News - Task Force Prepares GU to Safely Host Students This Fall

Task Force Prepares GU to Safely Host Students This Fall

Task Force Prepares GU to Safely Host Students This Fall

As GU employees gear up for a return to the workplace, and campus gears up to host returning students as soon as early August, another group gears up for safety: the GU Fall Re-Launch Task Force.

Dean of Students Ross Baker, who heads the task force, says its mission is to “balance safety issues while allowing the GU experience and GU traditions to thrive.”

In the next two months before students return, the task force will explore how to maintain effective social distancing and hygiene in the classroom, in common spaces like residence halls and eating spaces, in offices, in athletics, and at events for students and prospective students. It will also oversee the regular cleaning and disinfection of all areas on campus.

“Throughout our planning for reopening Greenville University’s campus for face-to-face instruction this fall, student safety in the classroom, the residence halls, and across campus is a top priority,” Baker said. “While we want to return to normal as much as possible, we need to be mindful of all members in our community and how we can implement new protocols to protect one another.” 

Best practices shared from higher education and government entities will help guide the task force, Baker says. In addition, he and GU President Suzanne Davis participate in daily conversations with local civic and health leaders. Members of the task force include faculty, staff, the Bond County Health Department administrator, and a member of St. Louis-based WFF Cleaning Services. Emergency Management Specialist Dr. Allen Turner will serve as consultant to the team.

The group is also tasked with evaluating how Illinois’ reopening guidelines may impact the University. 

The State of Illinois currently operates under the five-phase Restore Illinois plan. Greenville University’s region is in the third of five phases. Phase three allows cautious reopening of many nonessential businesses and services under strict safety measures. So far, the southern region of Illinois is on track to reach phase four, which would allow larger gatherings and nonessential travel.

The announcement of GU’s new task force comes as GU begins transitioning employees from remote to on-campus work and prepares campus for the arrival of students as soon as early August. 

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This story was published on June 08, 2020

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