SCSU town hall: May 15, 2020; the word of our future is flexible

St. Cloud State held another town hall meeting at 9 a.m. on May 15, 2020. Speakers at the webinar included President Robbyn Wacker, Jen Furan Super, Clare Rahm, Dan Gregory, Phil Thorson, Jason Woods, Dr. Brent Nielsen, and Kabao Yang.

University – presented by Robbyn Wacker

Spring 2020 Commencement will be held on August 14, 2020. The format will depend on CDC guidelines at that time.

The Bring Huskies Home Task Force is still working on a plan on how to reopen the campus safely.

Wacker explained the goal for the fall semester.

“Fall 2020 Starting Scenario for Operations:

  • The starting scenario for our operations is to have the campus open, students back on campus, and services operational using MDH, MN State, and OHE guidelines.”

Wacker gave a detailed report on the University’s goals for the future. One correction was made. In the box next to engagement, “campus” is supposed to be “camps”.

Screenshot of SCSU town hall on May 15 sharing overarching goals of the University. Photo credit: Anna Panek.

When going through some of the specific goals, Wacker commented on how classes will look in the near future.

“It will not be the way it was in February. There is no going back to normal in this way.”

Screenshot of SCSU town hall on May 15 sharing details of one of the teams being put together. Photo credit: Anna Panek.
Screenshot of SCSU town hall on May 15 sharing details of one of the teams being put together. Photo credit: Anna Panek.

In the Q&A section, Wacker clarified that for planning purposes, the University is hoping to welcome students back to campus in the fall, but that the situation may change due to COVID-19.

Health – presented by Dr. Brent Nielsen

There are over 13,000 positive cases as of May 14 in Minnesota. There has been over 128,000 people tested, which is roughly 10 percent positive cases. In the past, the rate of positive cases was six percent.

The Stay-at-Home order will expire on Monday, May 18. Social distancing is still important once the order expires.

Operations – presented by Jen Furan Super

As of May 15, 150 SCSU cloth face masks have been distributed. They are being handed out as they are made available and it is on a first come, first serve basis.

The Huskies Food Pantry gave a thank you to everyone who donated.

Academic Affairs – presented by Daniel Gregory

Planning for the 2020-2021 school year has begun. The University is hoping to have some face-to-face instruction. A flexible schedule will be needed and precautions will be taken to follow CDC guidelines.

Gregory shared the University’s current plan for instruction for the coming school year.

“On-campus instruction will be [the] predominant way student[s] will engage in their education for fall and spring semesters.”

Gregory stated he would be sending out an email communication within the next week with these updates and more.

Screenshot of SCSU town hall on May 15 sharing options for course instruction. Photo credit: Anna Panek.

Gregory stressed the importance of utilizing D2L Brightspace no matter how courses are offered in the fall for the simple fact of consistency.

Strategic Enrollment – presented by Jason Woods

Summer and fall registration is continuing to grow in numbers. There was a new student town hall on May 14, and Woods shared that the students on the town hall were hopeful to be on campus in the fall.

Woods gave an update on the CARES funding.

“CARES funding has been distributed to students deemed eligible by the federal government.”

Information Technology –  presented by Phil Thorson

Thorson gave a brief update on what the team is currently working on and the progress they are making.

“IT is partnering with campus to determine what spaces need technology changes and/or enhancement.”

The team is also working on continuing to offer more options for remote operations.

Guest – Graduate Kabao Yang

One of the recent graduates shared about her journey as a Spring 2020 graduate. She will be working at the Community School of Excellence in St. Paul as a 9th and 10th grade English teacher this fall. Yang spoke about the family she feel she made at St. Cloud State, especially because of her involvement in Asian Students in Action (A.S.I.A).

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Anna Panek

Anna is a junior at St. Cloud State University and is double majoring in Math Education and Spanish Education, with a minor in Special Education. She is the Managing Editor for the University Chronicle this year. When she is not at campus attending class, working as a learning assistant or math tutor, or writing for the University Chronicle, she enjoys volunteering, reading, being overly competitive at board games, and telling horribly funny puns.

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