Skip to main content

Error message

Notice: Undefined index: bundle in fieldable_panels_panes_load_from_subtype() (line 995 of /var/www/html/sites/all/modules/contrib/fieldable_panels_panes/fieldable_panels_panes.module).
Student return to campus plan
Butler’s plans for an on-campus, residential experience

Health and Safety Practices

Promoting a Healthy Campus

Whether you are on campus or away, it is important that you take precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This is a shared responsibility and all students are expected to follow these guidelines and take precautions at all times.

Please click on the subject areas below to learn the details about each topic.

Face Masks Required (rev 8/21)

Appropriate use of face masks is critical in minimizing risk to others. Individuals can spread COVID-19 to others even if they do not show symptoms. The face mask is not a protection for oneself. It is a protection for others, to prevent the unintentional spread of the COVID-19 virus. Note that a face mask is not a substitute for social distancing.

Appropriate masks should, at a minimum, include the following: 

  • Fit snugly against the side of the face and cover the nose and mouth 
  • Include multiple layers of tightly-woven (enough that light cannot easily be seen through it) fabric 
  • Allow for breathing without restriction
  • Be able to be laundered and machine-dried without damage or change to shape and fit

Masks with exhalation valves are prohibited due to the fact they allow individuals to exhale air directly into their surroundings.

Face masks* are required when in the presence of other people, regardless of distance, both inside and outside. Students should carry at least two face masks with them daily to ensure a replacement is available if one becomes wet or dirty. 

Face masks are generally not required in these situations: 

  • While in one’s own room or individual housing unit, either alone or with roommates/suitemates
  • While eating and six feet away from others

Because face masks are required in all acadmic spaces, we expect students not to eat or drink during class. Students may, however, exit the classroom and eat or drink in the hallway as long as they are able to be distanced from others. If distancing in the hallway is not possible, they should leave the building to eat and drink. 

There are academic circumstances that will require the use of surgical or N95 masks to provide a greater measure of protection. Examples of activities that may require these types of masks include academic coursework that involves heavier breathing (e.g., dance courses, physical education courses), academic settings where social distancing cannot be maintained (e.g., labs, studio control rooms), and off-campus educational activities that require them. Students will be notified of these instances in advance.

Butler will supply each student with a hand-washable face mask. Additional cloth face masks are available for purchase at the Bookstore

Visit the CDC website for information on the use and care of face masks.

* Students who wish to discuss the face mask requirement, as it relates to a disability, should contact Student Disability Services by email at or by phone at 317-940-9308. 

Social Distancing

Keeping space between oneself and others is one of the best practices to avoid being exposed to the COVID-19 virus and slowing its spread. Because people can spread the virus before they know they are sick, it is important to stay away from others when possible, even if no symptoms are present.  

The way students move through campus, student interactions and daily campus life will be far different than they were before COVID-19. Social distancing is important for everyone in the Butler community, especially to help protect people who are at higher risk of getting sick. Social distancing practices include:

  • Maintain six feet of distance between yourself and others
  • Be mindful of small spaces including hallways, stairwells, and restrooms
  • Adhere to the new capacities for campus spaces
  • Follow new entry and exit patterns and directional signage:
    • Remain mindful of visual cues (floor decals, colored tape, and signs will indicate where to stand while waiting in line or at which doorways to enter/exit a building or room with multiple entry points).
    • No more than one person in an elevator at a time, so use the stairs whenever possible. When using the elevator, wear a face mask and avoid touching the elevator buttons with exposed hand and fingers.
    • Adhere to assigned classroom seating. At the end of the class period, students closest to the door will leave first, followed in succession by those farther away from the door to reduce congestion when exiting the classroom.

Hand Washing

Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after having been in a public place, or after blowing one’s nose, coughing, sneezing, or touching the face. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth, and wash hands after touching the face.

Off-Campus Activities

Students should apply these health and safety practices to all activities, both on- and off-campus, whether Butler-related (e.g., internships, service projects) or non-Butler related.

Social Gatherings (added 7/30)

We expect students to socialize in groups of no more than 10 people at a time and Fraternity parties will NOT be allowed this fall.

We also expect students to refrain from organizing, hosting, or attending non-sanctioned events, parties, or other social gatherings off campus.

