Viking Flex Plan - Q&A

Augustana University is committed to providing an in-person learning experience for students this fall. This experience, called The Viking Flex Plan, will incorporate both face-to-face learning as well as an online learning component. This model will be implemented for the health and safety of all of our students, staff and faculty as well as to create the best possible on-campus experience. Below is information regarding the plan.

·       General Fall Semester Information

·       Housing, Dining and Move-in

·       Welcome Week

·       Health and Safety

·       Academics

·       Fall Semester Academic Policies and Support

·       Mikkelsen Library

·       Athletics

·       Performing and Visual Arts

·       School of Music

·       Bookstore


General Fall 2020 Information

Q: When is the first day of class?
A: Wednesday, August 26

Q: Is there class on Labor Day?
A: Yes, classes will be held on Labor Day and offices will be open.

Q: Will there be a fall break?
A: No, there will not be a fall break.

Q: When is the last day of in-person classes on campus?
A: Friday, November 20

Q: When is the last day of the online instruction/project period?
A: December 4 is the last day of online fall instruction/projects.

Q: When is Thanksgiving Break?
A: November 25-29

Q: Will there be a J-Term?
A: Yes. We are planning for students to return to campus for the start of J-term on January 5.

Q: Will the Spring semester dates change?
A: The dates for spring semester are unchanged at this time. However, they are subject to change if necessary due to pandemic conditions.


Housing, Dining and Move-In

Q: Will I be able to live on campus?
A: Yes. We are currently evaluating health and safety protocols, housing agreements, and room assignments to ensure a safe residential life experience for Fall 2020. The Student Life team is working hard to establish procedures and additional information will be shared soon. If you have questions, contact Mark Blackburn, Dean of Students, at or 605.274.4124.

Q: When can I move in?
A: For first-year students, August 21 and 22 are the new move-in dates based on the changes to the academic calendar outlined in the Viking Flex Plan. For returning students, August 23, 24, and 25 are the new move-in dates.

Students and families will schedule a specific move-in date and time to allow for appropriate physical distancing during the process. Detailed information will be sent to students soon. New international students should arrive and move in on August 16 in time for international student orientation beginning August 17.

Q: What will move-in-day look like?

A: Students will sign up for a specific move-in appointment and will be expected to start and finish moving during that time in order to limit the number of people in each residence hall, and face masks will be required. Staff and student leaders will be available during first-year move-in to assist with moving items up to rooms. If needed, students may bring up to two additional people with them to help with moving. Additional move-in information, including sign-up links, will be shared on the Campus Life website by July 1. Please contact Michelle Lisack at with housing-related questions.

Q: When is transfer move-in?

A: Transfer students move in on the same dates as first-year students. They should contact to schedule a specific move-in time on August 21 or 22.

Q: What campus dining options will be available?

A: The Sub ConnectionViking Grill, Starbucks@Siverson, and the Ordal Dining Room will continue to provide full service, including a new meals-to-go option. Modified operations will include physical distancing protocols and one-way traffic lines.

Q: Will I have a roommate if I’m living on campus?

A: If you requested a roommate, we will match you with one. Single rooms will be assigned based on individual accommodation needs and availability. For more information on room selection, students may contact

Q: Can I change from a double room to a single room if it is medically necessary?
Single room requests are considered by the Dean of Students Office in cooperation with Residential Life in the Office of Student Affairs. Augustana has limited housing space dedicated to single living; however, priority will be determined by the documentation received and the specific needs of students. Please contact Susan Bies, Director of Accessibility and Academic Support at 605.274.5503 or

Q: For athletics teams that will still be competing after Thanksgiving, will housing and dining be available? 

A: Yes, AU will offer housing and dining to students who are required to be on campus after Thanksgiving


Welcome Week

Q: What will Welcome Week look like for new students?

A: Welcome Week - Saturday, August 22 through Tuesday, August 25 - is designed to help immerse new students into the Augustana community. The schedule is currently in development, but we can share the following details:

  • Welcome Week groups are based on students’ First Year Seminar (FYS) class;
  • Educational Sessions: You’ll accompanied by Viking Guides in your FYS class; we’ll utilize Zoom to present information to multiple classrooms at once with Viking Guides facilitating activities and discussions in the classroom;
  • Social Events: we’ll follow physical distancing guidelines and utilize outdoor spaces as much as possible;
  • Masks will be required at educational sessions and social events;
  • Transfer students will have their own specialized group, participating in some of the Welcome Week activities designed for all new students, as well as activities designed to meet the unique needs of transfer students.


