Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, TRU’s Kamloops campus may look quite different than in years past. Significant changes to campus have been made to keep students, staff, and faculty safe while specific procedures have been put in place to adhere to provincial guidelines and regulations. Returning students can be sure that the Office of Safety and Emergency Management has adapted the campus to fit our collective needs best and has put students’ health and well-being first this semester.
In preparation for the school’s gradual reopening, the facilities team worked hard to prepare buildings and teaching spaces by rearranging classrooms and study spaces. They also improved the air quality and ventilation in those spaces and installed over 30 kilometres of floor decals on floors across campus. The print shop printed a vast array of posters and signage to inform students of new policies while over 1,000 faculty members, staff, and students completed the three mandatory training courses required by WorkSafe BC to return to campus.
Steve Pottle, TRU’s director for risk management services, stated that all individuals on campus must learn and grow together in this; the university might have to “adapt [its] principles” as things progress with the pandemic. Pottle added that “as the weather gets colder, the university might need to add more study spaces to campus,” stating that he does not want students to feel like there is nowhere to go.
To encourage physical distancing and endorse the university’s COVID-19 procedures, TRU is recruiting safety ambassadors to help out.
Pottle commented that the ambassadors “are not policing but rather reminding people of procedures in certain areas” like the designated study spaces, Old Main computer labs, and Student Street.
“The hope is that people will quickly learn how things go,” he said. The safety ambassadors will be on campus starting Monday, Sept. 14 and will be wearing easily identifiable t-shirts that read “help limit the spread of COVID-19,” Pottle said.
Pottle added that students should stay away from campus if possible and should, “in general, consider if [they] really need to come to campus and if not, think about staying where [they] are.”
The fewer people on campus, the better. Limiting the spread of COVID-19 is a shared responsibility, “administration, faculty, staff, and students all have to do their part,” says Pottle.
To avoid the university shutting down altogether again, we all have to do the best we can in order to get our education. Although the university is not encouraging students to come to campus, students are welcome if necessary.
If looking for updates concerning COVID-19 procedures on campus, pay attention to The Return to Campus edition of the Bulletin, delivered every Wednesday this fall. Students should also consider watching the university safety video, COVID-19: Returning to Campus, which provides an overview of the changes made to the campus, including a look at new classroom arrangements and study space setups.
There are plenty of links included at the bottom of each bulletin if more information is needed. Feel free to send any questions are comments to firstname.lastname@example.org; feedback is much appreciated.