This year’s semesterly Town Hall addressed COVID-19 concerns and food hall updates; hosted by SGA via Zoom on Nov. 10.
Florida Southern announced its mask mandate update on Nov. 8. Students are no longer required to wear masks in residence halls and dining facilities.
When asked when the mask mandate was going to be lifted, President Anne Kerr stated that they’re still “watching conditions,” and attributed Florida Southern’s success at maintaining control over the spread of COVID-19 due to the school’s mask mandate.
“Let’s wait and see how things go after Thanksgiving and then after Christmas,” Kerr said. “When we all come back, let’s see what the count looks like, and maybe we’ll have a very normal spring semester.”
Kerr explained that Provost Dr. Brad Hollingshead is in contact with FSC’s faculty to determine how to maintain everyone’s safety and comfort in classrooms in the future.
Vice President of Student Life Dr. Susan Freeman also echoed Kerr’s statement in regards to allowing off-campus visitors into residence halls.
“We are watching how the counts are going, and if we see that not only here on campus but in Polk County, in Florida [and] in the region that our counts are looking like they are now, we’ll certainly consider lifting some of those restrictions,” Freeman said. “But we’re trying to be responsible and ease into lifting some of these factors so that we [don’t] have to turn around and go back to full COVID practices.”
Florida Southern’s Junior Journey program was put on hold at the beginning of the pandemic. Some countries have closed their borders to international traveling due to COVID-19.
“[…] We’re looking at May to potentially organize some trips and have them ready to go,” Provost Brad Hollingshead said. “We are monitoring [COVID-19] conditions very closely here, but while we’re monitoring conditions locally, for the junior journey it means monitoring these national conditions.”
Hollingshead also confirmed that students who graduate and were not able to attend their junior journey will receive a stipend post-graduation.
Food Service Director, Tim Raible talked about the seating space at Tutu’s and how to maximize it while still keeping students safe.
“The floor stickers will still be down, but we are repositioning some tables […] so that we have more tables in there so that it will be more usable. The Tutu’s too is now set up with a lot more tables as well,” Tim Raible said.