On Tuesday April 27, Radford University announced the full reopening of campus operations for the fall semester beginning August 24, 2020. Radford is the first school in the Virginia to announce their reopening despite the state not yet announcing when the state will fully reopen. In a prior press conference, Gov. Northam stated that he will not even consider reopening the state until the number of positive cases is on a decline for at least two weeks. The announcement to reopen the university with full operations has created varying opinions and mixed feelings for a lot of students. Senior, Carly Housden believes that it is too early to announce anything because we don’t know what is going to happen over the summer. Other students believe that regardless of when the state and the country reopen, there will be a second wave of COVID-19.
“As a nursing major graduating in the fall, I’m for social distancing. However, I am not a fan of online classes because it threw off my clinical hours this semester. I’ve had to put in more work doing case studies, zoom, and other assignments to get my hours in,” Savannah Taylor said, “I honestly am grateful campus is opening back up but there needs to be changes to prevent the spread of COVID-19. There needs to also be policies that everyone should abide by for social distancing and I believe we should all still wear masks and not go to class when sick.”
University spokeswoman Caitlyn Scaggs stated “The decision is out of alignment to meet the needs of our students, faculty and staff and also with our commitment to maintain the health, safety and wellbeing of our broader Radford family. We felt it really important that our students especially knew what to expect from us and how we were thinking.”
It looks as if the university has already planned for new regulations and precautions regarding ways to keep students and faculty safe.
“We are working diligently on contingency planning to account for continued developments based on analysis and research by public health experts,” President Brian Hemphill said, “Additionally, we are examining policies and procedures regarding social distancing protocol personal protective equipment (or PPE) utilization, testing availability, classroom configuration, event size, etc.”
James Madison University posted on their website that they plan to reopen for the fall semester, but they did not make a definite decision or announcement. Senior, Veva Schriefer said she understands the university “wanting to give hope. However, they announced the reopening too early and they should have announced the intent to reopen instead of a definite plan.”
Although summer classes will remain fully online, some university officials will have to return to work before the semester begins.