Alcorn State University (ASU) welcomed back students, faculty and staff for the 2020-2021 academic school year amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
Unexpectedly in March, COVID-19, due to its rapidly contagious nature, caused the University to move all of its classes online. University officials along with the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) Board began instituting plans that would make it safe for the student’s and employee’s return to the campus.
To answer the questions and concerns of many students, faculty and staff about the pandemic Alcorn created ‘A Brave Start’ which is a webpage that outlines the protocols and guidelines for a safe return to the campus. To visit the page go to www.alcorn.edu/abravestart.
Although classes began officially on August 17th, it was decided by the University and IHL that the first three weeks of the Fall 2020 semester would be entirely online. Before classes met face-to-face on September 9th ASU decided to bring back its students with a phase-in system. The residential halls would begin operation on certain dates which were
August 15-16 Burrus Hall and Revel Hall
August 22-23 Robinson Hall and Honors Hall, (Natchez Campus)
August 29-30 Heritage Village B and D
September 6-8 Heritage Village A and C and Lott Hall
Upon check in students would receive a ‘Brave Start’ Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kit. The kit consisted of a thermometer, two Alcorn branded cloth masks, hand sanitizer and ‘A Brave Pack’ which contained two disposable masks, gloves, wipes and a pen.
Before the arrival of students returning back to campus, ASU took actions to educate them on how to remain safe during these trying times. The University, throughout the Summer, sent several emails to promote social distancing and health care. The emails included tips such as remaining six feet apart, wearing a face mask any time that they are outside of the dormitory, washing their hands frequently, and carrying hand sanitizer. Alcorn has also placed signs around the campus reminding everyone of these safety measures.
Freshman Aleeiah Alexander, an Agricultural Economics major says, “Having the signs in the dorms and around campus reminds me to be safe and to constantly remember what’s going on around me.”
If any member of the Alcorn family experiences any symptoms of COVID-19 such as a dry cough, fever, fatigue or shortness of breath, they should visit the Department of Health and Disability Services (Infirmary) immediately which is located in Rowan Hall which is next to the E.E. Simmons Gymnasium. The Infirmary is open Monday – Thursday from 8:00 am – 4:00 pm and from 8:00 am – 3:00 pm on Friday. The number to the facility is (601) 877-6460. Freshman Stevion Alexander, a Mass Communications major believes, “Alcorn is doing what is best for the students, but it is up to the student body to work in harmony to keep each other safe.”