Old Main, backlight

Old Main sits empty during the coronavirus quarantine period Saturday, March 21, 2020.

On Tuesday at noon, NextGen PA at Penn State hosted a Zoom town hall titled, "Living, Learning, and Voting on a COVID Campus," which discussed Penn State's reopening plan for the fall 2020 semester.

University Park Undergraduate Association Vice President Lexy Pathickal and Elizabeth McGraw, the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics at Penn State, were the main speakers at the town hall and discussed, public health, residence life and voting on campus in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Pathickal expressed concern that social distancing guidelines would not be followed off-campus and the university could not enforce its policies to keep students safe. Off-campus behavior also concerned McGraw since Penn State can not control behavior downtown.

McGraw said all students will receive a "welcome pack" once they return to campus that will contain two masks. She also said that the university is developing solutions for students who forget masks on campus.

Additionally, students will be required to sign a pledge stating they will adhere to public health standards.

She said she wants to build an environment of positive peer pressure on campus where students will follow public health guidelines. Also, students will be reprimanded for repeatedly breaking the university's coronavirus policies.

McGraw also said the university plans to release more concrete policies and information about the Back to State plan in the coming weeks.

Penn State will release its data, contact tracing and testing plans in a town hall on Thursday.

Zachary Michener, a representative of NextGen PA, spoke about voting on-campus during the coronavirus and voting by mail. Michener and NextGen encouraged voting by mail for the presidential election for the sake of public safety.


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