Clemson Board of Trustees sets timetable for full return to campus
|Wednesday, May 20, 2020, 2:04 PM- -|
Clemson University was ahead of the curve heading into the pandemic that has shut down most of the country and will be ahead of the curve when classes resume in the fall.
The Clemson University Board of Trustees held a Board of Trustees meeting via Zoom Wednesday at noon in which Clemson University President James Clements said the university plans to open fall semester on schedule and it will have in-person classes and will have students in its resident halls when the fall semester begins on August 19.
“Our stance has not changed from that meeting on April 23, in fact, it has only strengthened,” Clements said on the call.
The university plan calls for three stages of opening with Phase 1 starting June 1. According to Clemson University Police Chief Greg Mullen, Phase 1 will be limited to on-campus work. Workers returning at that time will include facilities and maintenance staff. Those employees will then begin to get the campus ready for the return of students and other employees.
The key component for getting Phase 2 started will be something that Mullen called “downward trajectory.” Clemson will start to monitor the number of COVID-19 cases in the area for a period of 14 days. If there continues to be what he termed downward trajectory, the university will then start Phase 2, which will include more faculty and university employees returning to campus.
Phase 2 includes the re-opening of campus gyms and recreational areas, even though no mention was made of student-athletes.
“Starting to really re-energize a lot of those in-person opportunities on campus, but still letting those most vulnerable stay home and work remotely and for those that are carrying for vulnerable members of their family so there is still an opportunity for them to remain working remotely,” Mullen said. “As we continue to open up those areas, we get back into things such as gyms and recreational facilities and other areas that can open.”
Phase 3 is when the university expects all employees and students to return to campus, and the hope is that all classes will have in-person instruction.
“It is important to understand that the future state, that is phase three, may continue for a period of time and it will be a new normal,” Mullen said. “So, we will still be executing social distancing… and things that will help us remain healthy for a period of time once we move into phase three and until additional medical opportunities are presented to us to contain the virus.”