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SSC to Reopen to the Public, Outlines Safety Measures for the Fall Semester

Elisabeth Slay
The Shawnee News-Star

Seminole State College will reopen its campus to students and prospective students on June 29 to aid with the enrollment process. The College has been closed to the public since March in an effort to safeguard student and community health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

While all summer classes have been conducted online, the College plans to offer face-to-face instruction in the fall, as well as additional online and blended format classes. They will be implementing several precautions to meet Center for Disease Control recommendations.

. “Our biggest priority is to keep students, employees and campus guests safe,” SSC President Lana Reynolds said. “One of the College’s biggest strengths lies in close interaction between students and faculty.”

SSC will offer scheduled face-to-face classes where feasible, with consideration to class sizes and meeting spaces.

“It is understood that, depending on resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent CDC recommendations, students and faculty must be prepared to pivot to virtual delivery,” President Reynolds said.

Some classes will be restructured to incorporate online instruction with reduced face-to-face classroom time. More than 80 classes will be offered online for the fall term. Distance education fees normally assessed for online instruction will be waived unless the class was originally designed as online.

The Vice President for Academic Affairs, working with the five Academic Division Chairs and faculty, will evaluate delivery methods for each class on the fall schedule. Efforts will be made to utilize various spaces on campus to provide social distancing and allow for cleaning times between sessions.

The wearing of masks will be highly encouraged. Masks will be provided for those who need them.

Clear protective barriers will be installed in areas serving the public in the Walkingstick Student Services Center and the SSC Bookstore. Beginning June 29, 2020, students and potential students will be allowed to enter SSC buildings for enrolling, paying of bills and advising on a limited basis. Testing will be available to students by appointment only. The number of students allowed in office areas and the SSC Bookstore will be limited. Students may bring one person into the building with them. Employees and students will be required to wear face masks during personal interactions. Campus guests will be subject to health screening questions and temperature checks when entering SSC buildings.

Sports will resume in accordance with NJCAA rules and following guidelines established by Region II member institutions regarding contests. Coaches and athletes will also be required to following expectations set by Seminole State College.

Students who plan to reside on campus will be subject to health screenings and temperature checks at the time of residence hall move-in. Students will be allowed to have one additional helper for assistance with moving into the residence halls. Health screenings and temperature checks may also be required for the helper. Spaces will be reserved in each residence hall should students need to be quarantined. Numbers of occupants will be reduced from last year in each hall. Furniture in common areas will be reduced and spaced for social distancing. Students will be encouraged to limit gatherings to 10 people or less. Products for sanitizing and cleaning, as well as protective masks, will be provided for use in the residence hall. No visitors will be allowed in the residence halls. Changes will also be made to the Student Union. No salad bar or buffet-style service will be available. Organized mealtimes will be staggered to reduce the number of people eating in the E.T. Dunlap Student Union at any given time. Tables and chairs will be arranged for optimum spacing between those eating or studying in the Student Union.

Outside groups will be allowed to use and rent public spaces on campus on a limited basis beginning September 1, 2020. The size of the group and planned activities will be evaluated by the President’s Office in determining whether the group may meet on campus. Groups will be encouraged to follow current CDC and State of Oklahoma guidelines when meeting on campus. Groups will be required to adhere to special CDC guidelines implemented by campus food service. Rental fees assessed for use of SSC facilities will be increased to offset extra efforts for cleaning and sanitizing spaces.

Additional information and updates on the College’s preparations and new procedures can be found at sscok.edu.

SSC Director of Advising Carmen Hutchins (left) assists SSC student Hannah Thlocco (right), of Seminole, with her enrollment for the fall semester on June 15, 2020.