Jordyn Franklin/The Lion’s Roar
Effective Sept. 11, Louisiana moved into phase three of reopening as a result of a positive trend in COVID-19 data.
In response, the university released a framework for campus operations under phase three guidelines on Sept. 14. While campus operations will not change significantly, modest easings of restrictions will likely occur.
According to the framework, operational capacity of facilities will continue to be restricted. Requirements for face coverings and social distancing will be maintained as well.
On Sept. 24, university President Dr. John Crain sent out a mass email to faculty, staff and students. He addressed the phase three guidelines and ease of restrictions on campus.
“As Louisiana has recently moved into phase three reopening, there will be careful easing of some COVID-19-related restrictions,” stated Crain. “After seven months of rigorous restrictions, this is welcome news, and I am sure everyone looks forward to moving a little closer to the old normal.”
However, Crain advised students to remain cautious in their personal actions both on and off campus.
“To help ensure the safety of our Southeastern family members, I am asking you to be vigilant in continuing to wear your mask, wash your hands regularly, maintain social distancing and be careful to minimize your close person-to-person interaction when you are in any group setting,” expressed Crain.
What the campus framework means for student organizations and campus gatherings, however, is still vague to several student leaders.
Braxton Michel, a sophomore mathematics major, is the president of Educators Rising Collegiate. He shared what has been communicated to him in terms of the phase three guidelines and campus operations.
“We haven’t gotten any new regulations with phase three yet, or none that I’m aware of,” said Michel. “So, we’re just going to continue to operate online. We are going kind of slow right now, because one of our goals with Ed Rising was to go into public schools and recruit teachers.”
While the semester has been difficult to navigate, Michel is glad that he has his executive board at his side.
“We’re all sophomores now, but we were all freshmen whenever it started,” detailed Michel. “We were dealing with adjusting to college and starting a new organization, and we thought we had the reins on it — but then COVID hit, and it kind of put a damper on us, but we’re still here.”
Michel expressed his hopes and visions for the organization in the upcoming semesters.
“I definitely want to have a formal launch and have a place on campus — probably in the Teacher Education Center, where people can see what we’re about, have a couple of speakers,” shared Michel. “We never really got to have a formal launch for the club. By the time we got everything squared away with Southeastern, the semester ended.”