Written by Devon Mitchell
On August 15th, students returned to campus in the first phase of move ins. Amid the pandemic, the Roanoke College administration has been eager for students to return to campus safely. The return means new rules and guidelines as well as new practices and adjustments to ensure the health and safety of students and staff. Updated policies have been put into place to help reduce the chances of an outbreak on campus.
Roanoke College is working tirelessly and accordingly to help prevent the spread of the virus. Precautions have been set in place to ensure students and faculty on campus are safe, and those who will be returning can do so in a safe environment. These Precautions include hand washing stations located around campus, adjustments to dining in commons as well as additional dining in Alumni Gym, and additional cleaning services in dorms and classrooms. Additionally, it is required of students to wear masks in common areas and to submit a health assessment form every day. It is expected of students to social distance whenever possible and wash their hands or using hand sanitizer whenever possible.
One of the most important policy updates refers to large gatherings. Large gatherings and parties are a violation to both Roanoke College policy and Virginia State law.
Last Friday an email was sent to students from President Maxey expressing the state of the situation at Roanoke. As of August 21st, four students had tested positive. Additionally, six students have been removed from the college due to violations in relation to off-campus parties. President Maxey’s email to the students was clear. Do not host or attend parties. Noting the risk in hosting gatherings, President Maxey reminds students of not only their health, but the health of their professors and the faculty.
President Maxey states, “Parties and social gatherings can directly result in everyone having to return home for remote classes for the semester.”
He continues to explain that the Roanoke College Community is not the only to feel the effects of student’s absence on campus. Going online would be felt far beyond students. The Roanoke Valley would also feel the implications.
Since this initial email was sent, fifteen students have tested positive and the second phase of move in has been delayed until September. Still,
President Maxey stresses the importance of student behavior. Students, in a new email sent out this past Monday, are once again asked to abide by the rules and are asked not to leave campus.
While the new policy and Code of Conduct may be frustrating, President Maxey makes it clear that the school is here for their students and wants to see responsible citizens working together in the best interest of their community. In these difficult times, we are reminded we are better when working together. So, remember Maroons, wear your masks, wash your hands, and socially distance.