Today's Update: Tuesday, May 19

May 19, 2020

Dear Student Life Team, 

It’s not time yet to return to on-campus operations, but we will be as ready as possible when that day comes. As you know, President Drake has charged a Post-pandemic Operations Task Force with creating plans for our return once it is safe to do so.  

In Student Life, we are engaged in a similar planning process through a Transition to Campus Planning Committee. Even though we continue to live in a world that changes from day to day, I have asked a group of 32 Student Life staff members to begin planning for a successful and coordinated approach for transitioning back to campus when national, state, local and university officials deem it safe. 

In addition to our Student Life staff members, we have a group of 18 undergraduate, graduate and professional students representing Undergraduate Student Government, InterProfessional Council and the Council of Graduate Students fully engaged in the work of this committee. I am grateful to these dedicated student leaders for providing their time, energy and needed perspective on how we will support students in our post-pandemic world. 

I want to provide a little more detail on the work of this group, which is meeting weekly to discuss key questions, considerations and interdependencies to the decisions we make and how we operate. In addition to this weekly meeting, there are also six subgroups of this committee working on broad areas of our Student Life. 

  • A facility operations group is focusing broadly on housekeeping, maintenance, utilities and supplies.  

  • A staff support group is focusing on how to support our staff as we transition back to campus. 

  • A student programming group is focusing on ongoing virtual support and the coordination of events and schedules of student programming moving forward. 

  • A student support services group is focusing on ongoing virtual support and how to offer services in a physically distanced environment. 

  • A residential support group is focusing on housing and dining for residential students, including those in the off-campus area. 

  • A client services group is focused on client needs, including staffing and inventory in units such as Recreational Sports, Dining and the Ohio Union. 

While this group is focused on Student Life operations overall, each department is also engaged in planning for its specific needs.  

To be clear, there is no timeline for this and I expect the return process to be a gradual progression over time. However, it is critical that our return to our “next normal” be as deliberately and diligently planned as possible. Thank you to everyone engaged in this hard work for being Scarlet and Great!  

Melissa