Offices resume on-campus operation

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Prakriti Adhikari/The Lion's Roar

Student worker at the Office of Admissions wears mask at the front desk. Offices on campus have resumed their normal operation after following the campus safety guidelines. All individuals are required to wear masks inside campus buildings.

With safety measures in place, the university has opened most offices and resumed on-campus operations.

Dr. John L. Crain, university president, had met the official target date of June 22 to reopen the campus after having to end face-to-face classes on Thursday, March 12 due to the outbreak of COVID-19. 

All campus life for students was temporarily suspended, and departments were given guidelines to work from home. However, department employees are now back on campus and working to operate with diligence in order to prepare for the upcoming 2020 fall semester. 

In the email sent out by Crain on June 22, he assured that the faculty and staff are employing all safety precautions in order to keep everyone’s health as the top priority by allowing the Environmental Health and Safety Office to create guidelines for everyone returning to campus. 

The office has created a ‘Safe Campus Guide’ that will provide additional information about the work that has been done and will continue to be advanced in the weeks ahead,” stated Crain. “The guide also provides important information about how our campus will operate going forward, keeping the health and safety of our people foremost in mind.”

Each department is following guidelines along with any extra rules they may see fit for their offices.

 

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The head of the Department of Kinesiology and Health Studies, Dr. Charity Bryan, expressed how her department is handling the adjustments. 

“So far, things are going very well,” said Bryan. “We do not have a lot of foot traffic in our building, but we are getting some phone calls and, of course, hundreds of emails each day.”

Bryan also gave details as to how her employees are treating social distancing.

“We are very conscious of being around others,” explained Bryan. “For example, we have a ‘one-person limit’ rule in the copy room, and we have removed the chairs for visitors to sit in the main office because we could not ensure social distancing. So far, mask use has not been an issue, and we have masks available at the front entrance of our building for anyone who needs them.”

Since she was hired in February, Bryan shared that she is very excited to experience her first “normal” semester in order to meet and interact with students. She believes it is imperative that everyone stays safe due to the rise of COVID-19 cases in Louisiana.

Dr. Christopher Beachy, department head of Biological Sciences, also expressed his concerns about meeting all the requirements from the guidelines once the fall semester starts. 

“As of now, we are absolutely meeting all requirements, but that is easy to say when it is still summer so there is really no traffic in the building,” shared Beachy. “Out of the old biology building and the new one, there may be around six people in total. So we are just trying to prepare for the fall when there will be hundreds of students in the building.”

Beachy believes the faculty did great last spring when it came to getting everything done in such a rush, but the pressure is on to do even better for this upcoming semester. 

“We did very well handling such a tough situation, and I am not surprised by our teachers, but I do think it is more stressful now for the fall because we have had time to think strategically and plan, so we have to be great this time around,” said Beachy.

All departments are open to the public for visits during their office hours that are stated online. The university will continue to manage and safely regulate all interactions held face-to-face.

 You can find the safety guide on the university website under the COVID-19 update tab at southeastern.edu/covid19.

 

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