Health and Safety

Q: What is the Viking Flex Health and Safety Pledge?

A: The Viking Flex Health and Safety Pledge is a covenant outlining important health and safety protocols, to which the university is asking all members of our campus community to commit. We’re all in this together to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on our campus.  

Q: Will I be required to quarantine for 10-14 days if I am coming to AU for fall semester from outside of the Sioux Falls area?

A: No. An acclimatization or quarantine period is not required upon arrival to campus for fall semester. In preparation for returning to campus, however, students should avoid large gatherings, monitor for any COVID symptoms for at least five days prior to move-in (if living on campus) or the start of classes, and, finally, they should not travel outside of their home area.

Q: What are the differences between self-monitoring, quarantine, and self-isolation?

A: As defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, self-monitoring is a tool to provide early detection of infection. Self-monitoring involves taking your temperature daily to monitor for a fever of 100.4 or greater. Other symptoms to monitor include the following: cough, sore throat, muscle or body aches, shortness of breath, fatigue, headache, chills, new loss of taste or smell, runny nose, congestion, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting. 

Q:  What should I do if I think I might have COVID-19 symptoms?
A:  If you have or think you might have COVID-19, it is important to stay away from other people. Call the Campus Clinic (605.274.5552) for further instruction. If you have an emergency warning sign (including trouble breathing, chest pain or pressure, confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, bluish lips or face), get emergency medical care immediately by calling 911.

As defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, quarantine is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others. Quarantine helps prevent spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they are sick or if they are infected with the virus without feeling symptoms. Students who test for the virus will be instructed to quarantine while awaiting test results. 

As defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, isolation is used to separate people infected with the virus (those who are sick with COVID-19 and those with no symptoms) from people who are not infected. While in isolation, the sick or infected individual should separate themselves from others by staying in a specific “sick room” or area and use a separate bathroom.

Q: What are AU’s general guidelines for self-monitoring?

The campus community should self-monitor daily to protect others and detect illness early. Taking your temperature in the morning to monitor for a fever of 100.4 or greater before leaving your place of residence is an important self-monitoring protective measure.

Q: What are AU’s general guidelines for quarantine while waiting for test results?

A: Augustana will not permit students to quarantine in campus residence halls. Members of the campus community who have had close, prolonged contact (closer than six feet for more than 15 minutes, as currently defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) with a COVID-19 positive individual, or who exhibit symptoms and have been referred for testing, will be required to quarantine in university-owned or contracted housing (but not in residence halls) while they await the results of their test.  

Q: How will I get to the testing facility in Sioux Falls if I have symptoms and am referred for testing?

A: If you are unable to drive yourself to a testing site, Augustana has contracted with a local transportation company to transport students free of charge.

Q: What are AU’s general guidelines for self-isolation?

A: Augustana will not permit students to self-isolate in campus residence halls. If a member of the campus community tests positive for COVID-19, the university will ask them to self-isolate at home or off-campus for 10-14 days, depending on symptoms onset and resolution.

Q: If I need to self-isolate and cannot go home, where will I do so?  

A: Every effort will be made for students to quarantine at home to protect the campus community. In cases where this is not possible, the Dean of Students Office will secure self-isolation options in university-owned or contracted housing (but not in residence halls). Augustana, along with the Campus Clinic, will work with students to develop a plan to safely return to classes/campus/activities following the self-isolation period.

Q: If I have to self-isolate or quarantine in university-provided housing off-campus, how will meals work?
A: The Dean of Students Office will work with students and dining services to provide meals to students quarantining in the designated university-owned or contracted housing.

Q: What other protocols are in place related to quarantine and self-isolation?

A: Students needing to quarantine and/or self-isolate will work with the Dean of Students OfficeCampus Safety, and city and state health officials on next steps. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention quarantine guidelines will be followed, and regular check-ins by the Student Affairs staff or the Employee Health educator will be conducted.

If students are required to quarantine or self-isolate, faculty will be notified and will work with individuals to allow for continuity of coursework as much as possible. The hybrid/flexible course delivery model many faculty are implementing as part of Viking Flex is designed, in part, with this possibility in mind.

Q: How will Augustana handle contact tracing?

A: The university has established contact tracing protocols designed to identify people with whom an affected person might have come into prolonged, close contact, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The university will communicate with potentially affected individuals and the broader campus community as needed throughout the pandemic.  

Q: Will students be taught how to sanitize shared spaces as outlined in the Viking Flex Health & Safety Pledge?

