SU reimagines fall semester

Almost six months ago, students all over the country were suddenly uprooted and forced to leave campus. Staring as a one-week extension of Spring Break, the time quickly turned into five months, with students still anticipating their return to campus. While learning virtually from home, administrators, faculty and staff were creating a strategy for returning for the fall semester. Since then, Stevenson University has implemented several new rules and guidelines into its community, thus making it possible for students to return safely.

Stevenson reimagined classroom spaces. (Photo from Canva.com)

In April, as the pandemic continued to spread, Stevenson administrators were hard at work coming up with a plan. John Buettner, the VP of Marketing and Digital Communications at Stevenson, emphasized the fact that “education must continue” during these times. “This pandemic could be around for quite a while, and we need to live and learn safely until treatments and vaccines become broadly available,” said Buettner.

Determined for students to return in the fall, the entire university was involved in the transformation of campus. Changes range from the facilities team moving furniture and rearranging spaces to faculty preparing to teach courses both in-person and virtually. All revisions were made with idea of keeping social distancing practices in mind. “People in offices across the university put in hundreds of extra hours and effort to prepare for Fall,” Buettner said.

In an attempt to make in-person learning possible again, classrooms have been reconfigured to uphold CDC guidelines. Seats have been assigned for contact tracing and classroom capacities have been reduced to ensure proper distancing. Some classes have even returned to face-to-face learning.

In addition to classroom modifications, changes have been made throughout the campus such as limiting the number of people allowed in the elevator at once. Dining facilities has reduced seating capacity, distanced seating and placed clear plexiglass on tables.

Working on creating safer spaces. (Photo from Canva.com)

Residence halls have made these same modifications. Elevators, laundry rooms and lounge capacities have been limited to hold two people at a time. Double rooms have been converted to singles and the guest policy has changed. Only those who live in the suite are allowed to enter a particular room.

As the spread of COVID-19 continues to affect the Stevenson community, these new rules will need to be followed to allow students stay on campus. Learn more about changes through the Keep Stevenson Safe campaign and sign the Stevenson Social Compact Wall to pledge a commitment to following them.

—Edited by Lauren Dawkins

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