USD, SDSU optimistic for spring semester


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — College students in South Dakota will soon be heading back to classes.

The fall semester looked different for college students as COVID-19 forced universities to make adjustments to keep students and staff safe.

“We physically distanced our classrooms, we physically distanced all of our public spaces, the board of regents required masks on campus and from an on-campus perspective, that worked really well,” provost and vice president for academic affairs, University of South Dakota, Kurt Hackemer said.

University officials at both USD and SDSU say overall the fall semester went well. Students and staff adapted to adjustments, and now they are optimistic heading into the spring semester.

“Many of our same protocols that were in place in the fall will remain in place for the spring semester, our planning for the fall semester had a positive impact on our ability to stay in the classroom and so the other pieces it’s very important for us to remain vigilant during the spring semester,” vice president for student affairs and enrollment management, South Dakota State University, Michaela Willis said.

Students will resume classes on Monday. Both universities are encouraging students to get tested for COVID-19 before returning to campus.

“We’ve been working with our students and encouraging them to get tested before coming back or immediately upon their return to campus, we do have free testing right here on campus, and quick 24 hour results through our student health and counseling clinic and our one health diagnostic laboratory,” Willis said.

“We have been encouraging our students to get the saliva tests before they come back to campus, we’ve had a campaign to have them do that, a lot of them have done that,” Hackemer said.

During the spring semester, all public universities in the state will take federal holidays and there will be an Easter and spring break, which is different from the fall semester.

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