Missouri Southern State University students will return for classes Monday, August 17 but will do so while taking precautions against the current COVID-19 pandemic. The university has taken preventative measures and also asks that students do the same as they return to campus.
A MSSU news release states the university has installed more than 200 hand sanitizer stations across campus, as they ask students to make note to sanitize not only their hands but also their personal spaces and shared areas after meetings. With this, the university also wrote instructing students to conduct a daily wellness check and to stay home if they feel ill. Though, MSSU chose to take this one step further, as the university is introducing a contract tracing app called #CampusClean.
According to a MSSU new release, #CampusClean is self-screening app where students may record their potential COVID-19 symptoms before going to campus and receive a “fast pass” confirming whether or not they may go to campus. MSSU said they highly recommend students self-screen with #CampusClean each day.
In MSSU’s Returning to Campus Guide, MSSU president Dean Van Galen addressed the university in the changes foreseen to campus life.
“From attending face-to-face classes and living in campus housing, to dining and athletic events – there will be changes to how these have traditionally looked in the past,” Galen said.
The guide outlines that the university’s goal is to provide quality education while also keeping students and campus safe amid COVID-19. MSSU will implement various plans in order to curb the spread of the coronavirus. These plans include: cleaning and sanitizing, COVID-19 testing, face coverings, and student/employee/supervisor training. MSSU will also follow a mask mandate, which mandates all persons on campus wear a face mask or covering in public areas and places where social distancing is unavailable. Each student will receive two face masks.
The Returning to Campus Guide states what classrooms will look like for face-to-face courses. Each classroom will hold 50-percent capacity, seating will be placed six-feet from each other, and in lecture halls certain seating will be taped off so as to provide for social distancing. Smaller classes may be held in larger classrooms and some classes may offer distance-learning along with in-person class.
Dorm move-in will take place August 14-16 and students are allowed two guests maximum, all must wear face masks.
MSSU states in the guide that they are prepared to transition to an online format if needed at any time, saying, “The university will take the lead of local, regional and state health officials and can again pivot to an online learning format should the situation require it.”