Home Campus New COVID-19 restrictions announced at student affairs forum

New COVID-19 restrictions announced at student affairs forum

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Ohio U's West Green empty on a Friday afternoon.

Ohio University officials hosted a virtual forum Wednesday evening to answer questions regarding the university’s fall semester adaptations to the coronavirus pandemic.

The forum provided students with a chance to submit questions either prior to the meeting or during it to be answered by Jason Pina, the vice president of student affairs, and Janie Peterson, the interim president for Student Senate.

COVID-19

As of now, Ohio U will not require students to be tested for COVID-19 before their arrival on campus, according to Pina.

Ohio U is currently finalizing a plan for how to handle students exposed to COVID-19 during the fall semester. Pina announced that two to three residence halls will be kept “offline” for isolating students exposed to the virus.

Pina also said that students who do not wear a face mask or refuse to follow social distancing standards will be referred to the Office of Community Standards and charged with violating the code of conduct.

“We will be asking students to sign a pledge to adhere to face coverings and physical distancing, both on campus and off,” Pina said. “Our Athens community and your peers need all of us to take collective action to reduce the spread of COVID-19.”

Academics

Labs, experiential learning courses, studio classes, clinicals, practical classes and learning community seminars will be given priority for face to face classes, according to Pina. He also stated that when the class registrar is fully updated Aug. 3, the university will offer advising support for those looking to shift to an online only education.

Culinary and Residence Halls 

Ohio U will ask students to follow social distancing guidelines and not use certain common areas. Study spaces and social areas will be limited to small groups, according to Pina.

Students will not be allowed to visit another student’s dorm. 

Kitchens in dorms will be open, but students will need to bring their own cookware. Additionally, the kitchens will be limited to one person at a time.

Peterson emphasized that students should be checking in on their friends to see how they are adapting to these changes.

“I know how stressful this has been for so many students and for our community,” Peterson said. “I think it’s really important that as we are getting back to campus we remain connected to one another. It’s going to look like a very different Athens.”

Culinary services will be shifting to a carryout model with dine-in seating available when it is deemed appropriate to do so. Pina added that culinary will be cashless to reduce contact and speed up transactions.

Students will be unable to receive second servings of food. The university will develop a new ordering app for guests to place orders.

Student Activities

Ping Recreation Center will be open this fall while following social distancing and CDC guidelines. Rock climbing, volleyball, basketball and other activities will not be offered in accordance with guidelines, according to Peterson. 

Greek Life will be able to hold an entirely virtual fall rush, according to Peterson. She also encouraged all student organizations to meet virtually when possible.

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