BALTIMORE, Md. — In less than two months time, college students will kick off the fall 2020 semester and make a return to their studies, all while in the middle of a pandemic.
After the coronavirus moved instruction online during the spring, many students wonder if fall classes will be held on campus.
Many school administrators, like University of the Potomac president Dr. Clinton Gardner, are grappling with the answer to that very question.
“There's so much to be gained by our students being able to interact with our faculty and our staff, however, we are not going to do anything that's going to risk the health of anyone in our environment,” Gardner said.
CDC guidelines during the pandemic have changed much of our daily life, and soon it will change student life on many college campuses as well.
Morgan State University vice-president of student affairs Dr. Kevin Banks explained how.
“We’re going to strongly encourage families to have their students tested before they come. Unfortunately, at this point we can’t mandate it but we’re going to strongly encourage that,” Banks said.
“Employees will be wearing masks. We will have the appropriate social distancing, to make sure that employees and students have the appropriate space,” Gardner said.
“You have to have a screening protocol to make sure you’re asking the right questions,” Banks said.
Students can expect to see a lot of changes around campus and inside classrooms.
“We will redesign and are redesigning our classrooms to make them a little bit more amenable for social distancing. In some cases, opening up additional classes, that will allow us to ensure that everyone is safe” Gardner said.
With some students being moved off campus to encourage greater social distancing, dorms and dining halls at Morgan State also will see some changes.
“You have to have more shuttles going back and forth. dining halls. We’re looking at limited dining options whereby you might have to schedule yourself if you want to eat in the dining hall,” Banks said.
No matter where students find themselves on campus , they will be encouraged to maintain a physical distance from others in order to keep students safe on campus.
“We’re asking people to ban together. If we want to maintain face-to-face, they’ll do it. Hopefully, they’ll comply and we’ll see what happens,” Banks said.