Frequently Asked Questions

Lakers Together FAQ

Question Answer

Will the academic calendar be different this year?

For the Winter 2021 semester, classes will begin Tuesday, January 19, the day after the Martin Luther King Jr. commemoration. Spring break has been eliminated and the semester will end on May 1. This results in a 15-week semester, consistent with past semesters; instructional time is unchanged. The operational continuity of the university also remains unchanged – university offices will be open beginning Monday, January 4 as normal.

Courses for the Winter 2021 semester will continue to be a mix of in-person, hybrid, and online. Units, colleges, and the registrar’s office are working together to make the necessary changes to the existing Winter 2021 course schedule, which was put in place before COVID-19 was affecting GVSU. We are striving to offer flexibility and options in course delivery methods in order to accommodate the various needs of all of our students.


What should I do if I need to take an elevator?

If you are physically able, we encourage you to take the stairs. If you need to use an elevator, we encourage you to wear a face covering and try to limit the number of occupants. 


What is the Virus Action Team and what do they do?

The GVSU Virus Action Team (VAT) is made up of faculty and staff members who are working daily to monitor the health and safety of the Grand Valley community. Questions about COVID-related policies can be directed to Other questions may be directed to the Lakers Together Call Center, which can be reached at (616) 331-INFO (4630).


What is the plan for cleaning university buildings and housing?

Grand Valley is continuing enhanced cleaning procedures and following CDC guidance. Details on cleaning information are available.


What is the guest policy for on-campus living centers?

    The only guests permitted into GVSU housing Living Centers and Apartments are other GVSU on-campus housing residents, with the exception of move-in and move-out. Full details can be found on the policy page.


    What is GVSU’s face covering policy? 

    Face coverings that cover the mouth and nose are required indoors. Face coverings are required outdoors when not alone. 



    What are GVSU’s personal travel guidelines?

    To protect the health of the GVSU community, employees and students are encouraged to refrain from personal travel to areas identified as being at higher risk for COVID-19 transmission. More guidelines are available.


    Is the university randomly testing students, faculty and staff for COVID-19?

    Surveillance testing continues throughout the semester. Some students will be invited to test weekly (e.g. resident assistants, dining employees); others will be invited every few weeks. Faculty and staff who are expected to be on campus will be invited weekly. This will help identify "hot spots" and inform decisions regarding campus operations. Cost for randomized testing will be covered by the university. 


    If I disclose in my self-assessment that I have either tested positive for COVID-19 or have been quarantined, what happens to that information?

    By completing the self-assessment, you agree to allow the information to be shared with Spectrum Health so they can reach out to you.  Also, the information you share in the self-assessment is considered educational records not health records so it is not covered by HIPAA.


    If I agree to being tested as a part of the random testing for the COVID-19 virus, what happens to the test result?

    When you are tested for COVID-19, you will be informed of your test results. If you test positive, the result and your identifiable information must be reported to the county health department as required by law. For tests administered through the GVSU testing program, your consent to be tested also allows the information to be shared with certain university representatives in order to provide support to you. If you are tested outside the GVSU testing program, you are encouraged to update your self-assessment.


    How will testing and contact tracing be handled?

    The university is implementing a variety of steps to reduce the risk of COVID-19 to the university community, as well as to identify individuals who may have been exposed or who have symptoms, through daily self-assessments. 


    How will bus transportation between campuses work?

    The new Laker Line will accommodate 40 percent more passengers than the current Campus Connector. The Rapid will require passengers to wear face coverings. The buses are disinfected regularly. Buses will arrive every 10 minutes during peak times. 

    The Laker Line will also be faster than the current Campus Connector because of stop light priority and improved loading stations.

    Students should always carry their student ID, as Rapid employees may verify student status to ride.

    More details can be found at Lakers Together Bus Schedule.


    How have classrooms been adjusted to accommodate for social distancing?

    Grand Valley has redesigned our standard classrooms, embracing the ideas of social distancing. Seats are 6 feet apart, and there will be a 6-foot divide between the instructor and the first row of students.

    An example of a classroom layout.


    How are classes being offered in Winter 2021?

    Grand Valley State University is currently using three options for courses: fully online, a hybrid model, and face-to-face instruction.

    Get more details on the academic plan.


    Do I need to fill out the online self-assessment form?

    Creating a safer environment is a shared responsibility among all who come to GVSU and its off-campus partners. The university is encouraging personal responsibility by providing education, supplies, and resources to assist individuals in following public health guidance and university policy.  As part of our work toward a safe environment, a web-based self-assessment (accessed by phone, tablet or computer) is available for faculty, staff and students. 

    • Employees must complete a self-assessment on any day they are working, including remote work.
    • Students coming to campus for class or work must complete a self-assessment before coming to campus.
    • While not required, it is expected that all members of the GVSU community will complete the self-assessment daily to support efforts to protect the health of the community. It is strongly suggested that the self-assessment be completed before noon.

    The daily self-assessment is simple and quick to complete. The self-assessment is the primary means for us to collect daily information – including weekends – about how the virus is affecting the GVSU community, minimize its spread, promote public health and make sound decisions.


    Are Winter 2021 study abroad programs still taking place as scheduled?

    No. The Padnos International Center (PIC) has suspended all Winter 2021 study abroad programs, including faculty-led programs. All students who were planning to study abroad next semester have been notified, and PIC staff will work with them to explore alternative plans of study.


    Are positive COVID tests being reported to county health departments?

    Yes. All positive tests are reported to county health departments. GVSU is working with Kent and Ottawa county health departments and will support tracking and tracing efforts. Spectrum Health will assist in providing follow-up with all students who are in quarantine (exposed to someone positive) or in isolation following a positive test.