It’s been five weeks of classes for students at VSU during the coronavirus pandemic. To make sure students, faculty, and staff stay as safe as possible, a multitude of precautions have been put in place.
Possibly the biggest everyday change on campus is our role as a community to wear a mask to stop the spread of the virus. When entering any building and when social distancing is not possible outside, masks must be worn.
When unable to wash hands, hand sanitizing stations are located in several spots across every building on campus. Many students have also started to carry their own personal hand sanitizer.
Buildings on campus also now have sanitizing wipes which can be used to clean any surface that someone may wish to be cleaned.
The Odum Library has accommodated the pandemic by spreading out work spaces. Computers have been moved further away from each other and are also located in different spots than usual to keep everyone at a safe distance.
The campus shuttles have a limit of people allowed on at one time. This is relevant to the size of the bus depending on how many seats are available. Some are marked off to maintain social distance.
Bus seats are not the only ones being marked off with limits for safety. Dorm hall lobbies also have put limits on how close students can sit.
Every door on campus has been marked as an enter or exit to help the flow of people during busier times.
Dots have been put in place to help regulate social distancing and to show what 6 feet apart looks like. The food lines at the Student Union and the lines in Palms Dining Center have these dots as well to keep gaps in-between people while waiting in line for their food.
Lines are not the only part of the food services at VSU to change. The tables now have signs on them to indicate whether they are clean or dirty. If the sign is green, the table is clean and safe to sit at, but if the sign is red the table is dirty and needs to be sanitized before anyone can sit there. Tables are more spaced out, and in the dining hall one side is designated for better social distancing than the other due to the amount of chairs at a table.
Classrooms during the pandemic have taken on a change as well. Classes if not online can be held in a variety of locations. The traditional desk setup has been altered to space out students by marking off every other seat to maintain social distance. Lecture halls are also being used in the same way. The halls serve the same function as before, but now everyone must sit 6-feet apart.
What about classes that are too big for a traditional classroom? Many rooms in other campus buildings are being put to use. The Student Union, for example, has classes in the third floor ballroom. The University Center is also playing host to larger classes unable to social distance in a traditional classroom.
This experience is different for both students and teachers. While teaching his EDUC 2110 class Dr. JT Cox, professor of English Language Arts Education has moved from a classroom to teach in the Jennett Lecture Hall.
“This is my first time teaching on a stage,” Dr. Cox said. “I often want to walk down on the floor, it’s more comfortable. Some other professors might be used to it if they have big classes with a lot of students, but the College of Education classes don’t tend to be that large. Most of my colleagues and myself we’re looking forward to getting back to normal.”
As of right now the campus has had less than 50 reported cases of COVID-19.
Written by Gwenivere Friedman,Staff Writer. Photo courtesy of Gwenivere Friedman.