A. Yes. We will provide training to students at the beginning of the semester.

Q: What safeguards will AU have in place in the residence halls and classrooms if I come to campus? 

A: Augustana University is working with state and local health officials to educate, create policies, and provide resources to decrease risk of transmission. Physical distancing, air quality controls, frequent sanitization, and health education on self-hygiene practices will be implemented in residential and classroom settings. Mask usage will be encouraged or required in specific locations on campus when physical distancing is difficult.
We will work individually with students at high risk for severe illness related to COVID-19 to develop an online course schedule. Students who are high risk for severe illness or in need of accommodations may contact Susan Bies at for more information. 

Q: Who should I contact if I am sick or not feeling well?
A: All members of the campus community should call the Campus Clinic at 605-274-5552 to speak with the nurse regarding symptoms and next steps. Students may also contact the Dean of Students Office at 605-274-4124.

Q: Will I be required to bring a mask?

A: Yes. All students should bring masks as they will be required in some campus locations and strongly recommended in others.

Q: When masks are required in particular locations on campus, who will provide them?

A: While we are still evaluating what the university may offer, members of the campus community should plan to provide their own masks. If help is needed in obtaining a mask(s), students may contact the Dean of Students Office at Employees may contact the Employee Health educator for assistance.

Q: Sioux Falls has already started to re-open many businesses, restaurants, recreational facilities, and more — the city is almost like normal again. Why will Augustana be recommending or requiring masks if the city does not? What is the goal?
A: The goal is safety for our students, faculty, and staff. Based on current research regarding how the novel coronavirus spreads, the university is taking precautions that are appropriate for the academic and residential environments in which we operate. Mask wearing in classrooms can help stop the spread of the virus and therefore helps achieve the goal of safety especially a) for those who are immunocompromised or b) for those who are interacting with individuals who are not taking precautions in other places.

Q: Will I be required to bring my own thermometer?
A: Yes. All students will be required to bring their own thermometers to self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends taking your temperature on a daily basis and monitoring any fever over 100.4 degrees.



Q: Will there be class on Labor Day?
A: Yes.

Q: Is there a final exam week?
A: For Fall 2020, there will be no specified final exam week as in a “regular” semester.  Faculty will determine a schedule of exams and other evaluation methods and projects for each individual course before and after Thanksgiving. December 4, 2020 is the last day of the fall term.

Q: Why is there now 20 minutes between classes?  

A: The product that will be used between classes for disinfecting takes 10 minutes to be effective.  The 20 minutes ensures there is enough time for occupants to leave their areas, the disinfectant to be applied, time needed for the disinfectant to be effective, and then time for new occupants to occupy the space.

Q: What will the 7-day virtual experience after Thanksgiving include?

A: Individual faculty will determine online activities for this period on a course-by-course basis.  Examples might include virtual presentations, group projects, or a final unit of course material not covered during the in-person setting.

Q: Can I study online from home? Is that true regardless of which classes I need?
A: We will work individually with students who must study online from home to develop a course schedule that works best for them. A list of online course offerings is being developed and will be published soon. Other courses may include simultaneous in-person and online tracks that will serve as another option for students who must study online.

Q: What technology requirements are there for students in the Viking Flex Plan?
A: While the focus of Viking Flex is on in-person learning, many courses will include virtual components and our campus community must also be prepared for a sudden return to online classes if conditions or state and local ordinances require it. To prepare for the virtual and online aspects of Viking Flex, students need to have the technology resources to enable continued learning. With that in mind, students should have access to an up-to-date computer and reliable internet with sufficient speed to handle Zoom meetings and other streamed content. The system requirements to use Zoom are published here. Keep in mind, the specific technology resources may vary from class to class depending on the software used for that specific course. Students should confirm the requirements with their professors. 


Fall Semester Academic Policies & Support

Q: Will the option of taking all of my courses S/U graded (pass/fail) carry over into the fall?
A: No. However, considering the special circumstances of Spring 2020, courses taken with S/U grading during that term will not be counted toward the two S/U options students have during their AU studies. 

Q: When will students be able to change their schedules in order to drop a class in the 6/8 category in the general education plan? When will the “fall schedule” be available again?
A: The updated fall schedule is now available, as well as updates to degree audit and the academic planner. Students should feel free to log on, review their degree audit, and determine if any changes to their fall or interim schedules are needed. Students should consult with their academic advisor or CAP specialist if they have questions or need assistance in making changes.

