Fall 2020 Studio Update

Hello everyone,

Thank you kindly for your patience in awaiting a plan for the return to the station.

In the past couple of months, the Executive Staff has worked to put together guidelines that will keep the station and its members safe. Using feedback from current station members, alumni out in the field, and health guidelines from the CDC and Syracuse University, we have put together a plan for a return to CitrusTV. We kindly ask that you take the time to read the expectations of members in its entirety. We want to emphasize that all members who do not feel comfortable physically coming down to the station, and/or who may be taking their courses remotely this semester, will still have the opportunity to be a part of CitrusTV in a meaningful way. We plan to keep all team members, whether remote or in-person, actively engaged in the fun, exciting, and friendly learning environment that we all know and love.

Please keep in mind that, while the station may be operating differently, we are still one team with two common goals 1) informing audiences on the top News, Sports, and Entertainment stories 2) keeping everyone safe while we do so. The latter is a responsibility we all have as journalists and as human beings. We are still in the midst of a pandemic and no story, production process, or show is worth risking anyone’s health. It is going to take an active effort from each of you, when present at 316 Waverly and when not, to keep the station, each other, fellow SU peers, and the greater Syracuse community safe and healthy.

For those who will be returning to the station for Fall 2020, below are the guidelines that will be expected of all members and changes to the operations of the station:

  • All members will be required to wear a mask/face covering at the station at all times. For the first month of shows, Anchors are no exception to this rule. After one month of shows, the Executive Staff, Department Heads, and EP/AP’s may discuss the option of Anchors not wearing masks only during the time they are on air, and only if everyone working on the show is comfortable with the change. This will only happen if the situation regarding COVID cases on campus is consistently low or there are little to no cases.
  • Members should wash and/or sanitize their hands prior to (or upon) entry.
  • There will be a hands-free, wall attached thermometer at the entrance of the station. All members will be required to take their temperature upon arrival and may be turned away if above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit – per CDC guidelines. Temperatures will be recorded by the COVID Manager.
  • Members must have completed SU’s daily health screening prior to entering the station.
  • There will be a COVID Manager present at the station during normal business hours, and during any time in which students are regularly at the station (showtimes, production times, etc). The COVID Manager will keep track of who is in and out of the station, record temperatures of all students entering the station, enforce social distancing, and help students navigate in and out of hallways to avoid close contact and keep everyone 6 feet apart. COVID Manager positions are on a volunteer basis and we will provide more information on this, as well as training, soon.
  • CitrusTV will have a capacity limit of no more than 25 persons at the station at a time. Members may be turned away if the station is full but will be allowed the opportunity to fulfill responsibilities remotely via remote workspaces.
  • Members are required to be actively working on a show or on shift to be in/at the studio. Unlike in the past, we cannot allow leisurely or walk-in visits to the station.
  • Members must follow the 6-foot social distance rule, markers will be placed in the edit bays, lobby, newsroom, audio room, and studio to make it obvious how to maintain social distance.
  • Remote work stations for production will be available for anyone who would prefer to not come into the station or is taking courses remotely for the semester.
  • All equipment must be cleaned and sanitized after each use.
  • No eating is allowed in the station at any time. Members should make every effort to eat prior to or after coming down to the station to avoid leaving and returning during a shift.
  • Students experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 should call the Barnes Center at the Arch, 315-443-8000 for guidance.
  • If you suspect you have been exposed to COVID do not leave your room/apartment and call the Barnes Center.
  • All equipment must be sanitized after use and before a member leaves the station/leaves equipment at the station. This includes but is not limited to camera kits, mics, mic flags, desktop monitors, keyboards, mice, and any and all surfaces touched by members. Cleaning and sanitizing materials will be provided.
  • Members will be encouraged to use their own equipment (phones, cameras, anything you may have access to) if applicable or they choose to do so. More information and tech tips will be provided soon.
  • Interviews should be conducted remotely/virtually whenever possible. Lav mics should not be placed on anyone other than oneself.
  • In addition to individual sanitizing expectations when using equipment, the entire studio/station will be sanitized weekly by the Executive Staff and member volunteers.

In addition to the above expectations, as a student organization, all members must follow the SU Stay Safe pledge when on campus, at the station, and off-campus. Failure to comply or blatant disregard for all guidelines aforementioned may result in termination of membership at CitrusTV and further action by the University and NYS. We ask you all to remember the responsibility you have to social distance, wear a mask, and make smart decisions whether you are at the station or not. Please do not put your fellow members, station, and the greater Syracuse community at risk. If you believe you will not follow the public health guidelines set by the university, we ask that you choose not to participate in CitrusTV this semester.

We are actively working on solutions to issues at the station which includes tight spaces (such as the Control Room, Hallways, and Studio) and will provide more information on how we are making technical changes to ensure the least amount of people in these places as possible. Department Heads will also be reaching out to Executive Producers with information on scheduling changes that will help us avoid cross over and overlap between shows and provide more time for each individual to sanitize the equipment they used prior to leaving the station. All pre and post-show meetings that would usually require students to gather in the studio will be done virtually.

To ensure everyone has enough time to prioritize their mental health and adjust to a return to campus, and so that we have enough time to prepare the studio for a safe return of all members, we will not be running shows at the station until the week of September 7th. Tryouts will be held the week of August 31st; department heads will send more information shortly. Access to the studio is contingent on members providing SU proof of a negative COVID test, proof of completed quarantine (if necessary), and agreeing to all of the information, guidelines, and expectations above. Members should not go to the studio before September 7th without expressed permission.

For prospective members and incoming new students, know that we are doing everything we can to make your experience joining CitrusTV as positive as possible. While our normal drop-in policy will be changing, we will be scheduling times when new students can come to the studio to learn and grow in a hands-on, socially distanced environment. We are also creating virtual training guides for certain positions/programs and planning virtual sessions so that you can get the most out of being a CitrusTV member. We plan to have virtual social events so that you can find the best mentor pairing based on your interests and we will be holding a virtual General Interest Meeting in September. Be sure to fill out the CitrusTV.com/Join form to stay up to date on all information regarding new member programming at CitrusTV for Fall 2020.

We look forward to seeing all of you from a distance and/or virtually incredibly soon and can’t wait to get back to work. This experience will only make us stronger as individuals, journalists, and as a station. Let’s make some great television and inform our audience while keeping each other, our peers, and the greater Syracuse community safe this semester. Stay safe and enjoy the rest of your summer!

If you have any questions, concerns, or comments on the information above do not hesitate to reach out to me directly, lumana@cirustv.net, or to anonymously provide feedback, go to CitrusTV.com/feedback.

All of the above information will be present on our website in this post, should you ever need to look it over again.

All the best,

Lilly Umana