University offers guidance for COVID-19 related scenarios

The+university+sent+instructors+guidance+for+confronting+students.+

Photo by Claire Gallagher

The university sent instructors guidance for confronting students.

Prior to the first day of classes Aug. 26, Marquette faculty received a document titled “Classroom Instructor-Related COVID-19 Scenarios – Fall 2020, v. 1” with information regarding certain scenarios regarding COVID-19 in the classroom and what to do if any of those situations were to occur.

Guidelines for one scenario, in which a student comes to class without a mask in a class include an instructor giving subtle reminders, requesting that the student wear a mask, having the student retrieve a mask, requiring the student to leave if they refuse to wear a mask, reporting the student to the Marquette University Police Department, canceling the class or refering the student using the Community Pledge and Standards Violation Reporting Form.

Professors and a teaching assistant in different departments offered their feedback on the university’s guidelines.

“We have gotten guidance from the university on how to handle these situations, and for me I feel really comfortable just pulling the student aside before class and asking them to get their mask or head back to the dorm,” Paul Gadliardi, visiting assistant professor of English, said in an email. 

Other professors agreed that Marquette has done a sufficient job with providing the information needed if something were to go wrong in the classroom.

“The university has prepared us to address students not wearing masks, etc. and the number of cases on campus fortunately is low,” Marilyn Frenn, a professor of nursing, said in an email.

Frenn said she hopes people will follow the policies and practice safe ways to talk with friends and family so that the number of cases stays low.

“With few exceptions, students have done a great job of social distancing and wearing their masks during class,” Hannah Swarm, teaching assistant and graduate student in the College of Communication, said. “That has been a bit challenging, but it has not been a problem.”

In addition to the classroom guidelines issued, there are other resources available to faculty and students as well.

“I believe the guidelines provided by Marquette are enough considering what the university as able to control. Marquette has compiled a lot of useful resources on their website, and the university is doing its best under these unique circumstances,” Swarm said.

Swarm praised COVID Cheq, the university’s daily symptom checker.

“I hope students are answering it truthfully and acting responsibly in their living units and when they are off campus,” Swarm said.

With the guidelines paving the way for professors and students to have a successful school year, Swarm said it is necessary for the precautions to continue throughout the semester.

“As we get further into the semester, I think it will be important for Marquette to make sure we don’t relax on some of the preventative measures taking place now,” Swarm said.

Along with continuing precautions, Gadliardi said that supplies and other essentials are needed more within classrooms.

“I would like to see more alcohol wipes available in the classrooms. Most students seem to have packs on their person, but I would like to see them refilled and restocked at the end of every day,” Gadliardi said in an email.

This story was written by Natalija Mileusnic. She can be reached at natalija.mileusnic@marquette.edu.