USF preparing for students return to campus

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – College students will soon be heading back to campus. A year ago, school officials were planning ways to bring students back safely. While the pandemic has eased in South Dakota, safety still remains a priority.

Classes may not start for a few more weeks but Giulia Marcon is already preparing for the fall semester at USF.

“I have a plan to conduct research during the fall semester so I am doing some literature review for now trying to get ahead,” student, Giulia Marcon said.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, last year was not a typical school year. But she’s ready for a return to some sort of normalcy.

“Not being in your pajamas when you’re watching class and actually getting ready and walking to class, it’s exciting, definitely,” Marcon said.

Aimee Vander Feen is the vice president for enrollment management. She says a year ago, school officials were making sure students could return to campus safely.

“Last year at this time we would have been actively engaged in planning for a safe return to campus for students, but it was all with thinking about COVID protocols and social distancing in the classroom and communicating a masking policy to students,” vice president for enrollment management, Aimee Vander Feen said.

A year later, that planning looks different. She says they’ve been planning for a return to normal for students for the fall semester.

“We are looking to return classrooms back to normal capacities, providing expected experiences without social distancing requirements for students, providing face to face experiences like new student orientation, performing arts, competitions on campus,” Vander Feen said.

And doing so in a safe way.

“We continue to watch and monitor what is happening with the pandemic and what the CDC guidance is because we want to make sure students do stay safe, that’s our ultimate goal,” Vander Feen said.

Vander Feen says the university removed their masking policy this summer and that will continue to be the plan for the fall. She says they also want to make students feel comfortable if they want to wear a mask on campus.

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