for those around us. The following CDC links are helpful and may answer your questions regarding COVID-19.

July 9, 2020 Residence Life Move-In Update

Dear Student,

We look forward to welcoming you to the Friends University campus this August! This email will provide helpful information to make the move-in process smoother as you begin your new Falcon journey. Move-in links will be emailed out later in the week.

Residence life

Along with the Friends University Housing Checklist, we highly recommend adding the following items to your packing list.

Two reusable/washable masks (minimum). Students will be required to wear masks when leaving their suite or apartment.

  • Hand sanitizer
  • Wipes/bottle of cleaner for surfaces and bathrooms in your rooms
  • Toilet bowl brushes and cleaner
  • Shower cleaner
  • Cleaning sponges
  • Gloves, if accessible
  • Cleaning gloves are recommended
  • Hand soap for the bathroom and kitchen areas
  • Laundry detergent to clean dirty clothes and masks
  • Personal First Aid Kit with a thermometer, any preferred over the counter medications, etc.
  • Consider bringing your own computer to avoid using shared computers for class work

Note: Proper hygiene and cleaning are imperative to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Move-in process

The following information will help provide for a smooth move-in process for our residents.

  • Staggered move-in schedule. Look for an email later this week from Residence Life with a link for you to schedule your move-in date and time.
  • Move-in dates are as follows:
    • FALL Athletes on fall team rosters only will move in by appointment on Wednesday, Aug. 12 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
    • New student/Transfer move-in students will move in by appointment on Friday, Aug. 14 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
    • Returning students will move in by appointment on Friday, Aug. 14 from 1-4 p.m. or by select appointments on Aug. 15 and Aug. 16.
  • Each student will have the opportunity to have two guests to help move in.
  • Large rolling bins will be available when you arrive to simplify the move-in process.
  • Upon arrival students and guests will have their temperatures taken and complete a screening form and waiver.
  • Students coming from a state listed on the KDHE travel quarantine list must reach out to reslife@friends.edu to identify an appropriate move-in date to satisfy quarantine requirements and start school activities.

Guest Policy

The Residence Life guest policy has been updated to comply with health and social distancing guidelines for residents and guests. Additional requirements and policies can be found in the Residential Hall handbook.

Residents may host guests between the hours of 8 a.m. to midnight Sunday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. To protect the health and safety of the campus community, each resident may have only one guest in the residential apartment/suite, not to exceed double the typical assignment level of the room. No overnight guests will be approved during the 2020-2021 academic year. Residents must adhere to other Residential Hall handbook requirements for guests, including but not limited to signing in guests at main offices.

Dining alternatives

Casado Dining Hall has provided the following alternatives to provide additional options and flexibility while decreasing the number of people at one time in the dining hall.

  • Dining options will be available in the dining hall or the Casado Cafe between the hours of 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day of the week.
  • Self-serve options will not be available except at the beverage station.
  • Food items will still be available for made-to-order options.
  • Tables will be spread out and additional seating will be located in other areas of the Casado Dining facility and outside locations.
  • To-go orders can be placed for your convenience and picked up on the designated pick-up shelves.

Quarantine process

The CDC defines quarantine as keeping someone who was in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 away from others.

Students will be required to abide by CDC guidelines to quarantine for 14 days in their room and/or quarantine area if they have come in contact with someone who has COVID-19 or if they have visited a location on the KDHE travel quarantine list. If possible, students will be asked to return home for the duration of their quarantine period. CDC quarantine requirements also include checking your body temperature twice a day and watching for symptoms of COVID-19.

  • If a student is sick and thinks they have COVID-19, the student needs to stay home until after three days with no fever and symptoms have improved and ten days since symptoms first appeared.
  • If a student tests positive for COVID-19 but does not have symptoms, the student needs to stay home until after 10 days have passed since the positive test. If the student lives with others, the student will be required to stay in a specific “sick room” or area and away from other people or animals, including pets, and use a separate bathroom, if available.

Friends University is working with local and state health officials and following CDC guidelines to minimize risk for those around us. The following CDC links are helpful and may answer your questions regarding COVID-19.

We appreciate your patience as we navigate through this time and work to maximize your Friends University experience and minimize the risk for you and others on campus. Additional residence life information and housing policies can be found here and up-to-date campus-related COVID-19 updates can be found on the residence life page. For additional information or questions, please contact Residence Life at reslife@friends.edu or 316-295-5500.

