The Admissions Office is continuing its campus tours for prospective students despite the on-going pandemic. However, there are many more rules and regulations to be followed now.
Suzy Cochnar, Visit Coordinator for the Admissions Office, said one of the major changes has been on the number of prospective student visits that happen each day.
There are four to five spots for each time slot, and time slots are at 9 AM and 1 PM so there is no overlap between the people visiting in each time slot. In total, there are eight to ten visits each day.
There are a few guidelines about COVID safety on Doane’s “Visit” page on the Doane website. The guidelines include a few questions prospective students and their families should ask themselves before coming to campus, such as, “Have I had contact with any persons with known COVID-19 or close contact with anyone under observation for COVID-19 in the last 14 days?” as well as a list of symptoms of COVID-19. The guidelines are followed by a message encouraging prospective students to choose another day to visit if any of the questions or symptoms apply to them.
In addition to these guidelines, there are other rules in place once the prospective student actually gets to campus.
Cochnar said they now have “hosting rooms” around campus for when visiting students and their families arrive.
In these rooms, their temperatures are checked and disposable masks are distributed if necessary. Professors and coaches then go to hosting rooms or Zoom in to the room to talk with the prospective student. The visitors stay in their hosting room throughout the entire time they are on campus with the exception of their campus tour.
“I think everyone’s being pretty good […] You know, we’ve had no pushback from visitors or coaches or anybody on required masks,” Cochnar said.
For the campus tours, prospective students are still allowed to walk through each residence hall and see a showroom in Frees Hall. Otherwise, the tour is the same as it has been in the past. Usually, morning tours end with a chance for the prospective student and their family to get lunch at the cafeteria. However, because of guidelines in place across campus about the cafeteria, visitors don’t get the chance to do this now.
Visitors being unable to get lunch at the cafeteria on campus has been understood by those who are visiting.
“Everyone knows there are limits now,” Cochnar said.
Recently, there have been a few cases of COVID-19 on Doane’s Crete campus. These cases caused President Jacque Carter to temporarily suspend athletics and other extracurricular activities from Aug 20 to Aug 31, according to an email from the President’s Office. While there were still tours happening during this time, they were permitted because the University didn’t shut down.
“We are so strict on what they do and don’t do and where they go and don’t go,” Cochnar said.
The Admissions Office will continue to offer tours on campus until they are told otherwise. Cochnar is not certain that their operations are based on the University’s risk dial for COVID-19 but she believes that makes the most sense. Virtual tours are still offered and will continue to be offered for students who feel more comfortable visiting that way.
While nothing is certain about in-person activities during this time, hopefully prospective students will continue to be able to visit Doane’s campus.