Precautions on campus: NC State implements new safety protocols to fight against coronavirus
Posted July 22, 2020 4:26 p.m. EDT
Updated July 22, 2020 6:45 p.m. EDT
Raleigh, N.C. — The future of North Carolina State University’s on-campus experience is here.
Preparations have been underway for weeks for students to return to NC State's campus starting on Aug. 1.
University leaders said they’ve reduced seating by up to 50% in places like the Talley Student Union, an area that gets heavy traffic throughout the day.
Safety measures have also been put in place at the gym and in classrooms.
"(There are) pods all around all of our pieces of cardio equipment, just to give people that extra layer of protection," described Eric Hawks, the executive director of wellness and recreation at NCSU.
The fitness center has implemented a reservation system to limit crowds and allow for extra cleaning.
"You'll be able to reserve that space for 75 minutes at a time," explained Hawks.
In classrooms, every other row is blocked off, and seats are marked where students can sit to keep their distance.
The Associate Vice Chancellor for Facilities Doug Morton said classrooms are going to be much less dense.
University leaders removed furniture and seats in common areas, such as Talley Student Union and Fountain Dining Hall.
NCSU student Ugonna Ezuma-Igwe plans to limit her time on campus, even with safety measures in place.
"I feel like NC State has done the best that they can as such a big school, but I am very hesitant," said Ezuma-Igwe.
Despite obstacles, leaders are committed to “protect the Pack.”
"It's not going to be the same. It's definitely going to be weird. It's going to be different," said Hawk.
The clock is ticking down for students to come back. Classes start Aug. 10.
University leaders said they're allowing 10 days for students to move back, a process that used to only take three days.