By: Kate Young
On Friday Oct. 30, the Samford community received a COVID-19 update that praised students and staff for their vigilant efforts to help slow the spread of the disease and ensure classes can remain on campus. According to the COVID-19 Dashboard as of Monday, Nov. 9, the seven-day average of daily cases on campus is two cases. This sharp decline in cases since the beginning of the semester continues despite national and statewide increases in cases.
“I am grateful and proud of you, our students and employees, for how you have helped us manage the COVID-19 crisis. You are making the difference,” Executive Vice President of Samford Harry Brock said in the email to students and staff.
That same email went on to state, “Beginning on Monday, November 2, we are removing the 50-person maximum for Samford student organizations and student life events.”
Now, room capacities of venues will be the primary factor in determining how many people may attend any particular event, along with appropriateness of the venue and approval from Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management R. Philip Kimrey.
Social distancing guidelines will still be required and organizers of events are being asked to promote physical distancing and masking.
“With continued vigilance, we will complete the Fall semester on campus and in the classroom as intended,” Brock said in the email.
For many student organizations on campus, this change in guidelines will not affect their plans for the rest of this semester.
“We aren’t expecting it to really affect attendance to screenings or interest level,” president of the Film Club Greg Young said. “Since most of the places on campus can’t hold more than 50 people, places that we would have a screening, it doesn’t really change much for us.”
Director of Greek Life Julie Fletcher Mincey shared a similar sentiment.
“It doesn’t change it much other than the quantity of people who are able to attend events, so masks and social distancing and all other campus guidelines will be required,” Mincey said.
Greek Life has also implemented stricter regulations from the beginning of the semester which will stay in place regardless of the university requirements. Greek Life is maintaining rules that dictate only Samford students may be invited to events. The only change for Greek Life is that now chapters may be able to hold chapter meetings with all members in one location if they are able to secure a large enough venue.
Though the change in COVID-19 regulations is not expected to affect student organizations this semester, the changes promise a possibility that next semester will have more opportunities for larger student organizations to gather and restore a sense of normalcy on campus.