Jun 10, 2021 4:32 PM

MWSU planning a return to normal this fall

Posted Jun 10, 2021 4:32 PM

By BRENT MARTIN

St. Joseph Post

Missouri Western State University plans to return to normal this fall, after wading through a coronavirus-interrupted academic year.

Missouri Western President Elizabeth Kennedy points out the administration kept the St. Joseph campus relatively closed during the coronavirus pandemic.

“But we’ve been opening back up,” Kennedy tells host Barry Birr on the KFEQ Hotline. “We’re now allowing external groups to come on campus. We’ve been hosting parties and benefits. We’re doing a driver’s ed program in the building that I’m in right now. Now, a lot of the youngsters are coming in wearing masks and so forth, but having those groups come to campus.”

Summer camps have returned to Missouri Western, which anticipates the return of the Kansas City Chiefs training camp this summer. The Chiefs canceled the camp in St. Joseph after the NFL prohibited clubs from holding camps away from their stadium complexes.

Prospective students will be on campus on the 15th, the first in-person visit by potential students to the campus since the pandemic shutdown.

Kennedy says she’s excited for things to return to normal.

“Hey, we’re coming back. We’re going to be where we were before the pandemic and looking forward to a really good collegiate experience for our students as well as our faculty and staff,” says Kennedy, who has only been president fulltime since March. “I have to remind people, I feel like a freshman. I haven’t been through a lot of our events and I’m pretty darn excited about those. It’s really something to look forward to.”

Kennedy says the university will not require students to be vaccinated to return to campus or require any type of vaccine passport.

“No, no, we’re not going to do anything like that,” Kennedy says with a chuckle. “And I don’t think we need to. We’ve been very safe and we have a good group of folks, scientists as well as individuals, more practical:  how do we handle the pandemic? We’ve done very well.”

Kennedy says she has leaned on the expertise of that Missouri Western COVID Response Team in how the university handles operations during the coronavirus pandemic.

She says masks will be requested for those who have not been vaccinated, but otherwise the university plans to return to normal this fall.