Mayville State President’s Newspaper Column

December 12, 2020

Adjusting to life in a temporary new normal

We’re settling into a temporary new normal. Following the Thanksgiving holiday, Comets Choose was made available for all students who had been attending classes on campus. This means that individual students may choose to continue to attend their classes in person on campus or take the classes via online delivery. The students have not been asked to make a specific choice. They are able to choose either option at any time throughout the remainder of the fall semester.

The idea behind this decision is to reduce the population density in classes and on campus, which will potentially help to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. Since the Comets Choose option is so flexible and could change from day to day, it’s hard to know for sure just how many students are attending classes on campus on any given day. We estimate that about 45% of the students who had been attending classes on campus in-person are continuing to do so.

Even though they may be attending classes online, many students continue to reside in the community and on campus, making use of campus services and activities including Dining Services. Bryan Karolus and his Dining Services staff continue to work extremely hard to provide meals in a COVID-19-safe environment, following the guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and North Dakota Department of Health. We are grateful to this hard-working and kind group of people who make days brighter for the Mayville State campus family.

The men’s and women’s basketball seasons are underway and Mayville State has hosted some home games. The temporary new normal related to basketball is to allow 50 spectators into the Lewy Lee for games. Each head coach keeps a list. Those who wish to be admitted must be on a coach’s list. When there are double-headers, fans in attendance at the early game must leave the fieldhouse immediately following the game so fans for the late game may enter. Fans for opposing teams will not be admitted. This holds true when the Comets play in away contests. These attendance protocols will continue until such time that the COVID-19 risk level in our area changes.

It is nearly impossible for our student recruitment representatives to get into high schools this year. Pre-pandemic, Mayville State representatives spent a great deal of time visiting in the high schools throughout North Dakota, and into Minnesota, South Dakota, and Montana, as well as other locations. Now it is all but impossible for our student recruiters to visit high schools. Jim Morowski and his staff are working creatively and thinking outside of the box to come up with ways to connect with prospective students. They’re inviting interested people to visit the campus in person or to arrange for a personalized virtual visit.

Head football coach Rocky Larson and his staff have made connections and are in the midst of a recruitment blitz that includes home visits to prospective student-athletes. They’re blanketing the state of North Dakota and making a considerable number of stops in Minnesota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Arizona. We’re Comet Proud of their outstanding efforts and look forward to seeing the results of their work.

The campus is beginning to shine with some holiday flair. Mayville State retirees Merwin and Myrna Lyng have donated a fresh-cut tree for decorating and displaying in the Campus Center Foyer. We are grateful to the Lyngs for their thoughtfulness and generosity. They have donated trees from their property south of Mayville for many years. Members of the facilities services staff go out, cut the tree down, and bring it to campus where they set it up in the Campus Center Foyer. This year, the Staff Senate agreed to take on the responsibility of decorating the tree. The lovely tree adorned in Comet colors greets members of the Mayville State family as the enter the Campus Center Foyer from the west. We are grateful to all involved with this project. It’s giving us a taste of the holidays and life as normal, which is definitely something to celebrate this year.

Before we know it, finals week will be underway. The fall semester will wrap up with tests Dec. 14-18. So much has happened during the fall semester! This is one for the books, something we’ve never experienced before. We charted new territory while navigating a pandemic. It is gratifying to know that we were able to get through this in a way that is important to our students – by offering in-person classes and services on campus. This accomplishment should not be taken lightly. It could only have happened with the hard work and dedication of the members of the Mayville State family. We’ve given our very best efforts to try to keep one another safe and healthy. Thank you to all who have made this possible.

We eagerly await the Spring Semester of 2021, which begins on Jan. 11. Excitement will fill the campus as the new semester begins with a full return to on-campus course delivery and services. To learn more about enrolling in the spring semester, contact Jim Morowski at There’s no cost to apply! The $35 application fee is waived through December 31.