UND students returning to campus will see change, because of COVID-19 | Prairie Public Broadcasting

UND students returning to campus will see change, because of COVID-19

Jul 13, 2020

As UND prepares to re-open its campus, students coming or returning to campus this fall will see some changes, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.

UND Vice President for Finance and Operations Jed Shivers said the goal is to have a “less dense environment,” to prevent the spread of the virus.

"We're going to have classrooms that have a normal capacity of 100 people be limited to 30 or so, to maintain six feet of social distancing," Shivers said.

At the same time, Shivers said UND wants to make sure faculty will be confident in teaching in the classroom.

"We're installing plexiglass shields," Shivers said. "Faculty can lecture behind it. And there will be microphones to make sure they're easily heard."

Shivers said he thinks UND has a lot of classroom space to accommodate most students.

"We're even looking, and starting to schedule, the Chester Fritz Auditorium for really large classes," Shivers said.

Shivers said some students will still have “remote classes.” He said the thinking is the majority ot students will be online.

"Our estimate at this point, and it really is a rough estimate, because we won't know until the school year starts, is that we thing we'll have just over 13,000 people on campus -- faculty, students and staff," Shivers said.

There will also be limits in the residence halls.

"What we have already planned to do is to put one student per room, as opposed to two," said UND Vice President for Student Affairs Cara Halgren.  She said that means in a suite setting, two students will share a bathroom, instead of four students.

"We've also opened up some residence halls that haven't been used for a while," Halgren said. "It's an effort to make sure students all have the opportunity to have a single room. This is something a little different for us."

As for dining facilities, Halgren said the goal continues to be to reduce density, and altering patterns for services that are available.

"What we're looking at doing is to be able to deliver meals off-site from the dining centers," Halgren said. "Students can pick up a meal."

Halgren said the idea is to have less people in more spaces.

"We don't want everyone converging on the dining center at the same time," Halgren said. "That doesn't help us reduce density."

Students and faculty will also be required to wear masks.