Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, SVSU is determined to continue to give its students a safe and memorable college experience.
President Don Bachand said the faculty and sta have spent the weeks leading up to the fall semester working tirelessly to make campus safe for students’ return.
“We have adopted polices and guidelines that outline health and safety expectations,” he said. “We have changed capacities to physical spaces across campus to sup- port social distancing, and our faculty have engaged in several training sessions on all methods of course delivery to maintain the flexibility our NEST plan promises.”
Over the next few weeks, the university will continue to monitor health conditions and work closely with local health agencies, Bachand said.
We have several health protocols for things like testing and contact tracing so we can respond to potential cases of COVID quickly,” he said. “Overall, we will remain flexible to this ever-changing environment, always with our students at the front of our minds.”
Bachand said he hopes students will make choices with consideration to their peers and the campus community.
“Avoid large gatherings, wear face coverings as instructed and practice social distancing,” he said. “This is (the students’) university; I hope they treat it and each other with care.”
Though current conditions have changed the college experience, Bachand said he hopes students take advantage of the changes.
“This will be a semester unlike any other,” he said. “I hope students will embrace this as an opportunity. From course delivery to on-campus student events, we have made many changes, but in my experience over the last several months, thinking outside the box often brings outcomes we would have never thought possible before.”
In recent weeks, many members of the SVSU community took to social media to share their opinions about reopening campus. Bachand said he understood their concerns but remains con – dent that SVSU has done all it can to be a safe place for students.
“It’s up to all of us to comply with health and safety guide- lines supported by the CDC and local health agencies,” he said. “It is our collective responsibility to keep campus operating as planned. I have every confidence that we can achieve this together.” While larger universities such as Michigan State University and Eastern University have moved almost entirely on-line, SVSU made the decision to still offer in-person services.
“Every university administration has been asked to make very difficult decisions over the course of the last few months,” Bachand said. “At SVSU, we have made those decisions based on the needs of our campus community and surrounding communities in conjunction with local public health departments.”
He said many students wanted to return to campus.
“We have done all we can to make this possible for them in a safe manner,” he said.