After WKU revealed a draft of its restart plan for the upcoming semester, students, faculty, staff, parents, and Bowling Green residents have showered the university’s administration with hundreds of questions and critiques.
In an email sent to students, faculty, and staff on June 3, President Caboni announced that the university has received over 700 feedback forms. Caboni said that a revised restart plan would be released to the public during the week of June 15.
In their written responses to the restart plan draft, which are available to the public, students and faculty shared a wide range of concerns. Several faculty members wanted to know how the new face mask requirement would be enforced on campus.
One faculty member wrote, “Do I, as a faculty member, have the right to tell a student to leave my class if they are not wearing a face mask?”
Many students shared their disapproval of the face mask requirement. One student described the new policy as “laughable”.
“I will not be wearing a mask and I assure you the majority of students do not agree with this decision either and will be doing the same,” the student wrote.
Some students believe that dining on campus could become an issue if students were forced to stand on markers that would create six feet of separation in front of them and behind them.
“If you put them down every 6 feet, people would be at Cherry Hall waiting in line for Chick-fil-A,” a student wrote.
The negative effects of a socially distanced on-campus dining experience might go beyond the long lines, one student suggested.
“Having a limited capacity could potentially result in more chaos as students won’t have enough time to wait or may not have any other options besides on-campus dining,” the student said.
Several students shared their disdain for the new restrictions on residence hall visitation. In the restart plan proposal, residence halls can permit only one visitor at a time and that visitor must be a WKU student.
“I do not think that only having 1 guest checked into a residence hall per person at a time is going to make a difference,” one student wrote. “If friends want to hang out then they’ll just see each other somewhere else on or off campus without masks, which isn’t going to be any different than if they were to just hang out in their dorms.”
Even though many students provided negative feedback, others are encouraged by the plan because in-person classes are making a scheduled return.
“I think that this plan is great,” a student said. “Being able to return to campus in the fall makes me feel so much better knowing that the place I love is welcoming me back in open arms.”
Another student was optimistic about the plan because they wouldn’t have to take classes at home when the fall semester begins.
Bob Skipper, director of media relations, said the WKU COVID-19 Task Force was pleased to receive plenty of detailed feedback forms.
“The Restart WKU Committees and the COVID-19 Task Force are working through the feedback now and will continue to update the draft document and the restart website,” Skipper said in email.