ASHLAND, Ore. —Go home, and stay home. That’s the message from Southern Oregon University yesterday.
In a letter to students, SOU president is asking students living in residential housing to return home for the Thanksgiving holiday, and remain there for the rest of the fall term.
It says it’s the best way to slow the spread of the virus.
SOU’s Joe Mosely says, “When people go away, it complicates things because then they come back and we don’t know what kind of an environment they have been in.”
Before coming back to the campus winter term in early January, students will also need to provide a negative COVID-19 test within two days of returning to campus.
“Its basically all preventative, you know we want to make sure that when people come back, we are starting with a clean slate with everybody healthy,” says Mosely.
The announcement was made before the start of fall term but today a reminder has been sent out of what the expectation is. The University says a reopening committee worked throughout the summer in order to craft the perfect strategy to keep the health and safety of the students and faculty at the forefront.
While the information does not come as a surprise to the students it does come as a disappointment, “it’s definitely not the college experience that you hope for but you learn how to work with it, its for the benefit of everybody, keeping everybody safe,” says SOU student, Nanako Renfroe.
If students have extenuating circumstances, SOU will make it possible for them to return to campus until the start of winter term.
For most students, they are waiting to see what the next steps are. Renfroe says, “Stay home, work, and just do what I can and just wait to come back.”