FAQ Coronavirus and 2020-2021

Be ready for spring 2021.

This page will provide Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), updates and links to resources about coronavirus/COVID-19 and spring 2021. The page will be updated as needed.

Sections below are grouped:

  • List of resources
  • FAQ: Most Frequently Asked Questions
  • FAQ: Teaching & Learning, the A+A, the Fab Lab
  • FAQ: Student Support, Student Life, Events
  • FAQ: COVID-19
  • More will be added as needed


List of Resources

Your best source of updated information about coronavirus/COVID-19 and UT’s response is at UT’s coronavirus website. Bookmark the updates page, which gives the most updated information from UT, and check out the helpful guides on many topics including:


FAQ: Most Frequently Asked Questions


Must I get a flu shot? Will I have to get a COVID-19 vaccine?

Read the latest from UT about vaccinations and exemptions.

What is the status of study abroad/off-campus experiences?

Check with your school director for updates. Visit the UT Programs Abroad office website for the latest information and check this FAQ from the office.

Is the A+A and Fab Lab open during holiday breaks?

As an enhanced health and safety precaution, buildings on campus are locked during holiday breaks this year. Only faculty and staff who have cards with building-access capability can access the A+A. During breaks, the Fab Lab is available by appointment for faculty and staff following occupant limitations.

Will we be able to access the technology and wood shops in the A+A and Fab Lab in spring?

Beginning in spring semester, all technology and equipment in the A+A will again be available to students, including plotters, printers, etc. The DPC will be open, and hours will be announced. The A+A wood shop and the Fab Lab will be available using an online reservation system for access and simultaneous user limits. Digital fab tools can be accessed by scheduled appointments in-person just as during fall semester, or if necessary you can complete file reviews remotely using Zoom. Also, contactless/full online 3D-printing access using cloud-based software will continue to be available. Contactless 3D printing allows you to prepare, queue and submit prints online, remote-in to look at your print using live-feed cameras and receive automated email notifications.

Will we have in-person studios in spring?

Our first-year undergraduate and graduate studios will continue to be in person, and many other studios will be in person. Some studios will be only online, and some will be hybrid, both in person and online.

Will we again be divided into Gray and Orange teams for studio?

Yes, the restrictions related to social distancing and limits on the number of people in a space remain in place at UT. Like in fall, students in studio in spring 2021 will be assigned either the Gray or the Orange team in order for us to be able to meet safely in person in studio. Keep in mind that the pandemic is ever evolving, and we will adjust if needed.

Will masks be required again in studio and on campus?

Yes, the requirement for students, faculty, staff, visitors and all others to wear masks while in public spaces on campus remains in effect for spring 2021. This includes while you’re in the A+A and Fab Lab. Social distancing also is still a requirement, and hand washing remains one of the best ways to prevent infection.

Are daily health self-checks still required?

Yes, all students, faculty and staff must continue to complete the health self-check before arriving to campus every day.

When do I complete a self-isolation form, and why is it important?

The self-isolation form is an important step to protecting your health and the health of others at UT. You must complete the form anytime you may need to self-isolate (positive test result or have symptoms) or quarantine (close contact). Completing the form initiates many support mechanisms for you.

Is the college’s main office open?

Yes, you will find staff in the main office every day, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Students, faculty and staff can drop in, send an e-mail or call. We ask that visitors to our college schedule an appointment before arriving on campus.

The Volunteer Commitment

Each of us has a personal responsibility to protect our health and contribute to the safety of our community.

Vols help Vols.

Volunteers act to protect one another and our broader communities. As we come together as a Volunteer community during a pandemic, everyone is expected to follow the instructions established by the university to protect themselves, to prevent spreading illness to others, and to maintain an on-campus experience, including the following measures:

  • Wearing a mask on campus as instructed, including in classrooms.
  • Washing hands frequently with soap and water, and using hand sanitizer.
  • Practicing social distancing and following protective guidelines when social distancing is not possible.
  • Acting quickly to follow instructions for testing and contact tracing.
  • Monitoring personal health and following medical instructions.
  • Following instructions for cleaning and hygiene on campus.

