Warhawk Weekly 7–28: Free COVID testing; Gulf South Conference; Back to Campus


  • Free COVID-19 testing required for Fall 2020 students
  • Gulf South Conference delays start of athletic season
  • AUM Poll: Voters surveyed on race, health care, education issues
  • Faculty Expert: Do politics play a role in how we respond to COVID?
  • Review AUM’s Back to Campus guidelines
  • What to expect when you return to campus
  • Alumni Association hosts Virtual Paint Party
  • Bookstore Buyback
  • Celebrate your success and leave a legacy
  • University mourns loss of former faculty member

Free COVID-19 testing required for Fall 2020 students

Auburn University at Montgomery students coming to campus for the Fall 2020 semester will be required to receive a free COVID-19 test through GuideSafe™, a health and safety initiative offered by the State of Alabama and supported by federal CARES Act funding.

Students must undergo COVID-19 testing within 14 days of their planned arrival on campus.

GuideSafe test sites will be located around Alabama beginning August 4. The Baptist Campus Ministry building, located at the intersection of University Drive and Senators Drive across from the AUM Baseball Complex, will serve as a test location for the campus community. Additional test locations in the region will be located at Alabama State University and Auburn University.

Students who test negative will be cleared to return to campus without delay. Those who test positive for the virus must receive medical clearance from a health care provider after quarantine in order to come to campus (students who test positive will be allowed to participate in remote learning if physically able).

Students who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 12 weeks do not need to be re-tested at this time. Those students can provide AUM with a copy of their positive test result and medical clearance from a health care provider before returning to campus.

Students will soon receive an e-mail from “GuideSafe Entry Testing” ( with instructions on accessing their COVID-19 test. Test kits will be mailed to out-of-state students, while international students will receive specific instructions on testing from AUM’s Office of Global Initiatives.

Our ability to test each student entering campus this fall will go a long way in helping us maintain a safe environment for every member of the AUM community. On our campus, testing will supplement other measures to promote the health and well-being of students and employees, including the wearing of face coverings, social distancing, daily self-screening, and telehealth counseling and health screenings through Warhawk Health Services.

Additional information on campus health and safety initiatives can be found in AUM’s Back-to-Campus guide, as well as our on our Student FAQ and Employee FAQ web pages. Got a question? Submit it through our Ask AUM portal.

Gulf South Conference delays start of athletic season

The Gulf South Conference announced last week that it will delay the start of intercollegiate athletic competition in the fall semester to either the last week of September or the first week of October.

The Board of Directors approved the delay last week. Administrators from across the league, including AUM Athletics, will jointly work on a schedule that fits the timeline for competition in an effort to provide a meaningful fall competition season for conference members. To accommodate this new schedule, soccer, volleyball, and football will exclusively play against conference opponents.

Learn more:

AUM Poll: Voters surveyed on race, health care, education issues

The AUM Poll recently asked Alabama voters to share their opinions on race, health care and education issues in state heading into the 2020 general election in November.

Findings from the survey show that while a majority of residents’ support policies for improving education and healthcare, peaceful protests of police brutality and a pathway to citizenship for dreamers, majorities also support state legislation banning the removal of Confederate monuments and the erection of a southern border wall.

“A key feature of the polling initiative has been to show how Alabamians stand on issues as members of the Democratic and Republican parties,” said David Hughes, an assistant professor of political science who specializes in American politics.

The AUM Poll, housed within AUM’s Department of Political Science and Public Administration, surveyed 575 registered Alabama voters between July 2-9 using online questionnaires.

Read more about the AUM Poll.

Faculty Expert: Do politics play a role in how we respond to COVID?

Are Americans demonstrating that we as a society are all for self during the COVID-19 pandemic?

It’s a question that some believe is divided along political party lines. AUM psychology professor Peter Zachar believes the answer is more complex.

In some cases, a person’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic may be attributed to a lack of scientific literacy, Zachar explained.

“Many scientific educators would be concerned that, for a segment of the population, a mistrust of scientific authority has been cultivated for years around topics such as evolution and global warming, which may have prepared the ground for some of what we are seeing during the pandemic,” he said. “On the face of it, the mistrust of scientific authority seems to be more associated with the right, but a lot of anti-vaccination rhetoric has been fostered on the left, so it is not so simple.”

Science also more often than not works with degrees of probability rather than certainty, which has led to information about COVID-19 continually evolving with new findings that often contradict old ones, Zachar said.

“This likely engenders some skepticism about the whole endeavor,” he said.

If we want more unity on these issues across the political spectrum, educating people about the virus is key, Zachar added.

“There are certainly people out there who are claiming that their personal liberties are more important than our pandemic-related civic duties, but when I go to the grocery store in Montgomery, I see most people wearing masks,” he said. “So, we might be more united than we realize.”

Read more about Zachar’s discussion.

Review AUM’s Back to Campus guidelines

Face masks, physical space modifications, alternative course schedules and online dining orders and delivery are among the most significant changes AUM has implemented in preparation for the Fall 2020 semester in the interest of student and employee safety.

Read more in our Fall Back-to-Campus plan.

What to expect when you return to campus

What does social distancing look like on the AUM campus? And how will classrooms and other spaces be reimagined to help safeguard students, faculty and staff?

AUM Chancellor Carl A. Stockton discussed modifications in a pair of recent interviews with WSFA-TV. Follow him on his campus tour with reporter Ashley Bowerman or listen in on his 11 Live interview with anchor Tonya Terry.

Alumni Association hosts Virtual Paint Party

The AUM Alumni Association has the perfect opportunity for alumni to put their artistic skills to work and show their Warhawk Pride.

AUM alumni are invited to join the association for a Virtual Paint Party at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 6. The cost is $10 and the registration deadline is July 31.

All participants will be shipped painting supply kits and a Zoom link will be emailed to those who register for the event. Register online to participate.

Bookstore Buyback

The Bookstore will be having the annual Spring/Summer Textbook Buyback Session on July 28, 29 & 30 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. in the Bookstore.

Celebrate your success and leave a legacy

Spring and Summer 2020 graduates can celebrate their accomplishments and legacy with an AUM commemorative medallion to wear at the August 15 commencement ceremony.

The AUM Alumni Association is offering the keepsake medallion to graduates who make a gift of $20.20 or more to any AUM college, department or program that has influenced their AUM experience.

AUM will celebrate the university’s Spring and Summer 2020 graduates on Saturday, August 15 at 9 a.m. at Montgomery’s Garrett Coliseum. Get additional details about graduation at: Learn more about the AUM medallion at:

University mourns loss of former faculty member

On July 24, former AUM faculty member David Walker died after a sudden and brief illness. Dr. Walker served as an Associate Professor in the Department of English and Philosophy from 1980-2010. Colleagues remember him as an educator who was guided by his passion for philosophy, a compassionate heart toward others, and a great sense of humor.

A private graveside service is being held. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made in Dr. Walker’s memory to The Humane Society of Elmore County, 255 Central Plank Road, Wetumpka, Ala. 36092.

Read the obituary: