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Frequently Asked Questions

We know you have questions, and we're doing our best to answer them.  Use the form on the right side column to submit your questions, and then check back soon to see the answer.  PLEASE NOTE: The changing nature of COVID-19 circumstances makes this guidance subject to change at any time. 

Face Coverings and Vaccinations

Face coverings are required in all university buildings. You must wear a face covering  at all times while in the School of Law, even if you are fully vaccinated.

Wearing a face covering is for the welfare of all. We are a community, and wearing a face covering will help us preserve the in-person experience. 

EXCEPTIONS: You may remove your face covering if you are:

  • Eating or drinking  (please put face covering back on when finished)
  • ALONE in a work office or study room

As per university rules, face coverings are:

  • Required in study rooms and student organization workrooms with two or more occupants.
  • Encouraged in study rooms and student organization workrooms with one occupant. 

Each classroom will have a box of masks that faculty will distribute to students who are not  already wearing a face covering. 

Face coverings are required in the School of Law building. Clear face shields may be used by persons with disabilities that make it difficult to use face coverings, and by instructors where a view of a person’s face is critical to quality instruction.

Learn more about the use of face coverings on campus.

The university does not mandate vaccines at this time.  However, it does strongly encourages you to get vaccinated to protect both yourself and others from COVID.

University Health Services (UHS) offers free walk-in vaccine clinics at the Center for Health and Well-Being from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m., Monday-Friday. UHS offers the Moderna (2 dose) and the Johnson & Johnson (1 dose) vaccines. Students who are interested can make appointments online though MyHealthSpace or by calling 803-544-7468. Additionally, they can access the vaccine through any community vaccination site by visiting the DHEC COVID vaccine website and making an appointment at locations across the state.

Students should call the university's Coronavirus Phone Bank at 803-576-8511 if they have questions about COVID vaccination. The operators can schedule vaccination appointments. 

It is the School of Law's strong recommendation that all students, faculty, and staff be vaccinated unless your doctor counsels otherwise. 

 

COVID-19 Testing, Exposure and Quarantine Protocols

Yes. All students, faculty, and staff returning to campus are expected to comply with the university's testing policy.

The university is planning a comprehensive testing plan for students, faculty, and staff, informed by the effective public health strategies followed by the university during the Spring 2021 semester. The testing protocol will be comprehensive and include required testing for statistically valid samples of students, faculty, and staff.

Students, faculty and staff will receive a notification email the week that they are scheduled for mandatory COVID-19 testing, and they will have seven days to participate in on-campus testing or to submit documentation of outside testing to be compliant. Nasal tests, saliva tests and antigen/rapid tests are all acceptable forms of testing.

This plan will allow the university to determine the positivity rates of groups on campus, tailor more intensive testing to areas of the campus where it is needed, and help us limit the spread of the virus. 

Additional testing is also available at the university, and you will be welcome to receive a test as often as you wish on a walk-in basis. The university will continue to conduct environmental wastewater monitoring to identify and rapidly respond to locations on campus that require attention. 

Learn more about on-campus testing available to faculty, staff, and students.

Please call the Coronavirus Phone Bank at 803-576-8511 to report a positive COVID test.  Students should also contact Student Affairs at 803-777-2430 or stuaff@law.sc.edu for assistance and support. 

Stay home. Please do not come to the School of Law if you are not feeling well. If students are experiencing COVID-19-related symptoms, like fever, cough or shortness of breath, they should go to MyHealthSpace and make a telemedicine appointment to be evaluated. The university has a plan in place to care for students who test positive for COVID-19 and for students who have been exposed.

You might also contact your healthcare provider and the university’s Coronavirus Phone Bank at 803-576-8511 for advice about testing, quarantine, and treatment recommendations. 

Employees should notify their supervisors. 

Call the university's Coronavirus Phone Bank at 803-576-8511. If the operator instructs you to quarantine:

  • Students should contact Student Affairs at 803-777-2430 or stuaff@law.sc.edu for assistance and support. In addition, students who miss in-person instruction for health-related reasons can learn what their options are from Student Affairs. 
  • Employees should notify their supervisors. 

No. According to the university's Coronavirus Phone Bank, an operator will call you if you are identified as a close contact, but the operator will only disclose the fact that you are a close contact; the operator will not disclose the infected person’s identity, or even that the infected person is one of your classmates or professors. (A close contact means that a person was within 6 feet of an infected individual for a total of 15 minutes over a 24-hour period). 

Employees and students should call the university's Coronavirus Phone Bank at 803-576-8511 if they have questions about COVID infection, testing, quarantine, or vaccination. The operators will let them know whether they need to quarantine. They also schedule appointments for testing and vaccination. 