Being a Volunteer is grounded in leadership and service. Our community will act with courage to protect others, even if it means sacrificing some comforts of a typical campus experience.

I understand that I am expected to follow the university’s instructions for protecting myself and the Volunteer community during this pandemic. I will do my part to make our campus a safe and healthy environment.

FAQ: Teaching & Learning, the A+A, the Fab Lab


I will attend classes virtually in spring 2021, but I don’t have internet access at home. How can I connect with online classes?

Read information from OIT on resources for accessing online learning. Also, contact OIT with issues related to connectivity.

I don’t have a webcam. What can be done to help?

Students, faculty and staff who need webcams should e-mail both Don Swanner and Jeff Wilkinson, and students also should CC their professor. Faculty who receive reports from students about problems with hardware should direct students to Wilkinson and Swanner and collect the students’ names in case followup is needed. Issues with connectivity should be directed to OIT. Students should notify their professors of any technical issue that is limiting their performance with their course work.

I’m having a problem with my laptop. Is help available?

If you’re having a problem with the laptop or the software you use for your work in our college, first seek tech support from Jeff Wilkinson and Don Swanner before taking your technology to an outside resource. Simply send an e-mail to both Swanner and Wilkinson or contact them via Teams.

Will the college still provide digital tutoring?

Yes, our Digital Tutoring Center, which students can use free of charge, will remain online for the spring semester. Read how to access the tutoring services.



FAQ: Student Support, Student Life, Events


How will advising work?

Like in fall 2020, advising during spring 2021 will happen virtually using a combination of e-mails and Zoom meetings. Look for e-mails inviting you to sign up for an appointment. If you have advising-related questions, please e-mail either Julie (Julie.beckman@utk.edu) or Ronda (rondawright@utk.edu).

Is the Center for Student Development open?

The employees who work in the Center for Student Development are working for you in person and remotely. The in-person hours and general protocols are posted on the center’s webpage and on the doors of the center. This spring, you can visit with them in person or contact them by e-mail or Zoom.

What about the college’s lecture series?

The college’s lecture series will be held virtually. Watch for announcements via e-mail, banners, sketchbook, website events and social media.

Will the college and UT have in-person events?

Our main goal is your health and safety. We are reviewing ways to hold in-person events safely. UT is offering both in-person and virtual events as possible. Check out the college’s events calendar and the UT events calendar.

What are the plans for commencement in spring 2021?

The spring 2021 commencement is under review by UT administration.

Is the Student Health Center open?

The Student Health Center is open to students. Check its website for hours, how to schedule an appointment and more.

What is the campus saliva-testing program?

Community saliva testing is a simple, quick, non-invasive way to collect saliva samples. It helps UT understand the spread of COVID-19, determine whether restrictions can be lifted, preserve the on-campus experience and protect the safety and health of everyone on campus. Participation is required for students living in on-campus residence halls or sorority and fraternity houses. Learn about UT’s community saliva testing, dates of testing and students’ responsibilities.

What will my campus experience be like?

Learn more about housing, dining, RecSports, Greek life, on-campus experience and more at UT’s coronavirus website. Read about life outside of the classroom.

COVID-19 and UT’s Response


What is COVID-19?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, COVID-19, the novel coronavirus causing the pandemic, is a virus that causes mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough and difficulty breathing. Coronavirus has been linked to many deaths around the world.

Are social distancing and wearing a mask really important?

Social distancing and wearing a mask are simple measures you can take to avoid being infected by others and infecting others. Students, faculty and staff are required to wear face coverings on campus. These measures help you stay healthy, so you can help keep our community healthy. Also, wash your hands often and wipe down your frequently touched surfaces.

What is the Volunteer Commitment?

We all have a role to play to protect our own health and the health of others. In July 2020, UT shared the Volunteer Commitment, a statement of purpose for faculty, staff and students that states that we will act with courage to protect others even if it means sacrificing some comforts of a typical campus experience. Everyone is asked to review it and adhere to it. Learn more about the Volunteer Commitment.