College and Covid-19. Can the Two Co-exist?

As Covid-19 continues to be a concern, colleges across the country are scrambling to figure out what fall semester is going to look like.

Whether in-person, online, or a mix of both, figuring out how to conduct every day learning is not a clear-cut decision – and definitely not one that administrators, parents or students are taking lightly.

Now, in addition to planning how (and where) the curriculum will unfold, colleges are also tasked with how to prepare for students to come back to campus in a way that keeps them safe – and helps keep the virus from spreading, too. And that means many of them have to educate people on something totally new: social distancing – or Safe Six. 

For years health classes have taught students about the importance of “safe sex.” These days, however, the focus is shifting to something else students should abstain from: close, personal contact.  And students, as well as professors, will be playing an instrumental role in spreading the word to help keep campuses safe.

For students, small gestures like wearing a Safe Six mask in class or sporting their Safe Six hoodie around campus, could make a big impact in showing others where they stand on social distancing. Professors, and colleges as a whole, can also do their part by displaying Safe Six Signage in classrooms and highly traveled areas throughout campus as a visual reminder to maintain a safe distance.

What about on-campus living? Many colleges are assigning students to single rooms rather than doubles to help ensure that social distancing is maintained in dorms, while others are marking common areas with social distance messaging to prohibit more than a few people in any given area. Perfect solutions? No, but definitely steps (6 big ones away from others) in the right direction.

There’s no doubt that the fall semester will come with many uncertainties, but with some cooperation from students and staff, maintaining a Safe Six distance and staying safe is something everyone can get a good grade in.