COVID-19 affects fall semester at EKU; changes to housing, dining and library

As the fall semester begins at Eastern Kentucky University, there have been many changes to campus housing, dining and the Crabbe Library.

Brandon Thompson, director of residence life, said currently visitation is limited to students living in the same residence hall.

“As of right now it is set that we will reevaluate how things are a few weeks into the semester because right now visitation is limited to people that reside in the same residence hall,” Thompson said. “The policy is subject to change and EKU may open visitation from students living in different residence halls.”

“As we progress through the semester we are going to monitor things, and that is a policy that may change, and we may be able to get to a point where we can open it up to other students from other residence halls,” Thompson said.

Residence hall kitchens will still be open however it will have to be checked out to limit the amount of students in the kitchen at one time as well as to allow for cleaning.

“Our kitchens will still be available because we know some students will have dietary restrictions and may need to prepare their own food. However people will have to go and check in with the front desk to get access to the kitchen. This is so we can make sure it gets cleaned,” Thompson said.

Steve Caudill, chief auxiliary services officer, spoke about the changes happening at EKU’s dining hall due to COVID-19. 

All seating in Lower Case has been removed to accommodate longer lines and keep people socially distanced.

“Lower Case is not going to have any seating, because of the requirements of social distancing in lines the seating in Lower Case would have encroached on the lines,” Caudill said.

Tables and chairs in the Upper Case dining hall have been moved to keep people six feet apart. 

“The seating is all laid out and socially distanced. The tables are still there but you can't sit side by side,” Caudill said.

Self-service stations have been removed. Now students will have to be served instead of doing it themselves. This includes drinks as well. Students will be given a cup as they enter the dining hall. Caudill said that to-go options will be available.

According to EKU’s COVID-19 website, Dining Services has changed the flow of traffic to only have one door that is the entrance on each level, while using the other doors as the exit, to eliminate student congestion in the entry/exit. There will be constant cleaning of tables and other high-touch areas. Upper Case will also close at 3 p.m. daily so cleaning can be conducted in preparation for dinner service.

According to the EKU Library website, students and faculty will need to scan their EKU ID in order to enter the library. The library is limiting visitors to students and staff only, and they will not be admitted unless wearing a mask.

Spaces have been modified to provide barriers, additional spacing and follow social distancing guidelines. As well as group setting furniture has been rearranged to keep large study groups from forming.

The fourth floor of the EKU Library will be closed off and there will be no room reservations for unmediated rooms.

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