MSU President's Column for Traill County Tribune
August 8, 2020
Safety efforts pave the way to our commitment to offering face-to-face instruction this fall
We eagerly await the return of students to the Mayville State campus for the fall semester. It will be great to restore our sense of community in a face-to-face situation, even if things are a little different from what we have come to know, we will always be “The School of Personal Service.” Classes will begin at 4 p.m. Monday, Aug. 24.
Our faculty and staff have been working diligently to ensure that we can provide a learning environment that is as safe and vibrant as possible this fall. I am grateful to the members of the COVID-19 Restart taskforce. Their work has been invaluable to our ability to be prepared to serve students. Development of the Mayville State Campus Restart Guidebook, which demonstrates changes needed in areas of academics and operations, was released late last week. The guidebook will continue to be updated as the situation with the pandemic evolves. The guidebook and all Mayville State coronavirus pandemic-related information can be found on our website at www.mayvillestate.edu/Fall2020Restart.
It won’t be long before our student athletes begin to arrive. The NAIA has ruled that volleyball and football may begin practices on August 15. Student athletes must be tested for COVID-19 prior to beginning practice, so we’ve arranged for a mass testing event specifically for Mayville State student athletes to be held Wednesday, Aug. 12.
We are strongly encouraging all employees and students who attend classes on campus, but who are not student athletes, to be tested for COVID as well. Mayville State representatives have made arrangements with Traill County District Health, led by Brenda Stallman, along with the North Dakota National Guard to conduct several mass testing events for Mayville State personnel. They will take place in the Wellness Center gymnasium. Dates and times are as follows:
- Wednesday, Aug. 12, 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. – Mayville State student athletes
- Wednesday, Aug. 12, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Mayville State staff, including Child Development Programs employees
- Wednesday, Aug. 19, 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. – Mayville State faculty and any staff unable to test on August 12
- Monday, Aug. 24, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Mayville State students attending on-campus classes in the fall semester
While the Wellness Center has been open for several weeks now, the return of student-athletes puts an increased demand on the facility. According to North Dakota Smart Restart guidelines, the state remains in the green, or low, risk level. For fitness centers, this means the number of people allowed to use the facility at the same time is limited. To ensure that community Wellness Center members are able to use the facility, we are working to identify two hours each day when only community members may enter. Days and staggered times will be announced soon.
Everyone will continue to be screened when they come in the Wellness Center door and use of the card key system will not be allowed until North Dakota can reach the next level of safety. In the event someone who has been using the Wellness Center should test positive for COVID-19, the facility will be closed for 24 hours to allow for sanitizing.
In consideration of a resolution recently adopted by the State Board of Higher Education and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Mayville State University will now be requiring that all individuals on Mayville State University property or participating in official university events wear face coverings to contain potentially contaminated droplets while indoors. This requirement will go into effect on Monday, August 10 and be in force until further notice.
The new face covering requirement applies to the Wellness Center, as well as all of the campus. Patrons must wear masks at all times, except when they are engaged in the various workouts offered, including use of the treadmills, weight machines, fitness classes, etc.
The requirement for the use of cloth face coverings on the Mayville State campus brings some special circumstances for Child Development Programs children and employees. Use of face masks is not recommended for young children. Jessica Amb and the CDP administration are working with the president’s cabinet to develop guidelines specific to the CDP.
We are committed to providing face-to-face instruction throughout the fall semester. We know that this is what our students want and we are going to put forth our very best efforts to provide this for them. As I’ve said before, it’s always a Great Day To Be A Comet, and there truly is no better time to be a student at Mayville State University. Our rural area is especially appealing at a time when physical distancing has been identified as a key component to slowing the spread of the coronavirus. People on our campus and in our community care about one another. We go above and beyond to follow the guidelines to help ensure the safety of our friends and neighbors. If you know of someone who could benefit from a Mayville State education, encourage him or her to check out the opportunities available. Call 701-788-4842 to visit with a recruitment representative or arrange for a campus visit. It’s free to apply through Sept. 2. The application fee is being waived!