Campus Life re-imagined


Courtesy of Hunter Lang

Social distancing guidelines being followed outside of WOW

To prevent the spread of a COVID-19 outbreak on campus, the university has placed restrictions on-campus living and activities. These restrictions enforce social distancing and limit the number of people in one area.

While these restrictions are essential for student safety, it is a large adjustment compared to the typical, social campus life that students are used to. These new restrictions especially change how students interact in the resident halls.

The Dean of Students office sent the “Campus Life Re-Imagined: COVID-19 Student Directives” to all students, a document that stated all changes and required students to read and sign before coming to campus.

The document said that students can visit resident halls outside of their own, but are unable to enter any private rooms. Students are only allowed in the public common space of residence halls and must wear a mask and maintain social distancing. Commuter students and non-university residents are not permitted in residence halls at all.

“No guests (other than immediate family) are permitted on campus at this time.” said the document. “Family visits are permitted during traditional business hours and can only take place in open areas outside of all buildings.”

Other changes include an increase in security in residence halls. Security and resident assistants (R.A.s) will be at the front desk from noon until when the R.A.s get off duty. Students have to sign in to their residence hall starting at noon and until the R.A.s are off duty. There is a new limit where only one student can be in the elevator at a time.

All violations will be documented and sent to the Dean of Students Office. Not only does the residential staff have the ability to report a violation, but students can now anonymously report each other for violating a COVID-19 restriction. Students who are reported face the possibility of being put on probation, or being suspended or expelled.

The COVID-19 directives said, “Office of Residential Life staff and contracted security staff members stationed inside all residential halls will be checking University identification, COVID-19 compliance status, and student status via the CoVerified app to ensure students are cleared to be on campus and are in compliance with the visitor policy rules.”

Junior clinical and community psychology major Angie Raysor believes that these regulations and disciplinary actions are necessary. She said, “I truly hope that the students here follow the new policies.”

Raysor said that some students aren’t considerate of those who may have relatives who are at risk to the virus, or who may be at risk themselves.

She said, “All it takes is one person to mess it up for the whole university.”

Raysor said, “I know I want to hang out with my friends, it’s just a matter of doing it respectfully and following the rules taken place to protect us. I want to be here too. I want to have fun too. But not at the expense of everyone’s and my health.”

However, with how close students come in contact with each other and the social expectations that students have for college life, there are concerns about students breaking these policies or having the isolation affect their mental health.

Senior, Jordan Bernard, Gerber Hall R.A. said, “Students like to be together and hang out with their friends. I’m mostly concerned about clusters of students hanging out in common spaces too close together.”

“Also, the guest policy will be hard for students, especially first years because they want to make friends and have the ‘college experience,’” said Bernard.

Bernard said, “I explain to students that in order to stay healthy, safe, and on-campus for the duration of the semester everyone has to do their part.”

According to residential staff, students should frequently check MyCharger for policy changes, as they may change depending on CDC updates and the state of student health throughout the semester.