SCSU town hall: Nov. 23 and Dec. 8, 2020

Speakers at the town hall included Robbyn Wacker, SCSU President; Brent Nielsen, Medical Director; Jenn Furan-Super, Director of Emergency Preparedness; Daniel Gregory, Daniel Gregory, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs; and Clare Rahm, Student Life and Development Interim Vice President.

COVID-19 Update

Cases have continued to grow in Minnesota. Dr. Brent Nielsen advised that students choose not to go home for the holidays if possible. However, if students choose to go home for the holidays that they get tested before returning home and limit gatherings to small groups.

SCSU hosted a community testing event in November and 622 people got tested. Aggregate data showed that just under 10% of those tested were positive with COVID-19.

Note: Not all of those cases will be reflected on the dashboard. Positive cases need to identify themselves to the University through the self-reporting tool

Additional saliva testing events were held on Dec. 7 and 15.

The CDC is currently considering changing the quarantine and isolation lengths. The current length is 14 days, but they are considering changing it to 7-10 days depending on the situation.

Campus Operations – Change in Campus Safety Level

On Wednesday, Nov. 18, Governor Walz issued emergency executive order 20-99. The issue impacted dining inside options as well as other in person gatherings on campus. In person meetings on campus will be moved online when possible and limited to less than 25 people when an online meeting is not possible.

All extra curricular activities are paused for the time being. It is unknown if those activities will be rescheduled after the executive order is lifted.

Some intercollegiate activities will be allowed to continue practicing and utilizing the facilities on campus.

The executive order also moved the SCSU campus to Scenario 4.  This new scenario is a step between an orange and a red safety level. Furan-Super called this scenario a “pause” with some new mitigation strategies. All information is on the Bring Huskies Home section of the website.

Furan-Super reminded the campus community how positive cases get reported on the dashboard.

Furan-Super reminded the campus community how positive cases get reported on the dashboard. Screenshot taken during the SCSU town hall on Dec. 8.

There are some COVID-19 take-home tests available. They can be picked up at Husky Tech, the Miller Center, the Atwood Information Desk, and the Administration Information Desk. If you grab a take home test, they must be used by Dec. 31.

Spring Semester

Winter break for staff is Dec. 18, 2020 through Jan. 3, 2021.

It is likely that the campus will remain at Scenario 4 when campus reopens for the spring semester, but President Wacker shared that she is hopeful we can reopen with Scenario 3.

Some buildings will have reduced heat throughout the break to save some of the cost.

At this time, campus will be open and some courses will be face to face. More information was shared in an interview with Provost Gregory.

Safety measures such as social distancing, wearing masks, and limiting gatherings to small groups will still take place.

Academic Affairs

Spring and Summer registration is now open. More information was shared in an interview with Provost Gregory.

The format of each course should stay consistent throughout the spring semester once they have been determined.

Student Life 

Students living on campus who plan to stay on campus over break must register to ensure the safety of all students.

Hot meals can be pre-ordered for $5 a day throughout break.

Counseling and Psychological Services continues to be open 8-4:30 p.m. throughout the break. They will be closed 12/25 and 1/1. Appointments can be made through their website.

The Huskies Food Pantry will be open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12-4:30 p.m. throughout the break.

Q&A

Provost Gregory answered a question in the chat about the spring semester. At this time, there will not be a general decision made for courses. Each course format will be decided by the professor of the course in communication with their dean.

There were about 1,000 students on campus at the end of the fall semester.

Campus remained open during the shutdown because the University was determined to be an essential business by the state.

More information was shared during the town hall. Only new information was shared in this recap. For all information, please check out the previous town hall recaps at universitychron.com

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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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