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JacksRBack University Student Union Plan

JacksRBack University Student Union (USU) Plan - Fall 2020


The University Student Union (USU) is a Student Affairs unit and will adhere to the general university guidelines for safe operation in a pandemic environment. These guidelines align with guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the South Dakota Department of Health (SD-DOH). Key concepts to mitigate against the spread of COVID-19, which will be observed in the USU include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Wearing a self-provided face covering;
  • Social distancing of not less than 6 feet;
  • Frequent hand-washing and use of hand sanitizers;
  • Proper cough and sneeze etiquette; and
  • Self-monitoring for common COVID-19 symptoms.

Individuals are required to follow the current South Dakota State University and SDBOR face covering protocols. Persons experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should not enter the USU. Signage indicating these guidelines will be posted throughout the USU and referenced frequently in the plan detail to follow.

This plan is grounded in the SDSU Guiding Principles for Return to Campus and SDSU COVID-19 Protocols.


  • General Facility Management
  • Career Development
  • Event Services
  • New Student Orientation
  • Student Activities


  • Plexiglas will be at every high-traffic reception point within the USU.
  • Staff will conduct most meetings using Zoom and minimize office contact as must as possible.
  • Staff will have two conference rooms available for person-to-person meetings that are needed to allow for social distancing.
  • Disposable face coverings will be available at each reception desk to promote customer use of face coverings.
  • Campus standard for pandemic guidelines will be made available and present in each reception area, as well as other areas throughout the facility to promote positive health safety culture.


Protocols for Achieving Work

  • The USU 150 main office will continue to provide reception support to customers and will limit access to the USU 150 office suite and assist with scheduling virtual appointments with customers and staff. In instances where on-site meetings may be required, the USU 150 conference room may be used to allow for distancing.
  • Occupancy restrictions will be posted on all applicable spaces within the facility.
  • All USU-controlled offices and common spaces will have occupancy information posted on doors or adjacent walls.
  • Seating throughout the facility will reflect social distancing guidelines.
  • Dining seating will be modified consistent with CDC guidelines throughout the USU. Dining seating overflow will be in common lounges as possible. (NOTE: See dining spaces room layouts below.)
  • Staff will adjust to paperless functions whenever possible to reduce the spread of germs.
  • USU will increase physical space between employees and customers by marking floors to guide spacing at least 6 feet apart; reducing the amount of furniture in each space throughout the facility; and installing Plexiglas shields on main office reception area and the Information Exchange desk.
  • At least once per day, staff members are expected to clean and disinfect surfaces within their individual workspaces.
  • Student Life Building Services (SLBS) will clean common areas when the USU is in operation, paying special attention to surfaces frequently touched by multiple people. These surfaces include door handles, phones, light switches and faucets.
  • USU 150 and USU 136 break rooms will be set up as hand-washing stations. Staff are encouraged to take hand-washing breaks between every meeting and event. Staff should wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds every time, when possible. If soap and water are not available, hand sanitizer will be available. Soap dispensers will be installed at each location.
  • SLBS will manage custodial services based upon protocols for routine cleaning and disinfection, which are aligned with CDC guidance.
  • Additional services needed to respond to changes in pandemic status will be coordinated with the Dining Services and SLBS teams and leadership.
  • USU 136 and USU 150 break rooms/kitchenettes (occupancy one in each site):
    • Remove ice trays and shared condiments. Remove or discontinue use of shared kitchen utensils, plastic silverware, coffee makers, plastic cups, etc.
    • Individuals are required to disinfect the handles and/or controls of any appliance after each use.

Additional Resources Needed (Fiscal/Human/etc.) Additional cleaning staff will be needed in areas for the high concentration of building use in dining areas, additional garbage receptacles needed in every area that is overflow dining seating, sanitizer stands throughout the building, and stanchions for managing queuing in southeast dining location.

Communications Plan: Posters with COVID-19 guidelines; digital signage with pandemic-related messaging as needed and ongoing reference to university’s COVID-19 webpage. T-stands and building signage will reinforce this messaging.

