University of Arkansas prepares to welcome faculty and students to campus

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"We want them feeling like they're safe and secure while also providing them that college experience that they're expecting."

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — On Monday (June 15) some University of Arkansas faculty will start coming back to campus.

This includes IT workers and researchers who will be joining essential workers, including custodial, housing, and dining staff who have already been on campus the past several weeks. Faculty members who can continue working remotely are encouraged to stay home.

Communications manager for the university, John Thomas, said the process to safely bring people back to campus will take place in phases:

  • Phase one: Starts on June 15. Welcomes some faculty to campus
  • Phase two: Welcomes more staff on campus
  • Phase three: Allowing students on campus in August for the beginning of the school year.

“We’re hoping this phased approach, with all these other steps that we’ve put in place, will get campus ready for students,” Thomas said. “We want them feeling like they’re safe and secure while also providing them that college experience that they’re expecting.”

Thomas said cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting high traffic areas will be the top priority as people come back.

Public areas such as lecture halls, bathrooms, and classrooms are consistently being cleaned and Thomas said that practice will continue into the fall.

The university’s housing department is also working to get residence halls ready.

One of the big changes students will see come August is a limited amount of help during move-in. Thomas said that will help limit person to person contact. 

There will also be private rooms for anyone who may need to go through a 14 day quarantine period. 

Overall, thee goal is to provide students as normal of a college experience as possible

“We’re trying to keep our students at ease and to let them understand that when they come to college, and when they come to our campus this semester, it’s going to look a little bit different,” Thomas said. “But if they stay flexible as much as we are, they will be able to have as much of a college experience as they can within certain guidelines that have been given to us.”

The 2020 move in plan also includes additional move in dates to decrease the number of people coming in at once.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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