Spring Town Hall talks COVID-19, housing and safety

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Sophia Gonzalez

President Dr. Anne Kerr announced that classes will resume as usual until further notice in the March 10 semesterly Town Hall, despite growing concerns regarding the coronavirus.

Even though Polk County is permitting in-classroom teaching, Kerr stated that Florida Southern College has been in communication with the CDC and they have been consulting with the Lakeland Regional Medical Center.

“As you might imagine, we have a Florida Southern College emergency preparedness team,” Kerr said. “We’re making decisions as we get information.”

She reiterated that all travels through FSC have been cancelled and that administration will keep students up to date about any alternative trips in the future. Students who were supposed to go on a Junior Journey and couldn’t because of these restrictions will be prioritized as soon as the next trips are announced. 

Nursing and physical therapy students are still allowed to work at Lakeland Regional. 

For sporting events, the school is following NCAA standards, since FSC will be hosting the basketball regionals. Sporting competitions will continue as usual, but whether spectators will be discouraged from coming to sporting events in the future has not been determined.

On-campus houses will no longer be offered to students because FSC wants to give students the opportunity to interact with each other. 

“When we originally decided to add the initial Star apartments, it was under the agreement that we would then vacate the current houses,” Vice President of Student Life Susan Freeman said. “We are committed to a community of scholars being able to interact with one another, and we feel that this not only provides a new space for you, but gives us an opportunity to increase the engagement among students on campus.” 

Dean of Students Mike Crawford was also in attendance, and he helped answer students’ housing concerns.

Housing selection is determined by students’ GPA, total credit hours, and whether a student is a Hollingsworth Scholar or in the honors program. 

Students will not be allowed to leave their items in their apartments if they choose to homestead. 

“The dilemma that we have is that some of the apartments, especially the Lake Hollingsworth apartments, we are not able to get in there and do the maintenance that we want to do,” Crawford said. “We’d like to get in there to change the flooring, if we have to do any major air conditioning work, roofing work or painting and those kind of things.”

Crawford reiterated that this was not unique to the Lake Hollingsworth Apartments, and it applies to all living spaces. Further information about the moving out process will be sent out to students as the time approaches. 

Director of Campus Safety and Security Eric Rauch also addressed lighting on campus. He stated that safety and SGA walked together and looked at potential areas that need lighting. He encouraged students to put in a work order for areas that need lighting. 

A memorial service for Hung (Casey) Dao will take place within three weeks. 

If there are any questions or concerns that need to be addressed, FSC’s administration urges students to reach out. 

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