On March 24, an email sent to students from Provost Michael Hammond announced that fall semester on campus would be “business as usual.”
Though a full list of remaining restrictions has yet to be made known, Hammond outlined a few things that current and incoming students can look forward to.
A normal academic calendar — including a full spring break — will happen in 2021-2022. Additionally, the class of 2025 will experience Welcome Weekend in its full glory.
By the end of March, COVID-19 vaccines will be available to all Indiana residents over the age of 16. Gov. Eric Holcomb also announced that the statewide mask mandate will be lifted on April 6. However, as of March 25, students have not received communication from Taylor on whether this will carry over to campus.
Several Taylor administrators have played a role in this navigation, making decisions as a part of the Pandemic Emergency Response Team (PeRT.) The team has met and continues to meet several times a week.
Along with this, the team works closely with the Indiana State Health Commissioner and the Grant County Health Department.
To make this “business as usual” decision, PeRT evaluated the current infection numbers and weighed several factors. These factors include vaccination eligibility and state-wide social distancing restrictions.
“All of these factors gave us confidence to project that the fall calendar could remain intact and that we will be closer to business as usual this fall,” Hammond said.
For now, though, restrictions remain in place.
Nearly half of the student body has not experienced Taylor University without pandemic restrictions.
“I’m thrilled that the incoming freshmen will be able to experience traditions like they’ve been held in the past… hopefully this will provide excitement that they’ll have a normal freshman year, which is something we missed,” freshman Jordan Dutcher said. “I’m also excited to join in on the traditions and experience them at their full potential.”
Administration commends students for their endurance amid a taxing year and Hammond thanked students in his email for their cooperation and support of community guidelines in navigating the pandemic.
“Taylor family, you have my sincere gratitude for making all of this possible,” Hammond wrote. “God has been at work in and through you this year, and it has not gone unnoticed. I prayerfully look forward to business as usual alongside you this fall.”