Lyon announces plans for spring semester

Lyon College President W. Joseph King announced that the College intends to be in residence for the spring semester. The announcement was shared internally Oct. 1.

In his message to campus, President King shared some of the plans and actions the College’s Covid-19 taskforce has implemented to be prepared for the spring. His message is below.

Dear Lyon Community,

I want to take a moment to laud your resilience as we have endured this strange and difficult time. We did not want a virtual fall semester, yet you prepared and adapted, making this the best virtual semester possible at Lyon College.

While we have persevered, I recognize we are all eager to return to campus life, even if it’s in a new normal. I want to assure you that we expect to be in residence for the spring 2021 semester.

Your safety continues to be our top priority, and we acknowledge that the pandemic is a fluid situation. However, the Covid-19 taskforce has taken several actions in order to efficiently prepare for a residential semester. Over the past few months, the task force has:

  • Observed the challenges of colleges that returned to in-person instruction and based off those observations, developed policies for returning to campus designed to avoid such challenges, such as the need for additional quarantine space;
  • Arranged a team of three registered nurses and a COVID Coordinator position to coordinate testing and contact tracing;
  • Entered a partnership with the COVID Health Project to ensure the College has accurate and ample Covid-19 tests available for students, faculty, and staff for the spring semester;
  • Planned and successfully conducted campus wide Covid-19 testing for faculty, staff, and any students remaining on campus, which the College intends to do again in segments when students return;
  • Started using the CampusClear app, which requires all campus members to screen themselves daily;
  • Purchased PPE and medical supplies for students, faculty, and staff, including masks, hand sanitizer, gloves, and wall-mounted thermometers;
  • Installed barriers and signage to enforce social-distancing, mask-wearing protocols, and size restrictions on groups and extracurricular activities; and
  • Planned safety renovations to dining areas such as Edwards Commons and the Salty Dog Coffee Shop, which will be complete by the spring semester.

Those are just a few of the actions we’ve taken to prepare for students’ return. More are in the works. As always, our goal is to bring everyone back to a safe learning and living environment, and we will adapt as necessary to this ever-changing situation. Nevertheless, we are ready to face this new normal together, on campus, as the Lyon community. 

Remember, we will all be expected to do our part to prevent the spread of COVID-19—following the College’s safety protocols will be a part of the Lyon College honor and social codes.

Please continue to check your email for updates from me, Provost Taverner, and Dean Hunter. We are exploring a range of instructional strategies that will serve students on campus while still including our remote community members as they transition gradually back to Batesville. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out.

Students, good luck on your midterm exams. Remember the College’s motto, and know that we all miss you terribly. Faculty and staff, I repeatedly state it, but please know I appreciate you. You are the epitome of “Perseverance Conquers All, God Willing.”