Presentation prepares to bring full student body back to campus

Published: Aug. 14, 2020 at 7:01 PM CDT
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ABERDEEN, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Students are returning to college campuses this weekend across South Dakota. And at Presentation College, not only will students look forward to mandatory masks, they’ll also look forward to daily screenings as well.

The college has already welcomed back student athletes competing in fall seasons. The rest of the student body is scheduled to move in by August 21st. Along with masks being required in all public areas on campus, students and faculty will have to go through daily temperature screenings before entering in any buildings on campus for the first time that day.

Dr. Marcus Garstecki is the Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment at Presentation. He said that after the many months the college has been planning to bring students back, it’s relieving to finally see them on campus.

“It’s been a long five months of planning. Quite honestly when we first started we were wondering if we would be back here with students in the Fall. So it feels great to see where we’re at right now.” said Garstecki.

As for the daily temperature screenings, Garstecki said that the tests will help the college quickly identify anyone with symptoms of COVID-19, and help them seek out medical resources in the community. Students and faculty will only have to do a screening once before they enter a building on campus for the first time that day.

“We’ll give them a little sticker to put on their I.D., and they’ll be free then to go around campus, in and out all day. If something comes up that’s maybe a little bit of a red flag, then we’ll work individually with that student or employee to see what sort of resources they might need.”

But Garstecki said that even with the restrictions and mandatory screenings that will become a part of normal activity on campus, he’s more than happy to bring students back to campus.

“This is always the most exciting time of the year for me when they start to come back after a long summer when it’s been quiet on campus . This year had been, magnify that by ten, because they’ve been gone since the middle of March for the most part. And again, for part of that time we weren’t sure we would be back in the fall.”

Should the campus have to close again to in-person instruction, Garstecki said that professors and instructors have already been working to take their classes online, being able to switch over seamlessly if needed.

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