Exemplifying Angelo Strong

ASU follows national protocols in the wake of an international pandemic

By Mbulelo Maqungo
On April 1, 2020

Photo by Ian Saint:
Centennial Village Tower is bathed in blue lights. Patti May orginated the idea of illuminating the tower each night until the graduation ceremonies in August to reflect ASU's motto, "Fiat Lux", meaning "let there be light".

 

ASU’s administration on March 12 began restructuring many aspects of campus life to better align with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines.

The adjustments were preemptively made in an attempt to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

According to the City of San Angelo Health Department, as of 2 p.m. on April 1, there are 495 total tests accounted for with 237 pending, 249 negative cases and nine positive cases of COVID-19 within Tom Green County and city officials are echoing the CDC’s mandates for the prevention of mass congregations and unessential outdoor activities.

From the spring graduation ceremony and student events to the tutoring center and the Ben Kelly Center for Human Performance, the pandemic forced the university to cancel or close many of the amenities that the campus community has grown accustomed to. 

Due to the situation rapidly evolving, ASU’s administration ended the first week of online classes by encouraging any students living on campus to return home, if possible.

“I decided to move out because I think the safest place to be during this is with family,” junior Brayvn Elder said. “I’m pretty far from home here and I’d feel more comfortable knowing I’m under their roof with them.”

Deliberations were held before spring break between all administrations within the Texas Tech University System to evaluate what position to take.

“We’ve been taking in information from the CDC and the state legislature very seriously, so when Gov. Greg Abbott made the call for distance learning to be implemented in public schools as well as universities, we quickly began the transition process,” said Javier Flores, vice president of student affairs and enrollment management. “Even before we publicly decided to shift classes online, we were holding meetings daily amongst the university system every morning to assess the situation and figure out what the best course of action was for the entire Ram Fam.”

Flores said housing and residential, dining and the Shannon medical services will continue to operate under modified circumstances for members of the ASU community who need them. 

All open campus services also have FAQs and phone numbers available on the university’s website for individuals looking for more information.

“Typically, being part of the Ram Family means being with your friends and co-workers while you learn, work and have fun,” Dr. Brian May, president of ASU, said in a press release. “This is the same Ram Family, it’s just different.”

May said he believes that the biggest challenges bring out the best in people and he remains optimistic for ASU’s future.

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