Capital Hall on Tenley Campus

Community Updates: Looking Forward to the Fall Semester


Health and Safety Guide Provides Updated Protocols for Return to Work and Classroom

June 28, 2021

This past week, American University published an updated AU Forward Health and Safety Guide for the fall semester, outlining university requirements and operational steps that will support our students and our workforce in the return to the classroom and the office. The guide includes updated protocols for mask wearing, testing, and space capacity, and provides details about building operations, event management, and relevant policies and directives.

We encourage all of our faculty, staff, and students to take some time to read through the AU Forward Health and Safety Guide.

In addition, Washington College of Law would like to share the following updates as of June 23, 2021:

  • We are anticipating that the vast majority of WCL classes will take place in person. (This differs slightly from the AU main campus information stating that large classes will take place online. That does not include WCL.)
  • We are still watching DC and AU for capacity restrictions and physical distancing guidelines. If the fall semester were to start next week (beginning of July) we could be at full capacity with limited need for social distancing, and we are hoping that stays true.
  • As we have already noted, all students, staff and faculty must be vaccinated for fall 2021 unless granted an exemption. If you seek accommodations for in-person classes, you can apply through the Academic Support and Access Center, and if you seek an exemption to the mandatory vaccination policy, check out the instructions here.  As noted in the email from AU this week, the vaccine attestation form for faculty and staff is now available on the AU Forward portal.
  • Face coverings will be largely contingent on vaccination status and those who are vaccinated will be able to go without masks in most circumstances. Read the full update on masks in the Health and Safety Guide.
  • WCL administrative offices are working through their own return plans and further information will be provided as we approach the start of the semester. Our goal is for students to have the same – if not better! – access to law school administrative offices while also giving some of our staff the flexibility to telework part of the time. We recognize that students have appreciate the availability of online appointments, while some students cannot wait to return to doing things in person. Therefore, we are working on making both options available.
  • U-Pass (unlimited metro rides for full-time WCL students during the semesters) and food service will be back for the fall semester.

Updates on Fall Orientation for new students, and (Re)Orientation for returning students will be sent to the community in the coming weeks. In the meantime, WCL welcomes thoughts on our fall plans. Comments can be shared through our anonymous comment boxes for faculty/staff and students