As the latest coronavirus variant, Omicron, is producing challenges, Southern Arkansas University is gearing up for the spring semester, with classes scheduled to begin Wednesday, January 12. After careful consideration and evaluation for the overall well-being of SAU's campus community, the Risk Management Task Force has announced updated public health policies for the return to campus. 

SAU will open the spring semester with a mask mandate in effect for classrooms, shared offices, and when in transit within buildings. Although face masks will not be required in athletic venues during events, face masks are highly encouraged throughout campus. Signs will be posted outside individual offices of those employees requesting mask usage in personal spaces, and the Task Force requests visitors comply with these requests. SAU will again this semester provide disposable masks for students, faculty, and staff.  

After a successful launch for the fall 2021 semester, zero classroom transmission, and low coronavirus case numbers, SAU students enjoyed routine academic delivery. SAU plans once again to open the semester with face-to-face instruction. Faculty have made options available for alternative academic content delivery to students affected this spring by Covid-19 or other health conditions. Faculty will notify students of these options in each course syllabus.

The past two years have taught us all that navigating a global pandemic is a fluid process. SAU is committed to working diligently to safeguard the health of our students, faculty, and staff as we continue to mitigate the spread of Covid-19. In true Mulerider spirit, we will continue to be strong and persevere. We will be better together, push forward for a successful spring semester, and remain Mulerider Strong.  

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