This semester, the University invited prospective students and parents to attend one of the first in-person undergraduate open houses since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
On Nov. 21, the University will host its second in-person open house held on campus after a year and a half of virtual open houses. The University's first in-person open house occurred on Oct. 24.
Alyssa McCloud, vice president of enrollment management, said that the University will implement the same health and safety protocols from October’s open house event. McCloud said that personal protective equipment will be available at the event and visitors will not be required to get temperature checks or provide proof of vaccination.
“Currently, it’s not our policy for visitors to provide proof of vaccination,” McCloud said. “We have the added benefit of social distancing and also having the food outdoors.”
All visitors are required to wear masks indoors, according to McCloud. Currently, the University is imposing an indoor mask mandate which was originally announced on July 29 and extended until further notice.
“We moved all of the food outdoors,” McCloud said. “We had tents set up and food outside so that ensured nobody took their mask off indoors. We did require our visitors to wear masks indoors at all times, and we did set up all of the seating in groups of three.”
During November’s open house, visitors can tour the campus, meet with current students, faculty and other members of the University's community, according to the University’s website.
McCloud said that campus tours are primarily outside and that the average group size is approximately 12 to 15 people.
Visitors can also attend presentations to learn about academic programs. McCloud said that social distancing was enforced in all indoor areas of campus during October’s open house event.
“We broke people out into presentations, and they were all in rooms that were significantly larger than the group size,” McCloud said. “We did that as much as possible, not exactly knowing how many people are going to show up. But we have a lot of experience with this event, and we generally know how the audience breaks down and we know in advance who the audience is.”
For those who are unable to attend November’s open house, the University will host a virtual open house on Dec. 4.
“On Dec. 4 we are offering a completely virtual open house because we know not everybody can make it to campus and maybe some people are not as comfortable coming to campus,” McCloud said.
McCloud said that she expects the same amount of people from the last open house to attend November’s event.
“We can tell by registration that we are going to be about the same as we were in October,” she said. “Part of the reason that our numbers aren't quite as large is because we didn’t promote it as robustly or as widely.”
McCloud said that after the public registers for the event on the University’s website, they’ll receive an email related to the campus’ health and safety protocols.
“There are always a handful of people who show up without registering but they do then have to register there on the spot and give us their contact information so that we have it available,” McCloud said. “So everyone who comes to the event is in our system so that we have a record that they were here, and we have their contact information.”