Campus Life Seeks to Provide “Sense of Normalcy”

Doc Bryan Student Services Center
Doc Bryan Student Services Center

Staff members and student leaders associated with the Arkansas Tech University Department of Campus Life are working to modify in-person programming to fit the evolving nature of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and offer impactful opportunities for co-curricular enrichment during the fall 2020 semester.

“Returning and new students want a sense of normalcy,” said Kevin Solomon, ATU associate dean for campus life. “We value the investment that students make with their fees and want to provide return on that investment while also safeguarding the health and safety of all concerned.”

Solomon said the ATU Department of Campus Life is reviewing more than 100 proposals for fall 2020 sessions in its On Track program, which provides students with personal development opportunities in areas such as career readiness, citizenship, community building, cultural competency, financial literacy, leadership and wellness.

“We are planning to offer programming in person,” said Solomon. “Sessions will be tailored to fit the phases of pandemic recovery as we progress through the semester. It is disappointing to not be able to host some of our traditional large-scale events such as the ATU Involvement Fair, but our staff and our student leaders are excited about developing innovative solutions. We are prepared to offer duplicate sessions of programs as needed, and we are evaluating our options to determine which ones would allow us to pivot to a virtual environment if that becomes necessary. Adaptability will be key.”

Additional entities within the ATU Department of Campus Life such as the ATU Student Activities Board (SAB), the ATU Office of Campus Recreation and the ATU Office of Civic Engagement are also creating multi-tiered plans for fall 2020. Those plans include health and safety provisions to limit the spread of the virus and the ability to shift programs online if circumstances of the pandemic require it.

“The Student Activities Board has been regularly meeting this summer to plan for this upcoming semester,” said Arianna Woodard, an ATU senior from Alma and 2020-21 president of ATU SAB. “We are so excited to be back planning engaging and inclusive events for the student body. With that being said, we have found it necessary to alter the traditional schedule of events for the safety of all the students, faculty and staff. We are working diligently to meet the safety guidelines of the university to make sure we are doing everything we can. We are working to balance in-person programming with restricted numbers, as well as virtual programming. Our executive board is working creatively to plan those activities for students.”

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