BJC Classroom Graphic

Over the past several weeks, Penn State has been busy developing safety guidelines to ensure students can make a return to campus in the fall while avoiding spreading the coronavirus.

While many classes will take place on Zoom, some are still happening in person — and the university is finding creative solutions to ensure students' safety.

Here are some of the most interesting spots on campus students will be having class — and some I think the university should consider.

Official: Pattee and Paterno Library

While there are some spaces in the Pattee and Paterno Library currently utilized as classrooms, there aren't many. Therefore it’s a no-brainer to hold more classes here in the fall to encourage social distancing in a relatively low traffic area.

Hopeful: Intramural Building

There’s a lot of uncertainty regarding whether gym complexes on campus will be open throughout the semester. Typically, spaces like the Intramural Building are packed with fitness classes throughout the day, allowing students to get reps in between classes. But if these gym spaces aren't utilized for workouts, there are many rooms in the I.M. Building that could be transformed to classrooms instead.


Official: State Theatre

The State Theatre provides space every semester for film and theatre classes, but this year, the theatre is being utilized for a few more communications classes that don’t necessarily require a big theatre complex. Local movie theaters are currently closed to customers, so the large downtown theatre will be utilized in the meantime. Is College 9 too far for classes?

Hopeful: The dining halls

Many students also have questions about how dining halls will ensure the safety of students and faculty. If all meals are prepared “to go,” this could be an opportunity to utilize some of the largest dining halls on campus as classrooms.

Official: “Off campus”

Students might see the mysterious “off campus” location on LionPATH for some of their classes. There are so many possibilities as to what this could mean, but the jury is still out. Will they be online or is the location to be determined later? Maybe it really is College 9 Theater.

Hopeful: Old Main

This one is very unlikely, but if they’re really desperate for classroom space, maybe the university will consider this one.

Official: Nittany Lion Inn Ballroom

Penn State announced Nittany Lion Inn rooms would be utilized as classroom space after deciding to use Eastview Terrace for isolating students who test positive for the virus. Since then, many students have noticed its ballroom pop up on their schedules for the upcoming semester. With a large enough space like the ballroom, there should be enough room to keep students and faculty safe.

Hopeful: Bryce Jordan Center

Everyone is hoping Penn State sports will be possible in the near future, but even if they do return, there will likely be very minimal spectator participation. So if students don’t get the opportunity to watch their favorite Penn State sports in person, wouldn’t it be fun to have classes there instead? Maybe?


If you're interested in submitting a Letter to the Editor, click here.