Updates from Our President/by Austin LaBrot
As the fall semester draws to a close, President Blake Thompson provides insight into the coming weeks and the upcoming spring semester.
A chief concern for many students over the next few weeks is how final exams are going to work. Simply, finals will continue as normal. Professors oversee how they administer finals, Thompson said.
Another change for the next few weeks is loosening restrictions on student gatherings. Clubs and tribes will be able to host events outside, and intramurals will resume, too. All students at these events are encouraged to social distance as much as possible, and must wear masks while in attendance.
“I am very thankful for the Fall Opening Task Force and all they have done,” Thompson said. “Dr. Ambrose has a direct connection to students.”
Ambrose has been tasked with leading the Spring Task Force alongside co-chair Education Dean Cindy Melton. Other members include Erin Norcross, Patrick Connelly, Keith Randazzo, Damon Wright, and Jonathan Nutt.
“The Spring Task Force has the benefit of the Fall Opening Task Force. They know what to be aware of,” Thompson said.
Before the spring semester begins, students will be retested for COVID-19 as they were in August. As students travel for the holidays, it is more likely for students to come into contact with the virus.
“Testing was very effective in controlling the spread this past semester,” Thompson said. “This is why we are testing again for spring move-in.”
As of yet, no information has been released concerning the spring schedules of Choctaw Athletics. “We have no updates on spring sports. We rely on the Gulf South Conference [to take appropriate actions],” said Thompson. “The NCAA has given guidelines, and we are following those. Decisions for winter sports will be coming soon.”
Lastly, administration is asking all students who need financial assistance to apply for MCares before the end of the semester. There is still money available to students according to Chief Financial Officer Laura Jackson.
As the semester continues, administration intends on keeping students informed about these big issues.