Students studying (with masks)

With nearly 30,000 students enrolled at the University of Tennessee, it can seem almost impossible to stay on top of the sanitization that is necessary to control the spread of the coronavirus. 

Contagious diseases and viruses are no strangers to universities. Every year college campuses are making sure they are prepared for outbreaks like mono, meningitis and the flu. It sounds frightening, but in all actuality, it is normal for universities to prepare for these outbreaks. 

However, with the current state of COVID-19 and its increase in cases on and off campus, more extreme measures are being taken to slow the spread and ensure the safety of faculty, students and staff. 

Prior to classes beginning, UT and its janitorial team worked diligently on disinfecting and creating a social distance classroom environments for those having to appear on campus for classes that can not be taught on zoom. 

A tactic used taken in UT classrooms and other instructional facilities is daily cleaning with disinfecting wipes.

Jessica Davis, senior journalism and electronic media major, shared her thoughts. 

“I’ve barely had any in person classes. However, when I do go on campus for one of my classes, the professor is good about making sure she and my classmates have our mask on at all times. We have to sanitize every time we enter the classroom too. Before leaving class she also makes us grab a disinfecting wipe and clean our desk,” Davis said. 

Even though UT cleaning staff are executing the new and improved sanitization methods necessary for COVID-19, it is also important that students and faculty do their job to help maintain clean and healthy environments for everyone. Most classrooms have been set up with at least a six-feet distance in between each person to maintain the necessary safety between each individual. 

To ensure these practices are being executed efficiently, all excess furniture is removed from the classrooms and seating is now fixed to maintain social distance. 

“When I attend my in-person classes, for the most part my professors just make sure everyone has a mask on and that he or she remains behind the lines laid out for them and that is basically it,” Kaitlyn Marlowe, senior journalism and electronic media major, said. 

“However, for me when I teach in the Howard Baker Center, I clean after class and in Haslam I encourage my students to wipe down their seats before they sit. I’ve even noticed that a lot of classrooms don’t even have cleaning supplies, which makes it a challenge for instructors to disinfect.”

Remembering to maintain social distance and wear a mask is already a great start to preventing the spread of the coronavirus. Nonetheless, initiating disinfecting in and outside of classrooms goes a long way toward keeping everyone healthy as we strive to finish this fall semester.

Students with any questions regarding what should be happening in classrooms to ensure your safety can visit the university’s website on teaching during COVID-19.

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