The University of Illinois Springfield released its fall plan with details on how students and faculty would return to the campus and remain safe during the coronavirus pandemic.
Face coverings, hand sanitizer and frequent cleaning are all part of the University of Illinois Springfield’s plan for students to return to campus in the fall.
The university will offer both on-campus and online options for students this fall up until November 25. After the Thanksgiving holiday, all classes will be online through the end of the semester.
Interim Chancellor Karen Whitney said the administration consulted students and professors in the decision because of the uncertainty of COVID-19.
“We want to meet students where they want to learn,” said Whitney. “And we want to meet the faculty on what they believe is the best way students should learn, and do it with the idea of how to be flexible because we don’t know the future.”
The Chancellor said wearing masks, maintaining a six-foot distance from each other, and frequent hand washing will help keep everyone safe.
“This is a virus, and we know a lot about viruses in general although we’re still learning about this one,” Whitney said. “But I would say following those three safety issues, being conscientious, and taking responsibility for yourself are going to be key.”
Whitney said hand sanitizer will be placed over the campus, and cleaning and disinfecting of classrooms, conference rooms, common areas and workspaces will be done daily.
Face-to-face meetings are discouraged on campus. If a meeting needs to take place, participants are encouraged to use Zoom, Skype, or a phone call.
Testing for COVID-19 will be available to all students at UIS Health Services.
Students will be allowed to live on campus in single and double occupancy residence halls, townhouses and apartments. Guests will not be allowed in residence halls, unless they have made an appointment with campus personnel.
Carry-out options will be encouraged at the UIS Student Union Food Studio with no self-service options available. Seating in dining areas will be arranged to encourage social distancing, and additional barriers will be placed between diners and staff members.
Anyone experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should not visit campus.
“I look at the virus as a rollercoaster,” Whitney said. “We will have ups and downs, but no matter no what, between our commitment to public health, and a real flexible approach to teaching and learning, our commitment is to ride that rollercoaster through the year.”
Details of UIS’s “Return To The Prairie Plan” can be found at uis.edu/fall2020.