The university has put into place every recommended measure to plan for a safe return. We are working within the university plan and have been very conservative in our planning. It is not a return to the pre-COVID environment, but one in which many practices have been modified for safety. 

 

Building use and access

At this time, the university’s position is that classes must be taught in person. 

Where possible, students should maintain a physical distance of three feet or more. If that is not possible, the class still meets in the assigned room. 

For small-group work or other activities, maintain the three-foot distancing if the room allows. 

Disinfectant spray will continue to be provided in all classrooms for students to clean their own work area before/after classes. More information about the university’s cleaning protocol can be found beginning on page 52 of the Return to Learn Plan [PDF].

Food is not allowed in the classrooms. Drinks are allowed as long as face coverings are worn when you are not consuming. 

Updated capacity signs have been posted in every journal office and study room. 

As per university rules, face coverings are:

  • Required in study rooms and student organization workrooms with two or more occupants.
  • Encouraged in study rooms and student organization workrooms with one occupant. 

Students will keep their same lockers from the previous semester. The locker area in the School of Law is small, so please leave yourself extra time if going to your locker to meet physical distancing requirements.

The School of Law will be open to students with their Carolina Cards according to the following schedule.

The building schedule was set after careful consideration of the School of Law's custodial capacity. 

Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to hold meetings virtually whenever possible. Specific options are at the discretion of each meeting’s participants as long as physical distancing requirements are met. 

 

 Classes

Classes are currently only being offered in-person.  

You should not attend class or return to the School of Law if you believe that you may have symptoms of COVID-19 or have been exposed as a close contact to a person infected with COVID. Nor should you attend class or return to the law school building if you have any potentially infectious ailment. 

Although a student who does not attend class in person must be counted as absent, Dean Kuo will grant attendance waivers for all health-related absences. Health-related absences include those that occur because a student suspects that they have symptoms of COVID, because the student is in quarantine or isolation, because the student has been diagnosed with COVID, and because the student does not feel physically well enough to attend class. Students caring for individuals diagnosed with COVID will also be considered absent for health-related reasons. If health-related absences occur for more than three consecutive class sessions, a student must provide medical documentation of their condition in their petition for waiver of the attendance requirement. 

If health-related absences exceed 30% of the classes in a course (the maximum amount for which Dean Kuo is authorized to issue an attendance waiver), the student may petition the Academic Responsibility Committee for waiver of the attendance requirement in the course. We have no reason to doubt that the Academic Responsibility Committee will approve those cases where the health-related absences stem from a COVID-related reason. If health-related absences occur for more than three consecutive class sessions, a student must provide medical documentation of their condition in their petition for waiver of the attendance requirement. 

Faculty have discretion to set their own policy on how to accommodate students who miss in-person instruction. Some faculty may make available a virtual means for viewing class sessions in real time. Other faculty may record their classes and provide students the opportunity to view the recordings. If your professor does not offer a virtual or recorded means of viewing classes, you should obtain class notes from another student. All faculty will assist students with understanding course materials. 

Students who miss in-person instruction for health-related reasons can learn what their options are from Student Affairs. Please contact Student Affairs at 803-777-2430 or stuaff@law.sc.edu. 

We do not expect that tuition will be reduced. 
The Fall 2021 semester has begun and the schedule is final.

We have not yet made a decision about exams for Fall 2021. We will provide updates to the extent that the law school sets any collective policies. Otherwise, as usual, your professors will have discretion regarding the content and format of their exams. 

If you believe you need accommodations due to a documented disability, please contact Student Affairs as soon as possible.

Yes. Professors will hold office hours and will communicate specific instructions for participation to students at the beginning of the semester. 

Yes, our Academic Technology experts have trained all faculty to use online education platforms and stand ready to assist faculty as needed. 

Individual professors will make these decisions for their reading groups. 

Cheating is a violation of the Honor Code and can lead to sanctions up to and including permanent expulsion from the law school. As with take-home exams in any other semester, we rely on the personal character and integrity of each student. 

West will not provide free access to e-books this semester. They are, however, offering e-books at a discount (~35%) at westacademic.com with the code SOCARLAW.

 

Technology

Students are required to have a computer when they begin law school, and financial aid has always been available to cover these costs.

Access to printers in the Student Commons will be available this semester.

Learn more about technology options at the School of Law

Yes. The minimum specifications for computers has not changed.

The computer loan will also cover a desktop computer or any peripherals (printer, etc.). 

 
Miscellaneous

If you have a COVID-19 or vaccine question, please call the Coronavirus Phone Bank at 803-576-8511. The phone bank is open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

If your question is specific to the School of Law, please
direct future questions to the School of Law’s feedback form. 

 Last updated August 26, 2021


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