Kaitlyn Estopare – Staff Writer
To “Protect Our Flock”, the Benedictine University expanded mandatory COVID testing, according to an email from the BenU COVID Response Team on Sunday.
“Testing will include all Benedictine residents and student-athletes (commuters included) as well as select faculty and staff,” said the COVID-19 Response Team. The tests will be Wednesday mornings and results will be available in two days.
As in the fall, there will be no out of pocket costs for testing,” said Marco Masini, the Dean of Students.
In addition to weekly tests, there will also be screening surveys. Commuters must complete a survey at least thirty minutes before going to campus, while student athletes are supposed to complete a survey at least thirty minutes before a practice, game, or lifting session.
The athletics program this season will stream all home contests so Eagle fans can cheer virtually as the teams return to play. Some teams must wear masks during all practices with a once-a-week surveillance test while other teams will play without masks and be tested three times a week.
Kenneth Newbold, Benedictine University’s Provost and Chief Academic Officer, also prepared a description of what this semester would look like.
“As we continue to learn and adapt during the pandemic, we remain committed to providing a safe learning environment that offers online and face-to-face courses as well as expanded student clubs and organization activities,” he said.
Although much of the campus is virtual, students can use study spaces in Goodwin, Kindlon, and Krasa. Students will still register for these rooms through bookings. In addition, the university will continue to offer face-to-face music lessons, labs, practicums, and pre-clinicals.
Another upcoming offering is the virtual Eagle Stop fair held through Zoom Jan. 19, 20, 21, 26, 27, 28 between 12 PM and 2 PM.
Newbold affirmed, “We will remain in touch with you throughout the coming academic term with plans and details to safely engage as a community.”