JacksRBack Task Force planning for a safe return to campus for students and staff

Education

BROOKINGS, S.D. (KELO) – Many college students finished their spring semester online, in fall of 2020 the public universities in South Dakota will start offering face to face courses. The announcement was made earlier this month by the Board of Regents.

While the fall semester is still months away, it’s not too early for officials at South Dakota State to start planning how the university will operate to make sure everyone stays safe on campus.

That’s why the university formed the “JacksRBack” task force.

“I’m leading the task force and we have our provosts, and our vice president for student affairs and our athletic director, communications director so it’s a relatively large team.” South Dakota State University President, Barry Dunn said. “This is a very unique challenge for all of the world right now, so we we’ve got to get it right.”

The task force is also working with the Brookings community.

“We are working with law enforcement, the Brookings Health system, business leaders, that whole community and close connection with them and planning with them,” Dunn said.

The group is looking at ways to maintain a safe environment in areas around the campus.

“How we maintain adequate numbers of students in the residence halls, increasing the number of single rooms that might be available in the fall, maybe even moving programming to smaller venues and smaller atmospheres,” Willis said.

“We are going to record just about every class, so if a student can’t be in class, that they can access that material in a different way, we are not going to have as many large lectures, so we are going to change a lot of things,” Dunn said.

These important actions will help make sure everyone has a safe return to campus.

“It will look different on campus, but we are still committed to providing an excellent student experience, really creating those engagement opportunities that students really love about that on-campus learning experience,” Willis said.

Willis says the university plans to open up the wellness center on campus on June 1st to students and community members, with guidelines in place.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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