As the fall semester draws to a close, both students and University administrators are left to reflect on how COVID-19 has affected this semester.
Some of the most prominent changes have been to University conduct policies in attempts to decrease the spread of COVID-19 on campus. From room capacity limits to encourage social distancing, to required mask wearing guidelines, new conduct policies have affected every aspect of campus life this semester, but have students been following these policies?
In terms of student organizations, Director of Student Life, Jenny Bell, said that “student organizations have been very conscientious and have put a great deal of thought into preparations for their events.”
Bell also said that she hasn’t “noticed anyone disregarding the guidelines.”
Director of Housing and Residence Life, John Denson, reported similar findings and said, “Overall, residents have been doing a great job following the COVID-19 guidelines in the residence halls.”
Denson also pointed out that the number of violations in residence halls has declined since the beginning of the fall semester, continued, “Most of the violations we have had in residence halls were related to the new visitation policy of not allowing outside visitors,” and that he believes that “it took students a few weeks to get used to the change in the visitation policy.”
As for the spring semester, the Office of Housing and Residence Life announced on Nov. 16 that changes would be made to visitation policy starting on Nov. 29 and continuing through the spring semester.
Under the new guidelines, visitation will be allowed for students living on campus and residents will be allowed to visit residents in other residence halls. Visitors can only be other students living on campus and is limited to regular visitation hours.
However, Denson said that he is “hoping that at some point during the spring term we are able to allow visitation in the residence halls to non-residents as well.”
Other COVID-19 guidelines, including mask wearing, social distancing and room capacity limits, will remain in place for the spring semester.
Additionally, Housing and Residence Life will continue to monitor the spread of COVID-19 on campus and in the community and could potentially change policies in response to this throughout the semester.
Student conduct director, Tony Miller Jr., was unavailable for comment.