Classes begin at UT Martin, pandemic’s impact apparent on campus

MARTIN, Tenn. — Monday morning was quiet on UT Martin’s campus. While one class met in the middle of the quad, some students weren’t even on campus.

Screen Shot 2020 08 17 At 12.40.10 Pm

“50% of our classes are being offered online, and about 50% of them are some type of hybrid way. So, it could be that they’re meeting some days a week and then some online, or it could be that they’re meeting in person, but in smaller classes than normal,” said Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Dr. Andy Lewter.

Lewter says they are taking every precaution they can to keep students safe.

But even with the precautions, some students have already tested positive for COVID-19 and have had to quarantine, either at home, in their private dorm, or a designated dorm.

“We’re trying to monitor their health each day,” Lewter said. “They’ll have multiple checks to see how they’re doing.”

Screen Shot 2020 08 17 At 12.39.33 Pm

School officials are telling students they’re in charge of their own health. Part of that comes with no parties.

“No parties,” Lewter said. “We’re really discouraging parties.”

Lewter added, “We have some control over fraternity houses, but of course my concern is also off-campus apartments and local establishments — students gathering there.”

The possibility of college students not following the rules is concerning some students, who say their grades depend on them staying healthy.

“I’m just trying to keep my head on, take all the safety precautions I can to prevent from being sick,” freshman Melea Moore said.

And not just grades — some students’ athletic seasons are riding on it.

Screen Shot 2020 08 17 At 12.40.18 Pm

“It depends on everyone else on campus and teams in other conferences and their schools,” said senior Paige Pipkin. “So if they’re following the rules, it helps us a lot more to have a season.”

Besides classes being held online, even fraternity and sorority rush will go virtual this year.

They’re meeting on Zoom at first, then in smaller and spread out groups.

Categories: Local News, News