Student Life in Columbia as the Pandemic Continues to Loom

It was no secret to anyone that the 2020 academic year would be a mess—we just did not know what the mess would look like. The students are back, and this year looks different than any other year before it. Traditional student life requires students to be in close quarters frequently. Students live in dorms, take classes in crowded auditoriums, and frequent packed bars and restaurants. All this traditional student behavior is likely to spell disaster for Missouri’s institutions of higher education. Here is what these institutions are doing to keep students and campus as safe as possible during the pandemic:

The University of Missouri

Over the summer, the University of Missouri adopted its “Show Me Renewal” plan in which students and faculty are given detailed procedures on how to return to campus life. The plan requires students and faculty to observe social distancing and wear masks while on campus. The plan does not apply to students when they are in their dorm room. As of right now, classes are taking place in-person. The University of Missouri retains the right to move all classes online if circumstances warrant such action.

Additionally, Mizzou is requiring students and faculty to undergo training in an effort “to provide general guidance for our return to campus.”  The University of Missouri urges students and faculty to verify all contact information with the University. Verifying your contact information, the University says, will help any contact tracing efforts needed in the future.

The University of Missouri plans to move forward with the 2020 football season. Faurot Field will be reduced to 25% seating capacity and face masks will be required to attend.

Columbia College

Columbia College has released comprehensive instructions for students and faculty in its “Return to Campus Guidelines.” Students and faculty are required to observe social distancing and wear masks on campus. Classes are being held both online and in-person. International students traveling from outside of U.S. will be required to quarantine for 14 days before attending in-person classes and events. Columbia College’s Return to Campus Guidelines include instructions for vulnerable persons returning to campus, support for mental and emotional well-being, as well as instructions for addressing non-compliance with campus guidelines.

Stephens College

Stephens College will offer all its classes both in-person and online. The academic year started early for students attending Stephens College. Additionally, classes at Stephens College will wrap up around Thanksgiving break. Students will take final exams and give final presentations after the break. Stephens College released guidelines for current and incoming students, employees, and prospective students.

Moberly Area Community College (MACC)

Most classes at MACC have been moved to an online format. The online classes are scheduled at the same time as the regular, in-person classes. According to ABC 17, some of the classes will remain in-person due to the nature of the class. MACC has released links for “Return to Campus Guidance” and “CARES Act Reporting Information.”

Good luck, Students!

The Law Office of Chris Miller would like to wish all students in Columbia to have a safe fall semester. Remember, the guidelines provided for you by your institution of higher education were made to ensure your safety as well as the safety of the surrounding community. We are in this together, lets get through this together.