June 4, 2020 Fall Semester Plans Update

Friends University plans to resume fall classes on August 17, on-campus and in person with athletic and fine art activities. The hallmark of the Friends experience is our dynamic co-curricular athletics and arts programs, close-knit community, and caring faculty and staff. Therefore, we are committed to returning to on-campus educational offerings in the fall. The Friends University Reopen Task Force has been working diligently and proactively to protect the health and safety of our faculty, staff and students while at the same time ensure we continue to provide our excellent programs. Some classes and events may be organized differently to provide safety measures for those involved but it’s important that we offer the Friends collegiate experience. Flexibility will be a key component as the campus reopens and safety precautions will be at the forefront of our operations.

Here is why we are confident we can thrive in a safe manner during the ongoing season of COVID-19:

  • We are small. Size matters and small class sizes within a wide campus footprint allow students and staff to spread out with good social distancing. Small means personal as we know our students well and are able to care for them.
  • We are nimble. Friends University plans to be fully open even if activities require accommodations. Students have expressed the desire to be in person, however online and synchronous virtual classes will also be available and adaptations can be made seamlessly and quickly if the need arises.
  • We are ready. PPE, hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies, masks, testing resources, and quarantine alternatives will be available, and the campus is prepared to coordinate with county health officials to mitigate any challenges of COVID-19. Students will be asked to bring a mask to campus and wearing a mask is strongly recommended.
  • We are local. Friends University is supported by the local community and local students have the option to live on campus or at home. Likewise, we have a commitment to our local community to educate students who may one day be doctors, scientists, or first responders – just some of the jobs that are so important in society today. Hands-on, high-quality learning in a safe manner is imperative for many career paths.

Additionally, we have determined that we will have a fall break (while encouraging students to stay in town) and resume classes after Thanksgiving unless the situation with the coronavirus requires those plans to change.

While more details will be sent in the coming weeks, I hope you find this information to be helpful and reassuring. Students, you are in our prayers and we are very excited to have you back on campus! I, along with the Reopen Task Force, am committed to making this a special year with better days ahead. Go Falcons!

Dr. Amy Bragg Carey

President

Friends University

May 4, 2020 COVID-19 Student Relief Packages

Dear Students,

We have been diligently working to create the best possible COVID 19 relief packages for you. Thank you for your patience during this unprecedented time as we evaluate various guidelines and resources to determine how we could best support you. We are pleased to announce several opportunities for you to receive financial assistance. These relief funds come through a variety of sources and the funds will be distributed to those who qualify. Please read this information carefully.

Spring Room and Board Credits

If you paid for on-campus housing for the Spring 2020 term and/or purchased a meal plan, Friends will provide a credit to the extent that we are financially able, for the unused portion of these services. When evaluating your credit, please understand that there are still fixed costs associated with residential and dining services even when students move off-campus. Assuming you moved off-campus on or before April 17, your bill will be credited on or around May 9. If your student bill is fully paid the credit can be refunded to you or applied to the Summer or Fall semester.

CARES Act Stimulus – Direct Payment to Students

Per the federal stimulus package signed into law on March 27, 2020, Friends University is a recipient of federal funds to be passed along to those who have experienced costs associated with the disruption of campus operations due to COVID 19. Friends University is issuing the amounts below to CBASE (traditional) students based on a student’s enrollment status on a completed FAFSA and other federal guidelines:

  • Full-time, living on-campus: $900
  • Full-time, living off-campus: $500
  • Part-time student: $250

These payments will be made to eligible students as defined under the CARES Act to a student who has completed a FAFSA and is enrolled in ground-based educational classes. Students that are enrolled exclusively online are excluded from the grant. Payments will be generated automatically without the need for an application and mailed to your permanent address in the form of a check. This grant may be considered taxable income.

Additional COVID 19 Emergency Funds

Thanks to our donors and federal relief funds we have additional money for special needs up to $500 per person. Funds are available for any student – traditional, or students in our adult or graduate programs, who have an exceptional financial need because of the disruption of campus operations due to the COVID 19 pandemic. Students requesting additional support should complete the grant request form online here and note that it may take several weeks for us to review all the requests.

Please know that we are committed to supporting you as you finish the semester strong. We look forward to having you back on campus as a returning student or to celebrate graduation. Go Falcons!

