With many changes already implemented to in-person classes, COVID-19 precautions persist into dorm life.

"We have thirty-two custodial staff that include maintenance and supervisory staff with one point one million square feet to cover," said William McKernan, director of University Facilities. "To mitigate additional cleaning requirements faculty are  responsible to disinfect classrooms between classes...it would be impossible for our staff to go into every classroom and disinfect between classes (given the ten minute waiting time for the cleaner to be effective)."

According to McKernan, while faculty may not be properly trained to clean classrooms it wouldn't be possible to hold class without the cleaning between courses.

"We have two-hundred some classrooms and labs on campus," McKernan said. "To clean between each class would be phenomenal and require much more labor power."

As part of the Fall Planning Group, McKernan helped to create examples of proper classrooms.

"We assisted (in designing) one or two classrooms in every building as an example," McKernan said. "We continue to maintain (the campus vision) but it has become a little more difficult to maintain with our crews having to wear masks."

While many campus policies have affected on-campus life, students living on-campus have also undergone various changes in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

"It's not what I signed up for but I'm not too upset by it," said Tabitha Cowley, Freshman secondary English education major, a Morse hall resident. "We can't bunk beds which is about the only room thing that changed so far."

Cowley said that choosing who too associate with has been difficult in the pandemic.

"It's a weird kind of like click to choose who you hang out with very carefully," Cowley said. "I prefer to quarantine here then to go home if I have to."

Students like Paige Martinez, freshman elementary education major, have had to make the decision to live on-campus without any alternatives.

"I've never really seen people care about the restrictions. The other people on my floor always have a bunch of people over," Martinez said. "(The resident assistant) doesn't really seem to be doing anything. I think people are really sneaky about coming in through the back (door). I think it defeats the purpose of having any rules."

Coming from Hutchinson, Martinez said living off campus wasn't an option.

"I really wanted to stay in the dorms anyway," Martinez said. "I feel like it's not really the college experience if you aren't living on-campus."

For more information on ESUs reopening strategy visit https://www.emporia.edu/covid-19-information/esu-fall-2020-return-campus/.

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