Updated: Jul 24, 2020
Posted 3/27 12:00 p.m., updated 3/27 5:25 p.m.
As of Wednesday, March 25, the Meredith College campus was deemed “closed.” But what does this mean? We spoke to Campus Police Chief Al White and Residence Life Director Heidi LeCount to understand how the campus is being affected by new COVID-19 policies.
“We’re operating business as usual,” says Chief White confidently. For example, Meredith administration has asked that students no longer bring guests to campus; the Campus Police officers will enforce those rules, assures White, but the front gate procedure doesn’t look any different than it normally would, and students aren’t being banned or policed.
As of 5 p.m. on Friday March 27, however, officers at the front gatehouse will be requiring anyone entering campus to show a photo ID (for students or staff, their CamCard). Campus Police will record each person's name, destination on campus, purpose for being on campus and expected length of stay. "As long as you provide us with your information, access will be allowed," says Security Officer Robert Timper.
Heidi LeCount says that one of the keys to ensuring compliance with campus guidelines is proper messaging: communicating to students what is expected and how these policies are meant to ensure their safety.
Life for students still living on campus remains nearly the same, save for social distancing and remote learning. Residents can still order food deliveries, for example, and still traverse campus as usual. The greenway is still open to the public with its usual hours of dawn until dusk. The Faircloth gate, however, is now closed at all hours of the day. Via the front gate, approved students and staff can still come and go from campus normally, and that’s not expected to change. However, things are very different from how they were even two weeks ago, says LeCount, and we don’t even know what tomorrow holds.
LeCount urges students to contact Residence Life at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a message for 919-760-8633 with their questions or concerns. The most frequent questions she has received so far are regarding the process of students moving out of residences completely, not just retrieving essential items, and how and when housing sign-ups for next semester will take place. These dilemmas are first on the list for Residence Life and Meredith administrators to solve, but like so much else, the solutions depend on how the local and national situations progress and require time for staff to determine the best possible solutions. “We know these things are important to students, and we know we want to make the right decision on how we’re going to proceed,” assures LeCount; “we want students to know that we really appreciate them doing what we’ve asked them to do so far!”
By Mimi Mays, Editor in Chief