Brigham Young University students got the green light to return to campus Monday for Fall Semester. The hope is they get the green light every morning.
BYU will look different and proceed differently this school year beginning with morning COVID-19 checks.
Students, faculty and staff will use the Healthy Together App to complete daily symptom checks, according to the BYU website.
“If any person feels sick, he or she should stay home instead of coming to campus,” according to the school. “Before accessing in-person campus services, each person will be required to show a green indicator on the “Daily Checkup” screen. If students or employees have an orange or red indicator on the checkup screen, they should get tested immediately and connect with the campus service remotely. Personal COVID-19 test results also will be accessible through the app.”
Face masks are required inside and outside in all areas of the campus. Social distancing and hand sanitizers also are required.
All students, faculty and staff also must take a safety training before returning to campus. According to the school after the training, each person must commit to adhering to the safety policies and guidelines.
BYU has a total of 33,511 daytime students, with the male/female ratio being right at 50% each.
Fall Semester starts with a mix of in-person classes and remote delivery, according to the school.
“All classes and exams will be remote after Thanksgiving break. Students who travel home for Thanksgiving are encouraged to finish the semester at home to prevent a potential increase of COVID-19 in the campus community in December,” the school website said.
During the general session for faculty and staff held Thursday, President Kevin J Worthen encouraged those listening to not just look at the current situation in a BC (before COVID-19) and an AC (after COVID-19) mindset.
“I hope we don’t just survive this unusual experience but that we lean into it in a way that both reconfirms the essential components of our prior core goals and also accelerates our progress toward them,” Worthen said. “That is admittedly a very ambitious, audacious and some would say unrealistic aspiration, but I believe that we are better positioned than any other university to do this – that we were built for this.”
Students will have a chance to hear Worthen and his wife, Peggy S. Worthen, during their opening devotional at 11:15 a.m., Sept. 8. Specific details on the delivery format for each devotional and forum will be forthcoming.
During the five months when campus was closed, physical facilities and other departments have worked hard to get classrooms and other areas on campus changed to help make a safer environment for all who come to BYU.
Aside from the usual hand sanitizer stations and social-distanced tables, hands-free fixtures have been installed in campus restrooms.
“Buildings are being tuned for maximum air filtration, and building care employees will frequently sanitize high traffic touch points,” the school website said. “Most classrooms have newly added cameras and microphones to enhance the ability to broadcast class sessions.”
Cashless transactions only will be accepted at the Cougareat and other dining locations, as well as the bookstore.
According to the school, “To minimize lines at BYU’s dining establishments, ordering will happen through the BYU mobile app or one of 15 kiosks.”
It is now up to students, faculty and staff to see how this semester turns out and if students can glean a true college experience from the new paradigm that is in place.