Classes have officially resumed at Tennessee State University with enhanced COVID-19 safety measures to ensure the safety of students and the campus community. For the first two weeks – August 17–31 – all classes will be online. Following that, students will have a choice of taking classes on ground or continuing online.
In March, amid the coronavirus pandemic, TSU sent students home, closed the residence halls, and asked employees to work remotely. On August 11, the University began its reopening process by welcoming nearly 2,300 first-time freshmen, who moved into their residence halls over several days for safety concerns. Upperclassmen or returning students who choose to stay on campus are arriving over the next few days. TSU President Glenda Glover has assured students and their families that TSU has worked diligently to create a safe environment amid the coronavirus pandemic. “Safety is a priority. We made adjustments based on where we are in the world today, and so far, it is working,” Dr. Glover said during the freshman move-in last week. “We couldn’t have everybody coming in at the same time, so we assigned each person a time to arrive.”
Tiara Thomas, a returning student who is staying on campus, said it is good to be back. “It feels really good because I missed my TSU family for the past five to six months,” said Thomas, a junior political science major, who is the student representative on the TSU Board of Trustees. “I have a great appreciation for my campus and my friends, coz it is home,” she added. “It feels really good to see people back on campus and I am really excited to see how many freshmen we have this year.”
Incoming freshman Yuri Hopkins, of Miami, Florida, said she likes what she has seen so far. “The health screenings and the orderly move-in process made me feel at home right away,” said Hopkins, a nursing major. “My uncle came here and I have heard a lot of good things about their nursing program.”
To ease the new students’ transition, the university has made efforts to meet their technology needs, as well ensure they are well protected against COVID. All incoming students received welcome kits, including PPEs, or personal protective equipment like masks, facial shields, gloves, etc. Officials said this is all part of the overall plan that include hand sanitizing stations, temperature checks, and the reduction on the number of people allowed on the campus.