Policy Waivers Needed to Achieve Core Function: None

Liability Waiver Needed: No


Protocols for Achieving Work

  • Drop-in Hours: Drop-in hours will not be offered. Instead, students will be directed to schedule appointment(s) via HandShake.
  • Student Appointments:  Students will be advised to register for appointments via Handshake. 
    • Student Affairs advising protocols will be followed when scheduling student meetings.
    • Staff will determine if the student would be better served through an in-person meeting and schedule an appointment at that time.
    • To allow for social distancing, the appointment potentially could take place in an office within Career Development (depending on the office size), preferably with use of a portable Plexiglas shield that could be set on the career coach’s desk; the Student Engagement conference room located in the USU 136 office space; or could continue to only offer these appointment virtually.
  • Class Presentations: Staff will work with faculty members to continue to provide class presentations in their preferred delivery method, in-person or through Zoom (either synchronously or asynchronously). If we physically go into classrooms, we will follow the classroom protocols.
  • Employer-in-Residence Visits: Staff will work with employers to consider alternative methods to host such events, most likely in a virtual format. Scheduling individual appointments for students to visit with a limited number of recruiters from a company at one time is under evaluation.
  • Career Fairs: Career Development is and will continue to work with campus partners and employers to determine the best path forward for career fairs. It will offer career fairs virtually during the fall semester and evaluate the situation later in the fall to determine spring options. Should career fairs resume in-person for the spring, a fully developed JacksRBack event plan will be developed and reviewed through the university’s approval channels before implementation.
  • Marketing: Staff will invest in technology to increase the online presence. In addition, we will create signage/posters that direct students to online resources in order to phase out paper materials. Paper materials can be available upon need/request.

Communications Plan: Posters with COVID-19 guidelines; digital signage with pandemic-related messaging as needed, and ongoing reference to university’s COVID-19 webpage. T-stands and building signage will reinforce this messaging.

Policy Waivers Needed to Achieve Core Function: None.

Liability Waiver Needed: Event waivers will be utilized as required for facility use.


Protocols for Achieving Work

  • Adhere to all university guidelines as denoted in events protocols.
  • A/V project moves all second floor meeting rooms out of service for (TBA duration).
  • Second floor lounges, Volstorff Ballroom and Jack's Place will be set for dining overflow and spaced to allow for social distancing to occur. Seating layouts have been designed and will need approval.
  • The Volstorff Ballroom will be used for university classroom schedules from 8-9 a.m. and 3-5 p.m. daily, M-F; and overflow dining seating, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. daily, M-S. Communication with Registrar’s Office states we will not have this schedule finalized until early August and will need to be updated at that time.
  • Area managers and student managers will develop fall training plans in a virtual format to the extent feasible, limiting on-site training to only those topics that cannot be conducted virtually.
  • In-person training will be in smaller groups and staggered to promote social distancing.
  • All scheduled staff meetings will take place virtually.
  • Student manager one-on-one meetings will take place in a designated conference room, which allows for required social distancing.
  • Staff members will continue to meet virtually via Zoom, Teams or over the phone.
  • Staff will be permitted to leave office doors closed as needed. Requests to visit an office can be arranged via phone or email.
  • No in-person meetings will take place in offices where proper distancing is not possible.
  • If a face-to-face meeting is required, it must be scheduled and can take place in the USU 150 office conference room.
  • ES will adjust furnishings to align with CDC guidelines.
  • ES will coordinate with building services to address all custodial needs for events.
  • ES will utilize university-approved signage to communicate pandemic-related messages.

Central Reservations/Information Exchange:

  • The Information Exchange desk will remain open. However, hours may be adjusted to accommodate necessary sanitizing time.
  • Plexiglas will be installed along the entire outer edge of the Information Exchange desk.
  • Laptop checkout will be adapted in alignment with IT protocols.
  • Envelope and stamp purchases will be available and will be prepackaged for ease of quick sale and to minimize spread.
  • Ticketed events are unlikely in the fall semester given event protocols. Ticket sales, consequently, will likely be suspended until we resume regular event schedule (i.e., international banquets, student-planned concert events, etc.).
  • All Game, Fish and Park sales will be discontinued as all resources are available online. Staff can provide resources verbally upon customer inquiry.
  • Information Exchange will be responsible for maintaining PaperCut printers. Ongoing disinfecting and additional location signage will be necessary.
  • A new protocol of bagging lost-and-found items and disposing of any beverage containers, etc., will be implemented. 
  • Computer kiosks will be adjusted for appropriate distancing. Free-standing hand sanitizer dispensers will be located near these stations and SLBS will provide additional sanitizing throughout the day.
  • Staff will inform customers of reservation procedures, event space capacities, usage restrictions, etc., in order to best serve event needs and to align with all necessary protocols.
  • Setup/tear down times for event bookings will be increased to allow for staff cleaning between uses. 
  • Students will be responsible for sanitizing the spaces and supplies they access.
  • Service areas will need to triage reservations placed prepandemic in order to make sure event needs can be met while following pandemic restrictions.
  • A drop box will be located at the Information Exchange desk so that students can drop forms, documents and checks for the offices of Financial Aid, Records and Admissions. 
  • Main Street tables will be removed and unavailable for reservation unless in yellow or green status as a university.

