Charles Buckley, Staff Writer
Thanks to the summer break and many helpful hands, Utica College reopened campus and it seems that nothing, not even the masks, are stopping people from making the best of this situation.
However, a lot of thought and careful consideration has gone into this reopening plan and many are hoping that as long as the students follow proper protocols that this semester will be a successful one.
The reopening plan was devised this summer by the helping hands of people selected to be assigned as the college’s Return to Campus Task Force.
“I spent most of my summer helping to create a proper reopening plan because in the end an on campus experience is much better than a virtual one,” Student Government Association President Peter Gaughan said.
Gaughan also stated how he hopes everyone follows the protocols so all students may finally be able to return to a more normal campus life by next semester.
Executive Director of Student Living and College Engagement Scott Nonemaker was also helpful in making sure the reopening plan was a success.
“Students know what we are doing and I don’t see any reason to be concerned as long as protocols are followed,” Nonemaker said.
As the year gets underway many students have begun to see the necessary changes that have been made to campus life in order to ensure everyone’s safety during the fight against COVID-19.
One of those protocols that has been added to campus life is wearing masks at all times, including classes. The only time that students can take off their mask is whether they are in their room. Once the student is in their room, their door also has to be shut. The only other exception is when people are eating in the dining hall.
Gaughan said as long as protocols are followed, then over the next couple of weeks all students will see themselves be able to do certain things such as visit their friends if they live in other residence halls.
Another major protocol that has been added to keep students at UC safe are the daily COVID screenings where students, staff and faculty must notify if they will be on or off campus that day. Students also have to clarify whether or not they are feeling or have any symptoms of COVID-19.
As for testing, every week testing is pooled and each student’s saliva sample is run through a test with others. If someone in your pool returns with a positive test, you may or will have to do your test again to check and make sure you’re negative for it. Anyone who has tested positive has been removed from campus and no threat of exposure has been detected.