Marquette University tour gives glimpse of what new normal looks like for campus this fall

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Colleges this fall won’t look the same. On Friday, Aug. 21, Marquette University gave a sneak peek into what the new normal will be like for students moving in. CBS 58 was given the green light to tour a classroom, a residence hall and a dining hall.

This year’s welcome kit is a little different than in years past. Each student will get a face covering, digital thermometer and hand sanitizer. All faculty, staff and students will be required to answer daily COVID-19 screening questions online.

“Students will get up each day and they will take their temperature, they’ll answer a series of questions and there’s another component of that that will contact trace for them,” said Mary Janz, executive director of housing and residence life, Marquette University.

The university says only 61-percent of classes will be in person this academic year.

“We actually increased our online course offerings about 380-percent for this fall,” said Lora Strigens, vice president for planning and facilities management, Marquette University.

 Every night, the physically distanced classes will be disinfected.

“We’re making sure we could maintain a 6-foot physical distance between all the chairs, and making sure there are at least 30-square feet per person,” added Strigens.

While students will have more takeout and online ordering options for dining, a re-imagined dining room space allows for safe socialization.

“So that need for a social interaction is still there, but we keep our distance and so it just creates an opportunity for our students to move more quickly,” said Xavier Cole, vice president of student affairs at Marquette University.

Janz says occupancy inside the dorms has been reduced, leaving a 12-feet space between each bed.

A campus testing center will offer free tests for symptomatic students, and isolation and quarantine rooms are also available.

“We have about a hundred rooms on campus that we’ve set aside for isolation and quarantine and we’ve partnered with a local hotel for additional spaces,” said Janz.

The incoming freshman class includes more than 1,600 students from 40 states and 14 countries.

“We are always anticipating having our students back residentially, back in our classrooms, they bring the life to Marquette and so that’s what we anticipate and that’s what we’re bringing back to the fall,” added Cole.

Students will begin moving in Saturday, Aug. 22, and classes for undergraduate students will begin Wednesday. Graduate students begin classes on Monday.


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