DWU works to keep students and staff safe throughout pandemic, now starting to vaccinate campus community

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – With the school year soon coming to a close, colleges and universities now have to decide what the fall semester will look like depending on the pandemic and vaccine roll out.

The school year will soon be wrapping up for students at DWU.

Jamie McGowan will be graduating in May.

“Last year we didn’t have a commencement for seniors, everything was at a standstill,” student Jamie McGowan said. “I’m looking forward to actually being in my graduation gown, doing the commencement and everything like that.”

This year has been anything but normal for students, but McGowan is glad the university has taken steps to make sure students and staff are safe.

“We required everyone to wear a mask on campus and the classroom, we have socially distanced our classrooms, so we took some of our bigger section that have more students and put them in a bigger classroom,” executive vice president, Theresa Kriese said.

Now the university is working on vaccinating the campus community.

“We partnered with Lewis Drug and they came to campus and gave our faculty and staff their shots, we had our first one just four weeks ago and the second one will be this coming week, and then we are also partnering with them to do a clinic for our students so that we can help get our students vaccinated,” Kriese said.

The university’s executive vice president says vaccinations play an important role in getting back to a ‘new normal.’

“The more that are vaccinated and protected, the better off we are going to be, so it provides a safety reassurance to both our staff and our students that I think is essential for us next fall,” Kriese said.

DWU is still making plans for the fall, but right now the university expects to be face to face. Any mitigation protocols will be decided as the year progresses.

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