Faculty and staff at East Carolina University have begun COVID-19 enforcement and procedures as they continue to remind students of their responsibilities to try and slow the spread of COVID-19 as the spring semester continues.
Captain of ECU Police Department (ECU PD) Chris Sutton said the two key university guidelines for students to follow include the requirement to wear a face mask everywhere on campus and the large gathering restriction. Sutton said as of now, no more than 10 people are allowed to gather inside and no more than 50 are allowed outside. He said students should review the guidelines outlined by the Office of the Governor and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS).
ECU will reflect these guidelines, Sutton said, though if students advance beyond a warning, they should expect to receive a referral to the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities (OSRR) conduct administrator. Sutton said students who stay on campus could be removed from their hall if they violate a guideline. He said ECU PD is currently the lead agency to monitor large gatherings and plans to work with Greenville Police Department (GPD) as well.
“Fighting the COVID(-19) pandemic will not last forever, but it is a fight we face right now. We must collectively commit to following all the guidelines with diligence,” Sutton said. “The current student generation is being asked to do the most important thing they have ever been tasked with. Being responsible and accountable today, guarantees a safer and healthier tomorrow.”
Leila Faranesh, associate dean of students and director of the OSRR, said students must wear face coverings in all public places on campus, especially in the residence hall common hall areas, hallways and elevators. Faranesh said students in the residence halls are allowed to have one guest who also lives on campus.
Faranesh said students should become familiar with university expectations, as well as state orders, related to the pandemic. She said reports can be filed on the OSRR’s website.
The department receives reports from police, students, faculty, staff, community members and more, according to Faranesh. She said the university continues to take directions as listed on the Return to Pirate Nation website.
“Our success in preventing the spread of COVID-19 is dependent on students complying with regulations in place to help ensure the health and safety of the ECU community. We want nothing more than to be able to gather in person with our fellow Pirates, but that can only happen if we work together to stop the spread of the virus,” Faranesh said.
Freshman human services major Taylor Dixon said she thinks the university’s COVID-19 enforcements are well-prepared for this semester, especially since the country doesn’t have COVID-19 under control. She said the transition to to-go-only at Todd Dining Hall and a reduction in residence hall capacities will be a different routine, though it’s beneficial for the campus.
Dixon said she doesn’t know how well enforcement will go on campus and said she believes students won’t abide by curfew or by capacity guidelines in the residence halls.
“I hope that people will do what they’re supposed to do and follow directions, even if it’s not being enforced, because it’s not going to get any better unless people comply. Especially a really populated college campus. People just need to be careful, even if they aren’t directly affected by it,” Dixon said.