Visitors to Campus (rev 7/22)

In a campus-wide effort to reduce the number of people on campus, visits by parents, families, and friends are strongly discouraged this semester. Please note that non-Butler student guests are not permitted inside academic buildings or campus housing, except during the move-in appointment. See the section on Campus Move-In for more information. All visitors are required to adhere to the health and safety guidance presented in this document. 

Travel Policies (rev 7/21)

All students are expected to remain in the local area during the semester. Students should limit all unnecessary personal travel and adhere to the University’s most current guidance on Butler-affiliated travel. If students must travel domestically, they must comply with all applicable local, state, or federal public health requirements. These can include quarantine and testing requirements upon entering a state. Students and groups may not travel internationally while the U.S. State Department and the Centers for Disease Control have global travel advisories in effect.

Building Access (rev 8/27)

The hours of operation for academic buildings will be altered in order to allow for enhanced cleaning practices. Access to the majority of academic buildings for studying purposes will be restricted from 10:00 PM until 7:00 AM each day. 

Soft spaces that remain open throughout the day to students which have not been converted into classrooms or “other” for the semester, and are set for social distancing include:

  • Fairview Community room
  • Jordan Hall third floor covered terrace
  • Study spaces throughout Irwin Library, including the Collaborative Space, third- and second-floor atriums, and lower level (see Library Hours)
  • Soft spaces within residence halls (recognizing this does not apply to commuter students)
  • Soft spaces throughout academic buildings, including lobbies
  • South Campus Common Room
  • A few spots remain in Atherton, but Starbucks area is not included as it is converted into queue space
  • Clowes and Schrott have open Lobby spaces when classes are in session

Late Night Study Spaces (for individual or group study only*):

  • Buildings and classrooms are accessible Monday–Sunday, from 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM*; starting at 10:00 PM, buildings and classrooms will be closed for enhanced cleaning, with the exception of the following classrooms which will remain open after 10:00 PM until 5:00 AM for individual and group study requests:
    • Jordan Hall
      • 201, 203, 205, 207, 208, 216, 220, 225
      • 301, 303, 305, 307, 335A, 335B, 336B, 336C, 337, 338, 340, 342, 344, 346, 348 (computer lab), 370, 372 
  • Requests for use of these classroom spaces continue to be managed and monitored via EMS (online room booking system). Students’ requests for classrooms as study space follow all booking policies, including the 4-hour use limit per booking, with one booking per student per day.  

*For departmental and student organizational use of campus facilities for events and meetings, please see the Butler Sponsored Events information included in the Campus Life and Activities section of the plan, and Fall 2020 Student Organizational Event Policy, respectively. Please note, buildings and classrooms remain accessible Monday–Sunday, from 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM with very few exceptions for available event spaces not repurposed for academic and dining purposes.

Cleaning and Disinfecting

Campus Operations has developed an enhanced campus cleaning plan. Housekeeping teams will frequently clean classrooms, facilities, and public spaces based on CDC guidelines for disinfection. Cleaning supplies will be provided in these areas for students, faculty, and staff to wipe down and clean their personal spaces. Additionally, hand sanitizer stations will be available at major building entrances, elevator stops, and high-traffic areas. Supplies and trash levels will be monitored by Building Services throughout the day.

Keep personal items (e.g., cell phone, other electronics) and personal work and living spaces clean. Use disinfectant wipes to wipe down any public equipment (shared desks, fitness and lab equipment, residence hall common spaces, computers, water filling stations, etc.) before and after each use.

Avoid sharing drinks, bottles, phones, electronic devices, desks, eating utensils, hygiene products, or other personal use items. If unable to avoid sharing such items, clean and disinfect between uses.


Use of restrooms will be limited based on size to ensure at least six feet of distance between individuals. Social distancing and density measures, such as signage and staggered areas, will be put into place, and sinks and urinals will be blocked off to adhere to social distancing requirements. Hand dryers will be disabled. Use a paper towel to open doors.

Water Fountains

Water fountains will be disabled with the exception of water bottle stations.

HVAC Systems (rev 8/7)

Campus Operations will maintain all HVAC systems, including confirming the existing air distribution systems are working and exchanging air properly throughout campus, along with performing filter maintenance on central air systems across campus. In addition, the central HVAC systems within buildings will be adjusted and enabled to filter and circulate air during occupied hours, as well as for a period of time before and after being occupied. For more information and FAQs, please visit our Campus HVAC and COVID-19 webpage.


If you have questions after reviewing this website and FAQ page, please complete this form which will then be directed to the appropriate department.