Welcome to campus: please stay six feet apart

COVID brings many changes to campus

By Fiona O'Brien | August 29, 2020 2:59pm

Some students are currently living in Haggerty and Tyson apartments. New policies and procedures were created to address residents living in close proximity.

Media Credit: Jennifer Ng / The Beacon

UPDATE: Since publication, the library hours have changed. The library is now also open on Wednesdays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

A typical first day of school at the University of Portland is filled with long awaited reunions, carefully selected outfits, and lots of chatter. With the recent announcement of all classes being online, this year looked and sounded different. A few students crossed the quad with brown paper bags from the Commons, wearing masks and keeping their distance. 

While most UP students are either staying in their hometown or off campus this semester, a limited amount were permitted to live on campus. There are also many students living in houses in the University Park neighborhood, who will have access to some services on campus. Here is a look into all of the socially distanced services available. 

General Changes to Campus:

In all buildings on campus, there are markers on the floor to direct foot traffic, indicating people need to walk in single file lanes. There are constant signs and posters reminding people to wear masks and wash their hands. 

Stickers have been added to the stairs in Waldschmidt Hall and other campus buildings reminding visitors to walk in single file lines.
by Jennifer Ng / The Beacon

In an email to all students Fr. John Donato, Vice President for Student Affairs, shared the guidelines for an app, #CampusClear, to monitor symptoms for COVID-19. UP members are required to use it every day before coming on campus. 

Anyone who reports “no symptoms” on the app is told that they are clear to head to campus while socially distancing. When someone reports any of the symptoms on the list, the app informs them that they are not cleared to come to campus and directs them to isolate and contact the health center. 

Due to the high number of asymptomatic cases of COVD-19, and wide range of symptoms, students who use #CampusClear should be cautious about its accuracy, and continue to wear masks and social distance. 

Residence Life: 

220 students are living on campus this year, along with 5 RA’s, according to Andrew Weingarten, the Director of Residence Life. Most of the students are living in Fields and Schoenfeldt halls. Some juniors and seniors are allowed in the Haggerty and Tyson apartments, according to Weingarten. 

Each student living on campus is in a single room. On the residence life website, there is a list of procedures for students who use the common spaces in the dorms: 

Students are currently living in Fields and Schoenfeldt halls. New policies and procedures were created to address residents living in close proximity.
by Jennifer Ng / The Beacon
  • Residence hall common spaces will be reconfigured to maximize physical distancing.

  • Elevators, kitchens, laundry rooms, lounges, study rooms, and restrooms will have maximum capacities.

  • Students will host guests in shared spaces (e.g., lounges), rather than in their private rooms.

  • Where possible, kitchens and laundry rooms will be subject to reservation processes.

  • Stairwells will be designated for one-way travel when possible.

  • Each student will have assigned bathroom fixtures (e.g., stalls, sinks, showers, etc.) to reduce the number of students using each fixture.

  • Shared bathrooms will have designated times for quarantined students to shower.

  • Students will use in-room sinks (as opposed to shared bathroom sinks) to brush teeth and wash their face.

Students are allowed to spend time in the common areas, wearing masks the whole time, according to freshman Ryan Reynolds, who is living in Schoenfeldt hall.

Dining Halls: 

The Commons is the only dining hall open this semester, with limited hours and options. According to Kirk Mustain, the Bon Appetit Supervisor, food is only available to go, with 2-3 options per meal.

New social distancing measures have been put into place in The Commons including barriers and stickers on the floor.
by Jennifer Ng / The Beacon

Since Mack’s Market will not open this semester, there will be grab and go options at the commons, according to Mustain. 

The hours for the Commons are listed on Bon Appetit website:

  • Breakfast     Mon-Fri, 8:00am - 9:30am

  • Brunch    Sat-Sun, 11:00am - 1:00pm

  • Lunch    Mon-Fri, 11:30am - 1:30pm

  • Dinner    Mon-Sun, 5:00pm - 6:30pm

“You come in and it’s a set price for the meal, and we're making sure it’s packed up for everyone,” Mustain said. “All the menus will be posted online. Things are changing daily, but we just want to try to get everyone fed and keep everyone safe.”

Bon Appetit is still in the process of developing a new meal plan system with the university. For now, instead of the typical meal points, each student will swipe once for a meal, according to Mustain. The highest meal plan is 19 meals per week, which is the total amount of meals offered each week.  

Beauchamp Recreation Center:

Beauchamp Recreation center is scheduled to open Sept. 14 at limited capacity and hours according to Kaitlin Bourne, the Recreation Operations Program Manager. It will be open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.. For the first two weeks, Beauchamp will be open to students only, and after that the Beauchamp staff is going to re-evaluate including staff and faculty, according to Bourne.  

Beauchamp Recreation and Wellness Center is scheduled to open Sept. 14 with limited hours and a maximum capacity of 100 people at a time.
by Jennifer Ng / The Beacon

There will be 100 people allowed at all times, including staff. Students do not need to reserve a spot. There is no system, so far, for students to know how many people are at the gym ahead of time, according to Bourne. 

Anyone who enters the gym must swipe in with their ID, after completing a COVD-19 symptoms questionnaire and a temperature check. Every time someone leaves the gym, they must swipe out so that the gym staff can regulate the number of people. 

Everyone in the gym will need to wear a mask at all times, and need to stay 6 feet apart from others. Each section of the gym will have its own capacity, and if the section is full there will be a socially distanced line. 

The rock wall and free weight section of the weightroom will be available for reservations. In the free weight area, there are four people allowed for 50 minutes. Each person is responsible for their own cleaning, according to Bourne. 

“We want to make sure people are using the gym just to work out, and exit as soon as possible so somebody else can get into the gym,” Bourne said. “Students are responsible for social distancing themselves, cleaning before and after use.”

The Beauchamp staff will continue their regular cleaning duties. Every hour, they will also clean a list of high-contact point surfaces, according to Bourne. Otherwise, students are expected to sanitize the equipment they use. 

Study Spaces:

The library is open only to pick up books this semester. It will be open Monday through Thursday and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

While students can not buy food at the Pilot House, they can reserve a study space there for up to four hours a day.
by Jennifer Ng / The Beacon

With limited availability, the quiet side of the Commons and the Pilot House will be available to study in for students living on campus and in the Portland area. Students who want access to these spaces have to fill out an online form provided by the Office of Academic Affairs. 

“Students will then be able to reserve a space to study from 30 min – 2hrs with a max of 4hrs/day,” Herbert Medina, the Provost, said in an email. “Both of these [Pilot House and Commons] have 25 study spaces. We are looking to add another study space.”

There is one student allowed at each table, and they are strongly encouraged to clean their table when they leave. Masks are required in the study space, with the exceptions of eating or drinking.

Students who have applied will find out if they can utilize the study spaces if the “Study Room Schedulers” moodle page appears on their account. This is where they can reserve their time slots.

Fiona O'Brien is a reporter for The Beacon. She can be reached at obrienf21@up.edu.