Union Managers (UM):

  • UM concierge desk will be temporarily out of service for this function. It will be designated as a Grab-n-Go station for food services during the pandemic.
  • Developing a zero-touch environment within conference spaces to minimize setup and equipment handling. 
  • The UM will be on-site to open/close the building, lead setups as needed and serve as a concierge for the facility.
  • UMs will be asked to follow CDC and JacksRBack protocols.
  • While it is important the UM be available for customer needs, the UM desk will temporarily move off Main Street to allow distancing for staff members. 
  • Signage will be placed at the Information Exchange desk with the UM contact number for those needing immediate assistance. It will no longer be posted at the UM station desk.
  • Student staff will be responsible for sanitizing the spaces and supplies they access.

Setup Crew:

  • The need for Setup Crew will be identified once fall building use is determined. 
  • A majority of USU meeting rooms will be set in a standard setup that will not be modified or allow minimal modifications to setups.
  • If rooms are scheduled to a customized setup, setup times will be staggered to eliminate large groups of staff working in close proximity.
  • Setup staff will work with SLBS on cleaning service items during setup/tear downs as they are able. SLBS will lead the primary cleaning and disinfecting service.
  • Setup staff will be trained to follow CDC and JacksRBack protocols.

State Tech:

  • Student staff will be trained on new protocols and procedures related to technical services and support. State Tech staff will follow CDC and JacksRBack protocols.
  • The USU operations manager is working on a zero-touch environment within conference spaces to minimize setup and equipment handling. 
  • Large technical setups will be scheduled with adequate time in between events to allow for distancing and necessary disinfecting.
  • Equipment cleaning protocols between events will be implemented. Equipment will be sanitized between each use.
  • New methods are being established for mic management with disposable covers for mics for each use.

BluePrint (BP):

  • There will be an office assistant as well as the USU marketing manager (2) on-site but other BP staff will be located near BP service area in the “study cubbies” in the lower level. This will allow for adequate spacing as well as quick access to service area as needed.
  • Customer orders will be taken via phone or email. 
  • Delivery of finished orders will be scheduled through the BP service counter.
  • Customers will be encouraged to use Hobo Dough or credit/debit methods of payment to reduce cash handling.
  • Only one customer will be allowed within the office at a time. Customers will need to queue (following distancing guidelines) in Jack's Place.
  • Customers will enter BP from Jack's Place and exit BP in the adjacent hallway. Plexiglas will be placed at the main customer service desk.
  • Floor signage will mark waiting spaces 6 feet apart for customers outside of BP.
  • BP main office doors will remain open to avoid contact with the handles.
  • Directional signage will be added within BP for designated entrance/exit.
  • Student staff will sanitize service area and will be responsible for sanitizing the spaces and supplies they access during and at the close of each shift.

Additional Resources Needed (Fiscal/Human/etc.): Floor signage provided by SLBS will be coordinated with SLBS, extra signage for replacements for high-traffic area and equipment covers (for microphones).

Communications Plan: Email communication to students, email communication to students via SDSU faculty/staff and website updates.

Policy Waivers Needed to Achieve Core Function: No

Liability Waiver Needed: Yes for event-related waivers. Will align with OGC guidance.


Protocols for Achieving Work

New Student Orientation Program/Sessions

  • NSO sessions will be offered only virtually.
  • Orientation leader (OL) training will be conducted via Zoom.
  • Training of faculty/adviser/staff in preparation of NSO sessions will be conducted via Zoom and reference materials will be shared via InsideState and Box. 
  • NSO Advisory Committee meetings will be held via Zoom.
  • Attendee communication will involve revamped and additional methods, including:
    • Revamped website with help from University Marketing and Communication (UMC).
    • Additional PDF and video materials will be made accessible by UMC.
    • Multipart email communication via email to encourage student preparation and understanding of virtual experience.
    • Multiple contact points via phone by OL staff to encourage students to check email and work on checklist items. 
    • Social media presence to capture attendees’ attention in a different medium. 
  • Coordination of office participation has occurred via SurveyMonkey, email and Zoom.
  • Evaluation of program will utilize an emailed SurveyMonkey survey.
  • Possible social/special interest “follow-up” Zoom sessions in July or August for new students to connect with each other will potentially be hosted by OLs.

Orientation Leader Staff Selection and Management:

  • Application process will be completed online (Handshake).
  • OL interviews and selection procedures will occur via Zoom.
  • New hire paperwork will be routed electronically via DocuSign. 

OL training can occur via Zoom, as it did late spring and summer 2020, for components that can be completed virtually. OL training components not conducive to virtual environment may be conducted in person, provided social distancing can be maintained.

  • NSO student coordinator and other staff meetings will take place via Zoom. 

Additional Resources Needed (Fiscal/Human/etc.) Location for advisers/faculty/staff co-location during virtual NSO to enable sharing of information efficiently, additional costs from UMC for its work with website and accessibility. Possible additional costs to live caption Zoom sessions, should that be requested by attendees. Potential computer upgrade for NSO student coordinator (especially when relying on Zoom).

Communications Plan: Email communication to students; email communication to students via SDSU faculty/staff nominations; website updates; social media; Rabbit Report messages.


