Universities finalize plans for spring semester amid coronavirus pandemic

What universities are doing to prepare for the spring semester

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - While college students will spend this weekend preparing for the start of the spring semester, local universities are putting in extra measures to remind students to not only protect themselves and their classmates but also their community.

Southern University finalized their spring plans today. They’re hoping student leaders can help them get everyone to buy into the message.

“At Southern this year, we are certainly concise of that,” said F. Carl Walton, vice chancellor for student affairs for Southern University. “And so we are just continuing with our efforts and also enhancing our efforts this semester. For example, our residential students this year will be required to test prior to moving back into residence halls.”

WAFB reached out to LSU to see if they were making any changes to their COVID response for this upcoming semester, but were told by a representative the university is still finalizing plans.

LSU and Southern are gearing up for the spring semester, but some students were hoping the restrictions would be a little looser; it looks like the schools will continue making safety measures a top priority.

“I’m just really looking forward to this call calming down a little bit. We’ve already flattened the curve and everything. I know there has been spikes and stuff, but I just feel like we should start having more in person classes again,” says LSU freshman Lillian Dickson.

LSU Senior Kyrsten Boswell adds, “Honestly, I expect nothing different here at LSU, I am going to be stuck in my room doing all of my classes from my computer, and it’s going to be another sad semester in my opinion.”

Students at LSU will still be learning through a hybrid model when they go back to class Monday. LSU says they are still finalizing their COVID-19 plans for the spring semester.

Over at Southern, there will be safety measures for the next semester. Students living on campus will have to get a COVID-19 test before starting classes.

“On our health pledge one of the things they will not engage in activities on or off campus that would endanger themselves or endanger the community,” says Dr. F Carl Walton who is Southern University’s vice chancellor for student affairs.

Student leaders will be responsible for making sure their classmates keep their pledge, and continue wearing masks and social distancing.

“I think with young people it’s just messaging, we have to continue the messaging,” says Dr. Walton. Southern says they are enforcing strict rules this semester by not allowing any larger gatherings on campus and says there will be consequences involved in off-campus gatherings.

Southern did say they expect students to comply this semester because they know more about the virus than they did last semester.

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