By Alexia Juarez — 

As we reach the end of the fall semester, it’s imperative that students on campus still stay informed regarding the University of Louisville’s COVID-19 guidelines to ensure everyone’s safety and well-being. 

On Nov. 9, U of L informed the university that Campus Health Services will be providing COVID-19 boosters to faculty, staff and students by appointment. From Nov. 17-19, the university will also provide a vaccine clinic at the Student Activities Center from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.  

The university has also provided a list of health protocols provided on the university’s web page. Some of these include wearing a mask in common areas, disinfecting used surfaces and staying home if a student feels sick to avoid contact with others.

Students residing on campus were required to complete training videos sent out via e-mail and review university actions and individual responsibilities for the fall semester. These procedures are completely understandable, as campus students are potentially exposed at higher risk of contracting COVID-19 than those going solely online. 

The university also updated the student code, requiring full compliance with public health policies. These include abiding by the face mask policies or being asked to leave a lecture at the discretion of the instructor. It’s important that students and staff do their part in ensuring their own safety, as well as the safety of others, to avoid a serious wave of cases.  

Students are not the only ones at risk. The university has also provided faculty with the option to conduct their courses online or hybrid. Faculty are given the choice to request modifications to their fall teaching schedules, which are then be considered by their department’s chair or dean.  

Faculty will be the driving force in helping to make the most out of their students’ education in such an unpredictable time. Several professors, like mine, have strongly encouraged students to get their vaccines by sending reminders and announcing incentives for such actions. 

Siobhan Smith-Jones, a communication professor at U of L, sent out an email in September announcing Campus Health’s pop-up vaccination events. 

Smith-Jones said she believes that the administration has done as good of a job as they can and finds that the online instruction has made her teaching schedule more flexible. She also emphasized how the pandemic and instruction change has affected her students.  

“While a base level of stress is natural for college students, my students seemed to be stressed out more since the pandemic,” said Smith-Jones. 

Overall, it’s important we take these last few weeks of the fall semester and finish strong. The emotional and mental toll this pandemic has taken on students and instructors has been a journey to say the least, but as long as we keep our heads high and push through, we can look forward to this holiday season with eager anticipation.  

File Graphic // The Louisville Cardinal