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Back to School During a Global Pandemic

Posted on: August 31, 2020 in Campus & Community Stories by Valerie Orleans

When Cal State Fullerton’s fall semester begins, the campus will be much quieter than usual. That’s because the vast majority of classes will be conducted online this semester, meaning far fewer students, faculty and staff on campus due to COVID-19.

Only courses that have been deemed necessary for students to take in person (some lab classes, classes that require access to machinery or technology that is only available on campus, etc.) will be held onsite. And, if health and safety are at risk, these classes could go virtual as well. 

Students, faculty and staff will have to observe strict health protocols while on campus (wearing masks while on university property, only two people per elevator, etc.). There have been adaptations in many classrooms such as partitions to separate students, desks spaced farther apart and other precautions — taken to keep those on campus safe. These guidelines can be found on the Titans Return: COVID-19 Recovery website.

In addition to new and returning students, the campus community is introducing 34 new tenure-track faculty members this fall and two for spring. The university also welcomes new department chairs and administrators, including Carolyn Thomas as provost and vice president for academic affairs, and Tonantzin Oseguera as vice president for student affairs.

Seventy-six faculty members have been promoted or achieved tenure, and 50 will be on sabbatical for at least part of the academic year.

Campus Physical Master Plan Approved

Over the summer, the CSU Board of Trustees unanimously approved the CSUF physical campus master plan, as well as phase four of CSUF’s student housing plans and the naming of the Nicholas and Lee Begovich Center for Gravitational-Wave Physics and Astronomy.

Support for Students

The Division of Student Affairs is here for support. Counseling and Psychological ServicesDiversity Initiatives and Resource CentersTitanWellStudent Wellness, the Dean of Students and every other department supporting CSUF students are operating virtually throughout the pandemic. Students can also connect to on-campus and other useful resources related to academics, physical wellness and mental health at YOU@Fullerton.

Titan Orientation Programs is hosting “Fall Welcome” events to assist students in making a smooth virtual transition to CSUF and help them to feel connected to campus. For more information — including virtual Titan Information Booths on Monday, Aug. 24, and Tuesday, Aug. 25, an open house, podcasts and more — visit TitanLink.

Information Technology

For those needing technology assistance and equipment, please submit requests through the Division of Information Technology.

New Academic Programs

The university approved several new concentrations, minors, programs and certificates, including a minor in science, culture and society and a Master of Science degree in engineering management.

Parking

Permits are required to park on campus Monday-Thursday, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Semester and daily permits are available to purchase online, and short-term parking information can be found on the Parking and Transportation Services website.

The Parking Office is closed to in-person transactions. Questions can be directed to  parking@fullerton.edu  or 657-278-3082.

Athletics

The Big West Athletic Conference has canceled athletics for the fall. If safe, Cal State Fullerton hopes to offer athletics in the spring. (Student athletes are still on full scholarship).

Key Events

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, almost all campus events will take place virtually this fall. Some dates to note:

Sept. 2
Getting Involved Webinar will be held from noon to 1 p.m. to prepare students for the new virtual format of Discoverfest. Visit TitanLink for more information or to RSVP.

Sept. 3
Student Life and Leadership will host Digital Discoverfest Fall 2020 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. via TitanLink. More than 200 student organizations are expected to participate in the one-day virtual fair. Students looking to get involved will have the ability to filter through organization categories and interests. They may then choose to join student organizations’ virtual booths to meet with members of the organizations in real time. Student organizations will also be featured on Student Life and Leadership’s YouTube channel.

Sept. 10
The faculty/staff convocation/State of the University will be a live virtual event beginning at 11:30 a.m.  

Sept. 16
A virtual student convocation, beginning at noon, will be held. 

Concert Under the Stars

For many years, thousands of faculty, staff, alumni and friends have come together on campus to enjoy an evening filled with the exceptional musical talent of our students and alumni, dazzling fireworks and wonderful community spirit at CSUF’s signature fundraising event. With our campus and all of Southern California continuing to manage the challenges and restrictions related to large gatherings due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Cal State Fullerton has come to the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Concert Under the Stars. The university will continue to develop and explore new ways to celebrate and support our incredible students and alumni.

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Valerie Orleans

Valerie Orleans is the Editorial Director for Strategic Communications at Cal State Fullerton.

View more posts by Valerie Orleans

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