The Contingency Planning Task Force, who are charged with developing a plan for the reopening of Eastern Kentucky University for the upcoming fall semester, sent an email to students on May 19. The email gave insight on some new measures and ways of learning. 

Students will be able to assemble a schedule based on their situation. This includes combining in person class schedules with online class schedules. According to the email students will be able to have a mixture of classes with different teaching practices. 

“Students can choose the schedule that best meets their needs, from a wide array of fully online offerings to an on-campus schedule [with appropriate adaptations based on local, state, and federal requirements] or a combination of both,” according to the email by the Contingency Planning Task Force. 

With these options, students will be able to create a schedule that best fits their situation. 

There will also be changes to housing and common room areas. Furniture will be moved to create distance and more cleaning will take place. According to the email, the most recent implemented guidelines will be considered.

“Configurations and furnishings are being rearranged to ensure proper distancing and accommodate enhanced cleaning protocols. Housing arrangements and custodial services are being adapted to implement the most current guidance,” according to the Contingency Planning Task Force. 

These are some of the first measurements put in place to keep everyone safe while engaging or staying on campus.

Instructions and teachings on campus will be a bit different this upcoming semester with new protocols being put in place. According to the email, the most recent health and safety recommendations will be used. 

“Measures may include, but are not limited to, enhanced cleaning, use of masks and other protective items in instructional settings, availability of sanitizing materials, and increased distancing through the use of larger spaces for on-campus activities,” according to the Contingency Planning Task Force.

These measures will keep students and faculty safe while also giving everyone the college experience. 

For incoming students, there will be some helpful content given to them to better cope with the new way of learning. According to the email, they will receive helpful tips to be successful with classes and the new learning challenges.

“All incoming students enrolled in the transition to college classes will receive content on being successful in online environments, on health and wellness, and on stress management,” according to the Contingency Planning Task Force. 

The content should give students tips and ways to adapt to the transition of learning as well as resources to reach out to if they are having trouble. 

Resources such as the Noel Studio for Academic Creativity and the Instructional Design Center are coming together to create a resource for faculty to use. According to the email it should be available soon. 

“The Instructional Design Center and the Noel Studio for Academic Creativity have collaborated to create a one-stop-shop for faculty resources. The site will be made available to faculty soon,” according to the Contingency Planning Task Force. 

With this resource, faculty should have an easier way of adapting to the new teaching demands.

Other measures are still being developed for recreation and activities for staff and students. According to the email, measures are still being planned out for gyms and other exercise facilities. 

“Work is underway to adapt practices at the Campus Recreation Center to meet guidance provided for gyms and other exercise facilities. Staff will be making similar adaptations for campus events, and activities. Students will be able to choose remote options for exercise, entertainment, and engagement,” the Contingency Planning Task Force said.

With a few measures put in place, students and faculty should be able to be active and healthy while practicing safety measures.

These are some of the newest measures that have been provided to keep everyone safe during the return to campus in the fall. However, more plans and precautions may be in the works. According to the email, adaptations can include anything from training to new guideline requirements.

“These initial measurements will provide the framework for a smooth return for the fall 2020 semester. A variety of campus work groups will continue to evaluate plans and processes for other areas of public health and safety training, screenings, testing, contact tracing, quarantine requirements, travel guidelines and athletics,” according to the Contingency Planning Task Force.

More information will be given out within the next month. Everyone is encouraged to ask questions and give input and concerns about the new measures being taken. Information from the email will be on EKU’s webpage as well as any further information given in the future.

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