Q: Will there be weekend deadlines if I have an online or hybrid course?
A: Individual faculty set deadlines for coursework, so please consult the syllabus for guidelines. As with face-to-face courses, students often complete work during weekends, even if the deadline does not occur on a weekend.

Q: Can I meet with tutors virtually?
A: Individual online tutoring is available at your convenience. Simply visit to learn more. Your professors may also announce group sessions tailored to your course and scheduled throughout the term, especially around exams. If you need additional assistance or have questions, please contact the Success Center at

Q: What is the reasoning behind the core curriculum changes?
A: These times are uncertain and fall semester will not look like any other to date. The curriculum change provides additional flexibility to accommodate personal needs, as students must be especially intentional with their course load given unprecedented circumstances. The updated Sophia Core Checklist for students who enrolled prior to fall 2020 is available here.

Q: When will the MyAugie academic planner be updated to show the new updates to the core curriculum?
A: This has been updated. If your academic plan does not appear to be reflecting the changes, please email with your student name and ID number, and the specific courses/areas of the plan in question.

Q: Are internships available this Fall?
A: Augustana continues to work closely with employers to offer off-campus experiential learning for students. Internships are posted in Augie Opportunities as they become available. Students are encouraged to contact the Student Success Center and the faculty internship coordinator of their respective academic department for personal assistance. As employers advertise positions with Augustana, they often ask about the ways students are keeping themselves and others safe. Students are encouraged to make good decisions to advance the common good and to prepare for employer inquiries.


Mikkelsen Library

Q: Is there a limit for the number of people in the building?

A: No, there is no limit at this time.

Q: Do I have to wear a mask?

A: The library is a designated face mask area. Masks must be worn when entering and moving around the library as well as when interacting with library staff.

Q: Can I meet with a librarian if I need help with research?

A: Yes. Librarians are available for in-person or virtual research appointments. When meeting with a librarian in person, students will need to wear a mask.

Q: I’m taking my classes online. How do I access the library’s collections?

A: Off-campus students can access the library’s electronic databases via the library’s proxy server. Use your Augustana credentials ( username/password) to login. If you need access to items from our print collection, contact library staff at

Q: Am I able to request books and articles via Interlibrary Loan?

A: Yes, we are able to request books and articles for patrons. Keep in mind that some libraries are not open and there may be delays due to re-closures because of new Covid-19 outbreaks.

Q: Are the study rooms available?

A: Yes. Please use the online booking system to reserve rooms ahead of time. To provide for physical distancing, the library asks that you limit occupancy to 50% of capacity.

Q: Can I still study in the library?

A: Yes. We ask that you wear a mask when entering and moving around the library. 

There will be a station at both entrances of the library with hand sanitizer and notepads. Take a note to leave on the table or carrel when you are finished. This will indicate that space has been used since cleaning.

Q: Are there computers available to use in the library?

A: Yes. There are desktop computers available on the main and lower levels. You may also check out laptop computers for use within the library. These are available at the main circulation desk.

Q: Is Media Services still accessible?

A: Yes. The Media Services office is closed to the public, but you can request equipment, poster printing, lamination, and 3D printing via email ( or call Media Services at 605.274.4920.

Item pick up and equipment returns will be available on a cart outside Media Services Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.and at the main circulation desk at other times.

Q: Can I still use the Media Lab?

A: Yes, but we have changed the room capacity to four people to help with physical distancing. Those who use the online booking system will be given preference.



Q: Will there be fall sports?
A: Yes, fall sports schedules were recently announced for football, soccer and volleyball in collaboration with the NSIC. A finalized cross country schedule will be announced soon. The athletic department recognizes that the pandemic is a fluid situation and we will continue to monitor conditions. Guidance from the NCAA, state and local authorities, as well as recommendations from our medical partners will guide our decisions throughout the coming months.  

Q: Will spectators be allowed at athletic events?
A: Determinations regarding spectator attendance and potential changes to the fan experience will be made in the coming months, with a focus on how to best keep all members of the Augustana community safe and healthy.  Again, the situation is fluid and determinations about spectator attendance could change throughout the athletic seasons.

Q: The City of Sioux Falls has opened parks and facilities. Under what circumstances can outside organizations rent and use Augustana athletic facilities?
A: Our top priority is the health and safety of Augustana students, faculty, and staff. Once we have plans in place that can ensure the safety of our campus community, we will then be ready to entertain opportunities for outside groups to rent and use Augustana facilities.


