Maryville College’s Adaptation During and Post COVID-19

The CDC established many guidelines to reduce and confine the spread of COVID-19. Most public places applied these guidelines to reduce the possibility of spreading any variants. 

Maryville College was no exception. The college’s main goal was to protect and maintain a healthy atmosphere for students, faculty and staff. Many returning students knew that prior to arriving on campus, they would have to provide proof of vaccination. Everyone was asked to wear masks both in common areas and any other areas where more than a few individuals were present.

Maryville College also composed a “COVID-19 Workgroup.” Its main function was to “monitor multiple data points and prevailing guidance related to COVID-19,” as stated in a campus wide email sent out on August 5, 2021 by Dr. Melanie Tucker, Vice President and Dean of Students. This group would meet twice weekly to discuss the impact of COVID-19 cases around the county in order to conclude what would be in the best interest of the campus and everyone in it. 

 A lot of clubs and activities had to operate carefully when trying to promote and carry out events on campus, which resulted in many ‘traditional events’ having to be postponed or halted. One example was Maryville College’s annual Spring Fling. Maryville is known for its lively campus and successful student held events, which some students were able to experience pre-pandemic.

 So, what is Maryville College doing now? What is the plan moving forward? 

On August 15, 2022, College President Bryan Coker stated in an email that Maryville College continues to monitor the transmission of COVID-19 in the Blount County area.  Even though masks are no longer ‘mandated’ on campus, it is encouraged to still follow CDC protocols. This applies to every and any individual who is feeling sick or thinks that they may have contracted COVID-19.

Since the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year, Maryville College has already seen a diverse array of activities for students. From grape jelly making, celebrating Mountain Challenge turning 35 years old and a movie on Anderson Lawn, there is always something to do on campus.

With summer weather starting to subside and fall winds picking up, the trees on campus will develop their autumn-colored leaves soon. Compared to the start and during the pandemic, there is a huge difference on the college campus. The picnic tables always seem to be in use, and many people can be seen walking to and from class. 

A great source for students who want to know what activities are taking place on campus is Maryville College’s “Today@MC.”  This newsletter goes live at 7 a.m., Monday through Friday. Any campus-wide event or club events are usually posted there, along with a small description to attract individuals. 

With the number of COVID-19 cases now slowly declining, we can hope to enjoy a restriction-free campus. In the meantime, continuing to care about others’ health, and following CDC guidelines if you are feeling unwell, will be beneficial to everyone.  

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