UCA is undergoing phase 1A of reopening the campus under COVID-19 as the campus opened facilities on June 8, according to the university's website.
The university reopened June 8, with only essential workers reporting to the campus for a two week period.
Opened facilities include the HPER center, Student Health Clinic, Student Center, Post Office and dining services.
Although facilities have been opened to students and faculty, summer courses will remain online, which students and teachers find difficult..
"A lot of our professors...really didn't understand how to do online classes," Senior Travis Gupton said. Gupton explained that the experience has been stressful as he, other students and professors have tried to navigate the online platform with very little experience. "I think one of the things that needs to be taught to the teachers is online courses...because something like this could happen again and some teachers would not know how to go into online smoothly."
A similar perspective resounded from a professor who has been instructing a summer course.
"I learned a lot when we transitioned online in the spring," Broadcast Journalism Professor Angela Wiser said. "The difficulties that I've experienced have mostly been technology-based. Students don't all have equal access to computers, the internet, and other technologies that we have to when we are on campus. We have had to come up with different ways of gathering information for stories, learning new ways to get interviews, and how to edit stories if someone only has a cell phone or tablet access to audio or video editing programs".
I think it is important to find out what the students have access to at the beginning of the semester. Knowing if they have reliable internet and if they are using computers or cell phones makes a difference in what they can produce themselves. I think it's important to make sure students have access to what they need if we are not going to be on campus. I feel it's also important for teachers to be willing to adapt to changes and help the students embrace and navigate these changes as well."
Phase 1B is planned to begin Monday, June 22 as the university plans for all workers to return to campus. During the two week period, all vulnerable individuals will continue to work remotely.
Beginning Monday, July 6, the campus will initiate phase 2, which will last for one month where remote work can continue to be employed to create shifts within units. During phase 2, vulnerable individuals may continue to work remotely if a clearly documented and assessed remote assignment is available. Otherwise, leave options must be used.
Phase 3 will commence Aug. 10 and allow all employees to return to campus as the fall semester is planned to be on campus. The university website said that there would be an emphasis on good hygiene. Hand sanitizing stations will be located throughout the campus and face coverings are required in closed spaces where social distancing is not feasible.
During the third phase, meetings will continue to be held online through video chat and common areas of the campus will have restricted use.
"I feel like we are opening things up too quickly," Gupton said about the phases of opening in Arkansas and the increasing rate of COVID-19. "I feel like we need to be very cautious when it comes to the fall."