Campus News

Delaware State Students Return to New Normal

Jahnaysia Hampton

A group of Del State alumni, students, administrators and staff poses in front of the Claiborne Smith Administration Building on campus.

Excited to return to what is now known as the “New Normal,” students have begun returning to classes confident in the school year. After not being on campus for a full school year, President Tony Allen virtually addressed DSU on the topic in August, providing new policies and regulations for new, transfer and returning students and staff. While many had much to say about the decision to open up the campus, others rushed to fulfill requirements in order to be eligible for campus life.

According to the new COVID-19 Campus Operations Policy, students and faculty are required to receive the COVID-19 Vaccine before returning to campus. In order for students to move-in to their assigned dormitories, they must show proof of vaccination to the Delaware State Housing Dept. Students and faculty who wish to be exempted from this policy for any specific reason are being required to submit exemption requests to Housing. Regardless of having been vaccinated or not, everyone on campus is required to wear masks at all times to not only protect themselves, but others as well.

Aviation/Professional Pilot major, Penni Kamani, swipes the inside of her nostril for 20 seconds during the first day of testing at Del State.

In order to continue classes at Delaware state for the semester, students and faculty are also required to receive on-campus COVID-19 testing at least once every week. Testing participation is mandatory and is being monitored by DSU staff to keep the campus safe. If a student becomes ill during their stay on campus, they will be relocated to an isolation area for quarantine until results return stating a no longer positive status for COVID-19. If a faculty member receives a positive test result, he or she is required to stay home, submit a notice to Campus Health Services, and return after results come back negative.

Even though there are many upcoming events on campus that do not seem to be virtual, everyone is required to keep their social distancing in tact. While the normal social distancing protocol requires six feet of distance, Delaware State requires only three feet of distance. Residence Halls, student classrooms, employee work locations and shared community spaces have been modified to accommodate physical distancing. While everyone is required to wear masks, social distancing has been strongly recommended to keep everyone safe during this school year.

While these new policies and regulations seem to be what’s going to keep Delaware State in order, there has been a bit of chaos since the takeover of Wesley College. In July of 2020, Del-State announced that they had plans to acquire Wesley College, which would make them the first HBCU to acquire another school. As the time passed leading up to the return for the Fall 2021 semester, students have been struggling to transfer credits from the former college, are having financial troubles and, and are even being wait listed for on campus housing. On the bright side, DSU will inherit 50 acres, 21 buildings, and 14 academic programs. As the school year begins, many are attempting to become comfortable with what is now considered to be normal campus life.

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