FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Students and Purdue Fort Wayne are preparing to head back to class. Like many other schools in our area, and across the country, this year will look a lot different.
Although they are entering a time of uncertainty, university leaders said faculty and staff have spent months planning for a safe school year.
More than a thousand students have moved on campus this week and Friday students spent the day checking in, moving in, and preparing for day one of class amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“They just really want to be here so they’re really compliant with everything we are asking them to do,” said Jordyn Hogan, Director of Student Housing.
Changes have been made over the last several months to ensure student safety. The most obvious is the face coverings requirement.
“When they come out of their unit or anytime they have guests inside their unitwe’re asking them to wear masks,” said Hogan.
Additionally, the number of people inside any housing unit is limited, visitors are allowed for at least two weeks, and no guests can stay overnight for the fall semester.
“What we saw is very much a group of people that are hungry for that one on one or small group interaction and arE ready to do everything they can to continue to stay here this semester,” said Krissy Creager, Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs.
The commute to class will also look different.
“Doors are marked for entrances and exits, stairs are marked for up or down traffic only,” said Jeff Malanson, who is the COVID-19 contact for PFW.
Teachers are prepared to switch to online learning if campus has to shut down and more than 200 classes that would be traditionally taken in-person have been moved online.
Many of the in-person classes are being held in larger venues to accommodate social distancing.
“Ballrooms and other spaces that wouldn’t usually be used as classrooms we turned them into classrooms,” said Malanson.
Students are not required to get tested for COVID-19 before the start of the school year but drive through testing will be available on campus for anyone with symptoms.
Classes are set to begin on monday