Students are back on campus at MSSU

Classes start at area colleges and universities

JOPLIN, Mo. – Whether it’s hanging out with friends for the first time in months, or just walking through Lion country between classes, students at MSSU are happy to be back on campus.

“It’s just nice to be here and be around other people,” says Sophomore Accounting student Sierra Wilson.

“I’m ready to kill it, get good grades and just have fun with my guys this year,” says Junior Health Promotion and Wellness student Kai Hamilton.

While students are ready for things to get back to normal completely, there are still some changes they’ll have to get used to this semester.

“It’s very strange to see your teachers in masks and to have little dots to find your seats. It’s a little weird,” says Sophomore Hanna Lett.

Students and teachers have to wear masks in situations where they can’t social distance, including during class, and the physical setup of classes has had to change so students can still social distance.

“We’ve got out students six feet apart in our classrooms. And then we’ve kind of taped off the floor so that the professors and instructors know where they can stand and be, and still be six feet away from their students,” says Rachel Mullen, Assitant Director of the Honors program.

But for that to work, they’ve had to reduce class sizes. That’s where online classwork comes in.

“I’m utilizing this idea of a hi-flex classroom. Meaning, I’ll meet half of the class on one day, the other half another day, and then the rest of the content will be solely online,” explains Mullen. “So I’ll be able to have contact with all my students at least once a week.”

But while there’s a lot of changes, students appreciate what the university’s doing to make it work.

“It’s definitely a good thing to do if I can be with my buddies, see my classmates and still get a good education,” says Kai.

“I think it’s very wise the decisions they’ve made so far, and taking these extra precautions so we don’t have a semester like last semester,” says Lett.

Pittsburg State University, Crowder College and NEO A and M College also kicked off their fall 2020 semesters today (August 17th).

MSSU’s full return to campus plan can be found here: https://emergency.mssu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/MSSU_ReturnToCampus-Fall-2020-v1-1.pdf