Protocols for Achieving Work

  • All programming will follow JacksRBack University Events Protocols and Student Affairs programming protocols.
  • Student-student and adviser-student meetings will occur dictated by the protocols developed by the Student Affairs Advising JacksRBack plan.
  • COVID-19 specific training for student organization advisers and leadership will be implemented with education on new protocols in the pandemic environment.
  • Jacks Club Hub (JCH) will be a destination for student organizations to receive updates related to event updates related to pandemic.
  • OrgSub Committee: Recognition meetings will take place via Zoom.
  • Pandemic-centric messaging related to event changes and/or cancellation will be communicated with students through JCH.
  • Student Engagement Expo, a fall event, will be hosted virtually.

Office Operations

University Program Council (UPC)/State A Thon (SAT) Office:Occupancy for this office is three.

  • UPC students will stagger office hour shifts and remain appropriately distanced during those shifts.
  • SAT student leadership will submit advance notice/request to the university traditions adviser if access to the office is needed. The program adviser for University Traditions must approve the request prior to a student being able to enter the office.
  • Prior to and following use of the office, students will be responsible for sanitizing the spaces and supplies they access.
  • Student leadership will be trained on disinfecting methods.

Greek Life Office: Occupancy for this office is two.

  • The Greek Life Office will remain locked and restricted to one-on-one officer meetings in the event that virtual does not meet the needs.
  • Meetings must be scheduled with the Greek Life program adviser at least one day prior to the meeting taking place.
  • Student leadership will be trained on disinfecting methods.

Hobo Day Office:Occupancy for this office is four.

  • Outside of required Hobo Week office hours, students will be encouraged to work remotely from the Hobo Day office.
  • If students need to work in the office, they will schedule that time with the traditions adviser.
  • Shifts will be staggered to adhere to the occupancy requirements. This scheduling includes Hobo Week.
  • Prior to and following use of the office, students will be responsible for sanitizing the spaces and supplies they access.
  • Student leadership will be trained on disinfecting methods.

The Collegian Office: Occupancy limit for the general newsroom is six. Occupancy limit for adviser and editor offices are two per office.

  • Desks will be spaced to maintain appropriate distancing.
  • All meetings will take place virtually. Should an in-person meeting be required, the number of attendees will be limited based on the university occupancy guidelines for students in the office at one time.
  • Prior to and following use of the office, students will be responsible for sanitizing the spaces and supplies they access.
  • Print issue distribution: August through October editions will be online only. Any changes to this plan will go through the JacksRBack protocols and approval process.
  • Students will primarily work virtually, with exception of editing staff.
  • Editing staff will stagger their time within the office and follow social distancing protocols as well as adhere to posted occupancy guidelines.
  • Student leadership will be trained on disinfecting methods.

KSDJ Office: Occupancy limit for this office is two.

  • All meetings will take place virtually. In-person meetings must be approved by the student media adviser.
  • Extra seating will be removed to eliminate the possibility of more than two people at one time with a minimum of 6 feet between the two people.
  • Student leadership will be trained on disinfecting methods.
  • DJ Staff: DJs must wash hands and use hand sanitizer when entering; DJ wipes all equipment/table surfaces in the studio before and after show, using approved disinfecting wipes; each DJ will be provided with personal microphone cover (in a zip-sealed bag) to use when in studio, the DJ will keep this and bring for their show; each DJ will be asked to bring own headphones (not provided).

Students’ Association Office: Occupancy limit for this office is four.

  • Two individuals may be in the front of the office and two individuals may be in the back of the office at the same time.
  • Senators will not hang out in the office and should only be in the office for an official business purpose and then leave.
  • Senators will not hold office hours within the office space. Office hours will be held via Zoom.
  • Executive team office hours will be held virtually where possible and hold staggered hours within the office if needed.
  • General students will not be permitted in the office. Only senators will be allowed access on an as needed basis.
  • The Main Street door will remain locked and access will be provided through the Student Engagement Office during hours of operation. Executive team will have key access to the office.
  • All full SA meetings will take place either in hybrid format or virtually. If any in-person option is available, only elected senators, executive team, ex-officio representatives and advisers will be permitted in person. All others will attend virtually.
  • Extra seating will be removed or blocked for use to adhere to social distancing guidelines.
  • Signage will be placed on the office’s Main Street windows to direct students to virtual office hours and how to connect with senators virtually.
  • Student leadership will be trained on disinfecting methods.

Additional Resources Needed (Fiscal/Human/etc.) Signage to denote occupancy.

Communications Plan: Adviser daily contact/communication with student leadership, Jacks Club Hub and social media.

Policy Waivers Needed to Achieve Core Function: None.

Liability Waiver Needed: Event-related waivers will be utilized in alignment with OGC guidance.