Frequently Asked Questions

Lakers Together Fall 2020 FAQ

Question Answer

Will the academic calendar be different this year?

Beginning Wednesday, November 18, all face-to-face classes will convert to remote delivery. Students enrolled in nursing and health professions courses will receive additional information directly from faculty or advisors. Final examinations will be conducted remotely.

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.


Will I get a credit for unused housing, parking and dining costs because the university has changed the academic calendar following the Thanksgiving recess?

Grand Valley has modified its academic calendar for Fall 2020 due to circumstances surrounding COVID-19 and associated travel over breaks/holidays. Fall break has been cancelled and classes will be held on October 26 and 27. Additionally, any class that can be delivered remotely following the Thanksgiving holiday break will do so. Classes that have required in-person participation will still meet face-to-face as scheduled. Final exams will be administered remotely. 

Students will not be forced to vacate housing following the Thanksgiving holiday. Students with academic or personal reasons to remain in campus housing must request to do so through a notification process managed by Housing and Residence Life.

GVSU will issue credits for unused housing, dining and/or parking, but students must request this credit. No automatic credits will be issued as each individual student’s circumstances will differ.

A consolidated form will be available on the housing web page on October 26 and students will have to submit the form no later than November 6. Credits will be issued the week of November 30. Credits will be determined on a pro-rata basis by day. 


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 on-campus housing for the Fall 2020 semester?

We have a comprehensive plan for those who will live on campus. Students can expect:

  • Reduced density of students in common spaces.
  • Single options in traditional-style housing.
  • Increased frequency of cleaning in common spaces and bathrooms.

More information is available at


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 at


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.


    Should I get a COVID test before returning to campus for classes or work?

    The university is encouraging everyone to be tested for COVID-19 before returning to campus. Testing can be arranged through your healthcare provider, or you can use the State of Michigan testing site finder with a "no-cost" filter. 


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

    Randomized testing of 1,500 people on campus will begin after the start of classes and continue throughout the semester. Students, faculty and staff will be selected at random to be tested. 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?

    Grand Valley is working with the Rapid to determine bus capacity limits for Fall 2020 because of COVID-19. 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.

    More details can be found at


    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, visit


    How are classes being offered this fall?

    Grand Valley State University is currently using three options for Fall 2020 courses: fully online, a hybrid model, and face-to-face instruction.

    Beginning Wednesday, November 18, all face-to-face classes will convert to remote delivery for the remainder of the Fall 2020 semester. Students enrolled in nursing and health professions courses will receive additional information directly from faculty or advisors. Final examinations will be conducted remotely.

    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.