TCU is limiting the capacity of the Amon G. Carter Stadium to about 25% for games, said Jeremiah Donati, the director of intercollegiate athletics.
Donati made the announcement Thursday in a town hall meeting organized by Yohna Chambers, the chief human resources officer.
Though Gov. Greg Abbott said outdoor stadiums can house up to 50% of their full capacity, with social distancing in place, TCU’s stadium can only hold about a quarter of its full capacity, Donati said.
He added that TCU is preparing to play Sept. 12. Football players have been on campus since June.
“This is a very fluid situation, and the testing protocols and the health and safety protocols are changing pretty rapidly, so I’m very pleased with where we are,” Donati said.
Donati and the other panelists — who included Chancellor Victor Boschini, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Kathy Cavins-Tull, Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Brian Gutierrez and Provost Teresa Dahlberg — discussed the university’s plans for safety, sustainability and justice.
TCU Athletics, for example, is inviting faculty, staff and students to sign an “End Racism” mural that will be painted on the sidewalk in front of the Ed and Rae Schollmaier Arena. The idea, inspired by the “End Racism Now” mural painted in downtown Fort Worth, came from offensive guard Kellton Hollins.
TCU will not be requiring entry testing for students, but instead is focusing on prevention strategies, Cavins-Tull said. The CDC does not recommend entry testing for students, faculty and staff at colleges and universities.
In addition, there is no set number of cases that will cause the university to shut down and transition to distance learning, she said. However, TCU considers the case numbers and deaths on campus, in Fort Worth and throughout the area, the percentage of positive tests in the area, the percentage of cases linked to known cases and the stress on hospitals.
“If we have a lot of people on our campus that are ill, we have to assume that we have the hospital capacity to treat them,” Cavins-Tull said.
Events that bring large groups of people to campus, such as Homecoming and Family Weekend, have been canceled, but the university will continue to offer admission tours, which it has been giving since June 22.
Gutierrez said the total shortfall for this fiscal year is about $90 million, with $65 million of that resulting from an increase in recurring financial aid expense.
To offset this expense, the university is working on saving the budget through unfilled positions, benefits restructuring and lower travel expenditures, for example.
TCU is receiving money from the developer of the hotel, who is leasing the ground. The university is not paying for the construction, Gutierrez said.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI)
TCU is starting a Race and Reconciliation Initiative, a committee who will host events and discussions focused on DEI to produce recommendations as the semester progresses, Dahlberg said.
New students have been introduced to DEI in their online orientation and will learn more in Frog Camp. Students will also have the opportunity to discuss these topics more in programming being developed by Student Affairs.