SDSU President reflects on Fall semester, looks forward to Spring

Published: Oct. 15, 2020 at 5:39 PM CDT
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BROOKINGS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The South Dakota Board of Regents is moving forward with a regular schedule this upcoming spring semester.

The decision comes after the fall semester was altered due to COVID-19.

Students at South Dakota State University returned to the classroom this fall with some restrictions and an adjusted schedule, all to keep everyone on campus safe.

The fall semester is just over halfway over at public universities across South Dakota, and at SDSU being able to still have students on campus is a reflection of taking guidelines seriously.

“I give a lot of credit to our faculty they have just been great,” said SDSU President Barry Dunn. “Students have been very patient, we know it’s not ideal but when I walk across campus, I get very positive responses.”

SDSU has implemented a hybrid learning system, where students spend some days in the classrooms and others learning online.

“For the most part it’s a pretty good system, I don’t think it’s a great system. I don’t think it replaces at 100%, but I think given the challenges of managing this virus, which is certainly on the uptick in our state, it’s the right thing to do,” Dunn added. For one freshman, being able to attend his first semester at college in-person is better than the alternative.

“I think it’s been good, it’s much better than choosing an online college where you don’t get to see people, and wearing a mask isn’t that big of a deal,” SDSU Freshman Jadon Poppinga said.

Looking forward to the spring semester, the South Dakota Board of Regents decided to continue in-person learning with a full academic schedule.

“We have to be diligent; we have to be careful. We’re planning on being back face-to-face in Brookings. We will follow our normal calendar, the board of regents voted on that, so we’ll have holidays and we’ll have spring break. We’ll just have to do the best we can,” said Dunn.

President Dunn says he does realize that the Spring semester is still a few months away, and between now and then a lot could happen.

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