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Fall Semester Starts With New Classroom Safety Protocols

By: Maria Giovanna Jumper

With the evolving public health crisis still in full swing, Adelphi has had to make major adjustments to campus safety protocols. Campus had to be retrofitted in order to accommodate students’ worries. Whether it be adding extra safety signage, changing cleaning protocols, or creating means to ensure social distancing, we are here to help you understand how campus life will be different.

Classes will occur on campus through Wednesday, November 24, after which classes will move to a fully online setting. Classes will be provided in a few different modalities.

Traditional classes are “all or nearly all in-person instruction,” hybrid/blended classes are “come in-person and some online (usually asynchronous) instruction,” online classes come in a variety of forms including: synchronous, asynchronous, and combination, finally there are hyflex classes where “students may choose to attend either in-person or via live streamed sessions as desired.”

As the semester starts the administration seeks to ensure safety for all. President Christine Riordan stated, “We want to reiterate and reassure our entire Adelphi family that our highest priorities are to protect your health, safety and well-being while we continue to deliver world-class academics and student support.”

One major change is the mandatory mask rule. Since students returned to campus they have been required to wear masks in all public spaces, including class, at the library or moving throughout campus.

“We have over the last several months worked to educate the campus community about their role in a safe reopening of campus and our centers -- via social media, emails, e-newsletters, videos and for new students and orientation,” said Todd Wilson, strategic communications director for University Communications. “A big part of that is an emphasis on personal responsibility for ensuring our own and others' safety by adequately covering mouth and nose, social distancing and not coming to campus if one is not feeling well or may have been exposed to others with Covid-19 -- all of which are part of the daily health monitoring checklist. These personal commitments have been included in the updated code of conduct and are part of the Adelphi Pledge to Protect, which all students, faculty and staff have been encouraged to take as part of their duties in maintaining a safe environment at Adelphi.

“Additionally, Public Safety staff and trained student safety ambassadors will remind those who aren't following the requirements and direct those who don't have an adequate face covering to a campus location where they can get one,” he added.

Besides just masks classrooms are equipped with freestanding mobile health barrier screens to provide a moveable barrier and enable a faculty member to move about the front of a classroom without being constrained to a fixed location.

As Sentwali Bakari, vice president of Student Affairs and dean of Students, stated, “Students and their families want a quality experience, and that’s what we’re doing our best to provide. We want to welcome students back to campus in a very safe and responsible way and try to mitigate as much risk as we possibly can.

Classroom capacities have been reduced to ensure safe distancing between students. Additionally, the university has upgraded signage to dictate which way you must walk down hallways and which stairwells are for up and which are for down to create a smooth flow of traffic as students go to and from class.

Additionally, workspaces like the Swirbul Library have been updated to adhere to social distancing. Now collaboration studios will only hold one student at a time and workspaces will tolerate a limited number of students. Students are also not permitted to hang out in groups larger than 10 at any time.

Amanda Capasso, a senior psychology major, feels it’s the students’ responsibility to follow all safety protocols.

“I felt pretty safe in the few classes I attended on campus,” she said. “Adelphi is doing what they can, but the safety of everyone is definitely in the hands of the students.”

Finally, the university has added daily health checks. Students must fill out a health check-in 24 hours before arriving on campus each day. This health assessment can be found on the AUtogo app and asks questions including: have you come in contact with someone who tested positive, have you recently tested positive, and do you exhibit any of the known symptoms on Covid-19?

As a campus and community, we are all working to ensure safety in the classroom and on campus while still enjoying the semester to come.

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