CU Denver’s most unique semester

New campus protocol aims to keep students safe in the midst of the pandemic. Photo: Aman Tewolde · The Sentry

University enforces new safety measures to prevent COVID-19 infection

New campus protocol aims to keep students safe in the midst of the pandemic.
Photo: Aman Tewolde · The Sentry

COVID-19 has taken what almost everyone, to some degree, was used to and has turned it upside down. Schools and colleges have become one of the most affected areas, as faculty, students, and staff work to find a balance between continuing the education experience, while also making sure safety is a top priority.

After months of virtual meetings, research and debates, CU Denver has come to a consensus on what the fall semester is going to look like, and it’s a little bit different for everyone. For the most part, the majority of classes will be held remotely or online. Remote courses will have a scheduled meeting time via Zoom; online courses don’t meet at a certain time, but still have deadlines to turn in classwork. Some classes will be hybrid, which is a mix of online and in-person. Finally, in-person classes will be an option, but they are very limited. Most in-person classes will be more hands-on, like visual arts, some science labs, or engineering. Social distancing and mask-wearing will be required. Any meetings of either staff or students are highly encouraged to meet over Zoom rather than in person.

According to the CU Safe Return website, in order to come back to campus, faculty, students, and staff must complete an online training session on how to return to campus safely. There will be on-campus temperature scanners and testing sites, and social distancing, hand-washing and sanitation will be strictly enforced. There will also be a mandatory daily health check-in, which is a requirement before entering campus. Students and faculty will also be required to wear a mask and an ID badge.

These new measures will affect everyone, but students who live on-campus will have even more rules to follow. As of August 2020, students who live on campus will not have roommates, and will be moved into the single studio apartment option available at Lynx Crossing. Students will also not be allowed to check in any guests. It isn’t clear if this will continue through the second semester.

If someone is exposed to COVID-19 or has tested positive, they must report their positive test to the school to keep others safe. A self-report option is available on the Safe Return website. When a person self-reports, they will be asked about anyone they’ve been in contact with, and these people will be notified respectively. It is important to note that when someone self-reports, their identity is kept anonymous.

Of course, it will be a challenge to maintain safety and social distance while also trying to provide a college campus experience. But, until a vaccine or treatment is widely available, this germ-conscious campus with several types of courses will be something the CU community will have to work with.

This is a selection from the Aug. 26 issue. To view the full issue, visit:

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