Local colleges and universities return to campus

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VINCENNES, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV)– Students at Vincennes University, Indiana State University and St. Mary’s of the Woods returned to the classroom for the first time since March.

Chuck Johnson, Vincennes University president said, the environment isn’t the same but they’re glad to see their students.

“It’s just exciting to see faces. New students, returning students and faculty have been away for the summer, it’s good to their faces. Even if you only see this much of it. It’s still good to see them. It’s good to be able to have that energy. It’s something special about that energy at the start of an academic year that you miss when students aren’t here,” Johnson said.

Masks are required inside all campus buildings at all three institutions and wherever social distancing isn’t possible.

However, even with proper safety measures in place, there are still some concerns.

“Some the concerns that we have are just making sure that everyone is following the procedures that are in place to keep everyone safe. We established a pledge this semester asking students, faculty and staff to commit to some of those procedures as far as wearing face masks, thinking about where they are when they’re socially engaging with others and committing to submitting that information on their health screenings each day,” said Aimee Janssen-Robinson, Associate Vice President of Student Affairs at St. Mary’s of the Woods.

“We’re concerned about the people who will perhaps contract the virus throughout the fall. So we’re monitoring things. We’re watching our numbers. We’re evaluating things on a day to day basis to make sure that the decision we made yesterday is still the right decision today and tomorrow,” said Mike Licari, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs for Indiana State University.

ISU officials said it will take a community effort to remain on campus.

“We’re confident that if we all do our part in making sure that we stay safe on and off campus, we’ll be able to get through the fall semester in good shape,” Licari said.

Students at all three institutions will remain on campus participating in a hybrid model before returning home at Thanksgiving until the Spring semester.

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