Jenna Peterson ® News Editor |
Photos by Mansoor Ahmad ® Photo Editor |
With the upcoming school year approaching, college students are packing up and moving back to school. Many people are wondering what this means for incoming freshmen, and Minnesota State University, Mankato has given a response and set some boundaries for the dorms and its residents.
To help answer many questions from students, staff, and families, the University has created a web page dedicated to dorm life and how safety will be a priority.
If a student and their family want to help follow social distancing guidelines before the move in dates, there is a ‘drop and go’ option, where students can drop off a large bulk of their belongings to their designated dorm room at a scheduled time to avoid a larger crowd. This can avoid unnecessary interactions, and, again is optional for students. The later move-in dates are from Aug. 17-23, and classes will begin Aug. 24.
To help maintain a healthy environment, the University has set some rules that will have to be followed by everyone. Face masks must be worn in all public places on campus, and for the dorms that includes the lounge and kitchen. The only place in the dorms where a face mask does not have to be worn is in the individual’s own room.
For the lounge and kitchen areas in the dorms, there will also be a limit on the number of people in each of these rooms to help with social distancing. Other cleanliness actions the University will be taking in the dorms is putting out hand sanitizer throughout all of the residence communities and community bathrooms will be cleaned and sanitized each morning and afternoon.
In the case where a student feels symptoms associated with COVID-19, the University is recommending the student to seek medical attention by calling the Student Health Services COVID Hotline at (507) 389-5591 and if they are given advice to get tested, the student should be prepared to self-quarantine. There will be designated housing locations for students who need to self-isolate on campus, but if a student can return to their permanent address, that will be preferred.
Any and all roommates of the affected student are recommended to follow the same advice. The University is also working on having on-campus testing available for everyone to help maintain a healthy and successful school year.