As Indiana University Southeast quickly approaches its one-year mark of having to adapt to the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, officials and students are optimistically looking forward.
IU President Michael McRobbie announced Feb. 24 that the fall semester would return to mostly normal operations, including in-person instruction for most classes.
“Though we expect that some of our present public health policies may need to remain in place, we expect that this semester will see a return to mostly normal operations of the university,” McRobbie said.
With the COVID-19 precautions put into place, a lot of IUS students will feel safe going back in the Fall 2021 semester.
Colton Cooper, a junior majoring in marketing, said he believes IU is making the right decision.
“I live on campus and everyone maintains social distancing and wears a mask, and according to their reports, we have little to no [COVID-19] cases a week,” Cooper said. “If everybody wears a mask and social distances Fall 2021, it would be plausible to see IU Southeast go completely normal in spring 2022.”
Kyle Mieczkowski, a junior majoring in criminal justice, said that the university has made strides to facilitate this decision and is on the right track to return to normalcy.
“I think people are tired of being locked up and I think we are at a good point in regards to vaccine distribution, so going back to in-person classes was a good call,” Mieczkowski said.
The decision was made on the basis of advice from IU’s medical and public health experts who have been leading the university’s continuous response to the public health crisis.
According to the IUS COVID-19 Testing Dashboard, as of Mar. 3, mitigation testing results show a 0% positivity rate among the 266 tests administered this week. This is the lowest universitywide positivity rate to date.
As of Wednesday, more than 1.1 million individuals in the state of Indiana have received at least one dose of the vaccine, and over 700,000 have been fully vaccinated.
McRobbie said he strongly encourages all members of the IU community to pursue getting vaccinated if eligible.
IU Southeast Chancellor Ray Wallace said this news is a result of all of IU Southeast’s hard work and strict adherence to IU’s health and safety guidelines.
Wallace said that he is proud of the IUS community and the commitment that everyone is taking to keep each other safe and healthy.
“Together we are moving forward,” Wallace said.