SIU returns to in-person learning for the spring semester
CARBONDALE, Ill. (KFVS) - Leaders at Southern Illinois University continue their effort to stop the spread of COVID-19 on campus.
After starting the spring semester remotely, students are back in the classroom.
A few students say they feel safe on campus, while others don’t.
Class resumed on the Carbondale campus January 10th.
Students and faculty were required to get tested to get back onto campus before the semester began.
University leaders say that plan of action appears to be working.
“The pandemic has been challenging but we are glad that we’ve been able to adapt and thrive as best as possible,” said Meera Komarraju Provost of SIU.
The Provost of the university says she is pleased with how the semester is currently going.
“Given all those constraints, I think we are glad that we are doing well so far, but we just watch every day and keep track of what’s happening and look at the data and so on,” said Komarraju.
She says students and faculty members received an N95 mask as well this semester.
But classes are currently in person and Komarraju said that could always change.
“Throughout the pandemic we have remained alert, always monitoring the cases and the environment and what’s going on locally, regionally and the state and nationally as well as internationally and we are ready at any time to pivot to online or whatever is required,” said Komarraju.
One SIU student says he does feel safe while in the classroom.
“I feel like they’re doing somewhat of a good job, making sure we are safe in class and following the procedures that we need to do,” said SIU Freshman Michale Burton.
But Burton says other options should still be offered.
“The classes should have more hybrid options,” said Burton.
As for another SIU student, she does not feel safe in the classroom.
“I feel like they should keep us online for a little bit longer just because there are cases coming up with faculty members and students, so I feel like that’s the only risk that I’m taking as of now,” said SIU Freshman Andrea Brooks.
The University relies on advice from other students and employees on how it should respond to the pandemic.
“We have a campus reopening committee that has met weekly throughout this pandemic. So that we can get feedback from what’s happening on the ground and make adjustments as needed,” said Komarraju.
According to the Provost, the cleaning measures from previous semesters are still in place and mask and social distancing are still required.
“We are vigilant, we aim to provide the best experience for our students and also protect their health and safety and if we can continue face to face that would be ideal,” said Komarraju.
The Universities Provost also said that Cases that did emerge weren’t related to the academic environment.
She also says that feedback they received back is that the students and instructors are glad to be face to face.
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