Eastern Arizona College prepares for students’ return

Contributed Photo. From left, Jeremy Hughes, director of physical resources; Dr. Gary Sorenson, dean of students; Susan Wood, vice president of academics and student affairs;and Todd Haynie, president, outline what changes students can expect when they return to campus for the fall semester starting Aug. 24.

THATCHER — On Friday via social media, Eastern Arizona College students learned what changes await them when they return to campus in a few weeks.

In a Facebook live, college president Todd Haynie was joined by Dr. Susan Wood, vice president of academics and student affairs; Dr. Gary Sorenson, dean of students; and Jeremy Hughes, director of physical resources; to outline what students and visitors to campus will see in the coming year.

Haynie said the college has been working through the summer months to come up with a plan for students returning to campus, as well as back-up plans for students physically unable to return or if the pandemic requires another shutdown of in-person instruction.

“Eastern Arizona College has been around for 132 years. We’ve already been through a pandemic, 100 years ago. We’ve been through a couple of world wars. We’ve been through a lot of other things, and other challenges and other unprecedented times. We can do this. In fact, we can do this together. That’s what it’s always been about; it’s been about working together to ensure that you can be successful,” Haynie said.

Students will be able to take classes in-person at the college, online, or a blend of both, depending on the student’s circumstances. In the event of a health emergency and the campus must be completely shut down, all programs can be moved online. And after Thanksgiving, most classes will transition to online only, allowing students to remain at home to finish the semester.

The dorms will have limited occupancy, which, in most cases, will result in one person per room. And one hall is designated for quarantined students who live on campus.

Hand sanitizer stations will be placed in classrooms and at all entrances, sneeze guards are being placed at any point where students interact with staff, as well as staff continually cleaning and sanitizing facilities. And all faculty and staff are required to wear masks on campus, while students and visitors are encouraged to wear a face covering.

There will be still be student activities on campus, but activities will be adjusted for CDC guidelines. Intramural activities and e-sports will continue; however, participation will be limited.

Classes begin Aug. 24.

To watch a recording of the presentation, go to https://www.facebook.com/gilamonsters/videos/595490664693099/