During the virtual town hall on Tuesday, BGSU President Rodney Rogers discussed further plans to repopulate campus safely. These new details provided updated information on course delivery, health protocols, residence and campus life and finances.
The university will implement three formats to ensure that physical distancing standards are met.
For face-to-face hybrid classes, students will meet with their professors in person throughout the week. If a student cannot attend an in-person class, they will have the opportunity to participate remotely.
“Over 70% of classes are planned to be in a face-to-face, technology-infused hybrid approach,” Rogers said.
For remote classes, students will have specified times throughout the week to meet with their professor virtually, including scheduled office hours.
Similar to classes held virtually, online classes will give students the flexibility to complete course material at any time throughout the day.
BGSU’s new Chief Health Officer, Ben Batey, has recently partnered with the university to monitor the spread of COVID-19 and adopt policies that comply with physical distancing standards.
Batey, appointed in 2014, takes on this new role @bgsu as plans for increased partnership between @WCHDOhio and the university are developed.— BG Falcon Media (@BGFalconMedia) June 25, 2020
The health department worked with BGSU in an advising role during the rise of the #COVID19 pandemic. https://t.co/OIHPJr2DBk
“Distance is our first line of defense. … keeping greater than six feet away from others really helps us to slow the spread of any particular virus,” Batey said.
To maintain social distancing, all small-capacity classes will be redesigned so that students and faculty are six feet apart. Larger classes will be divided into sections. Each section will meet in person at least once per week, while the rest of the class participates remotely.
In terms of additional preventative measures, the Falcon Health Center is working to provide COVID-19 testing across campus.
“As the testing capabilities ramp up … randoming testing of the students and faculty and staff … can give us an idea of what we’re seeing on campus. If we would see certain outbreaks start to happen in a particular residence hall or group … we could test everyone in that group to make sure we’re getting people isolated or quarantined as quickly as possible to slow down the spread of that virus,” Batey said.
Residence and campus life
For the dining halls, self-served options will no longer be available. However, students will have the opportunity to place takeout orders.
Additionally, Starship robots have extended their service in the city of Bowling Green giving both on- and off-campus students an extra outlet for ordering food.
In terms of campus life updates, the university plans to partially reopen the recreation center on July 6.
The library will also open during the fall semester and will continue to serve students using the learning commons and tutoring programs.
Athletic programs are planned to continue as well.
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Joe Whitehead addressed student concerns over losing academic scholarships.
He expressed that Bowling Green will honor all scholarships for any student taking a semester off due to the pandemic.
Additionally, Rogers discussed questions regarding adjustments to tuition costs.
“We don’t plan to make an adjustment on the tuition. … Part of the reason for that is when you begin to think of the online universities that are out there … you’ll see that what they charge is sometimes more than what we charge per credit for an undergraduate. We’ve tried to make sure we are being as value conscious as possible thinking about the cost of education,” Rogers said.