Students ‘Return to Learn’ amidst pandemic

Maxwell Mayleben ® Editor in Chief |
Photo by Mansoor Ahmad ® Photo Editor |

With the first week of classes at Minnesota State University, Mankato beginning this week, here is a quick guide to how the university is handling the COVID-19 pandemic and procedures that are required for students this year. 

One of the largest points of confusion for students is the decision for students to not return to campus after the Thanksgiving break. 

This decision was made at the recommendation of public health officials, who say that mass travel during a pandemic, especially during the flu season, can raise concerns for transmission of viruses. 

Maggie Engnes, an elementary education student, says she is slightly confused by the decision. 

“I understand their concern and why they are doing that,” Engnes says, “but my opinion on that is that it doesn’t make any difference between me coming to campus after spending all summer at home, versus me coming back after a week at home in November.” 

The campus will remain open for those who live in Mankato, and students who wish to remain in their dorms for the remainder of the semester will be allowed to do so. 

Classes, as of now, are planned to resume in person again at the beginning of spring semester. 

Students are also now required to complete an online self screening before coming to campus. The screening is designed to keep students, faculty and guests accountable for being healthy while on campus.

For classes that were supposed to be in person but are now online, students will not be charged the online differential fee. Classes that were originally supposed to be online will still have the fee. 

Masks will be mandatory anywhere on campus unless a student is in his or her own dorm. University-branded masks were mailed out to students over the summer in order to ensure that everyone on campus had access to a facial covering. 

University administrators are adamant in the point that the spread on campus can be avoided if students keep up with the safety procedures put into place, both on campus and off.

 In a recent interview on campus radio station KMSU, MNSU provost Matt Cecil urged the campus community to follow safety measures. 

“We need people to follow those rules, to be aware of social distancing, to wear those face coverings whether they are on campus or not,” Cecil said. “Otherwise, we just can’t do it. This virus is just too contagious.” 

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