Amanda L. Lowe Discusses Bringing Students Back to Campus
Medaille College Prepares to Bring Students Back to Campus
By: Ryan Whalen | Buffalo | Spectrum News
PUBLISHED 10:30 PM ET JUL. 30, 2020
While summer semester students are learning from home, Medaille College President Dr. Kenneth Macur spent the dog days making plans.
“We have a separate plan from facilities. We have a separate plan from dining. We have a separate plan from residence halls, for athletics and our wellness center,” Macur said.
Getting ready to bring students back to campus in the next few weeks, as the coronavirus continues around the country, takes a lot more than just getting the classroom ready, although Medaille has done that.
“We’re asking all faculty and students to have masks in the classroom when they’re seated. We’re putting plexiglass around the podiums to make sure that we’re doing as much as we can,” Macur said.
The college, at least, doesn’t have to go it alone. It’s working with Phillips Lytle. The firm’s dedicated a whole team to keeping up with the many, many new rules associated with education in New York.
“Our team will go through the different regulations that are coming out, either at the federal or at the state level which sometimes are changing on a daily basis and then we update our clients and work with them to implement changes,” Co-Team Leader and Partner Amanda Lowe said.
She said understanding the changing landscape is just part of the battle. Lowe said all schools are facing financial burdens caused by the pandemic.
“The CARES Act did provide for a small amount that was delivered to all the colleges and universities but that was honestly just a fraction of what these institutions need, both private and public, to continue to function,” she said.
In some ways, Medaille is in better shape because of its small population with about 1100 undergraduates.
“We’re actually a natural fit for having classes in classrooms that are actually socially distanced already,” Macur said.
There are students typically coming from roughly 25 states and 25 countries. That means quarantines.
Those staying on campus have to arrive two weeks early and will be quarantined in a group setting.
“If I had to stay in a dorm room for 14 days and do absolutely nothing, I’d probably go stir crazy as well, so we’re trying to figure out what kind of programming we can do, figuring out how to get them meals, how to give them some recreation and such,” Macur said.
The college feels confident in its preparation but you know what they say about the best laid plans.
“A lot of this is still in question,” Lowe said. “What is going to happen next?
The motto this year is flexibility.