Response to COVID-19 Facebook Live

HSU hosted a livestream addressing the COVID-19 pandemic before the recent move to remote instruction

Response+to+COVID-19+Facebook+Live

Victoria Stewart-Meyers, City Editor

It’s after 5 p.m. here in the Henderson Oracle office on Thursday, March 12. Most people have left the area, and the quiet promises to continue for the next 30 days, at least. Flags on campus are flying at half-staff. A stark contrast to the din of the last few hours as the Oracle staff gathered to watch a Facebook Live event by acting President Elaine Kneebone, Renee Walls from Student Health Services, the VP of Student Affairs, Brad Patterson and Nikki Laird the VP for Housing about the decision to move all classes from “face-to-face” to online and close nearly all buildings and services on the campus. The purpose of the Live is to announce that the only buildings students will be able to access are the students’ respective residence halls or campus apartments and the dining hall. The Library closed at 5 p.m., while the Dunn Recreation Center announced it is closing at 11 p.m. The expected reopen date on campus is April 13, but stay tuned to your student email for further updates.  

Many of the student body attending the Live were expressing concern and asking questions in the comments section; most questions got prompt answers. Yes, students are allowed to stay in the dorms. Yes, they can choose to leave. Yes, classes will continue, just changed to online. Many questions remain unanswered. Students want to know how to receive their mail from the HSU Post Office. How will education students resolve their requirements for observation hours? How will aviation students get hours in the air? How can students work effectively on assignments without access to the library resources? How can art students and music students effectively create and practice? Many students need access to computer programs like Adobe graphic art programs that they have typically used on campus computers and don’t have the budget to purchase the monthly access. What happens to work-study jobs? Some students were genuinely scared about their education; others were scared about their access to health services and testing in the event they come into contact with the virus.

Hannah Jones, an art major and member of the Kappa Pi Art Honor Society, said that while the closure of art studio spaces was inconvenient, she feels it is “more responsible to prevent the spread [of the COVID-19 virus] early, rather than try to contain it too late.”

At this time, it is essential to remember that there are no active cases of COVID-19 on the Henderson campus, in Arkadelphia; or even Arkansas.

Don’t panic, wash your hands, and if you feel sick, stay home. 

Acting President Kneebone reiterated over and over again; this is a precautionary and preventive measure to prevent large gatherings of people and limit possible exposures.   

The CDC recommends the following preventive actions to stay healthy.

 

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.