Sincerely,

Dr. Amy Bragg Carey
President

May 1, 2020 Friends University Campus Reopen Plan

Dear Students:

The Friends University Campus plans to reopen after the Memorial Day holiday. A special Reopen Taskforce has been working to put safety measures in place for the well-being of our community. Based on the health and safety guidance from several state and national sources we have determined the following steps to reopen campus:

  • Summer school classes will be online for the summer semester.
  • Casado Food Service will not be available after May 8.
  • The Library will be closed the remainder of the summer.
  • Campus will reopen after Memorial Day. Offices will begin to reopen in phases beginning in early May. Students may still contact necessary offices by phone or email but are asked not to return to campus until after the Memorial Day holiday.
  • Safe, social distancing, in-person campus tours will resume after Memorial Day.
  • Phased opening will continue until we are fully open in the Fall. Friends University plans to be fully open in the Fall with in-person classes and activities.
  • Until further notice students will be required to wear masks while on campus.
  • Disinfection and sanitation of campus facilities will continue with extra manpower to eliminate possible germs.
  • Hand sanitizer will be available throughout the campus.
  • Temperature checks are being discussed as potential best practices.
  • CDC posters encouraging good hygiene will be posted at each entrance and restrooms.
  • Common areas will be kept closed to continue social distancing and limit gatherings.
  • There will be one point of entry for each building on campus that will require you to sign-in to access the building.

This will be a comprehensive process and we will continue to keep you informed as we navigate through this together. For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 and Friends University, visit friends.edu/coronavirus. Please reach out to me at president@friends.edu, if you have any questions or concerns. We are anxious to have our students back on campus with the understanding that the health and safety of our Friends community is a priority.

This has been a unique semester and we are proud of your resilience and flexibility as you finish the semester strong. We are here for you and praying for you each day.

Sincerely,

Dr. Amy Bragg Carey

April 22, 2020 Commencement Date Update

Graduating students,

First of all, thanks for your patience with us as we deal with the range of decisions we need to make in the face of the current coronavirus pandemic. We know that the uncertainty has caused many of you anxiety about how you will be able to celebrate your and your classmates’ accomplishments. A joyous occasion, worth a serious celebration. It’s also a significant way for all of us to give thanks for how we’ve worked together to equip each of you (and ourselves) to better “…honor God and serve others by integrating your intellectual, spiritual and professional lives.” Our goal is to make it as joyous as we can under the circumstances.

Early in April, we sent out a survey to every student who had applied to graduate this spring. The results were unambiguous. You want to see and be seen by your friends and professors in person when you receive your diploma and, in the case of graduate students, your hood. Your strong preference for the ceremony is August. We got the message.

Based on your feedback, we are planning commencement ceremonies on August 8, 2020. Our initial plan is to have a hooding ceremony for the graduate students followed by a commencement ceremony.

That being said, please understand that the date is somewhat out of our hands. If the governor of Kansas declares we are not able to hold an assembly of more than a small number of people, we will not have the option to hold a ceremony on August 8. We don’t know what the governor will decide so we are planning as if it will happen on that date. If we cannot gather in early August, we will regroup and come up with plan B as soon as we have clarity about our options.

Please be patient with us as we try to balance our desire for a commencement ceremony with our obligations to our fellow citizens during this pandemic. We care about all of you.

March 19, 2020 Center on Family Living Update

We know that change and uncertainty can be hard. If you would like to talk to a counselor or seek mental health assistance, students are advised to call 2-1-1 for a current list of mental health resources or the main line at ComCare of Sedgwick County at 316-660-7700. Employees can contact EMPAC at 316-265-9922. More on the Center on Family Living can be found at the Center on Family Living webpage.

ADA Services

In compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, Friends University does not exclude otherwise qualified persons with disabilities solely by reason of the disability from participating in university programs and activities, nor are persons with disabilities denied the benefits of these programs or subjected to discrimination.

It is the responsibility of the student to bring to the university’s attention the need for accommodation due to a qualifying disability. Requests for accommodation should be made to the Academic Resource Center. The Academic Resource Center will assist students in their request for accommodations and help them obtain other necessary support services. Once proper information has been received, the Academic Resource Center will notify appropriate faculty and/or staff of the student’s specific requests. The Academic Resource Center will also make arrangements with outside agencies for any services needed (i.e., interpreters, audio books, etc.). An updated disclosure release form is required each academic term in order for new faculty and/or staff to be contacted regarding the student’s requested accommodations. In addition, an updated application is required in order to meet any accommodation changes.

Have more questions? Visit our COVID-19 student FAQs page.

COVID-19 Contact Form

Contact Us

Have a question about COVID-19 for us? Use this form to reach out. Alternatively, contact our health department at 316-295-5685 or health@friends.edu. We will get back to you as soon as possible.

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