Town hall takeaways: President Bob Caslen 'confident' in university's ability to mitigate risk

Kailee Kokes | The Daily Gamecock

Even though Coastal Carolina, Winthrop, Clemson and College of Charleston are starting the fall semester online, USC will still offer both face-to-face and online classes. President Bob Caslen said the university can mitigate the risk.

"I'm confident that this campus is safer and healthier than going to the local grocery store or even getting takeout at a fast food restaurant," Caslen said.

Takeaways:

1. Executive director of Student Health Services Deborah Beck reviewed mitigation plans in the classroom. There will be at least a 4-foot distance between students in the classroom.

2. Students living in on-campus residence halls are required to sign the COVID-19 contract addendum that went out on July 23. If residence halls close mid-semester due to the coronavirus, students will be be given a refund on a prorated basis.

3. Of the classes that are 100% online for the fall semester, approximately one-third are asynchronous, one-third are synchronous and one-third are a combination, according to Sandra Kelly, vice provost and dean of undergraduate studies.

4. After Thanksgiving, students will be encouraged to return to their permanent residences, according to Stacey Bradley, senior associate vice president for Student Affairs and Academic Support.

"If a student is not able to return home for whatever reason, we would remain open, and dining services would remain open and anything essential that they need," Bradley said. "But for the same reasons that we took the approach and how the semester is scheduled, we would encourage you to return home."

5. To mitigate the spread of the coronavirus off-campus, Caslen referred to the #IPledgeColumbia campaign. Caslen said the pledge "will help to make the case of how important it is to protect ourselves with distance and with face coverings."


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