Updates from the public meeting to prepare for the spring semester

Discussing topics dealing with COVID-19, mental health and spring school during his recent town hall meeting, Chancellor Andrew Leavitt said he was confident UW’s pandemic plan Oshkosh would help ensure a successful spring semester.

“We’ve done a really good job as an institution in terms of dealing with issues around COVID-19,” Leavitt said. “We will do everything possible to ensure that the university operates at the highest possible level.”

COVID-19 rates and strategies
The UWO Emergency Operations Committee met weekly throughout Term J to analyze data and speak with public health experts and continue to make recommendations to Leavitt on the best ways to operate during this pandemic.

“We are confident that we can handle just about anything this virus throws at us,” UWO Police Chief Kurt Leibold said. “Our goal is always to maintain safe operations here at the university for our students and staff.”

Leibold said UWO’s strategy for the spring semester is based on four pillars: quarantine and isolation, testing, vaccinations and masks.

Over 70% of all students are vaccinated, while students living in halls of residence, as well as faculty and staff, have a vaccination rate of over 80%.

Is there a chance that the spring semester will be held remotely?
“The trend that everyone is counting on is that each successive variant is a bit weaker than the last in terms of impacting people’s health,” Leavitt said. “[With] great guidance from the CDC, it’s highly unlikely we’ll ever resort to remote based on this current variant. »

Leibold said the operations committee is monitoring other UW and East Coast schools that are starting earlier than UWO. The trend is for a wave of positive cases, which drops soon after.

“Students have done a miraculous job so far in terms of level of compliance and willingness to make sacrifices to stay safe and face-to-face in class,” Leavitt said. “We look forward to students coming back this week and having the campus full again.”

For any Spring Semester questions or concerns, email be connected to an expert to answer the question directly.

Masks on campus
Masks are back for just about every building on campus. The only exceptions are personal spaces in halls of residence.

N95 masks are available for students, faculty and staff available for pickup at Albee Hall if they wish for additional protection.

Proper care is important to maintain an N95 respirator in good condition. Use this link to learn more about proper care: https://uwosh.edu/titans-return/respirator-info/.

COVID-19 test, quarantine and missing classes
Albee Hall will continue to be the UWO campus testing site. Self-test stations are available on access campuses.

NCAA athletes will follow the same rules they had last semester, which is to test three times a week during competition and quarantine for close contact.

Isolation and quarantine continue to be at the Gruenhagen conference center.

Students residing in university residences who are not vaccinated are no longer required to be tested weekly.

“The Omicron variant is so contagious,” Leibold said. “If we test [students in the residence halls] weekly, we’ll probably miss that they’ve already contacted him anyway. We ask our symptomatic students to come get tested right away and to take a little more personal responsibility. »

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends people who test a positive isolate for five days after testing.

“Our success is built on the willingness of our students and staff to comply with mandates and look out for each other,” Leibold said.

If a student must miss a class because they tested positive or due to any other circumstance, the Dean of Students’ Office may send faculty an email notifying them of the student’s absence through of non-class letters. However, the student must follow up with each faculty member to follow up and catch up on class work.

Out-of-class letters will only be given to students who must miss three or more consecutive days of class.

Mental and physical health
It is important to stay healthy, both mentally and physically, to have a successful semester.

“The culture of care at UWO is something that permeates all of our campuses,” said Acting Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Art Munin. “We are an institution that believes in holistic, comprehensive services that are committed to helping students find the greatest possible success. »

The onset of the pandemic cast a spotlight on student mental health.

“Students have always had mental health issues over the years,” said Sandra Cox, director of the counseling center. “We just became more aware [through the pandemic], which is really a good thing because as we become aware of this, we also become aware of the importance of well-being and mental health for our success in life.

Cox said the counseling center is there to support students and see their mental health in a positive way. The center is based on a model of thriving, working well and feeling good.

Individual and group counseling, wellness workshops, biofeedback, mindfulness, animal-assisted therapy, and more are all available to students. For advice when the advice center is closed, call their number and select number two to connect to a crisis advisor 24/7.

“We know from various peer-reviewed studies that our mental health is strongly linked to our physical health,” said Director of Student Recreation and Wellness Nathan Scott.

Personal training, intramural sports, club sports, activities, and a variety of facilities, including Albee Hall’s indoor pool and Rec Plex, are all available to students for their learning needs. matter of physical activity. Physical activity not only improves sleep quality, reduces anxiety, and improves brain function, but is also a great way to socially connect with peers who enjoy the same activities.

The outdoor adventure center hosts events throughout the year, including ski trips, snowboarding, camping, kayaking and more. Read the American Psychology Association’s Nurtured by Nature article, which Scott recommends, to learn more about the outdoors helping with mental health and mental well-being.

Renovation and reconstruction around the campus
The College of Education and Social Services will be renovated and construction will take between 16 and 18 months. The faculty of the six-story office building is being moved.

“This $27 million phase of the project will provide much-needed mechanical upgrades to the building and further transform it into the modern UWO teacher training and course delivery center we have long sought,” Leavitt said in a News Bureau article. .

In April, the City of Oshkosh will resurface Algoma Boulevard from Congress Avenue to Wisconsin Street. Provisionally, most of the work will be done in the summer and some next fall. New lights will also be installed to allow students to cross safely at night.

The outdoor patio behind Albee Hall will benefit from an upgrade. All three campuses will contribute resources to create and update outdoor spaces.

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