Performing and Visual Arts

Q: Will music and theatre be meeting in the fall?
A: Yes. The Augustana University School of Music and the Augustana University Theatre Department are making plans to have classes, rehearsals, and performances in a meaningful and safe way, leveraging the power of technology to share our performances digitally or in person as safety allows.

Q: Will there be music and theatre performances in the fall?
A: Yes. Though they will undoubtedly look different than they have in the past, we will have performances on/off campus, leveraging live streaming capabilities with small/no in-person audiences. We will be continuously updating our plans based upon the latest information available.


School of Music

Q: Will there be private, applied lessons in the fall?

A: Private lessons will be virtual or in person at the discretion of the instructor.

Q: Will music ensembles go on tour?

A: Touring is unlikely in fall 2020 in order to keep our students safe. We will continue to monitor the public health guidelines and will adapt accordingly.

Q: Will practice rooms be accessible/cleaned?

A: We are working with facilities to make sure that each space has access to cleaning supplies.  It will be the responsibility of each person who uses a practice room to sanitize the space after each use. Incoming students are encouraged to sanitize the space upon entering for their own safety. We are also exploring the process of assigning practice rooms, or creating a sign in/out procedure.

Q: Will pianos be sanitized?

A: It will be the responsibility of each person who uses a piano to sanitize it after each use.  Students/faculty are encouraged to sanitize the piano before playing/performing.

Q: How do we protect percussionists and percussion instruments?

A: Percussionists will be assigned specific instruments, and this will not change throughout the semester. The standard practice has been, and will continue to be that students use their own sticks/mallets.

Q: What are we doing about instruments that are typically shared (e.g., double basses, bari saxophones, bass trombones, and tubas)?

A: We are currently working on this. Stay tuned for new information.

Q: How will the department address water release among brass instruments?

A: It is recommended that each player bring their own towel to empty their water into during practice, lessons, and ensembles.

Q: Can we use chairs and music stands?

A: Yes, though the more we can minimize high contact surfaces, the better. Consider standing whenever possible.

Q: Will students/instructors be provided with masks?

A: As of now, it is the responsibility of each individual to have their own mask.

Q: Will students/instructors be provided with hand sanitizers?

A: Hand sanitizing stations have been installed across campus, and classrooms will be equipped with cleaning kits. Practice rooms will be equipped with a spray bottle and microfiber cloth.

Q: When will juries take place?

A: November 16-20

Brass = Tuesday 8 a.m. - 3 p.m. (Hamre Recital Hall)

Vocal = Monday/Wednesday 8 a.m. - 2:50 p.m.; Thursday 1 p.m. - 4 p.m. (Hamre Recital Hall)

Woodwind = Tuesday 8 a.m. - 3 p.m. (Instrumental Room)

Keyboard = Thursday 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. (Hamre Recital Hall)

Strings = Tuesday/Wednesday 3 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. (Hamre Recital Hall)

Percussion = Friday 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. (Hamre Recital Hall)

Q: Will community members be allowed on campus/in rehearsals, etc.?

A: Yes. It is essential that all guests follow the same safety guidelines we are asking of our university constituents. Ensemble directors should work to communicate these guidelines to their members.

Q: Will the department continue to employ work study students?

A: Yes

Q: I have another question that isn’t addressed here. Who can I email?

A: Please don’t hesitate to contact us at



Q: What are the summer bookstore hours?
A: The bookstore is open online 24/7. The physical bookstore in the Morrison Commons will reopen July 13. Once reopened, hours are:
Monday-Friday: 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday: Closed
Find more information at

Q: How can I order my books online?
A: Visit or within the student portal, click on “academics”, then 'registration and schedules.’  Finally, click 'visit the online bookstore.'

Q: What are the bookstore hours in August?
A: August Bookstore Hours
Monday, August 17: Friday, August 21:  9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Saturday, August 22:  10 a.m.- 4 p.m.
Sunday, August 23:  11 a.m. -3 p.m.
Monday, August 24:/Tuesday, August 25:  9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Wednesday, August 26:  7:30 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Thursday, August 27/Friday, August 28: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Saturday, August 28:  10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Sunday, August 29:  CLOSED

Q: Where will I pick up my books?
A: Textbook pickup will be held in the Back Alley (Morrison Commons) from Friday, August 21 - Friday, August 28 during bookstore hours. You will need to have your ORDER CONFIRMATION NUMBER READY to be able to pick up your books. Please come by yourself to pick up your online book order; there is not enough space in the hallway to maintain physical distancing protocols for groups of students or families.